This image sums up everything I remember from the Golden Gate Bridge sunrise shoot that +Nicole S. Young, +Matt Kloskowski, +Ricardo Lagos, +Mark Esguerra, +Joe Azure, and +Brian Bach Sørensen had a few months ago, during the +Google+ Photographer’s Conference.

We had originally hiked up Slacker Hill in the Marin Headlands to get some classic shots of the bridge as the sun broke above the horizon. Of course, San Francisco is notorious for its thick blankets of fog and it came out in full force that morning. So, we sucked it up and headed down to Fort Baker to try our luck at shooting the bridge beneath the fog.

What you see here is about as much of the bridge as we got to see that morning. I was initially disappointed only because this was my first time shooting the iconic structure. But, it instantly gave me an idea of how I can use this lack of scenery to my advantage. Often times, photographers will incorporate as little as possible in the majority of the frame to add more impact to the small amount that is actually present. This technique is referred to as incorporating negative space. I figured that, since I had such a small portion of the bridge visible, I’d totally eradicate any trace of sky and render it into a blown out white.

Doing this immediately draws the eye to the small amount of the visible bridge and the water. It also adds cues up the viewer’s imagination to think about what could lie beyond. It’s a fun technique to incorporate when environmental conditions just aren’t jiving with your hopes and expectations. :)

In terms of processing
I converted this image to black and white using a custom Black and White effect option in Perfect Effects 3 by +onOne Software. From there, I immediately brought it back into Lightroom 4.1 and boosted the contrast and clarity onto the visible part of the bridge. I also blasted out the exposure and highlights in the sky, rendering it a pure white.

In album Pic Picks Over The Years (1 photo)

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