Thursday, June 14, 2012

The Golden Gate Bridge

Me at Golden Gate Bridge from Marin Headlands
Today starts my summer break. I no longer have to wake up early in the morning. I am so ready to hit the trails and the beach in a while. However, I promised my very good friend in London to answer his questions in installment. Before I leave the house to wander, I am writing first about photographing the Golden Gate Bridge, which was one of his many questions. Not that I am a photographer, you will probably see a lot of amazing pictures online from the photographers of this bridge. However, my quest for nature's inspirations and wonders oftentimes makes people think I am into serious photography. I frankly am a simple nature wanderer who loves to share the joy of nature in this site, and to hopefully contribute to the awareness that Mother Nature needs us to take care of her treasures on Earth. 
Yellow Mustard Invasive Non-native Wildflowers and the Golden Gate Bridge
 My friend based on London emailed me that he is trying to Find cheap flights online with to San Francisco. His long list of questions includes (in bold letters are my response/reaction):
1. "If I will be flying in and out of San Francisco, is it possible for me to visit this National Parks that you inspired me a lot? Yosemite, Sequoia, Redwood, Crater Like, Lassen Volcanic, Zion, Yellowstone, Grand Teton, Glacier, Arches, Bryce Canyon, and the Grand Canyon National Parks?" - gee, I would like to answer my friend, these are a lot and just looking at them makes me exhausted already.
2. "How long will it take for me to complete the America's National Parks Wandering I listed above? Would two weeks be okay?" - NO!, two weeks is too short for all those above, we have to give up some. 
3. "Can you help me with the itinerary please? I plan to go there middle of August right after the London Olympics." - yes, I will help you, in installment!! This blog has made several itineraries for friends and family who requested them. I find out, they are the posts that constantly give me traffic each day! 
4. "I already have my own list of what exciting things to do in SF, but what I wanted to know is where did you photograph your Golden Gate Bridge pictures? Help me on that one please?" - Helping you Now in This Post. 
5. "Can you also please share me your favorite most picturesque trails in the National Parks that do not need much hiking? You see, I wanted to save my energy on seeing and experiencing these National Parks, if I live in US, I may probably stay one week in one park and would definitely love to take long hikes." - Sure! But I will write on them later, or just give you the links to what I already have written before. :)
Golden Gate Bridge from Marin Headlands
 Now, the easiest to answer in details for me at this time is question number 4. Help in naming places to photograph the Golden Gate Bridge. Let me share first how I learned of these places.
 Last spring 2007, we made a rush trip to San Francisco because my brother who I had not seen in years had some work assignments in the Bay Area. Because it was rush, we didn't get a chance to plan nor research about points of interest. When we were at the Transamerica Pyramid, I casually talked to the friendly guy in the front desk, asking him the same question my friend is asking me now. Where do I take pictures of the Golden Gate Bridge with the San Francisco Skyline? Let me share his awesome response here.
"In order to get the picture of Golden Gate with the city skyline, you need to head North to Marin Headlands. It is very awesome there at Marin Headlands, I promise you! However, since you will be traveling North, you will hit the South end of the bridge first. Before you cross the bridge, I advise that you stop at Crissy Field and Fort Point.
 Golden Gate Bridge From Crissy Field
Golden Gate Bridge From Fort Point
Then, you cross the bridge, where you will exit to Marin headlands. Before going West to Marin Headlands, I advise you to go East first to the viewpoint in Fort Baker. It will give you a nice vantage point of the bridge too and the quaint little town of Sausalito.
Golden Gate Bridge from Fort Baker
The Town of Sausalito From Fort Baker
After Fort Baker, you continue driving West to Marin Headlands. You can take the many viewpoints up there, you can drive as far West as you could until you hit the one way road. When you hit that one way road, you either make a u-turn and go back the same way, or you continue exploring Marin Headlands but remember, the return route is different and not viewing the bridge.
Golden Gate Bridge and San Francisco Skyline from Marin Headlands
 Golden Gate Bridge in Fog
The Rugged Coastline at Marin Headlands
Golden Gate Bridge From Marin Headlands
Then, when you are back here in downtown SF, when it is already quite late in the afternoon, go to Baker Beach for another beautiful picture of Golden Gate Bridge. Why I say late in the afternoon, because in the daytime, you may see more nude people there being a nude beach. You may not want them in the picture, but that is really another awesome place to take picture of the bridge." - all these were what the front desk clerk narrated to me when he answered my question.
I am really so thankful to the front desk guy in Transamerica Building who helped me in finding these places. The only one we missed was Golden Gate Bridge from Baker Beach, another reason for us to go back to San Francisco. He was so good because he mapped out the places to me in simple memory, at the same time telling me I could probably ask for map at Fort Baker. I did not, I simply used his sketches where to go.
It always pay to ask someone if we do not know the place very well. I remember, my favorite hike in Yosemite is not the result of my searching online, but what the park ranger told me what his best kept secret hike in Yosemite is. We had to change our itinerary to explore what the park ranger advised, I was so glad we followed. So, my advise to my friend, if in case he forgets the name of these places where to take picture of the Golden Gate Bridge, there is always someone to ask in San Francisco. After all, San Francisco is such a friendly city. 
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  1. Happy summer break! I am sure you are going to have a wonderful time!

  2. You're kidding about not being a serious photographer, right? These photos are just as beautiful as any photos of the Golden Gate Bridge that I have seen online, and off line.

    I have been there twice, and twice with no photos as I didn't have a camera or blogs :-(

    Now I know where to be and what to look for if I have a chance to go there again!

  3. That historic bridge is always spectacular. I follow a photographer on G+ (Joe Azure) and he also takes stunning photos of the Golden Gate Bridge particularly during sunrises and sunsets. Awesome.

  4. Hi, nice photographs of the San Fran Golden Gate Bridge. I love that place, wish to be back there sometime

  5. i love wildflowers! :) the tiny flowers that beautify the whole place

    Latest: Summer Splash from Paris

  6. Betchai, Icy is right. I really have never seen the bridge look so glorious as in these photos. Particularly the ones from the Marin headlands and fort point are gorgeous. Also, the angle on the pyramid building is awesome. Fantastic shots, my friend.

  7. you are so humble, that makes me love you all the more my wonderwoman friend! agreeing with everyone in saying that your bridge photos are magnificent!

  8. Jaime Leon RodriguezJune 17, 2012 at 4:52 PM

    Beautiful SF and Marin County. The whole Bay Area is breathtaking!