Our northern California road trip took us to the amazing city of San Francisco. I’ve seen the city many times but I’ve never really had a chance to get a really great shot of the Golden Gate Bridge. A shot of the Golden Gate Bridge at night was high on my list of must get shots from this trip. And it didn’t disappoint, it was absolutely beautiful.
We spent the day taking in the sights and sounds of this very unique city. The least of which was the Golden Gate Bridge from every angle. Of course we saw Fisherman’s Wharf, the Aquarium by the Bay, and the famous Alcatraz prison (amazing). After which we swung over to China Town for an amazing dinner. And believe me, it was an amazing dinner.
On the way out of town I started to get a little concerned that I wouldn’t be able to get my shot. The wind started to pick up and a fog was rolling in over the bridge. As we crossed it the fog was beginning to creep over the hills and down into the town of Sausalito. I was afraid the bridge wouldn’t be visible by the time I made it to the overlook. Which by the way isn’t really all that easy to get to in the dark. We missed the off ramp and spent a fair amount of time trying to find our way back.
Once I parked the car and climbed the hill (in total darkness, which is a trick) with my photography gear, the fog was starting to move in on the south side of the Golden Gate Bridge and into San Francisco. I didn’t have much time so I quickly setup my tripod and my 35 mm prime lens. Set focus and started snapping some shots with a long shutter. Here’s that catch. I was unaware until after the fact that the bridge sways as much as 25 feet in the wind. Which means it is moving just enough that with the slow shutter in most of my photos the bridge was blurry or soft. Frustrating. At the time I wasn’t sure why the shot was coming out soft. I just had to start making adjustments to find the culprit. I tried a lot of different settings to get the photo sharp, but ultimately I had to open up the aperture to about 4.5 and make sure the shutter was less than 20 seconds to capture the bridge without a blur. Anything over 20 seconds and the bridge was a hot mess.
All in all I love this shot and I’m happy to be able to scratch this one of my photography bucket list.