Twinkling Reflection!

Location: Treasure Island, CA
Time: Twilight
EXIF: Canon EOS 7D | EF 28-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM | 28mm | f/16 | 79s | ISO 100

Last year when we went to Treasure Island, we basically stood in the parking lot for a couple of hours to shoot the SF Skyline. Even though one of our friends gave specific details for 4 or 5 other locations, we really didn’t experiment. One of the guys had to go back to work so we weren’t planning on trying to find different locations. Moreover, we have heard stories after stories about Photographers getting robbed at Treasure Island. So, we definitely didn’t want to go to places that required a lot of walking or to any sketchy looking spots.

After we came back from that trip, the friend that didn’t make it asked why we didn’t shoot the Bay Bridge reflection. We didn’t know where that location was. Apparently, that location was right across the street from the parking lot 🙂

We decided that we needed to make a trip back to Treasure Island and hit as many spots as we can. We’ve been planning for a while but things didn’t quite line up. Since this was primarily SF Skyline and Bay Bridge, we really didn’t worry about waiting for the perfect weather conditions. We decided to go before Sunrise and shoot during Twilight and Blue Hour. We were hoping that we wouldn’t get mugged during the wee hours of the morning 🙂

So, around 3:15, one of my friend picked me up and we went to another friend’s office so we can all carpool from one location. We got there around 4:15 when it was still pitch black. The first spot we stopped this time was to shoot the Bay Bridge reflection. It was literally right across the street from the parking lot.

I took maybe 3 or 4 shots from this location. I really wish we stayed in this location and not worry about other locations. But, that’s not what we went there for. The goal was to hit as many spots as we could so we can scout what would work in what situations. The first couple of shots, I tried to shoot in Aperture Priority but that required me to stay around f/11 where I couldn’t be able to get crisp starburst. I am a sucker for starburst so I plugged my remote trigger and went to f/16 so I can get starburst.
In terms of post processing, it was pretty straight forward. Other than my normal workflow in Lightroom, all I did in Photoshop was to remove some distracting elements in the foreground.
Hindsight is 20/20! We should have stayed to shoot the reflection in blue hour as well as Sunrise. The other locations didn’t work as well as we hoped.

Golden Twinkle!

Location: Fort Baker, Saulsalito
Time: Twilight
EXIF: Canon EOS 7D | Sigma 17-50mm f/2.8 | 17mm | f/11 | 30s | ISO 400

This was shot the same day as my shot from Fort Point (The Reflecting Tower!). As I mentioned in that post, while we got to Fort Point, there were no clouds behind Golden Gate Bridge. After waiting for a few minutes, we realized that clouds were moving in. So we hung around trying different compositions. what we realized was that clouds started clearing. We then debated for a few minutes as to whether we should stick around at Fort Point or if we should head over to the other side of the Bridge to Fort Baker. We were going back & forth. We finally decided that we’ll try our luck at Fort Baker.

We were driving to Fort Baker and a thought came as to whether we should check out Hawk Hill. We decided to stick to our plan and head to Fort Baker. When we got to Fort Baker, we did see a lot of clouds. So we were hopeful that it was going to be a great show in terms of the clouds getting lit up with beautiful colors.

We looked around to see where to setup our tripod and decided that setting it up at the edge of the pier would be the best bet. We were taking shot after shot while hoping for the colors to show up anytime now. Unfortunately, it never happened. Even though Escaype predicted that it would be good, it ended up being a bust. I still got some very good shots during the Sunset time frame that I’ll post soon.

After the lights came on, I decided to try a different vantage point. So, I moved to this location and started experimenting. My goal was to get a good starburst of the Golden Gate lights. It took a couple of failed attempts. I kept changing my settings to get the right exposure. I didn’t have my remote trigger so I wasn’t able to use Bulb mode. I had to stay within 30 seconds exposure so I bumped my ISO to 400. At f/11, I was surprised to see how well the starbursts came out.