P195H – Golden Gate Bridge at Dawn – San Francisco, CA

Early one morning I drove to one of my favorite Golden Gate Bridge locations just above China Beach and hiked down the narrow trail to the beach. It was a very dark, moonless night but I came prepared with a flashlight because I knew how steep and dangerous this trail can be, even in daylight. I had viewed the bridge from this location before so I knew exactly where I wanted to take my photograph.

While still pitch black, I set my camera up on some higher rocks above the crashing waves, and waited for a hint of sky color. About an hour before sunrise, I could begin to see the outline of the bridge in the sky. Soon after that I set my camera to make an 8 minute exposure. During the 8 minute exposure, waves were crashing on the rocks and beach, causing the waves to appear as a layer of fog. The early morning light gave the photograph a purplish hue, and the extended exposure caused the bridge lights to really illuminate the bridge towers, which was not as evident by eye. In addition, the brighter lights on the bridge caused flares, which I actually prefer. I used no filters in the capture of this image. In fact, if you have been reading these stories, you probably noticed that I don’t use filters often.

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