San Francisco Botanical Photography Workshop | June 7th, 2014

Grand Canyon Photography Workshop Students

It was a classic pre-summer day in San Francisco... cold and foggy. Not the most ideal weather for a gal (yours truly) who showed up in shorts. Good thing my 5 eager student were dressed for the cool SF conditions. Our meeting place was just outside the main gate of the San Francisco Botanical Gardens, our mission, to photograph beautiful flora within a bustling city. Golden gate park offers many attractions, including the 5 acres Botanical Gardens, which boasts over 8,000 different plant species.

After getting to know my students, we made our way into the lush 55 acre setting. It wasn't long before we found some beautiful South African species to photograph. Protea are common in South Africa and the gardens has some stunning species. Also called sugarbushes, the protea are not only beautiful, they contain a fantastic amount of depth. For those with tripods, we talked about focus stacking, in order to capture all the depth with their macro lenses. Capturing many images with varying focus points, and later combing them via photoshop, allows for a extremely sharp image, front to back.

Making our way through the gardens we found some really nice California poppies in the California native area. It was easy to spend a lot of time in the natives, as that area was at peak bloom.

As we continued through the garden I covered compositional basics, such as rule of thirds and leading lines, and there direct relation to the many plant and flowers. Using the many elements of the flower or plant to create leading lines, oftentimes by simply tilting ones camera. Something that does not necessarily come natural to most photographers, however a slit tilt to the camera can have a significant impact to the end result.

It seemed as though we had just started our morning, but the class was rapidly approaching the conclusion.You know what they say, time flies when you're having fun! We rapped up with Felisa's husband kindly obliging to click the shutter for our closing group shot. It seemed fitting that the sun broke though just as our class was coming to an end. Now to bid farewell to a fine group of folks, and bask in some warm sunshine.

Until next time, Ellie and the entire 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.

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