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USA Wanderings: San Francisco

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Some much needed sleep has been had and I am feeling so much better now. I slept for 12 hours the other night, it was great.  When I woke the following morning I felt more myself and ready to get out to take photos.

I had prearranged with Dan Shehan to catch up with him and take photos in San Francisco on the third, the Wednesday when I arrived. So into San Francisco I went to meet him. I love meeting people that I have known on the blog, it is fantastic.

I have to admit the only thing I really wanted to see while there was the Golden Gate Bridge. Dan had asked me how I wanted to see the city, as a tourist or a photographer, and I said definitely as a photographer. So he picked a few places for us to go and see the bridge.

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My view of the Golden Gate Bridge. I took this out the car window.  Not a great shot, but I kinda like it.  I can’t do too much processing here, the laptop I have with me is very small and it is hard to see exactly what I am doing, so I will have to wait until I get home and my 27inch monitor.

I used the Nikon D750 for most of the day, I think the last night shot I have to show you was taken the D800.

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Perhaps having the fog or low cloud is not what a lot of people would like to see, but I loved it. For me it said welcome to San Francisco. I couldn’t believe how fortunate I was to get something like that.  This was taken with the Nikon D750 and Dan lent me his 28-300mm Nikon lens, it will be good to compare it with the Tamron one, which I also used a lot. The Tamron 28-300mm is most definitely the lens I seem to be using the most here.

We took lots of photos of the bridge from different angles, but I won’t bore you with them all now, I do have more for the gallery, but not many. I will bore you with them over the next couple of months.

There are things that I want to do here, and one is to try foods that I’ve heard about, but we don’t really get in Australia. So I asked Dan about an American Cheeseburger, and he suggested we go to Mel’s Diner.

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A Diner, such an American thing to me. I loved it, and the cheeseburger was fantastic. I felt like I was in the movie Grease. It seemed a bit like stepping back in time and our waiter really fitted the image I had. Brilliant experience.

We did drive around the steep streets and I saw a cable car, well a couple really. We didn’t go on them, we just looked. We went to the most crooked street in the world. though it was really hard to see it.

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Dan took us to the Palace of Fine Arts. I tried the Tamron 15-30mm there on the D750 and it is a great lens. Also a beautiful place to take photos. We were getting the late afternoon sun coming through it and it was giving lovely shadows. Dan and I changed lenses again and I tried taking photos with the Nikon 28-300mm as well.

Then we went down to Crissy Field to see if we could get a sunset image behind the bridge.

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We got a little colour, but not a lot. It was because I was there, really. I never seem to get really amazing sunsets. I did like the image above with the container ship heading out to sea.

Our final destination was to take some night shots of the Bay Bridge.

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I used the D800 and my 24-70mm for this, as I wanted to do a 4 minute exposure and my intervalometer won’t go on the D750. I was pretty happy with this.

I guess one of the challenges when you are travelling is knowing that you may only get one chance to take photos so you have to take as many images as you can, but at the same time enjoy the experience as well. I think you have to be content with what you get, you might get the perfect conditions, but chances are you won’t, so go with it, it will be your experience of the place.

The time went so fast, and it was sunset before we knew it. It was a great day and I want to thank Dan for showing me around his place. I can tick the Golden Gate Bridge and a cheeseburger off the list now.

I used a lot of the gear that has been loaned to me. The Lowepro Pro Runner AW II is working out well. The Tamron Lens was brilliant and the Joby camera strap I’m trying out has been amazing. I can’t forget my Merrell hiking shoes which were a godsend and kept my feet comfortable all day.

I am way behind in approving comments and responding, but I will get to them. Sorry for the delay.  I’m off again today to Santa Cruz, so another day of taking photos.  Here are the above images and a few more from yesterday.

112 Comments
  1. chan5346 #

    Wow. This is amazing!

    Sent from my iPhone

    >

    September 4, 2015
  2. It’s such fun to see what you see in places that I know. Can’t wait for the Santa Cruz photos. And what I would give for a Mel’s Diner cheeseburger…

    September 4, 2015
    • Thank you Donna, I know just what you mean. I have been to Santa Cruz, but we didn’t do or see a lot there, just the boardwalk really. The cheeseburger was fantastic and the diner was a great experience.

      September 6, 2015
  3. Susan Portnoy #

    Glad you’re having fun!!

    September 4, 2015
    • I certainly am, thanks Susan.

      September 6, 2015
  4. It looks like you managed to cram a lot in on your photographic sightseeing tour. San Francisco is famous – or infamous – for its fog so I think you should embrace the fact that you saw the Golden Gate Bridge shrouded in fog. The night time shot of the Bay Bridge is spectacular.

    September 4, 2015
    • It has been great Laura, and yes very full days out shooting, which is part of the reason I am so far behind with the blog and comments. I loved the fog, or though probably more likely low cloud, I didn’t care, I thought it was great.Thank you Laura.

      September 6, 2015
  5. Amy #

    Beautiful photos.

    September 4, 2015
  6. We love San Francisco and the surrounding area. We were there a couple of years ago and I blogged about:

    https://webetripping.wordpress.com/category/travels-to-usa/california/

    You might find some things in the blog that trigger ideas of things to do. All the best.

    September 4, 2015
    • Thank you, though I’m leaving it up to the people I’m with to show me around their place, I like that, I’ve got to see lots of places I would have seen otherwise, or thought about it.Thanks for the link.

      September 6, 2015
  7. I have to say that even your shot of the bridge from the window of a moving car is better than any I ever took. Your talent puts me to shame. I also love the advice you give people- photographers- who must enjoy the experience even if they are not able to get the perfect shot. And let’s not forgot comfortable shoes. Merrell hiking boots are part of my photography gear, too. (This is NOT a paid endorsement!) 🙂

    September 4, 2015
    • I’m sure that isn’t true. you take good images. Thank you, I like to just do it, if that makes sense. This might be the only time I get here, and I want to enjoy it and not be plagued with disappointment. The shoes are the best, I am loving mine, no paid endorsement here either, they are great. Thanks Emilio.

      September 6, 2015
  8. Amazing photos 🙂 i love the foggy golden gate bridge and the night pictures

    September 4, 2015
    • That’s great, I loved the fog, thank you Anders.

      September 6, 2015
  9. Love the shot of the impending storm over the bridge………..wonderful!

    September 4, 2015
  10. This is a very beautiful post Leanne: -D
    Enjoy…

    September 4, 2015
  11. As always, your pictures are just great – I have been to SF, so I have seen in person what you are capturing. My hope is that the US experience will keep you happy and shooting away…

    September 4, 2015
    • Thank you Robert, it’s been a lot of fun so far. I am sure it will and is. I’ve seen some great things so far.

      September 6, 2015
  12. Amazing photos!

    September 4, 2015
  13. San Fran is great, I also took hundreds of pictures of the Golden Gate Bridge from every angle and afterwards it was hard to sort them out 🙂

    September 4, 2015
    • It is, isn’t it? I know just what you mean, we saw so much and so many different places, it was quite amazing. Thank you Nalinki.

      September 6, 2015
  14. Oh Leanne! So great to hear you got sleep, and I am so enjoying your adventure in San Francisco. I love the fog in the photos of the bridge. I’m glad you got to eat in an American Diner and have a greasy cheeseburger. Wonder why so many of us are a bit chubby here?!? LOL! Rock on girlfriend. I am enjoying this immensely. Fun to see another point of view of what we take for granted. Oh if only I could come to Australia some day! Sigh!

    September 4, 2015
    • Thanks Jodi, I did enjoy it, it was so much fun and meeting Dan was really good.I will rock on Jodi, lol, so cool being able to do these things. I wish you could come to, I’m sure you would love it there.

      September 6, 2015
      • Oh how I would love that! Remember if you can find some time to get to Mars while here, I’ll make some time to show you around. 🙂

        September 6, 2015
      • It would be wonderful Jodi, but this trip I am really limited with where I can go. Maybe another time. I do hope to get back here one day.

        September 7, 2015
  15. Great work ad always! Glad you are enjoying SF!

    September 4, 2015
    • Thank John, I am enjoying it, a lot.

      September 6, 2015
  16. dreamymichaela #

    A superb collection of photos in this San Francisco bunch, Leanne! Gorgeous colours and shadows….and fog, and you enjoy unique architecture as well. 🙂 I liked your comment about when you are visiting a place, you try to take as many photos as you can….and particularly “be content with what you get and enjoy the experience.” I can relate to your comment, as I had the lucky opportunity to go with my husband for just a couple of days to the Yukon (northwestern Canada) just recently; a place we have wanted to see for a LONG time. Clearly, one can’t do it justice in such a brief visit, but like you, I took as many photos as I could AND made sure to savour every moment and experience. In lieu of your American Diner and Cheeseburger adventure, I had an Arctic Char meal with a vaudevillian style show afterwards. 🙂
    And it’s exciting to hear of your adventures with trusty hiking boots and your use of lenses and your NIKONs. Happy Travels! 🙂

    September 4, 2015
    • Sounds like your experience there was fantastic as well, I would love to go there as well. You really do have to do that don’t you, just enjoy it as much as you can and get the shots you can. It is so different when you live somewhere, or can stay in the same area for a while, I have loved the experience so far.
      Thank you so much, the lenses and Nikon are holding up so well. the boots have been fantastic.

      September 6, 2015
  17. Glad you had a great time in our beautiful city, Leanne. Sounds like you had a great day with Dan. Beautiful shots of some of the most photogenic spots!

    September 4, 2015
    • Thank you Jane, I am so glad I decided to stop here first, it has been a great experience.

      September 6, 2015
  18. Excellent coverage for a single day in San Francisco, Leanne. I especially liked your Bay Bridge image. That structure and its lights are harder to shoot well than it would seem.

    September 4, 2015
    • Thank you Robin, it is amazing what you can do in one day. The bay bridge was a last minute thing, so glad we went, I have no idea, that was a four minute exposure, seemed to work well. I’m looking forward to doing some similar shots with you in New York.

      September 6, 2015
  19. Love the Bay Bridge shot.

    September 4, 2015
  20. Beautiful shots Leanne. Not bad for day 1…!! Keep em coming 😊

    September 4, 2015
    • Thanks Karen, I thought the same, I did well.

      September 6, 2015
  21. I don’t know how you’re finding time to blog Leanne but kind of understand why you are given my various trips to Iceland but you can let it go you know, make the most of this wonderful experience and share it with us all when you get back, we’ll all be here..
    You intimate at a very important consideration, as photographers we can get so caught up behind the lens we forget to take a step back, take a deep breath and experience our location, you’re on a trip of a lifetime, really EXPERIENCE it!!! and if you do Leanne, put the camera aside for a bit and enjoy, when you do then pick up your camera, the photographs you’ll then take will be so much better, trust me..! 🙂

    September 4, 2015
    • I am blogging more for my family and friends so they can see what I’m doing and where I’ve been. Though I am only blogging if I have time as well. I missed yesterday. I am experiencing it and having a great time. I have the camera hanging around my neck and taking photos here and there, but I’m also stopping to look around and see what is here, thanks Adrian.

      September 6, 2015
  22. Great shots and now you have me feeling nostalgic about my last trip to the bay area eight years ago. I sure hope to go back again someday.
    Does your itinerary include a trip down to Yosemite? Truly a must, if you have time.
    Safe travels 🙂

    September 4, 2015
    • I hope you do too Norm, it has been fantastic.
      Funny you should say that, it does, not long, only a short trip, but that is okay.
      Thank you Norm.

      September 6, 2015
  23. Hi Leanne, Loved seeing your photos of SF! The fog and clouds are very typical of this time of year here. You’re lucky the bridge wasn’t totally fogged in. Particularly liked the Bay Bridge at night!

    September 4, 2015
    • It did get totally covered up at one point, but then it cleared again, which was nice. Thank you Susan I am so glad you liked it.

      September 6, 2015
  24. I love the fog too. In my mind the Golden Gate is shrouded in mist! Lovely photos, and am looking forward to seeing your trip through your work.

    September 4, 2015
    • Mine too, so I was so happy to see it like that when I went. Thank you Anne.

      September 6, 2015
  25. Your first photo, I think it rates as a great photo. It’s all about perspective, and you captured it. Very well done.

    Glad you’re enjoying your experience as well.

    September 4, 2015
    • Thank you David, I was really happy with it, though I don’t really remember seeing the flag, I was just so excited to see the bridge.
      I am enjoying it, it has been fantastic so far.

      September 6, 2015
  26. Great post! Looking forward to seeing more 🙂

    September 4, 2015
  27. So glad you got some fog in SF! Beautiful shots. I love that you loved your diner experience 🙂 Enjoy the rest of your trip!

    September 4, 2015
    • I was really glad too Cynthia, it really made it for me. I loved the diner experience, something quintessentially American if you ask me. I’m sure I will thank you Cynthia.

      September 6, 2015
  28. So happy you are having a great time, Leanne!

    September 4, 2015
  29. wow, Leanne – just stunning, esp ‘sunset behind the bridge! marvellous and exciting, love hearing about your trip/adventures 🙂 Its NOT boring !!

    September 4, 2015
    • Thank you Debi, glad you are enjoying it, I know I am.

      September 6, 2015
  30. I LOVE your images Leanne. My favourite? The misty one of the bridge that you shared last.

    September 4, 2015
    • Thank you Colline, I love the misty ones.

      September 6, 2015
  31. Beautiful images Leanne. Especially without the magic of your terrific processing.
    I too had an amazing time shooting with you. Hopefully we’ll do it again soon.
    Safe travels on the rest of your trip to the U.S. Cheers!!!

    September 4, 2015
    • Thank you Dan, and thank you so much for showing me around your city, I loved it and had a great time.
      Thanks, I think I’m going to see some great things.

      September 6, 2015
      • You’re more than welcome Leanne. And I’m very confident that you will be sharing those great things in your spectacular way. Enjoy the rest of your US adventure. Cheers!

        September 6, 2015
      • I will see what I can do Dan, thank you, had a great time sailing in the bay yesterday.

        September 6, 2015
      • Ooh…fun stuff. :-))

        September 6, 2015
      • It was, I got so wet, but I had a ball. 😀

        September 6, 2015
  32. Very nice seeing your images of S.F. from a somewhat different perspective.

    September 4, 2015
  33. Most beautiful captures of Golden Gate and so on….

    September 4, 2015
  34. Beautiful pictures from San Francisco! I hope you get many good photo days during your stay here in the US!

    September 4, 2015
    • So far it has been brilliant, beautiful weather. I am sure it will be great. Thank you.

      September 6, 2015
  35. MLou #

    Wonderful photos! I love San Francisco and the Golden Gate Bridge….brings back great memories.

    September 4, 2015
    • I think I love it too, would be amazing to spend more time here, hopefully one day I will get back. Thank you.

      September 6, 2015
  36. TPJ #

    Welcome. You have already learned the 2 key items of SF. Photography and food!! Enjoy.

    September 4, 2015
    • Haha, seems I have and every time I tell people I am going to New York they suggest food or places to eat that I have to try. Thanks TPJ

      September 6, 2015
  37. glad you made it safe and sound Leanne!! Enjoy!

    September 5, 2015
  38. PS I love my tamron lens too! Brilliant images Leanne!

    September 5, 2015
    • they have been great, love them.

      September 6, 2015
  39. j9tigger #

    Some of my favorite places to shoot! Enjoy Santa Cruz today – another of my favorites.

    September 5, 2015
    • I did enjoy it, the weather was more like what I expected it to be, so that was nice. Thank you.

      September 6, 2015
  40. Leanne, nice pics and a very informative blog about San Francisco night photographer. A few fiends of mine have just cycled through SF, en route from Vancouver to San Diego, so if you see 3 female cyclists, give them a big thumbs up!

    September 5, 2015
    • I will look out for them and wave if I see them. Thank you Grant.

      September 6, 2015
  41. I actually like the first shot of the Golden Gate Bridge because it is a different view that most. You have the bridge, people, the flag and even some grass in the foreground. The Golden Gate Bridge is (as you know) one of those iconic scenes that has been shot from every angle that anyone can think of. And not to be mean or demean anybody, but when I see a photo of the Golden Gate Bridge or the Eiffel tower, Statue Of Liberty ect… most times it is something I have already seen. But that first photo I really like.

    September 5, 2015
    • Thank you, I get what you mean, so I am glad you think I got something a little more unique.

      September 6, 2015
  42. How are you travelling around Leanne, as you’re by yourself?

    September 5, 2015
    • Oh I’m not by myself now, I only flew by myself. I am staying with people and they are taking me around and meeting up with other people. It has been great.

      September 6, 2015
  43. What a great start! Best wishes for your photo adventure in the USA!

    September 5, 2015
    • I think it is too Peter, thank you.

      September 6, 2015
  44. I totally love your bridge shots. One of my regrets is that the two times I was in SF, I didn’t have any equipment with me, but the Golden Gate in the fog is iconic. And personally, I love fog pictures.

    September 5, 2015
    • I hope you bring your camera next time, it is so worth it. I love the fog photos as well. Thank you Marilyn.

      September 6, 2015
  45. These are fabulous shots of one of my very favorite cities! I hope you get to experience the fog – it is magical! If you can check out Alcatraz – really quite interesting. Enjoy enjoy enjoy!

    September 6, 2015
    • Glad you like them Debby. I don’t think I will be going back now, but I am very happy with what I got. I was going to see if I could get there, but we couldn’t get any tickets. Thank you Debby.

      September 6, 2015
  46. It woundn’t be San Francisco without fog! I hope you were at a Mel’s with photos from the movie “American Grafitti”. The Mel’s at 140 South Van Ness in San Franciscowas featured in that movie.

    September 6, 2015
    • That is pretty much how I feel about it as well. Oh I don’t know, don’t think it was, we were on Lombard street I think.

      September 6, 2015
  47. Love the last photo Leanne and am enjoying travelling with you.

    September 6, 2015
    • Thank you Carol, I’m sure there will be more.

      September 6, 2015
  48. I want to thank Leanne’s commentors for all of the reminders to remember to put the camera down and relish the experience. I’m leaving on my first trip to South Africa in two weeks and am trying to prepare myself to do that. I know I can get totally immersed in trying to get the right shot and forget to just look around!

    September 6, 2015
    • I think that is so important, especially when you are travelling. My subject matter is Australia, so this is for fun, and to try things, a great opportunity. It is great to take the time to look around and just see and experience it. I’m glad it has helped you.

      September 6, 2015
      • Oh, and I ordered a Joby women’s strap today. I’d never heard of them, but I think it will be great for me. Love learning from the pros!

        September 6, 2015
      • Yes, I have been using it for a week, it is great, I really enjoy using it. I hope you like yours.

        September 6, 2015
  49. Hey Leanne .. wonderful images and you couldn’t get anyone better than Dan to show you around. I hope you are having a fabulous time! 😀

    September 12, 2015
    • I think so too, it was fantastic meeting Dan, I really enjoyed spending the day with him. I am, really, it has been so amazing, I hope things are going well in your part of the world, I’m having a hard time keeping up. Thanks Julie. 😀

      September 13, 2015
  50. I hope you fell in love with San Francisco like I did. Beautiful city! Did you get the chance to hike from Baker Beach to Golden Gate Bridge?

    September 14, 2015
    • I only saw it one day, and I will be going there again today, it was amazing though. Such an incredible city. No, I didn’t do any hiking the day I went. Not sure I will have time to do it this time. Shame. Thank you.

      September 14, 2015

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