The Berkeley Bay has always been one of those sites that I told myself I should photograph, and when I got my new Samsung NX300, I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to take it on a test drive. So I made my way on my trusty steed (aka my bike, of course) towards the Bay, with dusk lingering on the horizon.
Sunset is the perfect time to take photos since it creates the perfect light to capture warm colors and stark shadows. It’s also the perfect time to whip out the “Sunset” feature on your Samsung NX300, which takes advantage of a scene’s natural warm tones to make your sunset glow brighter and give your photos that extra dose of romanticism that sunsets are known to induce.
So with the sunset counting down, I ventured to my first stop: the Berkeley Aquatic Park, which I would describe as an abandoned summer camp. Even though I’ve never spent any summers on a lake, there’s something about canoes camped on a dock that makes me nostalgic. What can I say—I guess I’ve always longed to do one of those epic jumps into the water from a rope swing. Snapshotting away, I started easing into what I like to call “the photo zone.” The photo zone is the part of photography that forces you to become present in your surroundings. It’s when you really embrace this that you can see the beauty in simplicity. So with the zone buzzing away, I made my way to my final destination.
About 11 miles across the water from San Francisco Bay is the Berkeley Bay, which consists of a couple restaurants, a boat-stuffed Marina, and one of the longest piers I’ve ever walked on. While San Francisco Bay is known for it’s barking sea lions at Fisherman’s Wharf and the foodie elite at Embarcadero Center, the Berkeley Bay sits in stark comparison, with its isolated jetty and only the sounds of the wind-struck waves to keep you company.
If you decide to embark on the journey down Berkeley’s pier, you’ll find out that halfway through there’s no turning back, since each step brings you that much closer to San Francisco glimmering in the horizon. And if that’s not enough to tempt you, there is in fact a little gem at the end of your journey. A break in the pier reveals that it used to extend much further than it does today. Actually, the pier used to extend 3.5 miles into the bay, but over time it eroded and now only 3,000 feet is maintained and open to the public.
This feeling of isolation is everywhere on the pier. Remnants of graffiti are lingering reminders of past visitors, and fishing poles seem to hang over the edge with no one in sight to claim them. With the natural light slowly fading I said adieu to the pier, and while I looked across the Bay, the city lights shown brighter, a reminder that while Berkeley’s day is over San Francisco has just begun waking up.