The heart of the matter.

A San Francisco icon stripped to its core.

I collected these photographs while spending a few hours with Brian Matiash and Nicole Young along Marshall Beach..

What lies at the heart of a successful photograph? Is it resolution, color, detail, noise, subject, motion? I think about this question a lot and the answer to which I always return is "emotion."

The heart of every successful photograph is its emotional center. Evocative photographs are capable of stirring powerful memories. You need not look farther than Dear Photograph to understand how even the simplest snapshot is pregnant with a strong emotional currency.

What this means is that a successful photograph is possible even with everything we typically associate with great photographs stripped away.

Out of focus, rendered as bokeh, the first photograph on this page is the minimalist expression of the Golden Gate Bridge.

All proximate, contextual information is removed and the bridge appears as if you were standing with us on the rocks, your feet and jeans soaked with sand and brine. You stare into the distance as the marine layer begins its nightly pilgrimage inland. You become lost in thought and the blue veil of twilight drifts out of focus. Time reels.

This vision of the bridge is timeless, a luminous, amber passage north suspended above the unforgiving California current and wreathed in the Pacific atmosphere of a San Francisco evening.

Golden Gate from Marshall Beach
Golden Gate from Marshall Beach