Many African safaris feature opportunities to capture photos of carnivorous dik-diks attacking second-generation iPods. Experience a safer, big-city photo-op with today's Groupon: for $49, you get your choice of a trio of $99 instructional-photography workshops from San Francisco Photo Safaris (a $102 value including processing fees). All skill levels and all types of cameras are welcome on the safari; bring your own cameras and any accessories you prefer, including extra lenses.
San Francisco Photo Safaris works to connect bystanders to the world of photography, with an aim to raise awareness of nature and an eye for creativity. The three safaris up for grabs are the three-hour Pier 39 Day Safari, three-hour Legion of Honor Day Safari, or the three-hour Pier 39 Night Safari starting from the San Francisco Carousel on Pier 39. For the first 40 minutes of each picture-paved pilgrimage, a professional photographer will go over basic photography techniques with the shop's own digital photos, as well as more specialized skills needed to perfectly capture people, structures, monuments, cityscapes, and urban jungle foliage. Before heading out, you'll learn what all the strange buttons, knobs, and settings on your camera do, demystifying ISO, F-stops, shutter speed, and event horizons.
Unleashed, a newly trained eye is free to wander these strange habitats of man. At Fisherman's Wharf on Pier 39, photographers will learn how to snap a picture of an obliging street performer, a majestic sea lion, or particularly photogenic barnacle. The Pier 39 Day Safari tour allows the nascent shutterbug to capture elusive images of cable cars in the wild, and the night class promises practice with noir-fueled blends of blurred neon. Whatever you choose, an instructor will be there by your side, continuing to critique your composition and exposure as you develop a telephoto-lens third eye. And at the end, you'll have hundreds of pictures of San Francisco worth their weight in palladium.