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Aerial Photographer Debuts Dazzling 'From Above' Exhibit

New display at the Presidio features the word of renowned photographer Robert Cameron.


Presidio of San Francisco (January 24, 2005) — A stunning display of aerial photographs shot from a hovering helicopter by renowned photographer Robert Cameron above some of the worlds’ greatest cities and environments, including San Francisco, will be featured at the Presidio Officers’ Club starting March 19 and continuing through June 19.

Admission is free to “From Above: A Robert Cameron Retrospective – A Life’s Work in Aerial Photography.” The Presidio Officers’ Club is located on the Main Post at 50 Moraga Avenue. The exhibit is open Wednesday through Sunday from 11 am to 5 pm.

“From his helicopter soaring over this idyllic setting, Bob Cameron has looked down with a God-like eye,” wrote Art Hoppe, former San Francisco Chronicle columnist and co-author of the Above San Francisco book, “and recorded with his camera what God sees.”

Mr. Cameron has been a photographer since 1921 when his father gave him a “Brownie” camera and encouraged him to use it. He is now 93, lives in San Francisco and has published 16 of his “Above” books. He was a photographer for the Des Moines Register in the 1930s. He learned the art of aerial photography during World War II, while shooting pictures of military installations for the War Department. His 17th book, Above Mexico City, has just been released.

His co-authors include former San Francisco Chronicle columnists Art Hoppe and Herb Caen (for the Above San Francisco book); Pierre Salinger, former press secretary for President John F. Kennedy (for the Above Paris book); and Alistair Cooke for Above London. More than 2.5 million books in the “Above” series have been printed.

The From Above exhibit at the Presidio features nine galleries of Mr. Cameron’s iconic images. Through 57 photographs the visitor will look down from 1,500 feet on the natural and man-made world.

The galleries are Above San Francisco, Above the West (L.A., San Diego, Las Vegas and Seattle), Robert Cameron and his Books, Above the East (D.C., N.Y.C., and Chicago), Above London and the Thames Valley, Above Paris and the Ile de France, Above Mexico, Above Hawaii, and Above Great Parks (Presidio of San Francisco, GGNRA, Marin Headlands, Bryce Canyon, Grand Canyon, Alaska, Lake Tahoe, Yosemite, and Hearst Castle).

The Above San Francisco book was placed in a time capsule five years ago and buried under San Francisco City Hall. The visitors will note these are not simply aerial shots of any given city, but a poet’s look from above. “This is not a travelogue,” Mr. Cameron says, “but the (San Francisco) book will make you feel good about being a San Franciscan.”

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