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Santa Cruz Butterfly and Sunset Photography Workshop - December 10th, 2011

Night Photography Workshop Students with Aperture Academy

The Aperture Academy's Natural Bridges Sunset is just the right workshop for photographer's looking for the opportunity to receive one on one instruction while emphasizing two, very different genres of photography in a perfectly time length of 3.5 hours. On this beautiful Saturday afternoon there was a soft mist right at the shoreline and the clear & sunny skies meant happy warm butterflies! Aperture Academy instructors Alicia and Gene started the workshop with the traditional introductions- sharing just enough information about ourselves to gain a sense of where everyone is coming from photographically!

This group was the perfect combo of beginners, hobbyists, lifers, Canons and Nikons! We set off to the heart of the park where we found Monarch butterflies clustered together in the eucalyptus branches- the vantage was just that, we were able to shoot them clearly from different positions giving the students a chance to capture different images. As lucky as we were already, the sun was shining right on them- not only allowing their orange colors to shine, but the were fluttering about with excitement from the warmth! Happy butterflies- happy photographs- happy students!

Some students were able to find single butterflies tucked away in the brush drying out their wings which allowed for some beautiful, up close and personal portraits. Heading on, we pulled ourselves away from the butterflies to make a stop at the fuzzy pond. The mallards were waddling around the minty green cover snacking and chatting to each other and as the sun was setting we were able to practice shooting in the transitioning light. Covering the advantages and compromises needed in adjusting the students ISO settings, we were able to shoot in full sun, afternoon sun, evening sun, and while the sun was setting!

Alicia and Jean guided our friendly pack of 12 students back through the eucalyptus trees down towards the water front and the bridges of Natural Bridges! The sun was setting fast and the aperture academy group lined up with a handful of other beach photographers. It is always encouraging to run in to other photographers, as it is reaffirming to know we are taking our photo-family to desirable shooting locations. As the instructors helped the students set up their compositions, Alicia and Gene reminded them of the importance of their tripods and landscape photography. The sun settled behind the fog bank and the photo gods gave as an amazingly beautiful pink and purple sunset.

Families and their kids splashed around in the water allowing us to practice our patience as well as our action shots in low light! After the sun disappeared the chilly night began and the workshop was dismissed and we bid a due and safe travels back over the hill!

From Alicia, Jean and the rest of the ApCad crew, see you next time....

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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