I love Christmas time in San Francisco because the city outlines itself with beautiful holidays lights. The Transamerica Beacon lights its beacon, a star at the top of its pointy roof. I’ve photographed the city from under the Bay Bridge but I’ve always also wanted to photograph it from above the bridge.
Willie, Alan, and I met on Treasure Island and were the first to arrive at this spot above the bridge. Several other photographers joined us. I staked out a spot that looked straight onto the bridge and waited. In past years the Transamerica Beacon turned on at 5pm, perfect timing for our blue hour photographs. Last year, however, the Beacon turned on at 6pm, when the sky was too dark for good photographs. This year, luckily, it was back to 5pm and our photos would work perfectly!
While waiting for the Beacon to turn on I decided to grab my big lens and take a few shots of the Bay Bridge, all by itself. I love the way the cars travel below and the long exposure captures their red tail-lights and yellow turn signals. As soon as I was done snapping this photo I had to change lenses and race to capture a wider view of this scene before it got too dark and the beauty of the city faded into night-time.
Nikon D800 w/Nikkor 80-200mm f/2.8:
120mm, f/14, 15 sec, ISO 100