Tower Shadows on Marine Layer

August 07, 2006


Provided and copyright by: Mila Zinkova, Fogshadow
Summary authors & editors: Andy Young; Jim Foster; Mila Zinkova

It's another foggy day in the San Francisco Bay area of California. The fog, actually a marine layer, slowly covers the city with a weary web of gray, leaving alone only the skyscrapers in the sunshine. I stayed at Twin Peaks near the Golden Gate Bridge and watched the approach of this marine layer. Tourist buses came and went, and on occasion, visitors were unloaded to take quick shots of Downtown, still nicely lit by the setting Sun. Nobody seemed to notice the splendor of the shadows falling on the marine layer. If they were more observant, they too would have been captivated by the eerie and ever changing shadows produced by the Sutro Tower.

These fascinating shadows look odd since we're not used to seeing shadows in three dimensions. The thin marine layer was just dense enough to be illuminated by the light that passed through the gaps in the tower structure. As a result, the path of the tower's shadow through the "fog" appears darkened. In a sense, these shadow lanes are similar to crepuscular rays, which are caused by cloud shadows, but here, they're caused by the tower's shadows. The shadows loom large because they're closer to the camera than is the tower. Photo taken on May 29, 2006.

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