On this brisk Friday evening, we met with 11 excited students in Sausalito. Completing some brief introductions, followed by a review of our plans for our adventure into night photography in beautiful San Francisco. Tonight's plan included three locations, all iconic to the San Francisco Bay Area. Tonight's goals also included a fair amount of long exposure shots, a skill that can truly take your photography to the next level. After we got to know each-other a little bit, we loaded up in our beloved "ApCab" and headed south to San Francisco to start our adventure.
Our first stop was the Palace of Fine Arts. Originally built for the 1915 Panama-Pacific exhibition, this structure is captivating, especially when lit up at night. The students set up their tripods and cameras directly across the lagoon from the palace and we began to work on compositions and camera settings. As the student's comfort level grew, so did the exposure length. The results were beautiful images of the palace with fine details and great reflections in the water.
After a brief pit stop for snacks and restrooms, we headed to the most crooked street in the world. At Lombard Street, we broke into two groups. While half the group stayed near the top of the brick roadway, we found multiple great vantage points to shoot long exposures which created light trails from the cars heading down the infamously curved roadway. The other half of the group positioned themselves on a curve halfway down the street and waited for approaching headlights before activating their shutters. In between cars, this group also had fun as Stephen and Monique ran in the street holding lights and doing light painting, creating more unique imagery. The groups switched places half- way through our time there and everyone came away with interesting light trails and long exposures.
The evening was flying by and it was time to move again. We hopped back into "ApCab" and headed to the Embarcadero. At the water's edge, we used old pilings as a foreground element to shoot the Bay Bridge. The bay water was very calm, helping create awesome reflections of the bridge and its lights. In between shots, we were treated to the amazing light art installation of the Bay Bridge. The moving patterns of light danced perfectly along the suspension cables.
We all had such a great time and students were getting great images, but it was already midnight and time to head out. We loaded back up in the van for the last time and made our way back to Sausalito. We parted ways with some tired but smiling students, and we were excited to know everyone got images to be proud of.
Until Next Time,
Kevin 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.