September 3, 2008

Golden Gate Panoramic

I know, I know ... yet another shot of the Golden Gate Bridge. Don't we have enough already?? Well wait a second while I state my case...

First, this isn't your typical view. This is a view very few people take the time to see. If you hike a mile down a dirt road at the base of the North Tower you find a pristine beach called Kirby Cove. From here you can see the entire span of the Golden Gate and in the distance (on this perfectly rare and clear night, San Francisco, Treasure Island and the Bay Bridge.)

Second, this photo MUST BE VIEWED LARGER becuase it's massive (Six captures stitched together). I created this with the Canon 1Ds Mark III using a 50mm f/1.4 and all those mega pixels really are impressive. I hated to have to save this down to 72dpi for Flickr becuase the full 300dpi version has such cool details. I just love this camera.

Third, I setup/leveled in near pitch dark. Yes, I choose to hike down the side of a hill on a moon-less night (duh) and let all those childhood fears came rushing back. The highlight of fear was when I heard a russling in the bushes...I froze in my tracks, flashlight piercing the darkness for any sign of eyes, little eyes hopefully. Nope ... BIG eyes ... my heart was racing...then the dear decided he'd had enough of the standoff and went on his way. All was well until about another 500 yards down the road when an owl hooted and then I about jumped out of my skin. Ok, I know there aren't any real preditors in the Marin Headlands ... oh well maybe the lone Coyote (which I did see earlier in the day) but anyway ;)

So, in conclusion -- This is my first serious panoramic photograph. This is a combination of 6, two minute exposures, timed using my handy-dandy iPhone (if only it had a pocket knife that folded out the side! But, I hear the app is coming...) Then I stitched them together in PhotoShop.