Oh San Francisco. Oh El Nino. How I hate the two of you together. Rain has been a constant nag this photographic season in San Francisco. That doesn't mean photography is out of the question though! Often the best light is on the tail end of a storm, or even in the middle. Every system has gaps, and though the forecast called for some off-and-on drizzles during the day, we all know weathermen can be wrong. And, we also know that no matter what the weather does, we're able to teach the same concepts to our clients.
Phil and I met the group in Sausalito, under grey skies. We completed the orientation and set off for our first spot of the day, Fort Point. The great thing about the fort, other than its many potentially awesome photographic locations, is that it's indoors, and we won't be subject to the weather (which was looking to be really the worst during the early part of the day).
Once inside the fort, we broke the group up and took them to three of our favorite spots within the ancient brick walls, and went over as many photographic concepts as we could cover. Aperture. Shutter Speed. ISO. White Balance. Composition. We covered it all, including how they relate to one another, when to change them, and how they work in different situations. It's a lot of information early on, but we hit upon the same concepts the rest of the day, and by the end they all started to click.
After three hours in the fort, everyone had learned a lot, gotten some great shots, and got to explore a bit on their own in order to find their own unique takes on the old fortress.
Our next stop was lunch in Sausalito. We got our batteries charged, and allowed everyone to prepare for our last stop, Rodeo Beach.
The weather improved, rain had left, and there was even some little bits of light coming off the horizon. We could tell it was going to be nice after all! Phil and I walked out to the beach with the group, and got them in position to start to capture moving water within their images. We worked over every kind of possibility from the quick, to the middle of the road shots of 2-3 seconds, and right up into longer 20-30 second shots as the light faded.
We always enjoy helping the class to utilize their filters (polarizers, ND, and graduated ND), to get the most out of their shots. We like to bring our own filters as well, to give those without a filter a chance to practice hands on with these little magic pieces of plastic. They do so much for an image... it's really fun to see peoples' reactions when they see what they've created with their camera.
As the workshop progresses, the cameras were changing from being a tool to a creative device, and you can see the minds turning with all the possibilities.
Our normal goal after sunset is to shoot the Golden Gate Bridge, but it was playing grab ass again with Karl the Fog, so no matter what angle we tried (north, south, high and low) we couldn't see the bridge to get any night shots. However, we did fill the whole time slot with awesome photography opportunities and some great learning.
It was a blast!
Until next time,
Brian, Phil, 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.