12.18.16: Windows on a hill


Windows and garage doors on a hill on Grove Street, San Francisco.


Technical information

April 1, 2008,
3:40 p.m.

37°46’36" N, 122°25'54" W
(Show in Google Maps)

Canon EOS 7D

Canon EF 16-35 f/2.8L  (16mm)


1/125th second


I’ve spent quite a bit of time walking the streets of San Francisco with my camera and I have learned two things. One, the city is full of interesting architecture, described by many sources as an eclectic mix of Victorian and modern architecture; and two, the city is full of leg-destroying hills.

The city’s tourist information touts “The Seven Hills of San Francisco” (Russian Hill, Nob Hill, Telegraph Hill, Rincon Hill, Twin Peaks, Mount Davidson and Lone Mountain), but there are many, many more. The most definitive list (Hills of San Francisco, a compilation of columns from the San Francisco Chronicle) identifies 42 separate hills, many of which are higher than the better known seven. And no matter the height, all are extremely steep.

This photo combines both the architecture and the hills of San Francisco.


I had just finished photographing the famous Painted Ladies (left), the row of Victorian houses across from Alamo Square Park, and was headed back to my hotel to prepare for a late-afternoon meeting when I came across this apartment building while walking down Grove Street, around the corner and about three-quarters of a block from the Painted Ladies. The windows first caught my attention, but as I looked at the scene I really liked how the position of the columns of bay windows above the stair-stepped garage doors accentuated the slope of the hill. The late afternoon sun warmed the color of bright yellow-orange bricks and cast angled shadows, creating the potential for an intriguing architecture photo.

The scene was photographed from Grove Street along the side of the apartment building, but the physical address  is 801 Filmore St.

Note that Grove Street isn’t on one of “The Seven Hills of San Francisco.” It’s on Alamo Heights, one of the lesser-known “other” 35 hills. But my legs will testify that it’s still a significant hill.

Each week I will post a photo from my collection with an explanation of how I got the shot. Previous photos of the week are in the archives.