Version with the trees not cloned out.
Waking up at 5am on a Saturday morning is never fun. Instead of staying all warm and cozy in my nice bed I was up and out the door to meet Willie and Alan to photograph sunrise. On the drive to San Francisco we noticed some really nice thin clouds in the sky and we had a feeling it would be worth the early wake-up!
There was a slight debate about where to photograph the sunrise. The clouds were located to the north east of the city and we decided to plant ourselves west … that meant crossing the Golden Gate Bridge and heading over to Hawk Hill. Although we had arrived early, we got out of the car and saw that clouds already had a beautiful purple glow, caused by the lights from nearby San Francisco. Racing to find a spot we setup our tripods and started clicking away. Boy were we in for a treat!
With the sun below the horizon we were able to make out the lights of the city, the beautiful red glow of the bridge, and warm colorful tones in the sky. As the sun rose closer to the horizon, the lights in the city faded, the bridge turned dark, and the clouds lost their purple glow. And then they lit up! First slight oranges and yellows were visible, then brilliant pinks and reds. As the sun peaked itself over the horizon the color faded and tule fog began to roll in. Our early morning wake-up was worth the beautiful morning!
Despite the explosion of color towards the latter part of the sunrise, I decided I liked my earliest photographs the best. Here the city lights are visible, the bridge has its wonderful golden hue, and the water reflects the light. I also chose a 2x1 panoramic crop because it limited the amount of noise above and below the photo (empty sky above and trees below).
Nikon D800 w/Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8G ED AF-S:
24mm, f/9, ⅓ sec, ISO 250
HiTech 0.9 Reverse ND Grad