My January 2018 Photo of the Month is Bridge At Dawn, taken in Coronado’s Tidelands Park.
Bridge At Dawn Background
If you are not a Skyfire user, either through the website or via The Photographer’s Ephemeris, this is an example of why it comes in handy. The Skyfire prediction for San Diego County was dark red. This is when you cancel all plans or need for sleep and get outside.
As a rule, we often say to be ready 15 minutes before sunrise and stay 15 minutes after sunset. This image was made with over 30 minutes before sunrise, and the color remained beautiful throughout the morning.
I sought to do a couple things with this composition. The first was to capture the beautiful reflections in the Bay from the San Diego-Coronado Bridge. The second was to also find a balance to include the crescent moon (my favorite moon phase to photograph). With a wide-angle lens, I was able to pull this off.
It should be noted that wide angle lenses tend to barrel or distort, especially at the edges. This is a real conundrum when a bridge is involved with specific angles. Distortion becomes quite obvious at that point. Adobe Photoshop Lightroom’s guided upright tool made this an easy fix.
I also wanted to note that I saw 8 people climb over the State Property sign to photograph under the bridge. As one person who recommended it to me said, “It’s a unique shot.” I am not sure how unique it is at this point, and you are technically trespassing. As I discussed with a good friend of mine with ties to the City, the fence was put up post-9/11 and security around landmarks and bridges is a big deal. I am fairly sure I photographed under the bridge sans fence in the mid-2000s and I don’t know exactly when the bridge was put in.
Bottom line, the property is off limits and even if part of the fence is down (maybe by photographers), it doesn’t give you license to trespass. Let’s keep photographers in good graces with people and authorities, so we can all enjoy our lands. If you want to photograph directly under the bridge, let me know, and I’ll bring a ladder that we can use legally.
As always, thank you very much for reading, and I hope you enjoy the image.
T.M. Schultze is a San Diego-based photographer, traveller, and writer. He writes, photographs, and draws things of the outdoors that have inspired humans for thousands of years. He co-authored the Photographer’s Guide to Joshua Tree Park which can be purchased here.