Laura Macky Photography

Journey of a body on this earth

Berkeley Pier


I went to the Berkeley Pier today with my Sony and Lee filter system, but upon arrival I found out the pier has been closed due to structural safety.  Boooooo!   I must admit I was really disappointed.  I had originally wanted to go to the end of the pier and take the iconic long exposure people have taken from that spot, but I ended up having to shoot it from the side.   Double boooooo!  lol

Another dilemma presented itself when I realized I forgot my Sony remote.  I did have the Nikon remote though (a lot of good that did me).   I found out the Sony A7 is limited to 30″ exposures without a remote.  I find that totally strange.  The timer has two settings of 2s or 10s and wouldn’t work with bulb, so that wasn’t an option.  After this realization, I went down another path thinking of the Sony app I have on my iPhone.  I figured out how to connect the camera to my phone via wifi but the app did not allow bulb mode which meant I was still stuck at 30″.  Can you believe that?  That is a total flaw in this camera or at the very least the app.  I do think I should get an “A” for effort, don’t you?  Oh well….live and learn.   Note to self:  Do not forget remote!

Onto the fun part of it all…I used my Lee Big Stopper and a  hard .6 GND.  Oh, I think I’m going to love these filters although I know I can greatly improve on this technique in the future.

We had just had some rain thank goodness and is why I wanted to drive down there to try some long exposures.  This time of year doesn’t present us with many clouds.  In the image you can see San Francisco in the distance above the pier and the Golden Gate to the right.


Author: lauramacky

Journey of a Body on this Earth

83 thoughts on “Berkeley Pier

  1. Laura, my habit is to put my cable release in a medication bottle and then put it in the center of my bag where I store my gear. I am less likely to forget it then. I think we all have made the same mistake.

    • It’s hard because I have two cameras with two different remotes. I’m forever moving things in and out of this one camera bag I have. I know I won’t forget it again after this! Thanks George. 🙂

  2. Oh how very beautiful. 😀

  3. Just gorgeous Laura, but I can see how you might be disappointed not getting onto the pier. It also looks like a very long pier? As to the remote, is having two camera bags a stretch? then you can pack each complete and just grab the bag you need? I love long exposures and I had not heard about this in the Sony (I only have my Nikon), seems rather strange?

  4. Definitely A for effort and what a great image 😊

  5. Gorgeous shot… the water looks amazing.

  6. Gorgeous, Laura!
    I just got my first Lee filters. I wonder if you need different adapters for your Sony lenses?

    • Thank you Dina! I do have two adapter rings….they are based on size only and not make of camera. So I have one adapter ring for my 72mm lenses and one for my 77’s. You will love using them! It’s so fun!

  7. Stunning, Laura. This image is excellent. Composition and your use of the filter system. Love it! My Fuji X-T1 has 30 seconds only too. In camera and in the app. To use bulb mode I have to use the remote as well. No way around. But it is always in my bag. It is not heavy and and does not eat up a lot of space. Next time you will be prepared. But I could not be done better… remote control or no remote control. 😉 Reinhold

    • Thank you so much for liking my result! You should’ve seen me googling and researching standing on the rocks. I have two cameras and different camera bags I use depending on the situation. I know I will never forget the remote after this faux pas! Thanks for your support in my filter endeavors. 🙂

  8. Yes, an A+ for effort…we are always forced to the the hand we are dealt and you did great…

  9. I’ll give you an A for effort and an A+ for making a wonderful photo !

  10. Amazing shot. Innovation and inspiration came from forgetting your remote, perhaps we should all leave some stuff at home on occasion!

  11. Very nice image. Generally I’m not a fan of long exposure – smooth water but it works well here contrasting with the clouds and rocks. That pier is fantastic. It looks as though you could walk it all the way to Fort. Point.

    • Thanks David. I like the minimalistic long exposures which is what I had in mind before I found the pier closed and before I realized I forgot my remote. lol I REALLY love the GND. Wouldn’t it be nice if one could just walk to Fort Point. Can you imagine how cool that would be?

  12. I love long exposures! Yours is great and full of that still, quiet feeling.

    • Thank you Pam. I really wanted to do that minimalistic type which are minutes long but without the remote I was stuck at 30″. Next time for sure!

      • I know what you mean. Today I did a three minute exposure that should have been longer, but I didn’t want to keep my friends waiting. They had been patient with me all day, even assisted 😊. I hope I can fix it in post-processing.

        • I don’t think I could do these with people standing with me. I’d probably screw it up somehow. Lol. I’ll be interested to see what you did! I can’t wait to do more of these.

          • I know! It’s interesting shooting with people who are friends and family. I think eventually it will make me better because I have to do everything and carry on a conversation too!! Today, my friends helped me a lot with advice. They were very patient. 😊

    • Thanks Tom. Indeed!! Originally it was 3.5 miles long! Then the city cut it down to 2.5 miles. It is very long although I won’t be able to walk out there anymore. I’m trying to find out if they’re going to restore it or not.

  13. Beautiful capture and I love the little pop of color from the building on the pier.

  14. I saw this on Facebook but didn’t have time to respond. This is a real beauty, Laura. And I’m beginning to expect nothing less from you. You might want to throw in an occasional dud once in awhile. Just for variety!

  15. OUTSTANDING, Laura!!! OMG!! Absolutely gorgeous! So you did buy the Lee filter system. Good for you. I’m shooting with a solid .6ND and I LOVE it. You need to give yourself a huge pat on the back with this one. GREAT JOB!!!! ❤

    • Thanks so much Amy! I was excited to use it. I used the Lee Big Stopper which is a 3.0 ND and I used the .6 hard GND for the sky. I can’t wait for our foggy days now! Before I didn’t much like going out shooting in total fog but now…I can’t wait!

  16. Well, despite all your false starts, I think the photo is gorgeous! Berkeley Pier – who knew? Fabulous vantage point.

  17. You do get an A – whew – and maybe the Sony product developers will improve from such experiential feedback!
    And your photo featured today is outstanding –
    Anyhow – hope you are having a good week Laura – 😉

  18. Stunning image, Laura!

  19. Really lovely Laura! I also use the Lee system for my long exposures, and while I do like them, I would prefer them to be a little more colour neutral. I know it’s an easy fix in Camera Raw, and I’m probably being too picky…still by the time I get to 6-7 minute exposures the resulting files are deep blue… But I do love the world of long exposures, they really are a lot of fun! Looking forward to your next images!

    • Thank you Michael! I’ve been reading about the color cast. The hitech filters have a magenta cast I believe. Seems we get a color cast no matter what. I’m anxious to try some more of these when we get more clouds and or fog. It’s once again sunny and warm with clear blue skies. I really want to try the longer exposures like you mentioned, 6 mins or so. Thank you for the encouragement!!

  20. I forgot how good your stuff is!

  21. Your pictures are stunning! Definitely inspired me 🙂

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