San Francisco Sunrise-Craig Hudson Photography


Theres something about a San Francisco sunrise. I’ve seen a lot of places, and San Francisco still reins supreme as the most beautiful in the world. Paris is known as the city of lights, but I think San Francisco deserves that title more. Just go to the top of Twin Peaks or drive to Treasure Island at twilight, just before the sunrise, and you’ll understand what I mean. This place is magical, hands down, no argument. I still havent met a person who doesn’t like San Francisco, and if I ever do I will attack viciously their stunning lack of appreciation for everything that makes this damn place so amazing.

Golden Gate Bridge at Twilight, Marin Co, CA

A  few nights ago after shooting my first portrait session in a while, I ventured out to the Marin Headlands to photograph the sunrise over the Golden Gate Bridge. The vistas, usually overcrowded with awestruck tourists and strapping young photographers like myself remained silent and empty, as if the land itself was admiring its own view. With my car parked and Live 105 blasting on the radio I began shooting just as the sun began to rise. And this is how it went.

Golden Gate Bridge from Marin, San Francisco, CA

Its amazing just how many different photographs that you can capture of one place. Granted, It’s pretty hard to take a bad photo when in such a great location, but what I mean to say, is just look at all of the different colors and lighting that one can get and as a result, how many different feelings can come out while still retaining the goddess herself (that is, that big orange mother of a bridge) as the centerpiece of the photograph.

After shooting from the same location for around 20 minutes I ventured down the hill a tad, threw on my 20mm and shot a few rounds of shots as the colors in the sky became evermore vibrant and bright. But even with all that awesome blue, the Golden caste of the bridge still stole the show.

Golden Gate Bridge at Sunrise, Marin Headlands.

 Almost as important as the Golden Gate Bridge, the beautiful landscape I happened to be standing around on (that is, the Marin Headlands) was beautiful in the morning twilight. Its sandy red cliffs stand massive over the Golden Gates waters, snaking all the way from Sausalito and Tiburon to Stinson Beach and Bodega Bay. If you havent taken a trip to the Marin Headlands, do yourself a favor and make your life better by doing so. It will probably add ten years to your lifespan (and if your walking it will probably cause you to lose 10 years)

Venturing further up the roads the sun’s light became evermore present over the horizon. The darkness was fading fast, but the cities lights still held on to their own splendor before finally succumbing to the day.

Fun Fact: The Golden Gate Bridge is not named after its color, and is in fact named so because of the body of water that it towers over. The Golden Gate was the body of water that thousands of boats would come and go through during the Gold Rush period of the lat 1840′s and 50′s, and so this area became known as the Golden Gate. What a shocker huh?

Check back again soon for photographs taken along the Marin Coastline and blue hour along famous Big Sur.

San Francisco Bay Bridge, CA

 

Seeing the San Francisco Bay Bridge from Treasure Island is one of my favorite views to visit whenever I am in the Bay Area. However, it also possesses some great history. Treasure Island is in fact a man made island that was created for the Golden Gate International Exposition of 1939-40, a worlds fair that celebrated the opening of San Francisco’s two famous bridges, the Bay Bridge in 1936 and the Golden Gate Bridge in 1937. It is connected by an isthmus to Yerba Buena Island, a very steep and shrub filled rock that offers stunning views of both Oakland and San Francisco for any person bold enough to traverse its steep hillsides.

Joining me this time was my good friend and fellow photographer Jake, and after parking near the old coast guard station at the top of the island we made ur way down through forests and shrub filled paths to our destination. I have seen this view countless times from other photographs and have always wanted to capture such a view of the bridge and the bay myself. I’m very glad to say that I am pretty satisfied with what I was able to come away with.

Sunset from Yerba Buena Island

Jake looking like the fearless photog he is

Beginning of Blue Hour on Yerba Buena Island

San Francisco at Blue Hour

While many photos have been taken from Yerba Buena Island, I have seen very few photographs of the island itself. This puzzles me, for Yerba Buena is a very beautiful place. I think Yerba Buena almost deserves the name Treasure Island more than its actual counter-part does. Far below us the green tinted bay water splashes agains the rocky shorelines, its sound barely audible over the roar of the endless number of cars on top of the bridge. And looking South towards San Jose the water takes on the same dark blues of the sky, and the  lights of planes coming up and down from SFO mingle with the many stars that burn brighter and brighter as the night replaces twilight. And standing amidst all of this blue is the pure nature of Yerba Buena Island, its entire landscape covered in wildflowers, eucalyptus trees and tall grass.

I swear that this photo of me is not staged.

 

 

Photographing Cincinnati, A Craig Hudson Photography Road Trip

Photographing Cincinnati: Cincinnati was an amazing city, and I’m so happy that I decided to go there (the other choices were Columbus, Cleveland and Detroit) Situated right on the banks of the Ohio River, this city is just full of history. From possessing one of the largest historical city sections in the United States (Over the Rhine, a large section of Cinci that was built by many German and Italian Immigrants between the 1850′s and early 1900′s dwarfs other historical areas such as the North End in Boston in both size and scope) to its beautiful parks and hills that grant panoramic views of the city and the Kentucky landscape across the Ohio. I had a fantastic time with my Couchsurfing host Mintao, and I look forward to coming back and exploring even more of this great city.

Cincinnati from Across the Ohio River, Convington, KT

Cincinnati from Covington, KT

 

 

The view from the top of the Carew Tower, 2nd tallest building in Cinci and built in 1931, gives stunning views of Cinci and the surrounding green countryside.

The Ohio River from Mt. Adams

A typical street in the Over The Rhine neighborhood.

Findlay Market is one of the oldest (and only) remaining public markets in Cinci. Located in the heart of Over The Rhine, this market is full of good food, good prices and good people. Just good all around.

At Twin Lakes in Eden Park

Photographing Lakeshore Drive, A Craig Hudson photography Road Trip

Photographing Lakeshore Drive: The sand has reclaimed large amounts of the beach as it lies altogether abandoned to the elements until warmer weather brings back the tourists. Lake Michigan’s shimmering water is subdued by the clouds overhead. The lake is a beautiful color of teal green, like an over chlorinated swimming pool on a cruise ship. Its waters rise and splash angrily against the concrete walkway, making puddles that hold reflections of the downtown landscape. After making a run to Starbucks to grab a white mocha (free because the cashiers computer wasn’t working, winning) I got back just after the sun had gone down. I waited awhile and continued to snap photos until the colors of happy hour had drained from the sky to be filled with darkness.

Chicago from the Beaches

Approaching blue hour near Lakeshore Drive

 

Looking North toward Lincoln Park

In the heart of blue hour on Lake Michigan

 

Reflections of Chicago

The Chicago river is made up of a series of canals and branches that run through Chicago. The river runs through the heart of downtown (aka the “Loop”), creating a unique landscape that also makes for great pictures.

On the South Branch of the river. The Merchandise Mart is to the left.

The South Branch with the Willis (Sears Tower) in background

The Chicago Vietnam Veterans Memorial with the Wrigley building in background

The Wrigley building and Chicago River. The Tribune building at right

Rainbow River

Under the CTA Rail. The majority of the rail lines are above ground, giving the rider a sense of flying over rooftops

The famous Chicago Theater. Built in 1921, the theater now serves as a performing arts venue.

Tonight I will be returning to the Canal and a few other places before leaving for Indianapolis. From there I will be onward to Cincinnati!

Photographing Chicago Waterfront-a Craig Hudson Photography Road Trip

Photographing Chicago Waterfront-Yesterday I ventured out to the Chicago Waterfront. Before blue hour started I walked by the famous “Bean”. I plan to return to that spot to make a good picture before I leave.

At the Bean

Lake Michigan has the teal blue color of a swimming pool, most beautiful when blue hour sets in.

Along Monroe Harbor

Along the Waterfront, Chicago, IL

I walked further down towards Adler Planetarium, which is located on a peninsula reaching outwards into Lake Michigan. The area provides a stunning panoramic view of downtown Chicago

Willis (Sears) Tower and Downtown at Dusk

Downtown Panorama at Blue Hour

Downtown Chicago

As blue hour ticked away and night replaced the deep blue colors of the sky, i walked to the tip of the planetarium. There, the waters of Lake Michigan splashed against the path.

Alongside Adler Planetarium

Alongside Adler Planetarium, looking towards downtown

Buckingham Fountain was dedicated inside Grant Park in 1927. Inspired by the fountains at the Palace of Versailles, this massive icon stood empty in the large plaza. Unfortunately it is only in operation between mid April and Mid October, so I was only a little too early. I guess I will just have to come back.

Stay tuned for photos along the Chicago River which I will be taking tonight.

Photographing Nashville, Part 2

Photographing Nashville, Part 2: Typing away as we drive through the rain on the way to Chicago, I wanted to show all of you what I was able to get out of Nashville on the last day that I was here. I hope you enjoy seeing them as mich as i did taking them. Ps. I’m very tired, so dont expect much writing in this post. I promise I will make up for it in Chicago (and possibly Milwaukee)

Skyline, Mid-day

Skyline, Sunset

Skyline, Night

Nashville Across the Cumberland River

Today I saw for the first time ever an actual working steamboat!

The General Jackson!

Broadway is the main street in downtown Nashville. Because of this, the entire area from the Cumberland to 8th Ave is lined with bars, clubs and tourist gift shops.

Broadway & 4th

EXTRAS!

I’m a sucker for ornate and decorative interiors. The Union Station Hotel is no exception. This large stone building was apparently renovated after its initial role as a train station (considering this is Tennessee, I wonder if it had ever been called Confederate Station? Fun fact: Nashville was the first state capital of the Confederacy to fall into Federal hands during the Civil War, in 1862. Two years later, Confederate General John Bell Hood would lead the Army of Tennessee (for god knows what strategic reason) on a mission to retake it, resulting in the battle of Nashville. It was a disaster, with the Union defensive lines around Nashville striking first and decimating the confederate army, essentially ending any large scale movements or fighting for the duration of the war in the Western Theatre.

Lobby of Union Station Hotel

Walking back to my hosts place late at night in East Nashville. Not much there to be honest.Pretty peaceful though

 

On Broadway somewhere between Vanderbilt University and Downtown.