Chasing a San Francisco dawn shot when all the elements line up has taken many many trips back and forth to this location(s). There are so many vantage areas in this area, lining up one that you think is the best you can find is another, I am always self checking the decision. While the location is dead simple to get to, making the finer detail choice of where at the location to shoot is not. I have hiked down, up, to the left and right all cool angles, but I think this maybe my favorite little spot …
I was not leaving much to chance this time round, the evening before after I shot the night shot I hiked to a little area to confirm the morning shoot. Morning shoot confirmed, time to get a feed from the little Pizza Place in Sausalito. Pretty god Pizza, Awesome landscape image on their wall inside the restaurant .
With a 4am wake up Iphone buzzer I was out the door by 4.15am and down by the waters edge in Sausalito with my morning coffee by around 4.45am … After spending a few moments sucking in as much of Sausalito as I could I ventured off to the morning shoot.
Now on the way to the shoot you pass SO MANY more cool spots to view the city and the bridge that its real hard not to stop and starting shooting all of them one by one. But I had promised myself a image I have wanted for a LONG ASS TIME and this morning was going to be one of the last chances. So struggling past location after location I moved up to the area I need to be and started out on the hike … Not an overly long hike, but dark and spooky with the Point Bonita Lighthouse which you can not see through the fog but can hear its horn loud and clear. I had thoughts of the movie “Interview With A Vampire” where they drive across the bridge at the end of the movie I think it is, spooked the crap outta me for a moment before I came to my senses and thought, I’ll just stab the crap out of them with the tripod and then beat the living shit out of them with it … The shit that goes though my mind when given the chance in those situations …
Dawn was breaking first light was just visible and I was set up on my marker from the night before (a small pile of fist sized rocks) Hey nothings left to chance when time is short!
Just above the fog with the lights of San Francisco stilling lighting up the bay and an orange sky, this looked like a good morning.
4 image stitch at 200mm
Stunning shot Neal ,
Looks really dreamy , love how the top of the bridge just pocks out .
Mate… one of ur best!!!…. well done
Cheers Kirk … Was not like that for long, the fog rolled in pretty, but the of the shoot I was inside the fog layer looking for a way out …
Cheers Clint … ONe of my favorites as well … My favorite is coming later this week …
yeah man, definitely one of my favs too.
great to hear the story behind it too 🙂
too bad this one wouldn’t be able to be printed in time to view on Wednesday night too… haha
Cheers Steve … Yeah that would of been cool …
Great capture Neal. I admire your early morning dedication.
Cheers Sandy … Glad you could stop by and take a look at the image and comment. For me the whole process of capturing the shot is why I do it. I love the research, the cold or warm early mornings of evenings, I am growing to love hiking in the wilderness, the solitude of being outside when most are still asleep. It all adds to the final capture and if I come back with something that actually works it makes it even more special.
So something like this shot which had been planned months in advance with hours of research, then actual onsite scouting, then the shoot and post production for print. I am not sure if that is dedication or just something I love to do, and the more days I do it the more I want to do it. If that makes any sense …
Cracker shot mate!
I often think that my tripod would make an awesome weapon should the need arise!
Glad to hear that the thought has crossed someone else’s mind!
Cheers Mark … Hopefully it will never be needed … But thoughts do go racing through my mind when in strange places at weird times of the day …
Awesome stitching Neal, seamless.
Just that small glimpse of the bridge works really well.
Speechless! This must be in your top 5 of best shots ever.
Thanks Thomas … I had seen many images of the fog over the bridge but really none gave the city and bridge its due so I had a clear idea on what I wanted, it was just a matter of persistence in the end. Plus I just love that area of San Francisco so repeated visits is not a problem.
Thanks Jamie … Top 5 hey … cheers …
Stunning image. The early morning hike was well worth it.
Thanks Dev for stopping by and commenting … Sure was 🙂
You already know how I feel on this one.
I do Luke and had a chuckle at your use of words 🙂
Beautiful addition to your collection Neil.
Awesome shot Neal, very much one of my favorites of yours. And a great read, always good to hear the story behind a top images.
Cheers Craig … Was not sure the stories behind the images got read much at all, besides maybe my mother reading them … But nice to hear others do as well .. cheers
Mate this is brilliant stuff. Your efforts have really paid off with this one.
Your on fire mate, I think this again would have to be the best shot I have seen of the bridge and city skyline, absolute cracker!
Thanks Michael … I am so glad I came home with this series of images …
Two classic images of SF Neal – Totally different images, yet equally stunning, well done mate !
Thanks Tony – I now have the complete set, well almost still one more I want … I have the beach, the day with fluffy white clouds, the night and the fog … Just one more to go …
Wow, I love this shot!
Thanks William …. It is one of my favorites as well ..
It’s hard to imagine a much better shot than this – the hard work in preparation has paid off in spades.
Thanks Muzz … lots of prep yep but all the more enjoyable …
Probably the best image on anyones blog all year Neil. Your US pics are amazing. You should bring out a US book mate! I’m green with envy!
Cheers David thats quite the compliment … 2011 Dave 2011
Now that’s Photography
Those shots are amazing