August 29, 2010

Golden Gate Bridge

click photo for full-size image
photo by Donald Kinney

Like San Francisco's tourist oriented Pier39, the Golden Gate Bridge is another spot local photographers usually avoid. "Pretty as a postcard" has somehow come to be considered as "un-cool", or "un-artistic". I think they've got it all wrong.

The Golden Gate Bridge is a true photographic challenge. Returning home with something a bit above the norm or different is the goal. Once in a while I like to give it a whirl.

click photo for full-size image
photo by Donald Kinney

Many people don't know that a large and wild experience awaits them if they use the pedestrian and bicycle under-crossing on the north side of the bridge.

You'd think the Golden Gate Bridge would be a lot more solid and stable than it actually is. When a heavy vehicle passes on the roadway overhead it causes the whole structure to violently shake, rattle, and roll. Really. The impression is that the whole Erector-Set is going to fall apart at any moment.

click photo for full-size image
photo by Donald Kinney

Tourists often want to know why the bridge is painted international-orange instead of gold. Well, between the discovery of gold in the Sierra foothills in 1848 and the building of the bridge in 1938 the Golden Gate simply referred to the entrance to San Francisco Bay. Actually, it still does.

The international-orange was chosen partly for visibility in the heavy fog that often creates navigation hazard for ships, and partly because the orange color goes nicely with the reddish rock cliffs of the Marin Headlands.

click photo for full-size image
photo by Donald Kinney

Normally, hundreds if not thousands of visitors take a stroll (((it's more of a hike))) across the Golden Gate Bridge, but last Wednesday I got there there just before sunrise (((see today's edition of the DailyDuo))) and besides the usual speedy bicycle commuters I encountered only two tourists out enjoying the sunny morning.

Wednesday was an exception, but typically, this time of year the bridge is heavily shrouded in morning fog. Not that we don't love our fog, and not that foggy photos of the bridge can't be interesting -- but give me a sunny morning on the Golden Gate Bridge and I'll show you a smile on my face.

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Your comments are invited and welcome.


Emmy said...

I think it is a great sadness that more people don't photograph the Golden Gate Bridge. The pictures you have displayed here truly are beautiful and artistic. Obviously, you're the one with the right idea.

Also, thank you for the "Charlie Chaplin--Smile" video. That totally made my morning! I'm really into old films, but Chaplin is one area I've not really explored. I think I'll have to watch some more of his work after this :)

Anonymous said...


I always thought the bridge was orange because it's the same color as rust.

Bonnye in West SAC

photowannabe said...

Awww...I thought I was going to be the first to wish you a Happy Birthday!!
Well, anyway, I do hope your day is extra special. Are you and Kitty doing anything special?
Love the pix of The Bridge. Its always a favorite of mine.
Charlie Chaplin was fun to watch too. Thanks for the SMILE.

AphotoAday said...

HI EMMY -- You too made my day -- great way to get off to a very early start towards S.F. at 6AM...

AND THANKS BONNYE, I usually don't go out of my way, like I did the other day, to mention that I had a birthday coming up. I've had SO many of them and now wish they would be a bit farther apart.

AND ALSO THANKS TO PHOTOWANNABE SUE -- Oh, I can ALWAYS count on you -- really appreciate your continued support and encouragement.

I've already had a great walk-around in some great new spots in the Mission District -- that's always a treat for me. I'll have to ask Kitty if she has anything planned -- her favorite thing is just to be very close -- here she is now. Probably wants to know when I'm going to "do" this week's edition of KittyBLOG.

Marcie said...

The banner image is absolutely breathtaking. Stunning!!!

Berit said...

Nice photos and story about this famous bridge:)

Greetings from Norway:)

marc aurel said...

I love the changing colors in the second one

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