They didn’t turn on the light.

A few weeks ago, San Francisco hosted the festivities for the Super Bowl extravaganza. A lot of buildings had their celebration lights on, like they do for the Christmas Holiday season. The Bay Lights on the Bay Bridge were up and shining again, and the Transamerica Pyramid was dressed up for this happening too.

I didn’t want to miss seeing and photographing this unusual event. So one night I drove to the Marin Headlands after work. I went to a spot on Conzelman Road from where the top of the Transamerica Pyramid is nicely framed by the north tower of the Golden Gate Bridge.

Golden Gate Bridge frames Transamerica
Golden Gate Bridge Frames Transamerica


At the top of the Transamerica pyramid, there is a 6000 watt white beacon, called Crown Jewel, and a 1000 watt FAA mandated aircraft light (red). The beacon is only lit on special occasions, like it was the previous few days to celebrate the beginning of the Super Bowl festivities. So I expected it to be shining that night as well. But it didn’t come on… and I waited and waited…

San Francisco Celebrations Lights and Golden Gate Bridge Tower


Did you notice the different color of the pyramid? The color changed every few minutes. Since the Crown Jewel wasn’t lit, I moved on looking to photograph something else. The sky was beautiful that night with different layers of clouds. They created a nice contrast to the international orange of the Golden Gate Bridge tower.

South Tower with Layered Clouds


Since I was already on the other side of the Golden Gate, I did a little detour down to Fort Baker. The water was calm and created a nice reflection of all the different lights of the Golden Gate Bridge.

Golden Gate Bridge with Reflected Lights


And I couldn’t resist to take another shot of the city. It looked a bit different directly on the water. Isn’t it cool how the horizontal stripes in the water formed a checkerboard pattern with the vertical lines of reflected lights. Although the Crown Jewel was still not on, the blue Transamerica tower made a nice accent.

50th Super Bowl San Francisco Skyline


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