San Francisco, the city by the bay. So many opportunities to photograph here, so many iconic structures, boroughs, landscapes, and seascapes. But when the average photog goes home after the sunset, thats when the "Night Owls" come out to play. At least once a month the Aperture Academy takes a daring group of photographers to brave the elements, the darkness and the dancing disco party on roller skates and bikes and take a tour of the north tip of the SF peninsula.
These Night Owls first arrived at Baker Beach for a brief orientation by their Pro-Guides: Scott Donschikowski and Ellie Stone. After we got to know everyones names and got a better idea of their skill level, it off to the beach to photograph the iconic Golden Gate Bridge bathed in the last breath of golden pacific sunlight. We spent a brief period there getting to know our students a little more and trying to find the best way to instruct them for the duration of the evening. With everyone warmed up and starting to think creatively for the night ahead, we hopped in the beloved ApCab and headed to the next destination.
We arrived at the Palace of Fine Arts just before blue hour to take advantage of the blue sky set behind the orange lit Palace. The dichotomy of color proves to be fantastic every time. The Palace is one the few places we have ever been that looks beautiful at any angle and begs to photographed from them. With the blue sky turning to black, we shifted the group inside the main rotunda, where literally any angle from any vantage point is just deliciously photogenic. Its one of our personal favorites!
Moving on to our next stop; the infamous Lombard Street crooked stretch. This is where the Night Owls workshop becomes truly unique. We split our group up into two teams, one for the high ground and one for the low. The lesson on Lombards most crooked section is to wait for cars to pass by our cameras and create their very own light streaks. With shutter speeds of about 10-30 seconds, the shots only get more interesting the more cars pass by in front our cameras. The groups we bring here are always amazed at how our cameras capture the streaking lights. Quick! Back to the ApCab!
A short drive later we park near Rincon Park on the Embarcadero (its the place with BIG bow and arrow). We make our way to a spot to photograph another iconic San Francisco treat (NO not Rice-a-Roni) the magnificent Bay Bridge, cast in blue light, a stark difference to the orange Golden Gate. Along the Embarcadero there are remnants of an old pier of some sort, the concrete pilings still defying mother nature by striking up through the water and providing us with a beautiful foreground for our Bay Bridge shots. Ellie and Scott quickly organize the obligatory group shot, THUMBS UP! and we all pile back in the van and return to our cars parked above Baker Beach. Its always fun and rewarding seeing the joy in peoples faces after the workshops, congratulations all around and Ellie and Scott returned in the night back to The Cad.
From Ellie Stone, Scott Donschikowski and the rest of the ApCad crew back in Campbell and beyond, see you next time....
P.S. If you'd like to join us at one of our workshops, you can find the schedule/sign up here.