Highflyer16 From United States of America, joined Apr 2001, 117 posts, RR: 0 Posted (12 years 10 months 3 weeks 6 days 8 hours ago) and read 920 times:
I made my first trip to SFO since the new international terminal was complete. WOW!
The international terminal is very spacious with huge picture windows facing the north-south runway, which makes for nice spotting from a good vantage point. The F concourse also has a big picture window by the commuter gate which is right on top of the north-south runway. While these are great places for viewing planes, taking pictures from there is difficult because you can get a lot of reflections off the glass.
There are a lot of other good places to observe planes taking off or landing on both runways, the only problem is none of them are really good for pictures. The runway obervation areas have chain-link fence blocking most good shots if the plane is in motion or in the air.
There used to be an open piece of land out by the San Francisco aviation school off the north access road, where you could get an unobstructed shot of planes taking off from either runway, but it has now been locked up.
I have occasionally shot pictures off the domestic parking garage roof, which affords some nice angles of planes rising to the north off the runway. The problem is that actual view of the takeoff is blocked by the terminal, and so you only have a second to get your camera ready to shoot as the plane appears in your vision.
Any SFO spotters out there know some real good places to get pictures of planes on takeoff or landing? Also, I would be interested if anyone has found any vantage points for "night ops" pictures at the terminal.