The weather is great, the tourists have left, and teens have school duties to occupy their evenings, so now is the perfect time to get out your tripod and remote release to practice your nighttime photography! There are many great places to do so in San Diego, but I suggest Balboa Park.
Balboa Park offers many different types of shots on which to challenge yourself. Several of the buildings are lighted; the Prado offers many possibilities, and the Botanical Building and Lily Pond can be especially rewarding. But to really test your skills I offer the myriad lighted fountains!
Of course, the Bea Evenson Fountain, between the Natural History Museum and Reuben H. Fleet is the holy grail if its lights are on. It makes a great backdrop for portraits and it’s fun to try and “stop” the drops using a flash and your camera’s sync function. The other fountain of photographic note is located adjacent to the Prado restaurant.
Be sure and wander off El Prado and try the area around the Old Globe. There are more fountains, interesting light arrangements on the buildings, and denizens of the night having a cuppa. Across the street, in the Alcazar Garden, is a gazebo-type building which is often dimly and mysteriously lit in purple.
I’ve never had a problem in the park after dark, but stay in the lighted areas and don’t go alone. And, don’t forget to disable the vibration reduction function if are using your tripod --which you should ALWAYS use at night! Finally, if you don’t have a remote release, use the camera’s shutter delay function.