Notes on Kite Aerial Photography: Photo Gallery

Above Pier 39
San Francisco, California

Oblique view of Pier 39 (57K jpg).

go to location mapPier 39 is a shopping area near San Francisco's Fisherman's Wharf. Once an area of sea commerce the pier now serves the tourist trade with equal vigor. A couple of years ago sea lions started hauling out on the low marina docks near Pier 39 to the chagrin of sailboat owners and the delight of tourists (and by extension merchants.) An area of the docks has now been given over to the sea lions and they are pretty fun to watch. Pier 39 itself is now an amalgam of tourist shops covering a structure that projects far into the bay.

I took these shots on a Sunday afternoon while flying from the adjacent Pier 41, an empty pier that serves as a promenade and viewing platform. There was a mild breeze and I flew the Sutton 30. I used my Stratospool reel for the first time in a long while. The Stratospool has 1000' of 250# dacron line on it and for a brief period I really played line out to take a few high shots (as you will see.)

View of San Francisco's Fisherman's Wharf area (53K jpg).

This shot is looking westward with the camera over Pier 39. The Fisherman's Wharf area is in the midground. Below it is a Red and White Ferry backing out for the 10 minute ride to Alcatraz, the former prison island. In the distance are the enveloping arms of Aquatic Park.

Plan views of Pier 39 (51K jpg left and 60K jpg right).

These are, by far, my highest views to date. The left image shows almost the entire width of Pier 39 in plan view. The white circle in the center is a merry-go-round with a tentlike canopy. You can see quite a few folks milling around down there. The right image is rotated 90 degrees relative to the left and shows part of the bay. The floating platforms visible in the water are devoted to the tourist-attracting sea lions. Those near Pier 39 are empty but sea lions cover the outer ones.

Sea lions and tour boat (58K jpg).

Here a tour boat passes several sea-lion-filled floats. The pier visible in the upper right was my location while flying the kite and controlling the camera. In the print you can see several sea lions swimming in the water but they are difficult to make out in the jpg.

Tour boat heading out (42K jpg).

Here is another tour boat heading out into the bay. You can see a couple of sea lions hauled out on the dock adjacent to the boat (upper portion.)

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All contents copyright (C) 1997 by Charles C. Benton.
All rights reserved. Revised:
Saturday, June 26, 2010