SF is one of the most diverse areas for photography in California. In addition to all of the wonderful architecture within the city, and the iconic bridge, there is a whole host of beautiful landscapes to explore as well.
Aron Cooperman and I met a half-dozen eager photographers for and day of adventure in and around the Marin Headlands. Our day begins with an orientation; here Aron and I get to know a little bit more about the group and what they really want to work on during our day together. Talk is fun, but getting out there and shooting is why we’re all together...so the best way to learn is to get out there and start shooting!
We head to Battery Godfrey first. This southbound vista offers great views of the Golden Gate Bridge…and is a perfect place to start going over the ins and outs of photography. For us, teaching people how to shoot in full manual mode is always the end goal…but sometimes that can be difficult. Everyone at some point starts out with some form of automatic settings. So we talk about all pros and cons of each of the main shooting modes (Av and Tv) Ultimately, the main goal of photography is to get photographs…so if someone is more comfortable shooting in Av mode, we don’t necessarily want to FORCE them too far out of their comfort zone at first…we just want them to understand the limitations that mode has, so they can be mindful of how to remedy it.
The day was lovely, and everyone really had a great time shooting the bridge. Time flies, and we spent nearly 2 hours wandering the area shooting. Our next stop is a little break in Sausalito for food before heading up to Hawk Hill for a different vantage of the Golden Gate Bridge, this time with the city in the background. This location we offer up more compositional tips, and encourage the group to dig out those polarizers so we can really start to bring out more contrast between the sky and clouds and also cut a little bit of that late afternoon sun glare off the water.
Our sunset spot for the evening is the Rodeo Beach we walk the group all the way out to a set of really wonderful sea stacks, and set up for the setting sun. This spot is great for learning the pros and cons of using graduated neutral density filters, and how shutter speeds will change for creative effect as the sunlight fades.
There's not a chance we would let our class end without stopping to photograph the bridge one last time as the lights come on and the last bits of light have left the sky. We don't have a lot of time left to really get into the full gamut of night photography, but a little taste certainly makes for some beautiful photographs.
All in all it's quite the busy day. From the tops of the hills to the beaches below we hit it all and everyone got some really terrific shots….we look forward to seeing you again!
Until Next Time,
Brian, Aron, 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.