I have been photographing San Francisco's Golden Gate Bridge for over 20 years and am always amazed to discover new angles, new perspectives, new details I have not noticed before.
Photographing a well-known landmark is always a challenge, especially if it as famous as the Golden Gate Bridge. You want to show the subject in a different manner, in a new way that reveals something uncommon, and seldom seen. It is easy to do so just by picking a bizarre angle or lighting, or by over-editing a digital image. A better way is to spend time with the subject, to explore its nuances, to get to know it, and let it reveal its secrets.
One of my favorite locations is at the north end of the bridge, in Marin County, in the rough and grassy headlands that rise above the water. Here a marine fog often shrouds the bridge in mystery.
In this particular shot (above), I set up before dawn and watched as the sun rose and gradually the fog began to clear. I like the hint of red in the cables, leaving just the suggestion of the rest of the bridge for our mind to fill in.
Get out before dawn, watch the weather and focus on the little evocative details that let the viewer imagine the rest of the scene. Or you might be lucky enough to get permission to climb the bridge (below).
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