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Golden

Blog post number 2 will focus on what is clearly the symbol of San Francisco. The Golden Gate Bridge is the most photographed "thing" in San Francisco and it is easy to see why. (I did make up this statistic, but it sounds correct. Right?)

Personal side note. Claire, had the privilege of having way more screen time than she has ever had during this trip. Hey, as a parent, you have to do what you have to do in order to keep the young ones happy during your vacation. Last thing you want is 7 days of crying and whining when you are supposed to be relaxing. Claire's go to screen time activity during this trip was watching Inside Out. One of the first scenes in that movie is of the little girl moving out to San Francisco with her family and seeing the golden gate bridge. This lead to one of the coolest moments of the whole trip when Claire was able to identify the Golden Gate Bridge every-time we saw it. Which was a lot... as you'll see from the variety of angles in the photos below.

For anyone planning a trip to San Francisco, there's plenty of really great view points of the bridge, but my personal favorite was on the other side of the bridge at the Marin Headlands. From there, you get this incredible view of the entire peninsula. Truly remarkable.

Iconic

Wow!!! My head is still spinning from my breathtaking trip to Yosemite last week. I'm going to break up these photos into a couple of different posts, each focusing on a different subject.

What better way to start than with the iconic view of Yosemite. These shots were all taken from Tunnel View. For anyone looking to visit Yosemite, this must be your first stop without a doubt. And if it's your first time visiting the park, well, I can't really describe the feeling of staring down the valley. It's a sense of feeling small yet so important. A sense of feeling worthless yet so powerful. A sense of wonderment that leaves you breathless.

For me, two of my biggest influences in life, John Muir and Ansel Adams, provided me with a sense of what I was going to experience when I stepped foot on this land. But even with that, these iconic views made me weak in the knees. From Bridal Veil falls on the right, to half dome in the way back, to El Cap over on the left side of the view, I just.... ahhhh I don't even know what I'm saying right now. I have chills just reliving this in my mind.

Earth has no sorrow that earth can not heal.
— John Muir

My number one goal in visiting Yosemite and photographing my favorite place on earth was to get one killer shot with the valley being lit by the moon and the stars. After last summers trip to Rocky Mountain National Park, I walked away very upset at messing up my opportunity. If I'm being honest, I'm still not 100% happy with the image below, but it is an improvement. I still feel as if my focus was just slightly off, and I wish I could have one more night to re-do it. That's not too say this won't make for a great print to hang up in my house, just saying, on a technical level, I wish I could have 10 more minutes out there.

For those of you interested. This is a 10 second exposure at f/4, ISO 4000, shot at 24mm on my Tamron 24-70 mm f/2.8 lens.

One last interesting note for you all, if you are viewing this on a large screen, you will notice 4 lights on the face of El Cap over on the left. That my friends are 4 different climbers sleeping on the cliff side. This is just nuts.

Yosemite Valley, to me, is always a sunrise, a glitter of green and golden wonder in a vast edifice of stone and space.
— Ansel Adams