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  1. #1

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    Planning a trip to San Fran this summer.. where to shoot?

    Hey guys,

    Me and the family are planning a trip to San Francisco this summer and wondering where some good areas to go shoot. I like photographing people and inique areas. Anyone here from this area and have any good location in and around the area. Obscure places.. Maybe Castro dist?...Height Ashbury? Also keeping mine the the family too, so they wont be bored.

    Thanks ToddB

  2. #2
    arealitystudios's Avatar
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    Having lived in San Francisco for many many years I can safely tell you there will be no shortage of nice places to shoot.

    The Palace of Fine Arts was always a favorite of mine. There is a children's discovery museum right there which is fun if you have younger kids in your family and the surrounding park is very worthy of photographs. Right across the street from the Palace of Fine art is a lot of boat docks and a great view of the bay including the Golden Gate Bridge.

    Yerba Buena Center for the Arts is also a nice place. It is sandwhiched between the San Francisco Musuem of Modern Art and the big Sony Center (not sure the exact name these days) so you have both shopping and cultural interests on either side.

    Golden Gate Park is always nice if the weather is good.

    I honestly don't recommend Haight Ashbury. It's a complete tourist trap these days and very much filled with pan handlers and homeless. By myself I have no problem walking through it, but if I was with a family, especially young kids, I wouldn't bother.

    Chinatown in San Francisco is INCREDIBLE. Supposedly it's the largest Chinatown district outside of Asia. I believe it. Lots of fantastic food, things to see, unique shopping, and just great people watching in that district.

    Just across the Golden Gate on the north side of the bay there is a lot of nice hiking trails if you are looking for a quite moment away from the hustle of the city. Great views of the San Francisco skyline and the Goldgen Gate bridge can be found here a long with the remains of old military forts which make great photographs.

  3. #3
    jp498's Avatar
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    I went there last summer. Fog and rain. I was more interested in nature than people. I headed south. Follow the coast as long as your time will let you. You won't regret it. Nice driving and beautiful coastline. I had one day to wander, so I drove down and spent time at Point Lobos (Think Edward Weston and his various iniquitous hippy chicks) near Carmel, Bixby Bridge, and drove back up via the farmland inland a bit (such as rt 101) to get back to my flight at San Jose. You can find cities anywhere in the world; you can only find coastline and rolling hills like CA has in CA.
    Last edited by jp498; 03-18-2013 at 01:35 PM. Click to view previous post history.

  4. #4

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    I'm in SF once a year or so in business, I kind of like the streets around the Moscone/SoMa, and on a sunny day the park behind the cone, maybe coz I'm always "stationed" at the cone though...

    http://street-photos.net/ | http://felinik.com/ | http://www.facebook.com/jf.felinik

    "The one with the most stuff when he dies wins"

  5. #5
    TheFlyingCamera's Avatar
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    There's plenty of people-watching in the Castro, and generally they ignore you if you look and act like a tourist (ie don't get intrusive into their personal space). I would NOT go wandering around the Tenderloin or Polk Street with kids in tow, but there's plenty of characters around there (be careful who you point your camera at, as the hookers, johns and pimps may not take too kindly to what they could mistake for police surveilance). The Mission district is a great spot for people-watching - along Valencia between say 15th and 20th (and you'll find a killer meal while you're in the neighborhood!). Take a drive out Geary Boulevard and pass through the Korean, Vietnamese, and Russian neighborhoods. For a quick break from the urban scenery, at the very end of Geary Boulevard, just before it drops downhill and to the left at Cliff House, turn into the parking lot on your right, above the ruins of the Sutro Baths. You can descend to the baths ruins, and walk on the beach to take in Seal Rock, then climb back up and follow the cliff-top trail along the coastal headlands of Lands End. It's a beautiful patch of total wilderness with the sea breezes, salt air, and the crying of the gulls, a few hundred yards from total urbanization. Go about a mile along the trail and you'll have amazing views of the Golden Gate Bridge.

    Another terrific nature break from the city are the Open Space Preserves, halfway down the peninsula, between Half Moon Bay on the coast and Palo Alto on the bay side. Purisima Creek OSP is relatively easy to get to (head south on highway 1 through Half Moon Bay, turn left on Miramontes Road, right on Higgins Purisima Road, and enjoy the scenery until you get to the park entrance (there's very little parking at the entrance, so you'll probably have to park on Higgins Purisima Road or Purisima Creek Road and walk back)). You'll be walking through a grove of giant sequoias along a canyon carved by a stream with several waterfalls along its course, and there will always be banana slugs to entertain the kids. On the way back to SF, swing through Palo Alto, get something to eat on University Avenue, take a drive down El Camino Real to California Street and poke your head in Keeble & Shuchat to do a little camera shopping.

  6. #6

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    Wow!! Great stuff guys. Taking notes. Sounds like more stuff that I have time for. I know we are looking at 5 or 6 day there and then driving down Hwy 101 Costal HWY? I really want to check out Big Sur for some costal pic. I know that my mother in law whats to check out the wine country. I'm thinking there might be something there to take pics.

    Todd

  7. #7
    TheFlyingCamera's Avatar
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    Highway 1 is the one you want. The 101 is inland of the coastal mountains and has a pretty bleh view for the most part. Wine country is north of San Francisco, and you can make a day trip out of it. I'd suggest getting one of those Gray Line bus tours of wine country if your MIL is setting the agenda for the day, plus you'll be able to consume at the tasting rooms of the vineyards without worry. I survived the experience without being too terribly bored as a 13-year old, so your kids will probably be able to tolerate it as well.

  8. #8
    arealitystudios's Avatar
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    If traveling outside of San Francisco is in the cards for you then yes, I highly recommend a trip down Hwy 1 along the coast. I would personally go south and make a pit stop in Santa Cruz for burritos and nachos (any taqueria will be amazing in that town) and then continue south until you get to Carmel.

    Carmel has a lot of art galleries and shops. Your family will enjoy the variety and you will enjoy one gallery in particular (Photography Gallery West) that has Ansel Adams and Ed Weston prints galor.

    And yes, avoid Hwy 101 if you are going south. That is the inland highwy and it's pretty boring. North of San Francisco Hwy 101 and Hwy 1 overlap at times, but not south.

  9. #9
    Tony-S's Avatar
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    If it were me, I'd drive east for 4 hours to YNP.

  10. #10
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    Fort Point under the southern end of the Golder Gate Bridge -- the kids will enjoy it, also. A Civil War era fort guarding the bay...with displays, etc. Interesting building, gawking tourists and the GG Bridge. And free. I took the following from on top of the fort (4x10 negative, scanned carbon print).
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Girders_Golden_Gate_Bridge.jpg  
    At least with LF landscape, a bad day of photography can still be a good day of exercise.

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