Golden Gate Bridge

February 27, 2012  •  Leave a Comment

I had a one night stopover in the bay area between shooting the Canadian and American men's eights training for London, so I had planned ahead of time to get to the Marin Headlands north of downtown San Francisco before sunset so I could scope out a good composition for my first attempt at shooting the iconic Golden Gate Bridge.

I underestimated how much traffic would slow me down getting there from Sacramento so when it became apparent I wasn't going to get the light I was shooting for, I had to improvise a bit.  It was a windy day in most of central California that day, so I hoped that would help keep the legendary fog away.

I wasn't sure where the best so spot to shoot from was, so the first spot I hit was the first overlook and it was alright but I thought I could do better.  There are numerous gun battery installations built into the cliffs in this area and the second place I went to was Hawk Hill which is the highest point overlooking the entrance of the bay.  I like the view from here but I got kicked out of this area by the police before I could really work the shot how I wanted to.  Most of my exposures were several minutes long so, it's pretty slow moving. 

The third spot I went to was to walk to Kirby Cove which is about a mile from the the parking lot but it's fairly far downhill and during the night it is very dark.  Alta and I made it about halfway before I spotted a battery installation with my headlamp and we were able to downclimb fairly easily to it.  This is where I made this image. 

This is about a six minute exposure and I used a graduated neutral density filter on the lens to keep the sky dark and bring some more light on to the water.  There are some jets taking off from the Oakland airport in the background which leave some jet trails in the image which I like.Golden Gate

Canon 7D, 17-40 F4L at 17mm, f/20, 389s, ISO100


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