Top 5 places to photograph the Golden Gate Bridge

September 16, 2011 · 11 comments

5-311-36  stock photo of California, Marin County, Golden Gate Bridge, north tower

The secret to getting great photographs of the bridge is finding interesting points of view. Here are five location-aware tips of places to help you see the bridge in a new way, and come home with better photos. The original list of tips is set up on Foursquare and is visible in the mobile app whenever you are near each location. You can add them to your 4SQ to-do list using your phone or by clicking the “save” button” next to the location title on this web page. You can also of course checkin to the location.

If you complete the tip, i.e. take the photograph, then you can mark it as done and it shows up on your profile seen by your friends. Foursquare also tracks how many people list and complete each tip and the once most followed are more prominently displayed. Users can also “follow” the entire list and share it with their friends.

Golden Gate Bridge

7-470-3  stock photo of California, San Francisco Bay, Golden Gate Bridge

When walking across the bridge be sure to look up and explore different angles of the towers and cables. You’ll find lots of intriguing compositions and abstracts. Early evening the light is best.

Hawk Hill, Marin Headlands

2-452-28  stock photo of California, San Francisco, Golden Gate Bridge tower and Transamerica Building

To get the bridge with the city of San Francisco in the background, pull over about half way up Conzelman Road. There’s one spot where the Trans America Pyramid lines up with the North Tower.

Fort Point National Historic Site

8-720-66  stock photo of California, San Francisco, Fort Point beneath Golden Gate Bridge

This Civil War fort offers a unique view from directly underneath the bridge. The intricate girders contrast with the historic brickwork. Shoot in the late afternoon from the top level.

Marshall Beach

4-526-27  stock photo of California, San Francisco, Golden Gate Bridge from Baker Beach

To get the classic shot of the bridge from the ocean side, park at Baker Beach and walk along the shore to Marshall Beach, where you can frame the scene with surf on the rocks in the foreground.

Berkeley waterfront

2-152-16  stock photo of California, San Francisco Bay, Golden Gate Bridge at sunset

In the winter you can get a great shot of the sunset behind the Golden Gate Bridge. You’ll need a long lens and a tripod. Move back and forth until you get a pleasing composition.

If you like these and are interesting in additional photo tips, or just want to connect on Foursquare you’ll find me at @davidsanger

{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

1 shidaschubert October 9, 2013 at 4:03 pm

Still under beta, but we have a page for Golden Gate Bridge with the locations of where the photos are taken, heatmap of where most of the photos are taken etc. We are hoping it is useful to the photographers.


2 Sila Mahmud October 13, 2012 at 10:04 pm

Very interesting, easy and useful for everyone. Thanks for


3 Mick Say October 10, 2011 at 11:10 am

excellent, thank you! 


4 Dick Jordan September 21, 2011 at 7:23 am

Great photos, David!


5 Jackie Bigford September 18, 2011 at 2:12 pm

Great tips and love the photos 🙂


6 HawaiiRealty September 18, 2011 at 1:53 pm

David,  I’ve been to San Francisco more times than I can count.  Never have a seen a list like this.  Great job and I’ll be looking through my view finder with a whole new perspective!


7 Debra Eckerling September 17, 2011 at 3:32 pm

This is a fabulous – and beautiful – post!!!


8 David Sanger September 17, 2011 at 3:18 pm

Thanks @nefootsteps:disqus , saw your itinerary so maybe you’ll come back from NZ via California. I did the same as you in my 20’s, set off round the world, overland to India in those days. You’ll have a great time.


9 Lauren September 17, 2011 at 8:13 am

Nice photos and really useful tips! I especially like the last photo 🙂 Haven’t made it over to San Francisco yet but hoping to soon!


10 Lee Foster September 16, 2011 at 7:27 pm

David Sanger is a master photographer in many respects.  See the poetic joy in these photo creations.  Note also the high technical competence.  David also is so knowledgeable about our new world of social media and how these photos can be shared.  Years ago, he did the photos for a wonderful book on San Francisco Bay, which I have and which I cherish.


Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: