Hidden Treasures of San Francisco Bay, photographs by Dennis E. Anderson, text by Jerry George, Blue Water Pictures/Heyday Books, 2003, 192 pages, $29.95 (www.heydaybooks.com).
“Such room of sea! Such room of sky! Such room to draw a soul-full breath!” Joaquin Miller’s ode to San Francisco Bay, the opening line to Hidden Treasures, echoes in the expanse of photography and prose by Dennis Anderson and Jerry George. This work pays tribute to the endless wonder that San Francisco Bay offers us every day, but that we may not always fully appreciate.
Hidden Treasures presents the reader with new views rather than recycling familiar images. Anderson seeks the less traveled areas of the Bay, managing to touch readers in surprising ways. The images of ducks killed for sport can be jarring to some, but Anderson’s intimate portraits of the young hunters experiencing their own rite of passage remind us that there are many different ways to experience the Bay. Just as poignant are his explorations into the dynamic daily life of the Bay, where white herons and magnificent sailboats play on the same winds. To Anderson, their respective wings are compellingly similar.
In capturing the grand and the minuscule, the well-known icons and the elusive secrets, Anderson brings new light to a place that can still amaze us. For those who have grown used to living by the Bay, it’s refreshing to see it as if it’s your first view.