Best spots to shoot parade of sail on San Diego Bay??

Discussion in '35mm Cameras' started by Ronald Shu, Aug 11, 2005.

  1. Ronald Shu

    Ronald Shu Guest

    Hi, all:
    Aug. 17-20 I am going down to San Diego to shoot TALL SHIPS Challenge
    Race 2005. There is a grand parade of sail on San Diego Bay on Aug.17.
    I was told there are four best spots to view the grand parade of sail:
    1. Shelter island
    2. Harbor island
    3. North island (where is it?)
    4. Cabrillo National monument (where is it? shoot from above?)
    I am a first-time shooter of tall ships, especially parade of sail. Any
    advice/ideas/tips? I will much appreciated.

    Ronald Shu, Aug 11, 2005
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  2. Ronald Shu

    wavelength Guest

    I believe north Island is the "Big One" in the picture.

    Cabrillo is a national park on the point out there. Big white statue?

    Seriously dude, found this in 10 minutes on Not that I mind
    helping really (otherwise why post this right?), but does anyone
    research before they ask anymore?

    Also, go here for more info on the festival, No reason you can't take
    pics in thprot now is there?
    wavelength, Aug 11, 2005
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  3. Ronald Shu

    Roy Guest

    Hire or borrow a fairly fast Motorboat. It needs to be large enough, so
    that you do not get thrown around when the wash from the Press Boats hits

    Roy G
    Roy, Aug 12, 2005
  4. Boy, that sure brings back memories for me....I was in the Navy, based in
    San Diego, and when we came back from oversea cruses, that was the radar
    picture we always looked for.......
    William Graham, Aug 12, 2005
  5. Ronald Shu

    Ronald Shu Guest

    Thank you for your help. I have read all you mentioned either with
    web surfing or web searching. As a matter of fact, I wanted someone to
    advise me the followings:
    (1) Which spot of the four is the BEST of the BEST.
    (2) Where exactly on the best spot is the 'ideal location' to shoot the
    parade of sail (North Island is a big area, right?)
    (3) Tips for shooting tall ships, such as film, lenses, filters,
    exposure, shooting position (shoot from above or at eye level), how to
    handle camera shacking, ocean fog and etc.
    Anyway, thank you again. Any advice, tips and suggestions are welcome.

    Ronald Shu, Aug 12, 2005
  6. Ronald Shu

    Frank ess Guest

    "North Island" is pretty well closed off as a US Navy installation,
    and may not offer much in the way of hospitality for the casual
    shooter. Some of the island (east and northeast) is Coronado, and may
    be accessible.

    This time of year the sun is relatively low and to the south. Even at
    high noon a lot of what you can see from the more northerly vantages
    will be considerably backlighted.

    The Cabrillo Monument is actually pretty high and pretty far away, so
    unless you have the equipment, it might be a disappointment, single
    ship-wise. Spectacular for views of the city. It's also a National
    Park preserve, so you will pay admission.

    None of the viewing sites are particularly easy to reach, and all have
    their parking and access problems, even on an ordinary weekday. If you
    can spend a day reconnoitering (how long has it been since you heard
    _that_ word?) in advance, you'll have an idea which place you prefer,
    and whether or not it will be worthwhile trying to get some shots from
    more than one during the event.

    Try out your polarizer in advance, too. Some angles it's worth it,
    some not.

    For my part, I'll try Coronado Island, as far north and west as I can
    reach harborside in the morning, or Seaport Village south and east.
    Shelter Island as far south and east as I can reach in the afternoon,
    with an option to sit in traffic on the way to Cabrillo Monument.

    Best bet: get one of the helicopter tours.
    Frank ess, Aug 12, 2005
  7. Ronald Shu

    EF in FLA Guest

    (1) Which spot of the four is the BEST of the BEST.
    Geez, I'd imagine you'll see big boats sailing by no matter where you stand.
    Apparently you are seeking the "super lucky happy golden answer" from
    someone here, but maybe just maybe you'll have to use some trial and error.

    Keep the sun at your back and you'll do fine.

    EF in FLA, Aug 12, 2005
  8. Ronald Shu

    Tony Graber Guest

    You're right, EF, they are big ships and you could see them sailing by
    at most locations. That does not correlate into getting a good shot at
    the ships, though. Unless one has a long zoom lense, getting as close
    as possible to the sailing route is a very valid question. Using trial
    and error and keeping the sun at your back does not answer the questions
    posed. If you have ever seen a parade of tall ships, you would know that.
    Tony Graber, Aug 12, 2005
  9. Ronald Shu

    Patrick L. Guest

    Harbor Island at the park across from the Hilton, or anywhere along Harbor
    Island, actually.

    Get their early or you won't find parking.

    Patrick L., Aug 12, 2005
  10. Ronald Shu

    Gordon Moat Guest

    A few good spots, but only if you want some skyline in the background.
    Currently, there are lots of cranes, and ugly buildings that look like
    green corn cobs (without the corn).
    Not much different from Shelter Island, except you get more of a view of
    North Island Naval Station in the background.
    The Naval Base, basically, and a small edge at the southern part for
    Coronado. Another place to take photographs with the San Diego downtown
    skyline in the background. Actually not too bad, if you can find the small
    area along the cost. Parking sucks in Coronado most of the time.
    Sort of high up, and some views blocked by trees. Going closer to the
    lighthouse would offer more views. You have to pay too enter that area.
    Also, it is high enough altitude that even large sailing ships will look
    small. Maybe worth a drive up there if you want a couple shots of the
    entire bay with some ships and boats in it. You could stop along the side
    of the road near the park entrance, in other words not entering the park
    area nor paying to get in, and you could get a few good images from there.
    Along the east edge of the bay, leading north from Seaport Village, is a
    long walkway going all the way to the Coast Guard Station near the airport
    (Lindbergh Field). That walkway would give you a great view of the bay,
    and provides many vantage points for photographs. It is also the likely
    area where some tall ships will dock, since we have one permanently there
    called the Star of India. The background would be Coronado and the Naval
    Base. Probably some aircraft carriers still in port then, which would also
    be background.

    If you choose that area or Coronado, then you would not be shooting into
    the light. The northern bay areas, like Shelter Island, would have you
    photographing into the sun, unless the day is overcast and a marine layer
    is present (happens often here).

    There is also a southern vantage point, if you don't mind walking a bit.
    Near the Convention Centre, and in Seaport Village, there are two grassy
    areas that go out partially into the bay, and provide views north, and
    much of the nice south eastern coastline of Coronado. There are also some
    vantage points for the Coronado Bridge, which might make some interesting
    compositions. It is a very narrow part of the bay, so probably the closest
    you can get to the ships (unless they are docked).
    Gordon Moat, Aug 12, 2005
  11. Ronald Shu

    Mark² Guest

    That's great when you can easily re-shoot from another location.
    In this case, you won't be able to move around like that, and the even only
    happens once a year.
    Words of a snapshooter. -Don't know if that's what you are, but you're
    talking like one.

    For the rest, it is the difference between a shot worth using/printing and a
    shot worth deleting, or sending to the tourist-photo-file.
    Mark², Aug 13, 2005
  12. Ronald Shu

    Ronald Shu Guest

    There will be a special cruise tour by Hornblower for the parade
    of sail on Aug. 17 (10:30 am). Ticket is $30. My concerns are:
    (1) The cruise ship probably will sail around within the bay. Is it
    steady enough to take sharp picture on the deck by a camera hand-held?
    (2) I wish the captain of the cruise boat know s something about
    phtography and will keep sun at the back of passingers to let them take
    good lighting pictures of the parade, but it is a risky assumtion, I
    know. Any ideas if you had preview experience. Much appreciate.

    Ronald Shu, Aug 15, 2005
  13. Ronald Shu

    Bob Salomon Guest

    What about the USS Potomac out of Oakland? The lead docent has been a
    photographer for decades and the boat is big enough that a choppy bay
    won't cause problems.
    Bob Salomon, Aug 15, 2005
  14. Ronald Shu

    Gordon Moat Guest

    The Hornblower is fairly wide for a smallish boat, so it should be pretty
    steady. Most of the time, the bay is fairly calm, without too much chop.
    With lots of boat traffic on such a day, you will need to keep your eyes
    open about sea conditions.
    I don't recall the exact path they take in the bay. They also run a whale
    watching cruise at certain times of the year, and that is outside the bay.
    The Hornblower has no problem being in the Pacific outside the bay.

    Since the weather should be fairly bright (EV16 to EV17), you should be
    able to get away with slow films, and still have fast shutter speeds
    available. I don't think I would try any time exposures off the deck of a
    boat. ;-)
    Gordon Moat, Aug 16, 2005
  15. Ronald Shu

    RSD99 Guest

    Only problem I can think of is that Oakland is something like *500* *miles*
    North of San Diego ...

    Maybe when the "Tall Ships" get to the San Francisco Bay ...
    RSD99, Aug 16, 2005
  16. Ronald Shu

    Skip M Guest

    Believe me, those big Hornblower Cruises "boats" are big enough so that all
    you'll feel is a gentle rolling. I've shot off of them, a long time ago,
    and there were no problems...
    Skip M, Aug 16, 2005
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