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7 Steps to Great Photos

Lesson 2 of 2

Bonus Video: Find & Capture

John Greengo

7 Steps to Great Photos

John Greengo

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Lesson Info

2. Bonus Video: Find & Capture


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1 Steps to Great Photos Duration:1:22:40
2 Bonus Video: Find & Capture Duration:10:28

Lesson Info

Bonus Video: Find & Capture

Welcome everybody to the bonus video for seven steps to great photos with john gringo here on creative live photo week john take it away all right thank you well I thought you might like a little bit of behind the scenes look and maybe a little bit more technical information about a few of the photographs in the last section and maybe otherwise as well. So one of my favorite moments was the tax saying monastery in bhutan for those who have been to baton will know that this is a monastery that's located very high up on a cliff side in a very dramatic environment it's a very popular tourist destination so you can expect to find lots of tourists with cameras and your goal is to try to get something different unique in an area where there are thousands of photographs and that's a very challenging thing to do so first off you got to find your right viewpoint and I'm going to of course eliminate most of the tourists from mine and so here is a pretty good clean shot of the monastery on the hi...

llside it's pretty well centered I'm showing a little bit of the other areas so it's a little bit off to the right I'm going to play around a little bit with the composition I'm going to put it far off to the left just to show the extreme openness that it is right beside what I found particularly interesting is that there are lots of these prayer flags in this buddhist culture, and they're flowing all over the place and that's just a little bit of colored chaos that is just great if you could do it in just the right dosage, and so you have to find the right perspective, and I liked a lot of this perspective, but I wasn't a big fan of this kind of brushy area that's out of season, not looking too good, and so I'm had tio lean out a little bit with one hand hanging on to a tree, holding with camera very carefully in order to get a shot that's a little bit cleaner that didn't have the other clutter in it and it's this one flag coming across here that I was watching, blowing back and forth in the wind, and I waited for the wind to pick up and get stronger and stronger, and so I kept shooting because I never knew when this was going to top out, and then this is the final image where it reached really the pinnacle of the archway there and having that is a nice leading line to the subject. So for those of you who do like to know a little bit about technically what's going on, here is my thought process as I'm working with shutter speeds, apertures esos so I got him all up on the board for us to see inherently, most of the time, my camera is that ice, so one hundred because I'm trying to get the best image quality possible, and that has the least noise that may change, but for right now, it's hedaya so one hundred for a shutter speed. I am concerned about the movement of the flags because they're blowing around in the wind, and I know that one hundred twenty fifth of a second is a moderately fast shutter speed that should do the job of holding them for for the camera, keeping it steady as well a stopping some of the motion in this photograph. Now this isn't particularly a shallow depth of field shot it's, not a super great depth of field shot something kind of in between one of the great old scenes and photography. How do you take a great picture f eight and be there? And so if it's a good spot to start with, so this is my dream, said it's. This is where I would like to be to shoot this photograph. Now I need to check the light meter, and in this case the light meter is telling me I'm too stops and groups more than two stops under exposed I need to start making some compromises toe let in more life so in this case I back off on the shutter speeds why buy one stop sixtieth will still be pretty good I can handle the camera and now I can see that my light meter indicates I am an even two stops off to fix this scenario I'm going to go over to the aperture I'm going to open it up another app one aperture setting to five point six and a little bit more compromise with the isil two, two hundred most cameras are extremely clean in two hundred that's not going to be a problem and so that was kind of the best balance of all the features in order to get this particular shot another example second of three jordan boy this is when I was in jordan doing a photo tour and we got to eat lunch with a family of jordanian descent and it was kind of funny because it was the daughter his sister that I was most interested in because she loved to have her picture taken she would stand here stand there's you do anything have her picture taken and the first time I looked at the back of the camera I was like wow and it wasn't that it was a great picture but I could tell that I was in the right environment where there was nice light coming in there is this tent that had these nice little colors in the background and I played around trying to photograph her and moved around to some different areas, and I just didn't get anything that I was really satisfied with, but it was her little brother that really was just very cute, and he had this white turban on, and he had these big eyes, but he didn't want to work with anybody. He didn't care about having this photograph token take it, so he was just kind of busy drinking tea in this great little glass mug, and all these pictures that you see of him were taken over the course of about ninety seconds. Maybe he had very little tolerance for year old voice in some cases, and I'm just shooting essentially with the motor drive on, trying to capture, hoping that there's going to be one moment that stands out from all the others. And for me, it was this moment right here, and it came and it went in a fury because a quarter of a second later he wasn't looking at me. He was on to something else, and he was completely done. And so that one moment I was actually I was building up to it for about a half an hour from taking shots of a sister, getting used to the environment, dialing in the shutter speed aperture, so that when that one moment happened, I was ready and I was in the right place for it. So let's do the technical run through of what I was doing with the camera because this was not the world's greatest set up for taking portrait's ideally my cameras that I also one hundred I know to stop his movement, which he was kind of fidgeting around quite a bit. I would like to be a two fiftieth of a second. I want really shallow depth of field. I only had enough for lands and I'm just gonna work with the best I got so I could get a little bit shallow depth of field keep that background out of focus. Let's take a look at the light meter and this is a common problem in photography from what we are really want. We don't have enough light, especially in the natural world, so I'm going to compromise a little bit on the shutter speed down to one hundred twenty fifth when you're shooting portrait's one hundred twenty fifth of a second is usually going to be pretty safe. Next up from here, I'm going to go upto is so two hundred just to see where that puts me with light meter now we can see the warnings come off and I mean even two stops behind. I can't let in any more light with my aperture, I'm maxed out, it would be nice if I had brought another lens with me that was faster but I'm traveling and I have to travel light shutter speed. I really don't feel comfortable going down any lower in the shutter speed and so I bump it upto s so eight hundred and modern cameras are very good at I saw one hundred and when you got to use it, you use it and that's what I did for this particular picture and I was happy with it. All right. Third final shot, the bonus material toadstools this is down in utah. It's not actually a big landmark, it's just this little area hike into and there's these rocks sitting on pedestals and it's a really fun environment because there's all sorts of toadstools all over the place and what you want to do is you want to go there in the evening because there's really nice light in the evening we get this nice golden life there's this one nice grouping of rocks here. And I was thinking that this would make a nice shot at sunset. And you know, I don't know that this rock has a name, but I would like to give it the name space needle rock so I think it looks a lot like our space needle here in seattle and so one of my favorite shots in the evening was this one with a nice light on it. But I said to myself, this is an area I want to come back to at nighttime and I had in my mind what I thought was going to be a great shot and it totally didn't panic now and here's the shot I wanted to get stars and it was just a little too dull but in preparation for this I was waiting around for it to get dark. I took my flashlight out and I tried some test exposures of light painting and I started off. This is my first shot and I saw that and I immediately went who I think there's something here that's really nice. We got this orange light which matches really well with the blue because their opposite colors they can work really well. And I started playing around with this flashlight trying toe paint the light get in the right area I had to get away from the camera so I wanted the light source someplace other than the camera wass and while this might have nothing to do with photography, this next picture I thought was kind of weird because I photograph something I'd never photographed before and that was the international space station the international space station made a flyover in this area, and it looks different than an airplane. It looks different than a normal satellite, which you can see up here in the top, but it's a very big, bright white light and apparently there's a lot of photographers that go out and try to get the shot, and I just got lucky with it, but the actual shot that I ended up liking was one that was carefully light painted, you might say, including the stars and here one of the aspects that I liked it's the shadows in there and that was getting away away from the camera toe light it so let's go through and figure out how I technically took this shot, so bring up our apertures are shutter speeds and uriah so now ideally, I would be like like to be at one hundred, but that's going to change with nighttime photography? I need thirty seconds in order to do the light painting and to get those stars very visible, and I'm going to need to use the fast lands. I don't like to use it white open because it's a little bit sharper at f two point oh, when I took my test shot, uh, be honest with you, I wasn't looking at my light meter here. Because I had to like paint. And I could really judge it until after the photograph was taken. But it was just too dark. And so I had to jump up to four hundred s. O it was still a little too dark. And then, finally, at eight hundred s o thirty seconds in two point. Oh, this worked out, and I was like painting for the entire thirty seconds to illuminate the rock face here. And so, folks, that's your bonus material for seven steps to great photos.

Class Description

This is a visual and non-technical class which explains the simple steps of creating great photos. Yes, shutter speeds and apertures can be important, but this class focuses on all those other elements that are part of the creative photographic process.

Filled will lots of photographic examples this class is perfect for beginners with point and shoots, or advanced shooters looking to refine their craft.


douglas brown

I'm surprised the rating for this class is not 100%. Like all of John Greengo classes, it's outstanding. I would certainly give it 100% without hesitation. John is one of the very best teachers at Creative Lilve.

Michael Griffith

Quick Hit This is a fun course where John takes you with him on many, many locations thorugh out the world. As he says early on, there's no secrets here, it's a basic review of what works in photography... and sometime what doesn't. I really appreciate his willingness to share photographs that were mistakes, those that were almost great. That would be a great subject for his next class: Those That Almost Made It.