Photo: Sunset over the San Francisco Bay, California

Sunset over the San Francisco Bay on the Summer Solstice, June 20, 2016.

I have to thank my son for this shot, otherwise I would never have been able to share this photo with you. If I stayed home that evening I might have wound up standing in my yard filled with regret as the sky lit up with glorious colors in all directions.

The Story: I spent the day out of the house doing an activity that left me feeling a bit physically wiped out. I got home at about 5 o’clock abd enjoyed a beer under mostly sunny skies. Shortly thereafter I fell asleep on the couch for a nice little siesta. I woke up a few hours later under cloudy skies with my son — a newly licensed driver — asking if one of us wanted to go for a drive. By then it was already around 7:45 PM. I know my son doesn’t have aninterest in chauffeuring me around for my photographic pursuits, so I purposefully left my “real” camera at home, and instead grabbed my tiny little Sony RX100-mIII point-n-shoot.

My son was interested in taking a drive to the Berkeley / Oakland Hills via some of our local backroads. But as I saw the conditions for the sunset rapidly improving, I urged him to hop on the freeway and make the direct drive up to Grizzly Peak Blvd. When we arrived at 8:30 PM, the sun was just touching the horizon. There were already a large number of cars parked along the road; perhaps a bit more than usual for your typical Monday evening, but then again it was summertime which probably explained the huge number of teenagers and other assorted young adults.

For the next 15 minutes or so we watched as an incredibly beautiful light show spread across the skies over the San Francisco Bay Area. After the ‘show’ was over, we headed home. As we rounded a corner we were treated to the evening’s encore, the Strawberry Full Moon rising on the Summer Solstice. I did get a photo of the full moon rising over the hills. It was a once in a many-decades event.

The next morning the local TV news and web sites were all abuzz about the sunset from the previous evening. It’s really a testament to the special beauty of sunset were featured on more than a half-dozen local media outlets.

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Gary Crabbe is an award-winning commercial and editorial outdoor travel photographer and author based out of the San Francisco Bay Area, California. He has seven published books on California to his credit, including “Photographing California; v1-North”, which won the prestigious 2013 IBPA Benjamin Franklin Gold Medal award as Best Regional title. His client and publication credits include the National Geographic Society, the New York Times, Forbes Magazine, TIME, The North Face, Subaru, L.L. Bean, Victoria’s Secret, Sunset Magazine, The Nature Conservancy, and many more. Gary is also a photography instructor and consultant, offering both public and private photo workshops. He also works occasionally a professional freelance Photo Editor.


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