Favorite Photo Locations – San Diego, California

San Diego is the 8th largest city in the US and the 2nd largest city in California.  San Diego is located In Southern California adjacent to the Mexican border.  San Diego is known for its mild climate, deep-water harbor, beaches, association with the US Navy, and recently as a healthcare and biotechnology enclave. The population was over 1.3 million as of the 2010 census.

And speaking of mild climate, San Diego is a photographer’s dream. The city and area have an average temperature of 77° at the height of summer and 65° in the winter. Average sunny days number 146 and partly cloudy 117. With an average rainfall of less than 12 inches, you will be unlikely to find weather a problem on photo outings. You might want to avoid the area in May and June, as there are often a thin layer of clouds from the coast to just inland. The locals sometimes refer to the time as the “May Gray” or “June Gloom”. On the other hand, low clouds and partial sun can make for some of the most interesting compositional opportunities.

While you’re there, you might check out the Southern California Association of Camera Clubs HQ in Balboa Park. There are galleries and exhibits open during the summer months Saturdays.

San Diego harbor at dawn

The harbor is packed with photo opportunities. Large container and cruise ships, several parks, a trolly system, and numerous museums are among a host of possibilities. Information on this area of San Diego can be found at The Big Bay. 

Point Loma

Point Loma is historically important as the landing place of the first European expedition to come ashore in present-day California. The peninsula has been described as “where California began”. Today Point Loma houses two major military bases, a national cemetery, a national monument, and a university, in addition to residential and commercial areas. (via Wikipedia). You’ll find some great shots at the Old Point Loma lighthouse, which kept watch over the San Diego Bay from 1855 to 1891. Information on the lighthouse can be found here. Another photo area of interest is the tide pools on the western side of the point. Get details from the National Park Service website for the pools here.




Old Town is a neighborhood of San Diego, California. It contains 230 acres and is bounded by Interstate 8 on the north, Interstate 5 on the west, Mission Hills on the east and Bankers Hill on the south. It is the oldest settled area in San Diego and is the site of the first European settlement in present-day California. (via Wikipedia).





Balboa Park

Balboa Park is a 1,200-acre (490 ha) urban cultural park in San Diego, California. The park is named after the Spanish maritime explorer Vasco Núñez de Balboa. It was the location of the 1915 Panama–California Exposition and 1935 California Pacific International Exposition which each created architectural landmarks for the park. (via Wikipedia)



Seals in La Jolla



La Jolla is an area of mixed geology, including sandy beaches and rocky shorelines. The most compelling geographical highlight of La Jolla is its ocean front, with alternating rugged and sandy coast line and wild seal congregations.



Contributed by Red River Paper PRO Ron Wolfe

Author: Red River Paper

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1 Comment

  1. These spots represent some of the highlights of the very photogenic San Diego, a wonderful place to take pictures.

    At first glance, the Balboa Park photo seems slightly askew. When magnified in Photoshop, one can check the following visual queues in the picture: the vertical elements in the grating above the white façade, the reflections of the vertical edges of the arched openings in the white façade, and the reflection of the light post. To make these vertical, the image needs to be tilted 0.8 deg clockwise.

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