Recently I wrote a post titled NOT MY KIND OF EXCITEMENT in which I told the story of an automobile accident. Today I’m telling a story of the kind of excitement I do enjoy. Many of my readers know I have a business of making note cards from my flower photos. This is a story about the creation of one of my cards from a sunset shot.
I have a customer in Marin County. In case you don’t know, Marin is what lies on the north side of the Golden Gate Bridge from San Francisco. One day this customer asked me if I would create some cards with “local color” such as photos of the Golden Gate Bridge. I wasn’t enthused by the idea. There’s a ton of that available already, much if not most of it better than I can produce. If I was willing to make pilgrimage after pilgrimage to the bridge and places from where it can be viewed to good advantage, day after day, month after month, at all times of day, hire helicopters and small planes to fly me around and around, slave laboriously over the resulting photos editing them, well, then eventually I’d have some great shots, I’m sure. It would be a losing proposition, however, because even if I took all that time, went to all that trouble and expense, I don’t have a market large enough to earn but a small fraction of the investment back, nor am I ever likely to.
I did however decide to drive up to the top of the Berkeley hills (I live in Berkeley) about sunset and shoot a silhouette of Mount Tamalpais thinking that I would composite in a really nice sunset sky I’d shot previously while in Death Valley. Mt. Tam, as the locals call it, is in Marin, my customer’s business in it’s shadow, and there’s a decent view of it from the hilltop in Berkeley. I thought she’d be interested in some cards of this view.
As sunset approached late one afternoon–funny it always seems to come after late afternoon…go figure–I drove up to Grizzly Peak Blvd. which runs along the ridge line of the east bay hills. I wasn’t expecting anything other than to carry out the first part of my plan which was to shoot the silhouette of Mt Tam. The sun sets to the west of the mountain, so it’s in silhouette at that time of day. However, much to my absolute glee I was greeted by what was perhaps the most magnificent sunset I have ever seen in my life. I was literally jumping for joy at the spectacular colors. At one point it almost seemed as if both the sky and the San Francisco Bay in which it was reflected were on fire. Man oh man of man oh man.