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It's been said that San Francisco itself is art. The city at night is a glamorous and mysterious type of art that many would love to capture.
On this gorgeous April evening Aperture Academy instructors Ellie Stone and Scott Davis led a group of 10 adventurous students, into this glitzy city for a night, with just that goal on the agenda.
The goal for Scott and Ellie, share their vast photographic knowledge with the excited and eager pupils. This was not just any photography workshop, but one that focused on capturing the spirit and romance of the city lights.
Ellie and Scott got the evening underway with the important task of introductions. Knowing every students skill level and expectation, allows the instructors to cater to each individuals ability level, for the best possible learning experience.
Once the introductions were complete the group headed out on to Baker beach for a warm up session. Baker Beach is a favorite of SF locals, a gorgeous stretch of beach with unsurpassed views of the Golden Gate Bridge. The tide was high and while the students got their feet wet with the camera setting, some literally got their feet wet. After a few quick captures of this iconic and stunning location it was time to head out for the next amazing location, the Palace of Fine Arts.
With Grecian architecture and a stunning reflection pond, the Palace offers some diverse photographic opportunities. Scott & Ellie got everyone into position just in time for the "blue hour". The 15 minutes after sunset when the sky is a vibrant blue. The warm lights that illuminate the architecture, provides a perfect balance of warm against the cool tones in the sky. Right from the get go, the instructors covered the foundational basics of composition and exposure, to ensure some stunning shots with the Place and reflection. Once the blue sky made way for true darkness, the group moved inside the rotunda of this amazing structure. Now the instructors would change everyone's focus to more intimate details. This can push some outside their comfort level, but this is how we learn. Changing ones point of view and never forgetting the foundations of composition is a way to work through the seemingly difficult task. Of course Ellie and Scott where available to assist at all times during the eye opening image capture experience. During our time in and around the Palace, several Barn Owls were flying about, hunting and calling to each other. Seemed only fitting for the evening of Night Owl photographers. It was hard to pull the students away, but it was time to move on, and experience another thrilling nighttime location.
Stop number four and the final of the evening was the Embarcadero. No one knew that that evening at the Embarcadero would be so delicious. A very kind and generous former student, surprised the entire group with some homemade Crème Brulee'. He even took out the trusty torch to crisp up the sugar topping. After the quick, delicious, and fueling desert, the photography fun commenced. Ellie and Scott would assist the pupils on how to capture the Bay Bridge and its beautiful sparkling lights. Proper aperture is one of the keys to achieving the best results at this location. Old pier pilings offer an interesting foreground element, for this stunning nighttime city scene.
Before the stunning San Francisco night would come to an end, Ellie and Scott gathered the entire group together for a quick group shot. With memory cards filling and yawns beginning, it was time to head back and close the book on a fantastic evening of photography. Until next time, many thanks for joining us, from Scott, Ellie, and the entire Aperture Academy crew!
Until next time,
Scott, 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.