This is the blue hour; sunset is over. That soft, rosy hue in the far-off sky? The product of 100% anthropogenic light.
Do you see the lone person, sitting on the hillside, on the right side of this image? People provide scale, but also something more in this context. In addition to watching the literal gradient of the sky at sunset, this picture is part of a set of images of the “civilization gradient” from wilderness to dense city center. I quite like the added layer of a gradient from the individual in nature to the greater mass of humanity in cities. Traveling between rural New York and the crowded Bay Area has made me more aware than ever of the contrast.
Red sunset light hit the hilltops of Marin and the span of the Golden Gate Bridge and just a bit of San Francisco, but the little hikers in the foreground are sheltered from it. So too, I assume, are the people on the streets between San Francisco’s skyscrapers. Many of my favorite photographs are those that show the gradient from nature to dense urbanity, and I think this one fits that bill.
The Pacific Ocean meets the San Francisco Bay through the Golden Gate. With so much happening in a concentrated location, the density of interesting stuff frankly demands a panorama to capture it all. I particularly like the tiny shape of Alcatraz, floating off to the left with its windows reflecting the setting sun.