San Francisco Mission District Mural Tour


Mural Mania Dates:

Sunday April 17, 2016
Sunday June 5, 2016

Cost is $165.

Spend a really fun day getting your Latino groove on in the colorful Mission District of San Francisco on one of our most popular San Francisco tours. Home to over 600 murals that pay homage to the great muralists such as Josť Clemente Orozco, Diego Rivera and David Alfaro Siqueiros, the area is a visual feast of art and culture.
The San Francisco Mission neighborhood's love affair with murals stems from the Mexican roots of the Mission District community. The Latino community took up residence in the Mission neighborhood in the early 1970s and they brought their muralist traditions with them. Murals are painted on building walls and facades, fences, garage doors, doorways, news stands and reflected in windows, cars and even hubcaps. There is one mural made entirely from paper and a few are 3 dimensional.

Some people don't care to photograph other people's art. That is understandable, yet the murals of this area are part of the landscape. You are not just "recording" the murals, but due to their intricacy and story telling complexity, you are finding and creating compositions and small vignettes within the murals. We find new murals in the most unexpected places which is always a delight. The murals also have great potential for creating collages for film and Photoshop users.

The Mission is a plethora of color, sights, sounds, music and the delicious aromas of food being grilled. Streets and alleys are ablaze with bougainvillea and other flowers. The people are equally colorful, very friendly and willing pose for photos. It is a great opprotunity for portrait photography and using the murals as a back drop. We have such fun photographing the people, from the elderly wearing traditional clothes, to the children, tourists, strolling guitarists, and a group of professional conga drum players jamming each week.

After doing a number of tours to the Mission, I can honestly say that it gets better each time and the photo ops are unique each time. It is truly a joyful day. A number of participants have commented that the Mission tour is like being in a foreign country for a day!

We will meet at 8:00 to 8:30am, depending on the month, break for a delicious lunch and end around 2pm which is the time when our feet say "enough please". This is a walking tour so wear some comfortable shoes and bring a minimum of camera gear. Tripods are not necessary and a medium wide angle and one other lens is all you need.

This tour is held on a Sunday to take advantage of the free parking.

Please contact us for details and to register for a tour.

Due to the multitude of photo ops, we are offering this tour on multiple days and we will be going to new locations on every tour. Please note, tag alongs are not permitted. Tour limited to 8 participants.

Note: The murals are best under flat light so don't worry about the sun. If the weather is inclement, the tour will be rescheduled to a different day.

"This tour was the best. Great fun!" J. O'Brien, AZ

"When it comes to photography I'm always "looking for trouble" defined by me as looking for new and different subject material...So, when I saw Gale Perry of Light Fantastic Tours day trip to photograph the Murals of the Mission District I was intriqued to learn there were over 600 murals in the Mission District. A friend said "I don't like to photograph other peoples art". But Gale said "look into the art and create your own images". Since I've been to Greece and Venice with Gale, I trust her guidance so off I went to discover what touched me (actually in many case, profoundly moved me). There are serious murals about immigrants, farm workers, women, and physical challenges. There are fun murals about old movie stars and kids fairy tales. The residents of the Mission District are warm and friendly and if you look carefully, even posed with our murals. Yes, these murals touch you in your soul and become your own. The murals are painted in many alleys, on garage doors, around windows and doors, even around mail boxes. Gale offers tours that are near and dear to her heart and she doesn't want you to miss a thing. She will interpret the murals for you (I needed that help because I was only looking at the parts of the mural, not the whole). She will find people on the street that would look good with a mural and ask them to pose for you. She will point out that a polarizer or a flash is especially helpful on a certain mural. I was touched by the day and also came home with 640 images." S. Parker, CA

"The SF Mural Tour was both a visual and cultural experience. Photographing the murals and the accompanying street life was a visual treat with interesting people, vibrant colors and extraordinary art each with its own intriguing story. Our leader, Gale Perry, provided excellent guidance on bringing out the magic of mural photography and enticing the friendly locals to be photographed and enhance the mural imagery. Her tours are always capped with excellent photog camaraderie and the lunch spot was excellent."
T. Scussel, CA

"I loved the mural tour. My photographs of the murals were incredible. Thanks again for an awesome shoot and I look forward to many more." G. Silver, CA

"I absolutely had a fun day! It was all that you promised and more, given what a small, intimate group we had. We felt privileged to have been able to spend the day with someone who has such photo expertise AND knew the area well! And is patient and fun to boot." S. Carusillo, CA

"I loved shooting in the Mission. It's like being out of country. The people are interesting and extremely photogenic and the murals are beautiful. I loved the small group, the personalities and the individual attention." B. Burg, CA

"I can't tell you how much I enjoyed the workshop in the Mission yesterday. Thank you Gale!" M.Reynolds, Ca, Sept. 2012

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