SUTRO TOWER - Pt.I
San Francisco and the Bay Area has such an abundance of landmarks, bridges and historical buildings that some of the lesser well positioned landmarks or buildings are easily overlooked, Others, a la the 'Painted Ladies' are given, I feel, far too much attention. Sutro Tower, located on the top of Twin Peaks in the West of San Francisco falls into the overlooked category (not literally - it is more tkaen for granted). Standing at an enourmous 907 feet tall. (to put it into perspective, this is nearly the same height as the Eiffel Tower and three times the height of London's Big Ben) it can be seen from almost anywhere in the City and from miles along the scenic Highway 1. I have definitely taken this structure to heart, especially as I cycle past it every other weekend on training rides.
See my Flickr and Tumblr pages for a daily dose of Sutro Tower
Living in close proximity to the Tower means I have been able to wander around and explore the different locations to photograph it from and it is only once you are stood next to it that you appreciate the scale of the structure.
The wider angle shots above are taken from the study window of our apartment, putting the camera on a slider dolly and pushing it out of the window.
The long exposure shots - which are a little crazy looking - were taken from Christopher Drive which runs to the the West side of the tower
The above capture was taken with about 30 minutes before sunset and is comprised of twenty five minutes taken at two second intervals.
I could see the low cloud was moving at a decent speed for a timelapse and the sunlight was kissing the antennas, up-lighting the clouds, and as the light began to dim the blinking lights of the tower became more apparent adding to the moodiness.
At night time the tower takes on a whole new life as the fog surrounds and the structure becomes eerily ethereal, lights blinking through the haze.
At night the tower has an eery presence. There seem to be weekly incidents up on top of Twin Peaks. I know this as I have developed a morbid fascination with the interactive Bay Area crime map, and numerous photographers have posted on social media after being mugged or harassed at 5 in the am.
One of the things that make it so appealing at night is that on a really clear evening you can still see a spattering of stars behind it and on the many evenings where the fog draws in, the blinking lights look like the landing pods out of Ridley Scott's Alien
The sun was up-lighting the clouds as the light began to dim and the blinking lights of the tower became more apparent, adding to the moodiness.
The Phantom 4 by DJI has given me the ability to capture Sutro Tower from some great angles, angles simply not available without the use of a helicopter.
There is something fantastic about being able to see the world from up high, and I am excited about the prospect of being able to capture the summer fog once it begins to flow into the city off of the Pacific Ocean.
This capture was taken with my trusty Nexus 6P and the app Framelapse. Although the wind is so strong that it causes the frame to jump around a little it's still incredible to see the speed at which the clouds come reeling in.