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It seemed winter would never release its grip on California. With near record rainfall the whole state seemed water logged in a never-ending barrage of storm clouds. Luckily for us, winter can't stay around forever and this past weekend the great spring weather finally came back to the bay.
Scott Donschikowski and I met a group of 9 photographer eager to head out and enjoy the wonderful weather and work on learning more about their cameras. After a brief orientation it was time to head out and really get after the shooting. We made our first stop at Battery Godfrey. This little platform offers one of the best and most unique views of the Golden Gate Bridge. Here we're able to look straight up the bridge. Scott and I use this lovely location to go over the basics of the cameras. Aperture, shutter speed, and ISO. These three components are the basis of exposure, and for those trying to learn how to use their cameras on manual mode, they can be the trickiest and most confusing aspects. Scott and I take it slow, and make sure we provide a lot of explanation on these areas. From our first stop it's a short walk to a slightly different angle of the bridge. Here we can continue to talk about exposure, and also address different changes in composition.
Time flies, and before we know it we've been on the scene for al most 2 hours, and it's time to go to Sausalito and grab a little bite to eat before we go set up for sunset.
Sunset shooting requires the knowledge we've built up on exposure, coupled with some of the fun of using filters to help compensate exposure, and work with a much trickier lighting. On Rodeo Beach we find just such a challenge. Shooting into the sun, a relentless spray of sea water coming right at us, and very dark rocks just off shore as a subject matter. This is really one of the best places to put it all together. The sunset was shaping up to be lovely as well. We got the group all dialed in, and reminded them to wipe those filters whenever possible, and keep their lens fronts free from spots.
As the sun fades our exposures get longer and longer, smoothing out the water and giving the images a dreamy feel. What a great sunset. All good things come to an end and eventually it was time for us to make our way back to the van and head off to the final spot…Fort Baker.
Fort Baker has a great vista of the city of SF skyline and also the Golden Gate Bridge. Scott and I help the group get set up to work on capturing the length of exposure necessary to get dynamite shots of the Golden Gate. A couple of students had visited this area on our class the previous night, so I moved them to a slightly different angle…and to test them to see how much they remembered from the last night. Everyone did great and really have some tremendous shots of the city. It's a great taste of what the world of night photography has to offer. In the end, it was a great day. The weather held up beautifully and all were able to come away with some nice new images and learning a little more about how their cameras work.
Until Next Time,
Brian, 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.
NOTE: You can see more workshop photos below the comments.