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Golden Gate Dawn #1

By PatrickSmith  
A couple of weeks ago I heard that a storm was headed our way. So I parked the car at the familiar tourist pullout where about 15 tripods were all set up awaiting the sunrise. Then I hiked 500 feet down a hill in the dark (not something I recommend before work!) to be on this beach for sunrise. I was hoping for some stormy and moody skies but saw this instead.

I had to desaturate the raw file by 5% because the reds were getting blown out. The unusual colour of this beach is partially from the sunrise colours plus the sand itself is a dark red! (See variation #2)

0.3 second exposure @F13 with ND grad 0.9

Tags: Beach Architecture San francisco Golden gate bridge Landscape and travel

Voters: dianah, svatos, markb2815 and 185 more

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svatos 10 Czech Republic
5 Nov 2007 4:03PM
nice colour

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markb2815 11 2
5 Nov 2007 4:03PM
well captured
dianah 11 24.5k 4 United Kingdom
5 Nov 2007 4:03PM
The bridge is a wonderful silhouette against the colour and light in the background. Delicate in its own way and a beautiful image.
Out Bloody Standing,Unreal Image
MalcolmM Plus
12 926 5 Scotland
5 Nov 2007 4:06PM
Great subdued colours, & timing to get the effect of receding waves. Lovely.
mattw 14 5.2k 10 United Kingdom
5 Nov 2007 4:08PM
Beautiful Patrick - love the colours on the sand.
Keep a spare change of cloths and shoes in the car for work just in case...
Mounters 11 85 2 England
5 Nov 2007 4:10PM
Both shots are usual
Guillaume 11 119 2 United Kingdom
5 Nov 2007 4:11PM
Wonderful pictures
5 Nov 2007 4:12PM
Never amazes me how many different moods/atmosphere you manage to inspire from this location, golden gate for many reasons.. so love the quality of the shore.. whole image truly stunning

Nikki !
Hanners Plus
12 875 10 Ireland
5 Nov 2007 4:15PM
as ever Patrick your work is just sheer quality.... Smile
JouŠo 14 56 Finland
5 Nov 2007 4:17PM
one of your best for a while, IMO......

Superb shot! Vers 1 is my fav.....Nice to see the other side too....I took some shots 180 degrees difference looks very different too.......Into the sun, at least...

Kris76 11 Canada
5 Nov 2007 4:17PM
Great photos. I especially like the water effect in version 2.
PatrickSmith 13 1.2k 2 United States
5 Nov 2007 4:18PM
Thanks for your comments. It's a busy day at work but I'll be dropping in when I can.

Good idea Matt! I do clean up in the bathroom at work before I start. Lots of poison oak here.

Yes Nikki, this place is different every day. You just never know what is going to happen.

Thanks Tony, with a good dose of luck thrown in as well!

Thanks Jouko, it was a bit of a surprize, but I'll take it! Let's see your versions.

Kris, I'll be trying to capture view #2 with a better sky later.

dp 14 163 3 United Kingdom
5 Nov 2007 4:38PM
Just the right shutter speed on this Patrick, but I would expect no less!

Briwooly 12 452 5 England
5 Nov 2007 4:50PM
Beautiful Patrick it looks superb fantastic work

stevebutler 13 122 England
5 Nov 2007 4:50PM
Both shots are very nivce Patrick....I think I prefer the second one. 2 completely different shots with a quick turn of the hips!

fentiger Plus
17 918 24 England
5 Nov 2007 4:51PM
Excellent wide angle composition with great detail and lovely pastel colours.

5 Nov 2007 4:56PM
Majestic - the colour on the sand creates the distictive mood of this I think
phototime 12 8 United Kingdom
5 Nov 2007 5:00PM
A wonderful shot Patrick,excellent composition and beautiful light.

ian walker 13 716 United Kingdom
5 Nov 2007 5:06PM

fantastic - as ever
SRSmith 10 1 United States
5 Nov 2007 5:09PM
Both shots are superb. I agree with Nikki's comments - talent shows no matter the location.
pmorgan 11 217 13 England
5 Nov 2007 5:16PM
Both supreme images!

NevP 12 853 13 Canada
5 Nov 2007 5:17PM
Beautiful technical work.
chrisco 12 59 3 United Kingdom
5 Nov 2007 5:17PM
Very nice shot Patrick,captured it well! Smile
Kevlar 12 161 3 United Kingdom
5 Nov 2007 5:19PM
Stunning as ever
Maddie 13 2.7k 2 United Kingdom
5 Nov 2007 5:20PM
bet you didn't get your feet wet, looks good patrick Smile
franken Plus
15 4.6k 4 United Kingdom
5 Nov 2007 5:21PM
Two superb images!!

cheesey 12 2 United Kingdom
5 Nov 2007 5:25PM
Another cracking composition Patrick. Beautiful colour tones and sky.
Regards Cheesey.
PatrickSmith 13 1.2k 2 United States
5 Nov 2007 5:26PM
Thanks for looking!

Steve, I'll be back to get that one with a better sky I hope! Yes, hardly had to take more than a few steps to get that one.

Bet I did Maddie! I had my shoes off and my pants rolled up. I needed to get into the water for a closer view and I did bring a towel. But the hike up the hill made me sweaty so I had to clean up a bit when I got into work! And then there is the poison oak...uggh.....

Mari 14 1.8k United Kingdom
5 Nov 2007 5:37PM
Glad to hear you got your feet wet, Patrick - this photo is even better now I know that LOL

Superb tones and subtle colour

DaveU 12 1.4k 125 England
5 Nov 2007 5:43PM
It's lovely Patrick in a subtle and understated sort of a way. Some beautiful colours in there.
paulsteds 14 123 England
5 Nov 2007 5:44PM
I'll have to return to work to get up at this time in the morning, however I wouldn't be able to get down the hill anyway Wink
Super capture and well worth the effort.
PLCimagery 11 77 1 England
5 Nov 2007 5:54PM
Like both very much - great effect with that water!
Tandberg 15 1.2k 2 England
5 Nov 2007 6:13PM
sweet colours and mood in this Patrick
Well done
Wonderful colours and composition. A superb sight! JNC
5 Nov 2007 6:25PM
You do grand work Sir, many congratulations.

All the very best
RockArea 11 18 3 United Kingdom
5 Nov 2007 6:37PM
Another superb shot with so much detail throughout the image.

MikeA 13 1.3k England
5 Nov 2007 6:39PM
Two super images Patrick, the second looks very dynamic, one almost be sucked into the sea by those retreating waves.

PatrickSmith 13 1.2k 2 United States
5 Nov 2007 7:00PM
Thanks for dropping by!

Yes Mari, very wet! I gave up running back and forth and took off the shoes!

Thanks Mike. On the second one, the waves are advancing because I wanted to overlay the water movement on top of the fine grains of sand that were not moving for part of the exposure.

MikeA 13 1.3k England
5 Nov 2007 7:07PM
Wet feet then Smile

pamelajean Plus
12 1.1k 2023 United Kingdom
5 Nov 2007 7:12PM
There are so many quality elements to this picture, but I especially like the lines, the diagonal wave and the pastel rainbow colours of the fg sand.
5 Nov 2007 7:18PM
Another stunner.
That little touch of city sky line is a wonderful touch.

Maiwand 11 3 73 England
5 Nov 2007 7:19PM
Hope you dont mind but its No1 for me. Its such a fabulous looking structure that I live in hope that one day I might see it. Coupled with that fabulous sky and waterit seems just perfect.
debster 14 693 3 England
5 Nov 2007 7:37PM
They're only good photos if you get your feet wet Patrick! I just usually forget to take my shoes off where I get so engrossed!

I think I'd like this place very, very much Smile
Beautiful images with some lovely light and colour.

GalleryGirl 10 4 2 United Kingdom
5 Nov 2007 7:49PM
Superb! Gorgeous sky.
Marilyn x
C_Daniels 13 399 10 England
5 Nov 2007 7:56PM
Excellent Patrick - a wonderful mixture of colour and effect...
martinl 14 269 2 United Kingdom
5 Nov 2007 8:14PM
Both are wonderful shots, and are perfect examples of why you should always look in both directions when out shooting. Look at what you would have missed if you had just concentrated on the one shot.

5 Nov 2007 8:29PM
Two wonderful shots, Superb.

GillyB Plus
13 317 8 United Kingdom
5 Nov 2007 8:57PM
Lovely tranquil colour and light.....superb composition as always.

PatrickSmith 13 1.2k 2 United States
5 Nov 2007 9:02PM
Thanks for stopping in!

LOL Mike...yep!

No Problem Ron, though #2 looks good at a larger size. The sand is amazing.

LOL Debbie, I did that on one recently. I just totally forgot and soon a foot of water surrounded me. I didn't even bother to try to move. You'd like the whole coastline a lot Debbie. Come one out and I'll give you guys the grand tour. I'll even drive!

Thanks Martin, it is always a good idea to look at everything when you get into a good situation.

Nigel_95 Plus
12 262 2 United Kingdom
5 Nov 2007 9:04PM
That is rather wonderful Patrick. I'm glad you had the clouds to give you this beautiful sunset.

Down right incredible image. Like this one alot. Great looking water. Nicely done!!!
Kris_Dutson 15 8.2k 1 England
5 Nov 2007 9:25PM
Took your shoes off and rolled your trousers up ferchrisakes? - you'll never make a pro.

PatrickSmith 13 1.2k 2 United States
5 Nov 2007 9:30PM
Thanks Nigel and Danny!

LOL Kris, you gotta do whatcha gotta do! Plus I think it helped with the poison oak!

ashley 14 167 1 United Kingdom
5 Nov 2007 9:34PM
nice comp & light
just the right effect with that water

scott_jessuk 12 249 1 Scotland
5 Nov 2007 9:38PM
I really like both of them Patrick, great exposures.

firzhugh 13 13 New Zealand
5 Nov 2007 9:51PM
beautiful tones and exposure
5 Nov 2007 9:55PM
Both are stunning! version 1 is just excellent

5 Nov 2007 10:36PM
I'm glad to see some clouds made it your way, Patrick, and you were able to make good use of them. I especially admire the beautiful colors reflecting under those clouds and the city visible in the distance. Excellent!
If I had a location like this on my way to work, I would always be late.

Neil_Higgins 11 35 3 England
5 Nov 2007 11:01PM
It was well worth the effort because that is some scene.
AngelaR 13 155 United Kingdom
5 Nov 2007 11:11PM
Wonderful work Patrick - love the red sands in no.2.
Sezz 13 617 15 England
5 Nov 2007 11:21PM
Superb view Patrick, I like the buildings in the distance and the reflection of that wonderful sky on the wet sand - excellent work again!

Sarah *
PatrickSmith 13 1.2k 2 United States
6 Nov 2007 2:26AM
Thanks for your comments!

Yes Eric, lately I've been looking over as I go to work (after checking the weather sites and webcams) to see if the time is right. I hope to get a bunch of good ones this winter and at least one more 'fog under the bridge' shot before the summer fog goes away for this year.

LOL Sarah, now why did I think you'd like the buildings???

tepot 13 4.4k United Kingdom
6 Nov 2007 4:40AM
lovely shot Pat, better sky than i had for my san fran sunrise last weekend. did you hike down from the first pullout as you go up the hill or the second one? i know there is a pathway from one of them but i can't remember which one, i was going to Sausalito this weekend to try to find that spot where you got your early morning shot but i'd like to try this one instead as the tide will be low at sunrise and there is rain and clouds forcast, might give me a great sky, sounds like i need to beware of the poison oak and take a flashlight with me at that hour of the morning?
Also i need to get there an hour earlier than last week since the clocks have gone back.....Grrrr
PatrickSmith 13 1.2k 2 United States
6 Nov 2007 6:38AM
Hey Terry,
I hiked down from that first pullout. That is where the pathway is. Yes the quick route has the poison oak and the slower and longer route is easier but takes a while to travel the distance. A flashlight helps though I had the moon at the time, which was barely enough. 06:30 sunrise now, so you should be on the beach before then. It takes at least 15 minutes to get there from the pullout.

robway 13 318 Wales
6 Nov 2007 8:43AM
I love both versions. Classic photography.
martinw 13 251 England
6 Nov 2007 8:57AM
Both are crackers Patrick.
bricurtis 12 2.2k 49 England
6 Nov 2007 9:55AM
Wonderful subtle shades of colour in the FG Patrick.
Your low vantage point tucks the distant buildings nicely under the bridge - I like that.
Kim Walton 14 145 30 United Kingdom
6 Nov 2007 9:59AM
Really nice.

Being really picky i would of liked to see the far left edge of the beach ,theres room for losing that amount from the right of shot?
wamp 12 276 8 England
6 Nov 2007 10:16AM
The small wave has been very nicely captured Patrick and the sky does have some lovely colour it too

garymcparland 11 341 3 United Kingdom
6 Nov 2007 12:52PM
Like both shots Patrick, the colour reflected on the wet beach is beautiful.

PatrickSmith 13 1.2k 2 United States
6 Nov 2007 3:18PM
Thanks for stopping by!

Yes Brian, there are many variations you can make with the framing of the city by the bridge depending on how high up the hill you climb. I do like this version. You can also make the city float just above the road deck.

I did try it Kim, but the left side is very dark in the shadow of that cliff, which just gets bigger and bigger. And I wanted to show the bit of colour on the sand on the right side. I was nearly wide open at 18mm so that was the limit.

Thanks Sean, the smaller waves worked better for some reason. The big ones were too chaotic that morning.

49er 12 564
6 Nov 2007 3:40PM
Both images are beautiful.. I think the calm waves on the 2nd image are stunning... A great feel of calm..
Valerie1 10 68 Northern Ireland
6 Nov 2007 5:38PM
Absolutely stunning, as are all your shots.

Glostopcat 12 255 2 England
6 Nov 2007 6:11PM
Two images of the very highest quality Patrick, just what we've come to expect from a man of your calibre
AnneWorner 10 620 43 United States
6 Nov 2007 6:22PM
Stunning - love the reflections in the incoming tide water. Love the faint skyline of SF in the background.
6 Nov 2007 6:26PM
Smashing shot.

John Smile
rmr 11 1 Wales
6 Nov 2007 6:38PM
simlpl stunning as are all of you"r images
superb work
glazzaro 13 70 23 United States
6 Nov 2007 6:52PM
What can I say but that your work always inspires! To that note I was under some bridges this weekend at the C&N Canal trying to duplicate a similar shot you did in Hawaii, not could enough to post but I am working on it. Wink Spot on! Click!!!


P.S. I have been moving around so much I have not even had a chance to read up on or think about making the trip to Florida for the event, though it would be nice since Florida is my home. I will send you a message later after I have looked at the site.
glazzaro 13 70 23 United States
6 Nov 2007 6:54PM
What can I say but that your work always inspires! To that note I was under some bridges this weekend at the C&N Canal trying to duplicate a similar shot you did in Hawaii, not could enough to post but I am working on it. Wink Spot on! Click!!!

PatrickSmith 13 1.2k 2 United States
6 Nov 2007 7:06PM
Thanks for having a look!

Yes Greg, it takes several attempts to get the hang of it. You need a cloudy day or at least for the sun to be down or shaded. F22, maybe an inverted ND grad filter if the water is brighter than the top. Then as if gets darker, the exposure get longer until eventually you get your shot. Once you go over 30 seconds you have to guess so after a 30 second exposure, go for 40. After 1 minute go for 1:20. 2 to 3. After 3 minutes you may have to go for 7!

Definitely let me know about Florida. It sounds extremely interesting!

MalcolmS Plus
12 1.2k 13 England
6 Nov 2007 7:14PM
Thought it was the Humber Bridge from the Thumb Patrick, but knew it was yours so it couldn't be.

robincoombes 11 1 5 Wales
6 Nov 2007 7:24PM
I actually prefer no. 2 does that make me different Smile but as always both are excellent

xinia 13 54
6 Nov 2007 8:53PM
particularly lovely range of subtle colours in the first one Patrick - a quiet and serene feel to it

btw - thanks for your comments - much appreciated Smile and also looking forward to seeing some more star trail shots when you get round to it - all the best Smile
tavm 11 31 United Kingdom
6 Nov 2007 9:02PM
Stunning as always.
7 Nov 2007 12:02AM
Gota just love the mood in this Pat, really lovely

PatrickSmith 13 1.2k 2 United States
7 Nov 2007 4:35AM
Thanks for your comments!

No Malcolm, but maybe someday.....

LOL - Well Robin, a little different but 3 others agree so far.

Yes Maggie, there are only a couple of days per lunar cycle where I think conditions are right for what I want to do, so it may take a while!

chrissd 12 304 United Kingdom
7 Nov 2007 5:27AM
glorious shot Patrick Smile
User_Removed 11 407 1 United Kingdom
7 Nov 2007 12:39PM
Great shot, like this lots
imander 11 388 7 United Kingdom
7 Nov 2007 2:35PM
really wonderful photograph, produced to such high standards
Mavis Plus
16 143 2 England
7 Nov 2007 3:10PM
Delicate reflections on the sand from the beautiful sky . Makes a good backdrop for the bridge . xx
bayleaf 10 8 United Kingdom
7 Nov 2007 3:11PM
Both are quite stunning. What a wonderful portfolio you have.

Best wishes,

Topo 11 England
7 Nov 2007 3:56PM
I love the pearly colours in this - fantastic portfolio well done - Mandi
ericfaragh Plus
14 149 4 United Kingdom
7 Nov 2007 5:46PM
Wonderful warm light under the clouds, lovely reflection in the wet sands.
proz 13 205 United States
7 Nov 2007 5:50PM
WOW, your photogrpahy is never less than brilliant Patrick and this one is true to form. It's Brilliant.
LisaRose 11 172 4 United States
7 Nov 2007 7:34PM
Another stunner Patrick, love it.

DP_Imagery 13 24 6 Wales
7 Nov 2007 10:09PM
Love the muted colours - composition, as always, first rate. Bruce
Possum 11 148 England
8 Nov 2007 7:10AM
It's the delicate colours of the reflections in the wet sand and receding water that make this so special for me, and such good balance in the composition.
AlleyCatz 12 274 6 England
8 Nov 2007 9:16AM
Excellent images Patrick.
I was thinking to comment what Allie has already written.

Wooly 12 112 4 England
8 Nov 2007 10:16AM
Superb Patrick.

PatrickSmith 13 1.2k 2 United States
8 Nov 2007 2:47PM
Thanks for stopping by!

There are lots of ways to do it Mavis. I'll be making other views with the city in different spots.

Same thing happes to me Alley!

8 Nov 2007 3:17PM
BOTH are gorgeous. I prefer the GGB image a bit more, but both are stunning!
8 Nov 2007 10:16PM
terrific work as usual Mr S. Marvellous
kcranmer 10 22 United States
9 Nov 2007 2:05AM
Ok...I've seen a million golden gate shots...but this is BY FAR the best one I have every seen, wow and amazing in every way!! my brother is a tug boat dispatcher this is really a special image to me! vTd
PatrickSmith 13 1.2k 2 United States
9 Nov 2007 4:14PM
Thanks for dropping in!

Kellie, thanks for the kind words. Everybody shoots the bridge from the same old boring viewpoints and boring light, so it is time do do something new with it. I have a tugboat in one of my photos on page two called Bay Bridge - HDR. I wonder if he is affected by the oil spill.

paulb20 Plus
11 12 United Kingdom
9 Nov 2007 8:39PM
Absolutely stunning Patrick.
SandraKay Plus
11 233 4 United Kingdom
9 Nov 2007 10:04PM
Totally agree with my husband - absolutely stunning. Well done too for hiking down a hill in the dark to take this.
alyismad 12 9 Wales
10 Nov 2007 9:38AM
Wounderfull shot Patrick

Simon_Whitehouse 13 769 5 United Kingdom
10 Nov 2007 6:52PM
Superb work.

Ceciliat 13 6 Philippines
11 Nov 2007 5:52AM
Good composition and attractive colours - nice effect of the waves too. Spectacular view indeed...
Well done.
tripodted 12 32 1 Northern Ireland
12 Nov 2007 10:11PM
Beautiful work, Patrick.
Bluke 13 303 1 United Kingdom
13 Nov 2007 9:54AM
More amazing work patrick.....
PatrickSmith 13 1.2k 2 United States
13 Nov 2007 3:13PM
Thanks for your comments!

MickyMc 10 8 United Kingdom
13 Nov 2007 6:06PM
Really fabulous could not choose a favourite.
dawnmichelle 11 12 United States
13 Nov 2007 9:26PM
I LOVE THEM BOTH... hope you have these hanging on your wall. I love them did I say that already???
ChiliMan 11 135 17 Singapore
14 Nov 2007 4:43PM
Ooo...I loooooooooooove the water in V2!!

A Smile
PatrickSmith 13 1.2k 2 United States
14 Nov 2007 9:32PM
Thanks for dropping by! Not enough wall space to hang them right now.....

Nettles 11 England
15 Nov 2007 6:40PM
Great sky and bridge, but I really love the way you have captured the water.
A super image. Annette
Pegon 12 78 1 England
15 Nov 2007 7:49PM
A beauty Patrick.
Marian 12 62 England
8 Dec 2007 2:12PM
It's all been said!!!
wyatturp 12 2 England
8 Dec 2007 7:47PM
Fine picture

PatrickSmith 13 1.2k 2 United States
9 Dec 2007 7:27PM
Thanks for your comments!

Gaz_H 11 150 1 United Kingdom
11 Dec 2007 6:44PM
Absolutely superb, love the composition with the bridge span in the background and the water movement in the foreground.
PatrickSmith 13 1.2k 2 United States
12 Dec 2007 5:00PM
Thanks Gary!


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