One of the classic holiday shots that every SF photographer should have is the Potrero Hill cityscape. The beautiful S-curve of highway 280 draws the eye right into the city and certain buildings are lit up with beautiful holiday colors. The star on top of the Transamerica Building tops it all off.
Zack had just received his brand new D600 and wanted to give it a try. We drove on over and arrived early at the corner of 19th and Texas streets (thus where part of the name "Lone Star City" comes from). We were the first photographers to arrive but I knew that wouldn't last long. In all there were 4 other photographers that joined us. For almost the whole time we were able to stand in the middle of the road and direct cars around us. It was pretty fun watching the cars weave in and out of photographers. So nice of them!
I wanted to choose a composition that included as much of the holiday lights as I could, without showing *too* many buildings and making everything small. I also didn't want to put the S-curve too close to the edge of the photo. Thanks to a number of other photographers who have shot this in the past I knew that Caltrain often crossed under the highway and every time a train passed by I would frantically click away, adding the trains light trails to the photo. I also got lucky when 1 car and a truck decided to change lanes on the highway, providing beautiful blinking lights on the S-curve!
Nikon D800 w/Nikkor 80-200mm f/2.8D ED AF:
112mm, f/13, 30 sec, ISO 100
The Beacon shot at f/16
No Filters, No HDR