San Francisco Photography Workshop
- Hone your photography techniques with the guidance of a National Geographic photographer
- Go on photo assignments in Muir Woods, Monterey, and Alcatraz
- Trace the legacy of Ansel Adams throughout the city
- Organize a gallery opening to show your work to the public
On Assignment: Photography
Through assignments in the field, classes, and critiques, this special workshop will challenge and inspire students to take their photography to the next level.
Itinerary 11 Days
From soaring redwood forests to one of the most iconic bridges in the world, San Francisco is known for its beauty and vibrant energy. Continue the legacy of San Francisco’s native son Ansel Adams, shooting photographs alongside our instructors and a National Geographic photographer. Explore the techniques and craft of photography during daily hands-on classes, learn to take compelling portraits and landscapes that capture the atmosphere of your subject, and go on assignment in Big Sur and Monterey.
Settle into our centrally located campus and delve into the art and technique of photography, working in small groups with our photo instructors and the National Geographic photographer. Begin each day in the classroom, editing your images and learning new skills, from managing light and depth of field to working with flash and improving your composition. Then grab your camera and hit the streets in the afternoon, using your new skills as you shoot alongside our team of photo instructors.
Document San Francisco’s vibrant cultures, from the bustle of Chinatown and the Italian flavors of Washington Square to the bohemian street artists of Haight-Ashbury. Find a new perspective on the Golden Gate Bridge, shooting from Baker Beach at twilight. Frame the same shots that Ansel Adams made famous to trace the city’s changes. At Fisherman’s Wharf, take portraits of fishermen selling their catch and zoom in on the sea lions on the docks. Visit Alcatraz, then photograph the city from the storied island. Leave the city on a photo assignment, following Adam’s footsteps to the soaring redwood forests of Muir Woods National Monument and the craggy coast of Big Sur. Then head to Monterey to photograph marine life at the worldfamous Monterey Bay Aquarium.
In the evenings, we’ll review the day’s work and photograph the city by night. Capture the cable cars clanking down the boulevards amid a blur of city lights, or the illuminated zigzag of Lombard Street, known as the “crookedest street in the world.” On some evenings, attend seminars by your National Geographic photographer and photography instructors to learn about their experiences.
Throughout the workshop, we’ll prepare for a gallery opening on our final evening. You’ll help organize, curate, and promote an exhibit of large-format digital prints of the group’s original work. At the final gallery opening, our photographs will be on display to a public audience.
National Geographic Expert: A National Geographic Expert Photographer will join the teaching staff for the duration of the workshop to share their insights and experience, and give you guidance and inspiration as you work through each of your photography assignments. The expert leads the classroom lessons and group critiques, works with students one-on-one in the classroom and in the field, and presents during evening seminars.
Photography Instructors: Our Workshop instructors are talented and enthusiastic professional photographers from around the world who, along with the National Geographic Photography Expert, work with the students on advanced, hands-on knowledge of a broad range of photography skills and disciplines. With a staff to student ratio of 1 to 8, each instructor is able to work with students one-on-one and give personal assignments based on individual skill level and interests.