As you know or might not know, I travel up and down the West Coast on a regular basis. Last May I had a chance to work in San Francisco and beyond for a motorcycle photo shoot. San Francisco is a challenging place to drive a car; a motor home or any large vehicle requires a lot of planning. I personally like to use Google maps and a good old fashion paper map; a good rule is, if the street is yellow it is a truck route, if the street is white it might be too difficult to navigate in a large vehicle. Google maps allow me to zoom into a specific location and do a 360-degree view of the area. This technique is not always perfect, but for the most part it really helps me to find the best route to any destination I need to access.
San Francisco is the only city I have ever done any type of production in; that the police department escorts large vehicles to location. It felt a little awkward at first speeding through red lights, having people stare at me, but after a couple of lights it felt great. I felt like Jesse Jackson, “I am somebody”, I even started to wave at my adoring fans and to my surprise they waved back. I could get use to this, but to my disappointment, my location was on the right, darn.
Twin Peaks is the second highest location in San Francisco; one can see downtown, the Bay Bridge to the east, AT & T Park where the SF Giants play, Fisherman’s Warf to the north and the iconic Golden Gate Bridge to the northwest. This is a favorite spot for photographers, especially on a clear day. It was the perfect location to show off the bikes, as the sun rose from the east, the bikers emerged from the low-lying fog in an orange hue.
The second location was off of Market Street; Market Street is an interesting street, there are lanes only for buses, trolleys and cabs, lanes for bikes and one lane for vehicles. Around 7th Street heading east, all non-commercial vehicles and trucks must go right or be prepared for a ticket from SFPD. If one wants to make a left turn be prepared for frustration, because there are few points along Market Street that you turn left. This is why I’m glad we had an escort to our locations, SFPD allowed our caravan to access streets that would have normally been illegal to access from.
My best advise, San Francisco is a city that is a very friendly to do your next production, the city is beautiful, the crews are top notch, and the support is the best. If you are interested in shooting in SF, look at the http://www.reeldirectory.com/ online or call Lynette at 415-531-9760.