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Alamo Square and the Victorian style 'Painted Ladies' are well known photo locations. At least 6 double-decker tour buses drove by in just the 30 minutes I was there. I witnessed hundreds of photos taken as I made mine! So in order to make an image that would stand out, I had to wait for a stormy day where the clouds (behind the camera to the west) would open up right at sunset to produce dramatic light against the clouds and cityscape. You should have seen the awesome sunset happening behind me! It was difficult to ignore it and be on the beach, but I wanted to show the city in a brilliant red light. It made a red stripe in the clouds and painted the cityscape in purples and other soft colors. A 1-minute exposure softened the sky and ensured that none of the people and dogs playing on the grass were visible.

Yes, there were many people walking right in front of the camera, but a long exposure takes care of that. Just make sure that nobody stays stationary for more than 10-seconds. I also made a couple of 5-minute exposures with the Lee 10-stopper (very dark slide-in filter) as the last rays of sun hit the city. No trace remained of the dozens of people and dogs walking and running around.

While I was shooting, a guy from Holland walked over and we had a good time shooting and talking about things. It is amazing how photography can make instant friends!

The full-res image is really sharp and you can see read the licence plates of the car in the driveway and see the photo hanging on the wall inside the right-most house. Also, you can see a poster for the (US Baseball) San Francisco Giants. This photo was taken during the series which they just won.

None of these houses are the location of the TV series "Full House", that house is at 1709 Broderick Street! However, the cast was filmed playing around on this grass for some scenes.
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DETAILS:
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Canon 5D Mark II
Canon 24-105L @85 (with live preview on to get it perfectly sharp)
1-minute exposure @F8 (for the finest sharpness)
LEE soft ND grad (100x150mm - 4x6in) 0.9 (2 grads would make light reflection echos)
Lee foundation kit filter holder with Lee 77mm adapter ring
No polarizer.
ISO 50
RAW file processed with Capture One by Phase One
TIFF file processed with Photoshop
Small Slik Sprint mini II tripod
Manfrotto 322RC2 pistol-grip ball head

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