Art Photography Blog - San Francisco Lifelines Narrative – SF Art News

Experience a New Dawn in San Francisco

Deconstructing the Composition of San Francisco Lifelines

by Raymond Bonavida

A DEEP BLUE TWILIGHT emerges against the backdrop of skyscrapers and city lights. There is a powerful feeling of marvel and awe as the day awakens. This photograph captures the  dynamic forces of this rising urban outgrowth at a time of daily convergence, a new dawn.

San Francisco Lifelines (Fine Art Print on Metal, 2016)

San Francisco Lifelines (Fine Art Print on Metal, 2016)


Limited edition fine art prints on aluminum.

LIGHTS EMANATE from construction crews building the structural foundations of Sutter's Van Ness hospital in 2016. The lights from these crews pierce the shadowy darkness of night in complex trails of action, taking over the landscape. These white lights are expressed in this photograph titled San Francisco Lifelines which is set in the center of San Francisco and begins at the Adagio Hotel…

A unique Vantage Point

IMAGINE that you are perched atop the Adagio Hotel facing westward down Geary Street towards Van Ness. This is the vantage point for the capture of the artwork titled San Francisco Lifelines:



the Composition

This sequence deconstructs the sources of light present in the composition of the image.

Identifying the Subjects

SAN FRANCISCO LIFELINES invites us to feel the organic beauty of dawn in San Francisco by way of four elements. Firstly there is Geary St. traffic on the left, Secondly there is the construction lights of Sutter's Van Ness Hospital at night. Thirdly there are buildings and cranes in the skyline. Lastly, there is the deep blue of the sky at twilight. 

These bokehs visually simplify the identification of the four elements:

1. Geary St. traffic

2. Construction lights of Sutter's Van Ness Hospital

3. Buildings & cranes of the city skyline

4. The twilight sky at the break of dawn


1. Geary Street Traffic

Geary Street Traffic, 2016.

Geary Street Traffic, 2016.

Car lights pulse down Geary Street in yellows and reds.

2. Construction Lights
of Van Ness Hospital

A cluster of white lights emanates from a rising skeleton in the heart of San Francisco. 

A NEXT GENERATION HOSPITAL at Sutter's Van Ness Hospital is undergoing early construction. The two buildings will house over one million square feet of habitation. The design and integration into the city reflects the advancement and modernity of San Francisco. The glowing lights are construction crews inside scaffolding within the belly of the skeleton. These same lights create most of the white intersecting lines in the composition.

3. & 4. Buildings & Cranes
and Twilight Sky

Top: The faint images at the top are cranes, skyscrapers amid the skeleton of a new building. The overlapping elliptical white lines are two sets of lights emanating from the vertical structures of two cranes at the Van Ness hospital construction site.


Bottom: The white intersecting lines in the bottom half of the composition are the same lights from the construction crews at Van Ness hospital. The colored intersecting lines overlapping on the far left are the traffic lights of Geary Street.

San Francisco Lifelines Artwork


SAN FRANCISCO LIFELINES is a combination of Realism and Expressionism. At a conceptual level the subject focuses our attention on two key elements of urban growth: habitation and mobility. As a whole, the composition reflects the organic growth and structural beauty of San Francisco.