Thursday, November 23, 2006
Giving Thanks for Golden Light
In 2001 I documented the world in photos and text for 365 straight days, editing the results into PowerPoint presentations every night. The project was eventually turned into 52 half-hour TV shows that ran on the public access station in San Francisco a couple of years later. "FotoTales," as it was called, also turned out to be a prototype for this blog.
November in Northern and Central California is subject to something called "tule fog," a dense, low-lying blast of water and air that changes texture every five minutes.
You can have fifteen feet of visibility one moment, and then the sun will be streaming through the mist in the next moment.
I played golf in a tule fog earlier this week at Lincoln Park, a San Francisco municipal course surrounding the Palace of the Legion of Honor Art Museum.
The poorly maintained course is bordered on three sides by cliffs fronting the ocean channel that leads to the Golden Gate Bridge, which can usually be seen from the vantage point above.
The place is like a poor man's Pebble Beach with even better views.
On the November day in 2001 when these photos were taken, the dense fog and the sun were creating light effects that looked unreal, as if they had been designed for an operatic stage.
The best effect was saved for the long, narrow 18th hole that led to the clubhouse.
The sun started shining between trees and mist and it looked for all the world as if God were speaking directly to us.
On this day, I give thanks to golden light.