The Arboretum in Santa Cruz is nestled directly next to the University; it is a hidden wonderland full of flowers from all over the world. On this perfect Saturday morning, the fog lingered, which acted as a natural diffuser and gave us beautiful filtered light in our images!
We started with introductions- sharing our equipment, past photos experiences, and what we all wanted out of this Botanical Infused Workshop! Many in the group came prepared with full on macro lenses, macro adapters & filters. Concluding with a secret tip for obtaining macro shots with out a marco lens, instructors Alicia Telfer & Ellie Stone, led this excited group of image seekers straight in towards the South African Garden, for a morning filled with beautiful images, bokeh and bumble bees!
Some of the students wanted to use their images from the workshop to make art in their homes! We suggested that made the switch from shooting .jpegs to shooting in the RAW and explained the benefit for better resolution and more options for post production! Today, the dials on cameras turned from auto, to other manual modes, like aperture priority or program and the shutters were clicking away! As the instructors bounced around from tripod to tripod, the images showing up just in the first 15 minutes were beautiful and ethereal. Smiles and apertures were wide open as we moved forward through the cypress trees and into the Australian Gardens to find Banksia field full of color and texture for all to capture!
As the instructors were reminding everyone to keep moving around, to try different vantage points and angles, observe edges and backgrounds in the compositions- photographs coming through the lenses were bright, well exposed, and creative! One of the instructors, Ellie found a beautiful tree trunk and gave some of the students points on finding and composing textures for a fun abstract image. We stopped for a group shot right under that same tree, snapped some funny faces and moved on to have snacks and lunch.
In the far left corner of the Arboretum, there are 3 picnic tables in the shade for us to take a break, share and critique some of the images, and on this wonderful Saturday- watch the fog burn off and the blue sky seep through, giving us another lighting condition to work with!
The group made their way back around towards the beginning of the trail and we made our final stop in the succulent gardens where we found lizards basking in the new sun! The instructors opened up the 5-in-1 light diffusers, and students were able to see the difference between shooting in direct sunlight and with faux fog! After focusing on cacti spikes and playing with succulent formations, the workshop conclude and we were all excited to head back home to see our images on the big screens!
Until next time...Alicia, Ellie 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.