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Where To Get Shots At SAN  
User currently offlineSerge From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Posted (12 years 5 months 2 weeks 2 days 19 hours ago) and read 3402 times:

Hi,

I'm going to be in San Diego for a day (February 22nd) for fun because of WN's $60 r/t fares from OAK and I would like to do some spotting/photography. What can I expect to see in Southwest's terminal (is it shared with other airlines)? Where are good places outside of the airport perimeter to take photos of planes on approach, etc? I only have an 80mm lense but might upgrade in time for this trip...

One more question not related to aviation or photography  Wink/being sarcastic, is there an easy way to go to Tijuana from the airport (public transportation)? I'd be willing to walk if theres not,  Big grin

tia,
...Serge

22 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineScooter From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 1, posted (12 years 5 months 2 weeks 2 days 17 hours ago) and read 3321 times:

Hmmm...if you're coming in on WN, you won't have a very good view of the ramp. They are located in Terminal one "east"...one of SAN's original terminals, so don't get your hopes up for an exciting arrival!

Er...scratch that. The arrival is the best part. Do yourself a favor and get a window seat on the right side of the aircraft for the flight down. The apporach is like no other in the US, as you'll fly right through the middle of downtown. Really.

Anyway, if you had more than 80mm, you might be able to grab some rotation shots off 27 through the windows. 250-300mm works best for that. My best suggestion is to go outside and hang out in the viewers lot on the corner of Laurel and Harbor Drive...after 2pm, the light gets really good here (especially in the winter time).

Anyway, have fun. I've been shooting at SAN for a couple years now, so let me know if you have any more specific questions.

-Scott


User currently offlineSerge From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 2, posted (12 years 5 months 2 weeks 2 days 17 hours ago) and read 3305 times:

Thanks Scott, I will be sure to try and get a seat on the right side of this 737-300 I am going to be on.

That viewers lot, which lense works best there, and what can you see from here, taxiing aircraft?

thanks,

..Serge


User currently offlineWanderlust From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 3, posted (12 years 5 months 2 weeks 2 days 17 hours ago) and read 3312 times:

Here's a play-by-play of what you can get and where @ SAN:

1. The Harbor Drive and Laurel spot I mentioned above:

Click for large version
Click here for full size photo!

Photo © Timothy Keeney



Click for large version
Click here for full size photo!

Photo © Tony Zeljeznjak



2. View from the 'infamous parking garage' (don't ask - they'll kick you out):

Click for large version
Click here for full size photo!

Photo © Mark Stapledon Jr.



3. View from terminal 1 (250-300mm required):

Click for large version
Click here for full size photo!

Photo © James Richard Covington, Jr



4. Views of the WN gates - They occupy their own terminal:

Click for large version
Click here for full size photo!

Photo © AirNikon



Click for large version
Click here for full size photo!

Photo © Scott Leazenby




And there's plenty more places, but you can't get to em if you don't have a ticket. Bummer, as SAN offers a ton of spectacular views...

-Scott


User currently offlineScooter From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 4, posted (12 years 5 months 2 weeks 2 days 17 hours ago) and read 3308 times:

Grrr...dammit. "Wanderlust" is me. Can't get rid of that friggin' username!  Wink/being sarcastic

One correction: Make sure it's the LEFT side of the aircraft (looking forward), not the right.

-Scott


User currently offlineSerge From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 5, posted (12 years 5 months 2 weeks 2 days 17 hours ago) and read 3303 times:

Hmmmmmmmmmm, the 'infamous parking garage' is tempting....hmmmmmm...  Big grin

The Harbor and Laurel spot looks nice, which kind of lense to you need to take a photo of the entire aircraft?

thanks,

...Serge


User currently offlineGhost77 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 6, posted (12 years 5 months 2 weeks 2 days 15 hours ago) and read 3294 times:

Hello Serge,

If you can go and take pictures at TIJ!! Don´t doubt to go..

You´ll find..

Aeromexico´s,
DC9-32
MD81/82/83/87/88
B757-2
B767-2

Mexicana´s
B727-2
A320
B757-2

Azteca´s
B737-3/7

Allegro´s
MD83
B727-2

Aerocalifornia´s
DC9-15/30

MasAir Cargo
DC8-71F
B767-3F

Estafeta
B737-2

Aviacsa
DC9-15s
B727-2
B737-2

And maybe some other good sorprises...

The 7th airport in the country..

Ricardo  Smile APM


User currently offlineLindy field From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 7, posted (12 years 5 months 2 weeks 2 days 14 hours ago) and read 3287 times:
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Serge,

Here's an example of the leftside view as you land at SAN:

Click for large version
Click here for full size photo!

Photo © AirNikon



Scott has supplied plenty of info for your spotting; if you want to see some more SAN photos, have a look at my profile. Hope to see some uploads from your trip to San Diego next month.

L. Field


User currently offlineSerge From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 8, posted (12 years 5 months 2 weeks 2 days 13 hours ago) and read 3275 times:

Thanks Ricardo and Lindy Field for the replies, I can't wait to see that view from my flight. I'll be sure to take many many rolls of film with me on this trip, I am going from ISN to BIL (Big Sky, Fairchild Metro) on February 19th, BIL to DEN (UA, 737-500), DEN to SFO (UA, 767-300ER), of course OAK to SAN and back on the 22nd, then back the same route to ISN, I get to fly on a UA 747-400 to Denver Big grin.

As for TIJ, how far is it from San Diego Lindbergh Field? My brother and I are both under 21 so we can't rent a car and don't want to get ripped off by a cab.
Sounds like a lot of nice aircraft flying into TIJ!

Nice profile too, I wish BA still had their 747s at SAN though, is there any chance UPS or another cargo opperator will have some there on the 22nd?

thanks,

...Serge




User currently offlineHawaiian717 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 9, posted (12 years 5 months 2 weeks 2 days 13 hours ago) and read 3282 times:

Just to avoid and left/right confusion, you want an "A" seat when flying into SAN.

With 80mm, you won't be able to do much. Best I can suggest is to walk from the Laurel & Harbor spot along the Laurel sidewalk, and you can get up closer and hopefully get some arrival shots. I know with my 210mm lens, I can't get 737's that are landing from the Laurel & Harbor lot, but I can get them taxiing to the runway for departure. You'll likely also need a ladder or tall vehicle to stand on to get your camera lens over the fence.

I don't know how to get to Tijuana airport, but to get there by public transit, probably the best way would be to take the San Diego Trolley to San Yisidro, and from there you can walk across the border into Tijuana. Walking to Tijuana from downtown San Diego is not reasonable.

David / SAN


User currently offlineSerge From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 10, posted (12 years 5 months 2 weeks 2 days 13 hours ago) and read 3272 times:

Ok, thanks David, I guess I'll just play my cards and hope for the best.... maybe I'll get a longer lense by then Big grin

...Serge


User currently offline2912n From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 11, posted (12 years 5 months 2 weeks 2 days 7 hours ago) and read 3265 times:

Harbor and Laurel is probably the best spot for approaches at SAN. If you want military stuff and can be patient head over to Coronado. The dog beach area is right under the approach for rwy 27. Mostly S-3 vikings, but one never knows what will come in. F-18's, F-14's, P-3's, C-130's.....You just ahve to be patient. But since lots of nice women walk their dogs here...well....

I would be careful about Tijuana right now. It has the potential to be a security nightmare. If you go, be discrete. As for getting there...Take the San Diego Trolley from downtown to the border. Grab a cab to the airport. Very simple and relatively cheap. But again, understand that you are in a different country and sometimes they don't take well to what may be percieved as a security issue.


User currently offlineLindy field From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 12, posted (12 years 5 months 2 weeks 2 days 3 hours ago) and read 3257 times:
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No scheduled 747s at San Diego these days. The largest aircraft you're likely to see are the BA 772, Fedex DC-10 and UPS, Airborne, Hawaiian, and Delta 767s. I'm afraid you'll mostly see Southwest 737s... You can email me if you want a sense of what you'd see at a particular time of day.

User currently offlineJderden777 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 13, posted (12 years 5 months 2 weeks 2 days 3 hours ago) and read 3257 times:

how about this spot... Smile/happy/getting dizzy


Click for large version
Click here for full size photo!

Photo © Scott Leazenby



incredible shot scott!  Big thumbs up

jonathan d.


User currently offlineScooter From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 14, posted (12 years 5 months 2 weeks 2 days 2 hours ago) and read 3255 times:

Oh yeah. That shot.  Smile/happy/getting dizzy

That was shot from Bankers Hill. Can't remember the cross streets, but it's really easy to find. Drive (or take a cab) in the hills above SAN, and you'll find incredible views. Next time I'm in SAN (next month, actually), I'm going to try to get sunset shots from here. Or, a 10-15 minute night time exposure would be killer.

The Harbor and Laurel spot looks nice, which kind of lense to you need to take a photo of the entire aircraft?

about 200mm for taxiing aircraft, and 200-300mm for landing. The longer the lens the better for this spot.

-Scott


User currently offline2912n From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 15, posted (12 years 5 months 2 weeks 1 day 23 hours ago) and read 3241 times:

Scooters shot is from either 300 Kalmia or Juniper street. The bad thing about shooting in thsoe areas is all the damn wires overhead. It is an older part of the city with above ground utilities. Arrrghhh!!!

The Windssock resturaunt is on Pac Hwy on the north side of RWY 27. The veiws of the field are nice and unobstructed, food is very good (try the nachos with grilled chicken. Very very good.) But they do not allow cameras.

While in town be sure to check out the SD Aerospace museum along with its annex at Gillespie field. The Flying Leathernecks museum is also very nice up at the Marine Corps Air Station at Miramar.


User currently offlineChrisair From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 16, posted (12 years 5 months 2 weeks 1 day 22 hours ago) and read 3239 times:

There are two garages in San Diego. I've only been on the smaller of the two offset from the approach path. I didn't have any trouble up there (other than lack of aircraft to shoot). The other garage I was up for about 5 minutes and I was "politely" escorted away (it's a valet only garage).

As for TIJ it's roughly 20 miles from Downtown, probably 25-30 from the airport. To my knowledge there is no "direct" route to TIJ other than the I-5, and I don't suggest walking on that. Most rental companies won't let you drive their cars to Mexico without (more) insurance.

Good luck...


User currently offlineSerge From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 17, posted (12 years 5 months 2 weeks 1 day 19 hours ago) and read 3221 times:

Thanks everyone. Now that I know my 80mm lense will be insufficient for SAN, can anyone recommend a good, not so expensive lense for a Pentax ZX-30? 200mm or higher would be great..

...Serge


User currently offlineHawaiian717 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 18, posted (12 years 5 months 2 weeks 1 day 11 hours ago) and read 3215 times:

You might want to try eBay (and other auction sites). I don't know what's available there at the moment, it's always changing. I bought my Tokina 28-210mm lens for my Canon EOS Rebel G there.

David / SAN


User currently offlineSerge From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 19, posted (12 years 5 months 1 week 6 days 18 hours ago) and read 3197 times:

Wow, there are some nice prices on ebay for 200mm lenses for a Pentax, and I don't use AF anyway so I could buy an older one in good condition and save some $!  Big grin

thanks for mentioning this option  Big grin

...Serge


User currently offline2912n From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 20, posted (12 years 5 months 1 week 6 days 18 hours ago) and read 3198 times:

Serge---If your age is really under 18 forget about Tijuana unless you have an adult going with you....You will have problems crossing the border.

User currently offlineSerge From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 21, posted (12 years 5 months 1 week 6 days 17 hours ago) and read 3195 times:

 Big grin My brother is legally an adult and he is joining me on this trip so I shouldn't have a problem. I have to go to my local DOT before my trip to get a photo id just in case of a descrepency at the border and so I can earn WN Rapid Rewards points.

,...Serge


User currently offlineTpk From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 22, posted (12 years 5 months 1 week 6 days 2 hours ago) and read 3193 times:

Serge-

I just made my first trip to SAN in a while back the beginning of the month. The Laurel and Harbor spot is great for approach shots (thanks to Tony Zeljeznjak for the tip). If you want to shoot the planes taxing and lining up for takeoff, it would be helpful to stand on the roof of a car. That's how I took the BA 777 picture posted in one of the replies above. Even standing up there, the original photo still had part of the fence at the bottom which I removed using Photoshop.

Have a great trip.


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