San Francisco Under The Bay - Treasure Island/Yerba Buena Island, California, USA
So, I text my buddy Jave a.k.a. JavePhoto yesterday night to ask him if he is working today (Tuesday). I hear nothing back from him that night. But first thing in the morning I get a call, "Dude, I didn't feel like working today and you just gave me my excuse not to go in. When & where do you want to shoot?" I tell him that since there is no clouds, we can either do a star trail shot at shark fin cove or try to shoot the Bay Bridge at twilight just as the lights are coming on in the city and on the Bridge. I told him that I saw a picture that Patrick had posted on flickr that finally motivated me to get out there and shoot this Bridge. Well, Jave has shot the Bay Bridge before but never from this low angle. So he says, if there was a warning about danger, we're there.
So, we meet up at my office and Jave picks me up in his swanky BMW. This is living. Heated seats, power everything, leg room galore. I mean, I swear there was someone rubbing my shoulders as I sat in the passenger seat, but when I turned and looked in the back seat, there was no one. Spooky :-)
But anyhow, we left my office at 1:30pm to leave plenty of time to scope out the new shooting spot. But 880 is hell in a new dimension, this time of the year. I swear it was like stop and go the whole way. Including getting through the tole on the bridge. So, we finally exit the off ramp to Treasure Island not really knowing what we are looking for except for we should be facing San Francisco and the Bridge should be on the right of us. Well, lets just say we got shooed away by a guard at a gate on the wrong side of the Bridge, because we thought maybe we could drive around to the other side? WRONG! Well, after a few more runs around the island and a bunch of illegal U-turns. We just stop in the middle of a sort of driveway, put the hazards on, and walked around to try to figure out where to shoot. As we are walking towards what we are sure is the path down to this spot. A car drives by and screeches to a stop about 100 feet in front of us on the opposite side of the road. And a young girl jumps out and the car speeds off. Jave is like,"what the hell is going on here" because this girl is holding her crouch and jumping around doing some type of rain dance and staring at us, staring at her. Jave is like, "Dude this chick is wak!" I'm like, whatever, we're loosing friggin light here. But, she keeps jumping around and now she's coming towards us on our side of the road. And Jave says, this _itch better step off. And then she'll says "I'm sorry, I'm sorry and pulls here pants down and starts peeing right in front of us bare but and all.
Now, I've had my share of police run ins and security guards yelling at me for shooting pictures. But this took the cake. I was speechless, but I was on a mission to get a shot so Jave was like lets get back to the car. And as we get to the car there is that same car that speed off a few minutes ago parked next to us in this driveway area on the side of the off ramp. The girl was waiting for her peeing friend. We get in the car as the peeing girl comes running up the road and jumps into the car next to us. Then they make the same U-Turn as us and head down to the base where we decided to park the car and walk back up. As we are driving down to park, Jave says to me, this is gonna be a long walk back up, I don't think we'll make it in time. I'm gonna ask those two girls to drop us back off at the top. And when we park, he does and to my astonishment they said, "Sure why not." WHY NOT??? BECAUSE YOU JUST PEED IN FRONT OF US THAT'S WHY NOT. But neither Jave nor the girls seemed to have a problem with our recent encounter. So, we grab our gear and jump into their car. And BOOM it hits me. The sweet, sweet smell of POT. Jave Blurts out, so you guys are having a little party here I see, which was followed by the girls laughing uncontrollable until they dropped us off, back up on the hill. Again, I am at a loss for words.
So, we finally make it down to this spot and scout around very quickly because we don't want to miss the magical light. Jave busts out his iPhone and shows me the pic that Patrick took recently from here and says we gotta get lower and closer to the edge. I'm thinking, We don't gotta do NO SUCH THING. But our greed for a great shot overwelms us and we do just that. Now we are, may I say, sitting on soft sandy soil on the edge of a big cliff. I'm not happy and Jave is strattling the side of the cliff like a commando. We start arnchoring our tripods by stabbing them into the hillside, which is pretty soft, when we hear rustling from the bushes. even lower then us and farther left. It scares the shit out of Jave and me. But we have to look over the edge and we see this dude that's like 70 years old climbing the side of this cliff coming towards us. And Jave says to me, WTF??? I again am speechless! Then when this guy climbs his way over to us, he says, how did you guys get here? That way was a bit tricky. That, my friends, has got to be the understatement of the year.
So, after this guy settles in, we all take our shots. And there are some nice shots to be had this evening. I love light :-) After shooting for about an hour, the old guy asks us how are we getting out of here. I quickly reply,"not the way you came in" and start laughing. He says that if we show him an easier way to the road he would call his friend to pick us up and take us to our car. SCORE #2. It was the best way to end the evening of shooting. Once we got back to the car, Jave was like "computer engage seat heaters" OK, I may have just made that up. But the rest of this crazy day is all true. It took us a total of 9 hours since we left San Jose to get our shots. But I think, for today, it was worth it. I hope you all enjoy the photo. If you did not check out Jave's photos above, Here is his shot from this location :-)
For the Techies :-)
Canon 5D Mark II
Focal Length: 46 mm
ISO Speed: 50 (to get as even an exposure as possible)
Lens: Canon EF24-70mm f2.8L
Tripod Gitzo G 026
Head Gitzo G1178M
Filters: Standard B+W UV that never leave my lens