Day 5 – Saturday September 30, 2017
Well, I suppose there is a design in every day and we’re just along for the ride. Woke early and slithered out of the designated parking area for non-campers at Mt. Tam; basically just an extra parking lot for which you pay for the privilege at theu same rate as an actual camper in designated camp sites. Anyway, drove back to the same spot as yesterday to see if there might be something even better than the sunrise I had then, but there was no fog bank for the sun to light, so I headed up to the end of the road for a different angle and no more than 15-seconds later, fog rolled in and the bridge was lost. So I headed back down to the original spot and figured I’d just take some more shots since I was already there. Sometimes things happen for a reason, and I suppose there was a purpose I ended up there for as I was taking some of the first shots, I was engaged by a group of folks asking what had brought me there this morning, and before long, we were having a good conversation. It seems these six friends (not really clear on how this came about and not sure what the premise is) decided to go out for twelve hours that day and ask people what was it that brought them to that spot. All I know is that I had such a good time with them, they made my day. These photo trips are generally solitary affairs, and sometimes a short conversation may occur, but this time it was more than that, and something I will always remember. So thanks to all of you…what a happy way to start my day!!
Golden Gate Bridge at Dawn © jj raia
Day 4 September 29 – Friday
Surprisingly got up with the alarm at 5am having slept through the Walmart parking lot with all the lights and traffic noise. And when I left the Walmart last night to sleep in the car, it was a bit disconcerting, as there were two sheriff’s cars right near mine! But I was tired and just climbed in after they left. There was a car parkd next to me, and I didn’t even hear it leave. Headed to the Headlands for a hopefully good sunrise behind the Golden Gate Bridge and as I arrived I saw a lot of cars at the lot for Battery Spencer, but it looked like it might be too late for the hike down to the end and the angle looked to be wrong for any possible color behind it. So I took the advice of one of my friends and went beyond the first overlook to the second which brought more of the eastern sky color closer to the bridge. I tried to keep the exposures as long as I could to blur the rapidly moving fog banks, and eventually had to add one, then both split ND filters to get more info in the lower half and hold back the brightening sky. It turned out to be a good morning after a bit of a disaster for sleeping arrangements last night. The one thing about last night was I finally tried In N Out Burger. I have to say, they are goooood. After shooting the bridge, I had to find a Starbucks to charge my depleted battery because the backup was getting low as well and didn’t want to be worried about not having power for the camera and spend the whole day in Mt. Tamalpais and/or Muir Woods without any power for the camera. I ended up there for two hours,mwhich is probably the amount of time I would have spent in McDonald’s last night if they had an electrical outlet.