Pier 24 Photography Museum in San Francisco

On Monday I joined a great friend, and photographer, Breezy Lucia for a trip to Pier 24 Photography. I don’t think I’d seen Breezy since I moved from Columbia years ago. We first met while we were in school together at the University of Missouri studying Fine Art Photography under the tutelage of Joe Johnson.

There was no professor that affected me in such a positive way as Joe. Until his courses I did not look at photography as anything but a hobby. I shot photos, over-processed them and found myself more worried about having the best equipment than making the best art.


When I moved to San Francisco Joe told me that I had to go to Pier 24 Photography. He told me it was free, it was massive and inside I would find some of the most important photographs.

Pier 24 Photography is an exhibition space devoted to photography, which hosts rotating exhibitions and houses The Pilara Foundation Collection. Visitors experience an environment in which to view and quietly contemplate photography. By collaborating with photographers, educators, collectors and curators, we are able to share diverse ideas with the public. Through our partnerships with local institutions, we also work to advance the creation, scholarship and understanding of the photographic medium.

Somehow I managed to spend three years in San Francisco never making it to this free and incredible photography museum. If you’re in San Francisco, this is the first art museum you should think about visiting. Not only is it the largest photography museum in America, it is free, it only allows 20 people in at a time so it’s never crowded and the work they curate is out of this world stunning.

In addition to being a free museum visit with only a limited number of people allowed in at a time, they provide you with a beautifully printed book of all the featured work for just $10. I wish I could get a subscription to receive these books with each exhibition. The entire experience was beyond anything I ever expected and I’m kicking myself for waiting so long to visit. Any future guests of mine to San Francisco who are into photography in the least will be taken to this museum.


After the time at the museum Breezy and I took a few minutes to take pictures just outside of Pier 24. I took this photo which is actually a stitching of five photos into a single, almost square, image. I almost only ever have a 50mm lens on my Nikon D700, fitting the scene of this bridge into a single image would have been otherwise impossible.