San Francisco photographer JJ Meeks’s pictures of our regional haze are simply stunning — and exist as a record of how our fog continues swallowing local structures.
Given the almost tangible poetic quality evoked by San Francisco’s fog, it’s no wonder why Bay Area photographer JJ Meeks has dedicated a healthy amount of his catalog to gorgeous snaps featuring “Fog City” in all its opaque glory. Though as Meeks told me this time last year, the Bay Area’s fog isn’t, say, the most accommodating or cooperating of subjects.
“Shooting fog though, it simply has a mind of its own,” Meeks writes in an email, before glowing favorable of his somewhat recent infatuation with the region’s fog. “I’ve lived in the Bay Area my entire life and it wasn’t until about five years ago I really began appreciating Karl the Fog.”
Meeks, who started his foray into photography by way of capturing stills of pieces from his favorite street artists, explains how his learning journey behind the camera has illuminated his entire life. Meeks recounts how snapping things like cityscapes and landscapes have introduced him to a bevy of new connections. Meeks’s experience with photography isn’t dissimilar from the experience denizens of San Francisco feel about their city: an aspect of life that affords new opportunities to establish meaningful relationships and to better understand one’s truest, most authentic self.
As Meeks notes, there’s also a mercurial quality to Karl (or Karla) that lends a certain whimsy to his photography: “It is in a way, uniquely Bay Area. Depending on its height and placement of the viewer, it creates quite a dreamscape.”
Chasing the fog, itself is something Meeks finds both fun and challenging. It’s also a lesson in surrender, but also not giving up: “Even when I fail to catch it how I desire to.”
Meeks’s favorite ways of photographing the Bay Area’s fog in the background? When he can capture it hovering over the angles and slants and tips of buildings, or when it slowly glides over the San Francisco Bay.
So… here’s hoping that the next few decades are kind to SF’s fog and see Meeks’s catalog of Fog City continue to grow.