Fleet Week. It's a crazy time in San Francisco. There's so much going on it can be hard to even find a parking place. Scott Donschikowski and I had a pretty small group of photographers who were up to braving the madhouse of Fleet Week and seeing what we could see. Our first order of business after our orientation is to head across the Golden Gate and find a parking spot near Battery Godfrey, our first shooting location.
Luckily we found a perfect parking spot and within a few moments we were set up looking right down the Golden Gate Bridge. We had checked the schedule for the Fleet Week airshow and intentionally timed our arrival time to coincide with the Blue Angels performance. Knowing the routine from previous years, we knew that the planes often fly right over the Golden Gate Bridge! Sure enough moments after our arrival the jets began to scream past us. I don't care who you are, hearing the roar of those jets is amazing, and the adrenaline rush is awesome! In addition to some nice landscape shots of the bridge, we helped the group to get on the right lenses and get the right settings to get some shots of the jets as they soared over the GGB. I'm not sure we've ever had such a magnificent start to our Marin Workshop!
After the Blue Angels show we set off back across the bridge to Sausalito where we stopped for a late lunch before heading to Rodeo Beach for sunset.
Rodeo Beach is an ever-changing, landscape lovers dream. Tides wash in sand some years, and others the waves act as nature's archeologist and uncover all the rocks and stones that sit 4 feet below the surface. This year we've had rather sandy conditions, which changes the way the waves move…with fewer rocks, the water tends to back out slowly, and leave great reflections in the sand. While we waited for sunset, Scott and I helped point out compositional ideas, and different intimate and abstract scenes the group could shoot. Once the sunset was ready it was time to work with grad filters, and try to get some longer exposures to blur the water and give some added aesthetic and movement.
The final shot of the night is the Golden Gate Bridge…while this isn't a night course, It's hard to drive right by the Golden Gate Bridge when it's all lit up and not stop. The goal is to get a very iconic and traditional view of the city with the Golden Gate. While we've been using longer exposures on the beach, this is a little different experience because it adds the element of white balance to the mix….the white balance that looked awesome for sunset makes everything look like a demonic red city at night. This stop offers the group a little bit of an insight into how that works.
Overall, we had a great time in the city…despite Fleet Week we found parking and made our way around the city quite easily…We saw awesome jets…photographed a beautiful sunset, and grabbed an iconic night image as well. That's a pretty productive day in any photographers' book!
Until Next Time,
Brian, Scott, 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.
NOTE: You can see more workshop photos below the comments.