5280AGL
Topic Author
Posts: 398
Joined: Sun Apr 15, 2001 6:50 am

SFO, Worth It?

Sat Sep 08, 2001 7:41 am

I am currently trying to decide on places to go to for my first photo trip. One airport that comes to mind is SFO. Is this place good for photos? I have seen some great photos from the viewing park near 1R/L, but I have heard that this area is no longer accessible do to construction? Also, what time of year would be best?

Any suggestions?

Thanks!

--Chris--
 
nikonF100
Posts: 254
Joined: Mon Jul 10, 2000 3:21 am

RE: SFO, Worth It?

Sat Sep 08, 2001 8:04 am

The viewpark off Millbrae Ave is a worthless crap hole. The dranage ditch, combined with a tall fence make it hard to get good shots, if not impossible to get good shots.

I'd suggest the Intl terminal, and the AA terminal (gates 60-69). If no planes are parked at the end gates, then it's a great location for departure shots off 28R/L.

The TWA terminal is also good for 1R/L stuff...but the windows suck there.

Good luck!

 
5280AGL
Topic Author
Posts: 398
Joined: Sun Apr 15, 2001 6:50 am

RE: SFO, Worth It?

Sat Sep 08, 2001 8:18 am

NikonF100, thanks for the info! I may be mistaken about the viewpark. I was thinking about the area where this shot was taken:


Click for large version
Click here for full size photo!

Photo © Richard Silagi



Isn't this from the viewpark?

--Chris--
 
nikonF100
Posts: 254
Joined: Mon Jul 10, 2000 3:21 am

RE: SFO, Worth It?

Sat Sep 08, 2001 8:29 am

Chris,

In all honesty, I don't know! Maybe Richard went through that dranage ditch?

Either that or he was on the ramp?

 
chris28_17
Posts: 1372
Joined: Sun Jul 09, 2000 4:26 am

RE: SFO, Worth It?

Sat Sep 08, 2001 1:55 pm

Im interested to see how this post plays out, i noticed that there is a ORD-SFO flight once a day (united, my employer) on a 744 and i was thinking of taking a day trip out there, just to hop on a -400

(believe it or not, i've never flown on a 747, everytime i've tried, i got bumped... )

of course, i would stay and spot for a while till its time to go home!

CHRIS
 
Guest

RE: SFO, Worth It?

Sat Sep 08, 2001 2:47 pm

My shot was not taken from the view park. The view park is terrible for photos. The fence ruins everything. My shot was taken from a spot around the corner from the parking area on the other side of the blast fence. If you have a small enough lens you can shoot throught the fence. The problem with this spot is that if you stay there too long, the police will usually chase you out. It is probably not the safest place to be since it is next to a busy road with lots of speeding trucks and it is easy to get blasted by the jet blast here. I usually wait in the parking lot until something I want to shoot taxis out, then I walk around to the other side of the blast fence, get my shot and walk back to the parking lot.

Richard Silagi


 
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lindy field
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RE: SFO, Worth It?

Sun Sep 09, 2001 1:22 am

I never realized it was so difficult for you to get those shots, Richard. Keep up the good work!
 
Guest

RE: SFO, Worth It?

Sun Sep 09, 2001 1:36 am

Yes to get the good shots, it does require a little bit of effort. More than just going to the airport, pointing the camera at airplanes and leaving.

Richard
 
5280AGL
Topic Author
Posts: 398
Joined: Sun Apr 15, 2001 6:50 am

RE: SFO, Worth It?

Sun Sep 09, 2001 5:36 am

Richard,

Would you recommend SFO as a good first-time photo trip? I know the terminals offer some great views, especially the international terminals but I would also like to try some locations outside the terminals as well.

At the other location you were talking about (where the VGD md-87 was), was that shot through the chainlink? I have been having a tough time trying to shoot through fences without getting it in the photo. I am currently using a Sigma 70-210mm (52mm) lens and a Nikon 35-70mm lens, but I can't seem to get those to work through chainlink.

Thanks for all the help!

--Chris--
 
nikonF100
Posts: 254
Joined: Mon Jul 10, 2000 3:21 am

RE: SFO, Worth It?

Sun Sep 09, 2001 5:18 pm

Chris,

I have been through SFO many times, and it is a good place for a first time trip. There is a good deal of United crap that goes through there, mainly 737s and 757s. A few 74s and a few 777s, but overall it's really heavily Shuttle dominated. There are some interesting sites to see there though.

To shoot through a chainlink, I use the following technique. Put the lens right up to the fence, use enough zoom to shoot the plane, and allow a bit of room on all sides for cropping (eg: If you normally shot at 200mm for a 737 taxi, I'd suggest 150mm or 135mm). This will allow the fence to show up in the corners and be easily cropped out during the scan. If this can't be done, I've also found a higher f stop will generally keep the fence partially hidden. Enough so, probably to get onto AN. The 35-70 is the lens of choice for that spot, and it should fit through the fence...Don't be afraid to use some brute strength to get it in the fence. Nikon makes TOUGH lenses/cameras.

Good luck

 
kaitakfan
Posts: 1482
Joined: Fri Oct 29, 1999 1:04 pm

RE: SFO, Worth It?

Mon Sep 10, 2001 9:00 am

I wouldnt mess with SFO... in my opinion head down south to LAX! SFO is nothing compared to the mighty SoCal giant. just so many spots to go to! and what ever type shots you want, you got it! plus you get to be right outside with the action for those great shots. unlike SFO, having to stay inside is no fun! and if you are hanging out by the north runways around 11AM untill 1PM or so you get the Asian Invasion! within that time span you will nail Cathay Pacific, Malaysia (good luck seeing that in SFO) Singapore, Thai, Philippine, China Airlines, Korean, Asiana, JAL, ANA and so many more! And then same goes with departures around noon until 4PM everything goes. now am I just crazy or would you guys rather go to SFO instead of LAX?? being a Non rev on United its great to escape this wasteland Phoenix and have a great day of photographing! I havent once bothered going to SFO! any more info you might need if interested just ask... tons of people on here would be glad to share info about this great airport!

Cheers!
Brian

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