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It was dark, really dark and very cold following some early snow storms in the High Sierras. You could see the Milky Way though holes in the distant clouds and to the East it was perfectly clear. I had setup to shoot the Big Dipper over the tufa formation known for obvious reasons as Shipwreck when the light first began to appear. The clouds were still far to the west so it looked like a bust for shooting the sunrise but the sun almost seemed to wait for conditions to improve before it began casting the first pink light on the most distant clouds. But once it started it went fast. Within minutes the clouds burst with color and reflected in the lake. The sun finally began to peak over the distant mountain range then the color was gone a few minutes later. But then sunrise wouldn’t be so fantastic if it lasted all day long. Unless of course you had just spent 8 months of dark in the arctic.

© Darvin Atkeson
LiquidMoonlight Studios
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Tags:   Mono Lake Eastern Sierra Sunrise Tufa Pinnacles California Desert Formation Shipwreck Darv Darvin Atkeson LiquidMoonlight.com

B 2659 C 12 E Jun 1, 2013 F Jun 1, 2013
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Pastel hues of light adorn the artistry that is the Golden Gate Bridge as a new day dawn’s upon the San Francisco Bay. Just when I thought I had seen all the various angles from which you can view the Golden Gate I happened across this special view of the bridge just as the sun begins to rise. The lights across the span still twinkle as the pink sky glows behind the lacy suspension structure of the bridge. It’s deep orange color is complimented by the soft colors of early light. The bright golden grass blows in a light breeze on this warm morning giving the Golden Gate it’s name. A soft haze from the Pacific blows in making the entire scene seem almost surreal and magical.

Last night Mike Oria asked if anyone was interested in getting out to take some pictures around sunrise. The idea of getting up that early never appeals to me until I actually do it. I hesitated but then went for it. As often happens when there isn’t a firm plan we ended up driving around the Marin Headlands and Sausalito looking for a good view. The light on the Bay near Sausalito caught our eye and we started looking for a good spot but nothing that we could find and it was getting bright fast. We finally spied a view of San Francisco and pulled over to get some shots that we felt were mediocre at best. I noted a small deer trail on the hill behind us and started up it as Mike followed. We broke through the trees and onto a grassy field with the city and Golden Gate Bridge standing impressively directly in front of us. One of those magical moments that just happens. Soon the pink skies of early dawn lit up the sky over the Pacific and behind the bridge. We got better than we came for. It’s sometimes hard for me to think of this as a functional bridge as its beauty in design greatly exceeds its it daily function to allow people to commute in to the city of San Francisco. Coming back down we took a different path and discovered posted signs along the way indicating this area was off limits so I won’t be returning. Sometimes the deer just know the best routes.

© Darvin Atkeson
LiquidMoonlight Studios
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Tags:   Golden Gate Bridge Golden Gate Suspension Bridge Lighthouse San Francisco Marin Headlands Golden Grass Hills Span Artistic Art Deco Vista Landscape Seascape Pacific Ocean California Lights City Bay San Francisco Bay Bay Area Surreal Magical Magic Painting Glow Dawn Twilight Sunrise Daybreak Highway One Misty Morning Darv Darvin Atkeson LiquidMoonlight.com

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Well it looks like I will be moving out of the Bay Area and it's looking more and more likely I will be returning to the foothills near Yosemite. We are excited about it but man I hate moving so I decided to bum this one back up on my photostream. This is one of my first and still most popular shots. Can't wait to be back in the woods.

If you have chosen to enter Yosemite from the south entrance along Highway 41 you will first get a few fleeting glimpses around the bends of the Valley that will cause you to wonder if what you just saw was real. It seems too big, too distant. Surely your eyes are just playing tricks on you. The trees will quickly obscure your view and you will drive along directly into the face of the mountains via Yosemite's longest tunnel. Because it's such a long tunnel and you may begin to relax but grip the wheel tight as you approach the exit for the view you are about to see will wrench your eyes from the road in disbelief!

There is good reason for the flashing yellow light warning you to slow. Suddenly before you lies an impossibly massive scene of snow topped granite towers, soaring waterfalls and pristine forests. Possibly the most photographed icon of nature lies before you an impossible view simply called Inspiration Point though some refer to it as the tunnel view. A "U" shaped glacier valley lies a thousand feet below you. To the left of the image, the impressive, largest single piece of exposed granite called El Capitan is the most dominate object in Yosemite Valley. Early explorers, unable to believe their eyes, estimated the rock at only 900ft above the valley floor. They simply could not fathom it's real height. Modern measurements eventually put it well over three times that height at nearly 3000 feet above Yosemite Valley. To the right, a towering waterfall whipped by the blowing winds in the narrow canyon appropriately named Bridal Veil Falls. While not the tallest, it is definitely one of the more beautiful waterfalls in Yosemite. In the far distance, another seemingly impossible large chunk of granite cut in half by the glaciers appropriately named Half Dome rises above the valley. But it's not over yet, you have only begun the start of a dream like drive that will take you all the way up the valley past numerous waterfalls, the meandering Merced River and lead you to Yosemite Falls which will makes Bridal Veil Falls look like a tiny trickle of water. If you are a photographer, you could easily spend your day at the entrance as the scene will change by the minute, especially in winter, but push on, as there is much to see.

Winter and early spring in Yosemite are a quiet time and possibly the best for photography if you don't mind driving on cliff walls in the snow. The summer crowds have yet to arrive. The campgrounds are empty and except for a few cars driving though the valley the roads are clear. And though you may stick to the outhouse seats there are few drawbacks to visiting during this time of year provided you bring the proper gear for you and your car. If you can, plan your visits to coincide with the breaking of a winter storm. Yosemite staff are good at keeping the roads open and you have a good chance of getting the proper conditions for some stunning photography as the clouds break. I spent 5 years of my life living just outside the park. My only regret is that digital photography was only in its infancy at the time.

Darv

© Darvin Atkeson
darvin@comcast.net
LiquidMoonlight.com

Tags:   Yosemite El Capitan Half Dome 'Bridal Winter Snow Sierra Forest Darv LiquidMoonlight.com Landscape Nature Fog Travel Vacation Valley Glacier Point Sunrise USA America National Park يوسمايت حديقة وطني 约塞米蒂国家公园 요세미티 국립 공원 ヨセミテ国立公園 约塞米蒂 יוסמיטי יאָסעמיטע كاليفورنيا 美国加州 캘리포니아 カリフォルニア州 Darvin Atkeson ヨセミテ Bridalveil Fall wallpaper art desktop Yosemite National Park Vista moonrise moon

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The sun rises above the Oakland Foothills to illuminate the top of a dense layer of fog that covers the deck of the Golden Gate Bridge. The burst of sunlight paints the top layers of the blue fog in golden hues fitting of the name of the area. It may look cold, but above the fog it was quite warm and comfortable. Below, it was damp, cold and windy. We only get a few of these perfect sunrises each year and they are highly sought out by photographers and artist and for good reason. There have been many, many times I have sought the low level fog only to be thwarted by the unpredictability of the height of the fog. Often it extends well past the tops of the towers and often even above this location on the hill above or it totally fools you by appearing in the local webcams only to blow out by the time you arrive. I've spent many mornings in dense fog waiting for it to break and reveal the city only to find myself headed home with no pictures to speak of. Persistence and a love of early mornings is key.

To give you some scope of the height of the fog, the bridge is 746 feet high (227 Meters). On this day, the fog just barely covered the roadway which is about 220 feet (67) meters above the waterline at high tide. The ideal situation is when the fog just barely covers the deck and the lights that run along the sidewalks illuminate the fog from beneath. The towers actually do lean outward slightly to help support the weight. There are just over 1.2 million rivets holding the span together. The main cables are made of wires about the thickness of a pencil. If extended they would cover 80,000 miles (129,000 km). The Golden Gate Bridge is the most photographed bridge in the world, due in part to its art deco design, the many angles of which the bridge can be filmed and the number of visitors to the city each year.

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© Darvin Atkeson
LiquidMoonlight Studios
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Tags:   Golden Gate Bridge California Fog Foggy San Francisco Breaking Dawn Dawn Sunrise Morning Towers City Landscape Pacific Ocean Coast Coastal Diablo Glow Hawk Hill Golden Gate Bridge Darv Darvin Lynneal Atkeson LiquidMoonlight.com

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Dawn breaks over the fog blanketed Golden Gate as San Francisco peeks through in the distance as another workday in the Bay Area begins.

I had been up late the night before catching the PanSTARRS comet event and woke up just a couple of hours after going to bed. The fog had cleared out the night before but some fellow photographers had indicated it should move back in. It was difficult to tell on the various webcams but it appeared they were right. I was in a fog myself from lack of sleep and that may have helped make the decision to drive the 40+ miles back in to the place I had just left a few hours earlier.

The fog was thick everywhere and the commute in to the city was slow. Arriving at the Golden Gate Bridge I knew I was going to finally see one of the things that had eluded me for so long. I had seen pictures of it but never gotten to see a low fog illuminated by the orange lights of the Golden Gate Bridge right at dawn. Then there it was. We were thrilled as we jumped out of the car to park among the many other photographers that had lined up to view the sunrise. It was oddly warm and there was hardly any breeze. The fog below was slowly moving out of the bay and swirling back in near the south tower.

If you inspect the image closely you will not the Bay Bridge towers illuminated just above the fog. The Transamerica tower is clearly visible and the large building with all the lights is the Bank of America Tower. A distant jet leaves for some distant place and leaves a streak of light across the sky. Below, the fog parts to reveal the beach at Kirby Cove.

It doesn't get much better.

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© Darvin Atkeson
LiquidMoonlight Studios
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Tags:   Dawn Twilight Golden Gate Bridge Suspension Fog Hidden City San Francisco Skyline Span Glow Early Morning Lights Illuminated Landscape Cityscape Hawk Hill Foggy Sunrise Darv Darvin Lynneal Atkeson LiquidMoonlight.com


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