Marin Headlands & the Golden Gate Bridge

It’s hard for me to describe the joy and excitement I felt when taking these pictures. Nothing makes me feel as alive as documenting a place, whether new or old, through the lens of my camera. I know photographs of the Golden Gate Bridge at twilight are nothing revolutionary–we’ve all seen shots of the bridge just like these on postcards and in books–but this doesn’t bother me. I love the challenge of trying to recreate iconic images myself. I don’t have a lot of fancy equipment or lenses, but I do have a good camera, a steady tripod, and an eye for recreating images that, at first, may seem out-of-reach for an amateur photographer. Honestly, I can’t believe it’s taken me this long to come out here considering the fact that I’m a Bay Area native and my mom lives in Mill Valley, a 15-minute drive away from this stunning view of the most recognizable bridge in the world.

Twilight has always been my favorite time of day to shoot. I love watching the light change from sunset to the small window of time when city lights begin twinkling against cerulean blue skies before the last bit of natural light is enveloped in darkness. Of course, you can take gorgeous pictures of the bridge during the day, but isn’t the shot at twilight so much more compelling? It was also hard-earned. I made poor Miri wait in the car with me for about an hour-and-a-half until I got the lighting I wanted. This wasn’t the first time I tested his patience for a photograph. When we were in Cinque Terre in July 2014, he sat in the dirt with me at the top of a hill for three hours, all without complaining, so that I could get pictures of Vernazza at twilight. God bless his easy-going soul.

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We were worried before making the trip over that we might not be able to see the bridge due to Karl, San Francisco’s ubiquitous fog. We lucked out as only part of the bridge was covered, which I think made the scene even more atmospheric (and authentic). Taking a picture of the bridge on a clear day is like photographing Ireland on a sunny day. It happens but it’s not quite right.

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My ever-happy, ever-helpful photo assistant and model carrying the tripod for me 🙂 Man, I love him.

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Tourists gathering at one of several Golden Gate Bridge lookout points along the Marin Headlands drive.

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Beautiful Silver Bush Lupine growing along the side of the road just in time for the first day of spring.

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Franciscan Paintbrush in bloom.

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Karl rolling in.

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Look back at it.

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Sticky Monkeyflower. What a name.

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We stopped for dinner at Tamalpie, a pizzeria on Miller Avenue in Mill Valley that I appreciate for its name, a clever allusion to Mount Tamalpais, which towers over the small, affluent and outdoorsy community. I ditched all thoughts of “eating healthily” and we shared two mouthwatering pizzas (“I do it for the gram“). Miri chose the Railroad Grade pizza, topped with pepperoni, roasted peppers and onions, tomato and mozzarella. I opted for the Blithedale Canyon pizza, made up of an enticing combination of bacon, potato, mozzarella, fontina and pesto. Miri was really excited (I mean, just look at his face) about the fact that the crust was thin and crunchy, which is how pizza is prepared in Vienna, in contrast to the fat, doughy crusts you get when ordering pizza delivery in the U.S. from chains like Domino’s or Round Table. Anyway, I warned you that I’m not a food critic so I’m just going to end this post by saying the pizzas were reeeeal good. Hopefully, I get better at restaurant reviews the more we do this. Thanks for bearing with me and continuing to read until then 😉 Question for you: What kind of food would you like to see me attempt to review next?

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4 comments

  1. What an amazing series of pictures showing how lighting enhances an image! The pictures of San Francisco and the Golden Gate Bridge at twilight are breathtaking! Thank, also, for telling us the names of the flowering plants. I always wonder what they’re called, but never wonder long enough to look it up. I’d love to see more pictures of the new Bay Bridge. It’s equally dazzling with its shimmering light display. On the restaurant front, I’d like to know a good restaurant or two in the financial district in San Francisco. Thanks, Susan!

    1. Thanks, Becky! We’ll be sure to take some pictures of the Bay Bridge next. We’d also be happy to review a couple restaurants in the financial district for you. Stay tuned!

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