Creating Moods in Outdoor Photography
So creating a mood and this is sort of something I touched on briefly just before that and that's something that's this quality that I'm looking to evoke from uh, the reader and this image and I don't know if you can see it online or in the audience it's his beautiful expanse and there's probably about three percent of the people that would ever notice to surfer standing on the top of the rock out in there but this is something that if it ran the size of a billboard it would be absolutely amazing so will it ever run is a billboard I don't know, but I'm I'm putting myself in that position of making images like this s o that those air possible things that I could sell because I'm a professional photographer I make my livelihood one hundred percent from selling images ah and going out and you know, making images on a consistent basis s o this is to me a very um I want to be there selling the dream shot ah as is this you know, this is one of those things like your first like it's kind of e...
xtreme but then you're like, oh, well, beautiful coastline I can identify with that feeling of uh you know and a lot of the images that I produce it's almost a psychological study, right? I'm using color and light to basically have a response from my audience on you'll see a really consistent thing you'll see very warm light and very cool light so that play of very warm very cool is very traditional even in painting you'll see the best painters and the master painters will use that color palette to to paint things s so I try to always go out in nature and find these things where we got this warm light cool blues and sort of captured that um as well as using the white balance like we said before uh ten thousand calvin it was a nice sunset but we made it a lot better uh completely generic um you know this this has so many possibilities this could be a cellphone advertisement this could be something for um you know, you know, I've got sitting here but what do I do right? I'm gonna go out and be free, right? You know all these ads we see on tv right? You so a million different things um you know and I'm trying to shoot what I would call generics and generic is we all have a bad connotation with generics but these are all salable images that allow us or allow me as a photographer to go out and have a wide audience these air approachable by even if you don't live on the coastline you know, you could say oh, surfing that's cool and this is something that you know we can go out and dio um and then we go the opposite way we go that cool cool blue and uh this image was shot actually in the identical spot toe where eric was standing but this is a shot at night so all of a sudden we're creating these moods based on time of day as well as you know, color, palette and photography is based in light and by going out and using created white balance by shooting at particular times of day by including, you know, vast landscapes or having somebody be very large in the frame were evoking that sense of emotion we're creating creating that mood as well as using black and white photography uh sometimes you know, people go I get tired of this thing also like well, I don't shoot a lot because I live in the pacific northwest it's always gray like koshi black and white it's amazing like it if you've got if it's almost it's near colorless go out and shoot colorless and yes, it might get old after a while but you know lemons and eliminate uh you know when it's very monochromatic go out on a shoot in monochrome and this is one thing in the camera this is something that will inspire you to do that you go out is grey go ahead and turn your, um your picture profile in the camera to monochrome we're black and white and all of a sudden it's like you're back to shooting film and you're like a kid again for the very first time shooting these images and it's like you're sort of like oh now I'm giving myself an assignment and I do this very often I will go out and I will try to produce a three picture package I will try to produce three images within say a hundred meters and be like all right, I'm gonna walk out with three interesting images will they ever sell? Maybe maybe not, but it's that creative process to go out and learn through the through the day um the flip side we've gone from landscapes to all of a sudden boom in your face and a little tip here if you like shooting action sports water polo surfing, skiing fast, fast, fast, fast fast shutter speeds three thousands of a second or faster will freeze every water droplet it'll make your your images tack sharp and people a lot of people think they're images or out of focus when actually there's motion blur because they're only shooting at two hundred fifty three, five hundred a second but if your three thousands of a second everything's frozen in time as well in this shot as well so like is you can see completely different feeling you get from this so kind of crazy stuff um but again, it's photographers our job is to take the viewer on a journey. What? What do we see? First in an image we see the brightest and the sharpest things first. So we need to make sure that if there is something that's bright that's distracting from our subject, we minimize that as much as possible. Um and have that be out of focus somewhere small in the frame or draw attention to the sharpest thing ah, what's what's typically we see a picture of a person what's the first thing we see their eyes, so making sure that the people person's eyes are incredibly sharp is very, very important unless you're trying to to evoke a sense of melancholy or, you know, sort of like, uh, if you see somebody's eyes that are out of focus, all of a sudden you get this sort of weird feeling. So these are all things to think about when you're painting your picture inside your camera and doing these sorts of things. So I have a question for you just want to know how important is like lighting focal length and framing to creating a mood. How important are those elements? Those are like gasoline for a car without those you have, you don't have it you don't have, so I mean, and people I think really bogged down in like, well, I don't have all this gear well, if you have two lenses have a wide lens and at least something that's a medium telephoto just so you can tell that story have something that has a little bit of magnification hundred millimeter lens or, you know, a twenty twenty four she had two lenses you can tell that story so by what you include and or don't include in the frame that's really important to setting that mood a cz well, as the time of day that you shoot it um, you know, I get up and I shoot sunrise a lot and I don't shoot sunrise at sunrise you get there at least an hour before sunrise, you've scouted it beforehand and you're just hoping that that sunrise is going to work out the way you expected. Um but you put yourself in that situation to succeed and to improve I say ninety percent of the people out there could improve their photography exponentially by getting up two hours earlier uh and shooting at the time of day when the light is really nice. You know, middle of the day when it's lunchtime take a nap, have a nice launch but shoot early, shoot late and this is sort of the point of this whole workshop is to inspire people to go out and sort of maybe take that next step and their road trip of their vacation. All of a sudden, you start planning your trip around the times of day when the light is good and you're like, well, you know, let's, have this let's have lunch br nice, you know, meal of the day, and then we're gonna go out. I'm gonna shoot through sunset, because that's, when the light's really nice on putting yourself in that position to get those shots. So, you know, that's that's, the inspiration is to maybe go out and start maybe taking that photography, the next level and that road trip all of a sudden is based around the photography, and not necessarily just the road trip, because face it, photography's fun, and the better your pictures are, the the more like she'll get on facebook.