Full Moon Pacific Blanket: an unusual SF Bay time-lapse


Gary Yost, author of the great essay Why should you create time-lapse stories, not just sequences loves making the invisible.. visible! Watch a natural phenomena that 99.99% of us never get to see!

The Bay Area is famous for its dense fog, and when you’re in it the fog is cold and grey. But there’s another side to the fog and the only way to see what happens when it fully comes in and blankets the SF Bay Area at night is to be above it.

Because Mt. Tam is closed to everyone but rangers and fire lookout volunteers after sunset, very few people have ever seen the majestically mysterious vapors of the Pacific ocean as it flows in to completely cover the Bay. What starts as a partial blanket quickly rushes in to fill the gaps and by 1am, the lights of the cities below eventually become completely smothered.

Because this specific night (8/9/2014) was a 96% full moon, the top of the fog and the slopes of Mt. Tam were fully illuminated by silvery-blue light and the only traces of humanity left were aeronautical… the lights at the summit of Mt. Diablo, the FAA radome on Tam’s West Peak, and the jets that are guided by that radome’s radar safely through the fog.


The first is a study of how the fog appeared under Saturday night’s silvery-blue full moonlight as it rushed in to completely cover the SF Bay area. Shot from the Mt. Tam Fire Lookout, it’s a new way of looking at something we all deal with during the summer but never are able to see for what it is… a magical mysterious tsunami of vapor that erases almost all traces of civilisation every evening.

Full Moon Pacific Blanket

This second piece features a Sun Glory which is an optical phenomenon that resembles an iconic saint’s halo about the shadow of the observer’s head.

Mt. Tam Fire Lookout Glory

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