The Golden Gate Bridge in HDR

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Golden Gate Bridge from Fort Point – in HDR – San Francisco, California

Far and away my most popular image on Flickr is this one – titled “Golden Gate Bridge – 2010 – (Canon PowerShot S90 HDR)“. It has over twice the Flickr views of my next nearest image – lots of folks have favorite’d it, commented on it, etc.

This image shows you what you can do these days with a tiny little camera in your pocket – if you know how to shoot. Taken just about a year ago, this image was shot from up on the top of Fort Point just below the Golden Gate Bridge – out in the late afternoon sun – with my tiny Canon PowerShot S90. The January sun angles are always just the best – and this was a perfect day in that regard with low sun and some interesting clouds in the sky.

What’s HDR? Stands for High Dynamic Range. Shooting HDR involves capturing at least 3 shots of the same image exposed differently. You then post process the 3 images into a single composite image. The result can be quite spectacular!

The Canon PowerShot S90 has built-in exposure auto-bracketing – so taking this kind of shot basically involves going to Aperture Priority, enabling Auto-Bracketing, and then shooting the 3 images. Ideally, you use a tripod to steady the image and minimize alignment issues (as with this photo) – but you can also just shoot handheld if you’re steady enough.

My favorite aspect of this particular photo is the sign in the lower right telling folks not to sit on the wall – which, of course, the couple just under the bridge is ignoring completely!

2 Replies to “The Golden Gate Bridge in HDR”

  1. Yeah, it’s a great shot. I don’t think you actually said whether it was handheld or not. And what did you use for post-processing? I live the brightness and saturation. And red bridge, red wall, red shirt. Sweet one.

  2. Wasn’t handheld – was on the Manfrotto 718B tripod that I’ve used with great effect for both the S90 and S95.

    Like you, love all the reds! (Or International Orange!) There was also something very special about the sun angle and the color that really added a lot to this shot.

    Again, a totally random experience and impossible to predict. If I had planned this shot, it wouldn’t have turned out to be anything interesting!

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