This past week the hoopla in San Francisco was swirling around the Golden Gate Bridge as she turned 75. Crowds gathered to commemorate this architectural marvel with tributes, parties and fireworks. The towers and cables were bathed in memories and celebrations. But for me it is the almost daily dance of the fingers of fog under and over the bridge that best partners with the bridge to showcase her beauty.
The overlook on the north side (Marin) of the bridge is the most tour visited vista so I avoid stopping there for the view or a photo op. But today it was the place to be. The early morning rays and the position of the fog only lasted long enough to get out of the car, set up and make a couple of captures of our iconic span.
Since it opened in 1937, more than two-billion vehicles have crossed the 1.7-mile-long bridge named after the Golden Gate Strait, the entrance to the San Francisco Bay from the Pacific Ocean.
Using a 200 mm lens the two Art Deco towers appear closer to each other than they actually are (compression). One tower was in sunshine and one tower (South) disappearing into the fog. I wanted to give the impression that perhaps the bridge comes to an abrupt end in mid air causing us to wonder if there is any thing else hued in “International Orange” beyond our view.
The Golden Gate Bride was the most famous project of the Morrow and Morrow architectural firm of the 1930s. Yes, one of those Morrows was Gertrude, although she did not get credited for her consulting work in the design of the bridge with her husband and consulting engineer Joseph Strauss. (See Early Women Architects of the San Francisco Bay Area by Inge Schaeffer Horton)
It is about this time of year that the grasses and shrubs on the hills, in Marin County and at the San Francisco entrance to the bridge, begin to turn golden. But the wildflowers that are usually waning are still plentiful. The yellows are normally just coming into their own in the summer months. Two very accessible and bountiful wildflower blooms are found along the road in the Marin Headlands and the parking at Lands End Lookout.
A new find for me is the Fitch’s Spikeweed whose bud tips are “International Orange.” The beautiful defused light in the fog is perfect for photographing wild flowers. I did add a little fill light to this shot by simply using the pop-up flash on my Canon 7D with a 100 mm macro lens. If I were any closer the flash would not make it over the lens to the subject. (In that case come back on a day that isn’t windy – good luck at finding a calm day!) Although, with all this beauty – the calm really begins from within.