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Often in the summer, fog is much heavier in the San Francisco Bay Area due to the high pressure systems and the land formations. The fog on this day hugged the Golden Gate Bridge like a big blanket, so we made our way to Fort Point, one of the best places for photography I've ever seen. This old fort, sitting at the base of the Golden Gate, is a labyrinth of brick rooms and hallways, providing endless opportunities for great images. The lighting in the fort can be tricky, so it made for an excellent location to work with our students -- teaching them how to adjust aperture for sharp, clear images, as well as longer exposures to capture the dark areas the fort has to offer.
After spending nearly two hours in this amazing fort, the group was ready for a little break and to warm up. We made our way to Sausalito for a coffee/lunch break before heading off to Rodeo Beach, one of the Bay Area's most stunning beaches.
Rodeo Beach is a small area decorated with amazing sea stacks and rugged cliffs that make for perfect conditions to capture action shots. We set up and used higher shutter speeds to capture the great wave action that was happening. Giant waves crashed into the air 15-20 feet high and we timed our shots to get the maximum action. It was a lot of fun, plus the lush green hills in the distance provided some great color.
With the sun setting quickly, we decided to head back up the hill, where the Golden Gate stood in all her glory, ready to be photographed. You might think, "not another photo of the Golden Gate," but this night the fog was completely gone, the temperatures were pretty nice, the wind was light and the clarity in the air was as sharp as I'd ever seen it. It really was a sight to behold. We set up along the edge, overlooking the north tower, and composed our shots where the Golden Gate spanned nicely across our screens, with San Francisco in the distance, nice and sharp and full of color.
When the lights started to come on, we began running longer exposures...first 5 seconds, then 10, 15 and even longer, allowing the car lights on the deck to streak, making for some really interesting images. What I saw coming up on everyone's camera screens looked really good and sharp. I'm very sure there were some images to be proud of recorded this night.
Hesitantly, we had to leave. Our workshop had come to an end, and what an end it was. I personally have stood on that hill dozens of times, but it's a rare night for such conditions, so this proved to be quite a photographic opportunity.
Until next time,
Stephen, Scott 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.