MUIR WOODS, CALIFORNIA: This National Monument park is a great place to see giant redwood trees. The park is named after John Muir, a Scot whose family moved to Wisconsin in 1848. He became one of America’s best known environmentalists and fought hard to protect many important natural heritage areas including Yosemite, Sequoia and even the Grand Canyon. The park is a short drive from San Francisco and probably the closest location to see giant redwoods. This photo was taken from a footbridge. To get the perspective I wanted, I mounted my camera on a monopod, set the 10 second timer and hung the unit as far below the bridge as I could reach. Got a lot of stares from other visitors too!
Shot with a Nikon D3100, 10-24 DX lens at 10mm, ISO 800, 1/30 sec., f8. Copyright photo by John Ecker | pantheon photography
GOLDEN GATE BRIDGE, SAN FRANCISCO: The huge cables that pass over the 746 foot main towers act as hangers for the suspender cables. The Suspender cables hold the roadway. Those main cables are over 36 inches in diameter. Each cable is 7,650 feet long. The wire inside those main cables total more than 80,000 miles. This shot was taken from the San Francisco side, along a pathway that is full of wildflowers. You can see that cyclists use one side of the bridge and pedestrians the other. The Golden Gate is a toll bridge. Tolls are only collected on the lanes heading into San Francisco. More interesting facts on the Golden Gate Bridge website. And here’s another perspective of the bridge: Golden Gate Bridge
Shot handheld with Nikon D300, with a Nikkor AF-S 18-200 lens at 200mm, f9, 1/1000 sec., ISO 640. Photo by John Ecker | Pantheon Photography
GOLDEN GATE BRIDGE, SAN FRANCISCO: When most people think of the Golden Gate Bridge, the image that most likely comes to mind is the view from a distance, taking in the full span of this beautiful structure. What is not much appreciated is that while the bridge handles thousands of vehicles each day, it is also a pedestrian, hiker and cyclist Mecca. It’s easy to get up close to the bridge and photograph it from interesting angles. The bridge first opened to pedestrians on May 27th, 1937. Vehicular traffic followed the next day. There are numerous cycling and walking paths all around the bridge. One side of the bridge is reserved for walkers and runners. The other side is strictly for cyclists. Maintaining the bridge is a constant project. 38 painters work on the bridge, as do 17 iron workers who replace rusting rivets. More interesting facts on the Golden Gate Bridge website.
Shot handheld with Nikon D300, with a Nikkor AF-S 16-85 lens at 16mm, f20, 1/200 sec., ISO 640. Photo by John Ecker | Pantheon Photography
PACIFIC BEACH, SAN FRANCISCO: Ocean Beach runs along the west coast of San Francisco, on the Pacific Ocean. It’s next to Golden Gate Park, on the Great Highway. The photograph was shot next to the Cliff House and the site of the former Sutro Baths. The currents here are very strong; rip currents and unusually cold water make it hazardous for swimmers and surfers alike. In 1988 a record seven people died in the frigid and dangerous waters. Over the years, a roller coaster and the Ocean Beach Pavilion (concerts, dancing) were popular attractions. The Sutro Baths opened in 1890s and for years brought bathers to the enclosed facility near the beach. It burned down in 1966. The current Cliff House provides great panoramic views of the beach and ocean and is an upscale restaurant. See my shot of the Cliff House, shot from this spot on Pacific Beach. Shot handheld with a Nikon D300, Nikkor AF-S 70-300mm at 112mm, f36, 1/320 sec., ISO 1250.
Photo by John Ecker | Pantheon Photography
EVOLUTIONARY RAINBOW, SAN FRANCISCO: This mural is on a wall at the corner of Haight and Cole, in San Francisco. Originally painted around 1967, it was completed by Joanna (Yana) Zegri. I understand that the original was removed when the building was in dire need of repair. It was subsequently restored in 1981, 1983 and 1997. The mural is intended to depict evolution. I sat across the street in the shadows for about an hour, watching people pass by. Most passed it like it was not even there. Others paused to take it all in. This photo is a composite of one person walking by hurriedly, oblivious to me and the mural. Shot handheld with a Nikon D300, 16-85mm lens at 50mm, 1/1000 sec, f11, ISO 640 Photo illustration by John Ecker | Pantheon
“PAINTED LADIES” VICTORIAN HOMES, SAN FRANCISCO: This photo is posted in response to questions about other shots I might have of these famous homes after a post a couple of weeks ago. The houses are on Steiner Street. Some call it “Postcard Row.” And yes, “Full House” fans, these are the houses in the opening credits of that series and Alamo Square (or Park) is where they are having a picnic.
Shot handheld with a Nikon D300, Nikkor 70-300 AF-S lens at 112mm, f25, 1/400 sec., ISO 1250. Photos by John Ecker | Pantheon
CABLE CAR, SAN FRANCISCO: When you think of San Francisco, the cable car quickly comes to mind as a strong symbol of the City by the Bay. The first cable car went into service in 1873. Andrew Hallidie is credited with the invention of the cable car after he witnessed a heavy carriage roll down a steep San Francisco street. Cable cars have no engine. They only move with the help of cables on a pulley system beneath the street. The speed is a constant 9.5 mph. To stop a car, the conductor disengages the ‘gripper’ to unlatch the car from the cable, apply a brake and bring the car to a stop. This cable car was photographed on California Street, just uphill from the Omni Hotel– one of the nicest hotels in the city. At many intersections, like this one, the cable cars pop into the sunlight briefly as they emerge from the shadows cast by buildings along the street. Shot handheld with a Nikon D300, Nikkor AFS-S 70-300mm lens at 300mm, 1/800 sec., f22, ISO 800.
Photo by John Ecker | Pantheon
“PAINTED LADIES” VICTORIAN HOMES, SAN FRANCISCO: Across from Alamo Square Park in San Francisco is a spectacular row of Victorian houses on Steiner Street. Some call it “Postcard Row.” For the owners, it must be a mixed blessing. For despite their charm, they attract tourists by the busload through the narrow streets of this tony community. These homes were built between 1892 and 1896 by Matthew Kavanaugh. The homes are reputed to have appeared about 70 movies, TV programs and advertisements.
Shot handheld with a Nikon D300, Nikkor 16-85 AF-S lens at 57mm, f25, 1/400 sec., ISO 1250. Photo by John Ecker | Pantheon Photography
PAGODA, GOLDEN GATE PARK, SAN FRANCISCO: In 1981, the Chinese government gave this pagoda on Stowe Lake in Golden Gate Park to the people of San Francisco. The pagoda was shipped in over 6,000 pieces and assembled on the site. Shot handheld with a Nikon D300, 18-200 VR lens, focal length 85mm, f/36, 1/60 sec, 1250 ISO. Photo by John Ecker | pantheon photography
HAIGHT & ASHBURY, SAN FRANCISCO: Legs hang out the second floor window of this shop near Haight and Ashbury. More that forty years after the “Summer of Love” this neighbourhood still has some of the feel of the old “Hippie Haight.” Pipes, tie-dyed shirts and vinyl records can still be found in the shops of this must-see community. It’s located en route from downtown to Golden Gate Park, one of the best urban parks anywhere. While in ‘the Haight’ cruise by the former homes of Janis Joplin, The Grateful Dead and… Charles Manson.
Shot handheld with a Nikon D300 and a Nikkor 70 – 300 AF-S VR lens; ISO 1250, 1/800 sec., f20, focal length 225mm. Photo by John Ecker | pantheon photography