Rust and Surf # 2 - San Francisco

No HDR, despite what some people think! It is a single 1/10 sec exposure. See below for how I did it.


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Oct. 24, 2008: This was taken back in February 24, 2008, the last day that it rained a significantly measurable amount in San Francisco until Nov. 9th, 2008.



Settings etc.:



1/10-second exposure @F22

with Lee soft ND grad 0.9 with Lee holder

Canon 5D

Canon 17-40L @ 24

ISO 50

RAW file processed with Capture One by Phase One

TIFF file processed with Photoshop

Small Slik tripod

Manfrotto pistol-grip ball head (for quick adjustments)


----------------------- Story ----------------------------------------------


So, how do you hide the bottom 300 feet of the far tower of the Golden Gate Bridge? With a very large wave! How big? Well, you can see that the smaller part of the wave is much bigger than the cars and vans in the parking lot.


After I took each shot, I hid in my car just to the left of the tripod. These waves hit with such force that my car was shaken violently each time. Then I could wipe off the grad filter and get ready for the next attempt. It took about 10 tries to get it right. I wanted the iron post to not block the horizon and for the composition to be perfect. But that is difficult to do when you only get a few seconds to jump out of the car, take the shot, and dive back in. Finally I got the shot just as the park rangers ordered me to leave because people have been killed on this very spot!


The amazing thing is that this is on the bay-side of the bridge, the Pacific Ocean is on the other side of the bridge to the left. Only during strong westerly winds following a big storm with a high tide do these conditions exist. There were surfers out there and they were ordered back to shore too!


I knew I'd get soaked so I had on my swim shorts and water shoes. I was hoping I wouldn't need a snorkel! The mid-winter temperatures were barely tolerable with the air at 61F (16c) water about 54F (12c) About average for February in San Francisco.


For some observations on the new Canon 5D Mark II, see here:


See my profile for a link to my website where I have limited edition prints and less expensive open edition prints.



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Taken on February 24, 2008