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San Francisco's The Bay Lights  by fototaker
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Rain was forecast for the Grand Lighting of the BayLights on the San Francisco Bay Bridge 6 March 2013, and it did rain!! As usual I showed up where I wanted to observe and record the BayLights. Two hours I remained there as high wind blew like crazy and after thinking the wind could affect the images’ quality, I decided to move a mere 30mins before the lights would come on! I moved toward the Ferry Building but everywhere was jammed with huge crowds. I moved through many crowds till Pier 14 and walked along the Embarcadero seawall where the high tide combined with the gusting winds slapped the churning water against the seawall in a heavy splash which would sometimes reach up to 16.3 feet over the heads of the gathered spectators! I finally found a spot and stayed till 10pm, but the rain started just minutes before the Grand lighting but it was enjoyed by everyone. The rain continued nonstop till I departed, then fell as light showers. It was a great night!
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The great City of San Francisco has two major bridges which consists of the San Francisco – Oakland Bay Bridge (SF-side being from Yerba Buena Island west to SF and the Oakland-side being that portion that extends eastward from Yerba Buena Island to Oakland), and the Golden Gate Bridge which connects the city of San Francisco to Marin County in the north. Construction of the bay bridge began July 8, 1933 and was completed November 12, 1936.

The work to construct the Golden Gate Bridge was begun January 5, 1933 and lasted till April 19, 1937, with the bridge actually opening on May 27, 1937. Though the Bay Bridge finished many months before the Golden Gate Bridge, it’s always been – in my sincere opinion – in the shadow of its younger more colorful “brother”. Much attention goes to the Golden Gate Bridge whereas the only attention that goes to the months-older Bay Bridge is only when traffic is bad or accidents occur. It is great to see that now with TheBayLights art project by internationally-known LED-light artist Leo Villareal the Bay Bridge will finally get its due respect and shining moment! The official lighting ceremony is Tuesday night of March 5th, 2013, and then continue lighting up the Bay Bridge each day afterward during the night from dusk till 2am.

In this image the fog had started to come in through the Golden Gate as it usually does. Within another 30 mins, this scene would change from completely gray as the fog was thick and blanketed everything and not even the citylights of the City would shine through, to small wisps of fog creeping slowly through the image as you see here. When I left finally after 36 mins after this scene was recorded, nothing could be seen – it was truly a pea-soup of heavy fog!

Interesting information for you technie-types who want/must know everything about TheBayLights project, as described at the project’s website
• 1.8 MiLes: length of TheBayLighTs from end to end (about 26.4 football fields)
• 12 inches: space between individual LED lights in strand mounted on each cable
• 500 feeT: height of the installation to the tallest point
• 300: number of vertical cables on the bridge that will be fitted with LED lights
• 240 feeT: length of the longest bridge cable
• 2 feeT: length of the shortest bridge cable
• 728: number of power and data boxes used in the light sculpture system
• 100,000 feeT: linear feet of cable for power, fiber and Cat 5 wires in the system
• $8 MiLLion: total cost of the project to make TheBayLighTs a reality
• 50 MiLLion: estimated number of people dazzled by The Bay LighTs during its two-year presence

American freelance artistic photographer with a magic-box. Cloud-chaser, sunset seeker, luna-lover and always looking up and down with my eyes and lens.

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