San Francisco’s Chinatown is an amazing place to explore and photograph. Chinatown is nestled on Grant Street and Stockton Street in San Francisco. As as you explore the streets of San Francisco and approach this area, you’re instantly transported into another time and space. Chinatown is just another reason I enjoy walking through and photographing San Francisco. It has a variety of culture and architecture simply accessed. From the echoes of the 60s in the Haight -Ashbury district to one of my favorites, Chinatown.

You’ll find many trades being practiced throughout Chinatown’s narrow and intimate streets and alleys. It’s fairly reminiscent of the way many turn of the century American cities operated. From its colorful open farmer’s markets dotted along the sidewalks, to traditional food restaurants and curious Chinese goods shops. There’s something or someone intriguing photograph around every corner. Barbershops and beauty shops are located in odd subterranean locations. It’s a street photographers paradise where black and white captures excel in expressing a classic, frozen in time feel. There are many festivals that can occur anytime, along with many open-air musical and cultural events as you wander through its interesting streets.

Exploring Chinatown with minimal photographic equipment is the way to go. Remember, if you’re thinking about exploration, you’re going to be in close on many of its narrow streets.  I find a fixed 50mm and 35mm with the smartphone nearby is the way to go, with your favorite photo app loaded and ready to go. Enjoy your next trip to San Fransico!

Want to know where to go and how to shoot it?  Join us on our next San Francisco Street and City workshops.

All the best,

Mark Jansen

If you like this blog, consider checking out our other articles on a similar topic:

Mark’s Quick Tip: Anxiety of Photographing People on the Streets

The Human Flow of Life and Street Photography