This past weekend was BUSY. Super. Busy. We had three full Aperture Academy workshops courses in San Francisco. The perfect set up for a very long weekend. Keeping with tradition, here are the things you will not read on the ApCad site.
I left around noon on Friday. The goal was simple; Meet Stephen in a safe location we could leave the Mo-Ho, proceed to Berkeley to get the rental van, and from there set off to Baker Beach to meet our night workshop class before the 6pm start time.
If you follow my Facebook site (if you don’t you should.), you might recall me asking for help finding a ‘safe place to park the motorhome near Berkeley. I had a few suggestions, but many were along the lines of, ‘not if you ever want to see it again…’
Stephen and I did our research…and on Friday afternoon he sent me the Google maps link for somewhere in OAKLAND that, “looks like it will be a good place to leave the mo-ho”
We’ll see Oachs…
The first 95% of my drive down was uneventful. I ate some Taco Bell and listened to a radio show discussing Tiger Woods text messages. I think it’s safe to say Gatorade will be switching its “Is it in you” slogan. Just a hunch though.
When I got closer to the meeting point I realized that Stephen was going strictly off the Google maps street view, he didn’t bother to check the surrounding area very well. The drive TO the location was ghetto to be sure….and while the location we parked the motorhome wasn’t IN the ghetto…you could certainly hear, smell, and see the ghetto from there.
I think it took 4.5 seconds for use to be very afraid of leaving the motorhome there.
I really thought we were going to come back to find no tires, and some cool gang graffiti if we left it there.
However, it was almost 4 and we had to get back to Berkeley to rent the van, and into downtown SF…so finding an alternate place was NOT an option at this point…after the workshop was complete we would move it.
We actually got the van with no difficulty…and were on the road to SF by 4:30.
Then we hit traffic.
We arrived at Baker Beach at 5:57. Three minutes before class started.
Fridays night class was great….we had a SUPER enthusiastic bunch, and they wouldn’t stop taking photos…and we wouldn’t let them. The best part was when Stephen tried to get me killed. He’s NOTORIOUS for not telling me when he is going to turn, and nearly every time he turns across massive traffic…and if I’m to find the right area, I have to stick with him….this time he dodged across a train track, and nearly go me tanked by a TRAIN!!! Trains have LOUD horns.
It was 2:30am when we finally got back to the moho, exhausted. Neither of us were in any mood to go try to maneuver the ghetto streets to find a new spot…and there was no visible damage to the vehicle…so we opted to sleep there ….a mere Berlin-esque wall separating us from possibly being homicide victims in a street gang drive-by. The wall had obvious areas where the ghetto had dug under and come to have its way with parked cars…ugh.
Sleeping that night was very difficult. Not to mention that the place we parked was RIGHT under the freeway. It sounded just like a waterfall. I tried to imagine I was sleeping next to Dettifoss in Iceland…because not only was it noisy…but Stephen parked right next to something like 450 street lights…so it was VERY bright inside the motor-home as well. I was training for summer.
I woke, or I assume I was waking…I can’t recall ever sleeping, but at one point in the evening my leg had wedged in a peculiar position and fallen asleep (at least part of me was sleeping)…it hurt…but I was way too tired to rationalize how to remedy the situation…or if it was even really happening.
When morning finally came, we decided that the area was at best semi-safe…and opted to leave it there again while we taught our Saturday class. Starbuck’s was the first order of duty after we’d shook out the cobwebs of our lackluster sleeping experience. Stephen asked the barista working “on a scale of one to ten, ten being the war in Iraq…how close are we to the bad stuff?”
She said we were close…
Saturday’s as well as Sunday’s classes were both awesome groups. We were really fortunate we had fun, energetic classes…and even though the weather got a bit dodgy on Sunday night…the photography was still very good all 3 days.
We ended up never moving the mo-ho all weekend and spent the entire weekend in Oakland. I never slept well, and I just chalked the whole ordeal up to experience. I was mostly just thankful we never got shot.
This image was taken on Sunday nights’ class. A portion of our class made the journey to the beach, while the remainder shot from the bluffs. On my way to help a student I noticed the sunset was getting a bit of color…and grabbed this. I shot it hand held, because I left my tripod on the bluffs. I used a 3-stop soft grad filter as well. I used my timer so I could minimize the camera shake, and hand hold the filter….it was a tricky shot for sure…I also had to jack the ISO up a bit to help get a usable shutter speed. I still like how it came out. I’ve seen a few of the student shots from this night as well….and they came out nice too.
Remember Project Iceland is coming up…and volcanic eruptions are now part of the mix….so it’s going to be good. Get in on the action. brianruebphotography.com/project-iceland/
Big thanks to all the sponsors so far…I’m truly, truly appreciative of your support.
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And if you’re interested in the experience of a lifetime…take a workshop
Tagged: , Aperture Academy , Brian Rueb Photography , Rodeo Beach , San Francisco , ocean , waves , sunset , clouds , marin , beach , rocks , reflection , color , orange , yellow , california , photography , nature , outdoors , landscape , seascape