The Raygun Gothic Rocket, on its last day in San Francisco.
The Embarcadero in San Francisco is home to several large public art installations. One of my favorite has been the Rocket. When I learned that it was leaving the city, I decided to take one last photo (my first in LF).
I packed up my 8×10 camera and headed down there, to find I was the fourth person there with a camera. I composed and focused, made two exposures, and returned home. I had written the following notes:
- 4a iso 800 f/16 1s
- 3a iso 1600 f/32 2s
After my first exposure, of course, I wondered if I’d stopped down enough. There was a seagull perched on top of the rocket, too. Shoot. I took the back off the camera and eyed the coverage. I decided to stop down a little more, wait for the bird to get bored and fly off, wait for passers-by to get out of my camera’s view, then took one last exposure in bulb mode (counting 2 seconds). Taking a single shot seems risky to me in Large Format, so I always take at least two, each in different double-darks. And it gives me a chance to correct mistakes I catch after the first exposure. I considered this one done, so I packed up and headed home. Walking back to the BART station, I wondered to myself.. should I have taken another shot? Nah, too embarassing to show up again and set the camera up a second time.