Top 10 Places to Photograph San Francisco

June 07, 2020  •  1 Comment

After living in the San Francisco Bay Area, I wanted to share some of my favorite spots for photography,  which I found from my personal photography expeditions around the area. With its soaring hills, expansive bridges and an incredible waterfront, everywhere you turn in the Bay has more great photography locations and amazing opportunities for photography. 

 

HERE ARE MY TOP 10 PHOTOGRAPHY LOCATIONS IN SAN FRANCISCO:



10. Cable Cars at California Street: This is taken at the junction of Stockton and California street. Find a suitable spot and frame your shot from here. This place is very busy and the moving cable cars will give you a very small window of time to capture the scene. The best time to shoot is dusk where ambient light matches the city lights - it's absolutely mesmerizing. 
Cable Car and Bridge, San FranciscoCable Car and Bridge, San FranciscoCalifornia Street - Cable Car and Bay Bridge at Dusk

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

9. Pier 39: Sea Lions are one of the reasons why PIER 39 is a top attraction in San Francisco. On a typical day, you can find them lounging in the sun or piled on top of each other on K-Dock in PIER 39's West Marina. You can go there anytime of the day and take their pictures.

Sea Lions of Pier 39 : San FranciscoSea Lions of Pier 39 : San FranciscoSea Lions of Pier 39 : San Francisco

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

8. Fog from Hawk Hill: Hawk Hill is a 923-foot peak in the Marin Headlands, just north of the Golden Gate Bridge and across the Golden Gate strait from San Francisco. It requires about a quarter mile hike. The views are amazing and you may be able to capture landscape submerged in fog - especially in months of March and September when there is a low fog season.

San Francsico; 5D mark III, Canon EOS 5D, Golden Gate, Hawk Hill, Marin Headlands, San Francisco,FloatingI went to Hawk Hill for Log fog but it was too high to see Golden gate Bridge... I was on the other side and found this piece of hill floating in fog....  

 

 

 

 

 

 



7. Painted Ladies of Alamo Square: Alamo Square is a residential neighborhood and park in San Francisco, California, in the Western Addition. Its boundaries are not well-defined, but are generally considered to be Webster Street on the east, Golden Gate Avenue on the north, Divisadero Street on the west, and Fell Street on the south. You can go in the park and you will see this row of beautiful, victorian era houses called Painted Ladies. In the background, you can see San Francisco's skyscrapers. Evening and dusk are good times to see colorful ambience there. Downtown Lights, Alamo Square, San Francisco, CaliforniaDowntown Lights, Alamo Square, San Francisco, CaliforniaDowntown Lights, Alamo Square, San Francisco, California

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



6. Palace of Fine Arts: The Palace of Fine Arts in the Marina District of San Francisco, California is a monumental structure originally constructed for the 1915 Panama-Pacific Exposition in order to exhibit works of art. Completely rebuilt from 1964 to 1974, it is one of only a few surviving structures from the Exposition. It is located at 3601 Lyon St, San Francisco, CA 94123. This place is very easily accessible via car or public transport. Anytime of the day, this place is mesmerizing and offers good photo opportunities.

Palace of Fine Arts, San FranciscoPalace of Fine Arts, San FranciscoPalace of Fine Arts, San Francisco under the blue sky

 

 

 

 

 

 



5. Lombard (Crooked) Street: Lombard Street is an east–west street in San Francisco, California that is famous for a steep, one-block section with eight hairpin turns. Stretching from The Presidio east to The Embarcadero. You cannot easily find the parking near cross streets of Hyde and Lombard as this place gets very busy, but when you do, it'll be worth it. Once you are here, you can enjoy the view and take the shots. Lombard Street, San FranciscoLombard Street, San FranciscoLombard Street, San Francisco

 

 

 

 

 



4. Marshall's Beach: This beach is a small, remote shorefront area with rugged terrain, bird-watching & gorgeous views of the Golden Gate Bridge. It is little tricky to reach here as it requires bit of hiking down. The only way to access Marshall’s Beach is by foot off of the Batteries to Bluffs Trail. If you don't want to do hiking, go to the easily accessible Baker Beach which also offers almost same views of Golden Gate Bridge. You need to have wide angle lens to take shots of Golden Gate Bridge from Marshall's beach. Also during sunset time, sun going down in the Pacific Ocean offers amazing photo opportunities as well. Golden gate Bridge at SunsetGolden gate Bridge at SunsetGolden gate Bridge at Sunset - Taken arond the sunset time
 

 

 

 

 



3. Treasure Island (Yerba Buena Island): Yerba Buena Island sits in the San Francisco Bay between San Francisco and Oakland, California. The Yerba Buena Tunnel runs through its center and connects the western and eastern spans of the San Francisco–Oakland Bay Bridge. Drive on San Francisco Bay bridge and take the exit to this beautiful island, follow the road to Treasure Island and drive down at water level. Find a suitable parking and be ready with your camera. You will need a tele lens to cover the San Francisco skyline. Also, you can explore the island towards higher ground and discover the places to take shots of east span of bridge and San Francisco. Bay Bridge and San Francisco SkylineBay Bridge and San Francisco SkylineBay Bridge and San Francisco Skyline - Winter Holiday Lights
 

 

 

 

 



2. Twin Peaks: Twin Peaks, named for its pair of 922-foot-high summits, is a remote residential neighborhood with modern homes densely packed on steep lots along winding streets. A grassy 64-acre hilltop park is a popular attraction, with its hiking trails leading up to wind-swept peaks and 360-degree views of the Bay Area. It is very easily accessible via car and ample of parking (it gets busy during peak seasons).  San Francisco FogSan Francisco FogSan Frncisco city is a beautiful place and you never know what are you going to find as weather is so unpredictable.. I was on Twin peaks to enjoy a warm weather dusk when I saw fog started pouring in the city....

 

 

 

 

AND THE TOP ONE IS



1. Golden Gate Bridge (Marin Headlands): The Marin Headlands is a hilly peninsula at the southernmost end of Marin County, California, United States, located just north of San Francisco across the Golden Gate Bridge, which connects the two counties and peninsulas. The entire area is part of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area. This place offers unlimited amazing views of Golden gate Bridge with San Francisco in background. If you want to take pictures, plan bit ahead and be there as this place is very busy and finding parking is hard here. Towers in FogTowers in FogGolden Gate Bridge in fog, San Francisco, California

Hope the list above helps. Feel free to ask questions in comments section and I will be happy to respond.

 

 

 

 


 


Memories from Jaipur

March 11, 2016  •  Leave a Comment

I was in India - During summer of 2013. It was a sweaty afternoon with stormy skies and clicked this shot in Front of Hawa mahal in Jaipur, Rajasthan, India.

 

  Stormy Afternoon at MahalStormy Afternoon at MahalStormy Afternoon, Jaipur, Rajasthan, India


Fog filled Sunset: Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco, California

November 08, 2015  •  Leave a Comment

It was one of the moody evenings I decided to take a stop at Hawk Hill in San Francisco and my luck was smiling at me. It was one of those rare sightings where low fog at around sunset was creating this mesmerizing scene. Wind was blowing real hard as well and this beauttiful scene lasted for a shot time only as fog took over everything. 

Tech: Canon 5D Mark III, EF100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM, @142.0 mm,  f/5.0,   ISO 200, panorama created using several shots. Raw shots imported in capture one, final touches and panorama created in Photoshop CS6

Fog filled Sunset: Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco, CaliforniaFog filled Sunset: Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco, CaliforniaFog at Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco, California


Veiled Curtains

August 27, 2015  •  Leave a Comment

Mossbrae falls is a hidden gem around Mount Shasta region of Northern California. It is so amazing to see this place in person. It feels like a  huge veil of water curtain over green moss falling in Sacramento river. If you visit this place in a summer afternoon, is is absolutely stunning to see amazing sunlight giving silvery touch to waterfall and lighting up green moss behind it.

How to go there:  Accessibility to this place is another challenge as it is located in a very secluded place. You will have to travel to town of Dunsmuir in Northern California. You have to come to intersection of Scarlet way and Dunsmuir ave, park your car in a legal parking somewhere and enter thru a arch (Shasta retreat  41.228384, -122.275889) to Scarlet way and keep walking towards railroad (there are signs which will say no trespassing), crossing the river via over bridge (41.230357, -122.279238). Turn right and keep walking next to railroad about 1.5 miles and you will hear the waterfall sound (41.241572, -122.266795).  

Technical: I took 3 shots using Nikon D800e and Nikkor 14-24, @ f/11, ISO 50, 24 mm in raw format, initial import and processing in Capture One, created HDR using Photomatix, final touches in Photoshop CS6 and Nik software.

Mossbrae Falls - Dunsmuir, CaliforniaVeiled CurtainsMossbrae Falls, Dunsmuir, California


Trip to Crater Lake

August 11, 2015  •  Leave a Comment

Crater lake was always in my wish list to visit. This summer one of my friend called me on Friday and said lets have a family outing in Crater lake area. We drove from San Francisco area and stayed at Klamath falls. We started pretty late next day from there as I did not want to deal with massive long weekend traffic. We reached there around late afternoon had some snacks at hut on rim. Kids had lot of fun. We spent good 2-3 hours and decided to come back to hotel around sunset.

While returning , I saw few photographers standing close to rim near a almost dead tree and stopped there. Boy it was a beautiful sight, it was some famous tree which is pretty popular among local photographers. I decided to stay there for sometime and shoot the last sunlight featuring the tree.

Technical: Nikon D800E, Nikkor 14-24, 24mm, f11, 2 shots, raw processing in CaptureOne 8, final touches in Photoshop CS6 and Nik software, Panorama in CS6.

 

Sunset at Rim: Crater LakeSunset at Rim: Crater LakeLast lights at the Rim: Crater Lake summer sun

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