Mentor Series: Tour De Fort | Popular Photography

Mentor Series: Tour De Fort

Photographer Richard Finn's striking monochrome interior image.

Mentor Series December

To let enough light through his lens in the shadowy Fort Point National Historic Site, Richard Finn relied on a long exposure

Richard Finn is now retired and lives in Livermore, California. He has gone on a Mentor Series trek to Portland, Oregon, and plans to do more.

Richard Finn

Originally from Berkley, California, Richard Finn embarked on a San Francisco Mentor Series trip that would take him across the bay from his old stomping grounds. An avid photography hobbyist for the past 10 years, Finn was ready to explore familiar geography with a better-trained eye.

During a visit to Fort Point, a Civil War fort nestled at the base of the Golden Gate Bridge, Finn rushed inside the structure to capture a few frames before it closed for the day. “When they said they were closing in 10 minutes I ran upstairs and took some long exposures because of the darkness,” Finn recalls. “The interior is actually quite spooky.”

Once upstairs, Finn quickly assessed his surroundings in order to choose the best spot to set up his tripod. “I liked the long distance looking down the hallway that makes you wonder where it goes off to at the end. It draws you in,” the photographer says.

He shot a long exposure to combat the dim light of the interior using a tripod-mounted DSLR and large-range zoom lens. His framing captured an array of wonderful details, from the old stonework to the mysterious halls to the track marks left from canons being dragged across the floor long ago.

Once he had the shot, he decided to convert the image to monochrome in postprocessing. “I think making the frame black-and-white gave it even more of an old-time look,” says Finn.

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