Gaslamp area is fairly touristy now, and still lots of cranes for construction. If you will be at the convention centre, then you might want to escape downtown a little . . . at least for photography. Little Italy area is just a short trolley ride away (Blue line), and actually quite nice for casual photography. You can find Nelson's Photo Supply on India Street for getting more film, and a few blocks north on Kettner is Chrome. I have been using Chrome for 94% of my film developing for over ten years, starting when I was still in college . . . highly recommended, and fast turnaround on E-6. If you are shooting B/W films, I recommend Gaslamp Photo on Market Street between 4th and 5th; a short walk from the Convention Centre.
Coronado provides the best views of downtown skyline, especially if you want to do some night shots. This area is also where the Hotel Del is located, and one of the nicest beaches in the area, even in November.
Traffic sucks during rush hour on weekdays, so going north along the coast, or east in the afternoon is tough. If you do venture out into the mountains, or towards the desert, then leave in the morning and come back later in the day. The roads near Alpine and Pine Valley will provide many interesting photo opportunities, if you like wilderness photography. Julian is a bit more touristy, though still interesting to visit.
If you get a chance to browse the area on Google Earth, you might get a better feel of where to go. It is a somewhat mountainous area with many canyons, and some interesting lighting and photography choices.
If you venture to Balboa Park, there are some museums free on Tuesdays, though prices on other days are quite reasonable. The Japanese Friendship Garden is quite nice to visit. You might also want to venture through MOPA, the Museum Of Photographic Arts. With little rain this year, unfortunately the flower gardens are not that great in the park, though there is a nice desert area at the edge of the park, and some interesting architecture.
A G Studio
Border Field State Park-only 10 minutes drive from downtown.
Laguna Mountains-45 minute drive
Balboa Park-Close to downtown
Tijuana Mex-Walk across the border for the day
Pt. Loma- Sunset Cliffs
If there isn't any haze, I'd go to the Pt. Loma lighthouse and shoot back at San Diego...phenomenal view of the entire city and bay.
Many thanks to you all.
I am travelling at the end of this week and will certainly be using some of your tips.
Who knows, I might even post a picture or 2 here when I get back:)
The weather got chilly this weekend, highs in the 60's. It's been cloudy/foggy/overcast in the AM, sometimes clearing inland, but not at the beach. This is typical weather for this time of year, though. Hope you enjoy your time here!