While I was at the Presidio taking shots of the Golden Gate Bridge, I used my trusty rule of turning around 360 degrees to see what other photo opportunities there were. Looking south of the Golden Gate, I saw the sun casting a beautiful light on an exclusive residential area of San Francisco above Baker Beach called Sea Cliff. These homes have stunning views of the Golden Gate. Can you imagine waking up and having coffee in the mornings overlooking this beautiful area? It’s fun to dream. 🙂
The same evening I shot the moon rising beneath the Bay Bridge from Treasure Island, earlier we went atop Yerba Buena Island to take this shot of the Eastern Span of the Bay Bridge. Treasure and Yerba Buena Islands are often referred to collectively as “former Naval Station Treasure Island” or “Treasure Island”. Yerba Buena is connected to Treasure Island and is not very big. It’s the hilly island whereas Treasure Island is flat. The Yerba Buena Tunnel runs through its center and connects the western and eastern spans of the Bay Bridge.
You can drive up to the very top for now….that is until they start changing everything there. Rumor has it there will be a hotel and condos built. I’m not really looking forward to that. Seems everywhere there is land around the bay, it’s being developed. But for now, I really love going to the top and taking in the stunning views.
The picture I’ve shared here is one of the Western span of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge. The spot I’ve taken it from is called Treasure Island which is in between the Eastern span and the Western span. I took quite a few the other night which also included that moon rising photo I posted yesterday. While the Bay Bridge isn’t as glamorous or as well known as the Golden Gate, it’s still fun to photograph because you can get it from so many angles.
I’ve gotten a lot better at planning my shoots rather than just driving to these locations and hoping for the best. Here is some information that will hopefully help you plan your shots without too much technical mumbo jumbo. I hope you find it useful!
- The Photographer’s Ephemeris – I depend on this site when planning to take sunrises, sunsets and also moonrises. I’ve yet to do a moonset but it works for that as well. You can see exactly where and when these bodies will rise and set and drop a pin to your exact location to be very precise. It will even calculate the horizon for you if you’re in an area with elevation changes. You can use the desktop link I’ve included here or the iPhone or iPad app. All are great!
- Sunsetwx – This great website will show you the quality of the sunset or sunrise. Is that amazing or what? So I don’t need to drive to the coast hoping for a red sunset when there won’t be one. I just open this up, put in my location and voila! You will then be able to see how red your sunset will be.
- Directions! – I always go to my apple maps (or google maps if you’re on android) and get my directions before I head out the door. I used to wait until I got in the car but what a pain. I make sure I have them on my phone before I turn on the ignition.
- Double check your equipment…make sure you have your tripod, filters, extra charged battery, coats, etc., and do all this the night before. You will feel so good waking up knowing that you have everything you need.
Hope this is helpful! Let me know how you like the tools if you choose to use them. 🙂