Russian Ridge Hike / by Brenda Hartshorn

Russian Ridge is an awesome place to go for an easy hike, especially after a good rain where the view would normally be limited by the smog and marine layer.  Yesterday was an unusually clear day due this favorable weather.  From the top, you can actually see light shimmering off the water of the Pacific Ocean in the far distance.  If you're lucky, along another part of the trail overlooking the Bay, you might be able to see a faint silhouette of San Francisco.

Photographically: 
I brought my 17-40mm L and a polarizer set at max for the whole hike- which I now regret.  When using polarizes for the sky in the northern hemisphere, it will look darkest looking north, less so looking south, and the least at west and east.  When you're shooting in directions of NW or NE, you will get a gradient going the wrong direction across the sky.  Not so good.  In those situations you might want to consider turning the polarizer to min.