Saturday, February 20, 2010

DPA Workshop in San Francisco

Last weekend I took my first photography workshop.  It was a fantastic experience!  I signed up through Digital Photography Academy and the workshop was taught by Josh Anon.  I learned a lot during the workshop and am now trying to put those things into practice while shooting and processing my pictures.  I would definitely take another Digital Photography Academy workshop and would jump at the chance to work with Josh again.

We (my mom and I) started our workshop bright and early (well, not so bright, the SF fog was thick) at 7:30AM at Pier 39.  This is how much I LOVE photography and want to learn - I was there even a few minutes early!  (and for those of you who know me, I'm NOT a morning person).  After a brief  introduction with our instructor and an overview of some the equipment we'd be working with we set off shooting.

During the course of the morning Josh would do a few minutes of group instruction, point out possible subjects to take note of, and then set us loose.  While we were shooting he would come around to each of us and ask about what we were trying to achieve and why we were using certain settings.  Often he would show me a better way to achieve what I was trying for and explain to me why certain settings would work better than others.  Throughout the course of the day I learned a lot about my camera, some things I had wondered about and others I had never even considered.

Early Morning Reflection on Pier 39

My attempt at a zoom-blur

Zoom-blur a really cool technique where you focus in on a subject like a flower and then set the shutter to like 1/15th of a second or maybe even a bit longer and then as you press the shutter to take the picture you quickly zoom out.


The photos below are from the Musee Mecanique:

After the Musee Mecanique we headed through the area of Fisherman's Wharf where various restaurants and vendors try to lure customers with a fantastic display of fresh seafood.

Waiting on Ice

Around the back of the vendor area is where all of the fishing boats dock.  Some are new, shiny, and colorful; others are old and weathered.

We walked quite a ways during the workshop, from Pier 39 to Hyde Street and back again.  We were having a blast but we were wearing down.  The remainder of the class was held at Boudin on Pier 39 where we ate a bit of lunch and reviewed everyone's shots from the morning.  Josh picked out a few shots from each person and showed us what we did well, and what we could do better.  I found it very helpful to have the critique of my pictures and to see how he might edit them.  It was also fun to see how the rest of the people in the workshop saw the same sights I did and how they captured them in a completely different way.  I always find it amazing how two people can stand at the exact same place, point their cameras in the exact same direction, and come up with incredibily different interpretations of the scene.

As the afternoon grew late our class had to end.  I wish the workshop could have been a couple of days longer!  I feel like there is so much to learn about photography and I want to keep improving!

After the class my mom and I wandered Pier 39 for a little while longer and did a bit of shopping.  Chocolate Heaven is a mainstay stop for my family on any trip to San Francisco.

 Fog rolling in around the Golden Gate Bridge

One more attempt at a zoom-blur of a sculpture and flowers near Pier 39

After the workshop Mom and I decided that we were going to try oysters for the first time.  She had done a bit of online research and discovered that Swan Oyster Bar in San Francisco was one of the best places for oysters on the west coast.  We plugged the address into the GPS and found it without a problem.

Parking was another situation entirely.  We drove around for at least 30 mintues until finding a space and then made our way to the oyster bar excited and a bit nervous only to find out that they had closed...about 30 minutes previous (right about when we had arrived and started trying to find parking).  We were bummed but a little relieved.  Trying new foods can be a bit scary, especially when that particular food is raw and slimy!  Since oyster trying was a bust we decided on Indian food instead.  It was delicious.

After dinner we headed to our hotel room and crashed, exhausted!  It had been a long day, but oh so much fun!


R Slaughter said...

You captured some really good perspectives! What type of camera/lens are you using?

Angela said...

Thanks! I'm shooting with a Canon XSi and a Sigma 18-200 OS Lens.