I have been wanting to return to the Bay Area and do some more night photography there. The night lights, the bay, skylines, etc are all very enticing. It is a several hour drive from my place and hard for me to plan just where to go and get in as much as possible in a short amount of time.
Recently I had seen a photograph taken in Alameda with the USS Hornet in the foreground, looking across the bay at the San Francisco skyline. The Hornet is now permanently moored and is a floating museum. I had previously been researching and found the Hornet has a few overnight stay opportunities and thought this would be a great opportunity for night photographs but can’t do this adventure just yet. After a little research, I found that access to the pier is not closed at night which I was pleasantly surprised.
Then an overnight opportunity to the Bay Area came up and for more than one reason, I jumped on it. Part of the plan was to go out at night and try and get some night photographs. I remembered the previously mentioned photo and wanted to see if I could get something similar. So well after the sun went down (couldn’t go earlier), off I went to see what I could get.
Sure enough, access to the pier was unrestricted. There is security driving around but apparently as long as your not doing something stupid, they leave you alone. So I drove to the Hornet and got out to set up for the photographs. After taking several shots with the Hornet, I looked for other opportunities. Close to the Hornet are a few other ships which are moored at the pier. I have found these cargo ships belong to the US Merchant Marines. As I was originally driving in, these also caught my eye. So I moved my location over a few hundred feet.
The more I looked at the ships and the lighting, I really liked what I saw. I liked the way the ship’s lights lit up the area and the water. The composition was also interesting and I tried a few different angles to incorporate different aspects of the scene including using the Hornet as the background.
After the night’s photographs were taken and I was exhausted, I finally returned to my motel room and called it a night. When I returned home and looked at what I had taken, this photograph stood out as my favorite – at least of the ships. There were other successes from the evening, but this was an unexpected treat.