San Francisco Night Owls Photography Workshop - May 15th, 2015

Night Owls Night Photography Workshop Students with Aperture Academy

San Francisco has a reputation when it comes to night photography. There’s so much to see and so much potential for capturing fantastic images. The main issue is that people just need the skill-set so that they can head out and start capturing images on their own. That’s where Phil and I come in!

We met a group of awesome folks in Sausalito, Ca for an evening of fun and Photography throughout the night, with the city of San Francisco as our main subject.

Our first stop for the evening was the Palace of Fine Arts. We arrived early and had time to go over the settings like shutter speed, aperture, ISO, and white balance that would be needed for our shoot…and were able to talk about dynamic range and how in the beginning our sky was very bright, while our subject was very dark…then for a beautiful window both subjects would be able to be properly captured in the same frame. When the sun was gone…and the sky was a beautiful blue, the lights were on creating a warm glow this was the perfect time to capture the best of the scene, and everyone really came away with some nice images! This blue hour doesn’t last as long as its name would suggest, and before long the sky has gone darker, and the subject is now the brighter part of the frame…so we cover different ways to capture this contrasted light.

Our second stop for the night was the twisty turns of the Lombard Street. Here we break up into smaller pods and Phil and I take turns going over the proper settings to capture the streaks of taillights and headlights as the wind down each curve of this iconic SF location. This stop is always fun as some of the techniques are quite different, and the cars moving up and down the road often have something funny to say at the lines of photographers on the roadside.

The 3rd stop of the night was the Bay Bridge from the Embarcadero. On our way we got to meet the angry hand of an aggressive SF pedestrian as we stopped at a light. While it gave us all a jump, it did provide some much-enjoyed laughs as well. Thanks angry lady!

The Bay Bridge was awesome…and by this point in the night most folks are getting dialed in with the settings necessary, and how to make the needed fine tuned adjustments in order to make the images look their best. Phil and I keep going over White Balance, and the other settings to make sure that it sticks with folks, and their able to recreate the process at later times when they go out to shoot on their own.

The final stop of the night is the most iconic bridge in the west coast (marchbe the world) the Golden Gate. We make a stop high above the city on the Marin Headlands side and set up for one last shoot. The group are well-seasoned night photographers by this point, and Phil and I just need to give them a few last minute reminders, and help tweak a few settings, but other than that they’re capturing some really impressive stuff. The fast moving fog in the area helps give the images some depth and wonderful color. It’s a perfect way to end what has been a truly magnificent evening of photography in the city by the bay.

Until Next Time,

Brian, Phil, and the rest of the Aperture Academy Team

P.S. If you'd like to join us at one of our workshops, you can find the schedule/sign up here. (More photos below the comments.)



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