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Photography, USA

The Best Places to Photograph the Golden Gate Bridge at Sunset

July 24, 2017

During my recent trip to San Francisco, I was the most excited to photograph one of my favorite landmarks, the Golden Gate Bridge. This iconic red beauty makes me so happy, and through trial and error, I found some great spots.  I also found out where not to go for sunset…so you’re welcome. 🙂

 

Crissy Field

Google Map

I first headed out to Crissy Field. I quickly realized that the lighting was all-wrong and it was making the image dark and the bridge backlit. Below you can see one photo that I took.

 

 

 

Some others that I took below were not bad, but still wasn’t really what I was wanting. From Crissy Field, the bridge is in the distance and quite small. This is nice if that’s what you’re going for, but I wanted the bridge to be more of the focus and the color of the bridge to be more vibrant.

 

 

 

Torpedo Warf

Google Map

I stumbled upon this location because it’s close to Crissy Field, where I already was. As you can see, the photo from here is still a bit backlit, but the lighting wasn’t as bad because of the way it reflects off the water. However, I didn’t stay long because although the photo was nice, it still wasn’t exactly what I was going for.

 

 

Vista Point

Google Map

If you’re crossing the Golden Gate Bridge headed in the direction of Marin Headlands, Vista Point is the first real exit you can get off on. It’s a super touristy spot for taking photos, which is why I almost skipped it altogether. I normally like to find unique locations and angles for my photographs, but I am so glad I stopped here! And I’d recommend you do, too. Hey, sometimes touristy spots are the best spots. Why fight it? 😉 From this location the lighting for sunset was amazing, and exactly what I was looking for. Surprisingly, parking wasn’t too bad either.

 

 

 

 

Marin Headlands

Google Maps

Marin Headlands was the location I was the most excited to photograph from, and it did not disappoint. I headed this way after Vista Point, and my only recommendation would be to come earlier in the evening because parking can be tough. I struggled with parking, and when I finally parked the sun had unfortunately set quite a bit. A great perk from this location is as you wind your way along the road you’ll see there are many great viewpoints where you can stop and take a photo.

 

 

 

 

This spot would have been great for a long exposure shot, but I unfortunately forgot my tripod. Now I know for next time!

 

 

 

There are other great locations I would have liked to go to, but I was out of light and out of time. If I return to San Francisco, I’d love to explore Marin Headlands more and hopefully find some secret spots. I also think photos from Baker Beach would be nice, but since I didn’t have a chance to go I can’t personally speak on if they’re any good.

 

 

 

Do you have any favorite spots for photographing the Golden Gate Bridge? I’d love to know in the comments below!

 

 

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Tiffany Nicole

Tiffany Nicole

Tiffany created Lavender Vines as a place to share her love for Jesus and adventures from around the world. She has a slight obsession with salted caramel lattes, Japanese kimonos, and an ongoing love affair with NYC and Paris.

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