Tag Archives: San Francisco

Hero shot of 475 Sansome

Twilight of 475 Sansome St. with the Transamerica building in background. Shot with UAV
475 Sansome St.

We went back to 475 Samsome to get a hero shot of their building (the one in front of the Transamerica building). This hero shot was taken for the company’s annual report cover. This was a shot that could only be captured by drone because the building is partially obscured by other buildings. In addition, we were able to adjust the height to include the items we wanted like Coit Tower and the Bay behind. While we were waiting for the magic time or balanced twilight, we got this pano of downtown with the Ferry Building and the Bay Bridge.

Twilight of downtown San Francisco with bay bridge shot with UAV.
Twilight of downtown
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New Tower in San Francisco

Equity Residential built this 40-story multi-family residence to capture some of the explosive growth in San Francisco. A colleague of mine wanted to get some drone video of the new building to augment his stills for the client. He and the client we’re interested mostly in getting the view from the tower to the Bay Bridge but we got quite a bit more.

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Duh?!? It’s the View!


There are many reasons to rent a penthouse in Mission Bay: its great location for downtown, its great amenities and a permanent parking spot in the city. But the main reason, the selling reason, is for the view. Channel Mission Bay hired me to shoot specifically for that.


They had two units that had this high value view: the penthouse and the Sky Vue lounge. They both have remarkable views of downtown and the ballpark. Although they are naturally gifted with this view it’s a bit difficult to capture it photographically. For one thing, windows have a reflectivity problem. Any lighting used in the space will be reflected back in the glass obscuring the view. Often times, the glass is tinted which renders the view both darker and with a weird color balance. There are essentially two techniques to render the view photographically.

As a through back to the film days, the first is a multiple exposure. With the camera sitting on a tripod take one exposure for the foreground and turn out all the lighting within the space and take another exposure for the external view. Then load then as layers and do a mask for pass through of the windows. The second is to take a separate photo of the view from one of the widows or outside and again at approximately the same angle and again loading them as layers, Again, do the masking of the windows and bring the background view in and change the perspective to fit the original view to look natural in size and perspective. This second technique gives you the ability to have a completely clear view and modify the perspective a bit for best impact. Of course there is the issue of verisimilitude but I’ve rarely run into anybody in marketing that wasn’t willing to sacrifice that for a little more pizzazz

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Booming Mission Bay


For those of you who don’t live in San Francisco, the extent of the housing boom magnitude is probably not fully grasped. I was hired to do some pick ups by a new client who has one of the more finished buildings in Mission Bay. It was a real challenge to get shots of and from their building without the massive construction projects becoming the focus -in some cases, it was just impossible. Fortunately, I’ll be returning there when more of the surrounding construction is completed.




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DPA Composition in the Field – Assignment: North Beach

July 16th – 10am-2pm – by DPA Instructor Eric Sahlin$99

Imagine that you’ve been hired to shoot photos of this colorful, little Italian neighborhood in San Francisco for an article in a national magazine. I will lead a small group of photographers on a rewarding quest to fulfill an assignment for a fictitious magazine.

Saints Peter and Paul Church from Coit Tower

Mona Lisa Restaurant Signage

Mona Lisa Restaurant Signage

TransAmerica Tower and Columbus Tower

Subjects covered include:
Reading and interpreting the assignment letter

Mapping shoots and preparation

Interpretation and composition

Negative space for copy

Releases and how to determine if one is needed

Composition techniques

Review of the shots and how to finish the assignment

Vesuvio Mural

We will start at the La Boulange in North Beach, have a short meeting there and go out for the morning shots, then lunch at TBD, then out for the afternoon shots – finally reviewing the days shots at the Caffe Trieste.

Cafe Trieste sign

There will be quite a bit of walking so wear comfortable shoes. Please bring only the kit that you can carry and it is expected that all the attendees know how to operate your own cameras.


Bill Weber’s Jazz Mural

Strip Clubs on Broadway

The Old Strip Clubs along Broadway

Register online at: www.digitalphotoacademy.com, or via email: info@digitalphotoacademy.com, or Toll Free: 877.372.2231.
This also makes a great gift for the photographer in your life. Gift certificates are available from DPA.

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