PhotoSecrets San Francisco

A Photographer’s Guide

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A Photographer’s Guide
Andrew Hudson


Alamo Square “Postcard Row”Jjron/Wikipedia

San Francisco

366 views to photograph
Bay Bridge from Rincon ParkJason jenkins/Flickr
San Francisco Cable Car MuseumCaroline Culler/Wikipedia
Sea Lions on Pier 39Prayitno/Flickr
“Slanted Houses” of Russian HillHåkan Dahlström/Flickr
Stairs at Three Embarcadero CenterTelmo32/Flickr
Ferry Building and Bay Bridge from Pier 2David Yu/Wikipedia
Labyrinth at Grace CathedralCurtis Fry/Flickr
Bay Bridge from Pier 7CEBImagery/Flickr
Chinatown Gateway ArchChensiyuan/Wikipedia
Fort Point and Golden Gate BridgeLeaflet/Wikipedia
Garden Court at Palace HotelJamie McCaffrey/Flickr
Lombard Street from the topDawn Ellner/Flickr
Alcatraz: Recreation YardNathan Jongewaard/Wikipedia
Amazarasti-No HotokeAllie Caulfield/Flickr
Columbus TowerScott Schiller/Flickr
Columbus Tower and Transamerica PyramidLuis Villa del Campo/Flickr
Golden Gate Bridge from southeast endJessicakirsh/Shutterstock
Legs at Piedmont BoutiqueDominic Simpson/Flickr
M.H. de Young Memorial MuseumCliff/Flickr
Neptune Society ColumbariumTom Hilton/Flickr
Neptune Society Columbarium: SkylightChrissypan/Wikipedia
SFMOMA and the Telesis TowerDavid Pursehouse/Flickr
Fisherman’s Wharf SignJjron/Wikipedia
Golden Gate Bridge from Conzelman Road spot 2 at dawnJavarman/Shutterstock
Golden Gate Bridge from Conzelman Road spot 2 at duskAndrew Zarivny/Shutterstock
Golden Gate Bridge from Fort PointVicente Villamón/Flickr
Golden Gate Bridge from Lincoln Park Golf CourseDavid Ohmer/Flickr
Golden Gate Bridge from Marine Drive with chainPung/Shutterstock
Golden Gate Bridge from Marshall’s Beach at sunsetAndrew Zarivny/Shutterstock
Golden Gate Bridge from Marshall’s Beach in the late afternoonNicki Dugan Pogue/Flickr
Golden Gate Bridge from Moore Road PierDaniel Ramirez/Flickr
Green Glass Ship — Deep Gradient/Suspect TerrainDavid Ohmer/Flickr
Japanese Tea GardenCatchaSnap/Shutterstock
Lands End LabyrinthOssobuco/Wikipedia
Lombard Street from the bottomVictorgrigas/Wikipedia
Neptune Society Columbarium interiorTom Hilton/Flickr
Old Coast Guard Station from the PresidioWill Elder/Wikipedia
Pagoda at the Japanese Tea GardenJacky_oh_yeah/Flickr
Staircase at Hotel VertigoJennifer Scott/Flickr
Steinhart AquariumTelmo32/Flickr
The Three ShadesRuth L/Flickr
Cable Car and AlcatrazHolbox/Shutterstock
Cable Car and ChinatownDavid Ohmer/Flickr
Castro Theatre: CeilingBWChicago/Flickr
Coit Tower from Fisherman’s WharfArnaudh/Wikipedia
Coit Tower from Lombard StreetChensiyuan/Wikipedia
Conservatory of FlowersWolfmansf/Wikipedia
Diana statue at M.H. de Young Memorial MuseumAllie Caulfield/Flickr
Doggie Diner signSomeone/Wikipedia
Golden Gate Bridge deck from Vista PointBill Ebbesen/Wikipedia
Golden Gate Bridge from Battery Spencer at noonVacclav/Shutterstock
Golden Gate Bridge from Conzelman Road spot 1 with north tower with fog at duskMarvin Soriano/Flickr
Golden Gate Bridge from Conzelman Road spot 2 in the afternoonAndrew Zarivny/Shutterstock
Golden Gate Bridge from Conzelman Road spot 3 with fogBrocken Inaglory/Wikipedia
Golden Gate Bridge from Horseshoe BayApun Hiran/Flickr
Golden Gate Bridge from Marine Drive with baySalim Virji/Flickr
Golden Gate Bridge from Marshall’s Beach in the afternoonCan Balcioglu/Shutterstock
Golden Gate Bridge from Presidio Yacht Club with boatsHitchster/Flickr
Golden Gate Bridge from Slackers Hill with fog at duskRadoslaw Lecyk/Shutterstock
Golden Gate Bridge from Slackers Hill with fog in the morningLorcel/Shutterstock
Golden Gate Bridge from Vista Point at duskBilly7944/Flickr
Golden Gate Bridge looking up suspension cablesScreaming Monkey/Flickr
Golden Gate Bridge looking up towerDawn Endico/Flickr
Golden Gate Bridge with Fort Point at sunrise panoJoseph Sohm/Shutterstock
Hobart BuildingJeff Turner/Flickr
Koi Pond at the Japanese Tea GardenCaroline Culler/Wikipedia
Martin Luther King, Jr. MemorialMichael Fraley/Flickr
Moon Bridge at the Japanese Tea Garden in Golden Gate ParkJPL Designs/Shutterstock
National Park Service poster shotHorace Ko/Flickr
Rainbow flag crossingPimpinellus/Wikipedia
San Francisco CarouselTony Fischer/Flickr
San Francisco Ferry BuildingDavid Ohmer/Flickr
San Francisco Skyline from Pier 7David Ohmer/Flickr
San Francisco–Oakland Bay BridgeCaroline Culler/Wikipedia
Stairs at San Francisco Mechanics’ InstituteMike Behnken/Flickr
Stow Lake BridgePatrick G/Flickr
Streetcars and Ferry BuildingDavid Ohmer/Flickr
Streetcars of F Market & WharvesPaul Sullivan/Flickr
Transamerica Pyramid from steps on Telegraph HillDavid Ohmer/Flickr
Yerba Buena Island TunnelJacob Davies/Wikipedia
Yoda FountainSw77/Flickr
California Palace of the Legion of HonorSomeone/Wikipedia
Golden Gate Bridge from Presidio Yacht ClubDavid Wiley/Flickr
Telegraph Hill [San Francisco]Stephen Sommerhalter/Wikipedia
Transamerica PyramidDavefoc/Wikipedia
Yerba Buena IslandStepheng3/Wikipedia
California Academy of SciencesWolfmansf/Wikipedia
Golden Gate ParkWolfmansf/Wikipedia
Grace CathedralCurtis Fry/Flickr
Treasure Island [San Francisco]Brokensphere/Wikipedia
Golden Gate BridgeJessicakirsh/Shutterstock


Map of San Francisco


About PhotoSecrets



A great travel photo­graph requires you to be in the right place at the right time to capture that special moment. Professional photo­graphers have a short-hand phrase for this: “F8 and be there.”

There are countless books that can help you with photo­graphic technique, the “F8” portion of that equation. But until now, there’s been little help for the other, more critical portion of that equation, the “be there” part. To find the right spot, you had to expend lots of time and shoe leather to essentially re-invent the wheel.

In my career as a professional travel photo­grapher, well over half my time on location is spent seeking out the good angles. Andrew Hudson’s PhotoSecrets does all that legwork for you, so you can spend your time photo­graphing instead of wandering about. I wish I had one of these books for every city I photo­graph on assignment.

PhotoSecrets can help you capture the most beautiful sights with a minimum of hassle and a maximum of enjoyment. So grab your camera, find your favorite PhotoSecrets spots, and “be there!”

About Bob Krist

Bob Krist has photo­graphed assignments for National Geographic, National Geographic Traveler, Travel/­Holiday, Smithsonian, and Islands. He won “Travel photo­grapher of the Year” from the Society of American Travel Writers in 1994, 2007, and 2008.

For National Geographic, Bob has led round-the-world tours and a traveling lecture series. His book In Tuscany with Frances Mayes spent a month on The New York Times’ bestseller list and his how-to book Spirit of Place was hailed by American Photo­grapher magazine as “the best book about travel photo­graphy we’ve ever read.”

The parents of three sons, Bob and his wife live in New Hope, Pennsylvania.


Thank you for reading PhotoSecrets. As a fellow fan of travel and photo­graphy, I hope this guide will help you quickly find the most visually stunning places, and come home with equally stunning photo­graphs.

PhotoSecrets is designed to show you all the best sights. Flick through, see the classic views, and use them as a departure point for your own creations. Flick through, enjoy the photos, and see which places inspire you. Get comp­osition ideas, lighting tips, and a brief history. It’ll be like traveling with a location scout and a pro-photo­grapher by your side.

The idea for PhotoSecrets came during a trip to Thailand, when I tried to find the exotic beach used in the James Bond movie The Man with the Golden Gun. None of the guidebooks I had showed a picture, so I thought a guidebook of postcard photos would be useful for us photographers. If you have any ides for improvements, please send me an email at

Now, start exploring — and take lots of photos!

About Andrew Hudson

Originally an engineer, Andrew Hudson started PhotoSecrets in 1995. His first book won the Benjamin Franklin Award for Best First Book and his second won the Grand Prize in the National Self-Published Book Awards.

Andrew has published 15 nationally-distributed photo­graphy books. He has photo­graphed assignments for Macy’s, Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, Men’s Health and Seventeen, and been a location scout for Nikon. His photos and articles have appeared in Alaska Airlines, National Geographic Traveler, Shutterbug Outdoor and Nature photo­graphy, Where, and Woman’s World.

Andrew has a degree in Computer Engineering from Manchester University and a certificate in copyright law from Harvard Law School. Born in Redditch, England, he lives with his wife, two kids, and two chocolate Labs, in San Diego, California.


At a Glance

Name:Petronas Towers (Malay: Menara Petronas)
What:Twin skyscrapers in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
Fame:Tallest twin towers in the world.
Address:Kuala Lumpur City Centre, 50088 Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Architect:César Pelli
Surpassed by:Taipei 101
Cost:1.6 billion USD
Height:451.9 m (1,483 ft)
Floors:88 (+5 below ground)
GPS:3.15785, 101.71165
Far:4 km (2.6 miles) from center of Kuala Lumpur

San Francisco (for Saint Francis; Spanish: ), officially the City and County of San Francisco, is the cultural, commercial, and financial center of Northern California. Located at the north end of the San Francisco Peninsula, San Francisco is about 47.9 square miles (124 km) in area, making it the smallest county — and the only consolidated city-county — within the state of California. With a density of about 18,581 people per square mile (7,174 people per km), San Francisco is the most densely settled large city (population greater than 200,000) in California and the second-most densely populated major city in the United States after New York City. San Francisco is the fourth-most populous city in California, after Los Angeles, San Diego, and San Jose, and the 13th-most populous city in the United States — with a census-estimated 2016 population of 870,887. The city and its surrounding areas are known as the San Francisco Bay Area, and are a part of the larger OMB-designated San Jose-San Francisco-Oakland combined statistical area, the fifth most populous in the nation with an estimated population of 8.7 million.

San Francisco was founded on June 29, 1776, when colonists from Spain established Presidio of San Francisco at the Golden Gate and Mission San Francisco de Asís a few miles away, all named for St. Francis of Assisi. The California Gold Rush of 1849 brought rapid growth, making it the largest city on the West Coast at the time. San Francisco became a consolidated city-county in 1856. After three-quarters of the city was destroyed by the 1906 earthquake and fire, San Francisco was quickly rebuilt, hosting the Panama-Pacific International Exposition nine years later. In World War II, San Francisco was a major port of embarkation for service members shipping out to the Pacific Theater. It then became the birthplace of the United Nations in 1945. After the war, the confluence of returning servicemen, massive immigration, liberalizing attitudes, along with the rise of the “hippiecounterculture, the Sexual Revolution, the Peace Movement growing from opposition to United States involvement in the Vietnam War, and other factors led to the Summer of Love and the gay rights movement, cementing San Francisco as a center of liberal activism in the United States. Politically, the city votes strongly along liberal Democratic Party lines.

A popular tourist destination, San Francisco is known for its cool summers, fog, steep rolling hills, eclectic mix of architecture, and landmarks, including the Golden Gate Bridge, cable cars, the former Alcatraz Federal Penitentiary, Fisherman’s Wharf, and its Chinatown district. San Francisco is also the headquarters of five major banking institutions and various other companies such as Levi Strauss & Co., Gap Inc.,, Dropbox, Reddit, Square, Inc., Dolby, Airbnb, Weebly, Pacific Gas and Electric Company, Yelp, Pinterest, Twitter, Uber, Lyft, Mozilla, Wikimedia Foundation, Craigslist and Weather Underground. It has several nicknames, including “The City by the Bay,” “Fog City,” “San Fran,” and “Frisco,” as well as older ones like “The City that Knows How,” “Baghdad by the Bay,” “The Paris of the West,” or simply “The City.” As of 2016, San Francisco is ranked high on world liveability rankings.



Sunrise pano

37.809148, -122.475017

Late afternoon

37.8059281, -122.4787765


37.8059281, -122.4787765


37.8059281, -122.4787765


37.832463, -122.479706


37.8273335, -122.4811344

With fog at dusk

37.828777, -122.486154

Location: 37.828815, -122.486035



37.831772, -122.495354


37.831772, -122.495354


37.831772, -122.495354

With fog

37.831684, -122.495703

With fog in the morning

37.83505, -122.4895167

With fog at dusk

37.832234, -122.486192