Vanessa Feder

Junior Editor at Unrated.

An Ominous View of San Francisco Through the Lens of Burton Rast

Bay Area natives are conditioned to see various images of San Francisco’s infamous architectural phenomena. Views of the Golden Gate Bridge, Coit Tower, Alcatraz, Lombard Street and other main attractions can be spotted as artwork in local stores, on postcards, and most vividly in person. Behind the handheld lens of designer Burton Rast though, San Francisco turns into a bold and edgy abyss of foreboding building fronts unlike most portrayals.

Full-time Interaction and Software Designer at IDEO and off-time iPhone photographer, Barton Rast captures the vastness of San Francisco’s towering architecture with his recent black and white photography series. Using a technique called chiaoscuro, Rast plays with light and shade to fully highlight distinct shapes in each subject. The high contrast and leading lines give endless depth to the photographed structures. It is through Rast’s superb editing skills and design background that each image appears both familiar and ambiguous. What San Francisco dwellers see daily as the Transamerica Pyramid, Rast portrays as an arrow-like formation pointing towards indefinite darkness. To add a mysterious edge to the city, most of his photographs only showcase the outline of windows and building facades. What’s even more compelling? Each of the featured images were shot and edited using solely an iPhone. That’s it. This just goes to show that creativity is right at your fingertips. Check out the rest of this series on Rast’s Instagram or snag some of his merch here.

Vanessa Feder

Junior Editor at Unrated.