San Francisco has so much that we as photographers would call “iconic,” the issue comes in trying to capture it with a camera. The Aperture Academy is designed to help take some of the mystery out of using a DSLR. Our group of photographers is an eager bunch with varied skills levels. We like to try and offer up enough information in our courses so that no matter where the individual is in their progress as a photographer, they will come away with something.
Once we’ve done a little orientation its time to hit the road. Our first stop is Fort Point. This old civil war era fortress is a great location to work on all things photography in a very unique and amazing location. Here we can work on composition, manual settings, white balance, longer and shorter exposures, aperture, shutter speed, ISO…we cover it all here. We take the students through old stone archways, narrow officer’s hallways, and a dark and crazy powder keg room. Here we cover lighting, exposure, and the different types of composition possible. While these three spots are amazing, there’s certainly a great deal more to find here, and we let the class loose for the final hour here to explore on their own and find their own unique imagery. While they explore Joe and I wander about and offer up suggestions and ideas on how they can work on those images.
Our second stop is a nutrition break in Sausalito before we head over the headlands to Rodeo Beach, the subject of our sunset shoot. A small bit of rain has begun to fall but that’s not going to distract us from the task at hand. Once on the beach we walk down to a location that offers up some amazing offshore sea stacks, and a lot of great rocks and sand to use as a foreground. Here the goal is to work with those filters to help balance exposures out and also give us some longer shutter speeds to smooth out the waves and give us some more aesthetic looking images.
Sunset was sneaky tonight, when the time had passed and the sun was down and everyone was getting ready to head back to the van, the now down sun tried to give us a little bit of late pink in the sky. A few folks were able to set up and grab a few nice images of this last bit of fleeting color in the sky.
The final spot for the evening is of course the iconic Golden Gate Bridge. We head up high to Hawk Hill where the students get a birds eye view of the bridge and the city. The clouds on this evening were spectacular and the class
was getting some truly memorable images. This isn’t a night class, but it’s always fun for students to get a taste of this kind of photography…and when conditions are this good, it’s even better!
It’s a long day for certain, but one that covers a lot of fantastic information and shows off a lot of the great spots San Francisco has to offer…now it’s up to the students to go home and pick their favorites to process.
Until Next Time,
Brian, Joe, Mike, 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.