When in San Francisco, be sure and see the Ferry Building!
The Ferry Building is one of my favorite spots in San Francisco, a town which is full of awesome spots. But I do just love this thing. It's a beautiful building, and being a fan of architecture, I just love all the lines. It's a great subject for us photo-addicted types.
The funny thing is that even though I shoot there on many of my San Francisco trips, I never really tire of it. It's just one of those places that has captured me in some way. It's sort of like The Temple Bar in Dublin, Ireland. I could shoot it every day and never really get bored.
So on my most recent trip to San Francisco, which was a couple of weeks ago, I got out to shoot at about 6pm one day. The trouble was that it was raining, and raining hard. So I figured if I could brave the 10 minute walk from my hotel, I would be fine, since I was going to be inside the thing.
So I walked down Market Street and made my way inside. By the way, the choice of 6pm was on purpose. I tend to try and shoot places like this when there are likely to be fewer tourists around. I have shot the Ferry Building at 7am before and found it mostly empty, and I was satisfied with the thin crowds at 6pm on this day as well.
However, I was not satisfied with the Security Guards. Like I said, I have shot here several times over the years, and never been hassled at all. That is, on the ground floor I have never been hassled. I have also ventured upstairs before and was immediately told by Security that I could only shoot handheld there.
But down on the ground floor, I have never once had an issue, until this visit. Literally as soon as I set up the tripod and started framing my first shot, I was approached by 2 security guards, coming at me from both directions. I knew how this was going to end.
They informed me that it was "dangerous" to have a tripod there, but it was ok to shoot without one. I asked if they were concerned about someone tripping over the tripod leg, and they said yes. I made a show of looking around for people, but only saw them, me, and a couple of folks further away. Seemed pretty low risk.
I played nice though, and told them I was from out of town, and would really enjoy shooting this place because it is so beautiful. I guess my charms worked, because they actually said I could take a few photos, as long as I was quick and was careful with the tripod.
So of course I fired that first one, moved on, fired again, moved on and fired again...until I got towards the other end of the grand hallway. At that point, they both circled back towards me and I knew it was time to leave. I told them I was packing up (while my last shot fired, LOL) and heading out.
Luckily, it only took that 20 or so minutes to get all the shots I wanted, and when I walked outside the rain had stopped. I spent the next two hours walking down the Embarcadero, all the way to Ghirardelli, firing away happily the whole time. And, I got lucky with some great skies and an amazing sunset and blue hour. I'll share those when they are ready!