I watched the weather all week. It looked good, then it looked bad, then it looked VERY bad, then it started to look a little more promising...then I realized that the weather man was just as confused as I was. In looking at the satellite images it looked like there was going to be some nice breaks throughout the day...so I remained optimistic that our Big Sur class would go off without a hitch.
I met my group in Carmel for orientation, where I set up the camera and went over a lot of the basics of shooting in manual mode with them. It’s easier sometimes to have them see it visually, and how the changes in one of the big three (aperture, shutter speed, and ISO) affect the others. It takes time to really get comfortable with all of these settings, but it’s a good thing we planned on practicing all day long!
Our first stop was just outside of Point Lobos, where we found a little pull out to go shoot some wave action on the rocks. I wanted to get them looking at longer shutter speeds, and how those look, and how we achieve them in the camera...and what to do when our cameras can’t do what we want...we began to look at filters.
Our next stop was a little valley filled with lilies. The recent storms have left this area a swamp, and more than one of us left the area with a mud filled shoe....myself included. We talked about black and white images, and how to work with high contrast scenes. This was also a place to again address what is and is not possible with our camera gear...and how and when might be a better way to shoot this.
Next we made a brief stop along the Bixby Bridge area to shoot the coastline, and some of the great textural elements in the waves. I told my group, that even though I’ve been to this location many times, I still see things I haven’t photographed before.
Next it was south to the McWay Falls overlook. I think the beauty of this waterfall impresses EVERYONE...it looks out of place, falling right on to the beach and into the turquoise blue sea. I helped everyone with their filters here to slow down the exposure and get some long shutter speeds and smooth out the waterfall...really cool effect.
The final stop was scheduled to be Pfieffer Beach, but the recent storms left the creek crossing there a little deeper than I felt comfortable with, so we opted out and drove down the coast to Soberantes Cove where we enjoyed a really pretty sunset, with colors in the sky long past the departure of the sun. We worked on various speeds of shutter, and just hammered in those same principles of exposure we’d worked on all day.
Having a smaller group really allowed us to work on these things in depth, and get questions answered with more visuals, and in a way everyone could see examples immediately. It was a great way to end a really fun day of photography...and right when we pulled in the parking lot, it started to rain. Perfect timing.
Until Next Time,
Brian 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.