San Francisco is the 2nd Most Photo-Friendly City

16Jun09

Photographer website PopPhoto.com recently put together a list of the top 30 most photo-friendly cities in the United States. They took the 30 most populous cities and ranked them from 1-30 accross ten different categories, including “annual average percentage of sunny hours, number of days with measurable precipitation, per-capita number of camera shops and museums and galleries that exhibit photos.”

San Francisco ranked 1st in annual average percentage of sunny hours, at 66. This isn’t exactly known as the sunniest city in the country, so coming in first threw me off a bit, until I realized how the cities were graded. The 66 hours actually ranked right in the middle of the scale against the other cities, and that makes San Francisco “perfect for bringing out color while preserving detail in the shadows.” This goes show to show that I am not a photographer because I thought that more sun = better.

It’s definitely easy to see why San Francisco is such a photogenic city, with all its landmarks, picturesque architecture, and unique groups of people that are expressed by the neighborhoods they live in.

To pro shooter Erin Kunkel, “The whole city is beautifully compact, and within a few blocks you have radically different neighborhoods, shops, and people.”

You can shoot with a breezy, moody backdrop along the waterfront, then walk a few blocks up a hill and find a totally different microclimate that affords a bright sunny view of the bay. Neon slicks the streets of Chinatown, and from the vantage point of the Marin Headlands, the faded red skeleton of the Golden Gate Bridge seems to glow in the afternoon sun, the bristling city posing for you in the background.

With so many beautiful natural and man-made backdrops to provide inspiration for photograpgers, what other city could compare? Well according to the folks at PopPhoto, Denver takes top spot on the list with its “smooth braiding of mountain trails, historic architecture, and nightlife engenders a visual confidence and boldness that’s attracted photographers for 150 years.”

While I can’t argue with the fact that Denver is a great city, especially so for being home to the almost-Laker-beating Nuggets, I just can’t see how this:

"Colorado isn't all beautiful scenery."

and this:

"I am starting a collection of these "drive by" pics of city skylines. They're awful. Just awful. "

are better than this:

and this:

Yeah I know, not a totally fair comparison but I don’t care, this aint no Denver blog.

Also check out:
San Francisco 3rd Most Creative City in the World
San Francisco 3rd Best City in the World to Live

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6 Responses to “San Francisco is the 2nd Most Photo-Friendly City”

  1. Ha ha. I like that you chose hideous Denver photos to compare with SF’s iconic painted ladies and skyline. nice work.

  2. 2 Plug1

    yeah, what Hungry Dog said.

    SF #1, every day, all day!

  3. I agree SF is great, but here’s a shot I got in Denver… amazing views.

    Sunset

    Denver Sky

  4. 4 Jim

    LOL.
    “Yeah I know, not a totally fair comparison but I don’t care, this aint no Denver blog.”

    Loved it.

  5. 5 Salim

    Wow, you obviously took all those pictures from the ugly industrial NE side of town towards the west and southwest, I mean really a shot of the mountains from Interstate 270 or Intersate 76? SF is photogenic definitely! But Denver still retains a natural majestic beauty that civilization in the bay area has long since destroyed. The beautiful historic buildings and old homes of Denver, which are the same age as many of the buildings in SF (Some older in Denver since earthquakes tend to destroy much of the bay area every hundred years or so) have obviously been left out of the comparison between your photo shopped versions of SF pictures.


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