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Flight Above The Gate

Posted by
Stephen Phillips (San Francisco, United States) on 29 August 2009 in Miscellaneous and Portfolio.

This photographer is grateful for the presence of this solo goose - flying through the frame at just this moment.

Archival image: September 2006
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© copyright 2018 by Stephen Phillips Photography / Oakland, California /
please respect these rights - do not copy or use these images without permission.

yz from Budapest, Hungary

excellent shot, fantastic

29 Aug 2009 6:25am

hugo poon from hong kong, Hong Kong

What an enchanting and soothing image my dear! How wonderful that sunset will happen again and again, yet it will never become a stale repetition... thanks for sharing this magical moment that has been captured in the most beautiful way!

29 Aug 2009 6:35am

@hugo poon: Thanks most kindly for these thoughtful words. My business; 'Stephen Phillips Photography' - is subtitled 'The Joy of Light' and this is one of those images that really embodies that notion to me.

Magda from Vancouver, Canada

Absolutely breathtaking!!! LOVE IT!

29 Aug 2009 6:44am

Dulcie from Danville, CA, United States

Right place at the right time.
Nice of you to acknowledge the goose....where would photographers be without them? ;-)
This is a glorious sunset behind a glorious bridge. Wonderful shot.

29 Aug 2009 7:03am

Paco Díaz from Palma de Mallorca, Spain

... and above the sun :)
Beautifully done, great atmosphere and colors. Congrats.

29 Aug 2009 7:34am

Mirko Herzner from Mühlheim am Main, Germany

Well Stephen... What bad could we say about this shot? Absolutely stunnind presentatioon of photographic skill. A dreamy view here...

29 Aug 2009 7:38am

Giovanni from Milan, Italy

Stunning capture Stephen! Love the composition and the tones!

29 Aug 2009 8:40am

Betty from Phillipsburg, United States


29 Aug 2009 12:17pm

bluechameleon from Vancouver, Canada

Wow...these colours are just breathtaking. The bird flying through the frame is such a bonus...beautiful!

29 Aug 2009 1:26pm

Chris from South Jersey, United States

nothing like good timing......great shot - love the postiion of the bird over the bridge and of course those colors are stunning....

29 Aug 2009 2:02pm

Calusarus from St Sorlin en Valloire, France

5 stars for this perfect one

29 Aug 2009 2:10pm

Tony Duque from Raleigh, United States

Love the way the goose is between that little cloud and the sun... stacks those interesting elements. Even with out the bird, the picture is a real beauty... definitely Blue Ribbon stuff, Stephen! Wonderful textural contrasts... and the color of the water is quite different and really special. Thanks for sharing your terrific archival image with us!

29 Aug 2009 2:29pm

@Tony Duque: Bless you Tony for these generous words - thank you.

Evelyne Dubos from Le Mans, France

Hello Stephen, i'm back with the eyes full of wonders of nature... and a lot of pictures... :-)
Very nice with these warm colors and the bird makes the shot, indeed.

29 Aug 2009 3:50pm

Viewfinder from Bradenton, FL, United States

Isn't it great the way sometimes nature deals you aces? Nicely archived; thanks for sharing this one.

29 Aug 2009 3:59pm

@Viewfinder: Indeed - though I do think that with observation, anticipation, and patience - we can sometimes create our 'luck'.

MARIANA from Waterloo, Canada

BEAUTIFULLY done . Colors are super !

29 Aug 2009 4:03pm

mirela from brighton, United States

splendid shades of orange and purple, what a lovely shot!

29 Aug 2009 4:36pm

susan from Fort Lauderdale, FL, United States

Wow Stephen.....after seeing an "internet slideshow" yesterday, from the "autistic german photographer"...if i didn't know you, and wasn't familiar with your "work ethic"..... I would have sworn that this image was photoshop genius......But to know it's natural, gives me hope that there are still times when miraculous shots can be taken simply with a camera....with no "digital interference" !! This one, which again, includes my favorite bridge, gets a big 5 stars from me today!!!

29 Aug 2009 4:56pm

@susan: Hi Susan - my hope is that this doesn't disillusion you, but I must give solid credit to the Adobe Photoshop­™ people for there help in this image. The sunset, place, and the goose are all real and in real time. Put I did separate the image into two halves - processing the sections above and below the horizon as two distinct layers. Otherwise - the sun into the camera would have left the lower portion black with no detail at all.

I don't see this as significantly different than burning and dodging - which has always been used in classic photography. Where there is a difference - it is much to the modern photographers advantage - starting with the precision that can be brought to the process.

I was mentored by one of my father's best friends - a world renowned photographer named Hamilton Poole.
He was huge in my growth around both the darkroom and camera. As a young teenager - he would have me lug his heavy tripod through the docks of the Baltimore shipyards. I was of use to him as he was getting up in years and no doubt appreciated my being his pack animal. But I was deeply honored as he would spend much patient time explaining why he did every step with the light meter, film choice, lens, angle, and all the rest. He would also let me use his 4x5 view cameras. I am forever indebted for his teachings.

One day - Hamilton pointed out a photo that hung in his living room. He had (to his credit) spent three nights producing the print. He proudly pointed out that the ducks in the image came from a lampshade over a lamp just a few feet away. I couldn't help feeling 'cheated' somehow. All of this to say - I know exactly what you're expressing here.

I hold with those who suggest that a really good photographer's greatest asset is patience. The anticipation of a great moment and the willingness to set-up the gear and wait for the clouds - the light to 'happen' before the lens. (and not be disappointed should the moment fail to materialize).

Shahryar from Isfahan, Iran

Great capture :)
Beautiful shot .

30 Aug 2009 11:42am

Mags from Paris, France

Simply beautiful :)

30 Aug 2009 12:10pm

Daniel from Kenmare, United States


30 Aug 2009 3:39pm

susan from United States

Stephen, You did not disillusion me at all.....i was only speaking of the placement of the sun, bridge and especially the goose....any other work that you put into this, with photoshop's help, doesn't really qualify ,to me , as "manipulation"....processing exposure, and the like, as far as i'm concerned, is the same as what we used to do in the darkroom with the developing and printing process that I used to do with my dad, in the basement, in the darkroom he built. I envy you, your experience with Hamilton Poole, and as you and I both now know.....a great shot like yours is well worth waiting for......Patience is certainly a virtue, and so is a bit of good luck!!! Seems that you are blessed with both!! Thanks for sharing that story about the ducks in Hamilton's image !!!

30 Aug 2009 6:39pm

Kaveh from Abadan, Iran

Nice composition & colores & ligting & feeling

30 Aug 2009 9:27pm

flyingwind风飞扬 from Bridgetown, Barbados

Different scene and style!!! Love it so much! Congratulations!!!

30 Aug 2009 11:36pm

@flyingwind风飞扬: Thank you - flyingwind (I love the name) - your kind words are appreciated

Magda from Vancouver, Canada

Congratulations on the Spotlight!!!! Well deserved!!! Fabulous work :))

31 Aug 2009 12:44am

@Magda: Thank you, Magda. I never sign-out of AM3 so rarely see the home page - I had no idea about 'Flight' being the spotlight image until I read your post. I am humbled and honored and appreciate your 'heads-up'.

grant from kansas city, United States


31 Aug 2009 2:53am

Rags from Plano, United States


31 Aug 2009 5:34am

Eleftheria from Athens, Greece

Wow! Congratulations! You are on the spotlight!

31 Aug 2009 5:52am

Steve Rice from Olympia, United States

Congratulations on the spotlight! This is really lovely.

31 Aug 2009 7:13am

Andrew Gould from Sydney, Australia

An extraordinary image. Beautifully presented. Congratulations on being spotlighted with this one on am3!

31 Aug 2009 7:29am

Sriram from Chennai, India

Perfect timings!! Beautiful tones!! Amazing shot! Congrats!

31 Aug 2009 9:41am


really nice

31 Aug 2009 12:14pm

dj.tigersprout from New York City, United States

ooh! this is SPECTACULAR Stephen!! wow! amazing color, amazing timing -- amazing clouds!!! this really is the GOLDEN gate!!

31 Aug 2009 2:33pm

dj.tigersprout from New York City, United States

oh -- and just saw this on the SPOTLIGHT!!! CONGRATS Stephen!!! faaabulously done!!! :D

31 Aug 2009 4:23pm

Marie LC from Voiron, France

Félicitations pour ton spotlight largement mérité. Ce coucher de soleil est magnifique !

1 Sep 2009 6:42am

Marzia from ., Italy

wonderful shot

2 Sep 2009 7:30am

Yonatan from Bronx, United States

Beautiful moment, wonderful capture!

2 Sep 2009 5:41pm

Ramin from Tehran, Afghanistan

Beautiful colors and scence

5 Sep 2009 8:04am

Expose from Tehran, Iran

Stunning capture Stephen! Bravo.

5 Sep 2009 12:54pm

Gary Hart from California, United States

Beautiful shot, Stephen. I enjoy these vicarious visits as I just don't seem to make it to The City enough these days (no more than every month or two, it seems). This shot is a treat, but I particularly enjoy the little neighborhood scenes that capture San Francisco's unique appeal. Thanks for sharing.

7 Sep 2009 5:35pm

@Gary Hart: Thanks Gary - I used to live near here - Coit Tower was out our kitchen window and I miss the neighborhood. Great memories.