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Golden Golden Gate

Posted by
Stephen Phillips (San Francisco, United States) on 3 February 2009 in Miscellaneous and Portfolio.

A sailboat passes before the setting sun - center stage to this iconic bridge.

We started viewing some of my San Francisco images a month ago. Time to break away and get back to a wider posting of images. I promise to include more city images from time to time. This looked like a good image to close the show - for now.

[tomorrow]: Another Bridge

© copyright 2018 by Stephen Phillips Photography / Oakland, California /
please respect these rights - do not copy or use these images without permission.

Sugata from Newark, United States

Wow! Lovely photograph!

3 Feb 2009 5:11am

Suzanne from Huntington Bch, California, United States

Spectacular. I love the little sailboat in the sun.

3 Feb 2009 5:27am

@Suzanne: This was one of those instances where we 'make our luck'.

LeenaM from Joensuu, Finland


3 Feb 2009 5:54am

Steve Rice from Olympia, United States

Simply spectacular.

3 Feb 2009 6:06am

abdu from Calicut / Mangalore, India

Lovely moment... great work!

3 Feb 2009 6:11am

Scott Schilling from San Martin, United States

Stephen, that is an incredible image! wonderful work - to get the sailboat in front of the sun - did you hire that sailboat owner?? simply beautiful.

3 Feb 2009 6:48am

@Scott Schilling: Well - I am amused by the notion of hiring the skipper. Frankly, right now I couldn't afford to pay a drunk to moon me in front of his dinghy.

No, this was one of those clear examples of sometimes 'making our luck'. I was over in the East Bay (Pinole) that day and could see it was going to be an impressive sunset. The traffic on I-80 was its usual terrible crawl and I started calculating that if I got off at golden Gate Fields (race track) - the sun might just line up with the center of the Golden Gate.

I also knew there was lots of room behind the track to move up and down the shoreline with the car to get to that spot. My fortunes improved too, in that the spot where the sun would center was at the highest point on the bluff behind the track - giving me some elevation. I got out and got the 70-200 mm telephoto lens coupled with the 1.4x extender and on the tripod.It was then that I saw the sailboat moving along at a really fast clip. I ran to get in position and click. One shot. This was it. If I had a little more time - I would have zoomed back a little to get a bit more of the southern shore leading to the bridge (from the left). But as it was - framed and sharp - I'll take it.

Alun Lambert from cheshire, United Kingdom

very nice shot, love the little boat by the sun

3 Feb 2009 6:50am

Doug from Long Beach, United States

Excellent symmetry, especially with how the line of the corona hits just about equally along the suspension curves on the bridge.

3 Feb 2009 7:26am

@Doug: Thanks, Doug - I did get 'lucky' here.

Mike from Lichfield, United Kingdom

I've really enjoyed the series, thanks for posting them. Regarding your sunset picture, the sun looks so big. I presume that has something to do with the amount of zoom and how far away from the bridge you were. Wonderful sunset and beautifully framed.

3 Feb 2009 8:04am

@Mike: I was on a bluff about 13 meters (40 feet) above the bay in Albany, California. This spot is approximately 16.6 km (10.3 miles) from the Golden Gate Bridge. Canon XTi with Canon 70-200mm f/2.8 IS lens: ISO 100 - f/4.5 - 1/500th second. ( IS=off - tripod mounted )

djedfre from schaumburg, United States

that's a pretty classic shot! (nice of 'em to build those big structures for us photographers!) great stuff!

3 Feb 2009 8:39am

@djedfre: Amen on the big structures! ...and thanks.

Marie LC from Voiron, France

Lovely moment. Love sun just under Golden Gate

3 Feb 2009 8:52am

k@ from France

The perfect postacard with U'r touch - what a wondrous ideal framing with the eye of the sun and that boat at their very place*

3 Feb 2009 9:58am

@k@: Thanks and greetings to you, k@ - kind of an odd shape for a postcard but I appreciate the comment. I'll have to letter-box the image and create some text around it. 'Greetings from sunny San Francisco !' That will give the tourists something to buy while they're freezing in the summer fog.

Anthony Lambert from Bielefeld, Germany

Fan bloody tastic !!!!
It doesn´t get better than this

3 Feb 2009 10:10am

@Anthony Lambert: greatly appreciated, Anthony.

Ron from Saint Louis, United States

Iconic, Stephen ...

3 Feb 2009 11:16am

@Ron: Ron - thanks - and I gotta ask - have you ever been to - "1111 Mississippi" - ???

Alain Berger - vu@granby from Granby, Québec, Canada

Beautiful ! Great image !

3 Feb 2009 12:02pm

Francesc B. from région parisienne, France

Fantastic sunset !! excellent panoramic...and beautiful symmetry.

3 Feb 2009 12:06pm

@Francesc B.: Thanks ever so much, Francesc.

Marcie from United States

If I told you that I actually gasped when I saw this..would you believe me? Quite literally breath-taking. WOW!

3 Feb 2009 12:22pm

@Marcie: Thank you ever so much, Marcie.

vu@granby - Wolfgang from Granby, Québec, Canada

This is material for a great poster!

3 Feb 2009 1:52pm

Susan from Pompano Beach, FL, United States

This is a wonderful way to close the show!!! Did you really catch that sail boat going by, just as the sun was at that perfect spot?????

3 Feb 2009 2:46pm

@Susan: Thanks, Susan - and yes I did. (See my note to Scott Schilling)

Mirko Herzner from Mühlheim am Main, Germany

Thanks for this wonderful SF series, Stephen. A worthy shot to end with. Amazing colours and the perfect moment. I would have cropped this little pylon at the left.... But that's just a tiny detail! Wonderful!

3 Feb 2009 4:16pm

peter from new york, United States

wow. frame this and put it on a wall. stunning shot!

3 Feb 2009 4:18pm

willow from Chelsea, United States

That's incredible - a fitting finale. I'll miss SF, but looking forward to the next adventure. Thanks for your suggestions the past couple of days. B&W is completely new territory for me so I need all the help I can get.

3 Feb 2009 5:49pm

@willow: Thanks, willow.

Paco Díaz from Palma de Mallorca, Spain

Incredible beautiful sunset. You were there as a hunter waiting for your prey :)
until you catched it; the ship crossing the sun! The colors are great as the composition and the quality of the image. I would put it in large size in front of my desk.
This is a perfect ending (and I am the first that thanks you for the series, wanting more from time to time)
Thanks, Stephen.

3 Feb 2009 6:35pm

Chris from South Jersey, United States

how wonderful that everything lined up for you so nicely with the bridge, sun, and sailboat!! A wonderfully warm shot....

3 Feb 2009 7:11pm

@Chris: Thank you, Chris.

Aaron W. Strasburg from Riverside, United States

Beautiful composition, great looking sunset.

3 Feb 2009 7:29pm

Liang from San Francisco, United States

very nice stephen. you timed it perfectly to get this one!

3 Feb 2009 8:27pm

Tony Duque from Raleigh, United States

An absolutely wonderful shot, SP! Amazing how little of a reflection there was in the water... and how the sailboat there was still nicely visible. This looks like a perfect vantage point and atmospherics that would favor capturing a green flash, too. Thanks for sharing your good fortune and skill!

3 Feb 2009 8:56pm

@Tony Duque: Thank you, Tony. I've never seen a 'green flash' though I've spoken to some who have. There was simply too much 'chop' in the water that day to get any reflection.

Calusarus from St Sorlin en Valloire, France

Beautiful ! With this sailing boat in the middle…

3 Feb 2009 9:06pm

Yonatan from Bronx, United States

What a beautiful shot. I read your explanation of the shot and am truly impressed. When I shot my Orchard Beach sunset pictures I must have been firing away for 30 minutes.

3 Feb 2009 10:27pm

@Yonatan: I took several more here - but that sailboat was gone and nothing measured up to having it there. I am so very glad I had time to focus. Thanks.

Twelvebit from Victoria, United States

Wish I still had my sail boat.

3 Feb 2009 11:37pm

Cricket from Huntsville, United States

This is perfect timing. Great capture.

4 Feb 2009 12:01am

hugo poon from hong kong, Hong Kong

Such a magical scene and moment you've captured... so beautiful yet looking at it one knows very well that it'll be gone in just a minute... A perfect picture to end the show (for now). Thanks again Stephen for this wonderful series.

4 Feb 2009 12:37am

@hugo poon: Thanks, Hugo - I wish I had the luxury of a full minute - this boat went by in a one-chance flash...

Observing from West Cheshire, United Kingdom

I think the word Majestic will do...!

4 Feb 2009 12:40am

grant from kansas city, United States

thanks for the tour, and what a finale!

4 Feb 2009 12:50am

@grant: thanks, Grant - it mean a lot.... !

Girish from Montebello, United States

Steve, Me and family just moved in to Montebello in the Los Angeles county 4 months back from San Francisco. I miss this city very badly even now and I have fond memories of numerous times we have gone near this bridge, on way to Sausalito, Alcatraz, those morning jogs from the Ferry Terminal to Pier 39 and back. Fantastic Capture and an apt description for this pulsating City!...Once Again a BIG THANK YOU for this pic.

4 Feb 2009 1:16am

@Girish: Good luck to you down in the Southland, Girish - we will keep the lights on for you to visit at every chance.

Walter from Watkinsville, United States

That lady luck seems to follow you around everywhere. I mean one shot and poof, you have the photo most dream of. Keep that kind of luck going. (although I am betting its a lot like taping a fishing show. 3 days of fishing to show 3 caught fish. lol) Very nicely done and one to be proud of. FYI, been reading up on lightroom with Scott Kelby and beginning to apply as I now begin working on the computer with the book in hand. Wow, great program.

4 Feb 2009 3:00am

@Walter: Thanks, Walter - it is good to see that you're spending your time productively. I'm looking forward to seeing where your imagery goes. Best always...

EYES WIDE SHUT from United Kingdom

I'm still laughing at your comment regarding the drunk, mooning you on a dinghy!

This is one of those dream shots, simply awesome, Stephen. Everything comes together in perfect harmony and appeals universally. Absolutely incredible, and brilliantly captured.

4 Feb 2009 4:43am

@EYES WIDE SHUT: You may have been the only one who caught that little dinghy - thanks. Big smile...

Diane Schuller from Hythe, Canada

what a spectacular capture! Having the wind surfer in the image in line with the sun -- wow. But I must remark on the succinct colours of the blue of the water in the foreground (not darkened or blacked out from exposure) yet the rich sunset above the horizon line -- that is great exposure. Wonderful work and a pleasure to view.

4 Feb 2009 4:49am

narcís from Girona, Catalunya, Spain

Senzillament esplèndida, Stephen!!!

4 Feb 2009 7:01pm

Lesley from Lincoln, United States

Stunning shot. And what great timing. Any green flash afterward? ;)

5 Feb 2009 12:09am

@Lesley: None noted, thank you...

Eleftheria from Athens, Greece

Amazing light and colors.

5 Feb 2009 3:02pm

GJC from Kyoto, Japan

How impressive. Thanks for sharing.

7 Feb 2009 12:52pm

yz from Budapest, Hungary

wow, sell it for a postcard, you'll make a lot of money with it :)

7 Feb 2009 1:13pm