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San Francisco & The Bay Bridge, Yerba Buena Island, California


Last December I made a trip over to the Bay Bridge to try and find a fresh perspective of this bridge with the San Francisco skyline. Later that evening I came away with a image of the bridge and city that I really liked, but later realized that the image would have looked better if I had made it down to that spot for blue hour. I had planed on making another trip down for a sunset, but time got the best of me and I before I knew it, the Christmas lights on the Embarcadero Center had been shut off for the year, and I focused my attention on other things.


A year had past, and my contact Matt contacted me to see about making the trip back over to the bridge for a second round. We had made plans to meet up on a Thursday evening as one storm passed and another made its way in. The next afternoon, I received a email from Jim Patterson inquiring about the location, so instead of trying to map everything out, I just invited him and Kendra to meet up with Matt and I.


That evening, everyone came away with images that they were happy with, but I felt like mine were nothing different than what I had from a year before. After a second trip to this spot a week later, I was still not happy with the dark sky and I now started to develop thoughts of a whole new composition. The city framed by the bridge is perfect in my opinion. It's like they were made to fit together, but I really wanted something new. After bouncing ideas back and forth with Jim, he showed me a image that had been made from down on the beach with the city perfectly framed by the bridge without the towers cutting any part of the city off. I then decided that this was the

composition that I wanted.


I started doing my research of the tides, and possible ways to make it down to the beach.... (Thanks Rob for that info) After seeing that the lowest tides of the month coincided with the sunset, I made plans to headed down sometime this week. I continued doing research on the area, and found out that it was a popular spot for Harbor Seals to haul out for a rest. I read some interesting information about how these seals will abandon a haul out spot if they encounter too much disturbance from humans. I was a bit worried because Jim mentioned that the photographer of the images I liked so much almost tripped over a seal while out on the beach. I wanted to get my own images from that spot, but was not willing to disturb nature to get it.


So...... Tuesday afternoon I picked up my brother and we made our hike up the road and down the insane hillside to the beach. We walked around for a few minutes, looking for a good spot, but found that the Harbor Seals were exactly where I needed to be. instead of causing a disturbance, we turned around and started looking for a new spot. We kept climbing, and slipping on the green wet rocks until we found ourselves directly under the bridge. It was amazing being under this giant structure, but we kept moving on. More climbing, and even more slipping, we finally made it to this north side spot. I like the rocky foreground and the unique composition of the bridge on the left, so we planted ourselves here and waited out the scattered showers that came on and off.


As the sun slowly set, we sat here and watched the bridge and city light up. A world class view if I had ever seen one. Even if the rain continued, and I was unable to make any images, it still would have been an amazing evening.


So here is one of my first images from this spot...... A lot of hard climbing, and slipping, but it was worth it.


Thank you for your views and comments!


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Canon 5D Mark II

Exposure: 161

Aperture: f/13.0

Focal Length: 19 mm

ISO Speed: 50

Lens: EF 17-40 f/4L

Lee .9 hard edge ND grad

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Taken on December 29, 2009