A Day Off with Suki
This shot is among my favorite photographs of Suki ever. The saturated color, the way the elements in the frame seem to converge right on Suki’s head, her pose, the lighting: I’m so happy with the way it turned out! I took this last week on a day off. It was early in the morning, since Suki and I headed out to the Marin Headlands at around 5:00am to try to capture some pre-sunrise images of the Golden Gate Bridge. I knew exactly what I wanted to shoot: fog rolling in over the city and through the Golden Gate during sunrise. Well, there was fog alright…so much fog that it reached over the highest peaks of the Marin Headlands. When I arrived in Marin, I could barely see 20 feet in front of my car. The images I wanted to capture? Weren’t gonna happen.
That’s the thing with landscape photography. For the most part, you’re at the mercy of nature. You have to keep going back to the spot where you want your shot to happen over and over until the conditions are right. Maybe I’ll have more success next time!
Retreating from the fog in the headlands, Suki and I headed down to a small harbor on the other side of the Golden Gate. We walked together for a while, and as the sun rose, I decided set up my tripod right at the water’s edge and see what if I could come up with some nice images of the Bridge from below the fog. I set up, pulled my tripod mounting plate out of my camera bag to attach it to my camera, and whoops! Dropped the little guy on to a rock, helplessly watching it bounce, bounce again, and again, and then plop! Right into the water. Gone was my support system. Foiled again!
After sulking for a little bit from being defeated by first the fog and then my own clumsiness, we headed out to Sausalito for coffee and a stroll through the neighborhood. The dense fog and cloud cover meant beautiful, even light for the rest of the morning, perfect for shots like the one of Suki above! The colors from fallen leaves, flowers, and other plants were rich and saturated.
Suki waited impatiently with me at a cafe while I phoned a few local camera shops to see if they sold the replacement quick-release mounting plate for my tripod head. I was fortunate to find one in stock, and Suki and I drove back over the bridge to San Francisco to pick it up.
Over the course of the day, I really fell in love with the 35mm f/1.8G all over again. It’s a pretty sharp lens wide open, but stop it down even a little and things get super sharp. It’s the least expensive lens in my kit, but it’s lightweight and performs great! Plus, I noticed that in using a prime as my sole lens in the morning, I seemed to put more thought into composition than I normally do. I tried more angles and moved around my subjects more. Until now, I haven’t really used the 35 all that much since I bought it. What was I thinking!?
In the early afternoon I took Suki to the dog park, her favorite place in the world. Doesn’t she look happy?
Every time I’d kneel down to take a shot, this dog (below) would run up to me and check me out. I think he took quite a liking to me!
This is how the day ended: back at a cafe with Suki, sipping on coffee. I need more days off!