Spring break in San Francisco

Discussion in 'Scenic, Architecture, and Travel' started by ilsiu, Apr 6, 2015.

  1. ilsiu

    ilsiu Mu-43 Regular

    Dec 4, 2012
    Here are some images from a recent 4 day family trip to San Francisco. Everything was from either an EM5 + 12-40/2.8 or EM1 + 40-150/2.8 (I used two bodies so I wouldn't have to change lenses). Since this was first and foremost a family trip, we hit the popular tourist locations, so don't expect a lot of originality in these images :). Everything but the panorama stitches were handheld.

    1. Palace of Fine Arts: This was taken ~30 minutes before sunrise; stitch of 5 vertical images.

    2. Muir Woods National Monument: We arrived early in the morning, so it was pleasantly uncrowded. It was also pretty misty so I needed to use ISO 800 ~ 1600.

    3. Muir Woods National Monument: Those redwoods are really big.

    4. Muir Woods National Monument: Although the redwoods are the main attraction, there are a lot of interesting small things on the forest floor.

    5. Alcatraz Island: From a bay cruise we took in the morning

    6. California Street: I had to cross this street a few times, pausing very briefly in the middle, to get this shot. I wish the cable car was closer, but by the next green light, it had already passed my intersection.

    7. Baker Beach: We got there about 45 minutes before sunset. I originally planned to stay for the sunset, but the beach was very crowded, so we just enjoyed the sand and water. Closer to the bridge, the north section is a nude section; fortunately my family stayed near the south section.

    8. View from Ina Coolbrith park. Another pre-dawn shot, Coit tower, the Bay Bridge, and the Transamerica Pyramid are visible from this small park. This is a 10 (2x5) image stich.

    Thanks for looking and C&C are welcomed.
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  2. DeeJayK

    DeeJayK Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Feb 8, 2011
    Pacific Northwest, USA
    These are some fantastic shots, particularly given that this was a family vacation and not solely focused on photography. :thumbup:

    The two panos are my favorites and I also really like the shot down California with the Bay Bridge tower in the back as well as the image of your kids at the beach with the iconic Golden Gate in the background.

    I love the colors and the symmetry in the PFA shot, but there's something about the framing/cropping that somehow strikes me as "off", although I'm having a tough time putting my finger on it. Perhaps the horizon being centered in the frame robs the image of some sense of dynamism? I'd love to see what it looks like with a bit less pond and a bit more sky perhaps. But even as is, I wouldn't hesitant to print that image big and hang it on my wall.

    You're absolutely right that the California Street shot would be improved with the cable car closer. It definitely needs something of interest in the foreground. But sometimes we have to work with what we have in the moment.

    I'm going to seek out Ina Coolbrith park the next time I'm in SF. I've been in that neighborhood dozens of times, but I never knew those great views were right there.

    Looks like you had a fun trip. I've got a family trip to the east coast (Boston, NYC, DC) next week and I'm hoping I can come away from that vacation with a couple of images that are even half as good as these.
  3. ilsiu

    ilsiu Mu-43 Regular

    Dec 4, 2012
    DeeJayK -

    Thanks! I especially appreciate the feedback on the PFA shot. I go back and forth between having more head or foot room on it. With more sky above, the balance feels better but then structure seems smaller to me. I'm still trying to decide between #1 and #8 for a large metal print.

    Regarding the panos, I was really lucky that the skies were clear those mornings, which allowed for the great color; it would've been even nicer if there were some scattered clouds, but I don't want to be too greedy :). I was also able to sneak away early in the morning by myself for these, so didn't have to disrupt any trip plans. Finding time to get to great sunset locations without ditching the family was pretty much impossible.

    Enjoy your east coast trip and post some pics!
  4. DeeJayK

    DeeJayK Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Feb 8, 2011
    Pacific Northwest, USA
    I can see the argument for having the horizon in the middle of the frame given the mirror-like quality of that still pond and the symmetry it provides. Maybe I'm hewing to close to the "Rule of Thirds" in my thinking. A bit of interest in the form of clouds in the sky would certainly provide more balance if one were to move the horizon to the lower third of the frame. Barring that, or some object of interest in the foreground were you to move the horizon to the upper third, the mid-frame horizon might be the best solution. Anyway, that's all really a niggle -- it's a great shot.

    I was going to suggest a metal print myself since I think that would really fit that image and allow the colors to pop.

    That's a good strategy to get some solitary time. I'll have to see if I can sneak something like that into my plans.
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