Panorama of San Diego City Skyline at Dawn, Storm Clouds and City Lights

By December 8, 2013January 8th, 2022Beautiful Views of San Diego, Panoramas, San Diego

I arrived very early one morning at one of my favorite spots from which to photograph America’s Finest City, only to find the sky engulfed with thick storm clouds. However, as my eyes adjusted to the dark and I could see the pastel colors that spread outward from the city and painted the clouds above, I realized how fortunate I was to have this opportunity to photograph San Diego’s beautiful bay-front skyline underneath a ceiling of colorful storm clouds. Since the light levels required a long exposure to properly photograph scene, I managed to make one panoramic image before the light show was over. This occurred about 45 minutes before sunrise, when there is barely any sunlight showing (just a glimmer on the southeastern horizon, just above Coronado Bay Bridge on the right). Artificial light from San Diego’s downtown buildings as well as cars making the early morning commute on Interstate 5 and over the Coronado Bay Bridge produce the light illuminating the underside of the thick storm clouds. For a short while this artificial light is balanced with the approaching dawn, producing the view you see below. The colors that can be photographed before dawn (after after sunset) are much more intense than those during the day; I actually had to reduce the color saturation in the finished version of this image. This very high resolution photograph will print up to 4′ high and 13′ wide. Cheers and thanks for looking!

San Diego City Skyline viewed from Harbor Island, storm clouds at sunrise

San Diego City Skyline viewed from Harbor Island, storm clouds at sunrise.
Image ID: 28844
Location: San Diego, California, USA

Prints of this image are available here. If you like this, you might want to see more photos of the San Diego city skyline or my San Diego gallery.

About Phil Colla

I am a natural history photographer. I enjoy making compelling images in the ocean, on land, and in the air. I have maintained the Natural History Photography blog since 2005 and my searchable Natural History Photography Library since 1997. Here are some tear sheets and behind the scenes views. Thanks for looking!