Behind the altar at Grace Cathedral

Grace Cathedral is a beautiful church situated atop Nob Hill in San Francisco, and on my second attempt I was able to get inside.  My first attempt had been at about 10am on a Sunday morning, and though I could technically get inside, there was a service occurring and it was packed with folks.  I obviously didn’t think that one through before going, did I?  I like empty churches, at least for photography.  So on that Sunday I took a few shots outside, and then continued my random meanderings around San Fran.  A couple of days later, after I had finished work for the day, and as darkness was approaching, I decided to make the exhausting trek back up the seemingly non-stop hill to try and get inside the church for some photo time.  This time, no service - but oddly there were about 50 people doing yoga in the front part of the cathedral (just inside the door).  Lucky for me they were wrapping it up and packing it up, and that left the interior to me and my camera and a couple of tourists (yeah, I guess I was a tourist too but I was doing serious camera work!).  The main challenge I had was that it was getting dark outside, and the interior is a bit dark anyways, so it was tough to get enough light.  However, I did pull off 5 exposures at f/5 for this shot (-3 to +1) and was able to work a little HDR magic.  I would prefer a bit more light, and with the aperture at f/5 I think I sacrificed some details, but hey I was just happy to experience the beauty and grandeur of this wonderful cathedral.  It’s definitely worth a visit if you are in San Fran!