Alcatraz, Sunrise. San Francisco Bay, California. March 24, 2013. © Copyright 2013 G Dan Mitchell – all rights reserved.
Alcatraz Island silhouetted against reflected sunrise light on San Francisco Bay
On this morning I crossed the Golden Gate Bridge heading north around dawn, on my way to redwoods and the coast. As I cross the bridge I’m always on the lookout for potentially interesting conditions of light or atmosphere or interesting things happening on the bay. Having heard a weather forecast of “no fog,” I was a bit surprised to find… fog in the hills on the north side of the bridge, along with a slightly opaque atmosphere over the bay. I wouldn’t call that “fog” exactly – more like “could have been fog if the wind had blown a different direction or the temperature had been a bit colder.” In any case, it was an interesting development – more interesting to me than the potential for perfectly clear air.
So I left highway 101 on the north side of the bridge and detoured briefly up into the Marin Headlands, not sure what my subject might be but certain that the light looked interesting. I started to wander out to a spot where a view across the “Gate” is found, but didn’t get that far. Instead, I found interesting light in other directions – down toward Sausalito, across the Bay toward the Embarcadero and the Bay Bridge and, as in this photograph, Alcatraz. By good fortune it happened that on this morning the reflection of the rising sun was just in line with the left edge of the island. This light is almost too bright to look at, but with a long lens and the right exposure the camera can look at it just fine! The water tower on the island casts a shadow on the reflections in front of Alcatraz, and beyond the flat area of Treasure Island is visible, with even more reflective bay water beyond that. Oakland and the East Bay hills and shoreline are completely lost in the golden haze.
G Dan Mitchell is a California photographer and visual opportunist whose subjects include the Pacific coast, redwood forests, central California oak/grasslands, the Sierra Nevada, California deserts, urban landscapes, night photography, and more.
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Text, photographs, and other media are © Copyright G Dan Mitchell (or others when indicated) and are not in the public domain and may not be used on websites, blogs, or in other media without advance permission from G Dan Mitchell.