Just Married

A friend on a honeymoon road trip swung through town with his wife, so I offered a Baker Beach sunset shoot. Really, there's no more a romantic place for couple photos than BB at sunset, and what a quintessential view of SF - what better souvenir of the city?

We got started late. New Camera Challenge: Twenty minutes after sunset! There were distractions between the parking lot and the beach - a broken bottle of ($$$) Sonoma wine that fell out of their car when the back door was opened - Smash! Strangers congratulating them after seeing the Just Married scrawl on their car windows... meanwhile I was vividly conscious of the darkening sky and trying to herd everyone towards the beach.

The scene looked a whole lot darker than these photos. 5D functioned in low light remarkably well. If you zoom in to the couple, they're not crisp, but given the subject matter/ photo aura, that the softness is appropriate. Oh yes. I did bring it to the beach; how could I resist? My new rule: No Lens Swapping while on the beach - that is truly how the grit gets into camera bodies. And now with 2 camera bodies, who needs to swap lenses anyways? With 50mm f/1.4 you can see the wonderful bokeh effect - foreground in focus, background lovely and blurred. We don't need to see the bridge clearly to know it's the Golden Gate Bridge.

Composing photos with the GGB - where to place the GGB in relation to people? Ideally, both towers are visible in the pic. Centering everything - ie, placing bridge in middle of pic with people in between towers, is just too predictable. Usually I wind up putting people to the far right of the bridge, so that there's an expanse of water, rather than sand, in the photo. I like for the bridge to bisect people around the shoulders - then the GGB either frames or points to the heads. At this distance, certainly never put the bridge above heads. Ugh. The huge advantage of showing up post sunset is that the beach is practically empty. Below: fake last rays of sunlight.