Tag Archives: San Francisco Bay Area

Brian Solomon’s Night Photo Challenge-Part 5.

San Francisco Panorama, September 2009.

For my final Night Photo Challenge image, I thought I’d display this image.

Crop_San Francisco from Potrero Hill night and day-2 Brian Solomon 230013

This is not an ordinary ‘night photo’, but there are no PhotoShop computer generated enhancements. Except for cropping, which I did after scanning the slide, the rest of my technique was performed ‘in-camera’.

Making it was considerably more involved than my typical night photos. I used my old Nikon F3T with an old school f2.8 24mm lens mounted on a Gitzo tripod.

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DAILY POST; San Francisco Sunrise, 1992.

Muni Boeing-Vertol LRV’s catch the glint.

 In 1992, I was living on Haight Street in San Francisco, just a short walk from this location. One August morning, I got up early to make photos of Muni’s light rail cars exiting the Muni Metro on Duboce in the sunrise glint light.

San Francisco MUNI light rail.
Exposed on Fujichrome 100 with a Nikon F3T fitted with an f1.8 105mm Nikkor lens, scanned with an Epson V600 desktop scanner.

For this image, I’ve used the trees at the left to shade the front element from direct sun to minimize flare. Although it was a clear morning, the sun was tinted by pollution that I remember as being a common effect in the Bay Area, especially in the summer.

My goal was to catch a car taking the wye from the J-Church line heading west on the N-Judah line, which was a common way for Muni to position cars in the morning. While I did make that photo, I felt this image was actually a better picture.

It shows an inbound J-Church car turning toward the subway portal with an N-Judah car outbound.

Although, I commonly used Kodachrome at the time, for this image I used Fujichrome 100 (before the introduction of Provia), which I processed myself at the photo studio where I worked in South San Francisco. Among my studio duties was running E6 transparency film. We used a roller transport machine and mixed the chemistry on site.

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Tomorrow take a look at the former Pennsylvania Railroad’s viaduct at Crum Creek!

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Daily Post: Container Ship at the Golden Gate

Cosmic Morning, San Francisco, September 2009.

Some places are famous for fantastic light and San Francisco Bay is one of them.

OOCL Container Ship
Exposed with a Canon EOS 3 with a 100-400mm image stabilized zoom lens on Fujichrome. Morning and evening offer the most dramatic lighting in San Francisco Bay; the change from night to day often coincides with spectacular and cosmic weather effects.

The combination of stunning scenery and amazing weather and light effects has made this city one of my favorite place to make photographs.

Warm air wafting in from the Sacramento Delta meets cool damp Pacific air producing coastal fog. The sun rises through layers of California smog which gives the light a warm rich quality as it burns through the mists hovering over San Francico Bay, Marin Headlands and the city.

Shortly after sunrise on September 16, 2009, I exposed this view of a container ship heading toward the Golden Gate Bridge. Soon the ship was out on the open ocean and I was airborne headed east on Jet Blue.

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Santa Fe at West Pittsburg, California, November 1990.

EMD SD45-2 Under a Blue Dome.

I’ve posted this image as another example of my work with a perspective control lens. This was a tool I made excellent use of in the early 1990s. On the recommendation of J.D. Schmid, I bought a Nikon 35mm PC ‘Shift’ lens for my Nikon F3T.

Among the advantages of a perspective control lens is the ability to shift the front element. This can be used to keep vertical lines from converging, but also to alter the image in subtle ways.

Santa Fe freight
Santa Fe SD45-2 5809 thunders east with a freight at West Pittsburg, California in November 1990. Exposed on Kodachrome 25 film with a Nikon F3T with 35mm PC lens at f4 1/500th of a second.

It was a clear Saturday morning in the Bay Area, and Brian Jennison and I were on one of our jaunts looking at area railroads. We stopped near the old station location at West Pittsburg (no ‘h’), California. (I believe the palm trees in the distance are an indication of where the building once stood.) Here we photographed several trains.

For this eastward freight, I positioned the camera relatively low to the ground and raised the front element of the 35mm PC to near its maximum. I didn’t quite keep the camera level. The result includes a large amount of crystal blue sky, while minimizing the foreground and keeping the vertical elements of the lead locomotive nearly parallel with the image frame.

I feel the subtle effect allows the locomotive visually surge forward, seeming to charge along. This was my intent. Santa Fe 5809 is an SD45-2, a machine powered by EMD’s 3,600 hp 20-cylinder diesel.

In their heyday these were powerful machines that produced an awe inspiring low-base sound in the high-throttle positions. I hoped to convey that power visually while making use of the California sky.

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