Laura Macky Photography

Journey of a body on this earth

Shine On and a Warning


I hope you aren’t getting bored with these Sutro Baths images because I have one more!  The day I went to Sutro Baths with my camera club was so amazing that I went back the very next day to take some pictures on my own.  This one was a result of that.  It’s a long staircase down to where I was standing for this shot.  I didn’t go all the way down to the beach because I found this vantage point and rather liked it.  The colors were amazing!  I’ve been shooting sunsets with the shade white balance and I’m liking the results so far over deepening the tone in Lightroom or Photoshop.

Shine on and a Warning

Shine on and a Warning

After the shot, I packed up my things and started heading up the long staircase in the dark with my headlamp on.  Someone who was exercising the stairs stopped and chatted with me all the way up (as I was huffing and puffing trying to look like it was no big deal), and part of me wondered if he was going to rob me.  Turns out he was just someone nice who was chatty.   Thank goodness because just in the last few weeks after this outing there have been muggings of camera equipment in this exact spot!  It’s happening more and more around the picturesque places in San Francisco and it seems that my experience was a forewarning to be heeded.

Thankfully I have my camera club, because there is safety in numbers.  Most likely never go to these spots by myself again which is really sad to me.  There’s something meditative about taking photos alone and I really enjoy it, but I won’t be doing that anymore in San Francisco.  Another change I’m making is to purchase some pepper spray.  It’s legal in California so I’ve ordered some on Amazon.  Just in case.  I think if I were tackled for my equipment I’d give it up but you never know when the spray might come in handy.  Also, it’s time I get insurance for my equipment.  Sadly I don’t have any yet but that is changing and soon.  I can’t risk losing thousands of dollars of equipment because I can’t replace it overnight.

So please everyone, when out taking photographs, always watch for who is around you, get insurance for your equipment and try to take photos with someone else.

That’s my two cents!  And more.  🙂


Author: lauramacky

Journey of a Body on this Earth

62 thoughts on “Shine On and a Warning

  1. That is so sad, I would hate to be in fear all the time of someone stealing my stuff, and or hurting me for it. I would get pepper spray for sure! What a beautiful shot that is too.

  2. Here’s some Shine On I think you’ll like from my friend May!

  3. So sad that this is the world we live in today. Be safe Laura.

  4. Bad news. Sorry to hear it.

  5. Sad that this warning is necessary, but thanks!

  6. Nice shot and processing. I like the leading line curving out from the left corner to the center. On my monitor the hole in the rock farthest out looks like a heart leaning slightly to the left.

    • Thanks so much for commenting on the image and that you saw the leading line. And yes! That hole looks like a heart and leans to the left. Nice observation. Thanks again David. 🙂

  7. Great shot and effect, Laura! 🙂
    No one is going to want to go with me through trees and bushes full of spider webs and creepy crawlies! 🙂

  8. Nice shot! The warning was definitely a reality check 🙂

  9. For her birthday, the husband of one of my co-workers gave her a taser! And I live in a nice town, too. It’s a crazy world out there, Laura. Do be careful.

  10. So glad that you took the chance to this beautiful shot. Love the use of the Shade WB – the result is stunning!
    So sad that you have to think this way, but best to be safe to shoot another day.

  11. Loved your expression ‘ thats my 2 cents’ – we say penny’s worth
    Certainly you had a double take on your fellow photographer. I never go out alone to take photos – probably because I don’t drive so always go with a Grou but your capture is really wonderful – just love the light on the water

    • Thank you Diana. I didn’t even realize I said that until you mentioned it. Funny how our sayings are similar with coins. And yes I saw that guy way out there. Too far to help me if I had a problem though!

  12. Beautiful photo, be safe out there.

  13. Nope!! But, you are very Roman, with all these Baths!

  14. Without thinking about the possibility of being mugged, I was chuckling at your comment about huffing and puffing the whole way up the stairs. I’m sure I would be, too!
    Lovely image and the story is good, too

  15. Laura, your pictures are too beautiful for us to get bored of. Thanks for the warning about camera theft. I feel bad for being cautious around chatty strangers, but it’s better safe than sorry. So far so good. I hope you never meet a thief. Today we met a young fellow walking a scary-looking dog. They both turned out to be nice. Big sigh of relief. 🙂
    Blessings ~ Wendy

    • Thank you so much Wendy. 🙂 You are so nice. And I don’t blame you for being cautious. A guy with a dog is scary! I guess unless it’s a Pekinese 😉 I was very weary of that chatty guy walking up the stairs. fortunately it turned out ok and he walked me to my car after we talked.

  16. I love to go out by myself I work better, but there is always the fear factor, and in this world no matter where you live – no -one is really safe by themselves. Beautiful shot Laura. Oh, and I sympathize with the huffing and puffing bit.

  17. That’s a real shame the crime there is on the rise. I guess I can relate being from Detroit! 🙂 Stunning photograph – one that no doubt leaves more of a positive feeling of the location than a negative one.

  18. It is indeed too easy to get too involved in what we’re enjoying to pay proper attention to our surroundings. I’m so glad you beat those odds, and especially because of this exquisite payoff. Gorgeous!

  19. Excellent photo, Laura. Interesting thought on using the Shade setting for the White Balance. I was wondering if you had taken the same shot with AWB and the Shade setting in quick succession, then in LR or Photoshop changed the AWB version to Shade, found that there was a difference when comparing the two exposures, and came to the conclusion that the camera version was more appealing.

    • Thank you Robin. And to further explain, I still used saturation and some adjustments to highlights to achieve the look but the basic colorization is much different. I used it on the marina photo of the boat as well. It’s fun experimenting!

  20. Wise words Laura……sad, but true

  21. This is a stunning capture, Laura! Great lighting and beautiful colors, as always. Love the foreground!
    I used to take trail walk alone with my camera almost every weekend in the early morning when I’m not traveling. I don’t anymore after I heard about robbing iPhones on the train and on street. Very sad.
    Thank you so much for the warning.

  22. Cool photo…. Ur advise stayed within too

  23. That is very depressing news about the muggings. I usually go out with my wife but there have been occasions when I venture out alone. In the middle of the desert. Not smart nowadays.

  24. I could never get sick of the Sutro baths. Another great shot Laura 😃

  25. I haven’t been to Sutro Baths, but have seen many, many photos of the area. All of them have been very pretty.

    Also, rather unfortunate about the theft/mugging for camera equipment. A few years ago, we had a similar problem but went away due to more aggressive policing (cops caught the guy). Then, it was iphones (cops caught them too). Occasionally, one does run into a nice, friendly person.

    • It really is a sad situation. It would be great if they could police these areas more or have someone there all the time but funds are probably too tight for it. Great that they caught the guy that stole your camera equipment! And yes I’m glad the guy I ran into was a friendly sort. It was relieving.

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