Golden Gate Sunrise
The sun rises above the Oakland Foothills to illuminate the top of a dense layer of fog the covers the deck of the Golden Gate Bridge. The burst of sunlight paints the top layers of the blue fog in golden hues fitting of the name of the area. It may look cold, but above the fog it was quite warm and comfortable. Below, it was damp, cold and windy. We only get a few of these perfect sunrises each year and they are highly sought out by photographers and artist and for good reason. There have been many, many times I have sought the low level fog only to be thwarted by the unpredictability of the height of the fog. Often it extends well past the tops of the towers and often even above this location on the hill above or it totally fools you by appearing in the local webcams only to blow out by the time you arrive. I’ve spent many mornings in dense fog waiting for it to break and reveal the city only to find myself headed home with no pictures to speak of. Persistence and a love of early mornings is key.
To give you some scope of the height of the fog, the bridge is 746 feet high (227 Meters). On this day, the fog just barely covered the roadway which is about 22o feet (67) meters above the waterline at high tide. The ideal situation is when the fog just barely covers the deck and the lights that run along the sidewalks illuminate the fog from beneath. The towers actually do lean outward slightly to help support the weight. There are just over 1.2 million rivets holding the span together. The main cables are made of wires about the thickness of a pencil. If extended they would cover 80,000 miles (129,000 km). The Golden Gate Bridge is the most photographed bridge in the world, due in part to its art deco design, the many angles of which the bridge can be filmed and the number of visitors to the city each year.