Bridge to Nowhere
February 12th, 2014

Bridge to Nowhere © 2014 Jeffrey Chapman

I spent this past weekend in San Francisco for the San Francisco Within The Frame weekend workshop. After being stranded in San Francisco last December when my non-stop flight from Philadelphia to San Francisco diverted to Kansas City and caused me to miss my connection to Seoul and on to Yangon, it was really nice to be back in San Francisco intentionally.

In two days of intense learning, we discussed everything from basic to philosophic principles of photography. We learned and we laughed. We looked at, analyzed, and discussed a lot of photographs. At the very end of the workshop, the participants even critiqued some of my recent work from Lalibela. (It seemed only fair to turn the tables and let them have a hand at it.) It was a lot crammed into a weekend. And it was a really great group.

I’m told that San Francisco is suffering from a drought (that water is even rationed), but that certainly wasn’t the case this past weekend. It rained. Then it rained some more. And between rains, well, it rained to fill the gaps. And that was absolutely fine. We were inside most of the time — even by a rather nice firefor a bit. I thoroughly enjoyed it. It’s always a great pleasure to share time and thoughts with fellow photographers.

When we did venture out to photograph I found myself photographing the very colorful bark of a tree while tourists instead photographed cars sidewinding down famous Lombard Street. The tourists that came, clicked, and quickly disappeared were often a better story (to me) than that zig-zagging road itself, and a couple of times I did turn my camera towards them. (It’s always a good idea to at least look the other direction if everyone has their cameras pointed in the same direction.) Later we made it to the beach in order to just barely be able to see the Golden Gate Bridge. Perhaps I need to learn to pay more attention to what is happening around me when I photograph as a rogue wave soaked me. Three times!!! In fact, you can see in the photograph above that unless I’m on some kind of island (I’m not) that I just got hit by the surf. That’s OK. I ran to the surf when we got there without paying too much attention to where it might brake. The sound of waves as they brake so close to the shore is a sound that always brings me joy. I even recorded the waves (with my iPhone) before I began making any photographs. (That’s when the first wave got me.) The wind was pretty intense, too. We had the beach to ourselves.

I really enjoyed this weekend in San Francisco. I’m going to do it again. I want to bring these intense weekend-learning experiences to some other locations. I’m not sure to where yet, but there will be more weekend workshops. Want one to come to a location near you? Post below or send me an email and let me know where. I might just make it happen!

9 Responses to “Bridge to Nowhere”

  1. Ashley Kang says:

    Miss your passion for photos! Hope you can collaborate with The Stand again in the future and if you are ever free – big if – I would love for you to come and photograph my kiddos. I am suffering with serious regret of not getting enough good photos of the new baby and that I have only captured moments between my husband and son/daughter. He never takes photos and once pried, I get a few clicks of me looking exhausted with a baby and always a breast pump in the background – after the moment has clearly gone and left.

  2. Eli R, says:

    Hey hey hey it should be Oslo, Norway of course! But not now as I am in Bergen :-)

  3. Anna Velkey-Solvberg says:

    So, Jeffrey, I am glad that it is only you that got soaked, not your camera, like it happened to some others less fortunate people, and that the experience was more than worth the while… If you ask me, yes, I would love to have a Within The frame workshop near me… In fact very near me… I have been actually putting together a list of unique locations that would make you guys really wanna come here…

  4. Jeffrey Chapman says:

    Anna, I’d love to see that list. Email it to me when you’re done. You already know how much I love that corner of the world.

  5. Jeffrey Chapman says:

    Eli, I’ll definitely put Oslo on the shortlist and keep Bergen off it. :-)

  6. Jeffrey Chapman says:

    Ashley, I would love to collaborate again with The Stand, but I’m no longer ever in that area. Well, almost never. Tell your husband to get his act together and keep a camera handy!

  7. Ashley Kang says:

    I know right! But he just started med school in August. He’s almost gone as much as you :) I need a lesson with a tripod and remote control. With The Stand – this summer will be our fifth Photo Walk. It’s our most popular event and people in the community now look forward to it each summer and you can look back and see the same families posing year after year.

  8. Sharon Robinson says:

    Sounds awesome! Take me on a weekend trip!

  9. Ruth Ann Denchy says:

    Several years ago, a friend of mine held her wedding in New Orleans as it was the easiest place for friends and family from all over the world to meet. It was not the first time I had been to NOLA, but it was the time I explored more than just the French Quarter. A weekend NOLA adventure would be brilliant!

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