Thursday, June 14, 2012

When the weather's this good in San Francisco, get outside

I had a shoot at the Palace of Fine Arts in San Francisco today. The weather was gorgeous and the tourists were swarming all over the site like excited insects. The main difference was that instead of antennae, most of these "insects" were sporting cameras .

Many of the folks were on bus tours and you could see from the way they were practically running from site to site, they were locked into a schedule. And a tight one at that! As I sat waiting for my clients to arrive, I couldn't help wonder just how much of the experience of just "being there" all these people were getting. There was so much focus and concentration going into posing friends, relatives, and trying to get good compositions, you could see that many of the people behind the lenses were fairly oblivious to what was around them.

A large proportion of the poses I watched being set up were by the water. After releasing their shutters, many people immediately focussed onto the monitors on the backs of their devices before scurrying on to the next spot with a water view in the background while still looking down at their camera monitors flicking through the pictures they had recently snapped.

I imagined that many of these people here at the magnificent structures at the Palace of Fine Arts had paid good money for their visit to San Francisco. And yet, even though they would return home with hundreds if not thousands of digital images, some of them may never have really seen the place and savored the beauty of it with their actual, naked eyes!

Prior to my shoot, I had made a special trip without using my camera, taking in the architecture and the layout of the place. The position of the sun and the way shadows were casting and just feel the atmosphere.

In the next few minutes my clients would arrive and I will need to capture images that meet their brief, are beautifully composed, and technically correct. So no time for sightseeing then.

The shoot went great and I had very happy clients. I'll let you in on it in a future blog — but in the meantime, the weather's great in San Francisco. Get out there and snap it all up — with or without your camera! 

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