The UCSC Arboretum is without a doubt one of the many jewels hidden around the Santa Cruz area. Its lush flora and fauna are a buzz of activity this time of year. With exotic and native species literally beginning to bloom all over the Arboretums 100 acre area, it can provide hours upon hours of great photographic subjects to fill up even the largest of memory cards.
On this day of April 2nd 2011, the Aperture Academy’s Scott Donschikowski and Alicia Telfer, led a lucky 13 students around what was an exceptionally beautiful Arboretum. The day started off with introductions and a little insight into the world of macro photography and the many ways one can achieve macro shots, either with or without a dedicated macro lens. We went over using close-up filters and extension tubes, macro lenses, and had a little demo on how to use a simple 50mm lens backwards to achieve that distinctive macro look.
The sky, as in most Santa Cruz mornings was overcast, but that actually worked to our advantage here in the Arboretum, providing a nice even light without harsh shadows and blown-out highlights. The students were all abuzz at the perfect shooting conditions, and were literally hopping around from tree to bush and leaf to bloom. The Arboretum was truly giving us its full glory, as two hours passed by without delay, we had to pry our students away from site after site, as we made our way to a clearing with benches for a little snack break and our customary group shot.
With the mood still light and our trigger fingers still itchy, the sky opened up a little and the birds and bees came out enjoy the warmer air. We trudged on to the Arboretums succulent and aromatic section, where we spent the rest of our time discussing how to shoot in the different lighting conditions that had presented themselves, while enjoying the fragrances of lavender and mint. And as time ran down on the workshop, students departed one after the other, borrowed equipment returned to the instructors, and a handful of die-hards stayed and enjoyed more of what was really a spectacular day in Santa Cruz!
Until next time...Scott, Alicia 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.