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This is Rodeo Beach, a nice little spot located in the Marin Headlands, just northwest of the Golden Gate Bridge, ohh about 3-4 miles, if that.
I've been to Rodeo Beach a few times but conditions just never seen to be favorable for photography. Typically the coastline in this area is engulfed by the Northern California marine layer (i.e. FOG) which turns land and sea into battleship gray. Case in point, last time I was at Rodeo Beach was with "chaybert", (a.k.a. Brian Rueb www.flickr.com/photos/rueb. We had actually met at the Golden Gate at 5am a couple weekends ago to scout out some pilings near Sausalito but as you can see from this link, www.flickr.com/photos/rueb/2700053649, battleship gray fog ruled the morning. Brian's a talented guy so he went the monochrome route and I think his capture from that morning is nicely done. I scrapped my snaps as I live close to San Francisco and figured I could return for another try, another day...possibly for some color.
So I found myself in San Francisco again this past weekend. My wife
and I went up to spend the weekend taking pictures...I mean
celebrating our 5th anniversary. We headed out to Rodeo Beach for
sunset where I captured this shot. Finally, no battleship gray...but,
not a cloud in the sky (though I could see the battleship gray fog
taunting me on the distant horizon, and just knew it would put a
damper on any chances of a Sausalito sunrise shot the next morning).
The sun was intense with no clouds to defuse the light so I waited, hoping that when it finally did set that I might get some horizon glow, which thankfully I did.
I took this shot with a Canon 5D using a Canon 17-40mm lens. I used my classic filter setup which is a 77mm B+W ND64 and a wide angle P-Cokin holder with a Singh Ray Galen Rowell 3-stop, hard-step Graduated ND.
Speaking of Singh-Ray, if you've not yet seen my article I wrote for Singh-Ray Filters, you can read it here!