Monday, November 30, 2009

Bay Bridge Alpenglow Reflections

To me this looks like sunrise, but it was actually last night's sunset along the Embarcadero. After the windy day on Saturday, the city was crystal clear and calm on Sunday evening. I had to stop and shoot this when I saw the beautiful pinks and blues in the alpenglow. The nearly-full moon is just out of the shot above the bridge.

Canon 5D, Canon 24-70L, f/22 @15s, ISO 50. 3-stop hard GND.

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Sunday, November 29, 2009

Golden Gate Drama

Golden Gate Drama, originally uploaded by Della Huff Photography.

It was a dramatic day at Marshall's Beach yesterday. The wind was whipping up whitecaps on the bay and ocean, and some pretty serious waves were pounding the boulders along the beach.

It was almost weird taking pictures in the daytime since I've taken so many twilight shots over the past several months. I used a circular polarizer to bring out the blue in the sky and slow down my shutter speed enough to get an interesting wave crash. I wish I could have stayed for sunset -- even slower shutter speed would have been fun with the wave action. The tide was coming in fast and I was starting to get wet atop a big rock, so I hightailed it out of there. Some other time, I guess!

Canon 5D, Canon 24-70L, f/22, 1/6s, ISO 50. Tiffen circular polarizer.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Campanile Sunset #2

Another shot from the Berkeley Hills with the afterglow of an autumn sunset. That's the Campanile, or Sather Tower, in front, with the silhouette of the Golden Gate Bridge in the distance.

Canon 5D, 100-400L, f/5.6 @ 1/60, ISO 50. No filters.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Twilight Rainbow over San Francisco

It's not a *real* rainbow, but I think it is just as beautiful. Clear conditions in the Bay Area lead to these stunning twilight arches just after sunset. It's an amazing sight to see the colors change and the city lights come on. A long exposure brings the colors out even more.

Canon 5D, Canon 100-400L, f/13, 25s, ISO 50.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Campanile Sunset

Campanile Sunset, originally uploaded by Della Huff Photography.

This one is for the GOLDEN BEARS of the University of California, who beat Stanford at Big Game this weekend 34-28!

The Campanile, or Sather Tower, is the symbol of the University of California, often called the world's best public university. The tower stands 307 feet tall and houses 61 bells which are rung three times daily by a carillon choir. It was originally built in 1914.

This is a shot I've been planning since I moved to Berkeley this summer. The University had been repairing the scaffolded Campanile all fall, and it was finally unveiled last week.

Go Bears! Go Cal!

Canon 5D, Canon 100-400L, f/13, 6s, ISO 50. Two exposure blend to retain the detail in the water and the color in the sky.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

San Francisco Crescent Moon Sunset

I had been waiting for this alignment for some time. I loved the streaky clouds in the sky above San Francisco.

Canon 5D, 100-400L, f/5.6, 1/8, ISO 400.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Twilight Reflections, Fort Baker

Another from the other night's sunset at Horseshoe Cove at Fort Baker in Marin County.

My absolute favorite time to photograph is the transition zone from day to night - twilight. While it's often called the "Blue Hour", in my experience the peak window for photography really only lasts a very few minutes, and if you use long exposures to heighten the twilight effects (like I do), that means that you only have 2-5 frames to really get it right. I'm happy with how the light and color came out in this one - I hope you enjoy it too!

See more at:

Canon 5D, Canon 24-70L, f/10, 30sec, ISO 50. No filters.

Monday, November 16, 2009

The Campanile: Unveiled!

The Campanile, also called Sather Tower, is the icon of the University of California at Berkeley campus. It's a beautiful Italianate design, completed in 1914. The tower stands 307 feet tall, making it the third tallest bell and clock-tower in the world. Two or three times each day, a carillon choir chimes the 63 bells housed inside.

Since mid-summer the Campanile has been enclosed in scaffolding as part of a major repair to the spire. The scaffolding came down the other day, revealing the new, old Campanile.

You can see the Port of Oakland in the distance.

Go Bears!

Canon 5D, 100-400L

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Silhouette Reflections, Golden Gate Bridge

Another image from the other evening's sunset at Horseshoe Cove, Fort Baker in Marin County, just under the Golden Gate Bridge.

The water was gently rippling, so I used a long exposure to emphasize the reflections.

Does anyone who understands wave properties and optics better than I do know why the vertical reflections come out so strong, but the horizontal reflections don't come out at all? I'm curious.

Canon 5D, Canon 24-70L, f/22, 30s, ISO 50. No filters.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Twilight Reflections, Fort Baker

I had Veteran's Day off yesterday so I spent the day hiking in the Marin Headlands and caught the sunset at Fort Baker, at the foot of the Golden Gate Bridge in Marin County. I loved the colorful reflections and the sailboats in the foreground.

Canon 5D, 24-70L, f/9, 30s, ISO 50. No filters.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Golden Gate Balancing Act II

I'm sure you're getting sick of my Golden Gate Bridge + sunset posts... unfortunately all the time I've had for photography recently has been shots from my roof at sunset ;-)

Fortunately, though, I have some fun shoots planned for Thanksgiving. Fingers crossed that the weather cooperates with me!

Canon 5D, Canon 100-400L, f/9, 1/400, ISO 50. No filters.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Autumn Sunset over San Francisco

Autumn Sunset, originally uploaded by Della Huff Photography.

Tonight's sunset, the end of a beautiful fall day.

Canon 5D, 100-400L

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Smoking Mt. Bromo, Java, Indonesia

Mt. Bromo is the probably the most visited of Indonesia's many active volcanoes. It's a breathtaking sight. Most visitors arrive while it is still pitch black, and as the light grows, this incredible landscape stretches before you. It's an unforgettable view.

I took this photo when it was still pretty dark. It's a 60-second exposure, which is why the plume from Mt. Bromo is blurred to the left.

It was a beautiful clear morning there. On many mornings, low fog fills the valley. I wish I could have stayed there for a week to shoot it in many different conditions, but I only had the one morning before continuing on to Bali.

To read more about my 3-month adventure in Southeast Asia, read my blog at:

Canon 5D, 24-70L, f/11, 60s, ISO 50.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Golden Gate: Green Flash!

I was photographing the sunset behind the Golden Gate Bridge tonight and saw the green flash for the first time in my life!

I love astronomy and meteorology and so was really excited to see it. The flash was only visible for 2-3 seconds and I managed to snap one image during that time.

From Wikipedia on the green flash phenomenon:

Green flashes and green rays are optical phenomena that occur shortly after sunset or before sunrise, when a green spot is visible, usually for no more than a second or two, above the sun, or a green ray shoots up from the sunset point. Green flashes can be observed from any altitude. They are usually seen at an unobstructed horizon, such as over the ocean, but are possible over cloud-tops and mountain-tops as well.

The reason for a green flash lies in refraction of light (as in a prism) in the atmosphere: light moves more slowly in the lower, denser air than in the thinner air above, so sunlight rays follow paths that curve slightly, in the same direction as the curvature of the Earth. Higher frequency light (green/blue) curves more than lower frequency light (red/orange), so green/blue rays from the upper limb of the setting sun remain visible after the red rays are obstructed by the curvature of the earth.

Green flashes are enhanced by mirage, which increase the density gradient in the atmosphere, and therefore increase refraction. A green flash is more likely to be seen in clear air, when more of the light from the setting sun reaches the observer without being scattered. We might expect to see a blue flash, but the blue is preferentially scattered out of our line of sight and remaining light ends up looking green.

Canon 5D, Canon 100-400L, f/10, 1/50, ISO 50.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Giggling Apsaras, Angkor Wat

I caught these sweet apsara dancers giggling together before a dance performance in the ruins at Angkor Thom (part of the Angkor Wat region).

Apsaras, celestial dancing nymphs, are an important part of the Hindu and Buddhist mythology, and can be seen carved in bas relief in great numbers at the temples of Angkor. The traditional Khmer dance is also called "Apsara Dancing" and is a beautiful, elegant dance to watch.

[International] Orange Impression

I think this might be one of my favorite photos that I've taken in awhile. I shot this as the sun sank and illuminated the hazy air with a bright orange glow. You can just make out the Golden Gate Bridge silhouette, Alcatraz, and if you look closely, a container ship passing by the bridge tower.

I'm not much of a minimalist photographer, but this works for me. Oh, and for those not from the Bay Area... "International Orange" is the official name of the Golden Gate's paint color :)

Canon 5D, Canon 100-400L, f/11 @ 1/200, ISO 50.