Northern California is lit up like a Roman candle most nights. We’re used to seeing city lights and neighborhood street lamps illuminate our towns and streets. Professional photographers understand something we don’t: light sets the mood. The darker the photo, the more mysterious, or sinister, or even magical the image.
1. Surprise Valley, Modoc County
Romantic or frightening? I vote romantic. A zillion stars on display brings out the sweetness of a still night in Modoc County. Plus, that old barn? Perfection!
2. Ferry Building, San Francisco
Daytime hours host thousands of tourists and hundreds of joggers and passersby. Night brings way less traffic. A much better time to visit, don't you think?
3. Bay Bridge, Oakland
This pretty lady just had an incredible makeover. What a different look in almost a candlelight effect. Gorgeous.
4. Port of Oakland
Since we're in the neighborhood already, what about the Port of Oakland? Usually so industrial looking and busy. Night gives it a haunting look.
5. Donner Pass
Heading to Donner Lake at night? Here's what you'd see after a snowfall. Beauty in the darkness.
6. Bidwell Mansion, Chico
General John Bidwell and his wife Annie called this stately mansion home. One of the first to emigrate to California, John was a general in the Mexican-American war, a republican delegate, host to presidents and governors (Stanford), and a huge proponent of the suffrage movement. His home looks awesome at night, too.
A field in Fairfield. Poetic, right? The city lights on the other side of this hill give this shot an eerie glow.
8. Bay Farm Island, Alameda
Darkness meets color here. Picasso would be proud. Taken on the lovely Bay Farm Island in Alameda. I wish i was there now.
9. Sundial Bridge, Redding
For those who love sharp lines and modern art, here you go. Sundial Bridge in Redding is a favorite spot for locals and travelers alike. Apparently, nighttime is the time to stop by. Who knew?
10. The Redwoods, Humboldt County
Breathe in deep, friends; this is where you want to be at night. Campers add a mysterious glow from their lamps on the forest floor. I can smell the campfire now.
11. Sonoma City Hall
Government dressed in night. Sonoma City Hall is the spot where the governing rules are made and where the wineries in the area concede to their leading. Wine doesn't just happen. Night adds a beauty to this building that's almost elegant. Right?
12. Folsom Hotel, Folsom
Nothing like a nightcap before bed. The beauty of this spot at night is the way it glows with lights during the holidays. Folsom is legendary for the visit of Johnny & June Cash at the prison. Folsom Prison Blues is infamous. Only a few miles away, I wonder if they stopped by the after their recording for some sarsaparilla.
13. Amtrak, Sacramento
Amtrak trains weave throughout Northern California daily. NIghttime is when the real work begins. Maintenance of these amazing beasts of industry is a big deal and hard work.
Livermore or Area 51? As crazy fast as Livermore is growing, this nighttime shot reminds us that farming and open spaces are still a thing. But, this could still be a scene from a horror flick, no?
15. California State Fair
The State Fair with the backdrop of night? Magical!
Northern California at night is quite a show-off, don’t you think? Where do you go for the best nighttime views? Share with us!