Golden City (San Francisco)

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It was perfect afternoon in San Francisco in the beginning of February. It was very warm and what was even more surprising, there were no wind at all. The air was clear and the blue sky was covered with bright clouds.

And, just before the sunset, during the golden hour, the already amazing scene became illuminated by warm sunset light. It was just perfect.

Shooting and Processing

When I saw the cargo ship entering the San Francisco Bay I knew that it was my chance to enhance the composition of my photographs. I waited until the ship approached the Golden Gate Bridge and took multiple photos with the various focal lengths.

Travel Photography Blog - California. San Francisco
California. San Francisco. Marin Headlands
Loc: 37.827778, -122.499444

When I started the process of editing I realized that I did not have shot I really liked. The Photo 1 was my favorite but the cargo ship was too far from the bridge and it was impossible to create vertical crop.

This is when I realized that I had to cheat. I used Photo 1 as the base for my final version and I used cargo ship from the Photo 2, positioning it closer to the bridge.

First, I applied Easy Cross preset from my Lightroom Landscape Collection to both photographs and then I blended them together in Photoshop using transparency masks.

Photo 1 (focal length 40mm)


Photo 2 (focal length 70mm)


Deconstructing Featured Photo

Camera: Sony a6000
Lens: Sony 16-70mm
Focal Length: 40mm
ISO: 100
Aperture: F8
Shutter Speed: 1/80 sec
Tripod: FEISOL Tournament CT-3442  – Check my FEISOL Tournament CT-3442 Review.
Ballhead: FEISOL CB-40D

Processing: Lightroom Preset Based Workflow

Lightroom: import, tagging, preset based processing (Easy Cross preset from Landscape Collection)
Photoshop: contrast, color correction, blending 2 images together using transparency masks.

Photoshop Plugins: