Winter in San Francisco, for those familiar with the cold a summer can bring seems like it should be a miserable time of year…but it’s much the opposite. Winter in San Francisco often brings about the best weather. Days are warm, and mild and the sun seems to shine most every day. It’s perfect for spending the day out exploring, and capturing some photographs.
Paul and I met a group of eager photographers in Sausalito for a fun filled day of photographing and learning. After our brief orientation we set off for our first location high above San Francisco in the hills of the Marin Headlands. This vista offers a great perspective of the city, and a wonderful spot for Paul and I to help the class get familiarized with their gear and settings. Aperture, Shutter speeds, and ISO are all covered in part here while addressing composition and filters as well. Education is so much easier with a view like this!
Our second stop is the wonderful Civil War era Fort Point. This old brick garrison has stood guard under the Golden Gate Bridge for many years, and even though it wasn’t designed with photography in mind it certainly has grown into a destination for photographers.
Once we are inside Paul and I split up the group into two smaller pods and take them around to a few of our favorite spots inside. Each of these locations offers a chance to learn about light, white balance, composition, or continue to reinforce the manual settings of a camera, and how to switch them to get the best shot. Rows of doorways, brick arches, and dark rooms filled with old powder kegs this fort has something for everyone to shoot…and it’s a great place to learn as well. Once we’ve shown the class these magnificent places, we turn them loose for a little bit of exploring time on their own.
Time in the fort flies by, and before we know it our class is over half way done and it’s time for a brief stop in Sausalito for some food before we head over the headlands to Rodeo Beach, our stop for sunset. Rodeo beach was filled with people out enjoying the gorgeous spring like day. We walked our group down the beach to some wonderful sea stacks where we set up the group to go over long exposures and filter use…grad filters and polarizing filters here are a great benefit to helping balance out the exposure, and get an aesthetically pleasing image. The temperatures were great and everyone got some great silky smooth shots of the waves as they rolled in around the rocky shoreline. The rocks helped give more curves to the flowing water, as well as some tremendous foreground subjects for our shots.
The final spot of the day was back to the headlands looking over the city photographing the Golden Gate Bridge as the lights came on. Here were give our group a chance to start learning the basics of night photography and how to make some truly magical images once the light has faded from the sky. It’s a great way to cap off what has been a really fun day of learning and shooting within one of the states most beautiful cities. We can’t stay forever though, soon it’s time to bring the group back to their cars so they can set off for home and begin to sift through all the images they collected during our great day together.
Until Our Next Adventure,
Brian, Paul 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 here.