Fort Point Photo Walk

Bob and Amanda shoot down one of the many brick-lined hallways at Fort Point.

What a great day we had yesterday at Fort Point in San Francisco! Thank you to all the participants for coming out and joining me on this photo walk. In order to accommodate everyone, we held two sessions – one in the morning and another in the afternoon.

The historic fort which at one time guarded San Francisco Bay offers many challenges and rewards to photographers trying to capture it’s beauty. Dark, brick- lined corridors with splotches of bright sun challenged us and the dynamic range of our cameras. Participants learned how to overcome that by using tripods, putting their cameras in manual metering modes, and using flash to help fill in the shadows.

A lookout tower on top of Fort Point and beneath the Golden Gate Bridge is seen through a weather stained window.

Laurie and Rudy check out the courtyard of Fort Point.

It seemed everywhere you looked, there was a photo waiting to be taken. Fort Point is truly a photographer's playground.

If interested in joining us for future photo walks, check out the Events link on the left side of this page. We have some great ones coming up including the fall colors in Napa Valley, fiireworks in SF and waterfalls in Marin County, just to name a few. You must sign up early for all of these because they fill up quickly.

See you on the next one!

-Michael

October Photo Walk : Exploring Fort Point

Photo : Michael Maloney

Come join Michael on another of his photo walks, this one exploring the historic Fort Point underneath the iconic Golden Gate Bridge.

Fort Point is a photographer’s playground. The brick architecture and symmetry throughout the historic fort that once guarded San Francisco offers a great lesson in composition and the study of light. Spiral staircases, long dark hallways, moss covered bricks, weather worn iron and spectacular views of the Golden Gate Bridge and the San Francisco Bay are just a few of the subjects to get your creative mind thinking about light and shadow and composition.

Sign up early for this photo walk as it will be limited to just 12 participants.

Photo : Michael Maloney

Saturday, October 26, 2013

10 am

$25.00

Call or email Michael at Camera West in Walnut Creek for more info or to sign up.

michael@camerawest.com

  925-935-1424

Fort Point Photo Walk

A big thank you to everyone who participated in today’s Camera West Fort Point Photo Walk. Despite gray skies and a threat of rain, 11 shooters showed up to explore the photogenic fort beneath the south anchorage of the Golden Gate Bridge.

The brick architecture and symmetry throughout the historic Fort Point offered everyone a great opportunity to work on composition and the study of light and shadows. Below are a few photos from our morning photo walk. All photos taken with a Canon 1D-X, 24-70 f2.8 L, processed through Adobe Lightroom 4.0 and Nik Software Silver Efex Pro 2.

Paul shoots in the turret house on top of Fort Point

Rafael shoots inside one of the dark brick-lined corridors of Fort Point

Augie and Dave set up their tripods for a low angle shot

Dave gets low to shoot a closeup of a weather-worn iron rail

DIck shoots the Golden Gate Bridge from the roof of the fort as a tanker ship enters SF Bay

Next month’s photo walk is at De La Salle High School in Concord where we will have sideline access to shoot a night soccer game. Contact Michael at Camera West in Walnut Creek to sign up.

As always, check the Calendar or Events link at the left of this page for all of our photo walks, events, and workshops.

December Photo Walk : Explore Fort Point

Photo by Michael Maloney

Come join Michael on another of his photo walks, this one exploring the historic Fort Point underneath the iconic Golden Gate Bridge.

Fort Point is a photographer’s playground. The brick architecture and symmetry throughout the historic fort offers a great lesson in composition. Spiral staircases, long dark hallways, moss covered bricks, weather worn iron and spectacular views of the Golden Gate Bridge and the San Francisco Bay are just a few of the subjects to get your creative mind thinking about light and shadow and composition.

Sign up early for this photo walk as it will be limited to just 12 participants.

Sunday, December 16
Cost : $25.00

Call or email Michael at Camera West in Walnut Creek for more info or to sign up.

michael@camerawest.com

925-935-1424

Photo by Michael Maloney

Photo by Michael Maloney

Photo by Michael Maloney

One Lens fits All : Tamron 24-70mm f2.8


If I had to choose just one lens to shoot with on a full frame 35mm camera body, the decision would be a no brainer for me.

Give me a 24-70mm f2.8.

This lens takes care of easily 90% of all the photos I shoot. Not so great of course for wildlife, or shooting the interiors of small rooms, but you get my point. This lens is my “go to” choice when I’m traveling and shooting light.

At 24mm, you get a moderately wide field of view perfect for most landscapes and the 70mm slight telephoto offers a pleasing focal length for portraits. That and the fast f2.8 maximum aperture throughout the focal length range allows for low light shooting and beautiful bokeh. I rarely need anything more than this versatile lens.

I recently had the chance to try out the Tamron 24-70mm f2.8 lens on a Nikon body. I have never shot with a Tamron lens, and this one did not disappoint.

The Tamron SP 24-70mm f/2.8 DI VC USD features a constant aperture of f/2.8, fast autofocus and built-in image stabilization (which Tamron markets as “VC” for “Vibration Compensation”). Featuring 17 lens elements in 12 groups, 3 of which are aspherical and 3 with low-dispersion qualities, and a barrel diameter of 3.5 inches and weighing a total of 825 grams, it is by no means a small or lightweight lens, but it balances quite well on heavier pro bodies like the Nikon D800/D4.

Similar to other 24-70mm lenses, the length of the lens extends when the focal length is changed. At the wide end @ 24mm, the lens is at its shortest length. As you zoom in, the length of the lens increases, reaching its longest length at 70mm. The Nikon 24-70mm behaves completely different – its shortest length is at 50mm, while zooming out to 24mm extends the lens quite a bit.

This lens is sharpest at 24mm, softening just a tiny bit at 70mm, but you will probably not even notice this. I had to look hard! And as with many wide angles, there is some vignetting on the Tamron at wide open, however as the focal length increases and the lens is stopped down, the amount of vignetting is reduced substantially. This vignetting by the way is rarely an issue with most post processing software which reads the lens profile and automatically can get rid of the vignetting.

All in all, I was quite impressed with this lens, both in build quality and in performance. It focuses quickly, has a smooth zoom, a locking lens hood and a thoughtful zoom lock to keep the lens compact when not in use. It also features vibration reduction which Nikon and Canon does not in their 24-70 zooms.

Check out some of my photos below, on a recent visit to historic Fort Point under the Golden Gate Bridge. I kept it light on this trip with just a tripod, one body and one lens – the Tamron SP 24-70mm f/2.8 DI VC USD – it was all I needed!

Tamron SP 24-70mm f/2.8 DI VC USD Mount Type: Nikon F-Bayonet $1299. (also available for Canon and Sony mounts)

A weather worn chain leads to the historic Fort Point, built in 1854 to defend San Francisco Bay against hostile warships. Tamron 24mm 1/30@f22 ISO 200

What's left of a weather worn gun turret, exposed to the elements on top of Fort Point. Tamron 70mm 1/250 @f2.8 ISO 200

The intersection of one of Fort Points many brick hallways. Tamron 24mm 1/8 second @ f2.8 ISO 200

Inside what I call the bugle room where an art piece of two bugles, one flattened hang suspended under a harsh light to create a shadow on the floor. Tamron 24mm 13 seconds @f22 ISO 200

A wagon wheel inside the courtyard of Fort Point. Tamron 24mm 1/400 second @f2.8 ISO 200

The courtyard of Fort Point is framed by the Golden Gate Bridge which did not exist when Fort Point was built. Tamron 24mm 1/2000 second @f2.8 ISO 200