After 10 days of hiking and driving through Hawaii and California and shooting the landscapes exclusively, it was a nice change to be in San Francisco (What to See and Photograph in San Francisco If You Only Have 2 Hours) and to have an opportunity to practice some architectural compositions.
Over the years, I got to walk across the Golden Gate Bridge on any occasions and, to be honest, I never liked the experience. It has always been very uncomfortable because of the strong wind and heavy traffic of pedestrians and cyclists. In combination with the vibrations caused by passing cars, I never considered the Golden Gate Bridge to be a good photography location.
In the beginning of February 2015, I was happy to admit that I was completely wrong and, that in the right conditions, it could be an amazing photo location. On that winter day, it was around 20°C with absolutely no wind and, for same strange reason, absolutely no tourists. I finally had a chance to compose the shot I had on my mind for a long time.
Shooting + Processing
The idea for the shot was to convey the scale of the Golden Gate Bridge and its unique geometry. I placed my tripod with the camera as close as possible to the structure and used the widest possible focal length (10mm) to exaggerate the proportions.
I took three bracketed shots with the intention to merge multiple shots to HDR later in Photomatix or Photoshop HDR Pro. But, when I analyzed the bracketed shots in Lightroom, I realized that I could complete processing with just one single RAW file. I used -1EV shot (the darkest one) and applied one of my Lightroom presets ( (you can download my free presets here).
Deconstructing Featured Photo
Processing: Single RAW file processing in Lightroom and Photoshop
- Topaz DeNoise was used to reduce digital noise.
- Topaz Clarity was used to enhance details and boost colors.