Sunset Over San Francisco

Sunset over San Francisco Bay & Mt. Tam
Mount Tamalpais to the west, across the San Francisco Bay as seen from the Berkeley Hills, January 17 or 18, 2013. This isn’t the most spectacular shot from that night, but it’s still one of my favorites. Click on it to enlarge.

I always try to include at least one really nice photo as a lead-in to my posts so as to catch the eye and raise interest in reading further. Today, I’m using one of my favorites of the San Francisco Bay Area. I’ll tell you why I chose this particular photo for this post but first I think you might find the back-story of its making of interest.

One of my customers, a business in Marin County, CA is a gift store that has sold some of my note cards. (If you don’t already know I make a line of fine-art note cards with my awesome-if-I-do-say-so-myself flower photos.) The proprietress asked me if I’d consider making some cards for her with “local color”, shots of the bay area. I decided I’d try at least one.

To make the image for this card I thought I would go up to the top of the east bay hills at sunset and shoot a silhouette of Mt. Tamalpais across the San Francisco Bay to the west, then composite-in a sunset I liked that I’d photographed some years ago in Death Valley. That was my plan, anyway, because we don’t get that many spectacular sunsets around here. When I arrived at the top of the hills to shoot my the mountain silhouette, however, what I just happened to stumble upon that evening was one of the most amazing, if not the most amazing sunset I’d ever seen. When I say that I’m including all the sunsets of my life, not just those in the Bay Area. I was beside myself with excitement, literally jumping up and down with glee. The lead shot for this post is one that resulted from my shooting that night. So, no need to do any photo compositing or image enhancement after all.

This shot reveals why I wrote that this was the most spectacular sunset I've seen in all my years. In the murky, dark, horizontal strip it's possible to make out the Golden Gate Bridge as well as Alcatraz.
This shot reveals why I wrote that this was the most spectacular sunset I’ve seen in all my years. In the murky, dark, horizontal strip it’s possible to make out the Golden Gate Bridge as well as Alcatraz.

Now, as to the reason I chose it for this post, it’s because I thought it quite appropriate—as the sun set over the San Francisco Bay Area that night, so it has recently set on my year and a half adventure of traveling America in my motorhome. That adventure is now behind me, which isn’t to say that I won’t have other RVing adventures in the future—I’m already contemplating the purchase of a 5th wheel RV, but that won’t be until at least next spring or summer, if at all.

As year end approaches and we plan our holiday get-togethers with family and friends and our farewells to 2015, let me take this opportunity to wish to you and yours greetings of the season and a happy and healthy 2016.

Meanwhile, should you have any additional, last minute shopping to do via or any shopping with Amazon in the future, please bookmark and use this link. I’ll get a little credit when you do and it won’t cost you anything more. Thanks. (My Amazon link is always available via the navigation menu at the top of all pages on the blog.)

Passion Flower
One of my flower note-card shots. Passion flowers like this one grow on vines, and there are about 10 varieties growing within walking distance of my apartment in Berkeley, CA. One right next door produces an edible fruit, a yellow banana passion fruit which reminds me in taste of a grapefruit. They are just amazing flowers. I mean, look at it. Wow!

10 thoughts on “Sunset Over San Francisco”

  1. Thank you for your well wishes and this beautiful sunset photo. My evening walks on Inspiration point and Cezar Chavez park near the Berkeley Marina have also shown me lovely, still and quieting sunsets. Not necessarily spectacular, but very very lovely anyway. Your photos have inspired me to get a new camera! I also wish you a very happy holiday season and a healthy adventurous (fun kind) 2016! With lots of lovely clouds and sunsets to photograph and flowers too of course!!! : )

  2. Absolutely Beautiful. I clicked on both sunsets and would not enlarge for me. The flower did though.
    On my trip to CA in 2012, brother and friend and I did Bridge and Jail.
    Leave Jan. 15th for parts south and beyond, full time that is. Hopefully our paths will cross again.
    Safe travels and have a Healthy New Year.

    1. Sorry about the pics not enlarging. My bad. WordPress changed the interface requiring an extra step of which I was unaware. I’ve corrected things on my blog, but I can’t correct the emails I’ve already sent out, of course.

  3. I do remember your blog on buying cameras. I had an old point and shoot that no longer works and seems to cost more to fix than to get a new one. I have been using my i-phone camera-very practical, but I’m frustrated at not being able to zoom in closer to my subjects and not having the 58mm lens that I like for making photographs.So I’m still just browsing and trying to decide what would be best for me. I’ve been making photo albums (old fashion kind with real paper photos) for presents and miss the ability to photograph better as I did in the past.
    So I’ll keep looking and deciding! May the warmth of the Winter season and friendships bring warmth and caring and sharing and joy to you!

    1. I see. A broken camera seems a perfectly good reason to get a new one.

      Meanwhile, did you know that you can zoom with an iPhone? Put two fingers on the screen–I use my thumbs–and pull apart. It’s not a real zoom, however as you’re really only cropping, and pixels are being discarded unlike zooming with a real zoom lens.

      You referred to a 58mm lens. Did you know that the magnification factor of a given focal length lens depends on the size of the image sensor? For example, Nikon makes two chip sizes in their 35mm format digital cameras: full frame, which is the same size as a 35mm negative, and a smaller format they call DX. The reasons for smaller chips is that they cost less, making lenses for them costs less too, and they allow for smaller, lighter cameras. Now, a 58mm lens on a full frame sensor would be close to what is considered a “normal” focal length–neither wide angle or telephoto, and it’s not a zoom. A zoom lens would have two focal lengths specified indicating the parameters of the zoom range, such as 35mm-70mm, for example. That same 58mm lens on a camera with a smaller chip would effectively have a longer focal length. For example, a 100mm lens on a full frame Nikon would have a magnification factor of about 1.5 on a camera with the smaller DX sensor and would effectively act like a 150mm lens does on a camera with a full frame sensor.

      I’m not sure any of that will prove useful for you and you may already know all of it. I included the info because many people may read our comments and some may find it useful or just interesting. HTH.

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