I took advantage of being off this past Thursday by going out shooting with my brother James and my friend Jorman. We spent that afternoon going to several places taking shots of iconic structures of San Francisco, one of them being the Palace of Fine Arts.
Built in 1915, nine years after the devastation 1906 earthquake, San Francisco was back on its feet and wanted to show the world how it well the city was doing by holding the The Panama-Pacific International Exposition (PPIE), World’s Fair, for the opening of the Panama Canal. There were plenty of magnificent structures that were built for the event such as the Palace of Horticulture and the Tower of Jewels. Sadly, like all World’s Fair, these great structures were only temporary. From all the grandeur of the PPIE, the only structure that remains is the Palace of Fine Arts.
Below is a panorama of the Palace of Fine Arts where you can see people enjoying the day and appreciating the spectacle before their eyes.
The Palace of Fine Arts received a long overdue restoration that was completed in 2011. Some of the things that came with the face lift was the removal of the inset faces from under the dome of the rotunda. Pun intended, even though the pun was corny.
To help give you an idea to how massive the rotunda is, I took a photo of a couple folks within the rotunda as they were going about shooting photos. The way I was able to take this photo was ever so gently scaling the steps up till I was a good 15′ – 20′ above the ground.
The steps that I scaled are actually planters and at the time of taking the photo, there were no plants within the planters.
James took a picture of me while I started my decent back down, then posted the image on Instagram. As you can see the urns are approximately 10′ tall, making me appear diminutive.
The landscaping is done so wonderful throughout the area for the Palace of Fine Arts. I am not a horticulturalist so I can’t name all the plants that surrounds the area, but the flowers, shrubs, and trees sure do compliment the areas and make the Palace of Fine Arts complete.
The Redwood Trees that grow on the grounds of the Palace of Fine Arts grow along side of the columns so naturally that they appear to be a part of the structure. The branches and leaves of the Redwood works well with the Corinthians capitals of the columns.
Finally, a great feature of the Palace of Fine Arts is that the lagoon creates a tranquility to the space around it that brings in wildlife. The various wildlife that makes the Palace of Fine Arts their home ranges from ducks, swans, turtles, frogs, and many more. I had a great opportunity to shoot a few of the swans while we all were walking around taking photos.
I can’t wait till I come back to the Palace of Fine Arts to snap some photos of this place. Next time I’ll do some HDR and/or Time Lapse. And once the weather cools down and the fog stops being a constant, I’ll have a chance to shoot the Palace of Fine arts at night for the first time.
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