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My San Francisco Experience

My birthday week started with a perfect sunset

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San Francisco GALLERY

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Treasure Island San Francisco Sunset
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01.

After my flight from Minneapolis to Oakland, I grabbed my rental car, swung by my hotel, and then headed over to Treasure Island. They were doing a LOT of construction on the island and it wasn't easy getting around. But I found where I wanted to go, and besides a rocky beach with a gorgeous view, there was also a quaint little restaurant called Mersea. I took this photo from the front lawn of the restaurant. 

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02.

I set up my gear and was excited looking at what was starting to look like a great sunset

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I was surprised that the area was relatively empty. 

Treasure Island Sunset

The sun set, and I was ready for the colors, and when the arrived, they blew my mind. 

Golden Gate Sunset

Those sunset colors made me fall in love. 

The moment the sun set. 

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Golden Gate Seagull Sunset

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A seagull helped out and posed for a photo with the Golden Gate Bridge in the background. 

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And then a sailboat came into view under the iconic bridge.

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Golden Gate Sailboat Sunset

I then focused on the city

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Colorful San Francisco Sunset

Colorful bay city sunset

A sailboat passing by the city.

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Bay Bridge San Francisco Skyline Sunset

Bay Bridge

The lights on the Bay Bridge turned on

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San Francisco Skyline Sunset

skyline sunset

Can you blame me for falling in love?

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Bay city beauty


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Two more before dinner

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Treasure Island Bay Bridge San Francisco Sunset

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This photo on the left might just be my favorite from this evening. Notice the two people sitting on the far left?

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I took the photo on the right about an hour and six minutes after the first photo back in the beginning with the palm trees. And after this, I walked back over to Mersea and had dinner. 

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San Francisco City Skyline at Night

Dinner at Mersea

I have no recollection of what the drink was, besides delicious. But I can say without a doubt that the Fish & Chips were among the best I have ever had. I was able to enjoy this dinner while looking out the dining rooms large windows at the same view I had just spent the previous hour photographing. Mersea is a shipping container kitchen & bar that I would recommend to everyone.  

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Nighttime San Francisco Skyline

After Dinner Photography

When my dinner was finished, I walked back over to the rocky beach to grab a couple of photos of the skyline at night. This one is a close-up, and the one below...

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Bay Bridge at Night

I honestly could have stayed here for 7 or 8 days taking photographs, but after this one, it was time to move on and get photographs from other areas around the city. 

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Bay Bridge at Night

Orion's Belt and Palm Trees

After I had packed up my camera and tripod and turned to walk back to my car, I noticed the stars shining above me and was in struck by how bright they were this close to the city. I didn't feel like unpacking the camera again, so I just used my cell phone to grab this shot. And then it was on to my next destination. Unfortunately, I couldn't quite find the next spot that I had planned to visit. But that is alright because I DID find the 3rd spot on my list. And that spot was Twin Peaks and as you will see in the photos below, the views were breathtaking. 

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Painted ladies

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This is the map of me trying to find parking anywhere around the area that I wanted to take my last photo of the night from. I drove around for about 45-minutes, then just as I was making one final pass, the closest spot possible opened up. So I was able to go take a photo of...

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The Painted Ladies with the San Francisco Skyline in the background. When I finished here, I jumped back into my car and headed back to my hotel for the evening. 

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Painted Ladies in San Francisco

The Rental Car.

I've mentioned the car a couple of times already, so I should share a photo of it. I used Turo to rent this Mustang that was a blast to drive around town for a couple of days. 


Now, are you ready for day two of my San Francisco Experience? I hope so because it starts in the next frame below... 

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Golden Gate Bridge and Fort Point

The Golden Gate Bridge.

I started off day two in San Francisco by heading over to the Golden Gate Bridge. My first stop was at Fort Point National Historic Site. This image was created using a 4-minute exposure, which is what made the clouds look like they are racing by, and also smoothed out the bay. 

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Torpedo Warf.

After taking a few photos around Fort Point, I made the short walk over to Torpedo Warf. This one is also a 4-minute exposure. 

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Torpedo Warf View of the Golden Gate Bridge

Batteries

My next three stops were to a couple of the batteries that are in the area. These batteries are war relics from the past and are now tourist attractions and are all connected by walking paths that the locals use for exercise. The first one is from Battery East. The next two are both from the same location at Battery Marcus Miller. If you look closely at the photo on the right, you will see what appears to be an empty Golden Gate Bridge. That one is another 4-minute exposure that ghosted away all of the traffic.

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Disney Family Museum

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I purposely spent the early morning in the area southeast of the Golden Gate bridge as my next few stops were all on the way towards downtown San Francisco. After leaving the bridge and battery area, my first stop was at The Walt Disney Family Museum. I made one grave mistake about this stop. And that mistake is that I did not give myself enough time to enjoy all of it.

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I bought passes to both the Mickey Mouse experience, and to the main museum. Both were outstanding and I highly recommend them. Now, as I was leaving the museum I noticed that I was well behind schedule. It was nearly 11 AM and I had not had breakfast yet. So I jumped back into my car and headed to the next location for breakfast. Which was...

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Ghirardelli

That's right, my breakfast was an Ocean Beach sundae from Ghirardelli. At 11:30 AM. Hey, it was my birthday week vacation, I can eat what I want. [insert laughing emoji here]

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Pier 39

After taking my time and enjoying the sundae, I drove over to Pier 39. The first couple of photos below were taken while I was on the top floor of the connected parking garage. The next two were taken from the 2nd floor of the parking garage. For you fellow photographers out there, use that as a tip. Parking garages can be your friend when you want a unique view of the area you are in. The 2nd photo captures the 3 main towers in San Francisco (Coit, Salesforce, and TransAmerica). The 3rd photo is of Alcatraz, as I believe it is a punishable crime if you go to San Francisco and not get a photo of Alcatraz. And the last photo is looking over Pier 39.

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TransAmerica Pyramid San Francisco

Pier 7

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I took a quick stroll around Pier 39 and quickly left as it was absolutely over-crowded. I then walked over to Pier 7. That's right, I walked. It was a beautiful day and I was able to enjoy parts of the city that I wouldn't if I had taken my car. I went to Pier 7 for one reason, and that was to get this photo of the TransAmerica Pyramid. At this point, 3 things happened. The battery in my camera was almost dead. The battery in my phone was almost dead. And my own personal battery was almost dead. So I made the walk back to Pier 39, jumped in my car, and went back to my hotel to recharge everything. 

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Marshall's Beach

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After charging up all of the batteries, I  headed over to Marshall's Beach. My first stop was at North Beach Pizza, and they gave wonderful service and gave me one absolutely fantastic pizza. I wasn't exactly sure how to get from the parking lot down to the beach, but thankfully some people asked me to take their photo, and I did so on the condition that they pointed me towards the way down to the beach. It was a great bartering exchange between us.

It is quite the hike getting from the parking lot down to the beach here, but it was well worth it. I do wish that I would have also hiked further up the beach, but this view is still perfect. And all I had to do for the next shot was face a different direction... 

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Marshall's Beach Sunset

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This wasn't as gorgeous as the previous nights sunset, but it is absolutely perfect. As with the Golden Gate photo up above, these were both 4-minute exposures. 

I could have stayed on this beach for a few hours and enjoyed every second of it. The weather was great, and how can you go wrong looking at a beach sunset one way, and the Golden Gate Bridge facing another way? 

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I climbed about 20' back up the trail where I found a spot to take these two photos with slightly different views of the iconic bridge and the sunset.

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Golden Gate Exposure
Sunset in San Francisco

Golden Gate Bridge at Night

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Battery Godfrey View of Golden Gate Gridge

Battery Godfrey


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Battery Boutelle View of Golden Gate Bridge

Battery Boutelle


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Golden Gate Bridge at Night

Battery boutelle again


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Chrissy Field View of San Francisco Skyline at Night

Earlier in the day, I had noticed this view as I drove from Battery Godfrey to The Walt Disney Family Museum. I thought it would be a great spot for a nighttime photo so I made note of it. After I finished taking photos over at the Golden Gate Bridge, I drove back over here so that I could capture this view. I'm glad that I saw it in the morning, and I'm glad that I made it back as this is a great photo to close out the San Francisco portion of the birthday week trip. Scroll down a little more to see what else I have available for you. 

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San Francisco Art

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