Friday, December 27, 2013

Winter Solstice Sunset Photo Contest

Rick Sammon, one of the best sunset/sunrise photographers around, ran a contest for a Winter Solstice Sunset photo.  The only rule was the photo had to be taken at sunset on the solstice.

I thought this was an awesome excuse to go out and find the best place to take a sunset photo.  I made a whole day of it.  The winter solstice being just 2 days after my birthday, I thought I would just make a day with the family.  We spent the day in San Francisco, doing cool things at Golden Gate Park.  We ended the day at Treasure Island.  Treasure Island is a small island in the bay about halfway between Oakland and San Francisco.  You get to it via the Bay Bridge.  I think it's technically part of San Francisco.  It used to be a naval base, but was closed many years ago.  It's now very rundown and reminiscent of a ghost town.  We drove around the island checking it out.  There are some wine tasting rooms, a marina, an RV storage, a small residential community, and a couple small parks.  And a lot of rusty old buildings.

it was a little weird being there.  I could only imagine what it must've been like when it was an active base (if you ask my uncle, he could tell you.  Apparently he was there for a month in 1967 when he was in the Navy).

From Treasure Island there is a very awesome view of the San Francisco skyline.  The bay bridge.  On a clear day you can see the Golden Gate Bridge and the Richmond Bridge too.  And Alcatraz looks like a hop, skip and jump from the island.

There's a fantastic sculpture on the island.  From photos it looks to be about 15 ft tall.  But in reality it has to be 4 or 5 stories tall.  This thing is phenomenal.  It's huge.  I was absolutely in awe.

Anyway .... My plan/goal was to get a photo of the skyline with the setting sun.  Hoping for a decent silhouette of the skyline.

I took several (20 or so).  I took lots with a starburst effect due to a closed aperture.  I took some with an open aperture for a softer look.  Ultimately I liked the starburst effect better.

My favorite was one with some rocks from the Treasure Island shore in the foreground and the skyline in the background with a starburst sun behind a couple buildings (was hoping it would be behind Coit Tower, but it didn't happen).

I was really pleased with this photo.  Textbook silhouette landscape photo.  Almost panoramic, but wasn't really.

I am pleased to say that it won second place in the contest.   :D

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