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Something Borrowed; Something Blue . . .

Bay Bridge in morning Twilight Copyright  2014  Andy Richards

Bay Bridge in morning Twilight
Copyright 2014 Andy Richards

I  am not getting married (my wife will be relieved to know).  And I didn’t borrow anything. I rarely do (my grandpa was a fan of Ben Franklin’s old saying, “neither a borrower nor a lender be …..”, and it made a lifelong impression on me – it seems borrowed things rarely get returned 🙂 ). But the remainder of the traditional nuptial utterance probably does apply.

The opening image was made during my recent trip to California in October of 2014. The image is very blue. And it’s new. My very first visit to California was to the San Francisco Bay area in October, 2011. Finding San Francisco a photographer’s wonderland, I was especially enchanted by the Bay Bridge. And since I stayed very near it, I visited it on several twilight mornings. In fact, my favorite take-away from that trip was this twilight image of her. So it qualifies as “something old.” The opening image is “new.” Both are “blue.”

San Francisco Bay Bridge  copyright 2011  Andy Richards

San Francisco Bay Bridge copyright 2011 Andy Richards

Of course, it is The Golden Gate Bridge that is the iconic shot of San Francisco. It is magnificently impressive, uniquely colored, and grandiose in its setting. Spanning the “golden gate,” entrance from the Pacific Ocean into San Francisco Bay, the Golden Gate can be photographed from all 4 cardinal points of the compass (and gradients in between), from the “reach out and touch it” shots from the Marin Headlands to the Northwest of the span, to the beaches below the bridge with grand landscape in the foreground and background. When I look at my image files, my takes of the Golden Gate Bridge outnumber my takes of the Bay Bridge at least 3 to 1.

Bay Bridge; San Francisco, CA Copyright  2014  Andy Richards

Bay Bridge; San Francisco, CA
Copyright 2014 Andy Richards

And still, I come back to the Bay Bridge images (and to the bridge itself) every time. On 2 of three trips I spent 2-3 mornings hanging around the bridge watching and waiting for light and images for several hours. It has a draw that is hard to explain, but easy, in my view, to illustrate in imagery. It isn’t the “knock your socks off” kind of imagery that you see of the Golden Gate. Its more subtle …… but very beautiful, and very stately.  I have photographed one view or another of the Bay Bridge during every trip I have made to the area.

Bay Bridge; San Francisco, CA Copyright 2014  Andy Richards

Bay Bridge; San Francisco, CA
Copyright 2014 Andy Richards

More or less at the Southern start of the well-known Embarcadero, the Bay Bridge is ever present. At the end of Harrison Street and on the East side of the Embarcadero, at the base of the span, the bridge is looming and intimidating. As you move away, it becomes an element of background in almost every view of the city from (and often toward) the East side. Intrigued by its “anchor” characteristic, I made a number of images in and around the bridge.

Bay Bridge; San Francisco, CA Copyright  2014  Andy Richards

Bay Bridge; San Francisco, CA
Copyright 2014 Andy Richards

The “new” image had some significance to me, because I noted with interest in 2013, that the bridge authority strung completely new lighting on the bridge structure. Having noted that, a “re-take” made it on to my bucket list.

Bay Bridge from Yerba Buena Copyright 2013  Andy Richards

Bay Bridge from Yerba Buena
Copyright 2013 Andy Richards

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4 Responses

  1. Very cool. Nice job all around. 🙂

  2. Andy, very nice bridge photos. I really like the first shot at the “blue hour”… just enough ambient light to allow a reasonably fast shutter speed.

    What was lighting up the piers in the foreground?

    I tend to be a Golden Gate snob, I suppose because I get to San Francisco so infrequently and for only short periods, that I only have eyes for it.

    By the way, it wasn’t Ben Franklin who said neither a borrower or lender be. It was Pelonius in Shakespeare’s Hamlet. That is one of the few things I remember from that Shakespeare class in college so many years ago.

  3. Hi Al: Not sure what was lighting the pilings. I suspect it was artificial light from the street lamps along the embarcadero. I just saw it and shot it :-).

    On the BF thing, I think he said it – just not first :-). He was pretty famous for using other people’s (in this case Shakespeare) work :-).

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