Conference: 2012 PSA Annual Conference
San Francisco, California
San Francisco is located in the Bay area and is the center of finance, culture and transportation for that region. Today, San Francisco is one of the top tourist destinations in the world. Although the city of San Francisco is located at the tip of the peninsula, surrounded by water on three sides, it can be easily reached via the Golden Gate Bridge and the Oakland Bay Bridge. The nine county region of the area has a population of 7.15 million people. San Francisco has the largest commuter population of the Bay area cities and is supported by the rapid transit and rail systems (BART, CALTRAIN, and two light rail systems), multiple private and public ferries, freeways and highways. Three major airports service the area: the San Francisco International Airport (SFO), the Metropolitan Oakland International Airport (OAK), and San Jose California International Airport (SJC). The conference hotel is located very near the San Francisco International Airport (SFO).
California’s growth began with the Gold Rush of 1848, increased with statehood in 1850, and again spiked when the Central Pacific Railroad reached Utah in 1869, to join with the Union Pacific completing the transcontinental railroad. These major milestones spurred the development of the Pacific Coast by increasing population, transportation, shipping, and travel. Before this, California was reached only by long ship journeys or on horseback or foot by people who traveled over the plains, deserts and mountains. San Francisco and the Bay area became the center for west coast culture, education, and finance.
The Bay area is known for its natural beauty, liberal politics and diversity. The area is anchored by three major cities. San Francisco is famous for its skyline, steep hills, cable cars, historic streetcars, Fisherman’s Wharf, the Golden Gate Bridge, and its financial and cultural base. San Jose, another of the major Bay area cities, is the world-renowned technology hub (Silicon Valley). Oakland is the third Bay area city, known as the central hub of major industrial centers and the fifth busiest intermodal container port in the U.S. The counties north of the area are well known for their vineyards and wineries, and the Pacific area is home to numerous beaches.
The weather in the area, because of the hills, mountains and large areas of water has a variety of microclimates. Although near the Pacific, there are only minor temperature variations and the best weather is generally mid-September through mid-October, just in time for the 2012 PSA Conference. Foggy weather is generally in summer and rain is generally in winter. Therefore, there should be great weather for the conference.
Some of the Bay area marine species include the Dungeness crab, Pacific halibut, Pacific salmon, and many varieties of birds use the area as a refuge.
San Francisco Airport Marriott Waterfront Hotel, Burlingame, California
The San Francisco Airport Marriott Waterfront Hotel is located at 1800 Old Bayshore Highway, Burlingame, California, just minutes from the San Francisco Airport and just 15 miles from downtown. The downtown is accessible via the BART rapid transit from the airport. The hotel offers complimentary 24 hour shuttle service to and from the SFO airport. The on-property hotel restaurants include Hangar Steak, Flights 101 Lounge, and a Starbucks. This hotel is within walking distance of various restaurants and nearby hotel restaurants. This inviting waterfront hotel is convenient to the airport and photographers will enjoy the atrium view to watch planes take off and land across the water.
The PSA group has contracted for single, double, triple, and quad hotel rooms. PSA has also contracted for overflow rooms. If the first contract dates available are filled, the overflow rooms will become available until all have been exhausted. The following amenities are available to PSA attendees staying at the hotel: complimentary SFO airport shuttle, complimentary high speed internet access in guest rooms and in the atrium, and complimentary self-parking for hotel guests. Other amenities include: a 24 hour fitness center, indoor pool, whirlpool, and sauna. These no-smoking rooms have flat screen cable TV, alarm radio, iPod dock, work desk with a lamp, iron and ironing board, and a complimentary newspaper delivered to the room upon request Monday through Friday. For people staying elsewhere or for local attendees driving to the hotel, parking will be at 50% off the self-parking published rate.
A hotel video, the group rates, and registration information can be found on the Conference Hotel page.
The conference photo tours in and around the San Francisco area are planned for Sunday, Monday and Tuesday, September 16th through the 18th.
Sunday (4 Tours) – An all-day boat tour to the Farallon Islands will provide the opportunity to photograph wildlife in this national refuge area, such as sea birds (gull, cormorant, auklet, tufted puffins), seals, sea lions, whales, and hopefully a great white shark. There also will be two one-half day tours and one night tour on Sunday. In the morning, the tour will be to Fort Point (to photograph the bridge from below) and the Golden Gate Park Tea Garden. The Palace of Fine Arts then to the Marin Headlands (which overlooks a vista of the Golden Gate Bridge) are on the itinerary for the afternoon tour. In the evening, a night photography tour will provide scenic opportunities looking back at the Golden Gate Bridge from the Marin Headlands toward San Francisco.
Monday (5 Tours) – An all-day tour travels south to the Monterey area, the Monterey Aquarium, Pigeon Point Lighthouse, the scenic Pacific Grove/Pebble Beach 17 mile drive with stops along the route. Another all-day trip will be to the Napa Wine Country with stops at two wineries and a midday break at Calistoga for lunch. Monday’s half-day morning tour will be to the Legion of Honor and the Golden Gate Conservatory. In the afternoon, there will be a seven hour tour starting in the area of the Presidio, then to the crooked Lombard Street, next to Pier 39 and Fisherman’s Wharf for photography and dinner on your own. On Monday evening, there will be a night tour to Treasure Island to shoot photos of the bridges and city lights.
Tuesday (5 Tours) – An all day tour, capturing the Golden Gate Bridge at sunrise, then on to the Sausalito Marina, then north to Muir Woods and Point Reyes. Another all day city tour will take the ferry to Sausalito where it will be possible to get photos of the Bay and Golden Gate Bridges, Angel Island, Alcatraz and then via land to the Palace of Fine Arts, Pier 39, Grace Cathedral and if time permits the six sisters (painted lady homes). Tuesday will offer several other shorter tours. A special half-day morning tour, arranged by the 3D Division to the San Francisco Academy of Sciences, will begin with a short program at the 3D theater in the Forum of the Academy followed by an explanation of the photo opportunities in the Academy of Sciences. Then there will be an opportunity to photograph in the biosphere or the rainforest or the aquarium’s many venues, or the living roof. Later that morning continuing through the afternoon, another tour will visit two wineries of the Santa Cruz area. There will be an afternoon half-day tour to the Palace of Fine Arts and then to the Pier 39 area for many photographic opportunities.
A detailed description of the conference tours can be found on the Conference Tours page.
Classes, Programs, Workshops, Exhibits, Vendors, and Featured Speakers
Conference registrants can take classes from September 16 to 18 for an additional fee. The five classes are: 1) a new two-day (Sunday-Monday mornings) Intermediate to Advanced Creative Photoshop Elements® 9.0 or 10.0 class, 2) a new two-day workshop (Sunday-Monday afternoons) Judging – Beyond the Rules offered by Jon Fishback, 3) a totally new three-day Advanced Photoshop class (Sunday-Monday-Tuesday mornings), 4) a three-day Adobe Lightroom® class (Sunday, Monday, Tuesday afternoons), and, 5) a two-day High Dynamic Range (HDR) class will be Monday and Tuesday afternoon. A detailed description of each class can be found on the Conference Classes page.
Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, September 19- 22 a wide variety of programs, workshops, and photo exhibits will be available. There will be several workshops: the model photo-shoot workshops, how to better use your digital camera, a macro workshop, and a 3D workshop. The photo gallery exhibits will include the various sections of the PSA International Exhibition of Photography, Youth Photography Showcase, and last year’s scholarship winner’s portfolio images. The first showing of the projected image sections will begin Tuesday evening with the print exhibition opening after the projected exhibitions. The conference Opening Meeting and Award Ceremonies are scheduled for Wednesday afternoon. There are meals planned as a part of some of the meetings that will take place from Wednesday, September 19, through Saturday, September 22. On Saturday evening the conference will conclude with the Honors Banquet.
Each year those attending the PSA Annual Conference enjoy the opportunity they have to meet representatives from several companies that sell photography equipment and supplies in the Vendor Area. A video of the most recent Conference Vendor Area and photos of some vendor tables can be found on the Conference Vendors page.
The featured speakers this year will be: Wednesday, a 3D Division special program; Thursday, Stephen Johnson, Canon Explorer of Light; Friday afternoon, Julieanne Kost, Adobe Systems; Friday, Colleen Miniuk-Sperry sponsored by Hunt’s Photo & Video; and Saturday afternoon Robert Hughes sponsored by Tamron.
For more information, download the May 2012 PSA Journal article: Presenting the Presenters in San Francisco, California and the August 2012 PSA Journal article: Presenting More Featured Presenters in San Francisco, California