The South Bay Photography Meetup Group Message Board › Good locations for Sunrise/sunset/nature photography in around Cupertino

Good locations for Sunrise/sunset/nature photography in around Cupertino

Raghu
raghugollapalli
Cupertino, CA
Post #: 2
Hi,
I am looking for a nice location for capturing Sunrise/sunset/nature...within 10 miles of Cupertino. Can you please help?
Thanks
Raghu
XSI
18-55+55-250+50mm1.8
Mike
user 8461637
Mountain View, CA
Post #: 6
Rancho San Antonio ?
prodesma
user 5562241
San Francisco, CA
Post #: 70
anywhere along shoreline park, i prefer the southern end... just around moffett field or further north in palo alto is nice too. i think can be nice for both sunrise & sunset. i've been there at sunset and caught some brown pelican silhouettes against the setting sun over the hills.

along skyline 35, there are a few nice spots IMHO too... there is a parking lot/turnoff somewhere around there that has a nice unobstructed view over the entire valley. i'd guess this would be a good sunrise location.

maybe this helps, i dunno. cheers.

~ david
Raghu
raghugollapalli
Cupertino, CA
Post #: 3
Thanks a lot friends. I was already in Rancho.. shoreline park is something I haven't tried. Will try:-)
Lidiya
lidiya
Sunnyvale, CA
Post #: 13
Hi,

I live in Palo Alto and I am also looking for good sunset locations. I was at Russian Ridge Open Space Preserve a week ago during the day and the Ancient Oaks Trail has a gorgeous view to the west. I am going to try to get there for sunset later in the week and I'll let you know, but it's definitely worth checking out.

http://www.bahiker.co...­

Please update the thread if you find any other great places!

Take care,
Lidiya
Lidiya
lidiya
Sunnyvale, CA
Post #: 14
How was Rancho San Antonio?

Thanks,
Lidiya
jcdill
user 6884677
San Jose, CA
Post #: 1
In my experience, there are no good places to take photos of sunsets within 10 miles of Cupertino. The Santa Cruz Mountains are too close and too tall, the sun sets behind them well before sunset. To get good sunset photos you need to either go up on top of the mountains (along Skyline road) or cross the mountain (to West Santa Cruz, or Half Moon Bay or to Pacifica/San Franciso), or go to the east bay where the mountains in the west are further away, smaller in view, are less of an obstruction to sunset views/colors.

For Sunrise, try the waterfront along the bay. I have great sunrise photos from the Bayfront park (at Marsh Road at 101), from Mariner's Park in Redwood city, and from Foster City. Again, all are more than 10 minutes from Cupertino.

Note: We think of the east bay as being "east" of us, and of San Francisco as being "north" of us, but that's not the case. The lower peninsula from San Jose to Redwood City runs almost due east/west. When you look across at the "east bay" you are usually looking far north of where the sun will actually rise "in the east".

The most dramatic colors are often seen about 30 minutes before sunrise. Here are my tips for shooting sunrises:

1) When there was a beautiful sunset (lots of color, lots of clouds but not so cloudy as to obscure the sun), the next morning might also have a beautiful sunrise.

2) Check the weather - is it going to be cloudier/rainy in the morning, or is tomorrow morning supposed to be much like this evening? Sometimes we get a beautiful sunset just as weather is blowing in, and the following morning will just be rain.

3) Use the cleardarksky.com website to see how cloud cover in the area is supposed to change between tonight and tomorrow morning. Again, if the morning is supposed to be "socked in" with 100% cloud cover, odds are poor for a great sunrise. Also, 0% cloud cover usually means a poor sunrise. Exception - if there's a fire or recent volcano eruption that has put smoke and particles in the sky. Then a clear sky can still be very colorful and dramatic.

4) To calculate your wake-up time add:

a) The time it takes (for you) from the alarm going off to getting in your car to go take photos;
b) How long it takes to drive, park, walk or hike, to your sunrise shooting destination;
c) Add in time for a stop at Starbucks, if you do this type of thing;
d) Add 1 hour (arrive 1 hour *before* sunrise) to allow for setting up, and so you can get the pre-dawn colors.
e) I use http://www.usno.navy.mil/USNO/astronomical-applications/data-services/mrst-us­ to determine sunrise times. This page includes the "azimuth" which tells you how far north or south of "due east" the sunrise will be. (90 is due east - 0 is due north. Make sure you adjust for magnetic north vs true north when using a compass.) This is *very* useful if there's a distant figure you want in the sunrise photo (e.g. a certain bridge, or part of the bridge).
f) Subtract this total from the time of sunrise. Yes, this means getting up really, really early!

Get results like this: JC Dill - Sunrises
Mike
user 8461637
Mountain View, CA
Post #: 7
Raghu -

Sorry I forgot about Shoreline. I thought it was outside your 10 mile radius, but I was wrong.

I've gotten decent sunrises at Shoreline (just went there last Sunday) and Don Edwards in Alviso. The sunrises themselves are ok, but the early morning birding opportunities are fantastic.

You (and Lidiya) may also want to try Baylands in Palo Alto - right on the Bay. I shot some beautiful sunrise pics there a few months back. The only drawback is that if the gate's closed, you won't have a place to park your car.

I'm actually going to try Don Edwards in Alviso again on Sunday if the weather forecasts improve.
Raghu
raghugollapalli
Cupertino, CA
Post #: 7
Hi JC Dill / user 6884677 - This is impressive and VERY detailed information. Thanks for sharing. I checked your photos on the smugmug - I was simply blown away! True.
Hope to see you around in one of the meetups.
Thanks a lot!

Raghu
http://digitalphotota...­
....
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In my experience, there are no good places to take photos of sunsets within 10 miles of Cupertino. The Santa Cruz Mountains are too close and too tall, the sun sets behind them well before sunset. To get good
Raghu
raghugollapalli
Cupertino, CA
Post #: 8
Hi Lidiya,
Thanks for sharing! Rancho was not too impressive as I went on a cloudy day for sunset:-( By the way how did you take this photo in your profile? did you lie down and take it upwards?
Thanks

Raghu
http://digitalphototalk.blogspot.com/­
...
How was Rancho San Antonio?

Thanks,
Lidiya

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