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  1. #11
    TheFlyingCamera's Avatar
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    The area as a tourist I'd be most worried about would be the Tenderloin at most times of the day, and the Polk Street area after dark. Although it's safe for you personally, do exercise caution when you're in the area around the Calumet store (21st and Bryant) as it is still gentrifying and cars do get broken into if you leave things sitting out in view. The Mission district looks rougher than it actually is, but still exercise reasonable caution. Paranoia is not needed. Chinatown is a great area for urban shooting, as is North Beach. If you want to see some parts of town that are very reflective of the "real" San Francisco without looking like postcards, take a drive out Geary Boulevard heading west from downtown. You'll pass through a number of ethnic enclaves including Russian, Greek, Vietnamese and Korean communities. If you want a break from the urban stuff, when you're at the end of Geary Boulevard, just before you get to Cliff House, turn in to the parking lot on the right and take the trail leading away from Geary Boulevard (Land's End trail). You'll walk along the cliff heads with an amazing view out over the Pacific, and maybe 3/4 of a mile or so along, there will be a set of stairs that lead down to the Land's End beach. You can get a nice view of the Golden Gate Bridge from the beach that will be very different from what you're used to seeing. Just a word of caution - Lands End Beach is used by nudists in good weather - that said in the half-dozen times I've been to it, I've only ever seen one person sunbathing nude, and they were being harmless just sitting there. Also worth the trek across the GGB are the WWI/WWII era fortifications in the Marin Headlands portion of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area.

  2. #12
    Dave Krueger's Avatar
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    I will be carrying only 35mm equipment on this rip, so I will obviously look more touristy than someone wih a view camera. When I shot a few test pictures of a local fire station with my 4x5 Cambo several years ago, I'm pretty sure they thought I was setting up a rocket launcher. I got their permission before hand and they still came out to see what the heck I was planning to do. haha!

    Anyway, I will be carrying a shoulder style gadget bag with two bodies and three lenses. I will also have a very light weight tripod and monopod that I may carry with me on occasion. I will be taking some infrared film with me which will need the tripod. I've heard that cops judge whether you're a pro versus amateur by whether you're carrying a tripod and they have apparently been known to enforce rules against commercial photography without a permit.

    I remember hearing stories on the news about SF's terrible crime rate in the late 70s and still never really felt threatened, so I'm not anticipating too much trouble. My concern now has shifted to cops and security guards being the most likely interference. On a recent walking trip around Nashville, I wasn't harassed at all (even around the federal courthouse). I was almost hit by cars three times, though (and that's when I was in the crosswalk and the light sad "walk").

  3. #13
    BradS's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Krueger View Post
    I will be carrying only 35mm equipment on this trip
    ......My concern now has shifted to cops and security guards being the most likely interference. On a recent walking trip around Nashville, I wasn't harassed at all (even around the federal courthouse). I was almost hit by cars three times, though (and that's when I was in the crosswalk and the light sad "walk").
    If you look and act like a tourist in San Francisco, you will will find that the probability of getting struck by a car while crossing the street much higher than that of being hassled by police. In fact, crossing the street maybe the only real danger in the city.

  4. #14
    Jon Shiu's Avatar
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    watch out for cars, trucks, buses, trolleys, skaters and bikes!

    Jon
    Mendocino Coast Black and White Photography: www.jonshiu.com

  5. #15

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    I've never had a problem with a tripod on sidewalks. All in all, with iPhones and Holgas and tourists and a big 'Art' school downtown, you can do most anything. I've seen students shooting films laying dolly tracks all over the place with people just going around. Don't block the full sidewalk, watch for people in wheelchairs and such, and keep an eye on dogs mistaking a tripod leg for a tree.

    Speaking of which, keep your eye out for dog poop.

    And watch for bicyclists and cars. I'm not sure which is worse- cars do more damage, but there are more bicyclists doing dangerous moves. Just approach any intersection as if you are playing Asteroids- flying objects can come from any direction at any moment. DO NOT blindly trust things like 'WALK' signs and traffic lights. Too many people take them as mere suggestions.

    Not sure when you were last here. SOMA has changed a lot in the last few years ('South Beach' is simply a real estate creation, still SOMA). Valencia Street and Dolores Park have a lot of life, albeit a rather narrow 'ecological niche.' Walking Market St. to Haight, up to Glass Key for some film (and music), over to Divisadero and then down the Panhandle to the Park or Upper Haight (Haight-Ashbury) would be a nice stroll. Crissy Field in the Presidio has become quite a nice promenade. Starting at the end of the Fishermen's Wharf tourist area, the National Maritime Museum's ship collection at Aquatic Park is nice, Fort Mason has a great community garden tucked into the middle of the upper area, the walk to the Palace of Fine Arts (recently restored, with Barn Owls just fledging) and along the Marina Green and Crissy Field is nice, and Fort Point under the Golden Gate Bridge is a great building and location.

  6. #16
    Sparky's Avatar
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    If someone started harassing me about taking pictures - first thing I'd tell them is to stop harassing or else I'm going to report them to the police...

  7. #17
    BradS's Avatar
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    again...I just cannot imagine anybody harassing you about photographing anything in San Francisco....watch for cars, bikes and dog poo...for sure.

  8. #18
    TheFlyingCamera's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BradS View Post
    again...I just cannot imagine anybody harassing you about photographing anything in San Francisco....watch for cars, bikes and dog poo...for sure.
    Alas, Harvey Milk, you are missed. Dog poo was the issue that got him elected! Now that he's been dead I guess the city has lapsed in its vigilance. Then again, it's nowhere near as bad as it is in Buenos Aires, which has more dog poop on the sidewalks than the Korean DMZ has landmines.

  9. #19
    Dave Krueger's Avatar
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    Geez! I thought you guys were kidding about the dog poop.

  10. #20

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    I wish I was kidding about the dog poop. Man, do I wish.....

    There are more dogs than children in SF. There are people with bumper stickers saying, 'I have a dog. And I vote.' The dog poop on the sidewalk is just the tip of the pile! And quite a huge pile it is, on all sides.
    Last edited by Dan Daniel; 08-16-2011 at 03:28 PM. Click to view previous post history.

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