San Francisco can be so capricious to the amateur photographer.
I cannot estimate how much willpower it required for me to drag my aging carcass out of bed before 6:00 a.m. on Saturday morning, shower quickly, shove breakfast into my bike messenger bag, take the 43-Masonic down to the Presidio, and finally walk another mile with my camera gear to Crissy Field. I take special pride in the Presidio in general, and Crissy in particular, because I played a minor, minor, minor role in its reclamation and restoration, having temped for two months at International Technology, one of the environmental engineering companies that restored the habitat. Those guys were good: if you planted a multivitamin with zinc anywhere in the Presidio, their equipment would detect it. Then they would have to remove it because technically, in that context a multivitamin with zinc is a pollutant.
I wanted to take some good sunrise photographs of the Golden Gate Bridge. If possible, I would take a picture every 15 seconds until I had a few hundred shots and make a time-lapse movie out of them. For a spectacular example of one such project, search for “The Mountain El Tiede” at YouTube or visit http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rk6_hdRtJOE. Alas, the city was not cooperating, as the day broke clear, brilliantly blue, and completely fogless. All San Franciscans know that such “pretty as a picture” postcard sunrises are a bit disappointing; watching the fog slowly lift is one of our great pleasures. Here is the best of a pretty sorry lot.
Naturally, Monday’s sunrise will be exactly what I need, but I’ll be at work. Sigh. But I did find some moments of interest. Here is a straight-down shot from a foot bridge of the mudflats at low tide.
Even mud can look good in the proper light. I also had fun watching this snowy egret catching breakfast. Snowy egrets have a hunting technique which looks funny unless you’re their prey; they shuffle one foot in the mud underwater until they stir up some food and then pluck it out of the water with a quick plunge of their beaks.
Finally, the bridge did redeem itself by the time I had wandered east into the Marina District. I suspect that most parents will agree with the notion that one of the great pleasures of raising children lies in the opportunities to amaze them.
Dad will probably remember this moment with happiness for decades to come.
Wishing You Had an Enjoyable Weekend, I Remain,
Vonn Scott Bair