Smartphone PhotoWalk: The Embarcadero Waterfront

San Francisco, CA

  • The typical Transamerica picture.
  • The Transamerica hidden in the fog.
  • After a rainstorm, the puddles make a great shot. Photo: Camilia Ami.
  • Late afternoon shot of the Ferry Building with the trolly station roof as a framing device.
  • Capture the shot from this ledge at the southern part of the trolly stop.
  • Angles of the roof and walls exit out of the top left corner.
  • Late afternoon shot in the Ferry Building. Note the sun reflection on the glossy cement floor.
  • Late afternoon picture of the Bay Bridge.

45 minutes
0.9 mi
Guided by Clay
Clay Sortino


Packed with photogenic vistas, iconic architecture and emotive characters, San Francisco demands to be photographed. This walk will guide you along the Embarcadero to capture perfect shots of the Transamerica Pyramid, city skyline, Ferry Building, Bay Bridge and other points. We'll also provide composition recommendations to help capture a striking photograph, whether you're using an smartphone or DSLR.

About Your Guide

When I was a kid growing up in Central California, San Francisco was a pulsing metropolis - the place to be. SF had all the best concerts, all the creativity, all the food, all the best stories. Now that I live in SF all these years later, I still feel that way. I find humor in things I probably shouldn't. I love being outdoors, taking photographs, learning local history, and exploring the world through my rambunctious children's eyes.

Go on this Sidewalk

Guide Points

  1. The Skyline from Pier 7

    We begin at the eastern-most point of the Embarcadero for a quintessential beautiful shot of the city skyline.

  2. Outside the Ferry Building

    The Ferry Building is not an easy subject to photograph. It is both too tall, too wide, with too many people and cars zooming by in front. …

  3. Inside the Ferry Building

    The interior of the Ferry Building makes for great pictures and the perfect stop if you need to use a restroom (near Blue Bottle Coffee tow…

  4. The Bay Bridge Near Pier 14

    While everyone thinks exclusively of the Golden Gate Bridge as being the object of The Iconic Shot of SF, the Bay Bridge is perhaps more pi…

  5. The Best Shot of the Bay Bridge

    This is easily my favorite shot of the Bay Bridge. It's a juxtaposition of old and new with remnants of the former wooden dock in the wate…

About Sidewalk

Sidewalk is an app that provides free, guided walk experiences that can be created by anyone with stories to share about places they know and love.

The app navigates people through a neighborhood walk using GPS turn-by-turn directions, rich imagery and storytelling.