It's easy to see why the San Francisco Marin Headlands workshop is one of the Aperture Academy's most popular one day photography workshops. Getting to San Francisco is relatively easy, wether your driving from the south bay, or flying in from another state, or even another country. The landscape and architecture of SF draws people from all over the globe.
On this gorgeous October saturday, Pro Instructor Brian Rueb and myself met 13 eager students in Marin California. After a brief orientation, we all piled in the Aperture Academy van (ApCab) and motored on to our first shooting location, Hawk Hill. Not only does Hawk Hill boast one of the best panoramic views of the SanFrancisco skyline, it gets it's name from the raptors who migrate through the area. Gliding on the powerful updrafts from the bay, hawks effortlessly glide in clear view. This was the perfect spot to get everyone warmed up. Brian and I bounced around and made sure everyone was getting the comfortable with their cameras, as we covered the foundational basics. The weather was simply gorgeous, no jacket needed today. It was time to move on to location number two, Fort Point.
It was time to drive over that famous bridge we and just been capturing in camera, from Hawk Hill, the Golden Gate. It was by sheer coincidence that our workshop fell on the same weekend as San Francisco's Fleet week. Traffic was a tiny bit heavier then normal, but we ended up getting amazing parking at the Fort. Also, the other up side was that the fort was a lot less crowded. Brian and I divided the group and took off in different directions. We have several places that we like to show the students before we turn them loose in the fort for a little while. The architecture is simply beautiful. This makes our job easier, as we demonstrate how to compose and expose with the repetitive and amazingly lit areas in the fort. The coolest thing about being at Fort Point for Fleet Week week was listening to the Blue Angels fly over. The sound that's generated is felt throughout your entire body. It's truly an amazing experience. The time at Fort Point literally flew by... pun intended. It was time for a quick break, back on the Marin side, in Sausalito.
After a delicious meal we made our way to Rodeo Beach. Rodeo is our sunset location, and on this saturday mother nature did not disappoint. We had a nice little treat, right after getting out of the van. The brackish pond that lies right in front of the parking lot, had a nice heron who was perched within a series of wooded pilings. The calm reflected water made for the perfect backdrop. It was a lovely image, containing simplicity and repetitive interest. After everyone nabbed a quick shot, we walked down Rodeo beach to the nice cluster of sea stacks. Brian ad I assisted with longer exposures and timing the shutter speed with the shore break, for optimum foreground interest. As the sun set and the sands turned golden, the images looked simply stunning. As soon as the sun dropped over the horizon, we had everyone start packing, because we still had one last stop for the evening.
The Golden Gate bridge under the deep blue sky of the Blue hour, is breathtaking. We stopped at a nice vantage point to capture the bridge, and the City lights in the background. A bit of fluctuating fog, made for the quintessential long exposure bridge shot. Everyone's LCD scene were looking amazing. The 30 second to 2 minute exposures looked awesome. It was a nice way to end an epic day of photography.
One last stop back in Marin to get everyone back to their cars and say our fond farewells.
Until Next Time,
Ellie, Brian 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.