Oakland CA ship and shipping industry photo locations?
April 29, 2008 10:29 AM   Subscribe

An avid amateur camera bug has a short stay in Oakland CA, including Sunday as a non-work day. Where can I go to take pictures of commercial boats, ships and related operations? Do you have any suggestions for other photo subjects in the Oakland/Berkeley area?
posted by X4ster to Travel & Transportation around Oakland, CA (7 answers total)
Well the Port of Oakland seems obvious. it's not all public ally accessible but there are definitely places where you can get close. Shoreline Park is right in the middle of the port.
posted by otherwordlyglow at 10:33 AM on April 29, 2008

Also, Berkeley Marina. And if you can get up to Richmond, there's a lot of heavy industrial stuff as well as the historic WWII shipyards and Rose the Riveter stuff. The Rose the Riveter memorial park is sort of dull but right next to the Marina Bay yacht club and next to a lot of the historic WWII sites.
posted by otherwordlyglow at 10:38 AM on April 29, 2008

I've been stopped by police near the Port of Oakland for taking photos. They were polite and didn't ask to erase or see our photos, or even ask us to stop, but you might get grumpier cops. It really is a great photo spot, though.
posted by moonmilk at 10:51 AM on April 29, 2008

Port of Oakland or Jack London Square (with a good zoom). When you're at Jack London, keep pacing around until you find the 'shoreline path' -- you can walk along the water's edge and see some of the shipyards/docks (empty) and with luck you'll have a nice vista stretching all the way to SF. Along the shoreline path you'll find a fantastic old bar in JLS called Heinhold's First & Last which is quaintly historical but still has a clientele that is largely locals instead of tourists. It has stood there since before the 1906 earthquake.

I've only been to Shoreline once -- it's a nice park, and right at the mouth of the channel. Worth visiting. Not sure how close it is to the stacks of shipping containers. Around 5th and Adeline (where I used to live) there's plenty of opportunities to take photos of trucks and such (most busy during weekday mornings around 8am-10am.)

Do yourself a favor and take the ferry from Jack London Square to SF: its journey takes it right up alongside a lot of the shipping boats in the port -- that's probably as close as you are going to get. It's a $12 round trip, or you can just take it into SF and return on BART. The ferry runs limited hours (pretty much just during morning/evening commutes), so plan ahead.

Lastly, you might try walking out on the point in Alameda near where the ferry lets off -- you'll be across the water from many of the shipyards, and that's probably as close as you're going to get to an unobstructed view without actually getting permission to go inside. While you're out there you can visit the old Navy base and check out the USS Hornet and a bunch of nice old hangars. You can also visit St. George's Spirits and try some of their absinthe (which I've been meaning to do for months).
posted by fishfucker at 11:33 AM on April 29, 2008

also, you may be somewhat interested in photo opportunities during the week in the oakland produce market, also in jack london square -- starting at around 3rd & Broadway from 8am - 10am ... Essentially a produce warehouse that spills out trucks and forklifts and crates of fruits and vegetables onto the street for 3-4 hours each day.
posted by fishfucker at 11:37 AM on April 29, 2008

If you'll have a car, you could take a drive to Benicia to see the Suisun Bay Reserve Fleet (1, 2).
posted by mudpuppie at 1:16 PM on April 29, 2008

Thank you all. Some good general recommends and some excellent specific thoughts. I will have a car and will try to get up to the Benecia area. Looking forward to ferry across to the City and perhaps another destination to make a round trip of it.

MetaFilter wins again!
posted by X4ster at 5:17 PM on April 29, 2008

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