Morning in San Francisco

Morning in San Francisco

Blue hour at the Ferry Building in San Francisco…

Read More

In the Ferry Building

In the Ferry Building

Inside the Ferry Building in lovely San Francisco…

Read More

San Francisco in blue and gold

San Francisco in blue and gold

I'm a big fan of the city of San Francisco, and always enjoy my visits to the City by the Bay.  I also love the Ferry Building there, and that's the main subject of today's post.  I caught a wonderful blue hour there one morning on my last visit, as well as some other cool shots from a sunset or two.  Take a look at this collection of 12 pics and enjoy!

Read More

20 Minutes in the Ferry Building

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!

Thank you for stopping by today!

Sunrise at the Ferry terminal

Catching the first ferry of the day in San Francisco!

San Francisco is a wonderfully beautiful town, whether you bring a camera along to document it or not (though I obviously recommend you do).  When I am there I try to shoot as much as possible, which is hard because I am always there on business.  But somehow, I find a way.  :-)

Actually, "the way" is that I normally get up early and wander the streets before I get busy with work.  That's ok with me.  Though I like my sleep as much as the next person, I like photography better, so I make sacrifices.  Isn't that why caffeine was invented anyways??

On the morning of this photo, I was wandering around the Ferry Building area (which in addition to being close to my normal hotel, is also my favorite building in SFO) and shooting away.  It's a great area because in addition to the Ferry Building, just a few steps away is a great spot to shoot the Bay Bridge from.  It's all good.  In fact, that's the Bay Bridge off to the right there.

So I fired away inside the Ferry Building way before anyone else showed up, and then as sunrise was coming together I popped out back for some of that nice morning light that I alway seem to find out West.  I saw this Ferry terminal and decided it would look cool to snap it with the great color and light...and then a guy walked up to buy a ticket.  I decided to take the shot anyways, and am glad that I did.  I feel like having him there gives it a little different feel.  What do you think?

Prowling around the Ferry Building

The Ferry Building is my favorite building in San Francisco!  What's yours?

I just love the Ferry Building, and try to visit each time I go to San Francisco (though sadly, I fail in this effort at times).  It's just such a compelling place, architecturally speaking.  The interior hallway (which you see here) is just rich in details, and the exterior has that big red neon sign out back, staring out over the Bay.  It's beautiful.  I wish I was there shooting it right now!

It also has a fabulous Farmer's Market a couple of days each week, filled with artisanal baked goods, cheeses, chocolates...and more!  It's all very yummy.

As far as photography goes, I try and get there in the morning before the crowds show up, since I like my shots essentially devoid of humans (though you can see one way in the distance in this shot).  In addition to the numerous stores in the building, there are also some business offices which are up on the second floor. 

I've been up there to shoot as well, and you get a great view down on this lower hallway.  But note they don't allow tripods on the 2nd floor, and there is a guard there as well.  Down below, I've never had an issue.

So if you visit SFO, be sure and swing by here early one morning and fire away!

Morning in the Ferry Building

As a follow up to yesterday’s post – where I mentioned that the Ferry Building is my favorite building in San Francisco – I thought I would share an inside view of the place.  It’s a very historic building, and serves as both a ferry terminal and a marketplace.  There are shops inside featuring lots of good food and drink and they even host a farmer’s market on weekends.  It’s all pretty fun and interesting. 

But as I tend to do in places like this, this one was shot around 7am.  I always like to get out and shoot early, especially when dealing with well-known landmarks or places that are normally busy.  It’s a real treat to get a place all to yourself (well almost, you can see a couple of folks way down the hall).  A few stores were open as they prep for the morning rush, but mostly I had it to myself, which was great.

I shoot here nearly every time I visit San Francisco.  Even though the view doesn’t change, I find the place just incredibly beautiful from an architectural standpoint.  So, expect more like this someday. 

A ferry foggy morning

I was in San Francisco recently, and most people are aware that the city often gets blanketed in thick fog.  However, I have never experienced it despite having been there many times over the last few years.  But my recent trip was a bit different – I experienced quite a bit of fog, and found that it was great fun to shoot in.  It adds an interesting moody element to a shot.

One morning I got up and headed out to shoot along the Embarcadero and around the Ferry Building, which is my favorite building in the city (thus far, at least).  Since it is a ferry terminal, it sits on the water and the fog was literally *right there*.  It was pretty awesome, actually.

This is right behind the Ferry Building and is one of the ferry landing gates, or whatever you call them.  I loved the thick fog of course, as well as the orange lights and the reflections.

Before the first ferry

I want to thank everyone for their visits and comments this week.  I am traveling and have not been online much, so it is nice to see that folks are stopping by to view my daily shots.  Thank you for that!

Secondly, due to my extensive travels this week, I have a HUGE amount of new photos to process and share so you will be seeing those arrive here starting sometime next week.

Lastly, though I have been doing an iPhone photo post at the end of the week recently, today I am not doing that.  But, I have several hundred new iPhone shots to share too!  More soon!

This was a sunrise in San Francisco, CA that I captured one morning while wandering around behind the Ferry Building there.  It's a great spot, and I was happy to find it empty at this early hour (go figure - the smart folks are still sleeping!) and enjoyed the colors in the scene.  Plus, I just love the Bay Bridge which you can see in the distance - I am always shooting that thing! 

Ferry Building impressions

I love the Ferry Building and tend to shoot it from this same spot on nearly every trip I make to San Francisco.  It's just a beautiful scene in my opinion.  Consequently, I have a lot of shots that look pretty similar though.  But that's ok, because even though I shoot the same scene twice, in reality it never looks the same due to weather and lighting changes.

In this case, it was pretty dark already and this scene tends to sparkle a little more when there is more available light, at least in my opinion.  This is an HDR image and when I finished creating the HDR, the overall scene was somewhat "blah".  I briefly messed around with it and tried a few other things, but decided it was not going to make an impact.  But then I had an idea: how about changing it up and treating this more like an Impressionistic version or a watercolor-type of painting?  

So I popped over to Topaz Adjust and went to work. And you know what?  Topaz Adjust saved the image for me!  Thanks Topaz!