The Golden Gate

16 May, 2016 San Francisco

Some destinations you travel to with a list of places in mind you want to see. Boarding the plane to San Francisco I had a specific location in mind I needed to experience and a shot I needed to capture. The view of the Golden Gate Bridge from Battery Spencer lookout point.

Some moments, some experiences really are worth travelling to the other side of the world for and when you have them you want to be sure you capture them properly.

The Golden Gate Bridge is such an iconic feat of engineering, and I wanted to experience it at its finest - illuminated at night with San Francisco as its backdrop. After cycling it, seeing and photographing it from every other angle, I chose my night and took a taxi across it to Battery Spencer. I got out in the car park and walked the remaining 5 minutes to the lookout point itself. It's true what they say, you can see the same image repeated hundreds of times on screens and in books but nothing compares to experiencing it right before you eyes.

As I reached the peak of the hill the bridge loomed into view. Still towering above me, lit up from this angle it took on a whole new persona. Hints of the famous fog settling on the top helped cast a gentle diffuse light around it. It stood tall, proud and triumphant in the Bay. Shivers ran through me, but not from the strong cold wind that was whipping around me. I let my eyes drink in the view in front of me. After a while I looked around and realised I was alone in the dark. A bolt of excitement shot through me. At that moment I was the only person in the entire world privileged enough to be taking in this view! I let that thought sink in, thanked the universe then set up my tripod, but the persistent bay wind kept knocking it down! Using my camera bag to weigh it down further I attempted dozens of long exposure shots that resulted in blurred images. Eventually a lull in the wind allowed me to grab two 3.2 second shots. It was enough for me to capture the scene before me.

At this stage several more people arrived at the lookout point and my moment alone was gone. Some moments, some experiences really are worth travelling to the other side of the world for and when you have them you want to be sure you capture them properly.