California Curves

The ‘Twin Peak’ Hills in San Francisco are close to the highest points of the city and provide a nice vantage point towards downtown San Francisco. They are a popular sunset photography location as the sun setting to the west of the city bathes the buildings in light while lightening up the mountain behind the city. The winding road of Twin Peaks Boulevard winds the way up to the vantage point at the top of the hill. As I sat there waiting for the sun to set I spent time exploring other vantage points – one of which was this view out towards the Pacific Ocean. The sun was still a bit high in the sky and it washed out much of the right side of the image but I liked how the road twisted through the hillside before disappearing into the distance.

California Curves – Twin Peaks San Francisco

California Curves - San Francisco Twin Peaks California

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Underneath the Golden Gate Bridge

In early January I had an overnight layover in San Francisco so I decided to rent a car and drive around the city to take some pictures (had to beat sleeping at the airport?!). I quickly Googled the best places to view the Golden Gate Bridge and this was one of the angles that popped up – Fort Baker in Marin County. Getting here is a bit tricky because you have to quickly navigate off of the main highway (Highway 101) just past the end of the Golden Gate Bridge and then wind down beneath it to an ex-military base. Some of the other viewing points that I drove around to were quite busy but this one was practically empty and there was only a small parking lot which leads me to believe this is a somewhat hidden viewpoint of one of the Golden Gate Bridge – one of America’s most recognizable landmarks.

The Golden Gate Bridge in Black and White – San Francisco, CA

Golden Gate Bridge San Francisco California

It was a very sunny day but I wanted to try and smooth the water a bit so I put my ten-stop ND filter on and took a few shots. When using a ten-stop ND filter it is hard to judge on your LCD screen how the images are turning out so it is imperative to take numerous versions of differing exposure length. This was a 15-second exposure and was the one I liked the best even though the water isn’t perfect. I took a few others that were longer but everything was just overexposed. After I processed it in Photoshop and Nik Silver Efx I took it back into Lightroom and re-adjusted the blacks and whites in order to bring out more details in the shadows to add more texture to the rock in the foreground underneath the Golden Gate Bridge.

Sunrise over San Francisco

I had a brief (overnight) stay in San Francisco on my way to Seattle and I decided to take the opportunity to take in the sunrise over the city from across the bay. I was blessed to get a fantastic shot of the sunrise over the Golden Gate bridge with the colors lighting up the sky behind it (that linked picture remains one of my favorites). In this picture below I thought I’d zoom in on the actual city but keep the wires suspending the Golden Gate Bridge visible in the picture for reference of ‘place’. Sure you can’t tell it is the Golden Gate Bridge as the viewer but ultimately the wires show that I’m on the other side of the Bay.

Sunrise over San Francisco

Have a Happy Memorial Day Weekend everyone!!

Pre-Dawn at the Golden Gate Bridge

I drove to the Marin County side of San Francisco to take pictures of the Golden Gate Bridge at sunrise when I was on my way to Seattle for work in January. I was treated to a wonderful sunrise but as I always want to be early I wound up being there about an ninety minutes before the sun actually came up. This gave me the opportunity to drive to a couple different viewing areas and determine which one I liked the most. The ultimate location I settled on was a little closer to the bridge than this one but I did take this (and many other shots) from the other viewing areas as I was trying to figure out whether I liked the angle or not.

Golden Gate Bridge in the Pre-Dawn Light

Golden Gate Bridge San Francisco California Sunrise

We are heading down to Central America and tonight I was going to load the iPad and computer up with some movies/TV shows to watch at night and on the planes given that the areas we are staying in tend to be more disconnected than I’m used to. However, I found myself perusing iTunes and realizing there was nothing really that I wanted to watch. I’d say I don’t watch alot of TV but sadly I do – its just I tend to watch sports or documentary/reality show programs (First 48, Shark Tank, The Profit) and neither of those really travel well once you’ve already watched them once. I’ve already watched many of the HBO shows on Demand or ‘live’ when I’ve had a subscription so I guess the question is what should we bring on the plane with us? Keep in mind we will be spending a few nights in a jungle, completely cut-off from many ‘modern amenities’ so my wife isn’t really looking for anything even remotely scary. Suggestions on anything?

Twin Peaks, San Francisco

I was heading back to the San Francisco airport for a flight that evening. I was hoping I’d be able to catch the sunset and the ‘golden hour’ at “Twin Peaks” which is supposed to provide the best views of the downtown San Francisco skyline. This views didn’t disappoint but unfortunately the ‘golden hour’ lingered for much longer than I anticipated and I had to take off before the buildings downtown started to lightup and become more prominent against the hills and bay in the distance. The road leading up to and out of the Twin Peaks area is one of the most filmed roads in America – the backside of this viewpoint looks out on the Pacific Ocean – and so the windy road is picturesque.

Twin Peaks, San Francisco

Twin Peaks San Francisco

Sunrise over the Golden Gate

I was relatively ‘unlucky’ in 2013 when it came to light for taking photographs in some of the more amazing locations we traveled to (Rome, Venice, Glacier National Park, etc…). All things considered this is a pretty petty ‘complaint’ because the experience of being in those places was damn amazing so I want to be clear that this isn’t a complaint. However, I must say that there were plenty of days that I was bummed about the lack of good light and how unlucky I was. Enter my first quick trip in 2014 – San Francisco – for less than 30 hours…just enough time for one sunrise and one sunset. The day before in San Francisco was grey, overcast with the occasional light rain….the day that I spent there though was absolutely PERFECT! The sunrise was one of the best I’ve ever experienced, followed by a perfect day with 60 degree temps, blue skies and a colorful sunset. Maybe my photo luck will change in 2014!

Photo of the Day – Sunrise over the Golden Gate

Golden Gate Bridge

Spectacular sunrise over the iconic Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco