2014 Bay Area Trip

Photo Notes

San Francisco

Although we spent two days on the city tour, we missed some of the main areas we wanted to see. At the top of the list are City Hall, the 3 cable car shots, Coit Tower, Hawk Hill, Battery Spencer, Battery Cranston, Lands End, and Baker Beach.

Cable Car Shots - All three shots are on Hyde Street between Chestnut and North Point.. To get the best background, early to mid-afternoon are optimum times.

Coit Tower - The preference is to shoot this in the morning to shoot west across the city. It would also work in the afternoon to shoot across the bay. There is a small parking area around the tower.

Hawk Hill & Battery Spencer - Both are on the Marin Headlands and are late afternoon/sunset shots. Hawk Hill is higher and closer to Pt. Bonita and shouldn't be missed.

Battery Cranston, Lands End, and Baker Beach - All are on the western coast just south of the Golden Gate Bridge. This is a late afternoon shot with great views of the Golden Gate Bridge from the south.

Fort Point - This is a morning shot from the base of the south end of the Golden Gate.

Golden Gate Park Tea Garden - This is definitely a morning shot to get the area just inside the entrance in good light. The opening tea house shot is a good HDR candidate.

Haight-Ashbury - This area is rich in very colorful stores and signs. The best area starts at Haight and Masonic with "Jammin' on Haight." It's about a 5-block area from the stop for the Big Bus Tour.

Palace of Fine Arts - Morning shot to get the reflecting pond in the image and lit well. There is a Big Bus Tour stop there.

Alamo Square - Two houses were being worked on when we were there, so we only got part of the shot. This is a mid- to late-afternoon shot. The best shot may be from higher on the hill to get the flower bed in the shot, as well as the city in the background.

Treasure Island - This is a good place to shoot the city at night. The exit going east is from the fast lane on the Bay Bridge. The merge to return to the bridge is from a standing stop to 55. It is included on the night tour from Big Bus.

Bonita Lighthouse - Late afternoon lights the lighthouse from Bird Island Overlook. To reach the overlook, you park in the lot for the lighthouse and walk northwest up a street that has been closed to traffic.

Fort Baker - Morning light is best shooting from the Satterlee Breakwater to the Golden Gate Bridge. A second shot is from the base at the north end of the Golden Gate Bridge with the Needles in the foreground.


Domaine Carneros Winery - The chateau on a hill is an excellent morning shot. Get there early to shoot before the crowds fill the shot.

Castello di Amarosa Winery - How can you miss with a Tuscan castle? There are shots from every angle around the caste, but the best shots were HDR shots from the walking tour of the castle. The Great Hall is amazing.

Bistro Jeanty in Yountville - Very nice shot from the outside if you can get it without people.

California Coast

Garrapata Beach - This is a late-afternoon shot looking north at the rugged coast. A longer lens isolates the rocky coast.

Hurricane Point - This is the classic late-afternoon shot that includes Bixby Bridge.

Cow Arch - This was our favorite location of the trip ( 36.401114N, 121.906674W). Shoot late afternoon or sunset and hope for cows in the pasture.

McWay Falls - This is also an afternoon shot to light the falls. Park across the road in the state park and take the trail back to the shooting area.

Pigeon Point Lighthouse - Shoot at the first major turnout from the south and hope for wildflowers filling the field. There area also several turnouts as you get closer to the lighthouse with different foregrounds. Check them out. Our best shots came from an area filled with mustard and looking across a bay at the lighthouse.

Morro Bay - Our only real interest was the sea otters in the harbor near Morro Rock. Late afternoon light lit their faces as they played just offshore.