Exploring Space

This spring, I attended a photography class at the San Francisco Art Institute. The school was founded in 1871 and became a premiere school of the arts with faculty including Ansel Adams, who started the photography department with Minor White, Imogen Cunningham, Edward Weston and Dorothea Lange.

The course I took challenged us to look at different themes of space- personal, political, gendered- finding essential elements to tell the story. 


Photography, Light, Space, Nikon, Art,



I was excited that the following image was chosen for the school’s juried show at the end of the semester. 

Photography, Light, Space, Nikon, Art,




Photography, Light, Space, Nikon, Art,




San Francisco City Hall

Photography, Light, Space, Nikon, Art,




Photography, Light, Space, Nikon, Art,



“When words become unclear, I shall focus with photographs. When images become inadequate, I shall be content with silence.”

~Ansel Adams 


Categories: Architecture, Black and White, City Scenes, Lines and Shadows, Photography, Uncategorized, Weekly Photo ChallengeTags: , , , , , , , , ,


  1. Interesting! I am going to look into this photography class 🙂

  2. “Wedding” certainly was the right pick for the course brief but “Waiting” impacts me more emptively.

    Before me, my wife was sort of stood up at the alter but it was okay because the previous fiancee was abusive. At our wedding, she was afraid that I wouldn’t show up because she thought that she was unlovable. She was completely surprised to enter the room and see me standing at the alter waiting for her, not her waiting for me.

    We’ve now been married 17 years. I’m not going anywhere!

    In my mind, “Waiting” is a very strong shot.

    • What a moving story, Allan. I’m so glad you shared it and that this image brought back such an intensely emotional moment in your life. I agree, for me, “Waiting” tells a story and catching that moment when the bride, alone, looked at me was fantastic. Thank you very much for your terrific feedback.

  3. Each one tells a little story, no words needed, just how a good photo should! I love the one that was chosen for the juried show, it leaves me curious as to what’s behind that door. Fantastic work!

  4. An interesting concept and I have always loved your “Tangled” depiction. Are you finding these specific assignments to be more inspirational or more challenging?

    • Hi BT- I was intrigued by the theme of the class and yes, I found that the assignments had elements of both– challenging to search for subjects that illustrated the theme, yet extremely satisfying when the final image tells the story. The circularity of the creative process is fascinating. Thanks for your kind comments and I’m happy you like Tangled. I have done a lot with these blinds over the past year!

  5. Hi Jane

    Always so great to see your work. “Invitation” is absolutely fantastic.

  6. Jane, they’re all excellent, but I really like the first one, especially for this challenge.


  7. Congratulations, Jane! I can see why your photo was chosen. It tells a tantalizing visual “story.”

  8. I like the lighting in your photos especially of “Invitation”. It looks really good and I am not surprised it was included in the jury show. 🙂

  9. A very nice series, Jane. I can see why your photo, Invitation, was selected – simply a gorgeous shot. But, I’m glad you still managed to take a window shot. 🙂

    • Hi David, Yes, cannot resist a window…or two. 🙂 (that really did make me smile) I’m happy you liked these faves from my class especially the one from my apartment hallway. Thanks so much.

  10. Every single one of your photos is breathtaking. The one of the bride standing alone on the staircase is haunting and all the others are riveting. You are an amazing photographer.

    • Hello, Dor- City Hall is full of wonderful moments and I felt lucky to have captured the lone bride. Soon she was happily united with her husband. I’m happy you enjoyed these and your kind words are much appreciated. Thank you!

  11. The challenge of interpreting space through our photographs is a great challenge and lots of fun. You have done it very cleanly and with a sensitive eye.

  12. very thought provoking shots….love them…and the words too!!!

  13. What an interesting class. I love Tangled in particular.

  14. You were a great student!!! Not surprised!!! Congrats on being selected!

  15. Jane, these photos are fabulous. Congratulations on taking the class and continuing your education in the photographic arts. I absolutely love the last photo, Wedding. The lighting in the arch looks like the result of the love and the vows pouring through.

  16. Very interesting pictures and topic that is forgotten so often when you look for a good image. Great work!

  17. Awesome!!! Loved them all ! It’s so cool you got to do that. It really gives you the challenges you would never be able to do on your own…and pushes you to the next level of “seeing ” 😉 I love it!! You go girl!! You’ve totally inspired me 😊 Having an amazing time here in Spain. We’re back in Barcelona and head home Tuesday. Then our next adventure begins…our annual road trip out to the left coast 😉 can’t wait! July in Tiburon and August in Sonoma 😎 We’ll see you soon! MJ

    Sent from my iPhone


    • Hi MJ- Thank you so much! You’re right, it does push you to see anew– great to recharge the creative batteries. I have loved your images of Spain and look forward to seeing you on the west coast. Enjoy those tapas and safe travels.

  18. Ooh ‘Invitation’ is spooky to me… Perfect title & scene to evoke a variety of interpretations/emotions.
    Sounds like a terrific class. Congrats on your amazing work being chosen for the show Jane!

    • Hi Diane, Evokes a film noir feeling, doesn’t it? I’m glad it drew you into the story. Class was fun and the show was an unexpected pleasure! Thanks so much and hope all is well with you.

  19. I think it is wonderful that you are continuing to develop (pun) your talent for photography, Jane. 🙂 You really have a gift!

  20. Funny that you named the one “Waiting” because I looked at it first without seeing the title and my initial thought was “Wait! Why is the bride off all by herself?” And my other thought is that the open door does not seem so much like an invitation to me as it seems to be a mysterious reason why the door is not fully open. I love them all and I am sure that the course was superb.

    • HI Linda– The bride image is puzzling, isn’t it? Thereafter, she was happily married and heading down the grand staircase. Glad you like the mystery in the images and that they cause you think about the story they’re telling is a wonderful compliment. Thanks very much.

  21. Congratulations. The course sounds really interesting; and your shots are great. I especially like the first two.

  22. Wow Jane, a wonderful meaty bone to work with and well done on the chosen shot! Look forward to hearing more about the course and always a pleasure seeing your great shots. BTW, my sister-in-law was married here at City Hall, I mean this one here in SF, and I will never forget just how special it felt.

    • HI Patti, How wonderful that you experienced a wedding in City Hall. It is a beautiful space and I love going there to watch all the activity. A lot of stories in that building. Thanks for your encouraging words- greatly appreciated!

  23. Congratulations. Would be interested in a post on before and after. I think us creative types are always trying to learn more to excel in our art forms. That’s the difference between the amateur and the professional. The professional is never satisfied.

  24. hi love….happy memorial Day!!!  we r getting ready to leave SC…BOO HOO….would u be kind to change my email address on the blog — don’t want to miss any😜

    • HI April, Have emailed you and resent. Have a great holiday weekend and enjoy your transition for the summer. I miss you! Thanks for all your encouraging comments, as always. 😀

  25. Congrats Jane! Well deserved.

  26. Stunning images. They are so cinematic! Wonderful!

  27. This photography class sounds wonderful, and it resulted in some really fantastic images. They all tell a story and are wonderfully composed. I especially like the wedding and waiting (with these bags?!) and the selected one is also very beautiful and a treat for ones fantasy!

    • HI Noortje, Having to do specific assignments really does take it to another level. I really enjoyed this one. Waiting is a favorite moment– she happened to be looking right at me, yet all alone with her backpacks(glad you noticed!) a bit surreal looking. I’m so glad you like Invitation– I was enjoying the light that day. Thanks very much for your thoughts.

  28. Beautiful Jane – perfect use of B&W. Esp like the vase shot. Congrats on selection for the show

  29. What a great experience! I love that “waiting” image.

  30. Congratulations, Jane!!

  31. I can see you have perfectly understood space….. 🙂 Very nice.

  32. Interesting stuff, but do not get too tangled up with the ‘rules’ of photography though!! Lovely photos and the one with the staircase and doorway looks so appealing.

    • HI Paula, I think that’s a reference to the first shot! I’m glad you like this set — I was quite happy with the light in the staircase of my apartment building. Thank you for your kind comments, as always.

  33. sounds like an inspiring course. I love all the images and the titles somehow tell their own story.

    • Thank you very much, Ann. I thought the succinct titles were fitting- glad you agree. Taking a course with assignments does get the creative juices flowing and the critiques can be a little terrifying and certainly instructive.

  34. Course sounds wonderful. I love your images. Interesting topic.

    • Hi Helen, Thank you. It was terrific and the instructor, an accomplished photographer, was a good presenter, as well. It did get me thinking about clues in images that make it gender specific, political etc. Happy you enjoyed these.

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