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Sea Cliff at Dawn

Posted by
Stephen Phillips (San Francisco, United States) on 1 July 2010 in Cityscape & Urban and Portfolio.

The full moon is about to vanish from view near center. (the larger view shows this better)

Larger view and map link:

Just west of the narrows where the famous bridge spans the Golden Gate - the Gate widens rapidly and the San Francisco shoreline drops sharply south-southwest away from its northern shore. The soft sands along this stretch form Baker Beach - a favorite destination rain, fog, or shine. It becomes a mob scene on those days when it actually gets warm here. The beach affords a beautiful view of the Marin Headlands to the north - and of course - of The Golden Gate Bridge.

Here - we are at the west end of the beach - facing west. The distant rock at far right - protruding from the water - marks the place where 'The Gate' gives way to open ocean. The homes above these cliffs are among the most expensive on earth - the views are breathtaking.

The east end of Baker Beach is designated as 'clothing optional'. It is the only nude beach within the city limits of a major city in the United States so far as I know. Let me know if you know of any other.

Fabulous minus tides occur when we get a full or new moon. During those tides - it is possible to walk below these cliffs. You can see from the darker waterlines on the lower rocks how far up the surf covered this granite just 6 hours earlier. A model shoot is what lured us to this place and time. Our activity was at the far west edge of the beach (and beyond). We were technically in violation of some regulations I'm sure.

Our good fortune was a mild morning with no fog - a somewhat rare phenomenon around the Golden Gate this time of year. We took full advantage - shooting amongst the clams, muscles, starfish and sea anemones. There are also several caves along here that rarely expose their sand floors. We had a blast. I'll post one of our images from this session next Tuesday.

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

Alun from cheshire, United Kingdom

I love the reflections in the water

1 Jul 2010 5:37am

ordinaryimages from Kentucky Bluegrass, United States

Well there's always Blacks Beach [aka bareass beach] in San Diego right below the cliff's of Torrey Pines, and a favorite of the camera crews perched high in their golf tournament broadcast towers. Hey Chet...I got a bogey down there. best...jf

1 Jul 2010 6:40am

@ordinaryimages: Thanks for the report on San Diego's beach options - good to know. My planning staff is on this. Meanwhile, up there in the broadcast perch...

I'm guessing he has a pair of bogeys down there for Chet. Is that David up there in the tower? The Nightly News would have finally toppled Walter with this 'in-depth' undercover reporting. Jerry - have you managed to launch your new web-presence? You have me curious about where you're going with your next chapter...

Philip from JoBurg, South Africa

I can imagine how expensive the homes are there but there again what a view it must be :)

1 Jul 2010 9:19am

Marie LC from France

water is a mirror extraordinary !

1 Jul 2010 9:37am

Tamara from Aarschot, Belgium

Lovely ! The reflections are so beautiful... just a mirror ! What an incredible view they must have from these houses. Very nice capture Stephen :)

1 Jul 2010 1:55pm

JPS from Le Havre, France

What this horror in concrete ???

1 Jul 2010 2:37pm

tataray from france, France

Magnifiques reflets ...
Et au loin un beau paysage.

1 Jul 2010 3:41pm

Phil David Alexander Morris from Canada

I can see why the homes here above the cliffs are so prized, what a trip !

1 Jul 2010 3:48pm

sherri from Little Rock, Arkansas, United States

Only the best for the best:-) The reflection here is really amazing.

1 Jul 2010 4:12pm

k@ from Paris, France

The 'texture' of water here is just amazing, love your angle too, Stephen. Dreamy & intriguing

1 Jul 2010 4:44pm

JJ from Jersey City, United States

Such an interesting shot with the water and reflections and such a range of colors on land

1 Jul 2010 6:37pm

Denny Jump Photo from Easton, PA, United States

This is a great and rare look - really very nice. Thank you.

1 Jul 2010 8:46pm

Susan from Fort Lauderdale, FL, US from Fort Lauderdale, FL, United States

Very cool perspective here.......but try as I might, even on the large image.....can't see that full moon anywhere.....are my eyes failing me??

1 Jul 2010 10:53pm

@Susan from Fort Lauderdale, FL, US: With the 16mm lens - it is small, Susan - just above what I'm guessing is the bathroom window of that yellow house just right of center.

Tracy from La Selva Beach, United States

Great perspective! I have driven through that neighborhood....Impressive to say the least!

2 Jul 2010 12:35am

Susan from Fort Lauderdale, FL, US from Fort Lauderdale, FL, United States

Ahhhhh, now that you've said exactly where it is....I DO see that little dot!!!!! thanks for not making me think I was losing my eyesight, again !!! (a few years ago, at 50......thought i was going blind....turns out, cataracts in both eyes, and bad ones......I'd never even thought my problem was cataracts, cause i thought only 'old" people get them!! doc said sun down here causes them earlier.....2 surgeries, and just like new again!!)

2 Jul 2010 12:37am

Becky from los angeles, United States

Absolutely beautiful! Soft sweet colors on the coast.

2 Jul 2010 2:21am

yz from Budapest, Hungary

cool angle and reflection

2 Jul 2010 9:33am

Anthony Morgan Lambert from Bielefeld(old West Wales boy), Germany

I love the reflections on the water and its a great bit of compo too !!

2 Jul 2010 5:01pm

Bethany from Michigan, United States

The little bit of water over the sand provides an interesting version of a reflection.

3 Jul 2010 2:50pm