I decided to work on my photography skills to supplement my blogging hobby. So I signed up for my first photowalk in San Francisco. This walk was lead by instructors from a camera shop in the Bay so I got a chance to ask a few questions and get some camera tips. We started in the Ferry Building and snapped our way down the Embarcadero and up through North Beach. I used an Olympus OM-D EM Mark II with the 14-42 mm lens that comes with it. If you would ask me for more specs I couldn’t tell you now. Ask me after a few months when I have taken a few more pictures on the P, S or A modes.
A storm was coming through Northern California that weekend but luckily it was just a little overcast during the time of the walk. I think someone said that was good for photography since it made the sunlight a little softer for the camera lens. The rain also made the pavement shine a little, which made my street photography look a little nicer.
The best advice I got from one of the leaders of the group is that taking a photo is not really about capturing the moment. You are trying to take a photo that transcends the moment. In other words you are using the camera to make a painting. Another good tip I got was that I should not delete photos from my camera while taking pictures. “Everything looks horrible on the camera monitor” he said. I should wait until I download my photos on my computer to decide what to delete & keep. A good example of this is the picture of fruit I look here. I thought it looked horrible when I looked at it on my camera monitor but I liked it better after I saw it on my computer. The colors of the produce are beautifully vivid. It’s not perfect; I think I should have taken this photo from a different perspective but that’s something I can work on next time.
I took a few pictures of the Saints Peter and Paul Church in Washington Square. Guests & family were arriving for a wedding ceremony just as our group passed by. Based on the clothes people wore, I think it was an Nigerian and Indian wedding. I didn’t take photos when the family, who I assume was the parents of the bride & groom, got out of the limo parked in front of the church. I feel awkward taking photos of strangers on the street. So how could I, knowing how Nigerians feel about privacy & photography, take photos of a Nigerian wedding I wasn’t invited to? But as I write this now I think, it’s not like people don’t gate crash weddings in Lagos.
Anyway from there the group walked up to Coit tower where we took our last set of photos. On our way up the hill we came across a made for Instagram moment –a puppy sitting in front of a little mural of dogs. The owner and her friends were taking photos of the puppy and the photography group swopped in an got a few shots. The owner didn’t mind and the dog loved the attention. It seemed to look surprised when the group stopped taking pictures and began to walk away.
I took a couple of more shots but I think this is the best I can show for now. Here are a few things I learned. (1) There is no “right way” to take a photo. A good photo is like a good piece of art. After you learn the basic functions to create the work you can pretty much do whatever you want. (2) I need to take a photography class. I have learned a little about some of the basics of taking a photo but I need to learn a little more to figure out some of the lingo people speak in these groups. I’ll try and take one before my next photography walk.