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San Francisco/Marin Headlands Photography Workshop - May 9th 2009

With introductions complete, Stephen and Brian led the group out on Baker Beach, which provides some great scenic views of the Pacific Ocean and Golden Gate Bridge. Time was spent working on composition with use of the waves as leading lines. Time was also spent on filter use (mainly the benefits of the circular polarizer) to bring out depth in the sky and intensify colors. Baker Beach provides a great beginning to the workshop.

With the beach under our belts, it was time to hit Fort Point. Fort Point provides students with opportunities to photograph during the mid-day, which is usually during the suns brightest and least photographic period. Inside the fort there are opportunities to work with low light, long exposures in the dark corridors of the forts hallways. Using symmetry in compositions can be challenging and workshop participants have ample opportunities to use the arches and curves of the forts architecture to create aesthetic and balanced compositions. Fort Point also provides numerous windows, and columns to use in creating images with repeating shape patterns. Under ideal circumstances the group spends a couple hours exploring the fort and its various photographic options....due to the time we spent on Baker Beach, we had a conflict with schedules and the group divided and shot the fort whirlwind style...making the most of the 40 minutes we had inside.

While the inside of the fort is a great place for photography, the outside ain't bad neither....and amazing views of the Golden Gate Bridge are found from spots right outside the fort walls. This place is also popular for surfers and students had time to photograph some of the colorful individuals riding the waves.

We spent time photographing the bridge, so it was only fitting to drive across it into Sausalito for a coffee break, and a lesson on using larger lenses for creating compression in images....where the background appears magnified, and commands a larger portion of the image. The sky cooperated all day, and the group benefited from great cloud formations during each and every shoot....from beginning right through to sunset.

Sunset on Rodeo Beach, in the Marin Headlands, was the highlight for many of us. The clouds were perfect, and the spot...ideal to capture some of the Pacific's true beauty. Sea Stacks and pristine sand (in most places....stupid dogs) created some truly dramatic images...and again was a great opportunity to work on use of filters and composition with the students. GND, ND, and Polarizing filters all helped make the images the eye saw come to life on the viewing screens of our cameras. Timing is an important part of beach photography and there were plenty of chances to make sure everyone got that beautiful streaking surf in their foreground.

If the day ended there, I think everyone would've been extremely pleased with the weather, and the numerous places they saw and photographed....but there was still one last treat in store for the group.

The San Francisco workshops always conclude with a night shoot of the city and its bridge. They light up so magnificently...and what better way to teach on exposures longer than 30 seconds....to make things extra special Stephen and Brian pulled a few strings and arranged a full moon AND a fireworks display for the students....how do they do it!?! (alright....they didn't arrange the moon....or the fireworks...but it was still an awesome treat)

All said, the workshop was a total success...and the group dynamics were amazing. We had an amazing and fun filled day working with a bunch of determined and creative individuals all working to improve on something they obviously have a lot of love for....photography.

Look like fun? Why not Join us....opportunities are available all year long in a variety of amazing locations.

Until next time!

Stephen & Brian


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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