I’m not sure if San Francisco is the most beautiful big city in the United States, but it’s definitely in the conversation. Located right on the edge of the ocean and some great and wild coastline, it’s easy to leave the city and in 10-minutes be surrounded by beautiful nature. Photographically there’s so many places to shoot that it can get overwhelming. Mike and I met a group of 14 photographers for a fun and educational day exploring the city of San Francisco.
Our first stop of the day was Battery Godfrey. This location offers some nice views of the iconic Golden Gate Bridge, and gives our group a chance to go over a lot of the basics of photography for those students who might be newer to the hobby. We love taking people to this location because it offers up several different vantage points of the bridge and coastline, all within a short walk. We can cover all kinds of settings, and compositional tips with this location and it’s an awesome first stop.
We set our viewfinders on Fort Point next. While we couldn’t go into the fort, we had fun looking at it and the bridge from the parking area. There are some great old iron chains that line the edge of the lot, that make great leading lines into the fort, and the bridge. These old chains are so full of cracks and rust they can make interesting subject matter all by themselves.
Time really flies with so much good photography so close by. Our next stop was for a much earned lunch and cake break. We recharged the batteries, had some good conversation and set off for our sunset spot…Rodeo Beach.
The tide and rocks were perfect as we approached. We set up everyone (mostly) just outside the splash zone and worked with them to fine tune their compositions and work on a few of the different ways to slow down their exposures to get a great and silky water effect. The sky looked like it was going to open up and give us a little color, but it never quite happens. Even though we had a darker and more foreboding sky…that dark sky really brings out the blue of the water, and allows us to work the scene without a graduated filter being as necessary.
The finale for our evening is always shooting the Golden Gate Bridge as the lights come on. While the sky was a little overcast on the beach, it was awesome here. Fog and clouds lingered in the air and picked up some great pinks and purple tones from the bridge lights. It was a really nice looking image. A few of the participants had been on the previous nights’ workshop and were happy to get a little more practice in shooting nightscapes, while the rest were just happy to get some really awesome looking images to add to their collection. All in all it was a really fun day in the city!
Until Next Time,
Brian, 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.