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Monday, January 4, 2010

Photography Workshop: Downtown San Francisco [01/03/2010]

Photo of Union Square's Christmas Tree

I kicked off TWENTYTEN with a photography workshop in Downtown San Francisco. My friend Kat was interested in learning more about photography and so she also brought 2 of her friends who were just as interested in learning.

We had lunch at Nordstrom's Cafe Bistro [do try their herb fries with aioli sauce!]. Before our plates arrived, I brought a white board and went over photography basics such as how aperture, shutter speeds, and ISO interrelate and affect light; composition, camera modes, and more. My challenge to all three of them was to use the manual mode for the entire day so they can get a hang of controlling the camera on their own.

Afterwards, we headed to Union Square to start shooting.

After taking a few shots implementing what they've learned in composition, patterns, and Rule of Thirds, we went briefly over portrait photography. My example above is of Kat taking a portrait against the sun [which is usually a no-no] for a nice sun glare shot.

I showed them the use of Rule of Thirds with this picture of a SF hotel

I gave them mini assignments in which they were to take pictures of "ordinary objects/buildings/people" and try to make the photo interesting with a different perspective as well as composition. I personally haven't done other photography besides portraits/events in awhile so it was good for me to practice as well.

My attempt of Robert Frank's "Trolley--New Orleans"

We then walked to Market St. before the sun heads down and I decided to teach them panning. The main goal for them was to capture a moving car that is tack sharp but with the background blurred with this technique.

For the finale, we headed back to the mall to take some low-light shots and I touched based on flash photography to improve their indoor shots.

I definitely had a good time teaching and seeing other benefit and grow in photography is always a good thing. I was glad to lend a helping hand and meet and make friends as well.

The three I taught were Vince, Ryan, and Kat.

During the portrait session, I became their model and it was just funny seeing people passing by rubbernecking and most likely thinking, "Who is that guy and why are 3 people photographing him?" haha I sure aint no pretty model but I did my best to give a few poses for variety.

Even Vince played with the situation and asked outloud, "Hey! When's your next movie coming out?" lol

I also taught Depth of Field and here they are practicing on flowers and plants to get a pleasing blurred background affect.

Shooting at Maiden Lane--the same area I actually did shots for a friend who's a musician.

Our last stop at Westfield Mall teaching basics of flash photography.

Thanks Vince, Kat, and Ryan for the nice afternoon with photography--it was a pleasure to see you Kat again and meeting you Vince and Ryan!


jo said...

dude, how come I wasn't invited?

j/k! How fun!

kAt said...

JJ is one of the most organized and professional guys I've ever met....whiteboard and everything. My friends and I had an awesome time. time for sure!!! It was a perfect day to start 2010! Thanks again!

JJ Casas ( said...

heya jo! yyea next time for sures! if kat and them are up for it, I can definitely go more in depth with flash photography/portrait photography [and maybe this time around have a nicer looking model haha].

There's still plenty to cover including post editing [in Photoshop] and all.

Hopefully see you all soon!

Vincent said...

Thanks JJ, truly a professional. Shoot manual is the only way now. Steps closer to tapping my cameras potential thanks to your tips. Its one thing to read, but better hands on learning. I need to get some of these pictures to you and get some feedback. If it wasn't said enough THANK YOU!!!!