Are you ready for another grand photography adventure with the Aperture Academy? I thought so! All aboard for the rich landscapes of the Marin Headlands, where the salty sea collides with the coastal mountains, and the steel blue water glistens below. It’s not very often that you get hot beach days in San Francisco in the summer, but last Saturday was an exception. While everyone was out for a day on the beach, Joe Azure and I met our group in the quaint town of Sausalito for a day of capturing light.
First off, we got to know the crew. We did a quick orientation to familiarize everyone with one another and went through some of the logistics of our trip. To get the group started on the right foot, we went through a few key techniques that we would be using and then we headed south for our first destination.
Our first stop was Fort Point, located just underneath the Golden Gate Bridge. Once used as a defense fortress in times of war, it is now a historical landmark and a great place to photograph. Joe and I split the group into two teams and headed in the Fort’s interior. I took my group up to the top floor while Joe and his group started on the bottom and worked their way up.
The fort is a labyrinth of corridors filled with interesting things to photograph. The top level has some exceptional views of the Golden Gate and today was high wind, which meant the sailboats were out in full force. I started with a lesson on exposure and composition and the students hit the ground running. After exploring the top section, we made our way to the floor below for a lesson in using the tripod. The lighting perfectly created a dynamic scene of side-lit brick walls and colorful ceilings.
Tick…tock there, goes the clock - this little seaside gem was closing for the evening. To finish up our time at the fort, the students spent some time exploring the maze of hallways themselves while Joe and I checked in to see if anyone needed help. Afterwards, we gathered everyone up to head to our dinner break.
We backtracked to Sausalito for a tasty meal that recharged our batteries.. Next up was Rodeo Beach. This is a prime sunset location and, with a short easy hike, we had no problem getting out to our perch about an hour before sunset. Joe and I took this opportunity to fill in the gaps and help the students capture the contrast of the changing scene. As the light started to intensify and the sun sank low on the horizon, the soothing sound of shutters filled the air.
We finished capturing the wonderful view and hiked back to the van for one last stop, Hawk Hill, which offers a view of the Golden Gate Bridge at night. From the hill, you can look down across San Francisco Bay to see the city lights illuminate and reflect off of the water. This was a great introduction to night photography and the group grabbed some very nice images to bring home. After a fun filled day of photographing, we were exhausted and the time had come to head in for the night. Not to worry, however, because Aperture will be back out there soon!
Until next time,
Phil, Joe, and the rest of the Aperture 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 here.