The Life in My Years

An anthology of life

The Bay Area awoke to a New Year that was bright, beautiful, crisp and clean. We took a walk at Crissy Field where the Golden Gate Bridge is in full view. During our walk we came upon a beached boat with no apparent owner besides nature to do it’s inevitable work.

I took a few photos of the old vessel (including the banner image, a close up from the bow) but the one that I really wanted was made impossible by the many people walking the shoreline, enjoying a break from politics and pandemics. I loitered hoping for the clean shot that never happened.

As if the weather gods had just given us a one day tease, January 2nd was cold, misty and gray. The image of that boat and the disappointment of the missed shot had stayed with me and the gloomy weather inspired a return to the beach.

The beach was nearly empty and the tide was up – way up. The bridge was shrouded within a misty veil.

As I walked the shoreline dodging the surging bay water I wondered if the boat would still be there or if the risen bay might have snatched the little craft from its sandy berth. About a half mile up the beach lay the boat, unmoved in the wet sand surrounded by puddles. Not a person in sight. I had my shot and the gloomy weather lent what I thought was an extra portion of drama.

I took a number of images, all in color, and edited them into monochrome using different filters.




And just for fun, a vintage toned photo. Maybe something taken after the ’06 earthquake? Well, if you imagine the bridge not being there.


Is there a story behind this boat?  Maybe a clever fiction writer can come up with something. An escape from Alcatraz perhaps?

10 thoughts on “Monthly Monochrome: The Bridge and the Boat

  1. I totally love your photos! Great post. I would have loved a walk on the beach that morning.

    1. Paulie says:

      Thank you Lisa.
      It certainly wasn’t your classic beach day. There was just enough mist that I almost decided against it – at least against taking out my camera.
      What I remember was the couple who had what looked like a Sheepdog mix. The dog was romping in the wet sand and I kept thinking what a chore it would be to have to get the mess out of that dog.

      1. LOL! …one reason why I have a cat! They are self cleaning 😊

  2. eden baylee says:

    Hi Paul,

    The sepia tone is one of my favourites. It brings back memories about how photography used to be … that anticipation of making each shot count, developing a canister of film, and waiting to pick up the pictures. It felt good to have something to look forward to.

    The immediacy of digitized photos removes the allure of taking pictures for me.

    FYI, I’m still reading your woks of the past. Your words are addictive. 😀


    1. Paulie says:

      Good morning Eden, Digital photography is a sort of double edged sword (but what isn’t?). It’s certainly made it an affordable pastime for people like myself. If I were having to go through traditional processing and printing I’d be forced to take up a more economical hobby – like tournament poker. Digital has made photography a bit more egalitarian.
      Digital also allows people such as me to be creative by using editing programs. All of the photos in this piece were shot in color and were actually a bit underexposed. I also have a dirty sensor in the camera that creates what looks like water spots that I can edit out in PS.
      That said digital photography has made the traditional photo album something of an endangered species and that’s a real shame. My son’s and daughter’s family and vacation photos are all locked in a phone or a cloud. There’s no real sharing of memories with friends and family unless you call passing a phone around the table, sharing. We have a stacks of family albums and I also have hundreds of my parents’ and grandparents’ photos in a box dating back to WWII and before that need to be arranged and, yes, digitized.
      Thank you for reading. I really appreciate your comments.

      1. eden baylee says:

        I miss the traditional photo albums from my youth too, but agree digital makes it more accessible. I brought a small Polaroid with me to Cuba and took pictures of people. They loved having a copy of themselves. It was a real hit.

        Thanks for not mentioning my typo, hahah. I reread my comment after I wrote it and realized *woks* instead of *works*. I try hard not to make typos, so please excuse them. 😀

  3. nesfelicio says:

    Great photos! Instant classics with the bridge in the background.

    1. Paulie says:

      Thank you. I certainly agree about the shot being a classic. After having seen the shot the day before I took about a 40 minute drive just to take the shot.

  4. The Dogfish says:

    Captures the current mood succinctly! Timeless shots man.

    1. Paulie says:

      Good evening. So sorry for the late reply.
      These caught the mood of that day. The day before, New Years Day, was bright and sunny.
      For this subject I liked the misty day.

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