For many of us, 2021 has been no better a year than 2020. Take a break, and rise above the fog with this incredible video from Michael Shainblum, as he captures long exposures, time-lapses, and film images from high above the clouds in San Francisco.
The world-famous fog of northern California clings low to the rolling terrain, which means that dedicated photographers are able to climb the local mountains to get high above the gloom. With the right timing, this vantage provides an incredible view of a phenomenon seen by few and photographed by even fewer — the inverted sunset. As the sun approaches the horizon, it casts incredible pastel hues across the layers of fog, making for a truly enchanting scene.
This high perspective is not only a place to witness beautiful scenery, or to make beautiful images, but also to reflect and gain sight of what lies below. French poet René Daumal wrote the following:
You cannot stay on the summit forever; you have to come down again. So why bother in the first place? Just this: What is above knows what is below, but what is below does not know what is above. One climbs, one sees. One descends, one sees no longer, but one has seen. There is an art of conducting oneself in the lower regions by the memory of what one saw higher up. When one can no longer see, one can at least still know.
We are all drawn to photography for different reasons, but the common denominator that we all share is the desire to find order and beauty in a chaotic world. These images are not contrived from the arbitrary sensibilities of some aesthetic ideal. They represent the quiet, fleeting moments of natural beauty that hide in the spaces between our day-to-day which are always there, just waiting for us to slow down and look.
Images used with permission of Michael Shainblum.