The story behind the artwork
While working on
my Seamless City project I became aware of the many firehouses in
San Francisco. One of my reasons for doing Seamless City is to show
the real San Francisco, including parts usually taken for granted.
Firefighters are some of the most critically important people in the
city, but still we often take them for granted until we ourselves
are directly affected. The firehouses they work out of are very unique
buildings. So I decided to make a single artwork of all the San Francisco
I got a list of the various firehouses and was surprised at how many
there were. When I drove around to photograph them I noticed both
the wide architectural variety and
how they blend into their neighborhoods. They
were spaced quite well for such a dense and varied city as San Francisco.
I worked on the project over
half a year. It involved shooting and reshooting several thousand
digital photos of all the firehouses and then reworking and
them in the computer to make a single, clear, perfect
image of each firehouse the way it would look if you could step back
to the perfect spot and have nothing in the way. Each single firehouse
is a composite of many individual photos showing that firehouse in
an almost ideal state. After finishing all the individual firehouses
I put them all together in a single image.
goal was to make a visually attractive
photo with all the working firehouses together so people see them
both as a community and individuals. Grouped
like a family or a sports team you become aware of the richness of
the individual members. There is a great
range of buildings. I think they're beautiful even if you don't know
they're all firehouses..
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All Images © Michael Koller