Photowalk Golden Gate Bridge - how to get the best shots - Jefferson Graham

Photowalk — Golden Gate Bridge

Golden Gate Bridge at Baker Beach

Early morning, pre-dawn at Baker Beach in San Francisco, by the iconic Golden Gate Bridge. Watch the video on best places to shoot the Bridge: https://youtu.be/zJm_g-00Bfg

My friend Theresa Chong and I spent the day recently photographing the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, for a joint look at how and where to photograph the ultimate iconic shot of San Francisco. 

Check out the latest installment of my Photowalk video series here: 


And for a fun look at timelapsing the Golden Gate Bridge, here's another video: 

The key to photographing the Golden Gate Bridge is picking your location, because there really is no bad spot.

Remember that morning and late afternoons are the best times for photography. You get the best colors and if you're early, you'll beat the rush and find a place to park.

Our suggestions on the place to get your shot begins with Crissy Field in San Francisco, which is part of the Presidio. It's the most popular bridge sighting spot in the city, and it extends to Battery East, a great place for hiking and biking, and to the Welcome Center.

All three have different views.

Fort Point will take you under the Bridge and give you some history. Vista Point is the first exit after you've driven across the bridge from the city,  while Marin Headlands is on the other side, it's the last Marin exit before entering the bridge.

Lastly, my favorite spot is Baker Beach. More on that in a minute.

Most importantly: don't forget to walk the bridge and have fun shooting while you stroll.

Theresa and I both hated Fort Point at first glance. It was dirty and all we got to see was the view from under the bridge. Luckily, we spent a little more time and went inside, where walking through the four flights of stairs in the old fort was both interesting for its history, and picturesque. We got some unique views in there.

Speaking of views, we've shown you the easiest ones to get, for free. But if you're willing to fork over $189, nothing tops what you'll see from the air with the vantage point of a historic seaplane. (Contact: 1-888-Seaplane.)

Golden Gate Bridge from air

Looking down at the Golden Gate Bridge from the skies, courtesy of the Mill Valley Seaplane. Watch the video on the best places to photograph the Golden Gate Bridge: https://youtu.be/zJm_g-00Bfg

Looking down at the Golden Gate Bridge

Looking down at the Golden Gate Bridge from the skies, courtesy of the Mill Valley Seaplane. Watch the video on the best places to photograph the Golden Gate Bridge: https://youtu.be/zJm_g-00Bfg

Back in the free category, for overall iconic shot, I just don't think you could top Marin Headlands, or Baker Beach.

Marin Headlands gives you the vantage point of looking down at the bridge, and across to the city, without having to fly!.

And Baker, down on the sand and the rocks, is a killer, dramatic view that you just can't get at any of the lookout points.

FYI: I'm told this is where you can capture the sunrise, if it comes out, with Crissy Field for sunset.

Check out Theresa's Golden Gate Bridge

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