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Golden Gate Bridge - The Passageway | by PatrickSmithPhotography
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Golden Gate Bridge - The Passageway

My first upload to Flickr!

Fog drifts through the Golden Gate at sunset. No HDR.


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Settings etc.:



Canon 5D (mark I)

Canon 17-40L @ 40

2-minute exposure @F16

LEE ND soft grad 0.9 angled 10am-4pm

Cokin z-pro filter holder

ISO 50

RAW file processed with Capture One by Phase One

TIFF file processed with Photoshop

Keen water shoes


Fog never fails to create lots of atmosphere and mood. The Golden Gate is both a passageway for people as well as for lots of ocean fog to cool off the inland areas. A long exposure shows the way the fog flowed through the gate. The last light of the sun and the lights of the bridge in equal amounts illuminated the fog. This even light lasts for only a few minutes, so in the course of one evening, only one or two chances for a long exposure such as this are possible.


Since there is no time to take light readings, a good guess for the camera settings based on experience is the best way to go or you will miss the shot. Even though it was getting dark, the sky was still much brighter than the sea, so I used an ND grad filter to even out that contrast. It worked just the same as during the day.


It took me three years to capture this moment and I have never seen it happen again. Nobody was down here. There were dozens of tripods set up on the well-worn hillside to the right of the frame, but they were pointing in the wrong direction to see this reflected light on the water and how it moved through the fog and clouds.



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Taken on November 15, 2007