This is one of the bars we passed along the Embarcadero on a Saturday night. I was on a photowalk in San Francisco with Trey Ratcliff and about three hundred other friends. Little did I know that some in our party were not making it past the bars along the route. And here I was busy taking pictures, silly me, I need to get my priorities straight. Well, I did see a bunch of cool spot and made a mental note that I would surely stop in these watering holes next time I come here, they really look fun.
I stayed at Lands End way past sunset taking pictures in the dark. This is a long exposure of someone sitting at the edge of the lot looking over the pacific ocean. You can see the lights of the buoys used to guide the ships into the San Francisco Bay. The person was probably deep in though because he stayed still for the full thirty seconds I had the shutter open. Even though the sun was down, there is still that line of illumination along the horizon. This is why I like low light photography so much, you just never know what you’ll end up with.
Another shot from a little hidden beach in San Francisco. The only way to get here is to hike down a steep trail. The beach is surrounded by cliffs which gives you a sense of remoteness uncharacteristic of a large city. But then San Francisco is no ordinary city. Because of its geography it could be the most beautiful city in the USA. The only other that I can compare it to is Vancouver about a thousand miles to the North. But it seems the beauty of a city is related to the surrounding geography. If you frame buildings, streets and bridges with great landscapes it becomes more appealing than if you just have a city on a flat plane. Nothing against the Midwest mind you. I better stop before I can’t get my metaphorical foot our of my mouth.
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This was taken at the Lands End beach in San Francisco. When a big wave came in it landed in a flat section behind the rock. Then as the water receded it created this pattern of ripples in the sunlight. A simple thing but I thought it was pretty awesome.
This image is a composite of three images all taken from the same location. The first image was a long exposure of the water receding and forming this pattern. To do that I had to use a small aperture and a neutral density filter. Then, I added the waves on the left from another image that was a short exposure since a long exposure makes the sea appear calm. Finally a third image was taken of a gentleman walking along the beach.
To create this image I stitched all three back together to convey a sense of what I saw on that lovely Sunday afternoon at the beach.
While in San Francisco I just had to “do the bridges”. By that I mean, drive over and take pictures, …just like everybody else. I went through the motions but I didn’t have my heart into it. I mean, it’s only been done one-million-and-four-hundred-and-sixty-two-thousand-and-seven-hundred-and-ninety-two times (excluding Andriod devices). Not like it’s popular or anything. Even when I showed up at 5AM on a MONDAY MORNING there were three other photographers there. I mean, don’t these people have anything better to do than get up early on a MONDAY morning and take yet another picture of the bridge? Good grief, some people.
Anyway, I stuck around looking for a unique angle that hadn’t been done before, how hard could that be? Those other pesky photographers finally left and I was about also when I looked back and noticed that the Blood moon had popped up over the bridge. How lucky is that? I quickly took my shot and I think I may be the only person in the world to have a shot of the Blood Moon over the Golden Gate.
I’m currently in negotiations with Hogwarts to have this hung in the grand hall, but I wanted you all to be the first to see it.
Adjacent to Big Sur on the pacific coast is the Point Sur Light-station. I know that because I looked it up on Google before I drove about a hundred miles to come visit it. Little did I know that it was closed to the public except for certain times during the week. It was afternoon so I headed on down the coast and into Big Sur for more pictures. By the time I got back it was near midnight. I was pretty happy with the way it worked out because I thought this scene was pretty awesome and I would have missed it during the day. So I pulled out the tripod and took plenty of shots from the side of the road. The light rotated every 15 seconds so I waited until it passed then took a 10 second exposure which ensured I caught the beam as it pointed north. I hope to come back someday and take the tour, but for now the view from the road wasn’t too bad after all.
This is a very hidden beach off the Lands End Trail in San Francisco. By hidden I mean it’s not easy to get to, so not many people come here. Having said that, it appeared to me there was a small dedicated group of people that come here for sunset and to get away from civilization for a bit. It’s amazing to think that surrounding this is the bustling vibrant city, yet here, exposed to the ocean and surrounded on all sides by steep cliffs you can feel quite remote. I don’t even know how I ended up here, just luck I guess.
One day while in San Francisco I walked around the central part of the city. An afternoon walk can seem like quite a trek when you factor in the steep hills of the city. This scene was taken at the top of a hill on California Street as I was resting from an intense trek up. People who walk in this city must be pretty fit. I was dressed in long pants and long sleeves expecting cooler weather but it was quite warm. San Francisco can be unpredictable that way. This is a section of town where some of the architecture reflects victorian influences of the well heeled residents that live here. I, on the other hand, had to rely on my not so well heeled boots to walk back down to my hotel.
Check out my latest article about street photography here.
Just before I returned home to Florida this week I took a drive down the Pacific Coast Highway (aka Highway 1). My first stop was here at Carmel Beach which is a beautiful strip that’s overlooked by the Pebble Beach golf course. Despite it being a Monday there were quite a few people enjoying the last couple days of summer. This is a combination of two images, one in which I panned my camera from left to right along the beach and another normal shot of two people walking. It’s a technique that I’m developing to convey a timeless feeling of a place.
I was born and raised in California and every now and then I return to rediscover my home. Inevitably there are more things to see than time. Next trip I will probably return to the northern coast above San Francisco, but this southern section is one that has no parallel and one that, at least for me, is unparalleled.
The other night I found myself driving north on the Pacific Coast Highway well after dark. That’s because I was driving south to enjoy the scenery and sunset hours earlier and on account of the natural beauty I couldn’t stop driving. Finally I came to a section before Hurst Castle and decided to turn back on account of some road construction and that I had a flight out of San Jose early in the morning. Along the way back I stopped many times to take pictures of the scenery. For me it was an epic adventure I’ll not soon forget. This is Bixby Bridge which was built in the 1930s. To get this I stood on the edge of a cliff in total darkness. Fortunately I had taken some similar photos hours before during daylight so I had an idea of how close to the edge I could get. Maybe not the wisest thing I’ve ever done, but I was in the zone and, well, it is what it is.