bridge song

Found myself in the city by the bay recently. You can include me in the hordes, the masses who are compelled to photograph the Golden Gate bridge.

On my last afternoon in the city, I hopped a bus (along with a couple of fellow-intrepids) to the Presidio. I was told this was an easy place to get stellar photographs. My guide told me this excursion was imminently doable in under 2 hours. With 15 million shutter bugs visiting the site every year, would I be able to capture a unique view of the sweeping icon?

Exited the bus in the Presidio (a former military base) and began schlepping to the bridge. Could see the object of my desire in the distance. ‘Hello, lovely!’

ggfarawayShe seemed pretty far away. ‘Ladies, let’s keep walking….not sure exactly where, but keep walking! You with me?’

006a‘Crissy Field? I need to be at Crissy Field? Gone.’

013aGetting closer, but still so far away. ‘I’ll tell you what, you ladies enjoy the park and Chrissie Field. Enjoy a cold drink and cool off. I’ll keep walking to the bridge. Meet you at the bus stop at 4 pm. See you there!’

o16aFinally made it to the water’s edge. Inexorably drawn by the Siren’s song. A wind-blown bridge zombie.

023aAwwww…..goooooey, oooooooey, sweeeeetie, pa-teeeetie. A dawg. A very big dawg.

‘Mister, may I take a picture of your handsome dog?’

037aHiking up the hill.

047aDoes having an object in the foreground make for a more interesting photo? Maybe not in this case. Can’t fault me for trying.

Cell phone call, ‘Hey guys….I’m not gonna make it back by 4 pm. Go without me and I’ll find my way back to the hotel. Sorry. Don’t worry about me. See you later.’

This melody is getting more interesting.

063aWhy are my best views being blocked by a chain-link fence?!’

048a‘Sure. I’ll take your picture. Will you take mine?’ Please forgive the crazy outfit. I was cold most of the time, so my warmth-strategy was to don all the clothes in my suitcase….hence the pants with a skirt look. My nightgown is probably underneath there somewhere. Don’t the red sneakers top everything off? An old lady on a mission.

o84aMade it under the bridge and to the other side. Better light over here. I like this shot, but I’ve seen plenteous versions of the ‘tree with the bridge’ shot done much better than this. Meh, move along….nothing new here. From this vantage point, the wind is so stout I can barely hold my camera. As an added bonus, I’m being refreshingly splashed with the spray from crashing waves. Suffering is part of making art. I’m humming her tune. No way, this journey is made in under two hours.

Back under the bridge, she draws me to an interesting perspective. Problem is, there’s another annoying 6′ chain-link fence blocking my view. I do the only thing a compulsive-obsessive photographer could do. I set my camera’s dials and hoist the beast as far as I can over my head and over the fence. I blindly snap shots and pray I capture something.

Here’s the result.


It’s different, for sure. Haven’t seen this one in the guidebooks. My heart sings. Could be better, but for now I’m content. Live and learn.

Here it is in B&W.


Do you like this shot better in color or black and white? I’d really love to know which version you think is visually stronger.

Oh yeah….barely made it back in the nick. Didn’t crash and burn on the rocks. Windblown, damp and tired….but I made it.

Hope you are honoring your unique perspective.

Unchained melody-love to all.