A fog-free night in San Francisco combined with driving by the Palace of Fine Arts with a camera in the car means you must stop to get a few images. The buildings are lit dramatically with sodium lights. This makes difficult color set to capture and reveal the detail in color, so I opted for black & white here. We were in the late hour of twilight so the sky had a nice gradient left to it.
I haven’t been out shooting recently since my schedule has been pretty impacted. You know, late nights at work and all. I have a couple of images that I have been sitting on. Both of which I was happy with while I was shooting, and neither of which did anything for me once I got them on the computer. They made my “don’t delete” cut, but I didn’t post them. Since I haven posted in a couple days, and I’m not really doing a 365 project, I wonder, is it better to post something than nothing? Probably.
The first image is from my last time shooting which was last Sunday. In the same little flower garden that the last posts have come from. The second image is from my outing a few weeks ago in San Francisco.
Here is the creative version of Endless Pier. It was more challenging of a project than I originally anticipated when I started it. I’ll just leave it at that for now so you can figure it out.
In continuing this small San Francisco series, it’s about time I posted the shot that isn’t the one I really wanted to get. This is the closest I managed to get to that illusive shot. This particular photo doesn’t impress me since, without the ship, it really isn’t anything other than a photo of San Francisco that everyone has. Instead, the lesson I learned in acquiring this image will stay in my memory longer than the image itself.
To get the shot I really wanted, I planned, spent time in Google Earth picking the location, setting the sun angle and time-of-day, choosing the position on the hill and frame the shot with the 3D buildings turned on. Everything looked wonderful and sounded like a decent plan. The morning was forecast to be a rare sunny one, free of the fog that San Francisco is famous for. Additionally, I did some research on other photos with a similar angle. I saw several from other photographers a the correct location, so yes, it could be done. The idea was to have the bay bridge strongly prominent on the left side of the frame with the southern edge lit up by the sun.
The city would then appear where the last of the main cables joined with the island. The sun would to light the bridge up a nice gold-tone, and the white on the buildings would to catch the same beautiful glow.
That isn’t what happened. I live in San Jose, which is an hour drive away from San Francisco. This meant waking up and being on the road by 5am at the latest to catch the show. Again, this assumes I know exactly where I want to be and what I have to do in order to catch the 6:30am light. Yerba Buena Island is one tough tiny island to navigate on with its windy roads. To top it off, there is no parking. To get the angle, I would have had to hike about a half mile at the very least. Arriving at the island at 6am and then getting lost didn’t help matters.
Alas, I drove over to the Treasure Island portion where parking is plentiful and the angles are not. I settled for this shot which is a good reminder of how to better prepare next time I’m going to drive an hour away and a horrible hour for a 10 minute window of opportunity.
The last bit I learned was that sunrises are not nearly as cool as sunsets. No dust, no glory. I wonder when that volcanic dust from Iceland will reach the Bay Area. 🙂
Google Earth still seems like a great tool for planning a shoot. Here is the shot I ended up with as seen by Google Earth.
During my Sunday walk in San Francisco, I really liked the pier and the potential it brought for getting some good shots. For this one I wanted to play with symmetry. The camera is just slightly above the ground, as dead-center as possible. There are breaks in the symmetry with the Bay Bridge being visible through the bars and Yerba Buena island looming on the right side.
Not that it is a surprise, but I did some post processing on this to get the tones as I saw them. It was an incredibly bright day and this represents my view of the pier by the time I got to it. Wanting shade, feeling like the colors were all just running together and high contrast was everywhere.
I have a creative interpretation of this shot that I am working on. Stay tuned. 🙂
This is another image from my stroll around the Embarcadero in San Francisco yesterday. Inside the pier 27 building is a parking garage. Along the north wall is this great row of roller doors. The light coming in from the windows above the door gave everything a nice glow.
This is a three-exposure HDR which has been somewhat desaturated and warmed to setup the contrast between the nice light and old rusty look of the metal.
I have complete title block on this shot. Feel free to suggest something!
This morning when the Ferry Building in San Francisco opened, I managed to get to the second floor to get some shots of the wonderful architecture. Supposedly there is a rule against using tripods there. The guards would walk from far away to politely ask me to stop. The first said I could use my tripod on the second floor which I did until the second floor guard asked me to stop as well. I originally wanted to do some HDR shots, but instead I opted for this single exposure. I love the colors here.
I warmed this up slightly and gave a small bump in saturation and some slight manual vignetting.
#ds151 – Every town, village, or city has distinguishing icons and landmarks. Make a photo of one wherever you are today.