Skip to main content

The Art of Seeing

Lesson 6 of 23

Elkhorn Slough - Getting your Settings


The Art of Seeing

Lesson 6 of 23

Elkhorn Slough - Getting your Settings


Lesson Info

Elkhorn Slough - Getting your Settings

so this morning we started by looking at general principles in technique and composition and then I didn't talk about the logistics and all the other things that come with doing big projects overseas now we're going to look at something that is much closer to home how do you approach a field trip to a local wetland menu in a small boat and you're moving the subjects are right in front of you and you have to make sense of your own camera vile the situation is unfolding in front of you so that brings it much closer to home and I'm really curious what we're going to see cause I was on that boat but I really don't know what the cameraman came up it so shall we take a look right hello I'm franz lumping I'm standing at the mouth of alcorn slew a wetland in california's monterey bay and we're about to head off for an amazing wildlife tour together of it doug and melissa doc what are you looking forward to well I'm looking forward thio going up that out slow this morning I've never been out on...

it and avoid something I've always wanted to start a scene that is what I'm looking for how do you see in how to visualize well right how about you melissa I'm excited to be out in the wild and learned from the master they're going under highway will now this brits leads over to slough once we're under the bridge on the other side we're in the inner sanctum and that's where we're going to see mme or animals when you work with bald life things just happen and you get so excited you forget what you're doing you forget what settings you've got on your camera we should really kind of put our blind his own for a minute and go back to basics I'm goingto talk their dog and melissa about what I prefer to do before I head off into the field and how I said my kim so let's check what is your s o it's ah one hundred one hundred what I like to do is keep a margin of error hers are so good he stays the sensors are so good that you can easily set your I s o for four hundred or eight hundred and that the professional cameras you khun go even higher to sixteen hundred I esso and not see any image degradation so because the sun this just come up I think that it would be good to your increase your eyes so too at least five hundred because then you can maintain a higher shutter speed or if you need to maura depth of field you can close your aperture you have a little bit more leaving that's so that's the first thing we said our s o and as the morning goes on of course there'll be mohr mohr lights it'll be less and less of an issue the next thing we should do is look at your exposure moat are you what do you use an opportune priority yeah opportune a priority is what I use a lot and that's what many of my colleagues uses well it means that the camera select the aperture that you set and then it automatically finds a corresponding shutter speed that leads to balanced exposures now the other way is to select the shutter speed that you want and you're both methods work clyde well the most important thing is that you keep your eyes so up to a level where we can keep our shutter speed at least at five hundred of a second because you're ever going to see birds flying around you see lions can have jumped into the water and we want to capture that action in a crisp fashion so the next thing I'd like to do is make sure that your white balance has said in a way that matches the circumstances here so it's actually on cloudy cloudy so on you I believe in letting the camera do as much work for me as possible and just as that the use of it the sensitivity of the sensor I feel that the camera's ability to set a proper white balance has become so good that I set it on automatic and then after the fact I can always adjust the color temperature in light room because I should draw files and that is in fact the next thing that we should look at is your are you shooting wrong perfect how about you doug so we're all doing the same thing here now let's look at one other thing here this for nikon cameras this is a fantastic way to see in one view all the main setting so we see aptitude priority mode we see that your frame rate is in c l said it's continues at low speed but maybe we should put it in your high frame right because when something happens you really want to get the most out of the situation shall we do that so goes in c h so let's go back to the info panel the shooting brought files you're still in cloudy mouth you want to shut that little white balance you do that you know and then your otitis and we go to okay then you're your aperture she now over at really high so you're fine I think everything else oh what else is here you have a you haven't exposure compensation setting see that's why it's so good to do this first thing in the morning because once we connect with the animals you're going to forget what the cameras set for so now we're at zero then the last thing is that you're focusing let's let's look at that in a minute but I wanna look at this year because you it looks like you're in spot need a ring about and is somewhat you like is usually what I you know I like matrix metering because again just is that these other settings yeah that it allows the camera to do what it is programmed to do which is to come up with a balanced exposure that is based on algorithms that take in the experience of many photographers in many different situations so unless there's a really specific situation where I'm on a meter for a very small part of my frame I leave the camera made two ex meter okay let's put it on matrix metering how do we do that you do it right here this button here on top and then we rotate its not a matrix me okay how about you doc okay for second this this sounds and looks really tedious but it's actually we're getting down to the rock bottom of how you work with your camera and it's very easy to they'll go off on a field trip and you haven't looked at your camera you're out first thing in the morning and you've inherited settings that really don't apply to the situation you find yourself in so it was kind of interesting to see tao te melissa so before we found the first sea otter our first goal we went through everything and the we had it set up correctly that's true actually it was exactly that I had the camera set up for ah previous shoot that I had done just a couple of days ago so it was good to go through that so a couple of other things I don't know can be I can show it this way you'll see melissa's got a camera strap dangling from her her camera I don't like cameras trap unless I actually need him and she's got her camera and amman apart she doesn't need to strap I take those things off other thing I've really recommend is that you get a better I I peace and an eye cup which really helps it screening out ambient light and another thing this another little gizmo the's superb cameras come with really cheap plastic screens to protect the lcd screen I replace him with a higher great plastic screen that is an aftermarket device that gives you a much sharper image than the's plastic screen say they scratch very easily so let's see what uh what doug is out on automatic white balance yeah perfect and uh so I got a high speed shutter perfect so have you do you have a corresponding info panel readout on your lcd screen just like the simplest the most effective way to check all your settings is to go to the info screen on the back of your camera no matter very have a nikon or a can and they all have that ability and then in one fell swoop you can see everything become cameras have so let's take a look so we have no exposure compensation auto vied ballons who your battery's low honey change yeah I would change that now yes and for the rest it looks like you're ready to go can be tedious to go over all these camera settings but unless you do that you'll run into trouble later on we've got an arsenal of lenses here bliss has got a three hundred two eight nick or fabulous lens and it's very fast so she can shoot in low light she can create really beautifully blurred four grounds and backgrounds but a little heavy that's why she's got her regal in amman a pot ducks got a one hundred of four hundred cannon lens which is very flexible it enabled him to go very quickly from white shots to telephoto shots and doug you can also add a tele converter to death yes right so which gives it even mohr reach but then the lens becomes quite slow I've got night cons equivalent eighty two four hundred love this lens it's very quick very easy to use and quite light so I can shoot it hand held but then explain here because I use the terminology of fast lenses and slow lenses and that refers to the widest aperture a three hundred f two eight is a fast lens because it lets a lot of light in a a short or lens like doug is holding there which is a zoom lens has a vitus temperature four point five or five point six at forest extension so it's a slower lands in the sense that it doesn't let us much light in so you have to compensate for debt made a lower shutter speed about the irs so that each of the students were using can you just explain for gsg learn who's online how will the principal's preferences you have in terms when you're doing your eyes so setting uh this is one of the most remarkable developments in the new camera technology the censors have become so superb that I can use a nikon d for s at a thirty two hundred s o setting your without seeing significant image image degradation with consumer cameras you can't really push things that far but you can safely put your s o even with a consumer camera at four hundred or eight hundred twitch ten years ago was unthinkable thank you and ultimately I tried to get the picture of its um image degradation then I get the picture at all

Class Description

Join world-renowned National Geographic photographer Frans Lanting for two days of instruction and inspiration that will change the way you look at photography and what you can do with your own camera.

With experiences from three decades of work in wild places – from the Amazon to Antarctica, Frans will introduce you to new ways to capture the wonders of the natural world with a camera. His class includes presentations about creative ideas and technical skills, and also features landscape and wildlife photography instruction during special field workshop sessions at prime photographic destinations along the California coast — Frans’s home ground for the past 30 years. The course will conclude with a critique of images submitted by viewers.

If you’re passionate about nature photography and want to improve your own photographic vision, you will be inspired by this unique course from a master photographer and teacher.



I was very excited to be chosen as one of the two students to be in the field shooting for this course. I have been shooting for a long time, but to be in the field with a world renowned nature photographer like Frans Lanting is a bit intimidating to say the least! However when we met that morning at 5:30AM to start shooting, Frans could not have been more charming. He put everyone at ease, and his enthusiasm to go capture fantastic images was infectious. He is an excellent instructor and has a way of sharing his knowledge that is very effective. It was truly inspiring to be involved (in a small way) in creating this course and also being a part of the live studio audience. Thank you again to Frans and the CreativeLive team. I have learned so much in a very short period of time and have been truly inspired by being around all of you. It was an invaluable experience that I will not soon forget!Keep up the great courses – clearly you are filling an important need for many people all over the world. CreativeLive rocks !


In response to the person who made the comment about the attendees not taking a lot of notes: I was an attendee. I believe every person had something to take notes with. I can't speak for anyone else, but for me, when I was told the attendees would be getting the class in our "My classes"; area and I could review it anytime I wanted, I chose to focus on the moment and not take a ton of notes. The Art of Seeing isn't a class chocked full of camera settings and gear guides; it is about figuring about what impact you want to make with your images and then creating those images followed up with examples and then refining your vision - telling a story. If the presentation had been more of a technical how-to, I might have taken more notes in class. I would encourage people not to be distracted by attendees not taking notes and I would hope after 2 days of instruction, if I enjoyed the presenter, that an informational list of his/her work or upcoming events would be posted so I could find out more. Frans Lanting is a fantastic storyteller. His willingness to show his vision and share his wisdom says much about who he is. He is one of the greatest photographers of our time. His desire to be eye to eye with the animals shows us the humanity in them, and in doing that, slowly helps to erase the line between Them and Us, making us all One. Just like Ansel Adams exposed us to and charged us with the knowledge of things we didn't know existed, therefore making us responsible for their safekeeping, Frans reveals animals to us that most of us will never have contact with outside of a zoo. He takes us into their living room, introduces us, enchants us, and then exposes how our actions impact them. But more than that, he doesn't just take us to far off and fantastic places, he looks in his very own community. Not all of us can be a National Geographic photographer, but this class shares with us how we all can make a difference in our own communities. And THAT, well, we are all capable of that.

Robert Felice

This was a very good course, I learned a lot from the lectures, and I also picked up some good tips. Frans spent a bit of time trying to convince us that being a National Geographic photographer is nowhere as glamorous as you imagined it to be. He also emphasized just how much time it takes to capture a great image. I found the Field Trip lessons were useful demonstrations of how to work a scene, The last three lessons were about Frans' LIFE project, which I found interesting, but somewhat incidental to the main subject of the course. The images were breathtaking, however, and perhaps they will inspire me.

Explore More Free Classes


Enjoy the free classes? Get 2000+ more Classes and watch it anytime, anywhere.

Get The Pass