Starscapes - Matt Walker
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Bixby abd Beyond

Bixby abd Beyond

I have been waiting for an opportunity to make this shot for a while. I reluctantly left my house Saturday night close to midnight knowing there was fog off the coast. My patience had finally run out, and I decided to take a chance despite NOAA"s forecast of fog from San Mateo to Big Sur. By the time I was driving through Santa Cruz, the fog was visible on the road, but the satellite showed it was still clear in Big Sur. I drove through thick fog all the way into Carmel Valley, and right around Point Lobos it cleared. I could see stars through my windshield, and it became a race to get some shots in before the fog rolled in.
I arrived around 1:30 a.m., and walked out to my predetermined location. I had scouted this spot visually the week before on a shoot with Jeff Lewis. I wanted to make sure I could walk out to the bluff, and it looked doable. What I didn't realize was how much Poison Oak was growing on the bluff as I walked out with my flashlight. I made way through the Poison Oak as well as possible, and set my tripod on the cliff.
It was crystal clear everywhere on the coast, except for a blob of fog developing right above the hills in the background. I just started shooting, and hoped for the best. Around 3 a.m. I could see the fog coming in from all directions, and a few minutes later I could barely see the bridge. Knowing the fog was inevitable, I went for one 10 minute exposure at ISO 500 at F/4. During that 10 minutes, no joke, someone started light painting the bridge with a powerful light. I couldn't see them, or hear them, but I knew it was another photographer. I'm pretty sure it helped illuminate the bridge.
Ironically, the next night would have been the perfect night to shoot, but I was too wiped out from the night before to make another attempt. I actually got some cool shots with the fog streaming in, but I ended up choosing this shot as it showed the MW the best.

This is two shots blended:
Sky F/3.5 @ 30 seconds @ ISO 2000
Foreground F/4 @ 10 minutes @ ISO 500 with some lucky light painting on the bridge.

Bixby BridgeMilky WayBig SurMatt Walkerroots walker2014