Above is my favorite photo from Saturday, January 27, 2018. More about that photo below.
Welcome to Day 3, the final day of my San Francisco adventure with the Olympus Superfans & Visionaries. I was brought out to San Francisco along with 9 other "Super Fans" (courtesy of Olympus) to shoot photos, try out new equipment and interact with the Visionary team. I'm humbled to now be a part of the Olympus Superfan program.
I got up at 4:30am to join fellow Olympus Superfans Jeff Sweet and Nam Ing for a sunrise shoot at Hawk Hill. This is the same location the entire group went the day before when the bridge was totally fogged in (which was actually pretty awesome). On Day 3, there was zero fog. We were hoping for some fog, believe it or not. Still, it was definitely worth getting up super early to experience sunrise.
Onward to photograph the Golden Gate Bridge at sunrise, Alcatraz, and Baker Beach. It was a full day of shooting...every photographers dream!
Miles walked: 3.8
Camera: Olympus OM-D E-M1 Markii
Lenses: m.Zuiko 12-100mm PRO, 25mm f1.2 PRO
Before we got to Hawk Hill, we pulled off just after crossing the bridge. I took this Live Composite shot of the bridge. Fun!
The Live Composite feature on Olympus cameras lets you do long exposures a bit differently. Taking this photo with a regular DSLR camera is virtually impossible. You would have to take many images and bring them into Photoshop. This is a single image in my camera. I've known people to buy an Olympus camera just for the Live Composite feature!
Much like sunset, sunrise colors change every few minutes.
More golden now. Ridiculous view, right? And to think this is what was underneath all that fog in yesterday's photos.
The sunrise had peaked after this shot.
Sunrise over, we headed back to the hotel. Took this one out Jeff's car window. Photography stops for nothing.
Took this out Jeff's sunroof! Sitting in my seat holding the camera over my head and shooting blind, this one came out pretty well.
Onward to Alcatraz.
Alcatraz Island is located in San Francisco Bay, 1.25 miles offshore from San Francisco. The island had a military prison (1868) and a federal prison from 1934 until 1963. Today the island's facilities are managed by the National Park Service as part of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area.
I decided I didn't want to shoot Alcatraz as a whole, meaning landscape shots of buildings and rooms. I took more of a macro / minimalist approach with most of my shots. Here are a few favorites:
This image is really starting to grow on me! Took some cropping and editing but I think it's reached its full potential. Of course in a year I could come back and totally edit it differently. I've been taking some new classes on editing and have been going back to old photos and re-editing. Interesting exercise. I may do a blog post on that subject sometime. Photography is a never ending learning process.
Water tower at Alcatraz.
There are advantages to shooting around noon! Great shadows.
I liked the juxtaposition of the laptop being in a room with so much dark history and primitive accomodations.
I cannot imagine having a view like this behind bars.
One of my favorites. Took advantage of a puddle on the floor.
This image is straight out of the camera. Zero cropping or editing. I used the E-M1 Markii with m.Zuiko 12-100mm PRO lens at 100mm. If you're on a phone or tablet, zoom in on the eye. It's so amazingly crisp and clear I want to cry.
When I got home from this trip I ordered the 12-100mm lens.
I call this one "The Franks". Olympus Visionary Frank Smith is on the right, and Olympus Superfan Frank Kendralla is on the left. :)
Held my camera above my head to shoot this because the hallway was crowded with people...so I shot over their heads. Problem solved. At the bottom left corner of the image you can see a mirror with people reflecting.
"Shitter's Full" (a favorite line from the movie Christmas Vacation which we watch every year on Thanksgiving night)
"Footsteps of Light"
A FAVORITE image from this day! Shot with the m.Zuiko 25mm f1.2 PRO lens at f1.2. The fall off of focus is spectacular.
I also ordered the 25mm lens when I got home. Love it!
Superfan Victoria Diaz on the right being a light stand.
Playing with the 25mm at our lunch destination. Wanted to see what it could do indoors. Olympus Visionary Mike Boening on the left. Shooting at f1.2 the focus falls off right away so Visionary Peter Baumgarten is out of focus as he should be at f1.2!
Olympus Visionary Scott Bourne (well known bird photographer and a recent addition to the Visionary team) chatting with Victoria. Again, shooting wide open I had the focus on Scott, Victoria ends up blurred but this is what I want.
My friend's drink.
I loved that they had special menus printed for us at several of the restaurants on the trip! Of course I took mine home. :)
Olympus Visionary Jamie Macdonald.
Here's the photo that was at the top of the page. Amazing, right? It's also not real. This is a double exposure. The moon was actually to my right, over the mountain. I took a shot of the moon and then I did an in-camera double exposure using the moon as an overlay as I framed the bridge. For technical reason (I won't bore you) I had to make the image black & white. Another favorite of the day, even if it didn't exist.
I include this only because there is an adorable little black dog in midair on the right. :)
A lot of foam on this beach. We don't see puffs of foam like this in Connecticut. (at least I never have)
Smoking a cigar. Even the dogs are super laid back in Cali.
I was kidding about the dog smoking the cigar of course.
Yup. He's naked! Legal at this end of the beach. You've never seen so many men with a need to stretch excessively and jog until you put them on the beach with no clothes.
Olympus Visionaries Jay Dickman and Larry Price. Between them I believe they have 6 or 7 Pulitzers for photography!
Seemed to be an engagement photo shoot. I love photographing other people's shoots. :)
Our final ride as a group. Unfortunately Jay Dickman got cut off on the left - if only someone had a super wide angle lens on this bus. LOL
I'm scrunched down in the middle because I was sitting in the front seat so I moved back for the shot. In color, this photo is very very blue because they had blue lights all around the windows of the bus, perhaps to add to the rockin' party atmosphere. There was a lot of blue light on me so when I turned this to black & white it looks like I have a major tan. Alas, it wasn't that type of trip.
An amazing experience was had by everyone on this trip. It's been a month since I've been back and the chatter and posts are still going on Facebook. Lifelong new friendships were made. We may even create a collective photo book together.
Come meet me in Milford, CT on April 28, 2018!
I will be giving a presentation and leading a photowalk on April 28th at Milford Photo in Milford, CT. My presentation is at 10am followed by a photowalk around Milford at 11am. Bring your camera and come shoot with me! All levels of photographers and camera brands welcome. The event is free and is sponsored by Olympus and Milford Photo.
View the Meetup invite here: https://www.meetup.com/milfordphotography/events/248376616/
I've been working on the 52 Magic Metros area of the blog. Gives me an excuse to write and share a few thoughts. Take a peek! There's an adorable pizza place I photographed a couple of weeks ago.
Until the next Magic day with camera in hand...