I did it! I really did it! I took this night shot all on my own, using my tripod and my camera’s timer. This may seem like a small achievement, but for me, it is a huge step forward in my photography skills.
After trekking to the Sutro Baths at sunset (post to come) and then to the Golden Gate Bridge to catch a night shot, my guide (Doc Miles) gave me some guidelines and then turned me loose to photograph the Painted Ladies, the row of Victorian homes located just off Alamo Square Park in San Francisco. Loaded with my new tripod and my new-found knowledge of how to use my timer, I made my way into the darkened park. When I asked Doc the best place to set up, he simply smiled and said that I would know when I saw it. I have to admit I was a bit nervous. It was late in the evening, the park was deserted, and I was out there on my own. I kept looking over my shoulder, wondering if my photographic foray was such a wise choice.
And then I crested the hill. And I heard Doc saying I would know it when I saw it. How right he was. Seven lovely 1890s homes, awash in lights to showcase their lovely palette of colors, against a stunning backdrop of San Francisco. I know I had a huge, stupid grin on my face as I waited each time for the shutter to “click.”
Had none of the photos turned out, it wouldn’t have mattered. Well, okay, I would have been disappointed, but here’s the thing: I would still be able to remember every detail of those 20 minutes I spent shooting the scene. Luckily, though, I did end up with some wonderful shots, and I’m sharing one of them here. In this one, I managed to capture a light trail of a car passing by the park. I decided I liked the added bit of interest it gave the photo, so I left it in during post-processing.
Next to come – Sutro Baths, Oakland-Bay Bridge (shot from different locations in the city), and more of the Golden Gate. Pardon the cliché, but I definitely left my heart in San Francisco!