The botanical gardens are nestled in the UCSC campus over looking the Henry Cowell redwoods. The Arboretum is filled with over 300 plant families from California, Australia, South Africa, New Zealand, and Chile. This research and teaching facility provides close access to flowers, up close and personal wild-insect and bird contact as well as a wide variety of macro possibilities!
This was the first Botanical workshop of the 2012 year and ApCad instructors Scott Donschikowski and Alicia Telfer met a group of 11 photographers ready to try something new.
Starting with the tradition of introductions- each student shares where they are coming from photographically, what equipment they have brought and what they were hoping to take away from the workshop that day. In this hazy day's group, we had a nice even balance of beginners, travelers and hall-of-fame students!
Heading straight in to the Australian gardens, the bees were definitely buzzing about, working and collecting from the white and purple flowers- the fearless walked up and captured the workers in motion. Reminding students to check their light meters and making sure their shutters were fast enough to stop the action.
We walked the backside of the arboretum along Dr. Ball's Redwood Grove, and stop at a neat spot landscaped with rocks and even more colorful little flowers, some so tiny, one would typically pass them by! At this point in the workshop, the well known Santa Cruz fog broke open, giving the students the opportunity to practice shooting in a different type of light. The instructors covered how the white balance in a photo is important and how to pick out the most well lit subject matter, when the sun decides to come out.
The lizard families acted as if we weren't standing in their sunlight, and the humming birds seemed to be in a rush, zooming by the groups' ears leaving a little ringing sound.
It is easy to get caught up in the moment when there are so many different things to photograph! Next we headed to to the succulent garden, to wrap up the workshop and answer any remaining questions. Instructors staggered the group on the steps at the bottom the clusters of cacti and chicken plants, for a quick group shot.
For those who wanted, we had time for some image review and students were encourages to stay and continue shooting the other botanical gardens!
The day was deemed successful as vibrant colors and multiple critters popped up on the back of the LCDs the whole morning! We all bid each other adieu and good luck on future photography adventures!
On behalf of Scott, Alicia, and the rest of the Aperture Academy staff, thanks so much for another great workshop experience! We look forward to seeing you again in the future.
P.S. If you'd like to join us at one of our workshops, you can find the schedule/sign up here.