PDA

View Full Version : San Francisco - Mass Transit only, where to go?



Corran
19-Nov-2016, 22:49
Just locked in another big job over on the other side of the country in December and so I am planning on extending my stay a week while (just outside) San Francisco, in Dublin. I have somewhere to stay (that is, a couch!) and won't have a car.

I'm hoping I will be able to walk or at worst Uber to the the nearest mass transit station - maybe the BART station at West Dublin?

So - with a focus on LF photography, where would you West Coasters suggest I go, sans vehicle? Or is this a dumb idea? I will probably pack a small bag with only the tiniest lenses and a couple Grafmatics, and a small tripod. If I absolutely can't fit 4x5 I'll resort to 6x7 on my Century Graphics and roll film holders. I already have to bring a Pelican case full of digital gear for my job but I'd prefer to shoot film on my own time.

Thanks!

Leszek Vogt
20-Nov-2016, 02:09
Much depends on what you are interested in...to some GG Bridge is obligatory, Treasure Island view....and surely Trip Advisor gets into it some more. Some people like the Headlands view of the city or just from the No side of the GG Bridge (Ft Baker).
I tend to think that your movement around town will be quite curtailed if you don't have a rented car....especially if you wish to zig zag and see as much as possible.....and there is plenty. But, don't forget various places/spots outside of town. Let me sit down and create a small list.

Les

Leszek Vogt
20-Nov-2016, 03:29
SF is v. rich in culture, so a week is rather limiting, but you likely already know that. If you decide to use transportation, you will be at their schedules and whims (just saying). But, you can always set up your locations in tandem if necessary....if that floats yer kayak. Ha, there is tons of tourista stuff that you can or want to do....some of the stuff is outside of SF. Do check events calendar for the time you intend to be there....you might spot something unusual.

Muir Woods
Treasure Island (view)
Japanese Tea Gardens
Ft Funston
Pt Lobos/Monterey/Carmel (via Rte 1 & Pacifica)
Alcatraz Island
Victorian villas (Painted Ladies)
Time out for good burrito at Mission Dist.
GG Park
Presidio
Palace of Fine Arts (nice pond near it)
SF MOMA
Lombard St
Ferry ride to Sausalito (or in reverse)...around sunset
Yosemite ?
Chinatown
Pt Reyes
Twin Peaks
Union Sq
Fisherman's Wharf

The last three are uber tourist traps (there is more :>). You can use fog to your advantage and in Dec you likely will see some. Do your thing and stay safe. SF is v. diverse and I sometimes miss it.

Les

vdonovan
20-Nov-2016, 05:32
Dublin is pretty suburban. It is very close (biking distance) to Mt. Diablo state park, a big beautiful place with striking views and landscapes. It's a little early for wildflowers, but they should kick in nicely in February or March.

BART will give you access to the cities San Francisco and Oakland, both of which are worth exploring and photographing. SF has good public transportation that you can ride all the way out to the ocean (Muni J and L lines and others). The 38 Geary bus will take you out to Land's End, a touristy but spectacular spot. The 76x bus will get you to the Marin Headlands on the weekends.

From where you are, it will be worth renting a car on weekends to explore some wilder parts of California that are quick to get to from that part of the bay. The Sacramento river delta is vast and still quite wild, with several small towns worth discovering. (like the town of Locke (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Locke,_California)) The town of Niles nearby was a movie studio in the silent era and now has a theatre that only plays silent movies. Niles Canyon itself is scenic and interesting.

From Dublin it's a pretty quick drive into gold country and the high Sierra. Head out 580 to either highway 4 or highway 108 (or do the tourist thing and take highway 120 to Yosemite). Check out the gold rush town of Columbia off highway 49, or keep heading up into the spectacular Sierra. You can be in some remarkable wilderness in less than three hours drive from Dublin.

angusparker
20-Nov-2016, 07:26
SF is v. rich in culture, so a week is rather limiting, but you likely already know that. If you decide to use transportation, you will be at their schedules and whims (just saying). But, you can always set up your locations in tandem if necessary....if that floats yer kayak. Ha, there is tons of tourista stuff that you can or want to do....some of the stuff is outside of SF. Do check events calendar for the time you intend to be there....you might spot something unusual.

Muir Woods
Treasure Island (view)
Japanese Tea Gardens
Ft Funston
Pt Lobos/Monterey/Carmel (via Rte 1 & Pacifica)
Alcatraz Island
Victorian villas (Painted Ladies)
Time out for good burrito at Mission Dist.
GG Park
Presidio
Palace of Fine Arts (nice pond near it)
SF MOMA
Lombard St
Ferry ride to Sausalito (or in reverse)...around sunset
Yosemite ?
Chinatown
Pt Reyes
Twin Peaks
Union Sq
Fisherman's Wharf

The last three are uber tourist traps (there is more :>). You can use fog to your advantage and in Dec you likely will see some. Do your thing and stay safe. SF is v. diverse and I sometimes miss it.

Les

This is a great comprehensive list. The Japanese Garden in Golden Gate Park really is a great place for 4x5 LF. In the same park is Stow Lake (nearby), the Conservatory of Flowers (nearby / external photos - not sure if cameras are allowed inside but one end is far to humid), a wonderful windmill (north side at the beach end).

Pt. Reyes is beautiful but pretty far from Dublin and you need your own wheels. If you have your own car I'd recommend going East to the foothills but in December snow may be an issue.

bob carnie
20-Nov-2016, 07:37
San Francsico - I am dumfounded, the only shop to visit IMO is Drew Wiley's darkroom, if I ever get out to the west coast again I want to see Drew.

John Kasaian
20-Nov-2016, 08:22
You can get to Golden Gate Park, Lincoln Park and the Presidio by bus and start hiking ---it will take a lot of walking as these are large parks so get a tourist map to help find where your points of interest might be---with plenty of variety:
Seascapes,
Historic Architecture,
Statuary,
Flora and fauna

For interesting night photography you could walk up Columbus Avenue (plenty of touristy Italian cafes with interesting exterior lighting) or the Embarcadero from Fort Mason to the Ferry Building with a detour through China Town on the way sparing you from the worst of Fisherman's Wharf.

The weather in SF in December is usually excellent, btw.

For reasonable weekly rates and a clean, safe, place to stay "in the belly of the beast" check out The Carl near UCSF. It is right next to the trolley lines so the trade off is a little noise for the convenience of mass transit outside your door. It is also just South of Golden Gate Park.

Merg Ross
20-Nov-2016, 09:10
For getting to San Francisco from the East Bay, consider the frerry from Jack London Square in Oakland. It is a beautiful way to arrive in the City. Take BART to 12th Street, Free Shuttle to JLS, and board the ferry. At least try it once, I think you will like the ride!

https://sanfranciscobayferry.com/

angusparker
20-Nov-2016, 09:13
San Francsico - I am dumfounded, the only shop to visit IMO is Drew Wiley's darkroom, if I ever get out to the west coast again I want to see Drew.

If you need LF supplies you can check out GlassKey in SF - call then to reserve any specific film if you don't want to carry it on the plane.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Corran
20-Nov-2016, 09:19
Thanks for all these great ideas, especially the list from Leszek!

I will have to consider my options in terms of transportation. On the weekends (I may have 2) I will likely have some more flexibility in terms of car travel...depends on my host. I would love to go to Point Reyes if possible.

As it's my first time, all of the touristy stuff will be a necessity...get it out of my system :). I know I probably don't have time to really "get to know" the city. Part of me says just put the Leica in my bag and go, but heck I could do that AND put the Travelwide in my bag and have both. Gotta figure out how to attach a tripod to said bag so it's out of the way when not being used....

angusparker
20-Nov-2016, 09:45
One more point, I've heard the Mt Diablo area has a lot of deer ticks carrying Lyme disease....


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Corran
20-Nov-2016, 09:56
Ticks are the worst! Been there done that, in Florida - not a fun experience. I wear clothes that usually prevents tick issues but I will keep vigilant.

angusparker
20-Nov-2016, 10:30
For me Pt. Reyes is always frustrating - while their are parts that are quite distinctive particularly the cliffs of Drakes Beach, and from Chimney Rock to the Lighthouse, the interior parts of mostly rolling farmland and not particularly interesting. The Tule Elk on the Northern most point are fun to see and there is an old dairy farm there which makes for interesting shots. My best shots have been outside the park from the West side of Tomales Bay looking towards Bolinas Ridge. Also the town of Point Reyes Station has some interesting buildings. Most of West Marin County is farmland, protected by easements, and quite photogenic. Right now it's emerald green looking like Ireland! We have and are having a very wet winter.

vdonovan
20-Nov-2016, 11:21
If you need LF supplies you can check out GlassKey in SF - call then to reserve any specific film if you don't want to carry it on the plane.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Another vote for Glass Key. Just a fun and friendly place for a LF photographer to visit. If you are taking the #7 bus from downtown to Golden Gate Park, you can jump off at Fillmore and say hello to the guys at Glass Key.

vdonovan
20-Nov-2016, 11:23
One more point, I've heard the Mt Diablo area has a lot of deer ticks carrying Lyme disease....


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

I've hiked on Mt. Diablo for many years and haven't contracted Lyme disease. It's good to be cautious, though, and wear appropriate clothing.

tgtaylor
20-Nov-2016, 11:35
December coincides with the grey whale migration south and you can view them from several coast-side locations in the bay area and/or sign on for a day long whale watching cruise : http://sfbaywildlife.info/activities/whale_watching.htm

Thomas

Bob Salomon
20-Nov-2016, 11:58
On a trip to SF I was staying in Oakland, near a BART station. On Saturday I decided to take a foot tour of SF with a Linhof Technorama 617S, a Rollei 6xxx outfit and a Rollei 3000 system. I walked to the BART and took it to the Embarcadaro, walked up to Coit Tower, down Lombard, over to the Alcatraz ferry. Went to Alcatraz, took the tour, ferried back to the pier, walked to Fisherman's Wharf, had lunch at Alioto's, viewed the submarine exhibit, walked back to the Embaradaro station. BART back to Oakland and walked back to the hotel and slept until Monday.
Could I do that today, even if I wanted to? No way! But it was a fun day and easily doable.

Corran
20-Nov-2016, 12:03
Got any photos of that?? :)
How'd you carry it all?

After sifting through some gear I have decided my current backpacks are too small or too big so I bought a new medium sized pack for this trip. Going to shove my Chamonix and 4 lenses in it along with my Leica and a few lenses so I can do it all. Maybe the TravelWide too just in case.

Merg Ross
20-Nov-2016, 12:13
As I presently look out the window at heavy rain, be prepared for same on your visit. December can be wet, or sunny. For indoors, two very fine museums with photography exhibits should be on your list: The Oakland Museum of California, and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, both of them near BART.

Corran
20-Nov-2016, 12:20
Thanks for the heads-up. I've almost forgotten what rain looks like! (We are in a severe drought here.) Will plan to punt if it rains and do more indoors.

Bob Salomon
20-Nov-2016, 12:48
Got any photos of that?? :)
How'd you carry it all?

After sifting through some gear I have decided my current backpacks are too small or too big so I bought a new medium sized pack for this trip. Going to shove my Chamonix and 4 lenses in it along with my Leica and a few lenses so I can do it all. Maybe the TravelWide too just in case.

Technorama on my shoulder and the rest in the largest Domke case. Everything was shot on slide film, mostly 35mm and 66. None have been scanned though.

Vaughn
20-Nov-2016, 14:47
If you get over to the Golden Gate Bridge, Fort Point under the southern end of the Golden Gate Bridge is quite nice to explore -- some good shapes inside and out. The top of the fort can be breezy -- but I managed this image of the bridge with an 8x10 (300mm, w/ adapter to get two 4x10s) in a stiff breeze! And even managed to use an 11x14 once by tucking behind a stairwell!

Corran
20-Nov-2016, 16:33
GG Bridge is definitely on my to-do list. Nice photo!

John Kasaian
21-Nov-2016, 07:13
Don't forget Fort Point below the GG South anchorage.

Preston
21-Nov-2016, 08:33
From Dublin it's a pretty quick drive into gold country and the high Sierra. Head out 580 to either highway 4 or highway 108 (or do the tourist thing and take highway 120 to Yosemite). Check out the gold rush town of Columbia off highway 49, or keep heading up into the spectacular Sierra. You can be in some remarkable wilderness in less than three hours drive from Dublin.

Bryan, if you decide to head into the Foothills a nice loop is Sonora to Columbia State Historical Park and then up HWY 4 to Calaveras Big Trees State Park. You can then head down HWY 4 to Murphys and Angels Camp. Continue west on HWY 4 to Stockton and back to the Bay area. If you decide to come to Columbia, shoot me a PM and lets see if we can meet up.

Regarding travel into the Sierra in December: If you want to go to Yosemite or higher up 108 you will need to carry chains (required in Yosemite). Yosemite is gorgeous right after a snowfall, so if you keep an eye on the Yosemite forecast and are flexible, a quick trip to Yosemite Valley can be rewarding.
--P

drew.saunders
21-Nov-2016, 09:48
...
Japanese Tea Gardens
...
Les

A little known "bonus" of the Japanese Tea Garden is that admission is free on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 9-10AM. It's also quite empty that early, so you'll have better luck with a tripod. http://japaneseteagardensf.com/visit.php

The De Young museum nearby is closed on Mondays, so there may be a lot fewer people around that part of the park if you do go on a Monday.

Drew Wiley
21-Nov-2016, 10:43
By all means find a car! BART will get you into downtown SF, and in connection to bus lines there, but otherwise leave you isolated from all kinds of things within a stone's throw of where you'll be staying. If you want rural winter stuff, Sunol Regional Park slightly to the south is rocks n' trees paradise -some of the biggest blue oaks in the world, and a lovely gorge up the creek with all kinds of rocks. Las Trampas park is directly west with a long limestone ridge. Dominating the skyline the other way is Mt Diablo State Park, with all kinds of neat rock formations. Yeah, lots of people ride bicycles up there, but it is almost a four-thousand foot grade. Three gorgeous Regional Parks lie on the south side of Mt Diablo with plenty of solitude. Otherwise, Dublin is quite a distance from SF, about two hours by car unless you time the traffic carefully. If you go BART, check the holiday schedule. Pt Reyes is nice, but public transportation over there would be super-slow. Otherwise, you'll regret not having some kind of big camera. The only exception would be downtown SF on weekdays. Guess it all depends
on whether your priority is urban or rural photography. Dublin is a miserable burb with the usual shopping mall mentality. But it is surrounded with spacious parks galore, as are most of our Bay Area cities.

tgtaylor
21-Nov-2016, 11:37
The nice thing about urban areas like the San Francisco Bay Area that have a subway system is that if you have a bicycle you really don't need a car: Just bike to the nearest BART station and board with your bike. At the other end you disembark with your 2 wheeled transportation in hand and can much more efficiently tour by bicycle than by walking around hopping on and off of buses. I wouldn't take a LF camera though.

My last several such tours have been with a 645 and 35mm cameras. A 45 to 85mm AF zoom for the 645 is perfect for urban photography and a 150mm lens makes for the ideal “long” lens. Similarly a 35 to 70mm AF zoom and 105mm “macro” for the 35mm. I carried both formats because the Pentax NII doesn't have interchangeable backs and I wanted the option to shoot color negative. Pentax makes or did make soft-focus 135 and MF lens so that option is also available.

Both cameras along with a series 0 Gitzo fits nicely in a small backpack but I wouldn't want to cycle with a pack on my back. What you need is a rear rack on the bicycle and a bungee cord to secure the pack and that's it. You can comfortably tour without wearing a backpack. It may be possible to rent such a bicycle here in the bay area or you can bring your own with you for an extra fee – the last I paid was $75.

Thomas

Corran
21-Nov-2016, 11:41
Thanks Preston! I would love to go Yosemite...as a native Georgian who lived on the south side of the state for almost half his life though, driving in any kind of snow is a bit daunting. Any far-out excursion will be on the weekend with my host, which necessitates some give-and-take on the destination and effort level! I'll see what I can do.

Drew, a car would be nice, but probably not doable this time. I figured there is too much to see anyway, so maybe limiting myself to the mass transit is good in a way. Just means I need to come back :).

Thomas, duly noted. LF is rarely easy to pull off on trips but boy did I miss it when I was in AZ earlier this year.

Randy Moe
21-Nov-2016, 11:45
http://www.zipcar.com/find-cars/sf

I use Zipcar despite their sell out to Enterprise. Zipping for 3 years now, heck they gave me a free car November 8th. The year before, a Car, Pop-Up Drive In movies and dinner in the Loop. PR.

It has it uses, especially if you study their system and deals.

I often rent a new Sprint Cargo van overnight located close to me. 6pm to 8:30am Monday through Thursday cost is highly reduced to $35 which includes gas and 180 miles. I often find I fill it up for more $35 using their supplied gas card, so I consider it a fantastic deal.

A Sprint van will carry any amount of camera gear and my new Saltzman fit right inside. Disassembled.

Some locations, have convertibles, which are usable in Wine country. A brand new Mini Cooper convertible was the same price last year. Fun, tiny car with great headroom.

Obviously, the trick with any big city is don't drive inside it.

I usually head for Wisconsin, formerly God's Country.

Corran
21-Nov-2016, 11:50
Thank you Randy! I couldn't remember what that company was called. Was Google searching and strangely couldn't find it. I knew it had to be in SF.

I will look into it.

Bob Salomon
21-Nov-2016, 11:50
The nice thing about urban areas like the San Francisco Bay Area that have a subway system is that if you have a bicycle you really don't need a car: Just bike to the nearest BART station and board with your bike. At the other end you disembark with your 2 wheeled transportation in hand and can much more efficiently tour by bicycle than by walking around hopping on and off of buses. I wouldn't take a LF camera though.

My last several such tours have been with a 645 and 35mm cameras. A 45 to 85mm AF zoom for the 645 is perfect for urban photography and a 150mm lens makes for the ideal “long” lens. Similarly a 35 to 70mm AF zoom and 105mm “macro” for the 35mm. I carried both formats because the Pentax NII doesn't have interchangeable backs and I wanted the option to shoot color negative. Pentax makes or did make soft-focus 135 and MF lens so that option is also available.

Both cameras along with a series 0 Gitzo fits nicely in a small backpack but I wouldn't want to cycle with a pack on my back. What you need is a rear rack on the bicycle and a bungee cord to secure the pack and that's it. You can comfortably tour without wearing a backpack. It may be possible to rent such a bicycle here in the bay area or you can bring your own with you for an extra fee – the last I paid was $75.

Thomas

You better take a good look at those SF hills! Going up them is not an easy bike ride! Going down them on a bike can be quite a thrill!

Randy Moe
21-Nov-2016, 11:54
You better take a good look at those SF hills! Going up them is not an easy bike ride! Going down them on a bike can be quite a thrill!

They were also a PITA walking up and down when I was last there in 1981, 30 years old and very healthy.

Taxi!

Drew Wiley
21-Nov-2016, 12:58
Downtown SF can be a nightmare traffic and tripod-wise. People can be incredibly rude, and the bus drivers downright homicidal. But it should be fairly easy to catch a bus that takes you right along the shoreline toward the Golden Gate. There are some nice hiking trails, beaches, viewpoints, tripod-realistic. Good restaurants too. SF mellows out quite a bit towards the beach, though downtown tends to always have some kind of highrise construction going on - photogenic in its own manner. Golden Gate Park is worthwhile. Chinatown always has its stereotypes and crowds; if you go there, take a handheld camera. It's a big city and just getting there and back will take a couple hours each way; so I'd pick just one particular area to concentrate on. Don't worry about the Golden Gate already being photographed millions of times. I've taken hundreds of shots around the Marin Headlands just across the Bridge, and not one of them looks like a tourist postcard. In fact, not a single shot has the Bridge in it! Weather will be unpredictable. Pack a light raincoat.

Drew Wiley
21-Nov-2016, 13:14
Oh, and as for hills. Don't worry about those if you're conditioned a bit. I'd call em gopher mounds, but they aren't tall enough. Mt Tam just across the Bridge can
give you a decent workout, but you might not have enough time for Marin County too. Still, if you could just drive across the bridge and up Hwy 1 along the cliffs
toward Pt Reyes, and then loop back thru the redwoods, it would give you a slice of distinctly California sightseeing. Of course, if you have a car you could do this more efficiently by avoiding SF completely, and using the San Rafael Bridge. I don't know how the holidays will affect traffic, but rush hour is horrible on any bridge, and weekends can be even worse on the SF Bay Bridge. When you get a more specific plan there are realistic routes. I wouldn't bother with Muir Woods unless you want to get trampled to death. It might be nice on a VERY rain day. Otherwise, there are plenty of quieter options for hikes thru the woods, including
trails with waterfalls.

Vaughn
21-Nov-2016, 21:39
About five miles from Fort Point (heading out the Golden Gate and away from the city center) is Lands End (the early home of AA where he broke his famous nose in an aftershock of the SF earthquake) and then the site of the old Sutro baths. A clothing optional beach (Baker) in between Fort Point and Lands End if you are into such things, but a nice view of the Golden Gate Bridge at the end of the beach -- with an old gun emplacement...battery...right above the beach.

mike rosenlof
23-Nov-2016, 07:32
My favorite photographic spot in San Francisco is Pier 24. Not for taking photos, but for looking at them. Pier24.org free admission, have to have a reservation (from the web site). Themed exhibits, I've been to three since they opened. Can be amazing.

As Drew and others have said, downtown is often a difficult place for a tripod. But much more doable away from the business core. I've never taken LF to SF. Tend to do medium format. Lots of good suggestions already that I won't repeat. There's a botanic garden in Berkeley that is nice, a bit of an uphill hike from Bart, but not that bad.

Get a Muni map. Bus service is very good. You don't save money, but gain a lot of convenience by getting a clipper card. A stored value card good on Bart and SF Muni. www.clippercard.com There is a bike share system if you feel up to that.

I'm surprised nobody has mentioned the cable cars yet. Or maybe I missed it. The cable car barn/museum where they drive the cables for the Powell st. lines is interesting for a stop.

SF is one of my favorite cities in the world. My wife and I spent a lot of time while we were dating in the 70s. December weather can be very nice, or it can rain. Plan for both.

There's a museum of comic arts which I enjoy. SOMA, (south of market) not too far from the Museum of Modern Art.

Graham Patterson
23-Nov-2016, 12:51
The UC Botanical Garden can be reached by the UC Berkeley campus shuttle from the Mining Circle on weekdays. The walk up Strawberry Canyon is not too bad, just narrow in places. There's a $1 charge on the shuttle for non campus users. There is also the Botanical Garden in Tilden Park (AC Transit on weekends) if you like that sort of subject.

angusparker
23-Nov-2016, 17:37
+1 for Pier 24. You need to book a time slot in advance but its free. Sometimes they are between exhibits and nothing is showing. The shows can either be amazing or ho hum, kind of depends.

Corran
23-Nov-2016, 18:39
Thanks for all the additional suggestions! Gotta sit down and plot some routes and such.

Just got in my new bag for this, a Lowepro ProTactic 450aw. Made for DSLRs of course but with some modification of the internal dividers setup I can fit my Chamonix 4x5 + 4 lenses, Nikon SP + 5 lenses, and Rolleicord, plus film and accessories. Not necessarily bringing all of that but just seeing what can fit in here. Weight isn't too bad.

http://www.garrisaudiovisual.com/photosharing/bp2201ss.jpg

http://www.garrisaudiovisual.com/photosharing/bp2202ss.jpg

John Kasaian
24-Nov-2016, 12:55
I think YARTS is running buses from Merced to Yosemite Valley during the winter. That's one more option for ya. No YARTS from Fresno this winter though.

Vaughn
24-Nov-2016, 14:03
Thanks for all the additional suggestions! Gotta sit down and plot some routes and such.

Just got in my new bag for this, a Lowepro ProTactic 450aw....

Sweet set-up! I've never done much 35mm, so that would not be in my pack...tho thumbs up on the Rolleicord!

I have a dedicated pack for my 4x5 (occasionally doubles for 5x7)...and older LowePro Photo Trekker. While actively looking for images it is nice to carry the smaller LF cameras on the tripod, with the holders and meter in a shoulder bag (especially if backpacking and one does not want the weight of an extra pack), but once the light is gone, or the rain/wind starts, it is nice to put it all away in a pack and walk back to car, camp or shelter. The older Lowepros such as I have held up nicely for student use (each held a 4x5 wood camera, one lens, 4 holders, meter, darkcloth) - and anything that can take student use is well made!

I occasionally toss the Rolleicord into the 8x10 pack -- hardly notice the difference in weight. A lot of weight is a lot of weight...no difference!

Perhaps the older Photo Trekker were thinner -- I remember having to lay the 4x5 cameras down, relative to your set-up. But I may have added extra padding for student-proofing. You have a great set-up there for your trip! Narrowing down the 4x5 lenses to a couple would be tough choice. A shorter focal length for working in tight city/park places...and something slightly on the long side (180 to 210) for everything else? Or bring them all?! Enjoy!

Corran
25-Nov-2016, 21:44
I think YARTS is running buses from Merced to Yosemite Valley during the winter. That's one more option for ya. No YARTS from Fresno this winter though.

Thanks, I'll look into this! So many acronyms...

Vaughn, yep I usually carry the 4x5 on the tripod when shooting out while hiking. I generally don't leave a "hole" in the pack to put it in, but definitely want to this time for the typical reasons, like rain. I do wish this pack was maybe 1/4" taller. The Chamonix kind of pushes into the top of the pack. Putting it flat wastes a lot of space. Anyway, I might cull the lenses - I had 58/90/150/300 in there. Hard choices...:)

Vaughn
26-Nov-2016, 18:46
When I was photographing for 6 months in NZ with the 4x5, I walked around with the camera always in the pack -- just did not want to risk damaging the camera/lens so far from home!

tgtaylor
27-Nov-2016, 12:01
Winter is back in the high country: https://www.nps.gov/customcf/webcam/dsp_webcam_image.cfm?webCam=56868082BFC4C0304CDA2582811ABC6C5297BB3898A1C1E18EA0019FB40E9D4C9DECDB989A9A960C8380120B9297999E8B14B34350&thumbnail=56868082BFC4C0304CDA2582811ABC6C5297BB3898A1C1E18EA0019FB40E9D4C9DECDB989A9A960C8380120B9297999E8B14B34350&refreshRate=300&title=679D8797A1979B7A1CFB348085598E764380BB77&width=1024&height=576&parkID=yose&altText=689B9185EC989D7051930E82830DB471439EE95294A3C9&description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

Thomas

Corran
27-Nov-2016, 13:07
Thanks again for all these wonderful suggestions!

As they say about best-laid plans...my schedule just got turned upside-down on this job and so looks like I might actually be in Vegas a week, maybe not. Still trying to figure things out, but the job ($$$) comes first so gotta do what I gotta do, and I might also be doing a second job in Arizona so yeah. Gotta pay the bills. I am definitely going to go to SF sometime soon - my wife and I were talking about honeymoons (we skipped that due to time/money) so there's that possibility! :)

Drew Wiley
28-Nov-2016, 11:11
Don't worry about being stuck in Vegas this time of year. Yeah, it's a disgusting town; but Red Rocks, Valley of Fire, Mt Charleston, etc. is just a short drive. Even
Zion Park is not far.

Leszek Vogt
28-Nov-2016, 16:58
Agree with Drew. You could (potentially) have some snow at Zion. Just looked up Mt Charleston and there is snow, tho the roads appear to be clear http://mtcharlestonweather.com/webcam/

Ha, that was my escape (a go to spot) when I was at Nellis AFB. The heat would rage in town and it was v. comfy up there among the pines. Sure, it's no Yos, but you could find something to photograph. I could easily spend 2-3 days at V. of Fire, especially if I was to do any night stuff....good camping too. The colors may appear v. saturated....it's that kind of a place.

Since the culture is pretty much on a serious diet there (LV) IMO, I always found other places of interest.

Les

tgtaylor
28-Nov-2016, 20:42
Winter in Nevada can be scenic:

http://spiritsofsilver.com/yahoo_site_admin/assets/images/Basin_and_Range_2.314103936_large.jpg

Thomas

Corran
29-Nov-2016, 12:36
Never been to Nevada, much less Vegas, so should be fun. Had to nix LF due to space and other constraints so my backup is just the Pentax 67 and a few lenses. I'll get by :). Sucks that 80% of the gear I have room for is digital stuff for work.

Going to be playing it by ear mostly as right now looks like I'll be driving a lot between 3 states. Definitely some good general suggestions though in the thread for anyone looking at a SF trip!

Drew Wiley
29-Nov-2016, 14:37
Vegas is faux capital of everything. Tacky, tacky, tacky, which some people find photogenic, especially at night. Good food cheap if you ask around. Otherwise, a
lot of stinky cigarette smoke and neurotic blue-haired old women hypnotized by slot machines. Best bang for the buck in terms of time just outside of Vegas would probably be Valley of Fire. If you shoot color film have a warming filter for those deep blue shadows. And color there will be. Hoover dam nearby too, and like I already mentioned, Red Rocks Park just north of town, where city abuts the cliffs. In other words, plenty of landscape photo opportunities. Carry water of course. I don't know if any of their snattlerakes are still active in winter; but as always, just note where your hands and feet go amidst the rocks. I always got pissed off when I got sent on a business trip to Vegas and wasn't allowed an extra day or two off to rent a jeep. Since then, I've always sent someone else there.
Other than the food, I hate that city itself. Vegas is of course at the bottom tip of Nevada, so driving there is not like crossing the great stretches of basin and
range sage at the width of the state, which can be boring, or utterly beautiful with clouds and snow around. That 67 will come in handy for quick road shots.

Bob Salomon
29-Nov-2016, 14:52
Never been to Nevada, much less Vegas, so should be fun. Had to nix LF due to space and other constraints so my backup is just the Pentax 67 and a few lenses. I'll get by :). Sucks that 80% of the gear I have room for is digital stuff for work.

Going to be playing it by ear mostly as right now looks like I'll be driving a lot between 3 states. Definitely some good general suggestions though in the thread for anyone looking at a SF trip!

Don't forget, Death Valley isn't that far from Vegas and you have to eat at the Mad Greek restaurant. Also, in Vegas, the Peppermill is a reasonably priced strip restaurant with good food and generous portions.

Drew Wiley
29-Nov-2016, 15:03
Jerky comes free in Death Valley if you get too far off the road; or at least free to the next guy.

Corran
29-Nov-2016, 15:33
Death Valley is on the schedule, my uncle who has been there will be with me. Looking forward to that (and yes I will have lots of water).

seabee1999
29-Nov-2016, 16:46
Winter in Nevada can be scenic:

http://spiritsofsilver.com/yahoo_site_admin/assets/images/Basin_and_Range_2.314103936_large.jpg

Thomas

Yes it can be very scenic there. I lived in Fallon for 3 years and it was one of my favorite places to live while being in the Navy. If I could I'd go back in a heartbeat.

R/
Dave

Drew Wiley
30-Nov-2016, 11:30
I hope to spend a lot more time exploring country south of Fallon. I tend to camp up around Sonora Pass the first night heading east to backpacking trips beyond,
in order to get a bit of altitude adjustment, then pick various tortuous routes across Nevada to my final destination, which recently was in Nevada itself, a lovely
week backpacking and LF photographing the Ruby Mtns. Nevada is really different. It's gorgeous from the air, but also has a certain quality of light and soft color
that would no doubt drive a calendar photographer insane, but that appeals very much to those who prefer compositions with a lot of subtle greiges and earthtones. There are sufficient accents of yellow and green in that part of Nevada too. Plus a lot of rednecky rusty clutter and mining paraphenalia that tends be quite photogenic in its own right, if someone doesn't get suspicious and shoot at you first! Hope to fix my truck AC this coming month, which should distinctly help on those long summer drives thru the sage. And eager to print some of last year's 4x5 color negs from the area.

Corran
1-Dec-2016, 21:02
Again I want to thank everyone who commented and suggested things.

Can't go into much detail (I was doing work as a military subcontractor) but my job just got cancelled. Getting a 60% break of contract fee at least but whatever. I would love to still fly out there and just do whatever but it's just too late now and not going to work. Not to make this my personal blog but yeah, you won't be seeing any film photos from Vegas :(.

Drew Wiley
2-Dec-2016, 09:34
Sorry to hear that. But at least the temptation is there to still come out. Death Valley alone would be worth it in the winter.

Corran
2-Dec-2016, 10:16
Well I think every landscape photographer, especially LF, feels the pull of the west! I was just not able to do it financially and time-wise as a student and then busy university employee. Since changing fields to full-time business owner / subcontractor though I have many more opportunities to travel, and do some stuff on the side, hopefully more and more as I work on new contracts.