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Unread 04-15-2011, 05:46 PM   #1
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SF Bay Area

The San Francisco Bay Area abounds in great locations for photographing cosplayers in various environments. Let's start from the north and work our way south.

Marin Civic Center
This futuristic architecture by Frank Lloyd Wright has been in a couple of science fiction movies. It would be perfect as a backdrop for more sci-fi themed costumes, particularly Star Trek and Star Wars.

Marin Headlands
Starting around the time of the Civil War and lasting until the middle of the 20th century, various military bunkers were built to help protect the San Francisco Bay from invasion. Today, the Headlands are a national recreation area. The bunkers are scattered around the site. They're made of crumbling concrete and would make good backdrops that suggest a post-apocalyptic world or even medieval castles.

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Unread 04-15-2011, 05:49 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by Kortoso View Post
It would be perfect as a backdrop for more sci-fi themed costumes, particularly Star Trek and Star Wars.
A Star Trek shoot there would amuse me, considering Starfleet Academy is in San Francisco! It would not be totally out of place to do a Star Trek shoot in Marin, or with the Golden Gate Bridge visible in the background.

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Unread 04-15-2011, 06:19 PM   #3
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Moving south, it's hard to miss the city of San Francisco, the legendary city by the bay.
Off the top of my head, however, there's nothing I can think of specifically that would be good for cosplay photographic backdrops... How about this?

Palace of Fine Arts
This structure survives from the 1915 Panama-Pacific Exposition and is located next the Exploratorium museum. Architechturally it's got Graeco-Roman columns and a sort of ancient look to it.

Sunol Water Temple
This is another structure with a very Graeco-Roman vibe to it. It's more remote than the Palace of Fine Arts, which may be a good thing or a bad thing. If you need privacy, or if you're filming a movie, I would suggest Sunol. If convenience and a quick snap-shot is all you need, then by all means go to the Palace of Fine Arts and check out the Exploratorium in the same day.

San Francisco's Golden Gate Park abounds in all kinds of structures and environments. Perhaps I will touch on this later.

Castle Rock State Park
Going a bit south and converting to a naturalistic landscape, Castle Rock is popular with hikers and climbers. There are beautiful woods, craggy cliffs and caves as well. This is where I shot one of my fan films, although the State Park system prefers that if you show up with lots of filmmaking equipment, and look like a large-scale studio, they will probably want to charge you some money and make you sign permits. But for low-profile missions and photo shoots, they should be okay.

Hakone Gardens
Further to the south, Hakone Gardens simulates the look of old Japan. Several pieces of authentic-looking architecture surround a koi pond, and the grounds are landscaped by all manner of Japanese plants, including some really big bamboo. Pretty darned good for anything with a samurai theme.

In a pinch, some locations in San Francisco could be used, such as Japantown, and the Japanese tea Garden in Golden Gate Park.

With all of these, please check for availability and permission first before you go!
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Unread 04-21-2011, 11:29 PM   #4
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Another Great Place Woul Be on a Caltrain, or on a BART train! (A BART train is like a monarail, very futuristic!)
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Unread 04-22-2011, 03:54 AM   #5
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This particular shot was taken between Fisherman's Wharf and Embarcadero. It was while we were walking back, we saw a pretty sky view between two buildings and rushed there for a picture.

I think it makes a good photo spot ^^
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Unread 04-22-2011, 03:59 PM   #6
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(Following the OP's format; hope you don't mind)

Legion of Honor
The Legion of Honor is a museum and there aren't very many places to shoot, but it's another one of those "Greco-Roman" looking places. There is a fountain in front and some green areas off to the side that I think would still make for a great backdrop for any series. =)

SF Botanical Gardens
And mentioning Golden Gate Park, the SF Botanical Gardens are also a great place for photos! There's a wide variety of different foliage and scenery, and it's a very large park so not as many passerby as you would get at the Legion of Honor. It's also right next to the Japanese Tea Garden, so cosplayers could even switch locations for a variety of scenes. =)
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Unread 05-27-2011, 04:42 PM   #7
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Sugoi yo!
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Unread 09-28-2011, 12:23 AM   #8
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Don't you just love San Francisco for the places to have photo shoots? The Bay Area has just some amazing places. I live about an hour north of the city but we have some great places here. Although, normal people here aren't to willing to except people who cosplay. Maybe it's just the people I've run across. So did you find any awesome places?
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Unread 09-28-2011, 05:25 PM   #9
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I've been meaning to have a photoshoot here:

Marin Art & Garden Center

It's really lovely and quiet. It's pretty out of the way for most people, though!

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Unread 09-29-2011, 12:47 AM   #10
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Dude, this thread is awesome. I had no idea we had places like that here @@. thanks for the info!
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Unread 03-29-2012, 12:57 PM   #11
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Wow awesome locations, thank you so much everyone!

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Unread 03-29-2012, 02:15 PM   #12
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This is such a great idea! Thanks for sharing!
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Unread 04-07-2012, 02:45 AM   #13
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Mussel rock beach is a little far from San Francisco but probably no more then a 20min drive. The beach is very clean most of the time and there's this point at the top of the hill (I believe its called mori's point) that would make for a epic photo shoot.

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Unread 09-14-2012, 02:01 AM   #14
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The Marin Headlands is great. Rocky formations, desolate areas, stunning views of the ocean and bay, and a number of abandoned military structures

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Unread 02-03-2013, 04:33 PM   #15
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Wow I wish I lived somewhere close to these places.. D: Good luck cosplayers! :3
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