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Gate-fold | by andyi
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A bus line runs from Petaluma (where I had just done a show at the This Week In Tech studios) back to San Francisco. As it neared the Golden Gate Bridge, I realized that sunset was only a half an hour away.


So I got off WAY before my destination and double-timed it down to Marshall's Beach. It's on the west side of the bridge, at the end of what can only be termed "an assload" of stairs. No, let's call it "a series of assload-sized runs of stairs."


I made it to the shore in time to scope out a couple of spots and quickly decided on this one. It wasn't just luck that I had the Good Camera with me, but I could just as easily left the tripod at my lodgings, and all of this happened on a clear day. All in all, I felt the reassuring hand of Divine Providence on my shoulder and under the circumstances, I'd feel like a colossal dope if I hemmed and hawed and dithered, and missed the sunset.


Anyways. I wanted to get the orange light _of_ the sunset on my subject. This meant that I had to forego photos of the sunset itself, even though it was bloody spectacular. I kept sneaking looks behind me and I got a few photos with my phone before the battery went phhhht.


Speaking of "phhhht," this was one of the last shots I took before the sun slipped below the horizon. Sunsets are tricky. You'll get gorgeous light but it only lasts for a few moments.


As with the Brooklyn Bridge shot I got a few months ago, I think I'll be tweaking this image a lot over the next few weeks and experiment with a bunch of different looks. I'm pretty happy with it. I did a good enough job while at the beach that I've nothing but options now that it's on my Mac. The exposure is right, the focus is right, the composition is what I wanted…I don't see any technical errors that I need to correct or obscure.


Which isn't to say there isn't room for improvement. I felt an urgent need to commit to a composition and then get the camera and the tripod locked down and set properly. If I'd made a special trip to get this photo, I'd have tried to show up an hour earlier. It'll be nice to come back to Marshall Beach. I'll spend the whole afternoon just hiking and being a tourist. And then at 15 minutes before sunset, I'll return to what I decided was going to be the very best spot for photos.


Experience is the best ally I have. I'd visited the Golden Gate twice -- three times? -- before I was even aware that it was possible to cross under the 101 freeway and see it from the sunset side. And then to find that there was a trail that wound its way all the way to the ocean.


I died twice during the climb back up to street level (thank heavens I was able to jury-rig a defibrillator out of my Anker 21,000 mAh phone charger and a microUSB cable). A small price to pay for such a fine little creative adventure. This shot represents why I enjoy photography. Whether the photos are any good or not, the burst of physical, mental, and creative effort is a lot of fun.

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Uploaded on February 2, 2017