"Everyone's a photographer these days." I hear some form of that statement at least once or twice a week. I think people mean it in a negative way….but I think it's awesome. It means that everyone wants to share their world with others, and that also means they need to learn...which is where we come in!
Scott Donschikowski and I met a group of 11 photographers in Sausalito for a full day of shooting in and around San Francisco's Marin Headlands. Our first stop is the Civil War era fortress underneath the south side of the Golden Gate Bridge. Fort Point is a playground for photography...the light always plays differently in the different nooks and crannies this building has to offer. Scott and I take our group to a few different locations within the fort to help practice the basics of photography; aperture, shutter speed, and ISO Of course we talk about white balance, and composition as well...but we really want people to not have to think about their camera settings as much so they can work on the creative part...that's where the real fun begins!
The officers quarters, barrell room, and the various brick hallways of the fort all exhibit great symmetry and compositional elements. This makes a perfect stop for us to teach all of those buzzwords I mentioned earlier...the smaller group sizes means we can really go slow and make sure everyone is getting it. Of course when the need arises we will throw some filter talk in there as well. Polarizing filters and Graduated Neutral Density filters are all things we can use in places like this to help ourselves get better exposures, and more aesthetically pleasing exposures.
Time flies in the fort and before we know it, it's time for lunch. We take a break at the Taste of Rome, a great little restaurant in Sausalito that serves up fresh italian food. Once our bellies are filled it's time to walk that off on Rodeo Beach as we make way for our sunset shoot. The far end of this beach has some great rocky outcroppings. We work with the group to start to get some longer exposures so they can really get some movement in the water and make more interesting compositions. Filters are a big part of what we do here as well...so those filters I mentioned earlier...the GND and polarizing filters are all out and being used.
We spent a great deal of time chasing the light on our workshop today, so why not wait and do a little shooting when the light is gone! We love to end our Marin workshops with a little night shooting of the Golden Gate Bridge, and being we had 4 returners from the night before, we opted to not shoot the traditional spot we stop, but head down to Fort Baker for a different view of the GGB. Though the view is different, the steps needed to make great shots of it are not. Longer exposures, and white balance are both a big factor here and we make sure we go over ALL of that information so the group can really get a handle on making images here.
Of course this night shooting is just a teaser for our Night Owls course, those who love this kind of photography can get their fill in that class...for our group of awesome students...it was just a little taste before sending them off with memory cards full of images from a fun day!
Until Next Time,
Brian, Scott, 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.