Photography Spots in Point Reyes

 In Expeditions, Photography Spots

Photography Spots in Point Reyes National Seashore

Point Reyes Shipwreck After Fire Burned (Starboard Side)

What are the Best Photography Spots in Point Reyes National Seashore?

THE PLAN: Heading out this weekend to have a nice little Napa get-away with the lady. Im deciding to hit Point Reyes National Seashore, Point Reyes (recently burned down) shipwreck, Point Reyes Lighthouse the Point Reyes Cypress Tree Tunnel and a couple other spots. I have always wanted to shoot the Iconic Point Reyes Shipwreck but it has since been partially destroyed by an amateur spinning photographer.

Don’t get me wrong, I think spinners, spinning photography and steel wool fire spinners have their place in the world and it looks insanely cool. But, seriously use your head, the Iconic Point Reyes Shipwreck has yet to be seen by millions of people and truly a shame if not every gets to experience this amazing sight. 

Being that there are many locations in Point Reyes National Seashore to shoot, it is going to be tough to get to all of these. I am planning on waking up at 6am and getting there at 7am. I am planning on shooting a mix of beaches, shipwrecks, forest tunnels, epic mountain ranges on the coastline and of course the lighthouse.

WHAT HAPPENED: No one can wake up after a day of drinking in Napa at 6am. We woke up at 9am and headed out. From Napa it took us about 1 hour and 40 minutes to get to Point Reyes Shipwreck which is the first stop of Photography Spots in Point Reyes.

Whats cool about Point Reyes National Seashore is that there is something for everyone. As you get into the town of Point Reyes Station, before heading up into the National Seashore, there are many small, quaint shops and stores to stop and shoot.

We drove, stopping along the way and took in the scenery. Point Reyes National Seashore is absolutely stunning. From the wild Tule Elk to the Shipwreck to the Cypress Tree Tunnel to the rolling hills with epic ocean views. WOW.

What you don’t know about Point Reyes: Dairy Farms. The Dairy Farms on Point Reyes National Seashore are scatted all over from A – Z. If you have time, stop in Point Reyes Station and visit the Tomales Bay store and buy some cheese. It does not matter what cheese you will buy, it was all amazing.

Photography Spots in Point Reyes National Seashore

Point Reyes National Seashore Sign & Entrance

Photography Spots – List

  • Arch Rock (Recently Caved In – read more)
  • Bear Valley
  • Drake’s Beach (State Parks Website/ All Pt Reyes Beaches – read more)
  • Inverness (Home of the Pt Reyes Shipwreck Recently Burned)
  • Point Reyes Lighthouse
  • Mount Wittenberg
  • Sculpted Beach
  • Tomales Point
  • Cypress Tree Tunnel (Arrive Early or Late and miss the Tourists)
  • Elephant Rock Point Reyes (Apparently is has to be low tide?? Someone Comment Please)
  • Point Reyes Tule Elk

Best Photography Spots in Point Reyes National Seashore

This list of Photography Spots in Point Reyes are not in order of “Best”, just in the order that we arrived and shot. If you are looking for the Best Photography Spots in Point Reyes, make your own decision on what you want to shoot. Everyone has a different style but as you can tell, there are some spots that may be considered the “Best” most “Well Known” Photography Spots in Point Reyes.

Photography Spot #1 – Point Reyes Station

There is a lot to shoot just wondering around Point Reyes Station before you get to Point Reyes National Seashore. If you wander around the small town for about 20-30 min, you will find something worth shooting. And, I hope for your sake this old Studebaker Lark is still hanging around. It was a pretty cool sight to see!

Point Reyes Station, CA - Studebaker Lark 5

Photography Spot #2 – Inverness (Point Reyes Shipwreck)

(Point Reyes Shipwreck Recently Burned from Fire)

We shot the Point Reyes Shipwreck for about an hour. How could you not! This iconic symbol in Point Reyes National Seashore is a true sight to be seen. We caught great weather, great water and the shot came out somewhat decent. It is very sad that the rear of the Point Reyes Shipwreck has been completely destroyed by the fire from the spinning photographer. Also, the Starboard side (left side) of the Point Reyes Shipwreck has been severely damaged by the fire.

With all the people coming and going to see the Point Reyes Shipwreck, hopefully it will stay intact for many years to come. I will be returning here as the Point Reyes Shipwreck is just a downright amazing place to shoot.

Point Reyes Shipwreck After Fire Burned (Starboard Side)

Photography Spot #3 – Cypress Tree Tunnel

(Arrive Early or Late and miss the Tourists)

This is an epic place for any photographer to shoot. Depending on the weather will depend on what your shots look like but it will be hard to screw this shot up. Just look at the trees. If you just getting started with photography or an advanced shooting expert, the Cypress Tree Tunnel in Point Reyes is a an awesome spot. The only problem with Cypress Tree Tunnel in Point Reyes is the foot traffic. If you come on a Saturday, be prepared to be irritated with cars and people, coming and going. It is a nightmare to shoot this place on a Saturday, take it from me.

We actually rolled up at a decent time and this shot below was one of my first shots. All the others had people popping out of the trees and cars, coming and going. Go to Cypress Tree Tunnel in Point Reyes on a weekday, not on a Saturday. If you do go on a Saturday, wake up early (7AM early) and get started.

Cypress Tree Tunnel - Point Reyes

Photography Spot #4 – Point Reyes Lighthouse

If you can avoid it, do not go on a Saturday!

If I have any advice for anyone looking to visit Point Reyes National Seashore and specifically the Lighthouse, its to never go on a Saturday. It will ruin it for you. The land is so beautiful and filled with everyone from Sri Lanka to Bakersfield. I do not have anything against these places but It is a nightmare sea of people trying to see this place. It was so bad, we did not event walk down to the Lighthouse.

Point Reyes Nat Seashore Lighthouse

Photography Spot #5 – Tomales Point (McClures Beach)

McClures Beach should take you right to Elephant Rock. McClures Beach is located very close to end of the point in Point Reyes. You will drive up to an old dairy farm, take a left and park in the lower parking lot. After that you can hike down to the beach and wonder award shooting aimlessly.

Point Reyes National Seashore McClures Beach Fog

Photography Spot #7 – Elephant Rock Point Reyes

(Apparently is has to be low tide?? Someone Comment Please)

WOW, I had no idea it was going to turn out like this. We were pretty irritated that it was high tide and we could not make it over to the other side of Elephant Rock on Point Reyes. Either way, whatever side you are shooting, you will have a good time. This place is truly magical, everywhere you turn is another epic view and something to see for everyone on Point Reyes National Seashore.

Point Reyes National Seashore Elephant Rock

Photography Spot #6 – Tule Elk on Point Reyes

Out of all the landscapes above, my favorite has to be the Tule Elk. This was a pretty special experience. Even though this was shot from 50′ away with a Canon 70-200 Is 2.8 with no filters, I still felt like I was 5′ from this stunning animal. I have no clue why people would want to shoot one of these creatures with anything other than a camera. If you get a chance to do Point Reyes National Seashore for an entire day, I highly recommend going out to Tomales Point and walk around looking for the Tule Elk. It was EPIC!!! So much fun. What a day!

Point Reyes National Seashore - Tule Elk

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Showing 8 comments
  • Jeffrey Bowdoin
    Reply

    I heard about that a photographer had ruined the Point Reyes Shipwreck a while ago. I also read they were going to move the shipwreck out of there because it is a hazard for people who climb it (might collapse). Glad to see they didn’t do that yet! I need to get some shots there just in case they ever do take it out of there.

    Great shots, keep them coming!!

    • Bgreene
      Reply

      Jeff, Thanks! Yeah, it was crazy to see the ship still in such good shape. I mean, it is terrible what happened but I as well thought it was a lot worse. The Point Reyes Shipwreck is a national symbol and I hope they do not move it to another location. While we were there, there was a group a kids walking all over it, it was pretty obnoxious. Point Reyes Shipwreck and the Point Reyes National Seashore as a whole is an absolute dream for photographer or a “photographers playground”. I need to go back soon, there is so much I missed! Thanks for commenting.

  • JC
    Reply

    What a great day trip. Living in Northern California I’m always looking for day trips and this looks like one that will check many boxes.

    Taking the runner on a nice road trip, getting some gorgeous views, hiking with fresh sea air.

    I’m packing my picnic basket, grabbing a blanket and bottle of wine and taking the little tour of Point Reyes and Tomales Bay!

    Thanks for the share.

    If you have time check out my page at http://www.eldoradosunset.com

    • Bgreene
      Reply

      Thanks JC, yeah Northern California is such an amazing place!! I love it. There is so much to see and I like your idea “blanket and bottle of wine and taking the little tour of Point Reyes and Tomales Bay!” – that sounds like a blast! Will do on the site. Thanks for commenting. : )

  • Lpowell
    Reply

    These photos of the point reyes shipwreck are stunning!! Makes me want to jump in the car and take a road trip down to the coast!!! We forget how many beautiful places we have right here in our own back yard!! Thank you for the photos 🙂

  • Kate Friend
    Reply

    I love those photos. HDR is the best, isn’t it? So freaking fun. The only one I’m not a super fan of is the lighthouse one, but obviously you weren’t able to get to the angle you needed because of the crowds. I love the little boat out at sea in that one though! I really, really liked the grungy industrial look that you had going on with some of them. Super fun.

    • Bgreene
      Reply

      Thanks Kate, yeah HDR photography is a blast. You can really bring so much out. Even if you decide not to go full out (HIGH CLARTY) look. Thanks for the kind words on the Point Reyes shoot. It was fun!

  • Kit
    Reply

    Love Point Reyes. One of our favorite spots. Great page, great T4R ideas, and great photos.

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