Gates and Passages of San Francisco

29 August 2012

Lens:

1. West Gate, San Francisco, iPhone 4s, June 2012; © Sally W. Donatello and Lens and Pens by Sally, 2012

2. Gate, San Francisco, iPhone 4s, June 2012; © Sally W. Donatello and Lens and Pens by Sally, 2012

3. Gate, Sam Francisco; iPhone 4s, June 2012; © Sally W. Donatello and Lens and Pens by Sally, 2012

4. Gate, San Francisco, iPhone 4s, June 2012; © Sally W. Donatello and Lens and Pens by Sally, 2012

5. Passages, San Francisco, iPhone 4s, June 2012; © Sally W. Donatello and Lens and Pens by Sally, 2012

6. Passages, San Francisco, iPhone 4s, June 2012; © Sally W. Donatello and Lens and Pens by Sally, 2012

7. Passages, San Francisco, iPhone 4s, June 2012; © Sally W. Donatello and Lens and Pens by Sally, 2012

8. Passages, San Francisco, Nikon DSLR, June 2012; © Sally W. Donatello and Lens and Pens by Sally, 2012

9. Gate, San Francisco, iPhone 4s, June 2012; © Sally W. Donatello and Lens and Pens by Sally, 2012

10. Gate, San Francisco, iPhone 4s, © Sally W. Donatello and Lens and Pens by Sally, 2012

11. Gate, San Francisco, Nikon DSLR, © Sally W. Donatello and Lens and Pens by Sally, 2012

12. Gate, San Francisco, Nikon DSLR, © Sally W. Donatello and Lens and Pens by Sally, 2012

Let me know which is your favorite.

Pens:

San Francisco’s architecture has a zest for designs that include hand-crafted wrought iron gates, iron doors and metal screens. These goodies are integral to the city’s exterior spaces.

You’d think that the milder climate would inspire porches, but instead these soldiers are protectors of passages. Some act as hosts up stairways. Others lead quickly to doorways. Still, other announce courtyards.

This element captured my attention, reminding me of my obsession to photograph doors of Western Europe. Their place in this frontier cityscape give much to ponder.

Gates are used to secure entranceways, but most are not mundane. Each has its own character that is exemplified by angles and shapes realized through the materials. Most seem unique, exuding aesthetics and purpose.

Intrigue is ever-present. They lure your gaze, but push you away at the same time. Many are hand-made and unique. While others are pleasant to view, but strictly utilitarian.

Some are foreboding, giving a sense that trespassers are clearly forbidden. Other installations seem easily violated; they are there for decoration not security.

Overall, the gates of San Francisco are one of the silent dramas, conjuring the idea of a city that has tried to stop crime and home invasion through art. What could be a nobler feat?

These lovely appendages are city-wide. Each building or home surprising with another variation on the theme.

Still, I found an annoying quality to an everyday habit of the local advertisers. They slide and attach flyers and other papers into the spaces of the gates. Mostly, it is an eyesore, disturbing the visual appeal.

There a mysterious quality to many of them. You feel much like a voyeur peeking into  layers of a personal story. As your eyes search, passageways are unveiled, signs of life are revealed, and darkly lit areas hide the unknown.

Simple or intricate, plain or fancy, humorous or serious, outspoken or shy, the gates of San Francisco are part of my memories of the golden city. They stand guard with pride, always alert, always ready.

Note: As always I welcome any comment about this post or any part of this blog.

 

Advertisements
This entry was posted in Black-and-White Photography, Photography, Street Photography and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

24 Responses to Gates and Passages of San Francisco

  1. I love the color and design of #3. This is a wonderful collection of gates & passages, thank you for sharing it with us.

  2. So hard to select best of such a good bunch of photos. Thanks for sharing them. If I have to go for one it would be the blue gate.

  3. Don’t think I’ve ever seen a blue solar emblem like the one in #3. I’ve been to San Francisco several times, but I don’t remember seeing so many gates. Good for you for noticing them.

    Steve Schwartzman
    http://portraitsofwildflowers.wordpress.com

  4. Gates that looks like works of Art. Beautiful!

  5. "Occam Blade" says:

    #6–it’s as if the face of that gate was once “straight” and your photographic karma changed it to something softer and more fluid…

  6. I like #s 3 and 5. Once again you helped me see a common sight in a unique way!

  7. Amy says:

    #2 shows a lot of detailing iron work, but the design of #9 is unique. “They stand guard with pride…”, well said. Thanks for putting these beautiful photos together, Sally! Enjoyed reading the pens, as always.

  8. marialla says:

    GREAT SHOTS. I AGREE WITH YOU – DOORS AND GATES ARE QUITE FASCINATING STUFF,GIVING WAY TO MUCH A PONDER AND WONDER. KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK!!!

  9. Love those gates, Sally!

  10. Gracie says:

    Excellent series of photos, Sally! Many of these are so interesting and unique that one just wonders what prompted each owner to choose their specific design. Surely, there are stories behind each one,

    • Absolutely, it would be interesting to know how they made their decisions. While some seem almost after thoughts, others must have taken effort to get the design as they envisioned it to fit the structure. Regardless, they hold those secrets from us. Many thanks.

  11. Northern Narratives says:

    I am fascinated by the gates and the different styles and the purpose of these gates. Nice post.

  12. from16to23 says:

    loving the first two pictures:)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s