Monday, April 1, 2013

True Colors of San Francisco

On Saturday evening I was treated to a view of a lifetime: a stunning rainbow over San Francisco from Coit Tower. Capturing a rainbow over the city has been on my 'bucket list' for a long time, and I was thrilled to finally have a chance to do so.

The weather was strange on Saturday afternoon: the passing storm was pretty high in the sky and the city was bathed in warm, but flat light. A friend from out of town and I were doing some touristy SF stuff and decided to head up to the top of Coit Tower (which I think is one of the best deals in SF at $7). Once up there, I noticed a break in the sky to the west and was hopeful for some great sunset light and so we waited... and waited... for more than an hour for the sun to make an appearance. We almost left the tower a couple of times as I was getting impatient and it was windy and cold up there.

Luckily we stayed. When the sun finally came out near the horizon the City was bathed in dramatic warm light and the stormy sky was spectacular. That would have been incredible enough, but then a double rainbow burst out to complete the scene. Key landscape photography lesson re-learned: always, always wait it out!

Here are three photos taken as the light changed dramatically over a period of just 8 minutes. You can also see the Bay Lights twinkling on the Bay Bridge.

Canon 5D Mark III, Canon 24-70L, ISO 800 (handheld)

Friday, November 9, 2012

Wild Koala

Wild Koala, originally uploaded by Della Huff Photography.

I just got back from a week in Australia, where I was able to take an amazing, though short, roadtrip on the Great Ocean Road. What a paradise for a landscape & nature photographer! I still can't believe that I saw *wild* koalas just a few yards (metres) away. Most were sleepy, but a few, like this guy, were alert and super active. They were a joy to observe and to photograph. What an amazing experience!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Castle in the Sky

Castle in the Sky, originally uploaded by Della Huff Photography.

My heart felt very, very full watching this scene unfold. I love San Francisco, our castle in the sky.

Processed in Aperture & Photoshop

Canon 5D Mark II, Canon 24-70L, f/9 @ 25s, ISO 50. Lee 2-stop soft & 3-stop hard GNDs.

Monday, October 1, 2012


Exhilaration, originally uploaded by Della Huff Photography.

"The Golden Gate Bridge is the most beautiful bridge on Earth because of its long, graceful span, its harp string-like cables, the fog that drapes it or cushions it or cloaks it, its matchless setting in which ocean meets bay and sky meets bluff, and that unique blood-orange color, the perfect complement to the surrounding seafoam, azure and teal. Timelessly simple and delicate in appearance." --Herb Caen

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Everything is Magic

Would you believe that this is in the heart of San Francisco? Magic, magic everywhere.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

On Such a Summer's Day

These early fall days already make me nostalgic for the fresh summer days of late April, sunwarmed afternoons on still-verdant hills.

Canon 5D Mark II, Canon 100-400L, f/8 @ 1/40, ISO 100

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Graceful Coit

Graceful Coit, originally uploaded by Della Huff Photography.

Taken on a spectacularly beautiful evening this past spring. The light was delicious.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Belizean Moonrise

Belizean Moonrise, originally uploaded by Della Huff Photography.

I spent an incredible week in Roatan, Honduras and Ambergris Caye, Belize. I was lucky enough to have a full moonrise while in Belize. Though there were some low clouds, and my tripod completely broke in transit, I managed to come up with an image I'm very happy with. My improvised tripod was a beach chair and a beach bag stuffed with clothes to make a beanbag. Obviously this wasn't very stable, so I used a remote shutter release. Most of my images had a bit of blur, but a few worked out :)

Canon 5D Mark II, Canon 24-70L. Blended image of two shots (since I didn't have a working tripod, it was too difficult to use GNDs which I ordinarily would use for an image like this).

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Golden Gate Haze

Golden Gate Haze, originally uploaded by Della Huff Photography.

Happy Birthday to the most beautiful bridge on the planet, still inspiring the world at 75 years old. I hope everyone in the Bay Area gets out to celebrate this great lady's 75th this weekend. You can check out all of the events at

One thing I love about this image is that you can barely see anything man-made aside from the Bridge. We in the Bay Area are all so fortunate to benefit from the preservation of open space made possible by the Golden Gate National Parks, the Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy, the Presidio Trust, and many other organizations that make this possible.

I have been honored to support the Bridge's birthday by supplying photography for the 75th Anniversary advertising campaign as well as for new products at the new Bridge Pavilion and Visitor's Center. If you check it out, look for my posters, matted prints, postcards, and more. A book of my images, Golden Gate Inspirations, will be arriving shortly. Not only are the products beautiful, wonderfully made, and affordable, all purchases also benefit the Golden Gate National Parks.

For more Golden Gate inspiration, check out this short documentary about Ted Huggins, a Standard Oil (now Chevron) employee who documented the building of the Golden Gate. It contains some outstanding photos and historical video footage. Very inspiring.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

The Sunset^2

The Sunset^2, originally uploaded by Della Huff Photography.

This must be why they call it "The Sunset".

Sunset District at last light, last night.

Canon 5D Mark II, Canon 100-400L, f/5.6 @ 1/125, ISO 640. Handheld.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Van Ness Pier Super Moon

Here is a panoramic view of Saturday night's supermoon rising over Aquatic Park in San Francisco.

As I described in my previous post, all of us photographers were unceremoniously booted from the pier by the SFPD as the moon started to rise, so like my previous post this panorama is a work of creative civil disobedience ;)

As I walked off the pier, I set my tripod down and captured three images about 20 feet apart, which resulted in this panorama. I would have liked to take longer exposures to blur the water more, but I'm happy to have gotten what I got!

Canon 5D Mark II, Canon 100-400L @ 100mm, f/5 @ 1.6s, ISO 400. Three image panorama, blended in Photoshop.

Monday, May 7, 2012


Supermoonset, originally uploaded by Della Huff Photography.

On Sunday morning, I got up ridiculously early to shoot the supermoon setting over the SF skyline from Yerba Buena Island. I almost went back to sleep, but I'm so glad I didn't. It was one of the most beautiful sights I've ever seen.

This two-shot panorama might be my favorite image from the morning, but it's a tough call. I'll share a few more from the morning over the next few days.

I took this image just after the Bay Bridge lights turned off. That was a tiny bummer, but the taillights are interesting and I like the bit of red they bring to the cool blue image. I used a graduated neutral density filter to even out the moon and skyline, since the moon was still pretty bright.

I highly recommend hitting "L" to check this out in Large view :)

Canon 5D Mark II, Canon 70-200L, f/10 @ 4s, ISO 50. Lee 2-stop soft and 3-stop hard graduated neutral density filters.

Spring Rains over San Francisco

The surprise spring storm looked really cool from the East Bay Hills. I watched isolated rain showers pour down in San Francisco while staying high and dry in Berkeley.

Russian Hill Beauty

When the lights go down in the City...
and the light shines on the Bay...
oh do I want to be there in my City!

I couldn't help having the Journey song stuck in my head as I watched the light change on Friday evening from the top of Russian Hill. I freaking love San Francisco.

Canon 5D Mark II, Canon 24-70L, f/7.1 @ 8s, ISO 50. Tripod, no filters.

Berkeley Pier Moonset

I nabbed this image just before the moon sank behind the invisible marine layer offshore. I'm happy with it, but I wish the moon had stuck around so I could have gotten a shot of it even lower between the bridge towers.

Here is the image I got a few minutes later, when the moon should have been directly centered between the towers:

Canon 5D Mark II, Canon 100-400L @ 100mm, f/16 @ 6s, ISO 50. No filters - the light was perfectly even.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Simple Beauty - Pierce Point Ranch

Taken with my iPhone 4S and processed with Instagram.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Evening Light on the Golden Gate, Marshall Beach

A second image from last Saturday evening's adventure at Marshall Beach. I liked this image for its calmness, although in reality the ocean was roaring and I was getting soaked repeatedly! The long exposure captured a lot of the remaining light in the sky, although it was pretty dark by the time I took this - you can tell by the illuminated roadway lights on the Bridge and the headlights in the Headlands.

Canon 5D Mark II, Canon 24-70L, 6s @ f/16, ISO 50

Monday, February 6, 2012

Golden Gate: Marshall Beach Majesty

Marshall Beach is a challenging and dramatic place to shoot. There are lots of interesting boulders, and composing them is almost like fitting together a puzzle. The beach is steeply pitched, so keeping balance in the composition is important to avoid "vertigo". Most importantly, while shooting you need to keep at least one eye on the surf at all times, because it is sneaky and the waves here can be treacherous. Be safe! I had a couple of spotters with me - thanks Tim and Summer! - but I still got absolutely soaked. It was worth it though! I'll post a few more from this shoot and I'm sure I'll go back and face the ocean here again, as it's such a wild and mesmerizing place. Hopefully there will be a few clouds in the sky next time, although I did love the soft light that the hazy Saturday evening sky afforded. There are a lot of incredible images from this location on Flickr. Does anyone else have a Marshall Beach story to share?

Canon 5D Mark II, Canon 24-70L, f/14 @ 4s, ISO 50. Tripod. Handheld Lee 2-stop soft GND.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Golden Gate Inspiration

I pulled this one out of the archive... not sure how I missed it at the time!

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

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Cupertino Clouds

Cupertino Clouds, originally uploaded by Della Huff Photography.


I'm hopelessly addicted to Instagram. And the fantastic camera on the iPhone 4S.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Hazy Shade of Winter

This was the sunrise that followed the total lunar eclipse moonset last December. After the moon sunk into the murky haze, I headed across the Bridge to the Headlands. The haze created some interesting color in the sky and allowed for a sweet little sunburst through the South Tower.

Canon 5D Mark II, Canon 100-400L, f/32 @ .4s, ISO 50

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Richardson Bay Sunrise

This sunrise was incredible, and went on for at least an hour. I wish I'd had a bit more of a reflection, but I do love the textured ripples in the water reflecting the pink sky.

Canon 5D Mark II, Canon 100-400L, f/8 @ 1/5, ISO 50.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Early Christmas Present: Crescent Moonrise

I am SO glad I woke up this morning. I am not fantastic at early mornings, particularly on a day off, and especially when I'm 40 minutes away from a shooting location (couldn't they have built another bridge from Berkeley to the Golden Gate? C'mon, it would have been a great idea!)

I was headed straight for the Headlands to catch the barest crescent of the last day's moon - can you see it? You have to look closely - the moon's disk is only 3% illuminated.

The moonrise was fantastic, and then this incredible sunrise lasted nearly an hour!

So thank you, San Francisco, for the early Christmas present.

And by the way, this is straight. out. of. the. camera. I only applied sharpening. That's how good the sunrise was!

Canon 5D Mark II, Canon 70-200L, f/6.3 @ 2 seconds, ISO 320.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Cold Front

Cold Front, originally uploaded by Della Huff Photography.

This is a photo from much earlier in the year - the day it was supposed to snow in San Francisco. I woke up well before sunrise and was on my way to Twin Peaks to try to catch an image of the Golden Gate with a snowy Mt. Tam in the background, but no dice. Not one flake.

So I stopped off at Treasure Island for a quick pano with the cold front hovering over the city. For some reason, the Transamerica light was on before sunrise. Maybe someone accidentally hit the switch?

Canon 5D Mark II, Canon 70-200L, two image stitch in Photoshop.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Golden Eclipse

Golden Eclipse, originally uploaded by Della Huff Photography.

Taken just before the fully eclipsed moon slipped into the hazy murk as the sky brightened with dawn twilight.

I also took a shot that other photographers will appreciate - Crissy Field, packed with dozens and dozens of tripods! I imagine many of us have identical shots, but I don't like the shot any less for it - it was an amazing sight!

Canon 5D Mark II, Canon 100-400L, f/5 @ 6s, ISO 500

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

The Straightaway

The Straightaway, originally uploaded by Della Huff Photography.

The City, lit up in its holiday best.

Canon 5D Mk II, Canon 100-400L, f/7.1 @ 5s, ISO 50.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Last Light from Twin Peaks

It was a fantastically clear evening on Saturday, and I snapped a few images of last light on downtown SF while waiting for the holiday lights to come on (more to come).

It was pretty windy up at the top of Twin Peaks, and I had some trouble keeping the heavy long lens steady, but I ended up with a few crisp shots.

Canon 5D Mark II, Canon 100-400L, f/9 @ 1/6, ISO 50

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Holiday Spirit

Holiday Spirit, originally uploaded by Della Huff Photography.

I woke up on Saturday in the best mood. I think the holiday spirit has gotten ahold of me.

How could it not, with the incredible weather we had this weekend in San Francisco?

Today was actually the first time I'd ever been to the top of Coit tower. As some other locals, I've held onto the fact that I haven't done some of the most touristy things in SF with pride. I still have never been to Alcatraz. But now I have been to the top of Coit Tower. And it's amazing up there. Who knew that the top of the tower is completely open?? Word to the wise - no tripods allowed. Mine had to be coat-checked in the gift shop.

Canon 5D Mark II, Canon 24-70L, f/2.8 @ 1/5, ISO 800. Handheld.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Holiday Panorama

Holiday Panorama, originally uploaded by Della Huff Photography.

The Embarcadero holiday lights are on - time to shop! ;-)

Happy holidays and happy shooting, everyone!

Canon 5D Mk II, Canon 100-400L, f/10 @25s, ISO 50. No filters. Two-image stitch in Photoshop.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Stormy Afternoon at the Golden Gate

I missed all the crazy rainbows yesterday, but I did catch a little nice light before the sun got lost in the storm clouds.

Canon 5D Mark II, Canon 24-70L, f/8 @ 1/30, ISO 50.