at sunrise

For as many times as I've visited San Francisco over my 9 years of touring the country, no one had ever told me about Sutro Heights Park and the cliffs. A friend of mine who had visited recently told me I had to visit. I headed out just before sunrise yesterday morning. It could not have been anymore perfect. Most of these photos are in landscape mode. Please turn your phone 90° to the left 😊

GIANT CAMERA is a functioning camera obscura built in the 40s. It uses sunlight to reflect images of the ocean and cliffs onto a giant disc inside the building. It looks straight out of a Wes Anderson film. Especially with that perfect Futura typeface. If you swipe back to the previous photo, a sharp eye will spot a faint glimmer of yesterday morning's lunar eclipse, as it sank below the horizon.

After leaving Cliff House and the Camera Obscura, I hiked about 10-15 minutes up the hill, past the Sutro Baths ruins, through a small coastal forest of aromatic cedar and eucalyptus and wildflowers until I rounded a bend and was greeted with this...

Next time you visit San Francisco, be sure to check out the Magic Sutro Heights Park, Cliff House, Camera Obscura, and all the trails among them. Especially at sunrise 😄 Follow me on Instagram, Tumblr, & Flickr for lots more photos and adventures! @brianstowell

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  • bethkellmer

    GORGEOUS 🌅🌅🌅🌅 love the moon and the colors

  • brianstowell

    @bethkellmer 😊 Thanks, Beth! My only regret is not waking up a little earlier to catch the full eclipse. Did you watch it back at home? 🙌

  • karen

    Ooh so pretty! I've never been at sunrise but might have to go!

  • sarakking

    Love this. One of my favorite places. I'll have to go at sunrise next time 😍👌❤️

  • brianstowell

    @karen thanks Karen! It was really peaceful. The only other people I saw were a couple other photographers, the guy catching crabs on page #7 and a couple early morning runners. Hope you get out there soon!

  • brianstowell

    @sarakking I definitely need to find more spots like this in the cities I visit. Everyone always recommends the same touristy stuff. For whatever reason, this felt different. Unique. Somewhat secluded. Maybe that's the early Saturday morning speaking. Loved your photos from there, too! 🙌

  • sarakking

    @brianstowell Yeah this place did feel different. I didn't want to leave! I'll just make sure to go at sunrise next time. Thanks!!

  • brianstowell

    @sarakking the solitude and the quiet, the only other sounds being the wind and waves and birds, really sealed it. And the smell! Wandering through that little forest with all the flowers in bloom. Paradise within a city. I know I'll go back and spend more time the next chance I get.

  • tbyrnes

    This is awesome! The Sutro Baths are on of my favorite places in SF.

  • chrisbelcina

    Omg. I need this! @brianstowell

  • aroyalday


  • mackelleen

    Fantastic!!! I just went for the first time, after never knowing about them, too - but I need to go back to check out this Camera obscura, and that ggb view!!!🙌🏼

  • jane_

    This is gorgeous and yes, I agree, that area is totally worth visiting ❤️💫

  • raquelpina

    Beautiful pictures

  • wulan_dewi_sunu

    @brianstowell great photos! I like you keep the photo in landscape not portrait. This is one weakness of Steller who "push" us to post portrait photo, in fact so many beautiful photos using landscape 😊


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