I was standing with Mark on a ridge with the Golden Gate Bridge and San Francisco on one side and the empty wilds of Marin Headlands on the other. We had hiked the couple of miles up from the parking lot by the bridge in the gathering dusk, and now it was full night.
Mostly I photographed the light show created by the bridge, the 101 freeway, and the city. How strange to be alone on a wilderness trail with a view of the Metropolis. As the coyotes started to sing, I turned to the dark side and, in an act of faith, took a three minute exposure into the wall of blackness represented by Gerbode Valley. I could see the stars in the sky, but not much else.
In the photo, you can see Gerbode Valley, almost as clear and green as if it were daylight, running down to Rodeo Beach. The buildings near Rodeo Beach are casting a red glow, and ships are moving on the Pacific. A moving object, which I first thought to be an airplane but is more probably a shooting star, traverses across the sky.
Standing there in the darkness, caressed by the almost tropical breezes off the ocean, I mused to Mark about how weird it is to be using digital technology to take these impossibly long exposures just as the early pioneers of photography did (but in their case due to the low light sensitivity of their emulsions, and not by choice).
Related story: On Night Photography.