My plane landed almost exactly at noon and, after collecting my luggage, I met Jeff Fielding and his Prius for the beginning of my four day adventure in San Francisco and Yosemite National Park. With a half day still open to us, we decided to try to get a little shooting in before dinner that evening. Our first stop was at Fort Point, a Civil War era fort and part of the historic Presidio. It was raining off and on and, as Jeff mentions, it seemed to add to the atmosphere of the place. Despite the glory of the Golden Gate Bridge next to it, it was dark and brooding.
The rain stopped long enough for us to walk up to the top level of the fort and look out towards the bridge and the ocean, and down into the fort itself. The cloudy gray skies acted like a giant softbox and opened up some of the shadows in the lower levels of the building. Despite the momentary brightening, it was easy to imagine the miserable conditions here on days like this for the soldiers during the war.
Then there was the bride.
She and her fiancée arrived shortly after we did. She was carrying an umbrella and trying not to get the dress wet and dirty in the rain and mud. Eventually, while her husband-to-be was making the arrangements with their photographer, she wandered by herself to the end of the wooden walkway and stopped to stare into the rain. Shortly afterward, she returned to her group and they went off in search of an appropriate background for the shoot but, for a few minutes, she wanted to be alone with her thoughts.
Part of the reason for this trip was for me to take a step back and collect my thoughts on photography—and on life in general; to take a small time out, if you will. Like her, I began my visit with a flurry of activity, but also like her, I stopped for a few minutes to reflect. I knew how she felt, even if I didn't know what she was thinking or why she felt that way.
We all do it, right? We stop sometimes and wonder why we're doing the things we are and if we shouldn't be doing them differently. For me, this photograph reflects a moment when she and I were in sync, despite not knowing each other at all. A moment that we've all experienced our lives, whether we live in San Francisco or Tuscany, Indiana or Kenya. A human moment.