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Another California Fall Trip

AT&T Park; San Francisco, CA Copyright  2014  Andy Richards

AT&T Park; San Francisco, CA
Copyright 2014 Andy Richards

My first ever visit to California was in October of 2011, when we spent a week in the San Francisco Bay area. I fell in love with the city, and particularly, the two bridges that border it on the Northwest and the Southeast. But everywhere in between, is a photographer’s paradise. There are subjects for landscape shooters and travel and street photographers alike. There is plenty of “fodder,” both in daylight and at night.

Lombard Street; San Francisco, CA Copyright  2014  Andy Richards

Lombard Street; San Francisco, CA
Copyright 2014 Andy Richards

In 2013, we were again, very briefly in San Francisco, for 2 days, bookending a 3 day wine-tasting trip with some friends from the Obrien Estate Wine Club in Napa. I didn’t have much chance to shoot on that trip, but did get a grey/cloudy day shot of one of my favorite San Francisco subjects, the Bay Bridge, connecting Oakland and San Francisco.

China Town;  San Francisco Copyright  2014  Andy Richards

China Town; San Francisco
Copyright 2014 Andy Richards

So I looked forward to our long weekend trip to San Francisco again this October (2014). We stayed right downtown in SOMA (South of Market Street), and I was, once again, within a 10 minute walk from the Embarcadero and the Bay Bridge, the downtown Financial District, and Chinatown. I am a relatively early riser, and with the 3 hour time differential, was once again, up and on the street before first light, each morning.

City Lights Bookstore San Francisco, CA Copyright  2014  Andy Richards

City Lights Bookstore
San Francisco, CA
Copyright 2014 Andy Richards

Since my first trip in 2011, I had a few images on my “bucket list.” I had come home satisfied and with some nice images, I left a couple out there. Most notably, I have wanted to photograph the iconic row houses on Alamo Square; “The Painted Ladies.” Even though this is a proverbial “post card” shot, I still wanted to shoot it. I was able to get there on a sunny afternoon, probably too early for the very best light. But with the able assistance of NIK Viveza, I was able to salvage a decent shot of this subject.

Alamo Square Row Houses Copyright  2014  Andy Richards

Alamo Square Row Houses
Copyright 2014 Andy Richards

Another place I wanted to see and photograph was the famous Lombard Street, the so-called world’s most crooked street. In reality, it is a switchback cobblestone street down a steep hill. One morning, I made the 35 minute walk from my hotel to the base of the street. The last block was an almost vertical climb up a street. Every time I visit San Francisco, I marvel at the steep hillside streets, and wonder what it might be like if there were snow and ice there. As you can see from my image, there really is no conventional photograph from street level, here. I have been told that in order to capture this image, you need to get up into one of the upper stories of the homes lining this street. A friend did get a pretty cool image of tail light trails down this street one evening, however.

Lombard Street; San Francisco, CA Copyright 2014  Andy Richards

Lombard Street; San Francisco, CA
Copyright 2014 Andy Richards

I also was able to photograph the Palace of Fine Arts, which has some really nice architectural features.

Palace of Fine Arts San Francisco, CA Copyright  2014  Andy Richards

Palace of Fine Arts
San Francisco, CA
Copyright 2014 Andy Richards

While walking around on the Embarcadero, I also wandered onto AT & T stadium, home of those “Tiger-tamers,” The San Francisco Giants. It’s an impressive stadium, right on San Francisco Bay.

AT&T Park; San Francisco, CA Copyright 2014  Andy Richards

AT&T Park; San Francisco, CA
Copyright 2014 Andy Richards

On our last day, we traveled up to Tomales Bay in Marin County, and out to the Point Reyes Lighthouse, where in the space of about 12 miles, we drove from clear blue skies to totally fogged-in conditions. Unfortunately, there was no clear view of the Light. We finished up the day, though with a nice sunset on cliff above the Point Bonita Light, which guards the opening of the Golden Gate.

Point Bonita Lighthouse Marin Headlands, CA Copyright  2014  Andy Richards

Point Bonita Lighthouse
Marin Headlands, CA
Copyright 2014 Andy Richards

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2 Responses

  1. Nice work, Andy.

    BTW., I’ve been to Pt. Reyes three different times (most recently in 2001) and I have yet to see anything but foggy conditions there.

    • Thanks, Kerry. We have found that the weather in the Bay Area has been pretty clear most of the time when we visit in October. But I understand that it is very rare for there to be a clear day at Pt. Reyes. Not sure when I’ll get another chance to go.

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