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San Francisco Night Photography Workshop - April 1st, 2011

Grand Canyon Photography Workshop Students

San Francisco is one of the most photographic cities in the world...filled with world famous locations, panoramic vistas and colorful landscapes. But at night, a new world emerges and so many unique photo opportunities emerge. And that's just what we set out to do on this Night Owl Workshop at the Aperture Academy.

The group met at Baker Beach to sky full of high whispy clouds and great light on the Golden Gate Bridge. After getting to know one another during orientation, we set out for the beach to capture the late day light.

Insturtors Stephen, Alicia and Ellie worked with students in manual mode to find the best combinations of aperture and shutter speed to capture the perfect exposures. We also worked on compositions and timed our images to the ocean surft enhance those compositions to create leading lines and work with the rule of thirds.

As the sun began to set it was time to load up into the van and head to our next location to start the night -- the Palace of Fine Arts. This place is fantastic and we arrived during the "blue hour", that first hour after sunset. We spent the first half hour capturing reflections of the palace in the pond and working with white balance to capture just the right colors. We then headed inside the palace working with the extreme angles and detail in the ceiling.

Next stop, Lombard! The crookest street in the world is one of the best places for creative, long exposure night photography. We found some great places to get low to the street and capture the car lights as they weave their way down the hillside. While we waited for cars we used flashlights to do some light painting and help illustrate just how much fun night photography can be.

With a quick break in the city for a cup of coffee and a bathroom break we headed to the Embarcaderro -- next stop, the Bay Bridge. You can't deny this is one of the most photographic places in the city, second only to the Golden Gate Bridge. We spend the next hour, which went by really fast, capturing the beauty of the Bay Bridge and used some old pylons in the foreground to enhance the color of the scene and strengthen our compositions. The night sky still contained high whispy clouds which, during our 1-2 minute long exposures, streaked across the sky really adding some nice effect to our final images.

With cameras full of great images and a lot of new lessons and ideas learned, we headed back to Baker Beach to conclude our night photography shoot.

Until next time...Stephen, Alicia, Ellie 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.


Ken Wilson - April 3rd, 2011 (2:14pm)

It is easy to read a book on photography, but it is another thing to put it to work in your own photographs. The staff at Aperture Academy are experienced, friendly and compassionate. Adjusting to individual skill levels and willing to do what ever it takes to make sure all attendees receive a personalized experience with helpful tips and tricks that get you that great shot and make you the envy of others. I highly recommend Aperture Academy to anyone, newbie or experienced, that wants to learn practical application of photography techniques, update their skills or just want get THE SHOT!!!

Emilio D'Errico - April 3rd, 2011 (11:22pm)

I took quite a few classes and workshops around the bay area in the last couple of years, this workshop was by far the best I have attended so far. The staff is experienced, keeps everything on track and on schedule, always very helpful with everyone no matter what the skill level and most of all ... these guys make it fun. They love what they do and their passion is contagious. Can't wait to take another workshop.

Aron Cooperman - April 4th, 2011 (12:15pm)

The class was great... in the beginning I was confussed and indimadated by trying to shoot in full control of the camera. I had previous just started to try more of the all the controls of the camera. By the end of the night, I felt so much more confident about my understanding techniques, my equipment, and what I was seeing... I wish I could have stayed at the bay brdige for another hour.

Troy White - April 5th, 2011 (10:19am)

This was the first of two classes with the Aperture Academy and i can't say enough about the class. The staff is very experienced, friendly, and willing to answer any questions you might have. No question is a dumb question!! I highly recommend the Aperture Academy if your looking for that one workshop. Thanks again to all the staff for your professionalism and kindness. See you again soon!!

Paul Komarek - April 12th, 2011 (11:17pm)

What a great workshop! Stephen, Alicia, and Ellie took us around to different areas in San Francisco to learn a lot of cool techniques. I would definitely recommend this workshop to anyone whether you're an experienced photographer or not.

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