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The Art of Seeing

Lesson 19 of 23

Image Review Part 4


The Art of Seeing

Lesson 19 of 23

Image Review Part 4


Lesson Info

Image Review Part 4

let's look at the first one let me understand here and an alarm I'll go in front of and I feel I need to this is a very interesting image just made by somebody here right gary tell us about it this was an interesting adventure for me I was backpacking through europe for six months and I'd always been photographing landscapes up until this point in time so I went to europe with the intention of visiting parks and doing landscapes but I found myself in these urban environments and in nature I really work a shop for hours at a time in this particular instance I'm trying to learn how to photograph the urban environment and I have been walking around paris all day on dh seeing the eiffel tower but not seeing it and anything that was really unique to me I didn't want the typical tourist snapshot and so I really spent the entire day wandering around and looking at it from different perspectives and then this was the shot that I took it the very end of the day this's this's a perfect illustrat...

ion of the of the notion that even in a place that's been photographed millions of times you can still find a new point of view for you know for a while I couldn't quite figure out what this voice let alone what was going on and now there's a confirmation yes indeed it is one of the world's famous landmarks I think this is what threw me off a tte first because it's separated from the rest of the structure and that is what gives the image its appeal in my opinion you know you're not quite sure what you're looking at and that is often a key ingredient in interesting images it's a new perspective you have a subject quite obviously it's a new perspective and then you executed it technically in a really beautiful manner hello this is taken met at one of my favorite places it's the rifle a bird sanctuary in the british columbia and that little guy is two days old it's a baby sandhill crane following the mother and are you in the is this in an enclosure are they walking around in a while there they're walking around in a while so but they obviously are very trusting if you can get this close to them well you can get close but beware I've been attacked more than once okay well it helps to know those things before I comment on could you do this could you have done that this is lovely it it this's the subject and this is the contacts this is the perspective you know combining something small with something big immediatly give scale on dh you saw that really well on dh technically speaking yeah that is a little bit distracting that's a little bit distracting but in light room you can probably tweak that a little bit I'm not sure that adrienne's gonna have time to do that to you let's see how quick yes yeah you darkened it a little bit you know that's a you know can be dark and a little bit as well but the compositions beautiful the on ly thing that I might have done if I'd been in your position would have been to see if I could have gotten a little lower it looks like you've got a clear view here you know that small subjects that small animals I like to get his lowest possible but maybe the parents would have objected to that but as it isthe very nicely done and this is definitely worth doing again if you can find the same birth again there next spring uh those are resident sandhill cranes and there will be a baby or two every year all right that's your subject for next spring this looks like a place that I've been to a swell this is in joshua tree yes yeah and tell us about it you were were you camping there over you passing through ah I was on a trip with a group of photographers and I have a tendency to shoot into the sun at sense it because I like tio ah but I was looking for an iconic shot or what I think of is an iconic shot of a joshua tree and I had grown up in that area but never photographed it and and I didn't know the belt of venus I didn't know that's what that was called but I really liked the the blue to the kind of salmon pink and then going upto almost almost just light periwinkle blue um in the background and I was I was really happy with it yes I would be too uh you see this effect kind of the pink afterglow of the sound set you on top of that blue twilight especially in desert areas where the sky is really clear and you have and there's still enough light on the land as well you know you have no problems with contrast it happens maybe for fifteen minutes at the end of every day and you are right there in the right spot the on ly thing that I'm wondering about is very you could have me moved yourself a little bit because that one joshua tree is a little bit bunched up with a big one here and by moving to the right or to the left you could have freed that up a little bit more perhaps because you know you want to be careful with what is right behind your main subject but other in that beautiful image I had linebackers of other photographers all flanking me and so I I absolutely agree with your statement but yeah it was jostling for position and this looks like it another image from southern california from the deserts of the southwest that's yours again mine as well all right where was this one they that's the chola gardens tola gardens that was in joshua tree national park as well the sun was setting and it was color and I switched it to black and white one of the things that I did ah I've taken a class with you before one of your workshops and the one thing that you expressed to me was just taking a moment to sit back and see what captures your eye and when I went I loved the highlights and I was trying to figure out how to capture the highlights which the best way to capture the highway highlights was to face west as the sun was beginning to set and to get a little bit low but also because those air going into the san bernardino mountains ah the layering what I really liked was also the layering of the mountains when it's in color it was there was a lot of fog that was happening and so is very distracting but switching it to the black and white really highlighted those shapes that I was turned on to as well a cz I liked the layering of the mountains in the background this is very well scene and very well composed and executed too the perspective is compressed a little bit by your by your longer lens and I like the fact that everything is really crisp from what isthe right here at the bottom of the frame all the way to teo to the distant mountain lines andi but something this sharp and spiky you really want to make sure that everything is tax sharpened needed needs to follow the nature of the subject so everything works here like that this is free allows you to move into the space a little bit and yeah by turning it into a black and white you emphasize the graphic nature of the subject really well done thank you write something different uh yeah I don't shoot a lot of wildlife unfortunately well well not exactly while yeah though he does hot so I feel like I get really distracted by my models and I'm not paying enough attention tio my backgrounds and california has such a beautiful bag drops all around and I really like your insides on how I could make it better but tell us a little bit about this image and what you do you you like to photograph horses with models yeah I generally like to photograph horses but yeah that's my specialities this personalization er a specialized on photography horses and this particular shoot was ah for the girl like I tried to capture the connection but at this point course was not really into connection anymore but I thought that this shot illustrated like my problems with about backgrounds okay that's a minute it sorry for asking questions but it helps me to understand what's going on there is this her horse is there yes it is her horse okay that helps I was trying to figure that out because if you know that is ah there is a spectacular horse in my opinion I'm not a horse connoisseur but look at look at that body and yeah ah very muscular I really like the body language of the horse horse feels really comfortable with the person standing right next to it and you know the person to feels very comfortable in the presence of what is you know a really big mammal so I think you captured out yeah there's a really nice poise I hope you did a lot of different frames and you also have some frames of fur the two of them looking at each other idea because um yes it's nice but it's really about the relationship here and that is something I was trying to figure out what is the relationship you know she puts her hand on the horse but her face is looking at the camera and there seems to be something a little bit yeah ah in conflict with each other do you know what I mean yeah so because I begin to analyze the image mohr I say maybe I would have preferred to see the frame where they're looking at each other but since you have that other frame take another look at that your backgrounds really nice feels a little bit pinched here on the right hand side but you did a really nice thing by keeping the background open using an open aperture and by having your model in the same focal point as the horse you avoid that one of him is out of focus and the and the other one is in focus with the same aperture beautiful portrait yeah I can see why she's smiling huh so let me come back here if I may to see it from a distance uh yeah so this is a uh the dramatic landscape in vall um I'm trying to figure out where it is but I can't quite seat up but that's a material of course but I'm always curious gives me a sense of place to know where I am um this is very atmospheric it's a very dramatic landscape mountain scape that nice sidelight which really emphasizes the texture on the rock on dh and then the atmospherics provided by the by the clouds give it even more shape I like these three lines the line of trees over here it's obviously shot of it of it a longer lens khun b there's no technical details provide are dirty so two hundred millimeter lens five hundred of a second so that's safe you khun do that even handheld although for a scene like this I would certainly recommend that you be you stabilize your camera if it's on a car on this on a fence post if you don't have a tripod nearby because it's essential to have everything as sharp as possible the appetizers at f ate so the photographers on all the right things and executed it beautifully I don't think I would change anything about it ah adrian what do you think um it's ah very high contrast and it's sort of my eyes sort of looking for something to hold on to him except for this tree's toe sort of attract me but I would sort of brighten the shadow see what we can get from this e yeah you can get a little bit more out of it but then you lose that textured nature so uh uh I think it looks it looks fine as it iss you can you can spend time it it to tweak it a little bit but I don't think much needs to happen at all gorgeous image compliment then this is the opposite remember what I talked about earlier you know there are certain situations that cry out to be captured it all kinds of detail you're you're looking for the texture and other situations that cry out to be captured as an interpretation emotion and that's what the photographer did hear the subject is not that dramatic it's and it's a goal of which there are many especially a four mile beach as we saw earlier but by tracking the motion of the goal the photographer did quite a bit to make this an interesting image the shutter speed is writing a magic zone between a thirtieth and ten in a tent of a second that works for birds in flight the shutters the opportunist sixteen which helps to define the background a little bit and that's why you're beginning to see those lines the only thing that bothers me a little bit is thies heavy clusters of black in here and over here but I doubt that we can extract any detail from there to fill it in a little bit no no there's just no detail left there so you can open it up a little bit but then you replace blackfoot false color and that doesn't look so good either so if you really wanted to do that you could clone a little bit from here and put it in there but then you're going beyond what I would consider a documentary photographer documentary photography the highlights could be town down a little bit and I think that's definitely something that'll improve the image quite easily see that because we want to highlight to be at the gull that's the subject so take down the light a little bit and you can see that the goal now begins to stand out more other things he might do but that's subjective is tilted a little bit because you know the lines are not totally horizontal but overall nice image this looks like um could this be body california an abandoned mining town on the eastern side of the sierras if it's not body it's another ghost town summer in the american west I recognize the vegetation there interesting place you gives you a snapshot of time on dh but I'm trying to figure out what the subject what the photographer wanted to express here isn't an image about the cabin is aaron image about this looks like part of an abandoned car or is it about the relationship between the two of them I'm not sure that the photographer had a clear idea about what he or she wanted to do with the situation if it's an image about the relationship then I would have preferred to see the photographer go to the right a little bit so we would have seen a little bit more spatial separation between the two and I'm also not sure what what the main subject is is it the cabin or is it the car or is it or is it something else and all of those decisions can be made but just simply walking around and then you establish your physical point of view that is a crystal ization of the idea you want to express with your camera so on and you know so if you're in a position to go back there do it again this is a good example of oven image that derives its quality from the moment and they're probably some meaning as well because I've it guess that the photographer had a certain relationship with the lady holding that small child here and there's clearly a joy expressed here between the mother in her baby in the photographer picked up on that I like the moment I like that play full body posture I like the bay the feet of the baby that are highlighted by the by the setting sun but this is the kind of situation where you want to do lots of frames because there may be something even better that can emanate from that not sure what that could be but you know I would encourage the photographer to do that again if he or she is in a position to do so uh technically speaking let's take a look here two hundred fiftieth of a second that's fast enough to freezed emotion f ten so there's a good depth of field standard lens on not sure adrian what we could do to improve it here we could pull out more shadow detail but I'm not sure that's necessary because it works very nicely as ah has a silhouette on my minder is barely any details in the shadows yep so it's a much more graphic image on this screen and I kind of like this even better so I could it's so contrast so you need to make a decision is this an image of a recognizable person in which case you may want to pull a little bit more detail out of the shadows or do you want to turn it into an abstraction in which case you could make the blacks a little bit heavier you add a little bit more contrast to the image and I would as as purely as an image I think I would prefer that that's the essence of it all of these images are really worth appreciating that with their appropriate detail in color on dh let me appreciate this year from behind gorgeous light nice shapes um I'm trying to look into the into the shadows here and just as with the previous image you you could make a decision do you want to pull more detail out of the shadows what do you want to leave it as a very graphic pattern adrian let's see what happens here let's see the effect uh brighton shadows yeah so it it is interesting and then could be perhaps pull the the highlights down a little bit that will create mohr definition up here we begin to separate the clouds a little bit from that some there very subjective isn't it I could go in either direction although I probably if we concede in both side by side on dh even if we leave the yard the darker parts alone I've it's still favor filling that in a little bit so we see a little bit more detail in the sky so this could be an instance where if you want to capture all the detail you could do a set of bracketed exposures on dh you're doing them a stop apart so that in some of your frames you get all the highlights captured perfectly and in others you you capture older shadow details and then you can stitch him together in photo shop beautiful image no matter how you process it this looks like some place in florida could be in the everglades where there's a lot of waiting birds at certain times of the year you know I see eee grits I see storks I see all kinds of other birds on dh the photographer is probably standing on the boardwalk I see the rest of a boardwalk over here and captured a whole scene made an eighty millimeter lens just pretty close to a standard perspective uh closed his apertura all the way down which is why everything is sharp from the bird in the foreground to the trees in the distance but um as lovely as the scene iss I feel there's all kinds of creative possibilities that in this image I see patterns here but in the birds I see possibilities in here on it's the beginning of something rather than the end point so we could perhaps let go of the horizon maybe we just crop out that boardwalk too because thie image clearly is not about the boardwalk it's about the birds right so now look at it now over beginning to see something that is a bit more interesting and because it's already sharpe look a d I goes back and forth very easily it feels a little bit cut off here arbitrarily but that's the result of the fact that we're trying to get rid of the boardwalk but I might have done would be to move to the left a little bit so that I could have seeing these birds that that is a background and then you could pull the image up a little bit s o you have inorganic pattern going from the birds to the background and I might have left up indeed in uh in darkness so the image is there they just needed to be extracted a little bit more there's some things that could happen but the color as well on dh now there's definitely some inherent color in here from these reflected clouds so beautiful scene but it it needed more work in the field this looks like a scene from utah on spectacular red rock scenery that higher mountains behind and they uh pretty dramatic sky that cumulus clouds on dh a seventy five millimeter blends almost the same perspective as that previous image so photographer chose not to go white and not to go telephoto and it just like that previous situation it's capped it captures the beauty of the scene but what is the creative point of view I wander here what is the photographer trying to tell us other than that the scene is beautiful and that the vital wish to spend some more time there on technically everything is done bright for hundred of a second fast enough after eleven you know extend your depth of field it looks like the image has been processed a little bit here because this blue is a bit darker identities here it could also be the result of a polarizing filter that is a bit overused but I would think that it comes from processing uh it looks a little bit of regular here fellas over there if it were the result of a polarizing filter if it only be darker on one end and not on the other

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.

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