Friday, January 27, 2012

San Francisco: A foggy day and night can make some really nice photos

Living near San Francisco, I have had many chances to photograph the city. The great thing about SF is that the weather changes so often that no two trips are the same. On this particular visit to the city, the fog was pretty heavy, and mostly covering the Golden Gate Bridge. Many people would look at this as an unfortunate situation, but since I have photographed this area with clear skies, I embraced the fog and used it to my advantage.

When we first arrived at Fort Point, the bridge was completely obscured by the fog, but as we walked around the area, we could see that the fog was starting to clear in certain spots. I waited for both towers to become visible and shot this image. I really like the way that the second tower is just barely visible in the distance.

We were walking away from the bridge, and when I turned around I saw this scene with the bridge half covered and all the people in the foreground. Notice how all the tourists and buildings create a strong foreground to better accent the background.

Further along our walk, we came across one of my wife's favorite areas. This is the rocky beach where people like to stack the rocks into formations. I got down low to this stack and shot this image with the Palace of Fine Arts in the background.

Towards the end of the day, we made our way across the Golden Gate Bridge to the small town of Sausalito. Just after the sun set, I saw this beautiful color appear over Angel Island. I set up my tripod and quickly grabbed some shots before it disappeared. So pretty!

You know how I said that fog can actually add to a photo? Well, here is a perfect example of that! San Francisco has a really pretty skyline, mostly defined by the Transamerica pyramid. When you see the typical postcard shot of the skyline, they are taken with perfectly clear skies, but I actually like this shot with the "key" buildings peeking out from the fog. The lights of the city are illuminating the fog and the light at the top of the Transamerica building is perfectly lit. The Coast Guard boat, to the left of the photo, helps fill what would normally be a dark void. (You can click on these images to see them larger.)

Fifteen minutes after shooting the fog covered skyline, the weather changed again and I got this shot of the skyline more visible. I like both images, but what makes them interesting to me, is that they are taken from the same spot, in a short time span, and yet so different.

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