Matt is the full-time Director of Education for Kelby Media Group and a Tampa-based landscape and outdoor photographer. He’s lead instructor on the Lightroom seminar tour and author of several best-selling Photoshop books. Along with being featured on national television, Matt also hosts the worlds top Lightroom blog, LightroomKillerTips.com.
I mentioned the other day that I’d be in San Francisco this week and was looking for some places to shoot. I’ve also posted (several times before) of my bad luck when it comes to photographing the Golden Gate Bridge. Seriously… I’ve been up to the Marin Headlands to photograph the bridge at sunrise about 6-7 times over the past few years. Each time I’m there it’s fogged in. And not the cool fog layer that shows the top of the bridge. I mean fogged in to the point that I have yet to see the Golden Gate bridge at sunrise… EVER!
Anyway, after I posted about my trip the other day, Doc Miles (a local photographer/photo tour guide) sent me a message that he was taking a client out, and that he’d pick me up if I wanted to go along. So I did what any rental-car-less photographer would do in San Francisco and jumped at the chance.
We headed out at 5:15am to the Marin Headlands. As soon as we set out I knew my curse had lifted. I could actually see the Golden Gate Bridge! I realize this may seem silly to some of you, but you have to understand my luck when I’ve been in the Bay area. I never even see the bridge. Unfortunately, there wasn’t one bit of fog so I knew we weren’t going to get that classic shot of the bridge poking through the fog.
We arrived at Slackers Hill and hiked up. It’s about a 15 minute walk uphill. It’s not dangerous, but it’s all uphill so make sure you’re ready to get your heart rate going if you ever visit. When we got to the top the wind was ripping across the hill. So much so that I could see the tripod moving. I moved over the hill a bit to try to get out of the way of the wind and got down low. I captured a few twilight/blue hour photos there, but it was tough. Luckily the wind was coming across the direction I was shooting so I stood in front of the camera to try to block the wind.
From there, we tried to go to Hawk Hill, but the wind was directly in our faces and there was no way that we’d ever get a sharp photo. So we retreated to the entrance to the main road, where just about every tourist in the world stops to see the bridge We waited for sunrise (which was happening directly in front of us) and I set my aperture to f/22 to try to get that nice sun-star as it came up over the horizon.
Camera: Canon 5D Mark III
Lens: Canon 24-105mm
Aperture: f/22 (to get that sun-star in the distance)
Shutter Speed: 1/6
Doc (the photo tour guide who picked me up) wasn’t shooting because he was spending his time with his client. But he asked how I did. I joked that he’d be jealous because I got a very rare photo of the bridge – no fog, no clouds, absolutely clear (hey, it was rare for me). I’m definitely not winning any awards with the photo, but Doc (and Martin, the photographer he was touring that morning) had a fun time, and I was happy enough to finally catch the Golden Gate Bridge at sunrise.
A huge thanks to Doc for letting me come along and to Martin for putting up with me for the morning. Both guys are great photographers so make sure you check out their sites. If you’re ever in the San Francisco area and you want a photo guide, make sure you give Doc a call. He rocks! Have a good one!
Hey everyone. I’m heading out to San Francisco today for an Adobe event. It’s not really a shooting event and I’m not sure how much time I’ll have, but the Bay area is one of my favorite places so I packed up my camera gear with me as well. Just searching around 500px.com (which is what I do whenever I go on a trip somewhere for inspiration and cool places to shoot), I found a ton of great long exposure possibilities so I’ve got my ND filters too. But, if anyone reading knows so good photo spots, by all means please let me know. I’ve always wanted to get a photo of the top of the Golden Gate poking through the fog, but I’m not even sure if this is a good time of year for that. All I know is that any time I go to shoot it, it’s totally engulfed in fog
Anyway, here’s a couple of photos I took on my last trip out there. I went to one of the popular beach areas (Baker beach, and no I didn’t see any nude beachgoers ) to photograph the Golden Gate Bridge at sunset.
(click to see the photo larger)
But as it got closer to sunset, some hazy stuff started to roll in and covered the bridge. So I switched gears,
It’s been a long time coming but my Long Exposure Photography class is finally here. Because of a few tweaks in the release calendar for Kelby One (formerly Kelby Training), it got pushed back a bit. But it’s finally here and I’m already getting a TON of awesome feedback from people.
SUPERB, Matt! Thank you so very much. Finally, in once concise lesson, you were able to put everything together and simplify it for us.
This was the first course I looked at since becoming a KelbyOne member. Really, really good. Thanks for putting this together Matt it will help me a lot.
Matt’s classes are incredible. Matt is awesome and I love everything he does!!!
- @Matt’s Mom
Hmmm… which one above isn’t really a comment on the class
Anyway…Guys, I have to say I’m really proud of this class. Long Exposure photography has really become accessible, affordable, and a whole lot o’ fun. And, I’m thrilled with the way the Kelby One team put this together. I think it’s got the perfect blend of classroom-like instructor, to in-the-field demo, all the way to post-processing the photos.
Plus, I think we were able to get a lot of info into the class. I cover the gear, the camera settings, the filters, and even talk about what subjects tend to look better as long exposures.
I hope you’ll check out my new class over on KelbyOne.com. I’ve got more stuff coming so if you like it, make sure you “Follow” me over on the KelbyOne site. Just click the little Follow link next to my photo on the page and you’ll be able to see my new stuff when it comes out.
Have a good one!
Yesterday on our live talk show, The Grid, we talked about ways to become a better photographer in 2014. One of the things we talked about was how it’s okay to try to model your work after some of the pros out there. It’s okay to try to shoot weddings like Cliff Mautner, or light portraits like Joe McNally. Learn what the pros do that interests you, try to shoot like them and develop the confidence that you need, and your style will naturally develop from it because, well, you’re simply not Cliff or Joe. That alone, will make sure that your photos and your style are different from theirs.
Same thing goes if you’re into shooting outdoors and landscapes. It’s okay to go to Death Valley and shoot the typical photo that everyone shoots at the Racetrack with the mysterious moving stones. Learn why that viewpoint at that time of day is good, and take the photo. Build your confidence by visiting some of the “gimmee” spots where ever you travel. Nobody said photography, and making a great photo, means going to a place no one else has and taking a photo that nobody else has. Sometimes it’s just fine to go to a place that everyone has gone before, and put your own spin on the location. Maybe your tripod is up higher or lower than the others. Maybe you go at sunset rather than sunrise or you do a long exposure when no one else is. Even though you may be modeling your photo after another photographer or photo you’ve seen, I think just the fact that you’re taking the photo (and processing it), makes it different.
The 50/50 Rule
This brings me to the Photographer’s 50/50 rule. I’m not sure where this rule came from. I learned it many years ago and I wish I could credit some one for it, but I have no idea where/how I learned it. Basically, the premise is Read More