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Saturday was beautifully sunny and the sky was perfect with white streaking clouds, but man it was a bit chilly...which is typical for San Francisco. Matt and I met our smaller class on Baker Beach, where we were excited about a fun day of photography. Our van was in the southwest on assignment, so it was up to Matt and me to shuttle the class for the day. After a brief orientation we got right to work photographing the Golden Gate Bridge from the sands of Baker Beach. I mentioned, it was chilly, but that didn't stop the locals from being out in force to enjoy the sun. Even the nudies were out...I can't imagine that was comfortable...but they're a different group, I guess.
After the bridge we set off to Fort Point, the old civil war era fortress under the Golden Gate. It's always funny to me how many people have lived in and around the city for such a long time and how few people ever visit this structure.
Matt and I took our class and broke it into smaller groups and took them to a few of our favorite places in the fort. These places provide a lot of opportunity to talk about longer exposures, different lighting inside vs. outside, and how to compositionally tackle areas with extreme symmetry. MY group even managed to stumble into a history lesson from one of the rangers, and was able to learn all about proper protocol in the powder room...did you know only two people were ever allowed in that room at a time for safety?
Once we've shown the class our selected stops, had some fun with shooting, and even showed them how to make a 'ghost' in their images, it's time to turn them loose into the fort to explore it on their own. While they explore the fort Matt and I try to find them and see what they shoot and help them if they need any clarification on their settings.
When our time in the fort is complete it's off to Sausalito for a lunch/dinner break. It's fun to have a little down time to warm up, and talk to the class to find out a little more about them and their backgrounds.
Sunset was spent on the beautiful Rodeo Beach. What a sunset it was too! We helped the class find their compositions and then talked about the settings, and how and why we used the filters for this shoot. When it came time for the sun to vanish, and the color to start Matt and I helped the students' use those graduated filters, and get some REALLY beautiful shots; pinks, oranges, and golden hues...ALL there. We showed them how to compose the image, and when to start the exposures to get the best streaks in the water...everyone always wants to know how to get that silky smooth water...and we're more than happy to help them!
When the color finally faded we set off for a last little stop at the Golden Gate Bridge. We have the best intentions of actually getting back on time...but weather, and excitement to shoot always seem to win out and we never make it back by the official 'end' time. Oh well! The class got a little taste in how to shoot night photos as we worked on an oddly wind-free portion of the headlands. Longer exposures, changes to white balance, all were topics we covered in our short time here...and though it was a small stop...the class still got some NICE keepers in their cameras! What a great way to end the day!
UNTIL NEXT TIME!
On behalf of Brian, Matt and the Aperture Academy team, we thank you for a another great workshop!
P.S. If you'd like to join us at one of our workshops, you can find the schedule/sign up here.
NOTE: You can see more workshop photos below the comments here.