Shortly after sunset, our small group met in San Francisco with a great view of the Golden Gate bridge. We introduced ourselves and talked about our goals for the evening, including our planned itinerary with various stops and lots of photo opportunities.
From our initial meeting point, we took a short walk to the Palace of Fine Art. This iconic San Francisco structure is great to see during the day but even more special at night when you can capture the glowing reflection in the lagoon. We talked about the various compositional ideas and settings as we took our first shots of the night. Long exposure photography here can bring out stunning reflections in the water. With beautiful skies and great weather, we were off to a great start for the workshop.
Then we headed off to the crookedest street in the world. On Lombard Street, we talked about camera settings and compositions as we watched many cars navigate the curved roadway. We shot long exposure images as cars headed down. We then moved our positions on the street for new fresh vantage points and continued to experiment with camera settings. Smiles were all around as the photographers saw the light trails on their LCD screens! It is easy to describe light trails, but it is entirely different when you can capture them yourself. It was also remarkable how loud sea lions are in the bay because we could hear them from Lombard Street!
After Lombard Street, we headed off to our third stop of the nights journey. Along the SF waterfront on the Embarcadero, we were treated to a beautiful moonrise as the moon came up behind the Bay Bridge as we were shooting. With the light clouds, it was a beautiful sight to see! The Bay Bridge, with a beautiful light display, was a perfect subject for long exposure photography. The reflections in the water, the passing boats, and the port of Oakland in the background all added special elements to our images. After creating dozens of images at the edge of the bay, we headed back to our vehicles.
Next, we set off to our final location of the night, the always majestic Golden Gate Bridge. The vantage point we chose on the north side of the bridge offers multiple possibilities for photos with outstanding reflections from the bridge lights. We had stunningly clear views of the SF skyline, too. Additionally, the students were very interested in light painting. The spot we shot from offered a great area for us to practice the fun possibilities that light painting creates. As our foreground was extremely dark in this area, we were able to substantially change our compositions by adding elements through light painting. It was a fun and educational experience that everyone enjoyed!
And just like that, our six-hour adventure was over. Just after midnight, everyone wrapped up their final images just as the wind picked up and the temperature dropped. With clear eagerness to get home and look at their pictures, we all hit the road for safe journeys home.
Until Next Time,
Kevin 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.