Iconic San Francisco Silhouette

San Francisco cable car on Washington Street
Light and shade on Washington Street, San Francisco; a cable car begins its steep descent. Exposed with Canon EOS 3, f2.8 200mm lens on Ektachrome Elite 100 (EB3), approximate exposure f11 at 1/500 second.

On the afternoon of August 21, 2009, I worked San Francisco’s famous hills aiming to make images of Muni’s cable cars, arguably one of America’s most pictured railway operations. I set the exposure manually using the camera’s spot meter to base my judgment. I sample the sky and street and aimed for texture in the highlight areas, allowing the shadows to go dark. My choice of film was Kodak Ektachrome Elite 100 (EB3) which offered an ideal color-balance for such a silhouette. San Francisco’s many above ground wires added a geometric framing to the image.


2 comments on “Iconic San Francisco Silhouette

  1. Thanks Colm! Elite was a great film. I used to use it a lot in the USA. It had the ability to hold certain colours better than other films, and was perfect for hard light situations such as in the San Francisco photo.

  2. Colm O'Callagahn on said:

    Its a pity Ektachrome Elite was discontinued Brian, I still have 5rolls but hopefully use it in 2013, nice reflective light in that photo.

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