Art As Bartender and the Golden Gate

Leaving Bodega Head and the windswept Pacific, Julian and I headed down 101 for the Marin side of the Golden Gate in time for sunset. Oddly, there was no wind to mention on the North side of the Golden Gate. Sunset was beautiful, and I’m glad we were there to capture it because the next day was cold, grey, and wet. Reminding me of the dictum about San Francisco weather: “Don’t like it? Wait five minutes.”

Each of these images of the Golden Gate took a great deal longer to post-process than they did to capture. (Here’s a story I wrote a while ago on my post-processing workflow. I’ve refined and changed things since I wrote the piece on post-processing workflow, but it will give you the general idea.)

For one thing, sunset comes early and fast this time of year, so one can either capture it during the few minutes it takes place, or not at all.

For another, each image internally consists of from five to eight different layers, each processed from the RAW using different exposure values, and combined with layer masks using a number of different blending modes.

Golden Gate Twilight

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It’s fine for me to employ this degree of artifice with multiple RAW processed layers and so on, but I don’t particularly want the artifice to be apparent to someone casually viewing the images. As American critic and poet Randall Jarrell (1914-1965) put it: “Art, being bartender, is never drunk.”

Golden Gate and San Francisco

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This entry was posted in Landscape, Photography, San Francisco Area.

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