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Heaven's Gate

By PatrickSmith  
Lately, people have been requesting photos of the bridge and I really only have a couple taken with the 5D so I thought I better get out there and do a series. This one required another scramble about 300 feet down a crumbly hillside in the dark before sunrise to get a perspective you'll never see. I wanted to set the city just above the bridge deck and get some good foreground, which can not be done from the top of the hill.

I wanted to show the big sky by using a long exposure to give it that 'looking up to Heaven' look. It is an unusual composition but why not? I have many other compositions and the light was changing constantly. And a pano crop works well in this circumstance. I have a couple where the skyline is backlit just as the sun rose into a dark cloud. Here, you can see just the start of it. The beach from the last upload is in the lower left.

By the way, I had to desaturate the RAW file by 4%, as the details were getting lost because of the extreme colour. I have some where the entire sky is a brilliant red and it drowns out everything else.

2 minute exposure @F16 with ND grad 0.9 + 0.6

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

Voters: Cormy, Maiwand, andytvcams and 159 more

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Cormy 10 3 England
13 Nov 2007 3:36PM
Tremendous image.

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Blenkinsopp 12 320 4 England
13 Nov 2007 3:37PM
gorgeous colours and great original angle
Maiwand 11 3 73 England
13 Nov 2007 3:40PM
A beautiful shot Patrick. You may have had to be around very early but my goodness this proves worth it. Stunning image. Delighted to be at the top of what will surely be long list of admirers.
JouŠo 13 56 Finland
13 Nov 2007 3:40PM
my first click with my new font size.......120 dpi

Should I say "Well done!" Wink

Itsa belter, Patrick!

imander 11 388 7 United Kingdom
13 Nov 2007 3:41PM
wonderful composition, looks such a beautiful scene and the colours are magical
13 Nov 2007 3:43PM
Colours and composition are spot on

cheesey 11 2 United Kingdom
13 Nov 2007 3:47PM
Beautiful image. Top notch colours and compoition.
Hanners Plus
12 875 10 Ireland
13 Nov 2007 3:49PM
Holy smoky, this is superb Patrick, at least when I get there I know that heaven is gonna be a cool place to be.... Smile
This is really incredible. Wow, a real stunner!!!
Sezz 13 617 15 England
13 Nov 2007 3:58PM
Beautiful image Patrick - the sky is wonderful and I really like all those little lights in the background - large version is superb!

Sarah *
13 Nov 2007 4:06PM
What a great shot, well worth the hard work.
Richsr 11 91 223 England
13 Nov 2007 4:06PM
Well worth the climb - like your composition and the colours in this - well captured.
robs 14 680 2 United Kingdom
13 Nov 2007 4:08PM
Stunning!!! When I was there the bridge was absent due to fog! Love this though, absolutely classic image!
simonjr 11 Wales
13 Nov 2007 4:15PM
Lovely image. Great viewpoint and wonderful sunrise.
MikeBonsall 12 474 3 Guernsey
13 Nov 2007 4:15PM
the movement in the clouds really helps draw the eye in towards the bridge.

Bob_V 10 1 2 United States
13 Nov 2007 4:21PM
Superbly done, just a stunning capture and very well composed.
ian walker 13 716 United Kingdom
13 Nov 2007 4:26PM
stunning, the cloud movement takes this from just nice to exceptional.
PatrickSmith 13 1.2k 2 United States
13 Nov 2007 4:28PM
Thanks for your comments!

LOL - Tony, that would be nice if it is true!

Yes, Rob, I have lots of photos of things buried in fog!

Thanks Mike and Ian, I did try to capture as much cloud movement as I could. It also prevented the bright spots from getting blown out, as they were averaged into the darker cloud areas.

Dugi34 11 917 United Kingdom
13 Nov 2007 4:30PM
great image, love the composition and sky.
stevebutler 13 122 England
13 Nov 2007 4:40PM
Great sky on this Patrick and the long exposure really enhances it.

AngelaR 13 155 United Kingdom
13 Nov 2007 4:41PM
Nice to see Patrick - terrific work.
AnneWorner 10 620 43 United States
13 Nov 2007 4:46PM
Beautiful composition. Wonderful colors - that sky is spectacular, and I love how the orange tones in the sky are repeated in the lights of the houses.
Nice foreground interest also.
martinl 14 269 2 United Kingdom
13 Nov 2007 4:49PM
I like the long exposure effect on the sky.

2 mins Patrick, must have been almost dark!!
MikeFisher 13 202 United Kingdom
13 Nov 2007 4:49PM
Wonderful image Smile
MalcolmM Plus
12 887 5 Scotland
13 Nov 2007 4:51PM
Another beauty - colours are lovely.
PatrickSmith 13 1.2k 2 United States
13 Nov 2007 4:53PM
Thanks for stopping by!

Yes Martin, this is just as the very first light began to hit. It was noticeably brighter at the end of the exposure than when I started it. I ended the bulb exposure by just guessing when I had enough light.

13 Nov 2007 5:05PM
Excellent capture, beautiful view!
elkiebrooks 15 83 5 United Kingdom
13 Nov 2007 5:07PM
Wonderful image. All your hard work has paid off. Everything has come together, the composition, the exposure and the colours. All combine to make a beautiful image.
xinia 13 54
13 Nov 2007 5:24PM
fantastic detail in the large version Patrick and wonderful play of light on the water...if I was being extremely picky Wink..... I just find the foreground steals a lot of the show -esp. the pointy rock and the light just at its top - keeps drawing the eyes to it - a personal thing Smile
LisaRose 11 172 4 United States
13 Nov 2007 5:25PM
This is so beautful Patrick, and viewing large is a real treat, love this.

PatrickSmith 13 1.2k 2 United States
13 Nov 2007 5:28PM
Thanks Elisabeth, Lisa and Colin (elkiebrooks)

Maggie, I did make a big foreground for this one so you can feel like you are standing on top of the world, but do I have many other versions with different perspectives. So I may pull one of those out to show around!

Windmillskies 12 183 England
13 Nov 2007 5:28PM
Lovely when viewed large. well worth finding the alternative viewpoint.
Dotrob 12 Wales
13 Nov 2007 5:30PM
Super image, great light and colours, well worth the scramble and early start.
steviehutch 11 18 United Kingdom
13 Nov 2007 5:32PM
superb image,beautiful colours
Nettles 10 England
13 Nov 2007 5:36PM
Simply beautiful, a stunning image.
GalleryGirl 10 4 2 United Kingdom
13 Nov 2007 5:44PM
Gorgeous shot! Beautiful
Marilyn x
MickyMc 10 8 United Kingdom
13 Nov 2007 6:04PM
Absolutely beautiful, I wish I could take landscapes like that.
PatrickSmith 13 1.2k 2 United States
13 Nov 2007 6:11PM
Thanks for looking!

You could Mavis. It just takes some work and timing.

Maddie 12 2.7k 2 United Kingdom
13 Nov 2007 6:23PM
a must for large view Smile
JudeC 11 6 3 England
13 Nov 2007 6:39PM
Stunning image - love your PF - JudeC
paulb20 Plus
11 12 United Kingdom
13 Nov 2007 7:21PM
This is absolutely stunning Patrick. It was foggy when we were there too, arrived at the bridge fog rolled in and that was it. Did get to visit Alcatraz that was really interesting.
debster 13 693 3 England
13 Nov 2007 7:24PM
Just stunning Patrick........and you tease me about the water!!

PatrickSmith 13 1.2k 2 United States
13 Nov 2007 7:42PM
Thanks for your comments!

Yes Paul, you have to go in the winter to get the good weather....seriously!

Debbie? Me? Tease? lol....

Briwooly 12 452 5 England
13 Nov 2007 7:48PM
Another stunner Patrick wonderful view superbly recorded

Kim Walton 14 145 30 United Kingdom
13 Nov 2007 7:49PM
No need to say anything Wink
scott_jessuk 12 249 1 Scotland
13 Nov 2007 8:12PM
Very nice Patrick, great view.

bricurtis Plus
12 2.2k 49 England
13 Nov 2007 8:42PM
Wonderful viewpoint Patrick. It's just got to be seen Large.
chris-p Plus
12 67 England
13 Nov 2007 8:56PM
Its a must to view large Smile
franken Plus
15 4.6k 4 United Kingdom
13 Nov 2007 9:02PM

dianah 11 24.5k 4 United Kingdom
13 Nov 2007 9:11PM
I might have said it before but I would buy a book of your photos..this is stunning. Beautiful skies replicated in beautiful water, thank you.
phototime 12 8 United Kingdom
13 Nov 2007 9:18PM
A fantastic image Patrick,wonderful sky and colours.Beautiful.

dawnmichelle 10 12 United States
13 Nov 2007 9:23PM
Stunning image
wamp 11 276 8 England
13 Nov 2007 9:42PM
Waht a beautiful viewpoint Patrick, the colour and movement in the sky is very nice as are the many orange lights breaking up the land

PatrickSmith 13 1.2k 2 United States
13 Nov 2007 10:02PM
Thanks for your comments. It's been a busy day with no time for browsing, but I'll catch up soon!

Thanks Di, I may eventually do just that.

I like the movement too Sean. And it saevd the day from some bright patches from blowing out because the bright spots would move.

User_Removed 13 524 England
13 Nov 2007 10:08PM
I'd be tempted to lose some of that foreground Patrick. Looks a little scruffy and flat (in a colour sense) compared to the rest of the image, which has some fantastic colour, movement in the clouds and a very "big" view.
Possum 11 148 England
13 Nov 2007 10:30PM
Mouthwateringly good, from the soft earthy foreground colour to the light across the city. Beautiful work of such quality.
John_Horner 12 12 2 England
13 Nov 2007 11:09PM
Great sky and a lovely well composed scene Patrick. Great image.
keithh Plus
14 25.4k 33 Wallis And Futuna
13 Nov 2007 11:14PM
good one is this....not sure it needs that patch of scrub ground to the fore, it's less than attractive look doesn't sit right with the rest of the image which is spot on.
PatrickSmith 13 1.2k 2 United States
13 Nov 2007 11:29PM
Thanks for your comments!

Nik, perhaps when I desaturated it, the colours on the dead bracken ferns died too. They die back during the dry summer and new green shoots are coming out now. They are a brilliant red, so I may have to fix that.

Keith, it does look a bit scruffy. The bracken really are a bright red but I guess I lost the colour. Still, a more panoramic crop might be the way to go. LOL - Time to drag the panoramic head down the cliff!

ashley 14 167 1 United Kingdom
13 Nov 2007 11:34PM
nice colours and compoition

13 Nov 2007 11:35PM
An excellent shot, Patrick, and well worth the scramble. I love the top of the world viewpoint and would love to see it in person someday.
Have you been to the beach since the spill?
I was wondering if you can really notice it.
What a shame that had to happen.

13 Nov 2007 11:37PM
It's a beautiful image, I think Keith may have a point there, I would like to see one with a slightly longer lens though before making up my mind!
Great work again.

taggart Plus
13 47 13 United States
14 Nov 2007 12:19AM
Spectacular --Thanks for his unusual view-- Colors are great!

PatrickSmith 13 1.2k 2 United States
14 Nov 2007 3:26AM
Thanks Ash and Jennnn!

Eric, it can easily be seen and I have a shot of it which I may post later, I'm not sure. It will take years for fishing to be back to normal and many beaches are now off limits including the beach in the last upload.

Simon I did lots of experimentation including this one. But here I just quickly set up in the dark to get the amazing sky and pre-dawn light and make the bridge just a small part of the scene.

tepot 13 4.4k United Kingdom
14 Nov 2007 6:31AM
Great capture of the sky Pat, you caught the colours well here, also like the positioning of the san fran skyline over the bridge. the only way to get the correct exposure is guessing when it's enough then a quick glance at the lcd display and shoot again if necessary, i could never go back to film.

i do agree with Keith about the foreground but it is necessary in this shot for perspective, nice one.
Valerie1 10 68 Northern Ireland
14 Nov 2007 9:55AM
Great shot! Love the colours in the sky.
Kris76 10 Canada
14 Nov 2007 1:27PM
Beautiful shot Patrick. The sky looks amazing....
PatrickSmith 13 1.2k 2 United States
14 Nov 2007 1:55PM
Thanks for your comments!

Yes Terry, you have to guess. There is also a pano crop in this one for those that want less foreground and sky. I'll have to drag the pano head down the hill sometime.

Yep that's what to do I find the fg is too light and cropping it back would be better, the rest is just perfect Patrick another example of hard work proving the goods.

I guess there's a large corporate wall somewhere waiting for this image, go forth and sell...

All the very best
PatrickSmith 13 1.2k 2 United States
14 Nov 2007 3:05PM
Thanks Dougie. I'll be going for a panoramic crop, maybe a 1x2 ratio for my website on this one! But I'll still keep this full version since many like the big sky. This version makes me feel lilke I'm standing on this ridge.

javam 13 1.1k 19 United Kingdom
14 Nov 2007 4:14PM
Very happy to make it a century for this one, beautiful shot. Love the variety of textures in the foreground.

ChiliMan 11 135 17 Singapore
14 Nov 2007 4:41PM
This is really grand, Patrick. Is that you in your profile pic?? it Smile

PatrickSmith 13 1.2k 2 United States
14 Nov 2007 4:45PM
Thanks Neil!

Yes Andrew, it is me. People wanted to see a shot of me so I put one up - LOL! Admittedly in the pre-digital era so I took a shot of this print that my dad made.

49er 11 564
14 Nov 2007 4:49PM
Sorry for missing this yesterday..
Wonderful shot. Love the way you have included a strong FG.
colin 13 697 5 Scotland
14 Nov 2007 7:10PM
Hi Patrick, my initial reaction was too much foreground too, which detracts from the bridge and wonderful sky. Now having read the comments, it seems like a reasonable call amongst others too.
Still has the PS (Patrick Smith, not PhotoShop) hallmarks all over it.
glazzaro 13 70 23 United States
14 Nov 2007 8:14PM
Not a landscape person myself so can not comment on what some see, but I love landscapes even though I can not take them well. Saying that I find this shot incredible and for my own taste this shot is on the money and another Patrick original. I like the strong foreground because of the added depth it provides and you can appreciate how expansive the bridge is, and also how well the ground reaches up to meet the sky, as if to pull over a blanket, excellent work as always. Spot on! Click!!!

PatrickSmith 13 1.2k 2 United States
14 Nov 2007 9:37PM
No problem Edgar, I did see some squirrels but they are smaller than a pixel here!

True Colin, there are a few ways to shoot this scene. I have several different versions so I put up the overview. The good light lasted for a while for a change!

Greg Wrote:

Quote:Not a landscape person myself so can not comment

That would be remedied by a quick trip to the beach next time you are out here!

AngieLatham 13 790 2 United Kingdom
14 Nov 2007 10:12PM
Its rubbish

get to Glencoe Wink
14 Nov 2007 11:07PM
really is quite superb when viewed large,
PatrickSmith 13 1.2k 2 United States
15 Nov 2007 12:30AM
Thanks Steve!

LOL Angie, you buy the ticket and I'm there!

DaveU 12 1.4k 125 England
15 Nov 2007 7:58AM
I'm taking pity on you cos you've only got 111 clicks. This perhaps does'nt have the immediate "wow" factor of a lot of your landscapes but it is a "grower". Nice and natural looking with a beautiful sky.
paulsteds 13 123 England
15 Nov 2007 11:12AM
PatrickSmith 13 1.2k 2 United States
15 Nov 2007 2:47PM
Thanks Paul.

LOL Dave, it has only been up not quite two days. We will see. But it does have a wide panoramic view so the thumb does not stand out. The big version is much better!

wyatturp 12 2 England
15 Nov 2007 4:28PM
Nice work that man

Kevlar 12 161 3 United Kingdom
15 Nov 2007 5:10PM
As always - stunning.
proz 13 205 United States
15 Nov 2007 5:35PM
as always Patrick, consistently stunning. Very skilled imagemaker indeed.
Pegon 12 78 1 England
15 Nov 2007 7:46PM
A superb shot, excellent colours and composition. Looks fantastic viewed large on my new monitor.
robway 13 318 Wales
15 Nov 2007 8:01PM
What a groriuos sunrise. As ever, a superb composition.
PLCimagery 11 77 1 England
16 Nov 2007 9:57AM
Another great shot
Desh_M 13 397
16 Nov 2007 1:50PM
just one word: Awsome
PatrickSmith 13 1.2k 2 United States
16 Nov 2007 2:51PM
Thanks for dropping by! I won't be around much for the next week, but I'll have a browse when I can!

Hop-A-Long 11 52 1 England
17 Nov 2007 10:02AM
Fabulous image with excellent light.
chrissd 12 304 United Kingdom
18 Nov 2007 7:08AM
glorious shot Patrick, top image
Nigel_95 Plus
12 262 2 United Kingdom
19 Nov 2007 8:23PM
Sorry I'm late again Patrick. Wonderful sensation of depth and breadth in this shot. If you ever do make it to Scotland (and I would recommend it), be prepared for potentially awful weather, and pay no attention to weather forecasts.

pmorgan 11 217 13 England
19 Nov 2007 10:57PM
Exceptional as always!

Carabosse 15 41.0k 269 England
20 Nov 2007 12:55AM
Yet another stunner, Patrick - everyone else has said it all! Smile
AlanBW 12 20 England
21 Nov 2007 11:07AM
Top quality image as always
PatrickSmith 13 1.2k 2 United States
21 Nov 2007 6:18PM
Thanks for looking! I'm in LA right now but I have made some of my favourite photos on the way down, so stay tuned!

LOL Nigel, it is on my list.....

skydivemike 13 47 Northern Ireland
24 Nov 2007 3:26PM

Great image Patrick.

Glostopcat 12 255 2 England
26 Nov 2007 6:32PM
A stunning shot of this magnificent bridge Patrick, the colours and composition are perfect
Mavis Plus
16 143 2 England
6 Dec 2007 5:45AM
WOW what a scene !! Thanks for scrambling about in the dark to show such a rare scene. Just breath taking .My days of scrambling about in the dark are over . Smile xxx
PatrickSmith 13 1.2k 2 United States
6 Dec 2007 3:17PM
Thanks for stopping by! My scrambling days were almost over too!

rmr 10 1 Wales
6 Dec 2007 7:29PM
simply superb
kaybee 13 5.7k 25 Scotland
9 Dec 2007 10:22PM
You are mad.......that rock is really loose
MikeA 13 1.3k England
10 Dec 2007 6:48PM
A beauty Patrick, like the effect the long exposure has on the sky.

tepot 13 4.4k United Kingdom
27 Jul 2008 4:48AM
I just tried a pano crop on this by blocking the top and bottom with my hands, it works extremely well!

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