The UCSC Arboretum is a wonderland filled with shrubs, flowers, and lush trees from California, Australia, South Africa, New Zealand and Chile! The bokeh seekers on this workshop were in for a treat- the birds, bees and hummers were buzzing around and the sun was on our side with not a single cloud in the sky!
As the meet and greet began on this May day, slight concerns arose as leaves and sand blasted into our teeth and sunglasses- the winds were blowing strong and had shown no signs of giving up. We all thought the main focus of this course was going to be fast shutter speeds with extra credit for those who could keep there gear & both feet on the ground. As introductions concluded, Aperture Academy’s Scott Davis and Alicia Telfer, along with 13 excited students, started their trek into the Australian gardens with the Photography Gods on their side.
The wind had died down and tripods were out- but the sun was bright and hot! The tricks of seeking out the flora in shaded areas and our light diffusers came in handy to capture that perfect shot. It was fun being able to see the difference of direct light onto a subject and diffused light creating a softer, lower-contrast image! Most of these photographers were enjoying the bright colors and details showing up on the backs of there cameras without our faux fog.
Trailing along the world tour path, the bee’s were continuing their chores as if we weren't even there- and the California Poppies lined up into the rule-of-thirds just for us. We stopped in one of the far corners on the Arboretum for a break to eat our snacks and review the students images taken thus far. Many successful shots were being shared! These macro enthusiasts were not afraid to get low, and CLOSE. Many utilized the bright blue sky as a background, and befriended a few bumble bees for some amazing photos.
Looping back to the succulents and aromatics section of the gardens, we spent the rest out our time shooting abstract cacti, smelling the mint, comparing the lavender to our own home gardens and remembering that lower apertures will give you as much bokeh as you need!
The highlights of this workshop were diffusers and sunscreen as different techniques were shared to shadows or filter the bright sunlight. We wish luck and great shooting to the new and returning members of our Aperture Academy family, as some are heading off around the world (Peru!!) and others have learned and conquered the secrets of Macro Photography. 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.
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.