The Bay Bridge and SF (Revisited) by MattGranz

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The Bay Bridge and SF (Revisited) by 

This is my first HDR image. I combined three separate shots with different exposures (2 stops different each).

Last year right around this very time, a friend of mine and I agreed to see if we could capture an image of San Francisco from below the Bay Bridge. He had studied it out at length and so with the information he gathered, we made our plans. It took some nerves to do the task as that no one had done it before as far as we could tell (google image searches and such).

The result of that evening was a photo that I was very proud of, but that was less than my best effort, because of nerves and such all being at their ends while shooting the picture (not the most legal place to shoot from), plus the fact that I hadn’t shot at night many times before that evening.

Afterwards, many people have visited this spot and have come away with stunning images of sunsets and twilights. That was actually the goal for tonight, but the rain clouds came and offered a different scene. I like how this turned out however… a little softer and lighter due to the cloud cover.

This is also my first successful attempt to do an HDR image…

So, here without further ado, a year after the first picture was shot is my return to my favorite view of my favorite city. ~M@

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  • Erwin G. Kotzab
    Erwin G. Kotzabalmost 5 years ago

    Wow, perfect!

  • Thanks so much Erwin!

    – MattGranz

  • TomBaumker
    TomBaumkeralmost 5 years ago

    You did great. I love it. It will make a great 20 × 30 I bet it will be awsome framed….Tom

  • Thanks Tom! Actually it turned out soft in a large view, but looks good enough in the smaller sizes… I’m looking through my other photos to see if I can make a big one from one of them.

    – MattGranz

  • Daniel J. McCauley IV
    Daniel J. McCa...almost 5 years ago

    Beauty! Well worth the efforts! Excellent work, Matt!

  • Thanks Daniel!
    The only efforts are trying to keep out of sight of the local law enforcement and coast guard, and the treacherous hike back to the top on the loose dirt.

    – MattGranz

  • E.R. Bazor
    E.R. Bazoralmost 5 years ago

  • Y’know that I dig that group! Thanks so much ER!

    – MattGranz

  • Sherrie Chavez
    Sherrie Chavezalmost 5 years ago

    This is gorgeous! Underneath bridges are a whole other perspective!

  • Thanks Sherrie! I agree with you completely. This bridge looks awesome from every angle, but this one is my favorite because it is illegal…

    – MattGranz

  • Laurie Search
    Laurie Searchalmost 5 years ago

    You outlaw!!! LOL…This is fantastic…I don’t even know how you got down there!!! :)

  • I did it step by step… inch by inch… and even slid down the hillside towards the cold bay waters out of control a time or two… but the hardest part in all reality Laurie, is the climb back to the top. I was with some twenty somethings as well and couldn’t allow myself to be upstaged by them beating me to the top. Surprisingly, my legs don’t feel any pain from it in the least.

    – MattGranz

  • Vicki Ferrari
    Vicki Ferrarialmost 5 years ago

    (do they have secret cameras there that you didn’t know about Matt? Has anyone been looking for you lately?!! LOL )
    Fantastic photography and well worth the legs becoming numb, I would think!!:)))

  • Vicky… it’s funny that you should say that… y’know, last summer I went to shoot at sunset from this location and was chased off by the coast guard. So, that said, I’m on heightened awareness when I’m there now and so this time while shooting at night there were these strange flashes of light that would happen and my mind immediately went to that same thought you expressed. Turns out it was just one of the high powered street lights being covered every so often by a fleet of tour busses that would make it seem that a flash was happening when the light would become exposed between the busses in the caravan…
    Oddly, my legs didn’t suffer. Like I told Laurie, I was having to keep up with some kids 15 years my junior and I couldn’t let them show me up! I though “oh I’m gonna feel this tomorrow” but I guess I’m in better shape than I thought I was. If I had suffered pain after the shoot, it would have indeed been worth it however just as you said. Thanks for the comment! Have a great holiday season!

    – MattGranz

  • Mike Stone
    Mike Stonealmost 5 years ago

    Wow – fantastic. Have lived in the Bay Area my whole life and have seen a bazillion shots of the bridge and SF skyline, but never one this cleverly composed. Perfect exposure combining lights/glow/silhouette. Hope you’re proud of this one. Cheers!

  • This lesser seen view of the bridge and SF is starting to become more common. Thanks for the compliment. It’s one of my favorite places to shoot from.

    – MattGranz

  • Micci Shannon
    Micci Shannonalmost 5 years ago

    WOW! This is fantastic matt! You rock!

  • Thanks Micci. I really thought the night was going to be a wash because of the low, shapeless, formless clouds… goes to show, you should never pre judge a shoot.

    – MattGranz

  • Russ Styles
    Russ Stylesalmost 5 years ago

    Awesome stuff…well done…love the story behind it…

  • Thanks Russ! I’m happy to hear my story entertains in a good way. This is one of my favorite places to shoot, both for the images and stories it produces.

    – MattGranz

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