Street Photography in San Francisco

The Goddesses - San Francisco - 2014

My friend Doug Kaye and I have been having fun lately doing street photography in San Francisco. We’ve both “downsized” from big Nikon/Canon DSLRs to mirrorless cameras – I’m shooting with the Fujifilm X-E2 and X100s while Doug’s got a new Sony A7 and a collection of manual lenses that he’s been enjoying.

Here are a few images from a recent two hour walk we took from San Francisco’s Union Square down through the financial district to the Ferry Building. When we shoot in San Francisco, we meet up at the Ferry Building – Doug taking the ferry from Marin and me taking BART from Daly City – and then head out from there. On this particular day, we caught an Uber ride from the Ferry Building to San Francisco’s Union Square.

Up top is an image of “The Goddesses” which are on the top of 580 California Street – sculpted by Muriel Castanis. Her New York Times obituary described her work: “A self-taught artist, Ms. Castanis was known in particular for her method of laying an epoxy-soaked cloth over a mannequin built of plastic foam. She would then remove the foam, leaving empty, faceless figures that were reminiscent of Greek sculpture.”

Shooting the top of a building might not be considered street photography – but those sculptures are so fascinating. Here’s a more classic street photography shot that I titled “Waiting for a Ride”. Street corners can be great spots for watching people – as they walk at you. In this image, I love how everyone is looking – she’s looking for her ride, the guys across the street are looking at her and that woman on the left – I’m not sure – she’s either looking at her – or at me!

Waiting for a Ride - San Francisco - 2014

Here’s a similar street corner shot – this couple walking across the street and the bystander watching their progress.

Bystander - San Franciscco - 2014

As we walk through the City, Doug and I are always on the lookout for “stages” – interesting backgrounds that offer beautiful settings for humans to enter. We found several great examples during this walk. Here’s one example – from the plaza at the Bank of America building.

In Too Deep - San Francisco - 2014

And another – shot as we left The Slanted Door restaurant at the Ferry Building:

Sail Away - San Francisco - 2014

While walking the streets, it’s always fun to watch for bikers – and San Francisco has an abundance. Here are a couple of shots – from along California Street as we headed back to the Ferry Building. I love the sense of motion that bikes bring!

Easy Rider - San Francisco - 2014

The Wheels of Commerce - San Francisco - 2014

But perhaps this is my favorite from the day – shot right across from Union Square on Post Street. I titled it “Looking Good”. Indeed.

Looking Good - San Francisco - 2014

These small mirrorless cameras are perfect this “on the go” kind of street photography. Here’s a link to the rest of my images from this particular two hour walk in downtown San Francisco. What a day!

Here’s a final shot – Doug at the Slanted Door. Shot with my Fujifilm X100S.

Doug Kaye - San Francisco - 2014

Do you do street photography in San Francisco? Tell me about it in the comments below – or send me an email.

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