The past few days have been spectacular in the San Francisco Bay area. Night rain has alternated with crystal clear days. The days themselves have vibrated with clarifying autumn light, while exotic cloud formations have been on almost constant display.
As a photographer with a great love for landscape as a subject I couldn’t ignore this opportunity even though I am supposedly heads-down getting a book done. So with my oldest son Julian out of school early, we drove over to the Marin Headlands.
A short, steep, and sweet hike to us to the top of Slacker Ridge. I mounted my camera on my tripod, and started shooting across the Golden Gate strait. Land’s End is in the mid-ground of this image, but the point of the image is of course the extravagant cloud show over the open Pacific.
In making the exposures that went into this image I want to be sure to get the sun fully resolved. So I underexposed relative to the overall scene (1/8000 of a second at f/9 and ISO 200, using a Polarizer). At these shutter speeds, at least one doesn’t have to worry about motion blur!
In processing the image I layered in lighter exposures to capture the cloud formations and highlights on the water—while making sure to leave the shapes of the hills in the foreground silhouetted and dark.
You can click on the image to view it larger.