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DPChallenge Forums >> Out and About >> My Semi-Annual Photo Trip #7: San Francisco
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12/19/2010 04:18:01 AM · #1
Spring 2008: Maui, Hawaii
Summer 2008: Eastern Oregon, Painted Hills and Beyond.
Spring 2009: Paris, France
Summer 2009: Olympic Peninsula and Washington Beaches.
Spring 2010: Arizona wildflowers, slot canyons and rocks.
Summer 2010: Vancouver B.C and Beyond
Winter 2010: San Francisco

I know, I know, it's no longer semi-annual, but still fun.

First off, the total trip must be compressed into 7 days. Two days driving there, 3 days there, two days driving back. Haven't been to San Francisco since I was 6, so this should be fun. We're camping in a little van, somewhere south of the city. But not too much further. Going with father and user 31.gif NickDay. Anyone else who'd like too meet, up we'd be delighted to shoot around for a bit.

DATES: Saturday December 25th through January 1st

TO DO: (in no specific order yet)
1. SFMOMA (Museum of Modern Art)
2. Battery Spencer in Marin Headlands
3. North Vista Point (sunset) in Marin Headlands
4. TransAmerica Pyramid
5. Walk the golden gate (day)
6. California street hill and cable car (day)
7. In-N-Out Burger at fisherman's wharf + fisherman's wharf photos (day)
8. Book Store + Starbucks for Wifi (day)

9. Rodeo Beach (thurs nigh! :D)
10. Twin Peaks (night)
11. Bay bridge shot from pier 14(night)

12. Coit Tower

(hopefully get a reservation at) Samuel Taylor's Park Thank to 21_F.gif sfalice and 21.gif Bear_Music for that! it's simply the perfect spot, with online booking.

Some inspiration for all of us:

Flickr: McClures Beach
Flickr: Rodeo Beach

Thanks in advance!
- Jackson

Message edited by author 2010-12-30 18:58:47.
12/19/2010 04:30:40 AM · #2
If you're driving down from the Pacific Northwest, the more logical places to camp would be just NORTH of the city, not south...

If you gotta be south, try Henry Cowell Redwoods or Big Basin Redwoods State Park. There's camping also at the State Park at Half Moon Bay State beach, on Highway 1 a few miles south of SF. The redwoods are between San Jose and Santa Cruz.

North of the city, Samuel P Taylor State Park in Marin County stands out, but there's a bunch of possibilities.

There's so much actually to DO in SF it's hard to even know where to start. Hopefully one of our local members will have some good, and timely, suggestions. Try pestering 21_F.gif sfalice and 1031.gif GeneralE :-)

12/23/2010 07:15:06 PM · #3
South I would assume to be a bit warmer, correct?
12/23/2010 07:22:10 PM · #4
Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park will be about 7 hours south of you and may be a great stop if you have the time. Dunno the temps this time of the year, but I'm assuming they are moderate due to being on the coast. Loved my visit!

Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_790488.jpg Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_790489.jpg
12/23/2010 07:59:33 PM · #5
Originally posted by ApertureJack:

South I would assume to be a bit warmer, correct?

Not that much temperature difference north and south of San Francisco, but if it's raining it will be heavier to the north. I believe there is still a youth hostel at the Montara Lighthouse, and/or at Pigeon Point near Half Moon Bay, if you want something cheap bu indoors.

What kind of stuff do you want to see or take pictures of? I am more familiar with the East Bay currently, but have lived both just north and south of the area my whole life ...
12/23/2010 08:09:35 PM · #6
How about the Camera Obscura and Sutro Bath ruins at Land's End?
12/23/2010 09:15:10 PM · #7
There are so many places a little direction as to what yoyu are interested in shooting would help. Currently at the sf moma is a henry cartier bresson exhibit. With the passing of the winter solstice the sun is setting as far south as it will get and the passing rain storms lift the fog and bring the good light to the coast. If heading down the coast I would reccomend luffenholz beach in trinidad ca. 5-6y hours north. If heading closer to sf I would head to point reyes to mcclures beach and up through mt tam across bolinas ridge. Lands end is a good reccomendation. Also after the recent full moon you have negative tides so lots of exposed rocks too. Currently I am at the irish bank bar in the financial district.
12/23/2010 09:44:29 PM · #8
Originally posted by Bear_Music:

I Try pestering 21_F.gif sfalice and 1031.gif GeneralE :-)

Yes, you don't have to pester too hard. First, a complete agreement with what 21.gif jdannels said.

Then, just off the top of my head:

Obviously, if you have the time, take Highway One where it starts up near Leggett (off #101). There's a privately owned (admission charged) 'drive through' tree there which is hokey but strangely fun. After driving through some redwoods, spectacular ocean views are yours for the remainder of your trip to San Francisco. However, this route will take you at least 8 hours and probably more. Still, you might get to see Fort Bragg and Mendocino on the way.

In any event, once you find the Bay Area, Pt Reyes National Seashore is top-of-the-list, as is, as mentioned, Sam Taylor's Park - where camping is available. But it may be booked well in advance.

Less than one hour north of town is Mount Tamalpais with splendid views and fun hairpin turns. the Bolinas Ridge is here. Familiar to many because new cars used to be introduced to the public on its curves. Just below Mt. Tam is Muir Woods National Park. Towering Redwoods there. Get there EARLY. Parking is a drag.

Just north of the Golden Gate Bridge are the Marin Headlands with spectacular views. (If you like, I'll help you find your way to them)

San Francisco. Well, what do you want to see? Icons like the TransAmerica Bldg, Coit Tower? Neighborhoods? Geography? Cable Cars? Just holler.

South of town, and still on Highway One: plenty to see, but down at Santa Cruz National Bridges State Park there are Monarch Butterflies this time of year. Still got time? A little further down the coast at Ano Nuevo State Park the Elephant Seals should be in. Mating and birthing is the attraction at this time of year. However, it's a three mile hike and only in escorted groups by reservation. Not perfect for photographers. You have to go all the way down below Big Sur, near Cambria to get access to these beauties without an escort.

I have some time during the next week and would be delighted to show you around. Give me a PM if you like.
12/24/2010 06:59:00 PM · #9
Thanks so much to everyone! Esp. 21_F.gif sfalice and 21.gif Bear_Music. I've compiled a little list. Still needs some definition, addition, and slimming down. Marin Headlands looks FANTASTIC. Seriously can't wait now.

Alice, I'm assuming you meant "Santa Cruz Natural Bridges State Park". Right?

All in all, these looks like great places. The thing I really need at this point is someone to tell me when the best times to see these places are. I've added my list on the primary post. Thanks again! Leaving Sunday the 26th no,w realized the 25th is x-mas... HAHA! Feel pretty stupid now.

P.S, those who want a little laugh:
First image on google images searching Ft. Bragg that comes up for me... lol

Message edited by author 2010-12-24 18:59:27.
12/24/2010 11:41:38 PM · #10
Lots to look at, ApertureJack, here in San Francisco and in surrounding areas. Mcclure's Beach is fantastic for tidepool photography. So you might need to find out when low tide is (I'm not good at tide tables, sorry) Located in Pt Reyes Seashore, it is something of a drive and then a hike down a trail to the beach, but splendid once you've done that. Depends on how much time you have, of course.

Marin Headlands is fairly easy to navigate, unfortunately with sections of the really good drive closed off for what is called modernization. There are pullouts where good views are still very much available, assuming fog and weather cooperate.

In SF, think about the Overlook at Twin Peaks Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_852874.jpg for a nice City view. Also twisty Lombard Street is a standard shot, cable cars at various locations Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_428006.jpg like California St, or Fisherman's Wharf Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_926420.jpg are good any time of day. Union Square has a ice skating rink right now along with the impressive municipal Xmas Tree. Oh, yeah, those Victorians. Better pictures than this Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_558094.jpg should be easy to set up if you take the time. This one is definitely an afternoon shot.

JDannels would be the one to talk about best times for local shots, but depending on the weather, it's a crap shoot anyhow.

National bridges vs Natural Bridges? Yes, either is close enough for government work.
:)) If you get down that far, afternoon is best, when it is likely to be warm enough for the Monarchs to spread their colorful wings.

Okay, that's enough. Good luck on your trip, and if I can be helpful while you are in the area, PM me.


12/26/2010 06:07:18 PM · #11
Thanks again! :D
Any way to go through the redwood park without going down the coast? We'd rather speed up this long trip by going through the mountains. Odd to think about, lol.
12/26/2010 06:52:37 PM · #12
Originally posted by ApertureJack:

Thanks again! :D
Any way to go through the redwood park without going down the coast? We'd rather speed up this long trip by going through the mountains. Odd to think about, lol.

If you're going Route 101, The Avenue of the Redwoods is easy to get on and off. Also, if you stay at Samuel Taylor State Park you will be among redwoods. Also bear in mind that this park is 15 miles west of San Rafael (On Sir Francis Drake Blvd) off Route 101.

If you are going Route 5, I don't know. And you might want to consider length of time cutting back to the coast as you near San Francisco. Someone more familiar with Route 5 will be more helpful to you than I can be.
12/27/2010 01:11:31 AM · #13
yeah 101 is the coast drive, very slow. We're taking 5. Damn
12/29/2010 02:31:10 PM · #14
Alright! We're in SF @ a starbucks. Turns out, the SFMOMA is right next door!!! :D So we'll be heading there shortly.

Today also hoping to capture coit tower and the transamerica bldg.

Then either go to rodeo cove/beach or north vista point for sunset. Any ideas as to the difference between rodeo cove and rodeo beach is? Can't seem to figure it out/ Thanks! Beautiful city so ar. Parking is... hard.

ETA: Thanks! :D
and already visited battery spencer. B.E.A.U.T.I.F.U.L shots. Will post later.

Message edited by author 2010-12-29 14:32:24.
12/29/2010 03:02:54 PM · #15
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