Japanese Tea Garden at Golden Gate Park

Love Jump JTG

Love Jump JTG, orig­i­nally uploaded by stechico.

I had the plea­sure of tak­ing Kim and Ricky’s Engage­ment pho­tos this past Sun­day. We were ini­tially going to roll to 2 spots: the first was the Japan­ese Tea Gar­den; and the sec­ond was Straw­berry Hill. We actu­ally didn’t get to go to Straw­berry Hill as there were just tons of peo­ple vis­it­ing the Park. And there was nice weather to top it off.

Back to our story. We made our way to the Japan­ese Tea Gar­den just right next to the De Young Museum. It’s usu­ally free on Mon­days, Wednes­days, and Fri­days if I recall cor­rectly; and only $5 per per­son the other days. Not too shabby.

Upon enter­ing the gates, it com­pletely reminded me of the great time I had when I vis­ited Japan a cou­ple years back. I miss that place—great food, peo­ple and cul­ture. Not nec­es­sar­ily in that order, but I’d have to rank the food way up there =)

Mean­while, it was a “party cloudy” day as the fore­cast said but being in the City, it can change pretty quickly. Luck­ily, it stayed like that most of the day and it wasn’t too cold. As you can see… Kim was just chillin’.

Most of the spots that we took pho­tos inside were great. Either they had great light­ing or was sim­ply bal­anced enough as I didn’t need to use my flash. As you can tell, I kind of like nat­ural light bet­ter at the moment1.

Know­ing this, I just had my ISO set to 100–200 most of the times and was usu­ally on f2.8–5.6 depend­ing on the sit­u­a­tion. I think I shot on Man­ual and Av modes fre­quently as well. One of the things I noticed I strug­gled on a bit were when Kim and Ricky had some back­light­ing from the Sun. I was try­ing to get a good bal­ance to expose their faces but also get a good expo­sure on the back­ground. Luck­ily, there were only a cou­ple of these shots.

Another thing I learned from my pre­vi­ous photo out­ings is that you should take a hand towel or two just in case you’d like to sit your cou­ples on a bench or step. When we went to the Gar­den, I think some benches still had some wet spots due to dew and/or the sprin­klers. Hav­ing the towel(s) should come in handy espe­cially when the bride is wear­ing some­thing that can get dirty eas­ily. That, or you can use the towel(s) as padding if you are going to shoot from a low-angle and need to have some cush­ion for your knees and/or elbows.

All in all it was a nice shoot. I can hon­estly say that the Japan­ese Tea Gar­den almost had the atmos­phere that I have expe­ri­enced in Japan2. I def­i­nitely would rec­om­mend going there whether you’d like to just spend a day strolling, tak­ing pho­tos, and/or learn­ing some culture. 

  1. Maybe because I’m still read­ing up on Stro­bist. []
  2. Damn, I miss that place. I want to go back. 2010 maybe haha. []

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