Having been born and raised in the SF Bay Area affords me access to a great many treasures to visit within a quick drive in either direction. Just before packing, my camera kit that is (clothing has long been packed and ready to go), I make one last ditch meet up with a friend who I met on one of the many photo road trips while living here (back home) for the past year. He’s pretty much game for anything and a great companion in searching for opportune photo locations. For the longest time, I’ve wanted to get
2 locations from Yerba Buena Island – the mid point between Oakland and San Francisco. Both are capturing both bridges that connect the East Bay and San Francisco. I’ve driven underneath several times and always wanted to hunt down these spots – tonight was the night.
With the new eastern span of the Bay Bridge in place and the beginnings of the original one in the midst of deconstruction, I figured it was a
piece of historic significance as a Bay Arean. Built to last back around the mid 1930s, the Bay Bridge was a critical link between the two iconic cities. The eastern span, during the 1989 earthquake, left a large section of its upper deck on the lower deck below. After repair and retrofitting to strengthen it, it was decided that
a new span was best as the original span was not living up to expectation and was very costly to constant repair. The new span opened (finally, after many delays) about a year ago to much fanfare. It is this reason why I want the photo of it so bad.
We cruised around the island a bit scouting locations and found 2 awesome spots to setup and start shooting. Success!
Although not chronological, a few months earlier, while coming back over the (same) bridge back towards Oakland, I decided to stop halfway (again) and see if I can’t find a particular spot to shoot the bridge – a particular angle that’s pretty spectacular. I parked my car on the island and walked back towards the bridge. Getting closer to the bridge, I see a number of guys gathered to where I was
headed and thought .. oh great, partiers – that the last thing I want to deal with out here. As I got closer, it was evident that they readying their camera’s to shoot. After talking to them, they were after the same. Photographers, pro’s and amateurs have a particular bond for some strange reason and we all immediately hit it off. The shot we were after was from underneath the western span of the Bay Bridge. It was a bit tricky, buy we finally arrived just before dusk. After getting to the location, I couldn’t set the tripod properly because of the extremely steep terrain just under the bridge itself – not to mention the dirt under foot was sand like soft. A bit dangerous you could say. I half extend 2 legs and stick the 3rd leg into my gut to stabilize the rig and just hoped something would come out. After reeling off a number of shots, it was getting dark quickly, so I packed up and headed back. The way back was a bit different because it was nearly dark out (no lights).
I got all the angles I’ve been wanting for a long time …