Each week we select and profile a photographer from our #SFGuide community on Instagram. We believe these photographers capture the everlasting beauty of San Francisco and the Bay Area. For a chance to be featured on our Instagram feed, or here, on 49Miles.com, tag your photos with #SFGuide.
This week’s featured #SFGuide photographer is Garrett Schmid (@garschmid) from San Clemente, California. Scroll down to view Garrett’s breathtaking photos, and learn more about what inspires him as a creative in the Bay Area.
#SFGuide Photographer Profile
Name: Garrett Schmid
Profession: I work at a local dog daycare, driving the dogs to and from the space as well as playing with, training and, caring for them during daycare.
Place of Birth: San Clemente, California.
Where do you currently reside: I live in the Outer Richmond District of San Francisco, right across from Ocean Beach.
Something you’d like viewers to know about you: I grew up in southern California and love the ocean but never really surfed much. Instead I picked up skateboarding, which led me to live in San Francisco.
What is your favorite spot to shoot in San Francisco, and why?
I am a big fan of shooting from locations up high, at either one of the many vantage points or a rooftop within the city. Grandview Park is one of my favorite spots because it has such an awesome view of both the natural and man made features of San Francisco and the surrounding Bay Area. You can see the wide open ocean and rolling hills of Marin, as well as the the Sunset District all the way to the downtown skyline.
When and why did you take up photography?
I always loved creating art since I was young and first picked up a camera to document my friends’ shenanigans. I was instantly hooked! I later got into B&W film photography in high school where I learned proper technique, and all the steps of film processing and printing. I look forward to returning to the darkroom but have been shooting digital more often these days.
What do you love about photography?
Everything! I love being able to capture a moment in time from my own perspective. Also the chase, and finding a new composition. There are so many different variables to get each photograph and every single one tells a different story.
How do you decide what to shoot?
I love shooting landscapes and exploring new places. If it is a new location I will do a bit of research to get ideas flowing. Planning out shots depends a lot on the weather and what time of year it is. Being prepared is important! I also try to have my camera with me wherever I go, just in case something catches my eye.
What’s your favorite part about going out to shoot?
Going to new places and finding a unique angle. I have gone to some really amazing places and look forward to future travels and adventures! It’s a big adrenaline rush shooting at a beautiful location. Especially in time sensitive situations like sunrises and sunsets.
Which location did you have the most difficulty getting to, and how did you do it?
My first time shooting from a crane was pretty difficult mostly because I went for it with little preparation. Primarily I just had too much gear! Had to hop a fence and creep through a construction site late at night, avoiding security of course. And then climb straight up the crane. It was well worth it though and a great experience in the end.
What is your dream shot? (Where, what time of day, what’s in it / the subject?)
I have really been hyped on aerial photography lately. One day I would love to shoot out of a helicopter flying around San Francisco. Sunrise or sunset would be unbelievable!
What is your favorite app to use for photo editing on the go, and what are your top 3 favorite filters?
My favorite app to edit with is Adobe Lightroom, but I never use filters. I manually adjust for all my post work. I like LR Mobile because it is just like the computer program only simplified.
How does Instagram and the #SFGuide community inspire you?
There are so many artists putting out amazing work every day, it’s crazy! It definitely motivates me to get out there and shoot as often as I can. The community is also very positive and I think every artist appreciates feedback.
What type of camera do you use? And what is your dream camera?
I shoot with a Canon 6D and am very happy with it. Right now my dream camera is the mirrorless Sony A7R II. I would love to get my hands on one of those! They have a crazy ISO range and shoot 4k video too.
What are your favorite settings in your ideal shot?
Lens: Canon 70-200mm f4L IS
Shutter Speed: 1/125
White Balance: Cloudy
Focus (Manual / Auto): Manual
Image Format (RAW / JPEG): RAW
What advice would you give to new or rising photographers that you wish you had received when you first started?
Try something different and have fun! I used to overthink “getting the perfect shot” and it actually stressed me out a lot. Now I try to relax and enjoy my time shooting.
What do you love about living in the San Francisco Bay Area?
I love so many things about living here! It is so diverse and beautiful, and there is always something going on. It makes for plenty of opportunities to shoot. Also I think it is awesome how supportive the community is of us artists and the arts as a whole.