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The Art of Seeing

Lesson 20 of 23

Image Review Part 5


The Art of Seeing

Lesson 20 of 23

Image Review Part 5


Lesson Info

Image Review Part 5

this is another gorgeous situation this looks backlit some place in north america I'm sure looks possibly like cotton boo trees um hundred sixtieth of a second a wide angle lens that surprises me a little bit because it almost looks like a telephoto perspective doesn't it there's no prominent foreground everything looks like it's in the same plane and so it's a bit surprising in that respect on dh I liked the scene but I'm wondering what else could have happened here it seems a little bit neutral that respect yeah it's just little command about the millimeters sometimes light from like if it was a photo from a compact camera or some other kind of sensor sometimes picks up like different numbers so it may be yeah or it may be crops so yeah thank you for pointing that out because indeed there is no such thing as an eleven point eight millimeter lens u s o you're right so it may have been a telephoto perspective so good catch on but let's get back to the to the point of view the photograp...

her and what he or she could have done this well I keep wanting to move in closer in here because this is not where the eye candy is the eye candy is in here so maybe something like this or we let go of the foreground old together maybe pull it up a little bit and uh let's look at it again now it begins to look a bit more interesting uh no distractions from the foreground so shall we leave it at that lover the ritual scene ix today so nineteen millimeter lens was it a nineteen of us is another compact camera that uh it doesn't matter on actually it does a little bit because it helps to know what the photographer and in his or her hands on I would say we are looking at a situation where I wish there was a little bit more detail visible here in the foreground because it's not totally black there some detail visible and want to seymour and I also see some things in here that look a little bit incidental and definitely this should go it should either be in and then you need to expand your view quite a bit mohr into the upper right but I'd say it doesn't really relate to what's going on in here so the best thing we can do is to crop it out and I'm not that crazy about this area here either so maybe instead of pulling detail out we should just make this darker because if we start cropping radically than the loose you know what makes the image so nice which is that bc nice lines here that of course are a reflection of their so let's just fill it in and then it's no longer there it's no longer a distraction and then we can maybe put the corner right there and then it is you look at that shall we look at uh before and after we only have after cropping okay so your arm or things could get tweaked there's a lot of interesting detail in here it's really rich in the middletown's so nice image canada geese this is interesting what's surprising at first impression is that you know you think the geese are flying against the sky and then you see that they're actually landing into yeah a landscape it the trees in the background I like that about it it looks wondering by thes birds are darker and those are maybe they're flying into the light maybe they're coming out of the shadow and moving into the light that is what helps give it depth that's mixed in image a bit more interesting um nice diagonal nice motion if this photograph that a hundred of a second so surprising that the image is as sharp as it is shelter to three hundred millimeter lens five six on I mentioned earlier that if I want to photograph perch in flight and my goal is to make them sharp I would increase the esso and you can go quite a bit from one hundred to five hundred or even a hundred but as it is it's quite nice but maybe we can create an even more dining maur dynamic balance by cropping in from here a little bit and we put the upper oh are the lower left the lower right corner someplace in here uh no we don't want to lose any of the birds and just give it a little bit more space because birds want to be free um let's take a look no what every thinking shall we compare both of them and look at the original right next to it before or after before and after you it doesn't show cropping uh okay so I kind of like this one a bit more than the original shall we do the trick off ofthe flipping it horizontally can you go to photo and I like this better can we show them side by side no uh all the birds move huh but I gauged from your reaction that a number of you were surprised by the body effect so um what else could we do we could create more contrast here more color but let's leave it at this I think this is a very nice image world full of beauty isn't it where are we now summer in the american west I would think on dumb scene photographed at the end of the day that a meta moon rising um thirty five millimeters slight wide angle perspective f ate keeps the scene sharpe half a second so the camera must have been on a tripod and it's beautifully expressed its an open seen perfect reflection I'm not sure whether I could do anything here that would make it better it's uh totally lovely could say well they can create complete symmetry by cropping this so that this would be in the middle but I could live it totally as it is and here's the counterpoint to scenic from new england perhaps this is a classic scene and classically rendered yeah it could be a painting could be a postcard on dumb all of those things it's literally picture perfect isn't it photographer did all the right things definitely on a tripod f stop closed all the way that is what is creating emotion in the water um but other than that I would say I don't wantto kind of belittle the the photographer's work but yeah the I don't see a new original point of view I don't see an attempt to do something more of it to scene on my eye keeps going to the water and wondering better the photographer could have been closer and may make a mord dynamic composition by standing here and having that be the background let's just say it's neutrally expressed with no particular personal point of view a franz if you made it into a vertical and took the left hand side out yeah you could do that as well on quite so much yeah there's and you could do that easily cause a very sharp image and don't get me wrong nothing wrong with creating postcards there's photographer sue based their livelihood on that on dh if you want to photograph postcards you do indeed not want to get very personal because it needs to be recognisable for people so but as a personal expression I would say not so much close up off grasses it looks like the photographer was attracted to the light shining through the grass is is is this the picture of anyone here in the room because I would have liked to have heard mohr from the photographer what it lost that attracted him or her to the situation from looking at it I think the photographer I was a little trigger happy and push the shutter to quickly before things that don't really matter in the end it were removed I see incidental things here incidental things in here and I think these grasses would have benefited from being a little bit farther apart so perhaps by moving to the right they could have been separated and you still get this nice background here let's take a look at the settings ah fifty millimeter lens so it's a standard lens it's not a telephoto it's not a white angle on plenty of light over you're faster than a two thousandth of a second so I like the fact that the that the opportunity is open because it creates a nice smooth background but the perspective is not quite right I think a bit more time there could have yielded a much better image what it would look like a vertical he that would be a starting point for improving the composition you oh god he had a situation like that yeah I probably would have picked a slightly longer lens moderate telephoto it doesn't have to be a macro lens it could be you know a hundred or two hundred millimeter telephoto lens instead of a standard lens because standard lends you have a hard time keeping their background very blurry without seeing things on top or at the bottom of the image we've got a lot of lakes in in this session here more gorgeous color but this is stopped in the sight of the image and you know what is the subject you wonder is the subject the forest and the reflections in the lake or does that both play a role in it there's the doc play a role in it I don't see a really clear decision on the part of the photographer and uh so we could crop the boat out all together and then we would have a very nice scenic uh we can't pull more to both talking um but I could have imagined we know what that's going to look like um I could have imagined a person standing on that boat docked and it would have animated the scene it would be something very different right in there so needs more thinking before the shutter is pushed I think sometimes we get so excited about seeing something that people will take try to take it all when it isn't doesn't make a great image sure happens all the time I do that too I don't stand in front of every situation methodically going through what is my subject what is my perspective I've got that trigger finger like everybody else but you know when you're in front of really interesting situations and you feel there's a creative possibility that is when you really want to turn things over so they're snapshots in this photographs so yes and also to add to that I think what I'm learning from you these last few days is the time it takes to work through from that first snapshot you could maybe take the first few snapshots but actually you spend the time looking at it from different points of view and developing it for a couple more hours yeah and it's what makes them the difference you've thinking back too that video from the field trip that we watched together you could hear me talk and I was talking all the time about the different things that were going on before I was even taking pictures two all right let's take a look at this uh our spray great burt and the photographer of us pretty close because he only used a or could be a she it was only a two hundred millimeter lens so that's pretty cool it doesn't happen every day that you can get that close to an all spray ah shutter speed was appropriate the uh the aperture of us pretty open on dh there's no distractions in the background on the ice so it was really loud is only eighty so I wonder what what's going on below the bird because this seems obviously this has been cropped but this feels a little pinched here to bottom unless there was something really ugly right below it I would have preferred to see a little bit more space there and if nevermore sky on the left I might have push the whole composition a little bit more to the right so that the birds would have been a little bit more out of the center but you know those air just kind of speculative questions because we don't know the context polls of the bird is nice I like the fact that he's looking back so he's looking into the space rather than out towards the end of the frame yeah a tenth of a second and f fourteen moderate telephoto I s r a one hundred beautiful scene looks like a country of road or maybe somebody's private driveway I see the trees are where are we can't quite figure it out but not say material what's interesting in the images that they have a really nice tone ality between grass that is in shadow and it's reflecting a little bit of the blue of the sky and then we have the warm light that comes from the sun and that really works well together green and blue is a lovely combination the sun is is speaking through and because the apertures closed all the way down to f fourteen you get that kind of that start that some burst effect that the sore earlier in other images as well so the photographer moved kind of perhaps very deliberately or maybe it was a lucky moment to take advantage of that opportunity as a composition I wished that this curve was included because it goes out of the frame and then it comes back again so I might have chosen to I to go to the right and to leave the road out altogether or gone to the left and included mohr of the road it seems to be in between so the final decision was not made yet that respect to what you know what started the image in the in the foreground technically speaking it's quite well executed I'm not sure adrian but if we could do much more of it it um you know the highlights are all in view looks like a very nice history graham here so in that respect I would leave it alone hard do we have any details here uh nothing so we'll have to guess at that this is a I'm just speaking at the credit this looks like it's someone from eastern europe perhaps in russia and it does indeed look like a temper like a temperate forest in the autumn um gorgeous color and you really feel you you're walking into a tunnel there hissed a gram is okay it's not clipped up not clipped off in highlights so all the detail is there I like the fact that we're going from dark to light and that kind of sent us your attention even mohr but I'm wondering if we could crop it a little bit from the top and crumpet a little bit from the bottom as well let's see what happens maybe move it move it down a little bit more move it in the other direction a little bit because I'd rather see that three ground it to my eye it begins to work a little better another thing we could do is enhance the symmetry which adds to the serenity if we would crop in a little bit from the right the vit get rid of that a tree and then we have a better balance here now we can leave this alone andre maybe just pull this in just to hear okay just like that now let's see I'm beginning to like this now let's comparative it he can we do that or have we lost the race is there no way we can appreciate it so slight adjustment and it goes closer to what I think is the ultimate expression all right let's see the next one here we have boy you were really strong on scene ix this afternoon I don't know if I recognize that spot beautiful waterfall delighting is really helping the situation um it's shrouded in clouds so you have a soft light no contrast problems on eight of a second photographer must staff had the camera on a tripod standard lends seven point one text technically beautifully executed but I wish that that water would be flowing freely instead of going through that tree now I have no idea but if the photographer could have moved off to the left but that's what I would have tried to do and beyond that what do you think adrian could we improve it color of eyes contrast weiss not my champ no I like it this way yeah I would leave it at why so cropped the bottoms yeah yeah but the way we want to see where the water ends up now just that little move to the left I would have done it where rv now is this a giant formation somewhere in the sahara or is it something much smaller that has been made to look really large by death by the lens giveaway sixty millimeter very wide angle lens and your you can really play with your perspectives you know I could make a bullfrog look like a crocodile when I apply lens like that so I think the photographer did well meet that lens close the aperture all the way down depth of field is expressed all the way from foreground to background but I think I might have done a little bit more of it a drama of the scenery um there is no real foreground no deliberate decision's been made about that what do you think could have happened if the photographer it moves a little bit to the left and moved a little bit closer and then this would have really loomed as um massive structure in the foreground and then then this would have stretched away in the distance and it would've de emphasized the rubble that is lying there because that rubble really doesn't do much for the composition right what is interesting is this the sky and that expanse yes melissa I'm just wondering what it would look like in black and white that could be an interesting thing is oh yeah contract that's already monochromatic yeah yes and they can make it much more dramatic by separating the white from the from the background color of the sky you could go all the way with contrast especially when you converted to a black and white see it begins to get a little bit more character but this bottle for me because it doesn't have anything to do but this sort out even though clearly you know the source of this stuff I was in that formation there right I think this is the same photographer who made that other scene and uh any technical details up there not okay we don't need him because I think we can all appreciate that this is a not just a beautiful scene but also a gorgeous photograph on amazing light I can't even speculate about what's going on there looks like it's a thin mist with a sound setting behind it um what makes it striking is delight first of all and then the really strong patterns of the trees but it's disrupted a little bit by this gnarly tree to the right so I would suggest that we get rid of it and deadly crop into around here and then we can leave it like that on dh now there is just one pattern and nothing that disrupt it you know we could pull out more detail out of the shadows but I'm not sure that that is necessary because they really want to appreciate the simplicity of what's going on here beautiful I can speculate a little bit about it was going on there but if it's a russian author which like it looks like it's russian author ah but in the middle of russia there quite a few uh forest fires and after those force fires there's a lot of smog around so it just looks like a lot of the images often those fires that's a that's a that's an interesting suggestion I didn't want to go there I thought it was a little bit too speculative if to goto but indeed it it almost looks too orange to be a normal sunset doesn't it so you may well be right well maybe we can get the confirmation from the photographer at either way no matter what the source of it wass it's ah it's a gorgeous image yeah all right from blood red too jade green any details here adrian another secret uh but I think we can guess at what's going on here this is the northern lights and express beautifully on dh you know we looked at an image in our van in our other in our other critic that showed norther light but there was an incidental composition with a house and some three he's here to photographer was able to walk out and and captured the northern lights had an appropriate foreground and nothing that this distracting so me appreciate it from here it looks like the image was processed a little bit um and it's hard to know whether it's been over process because I don't know what the original situation is but I've seen a lot of images recently where photographers really overdid things your northern lights already fantastic so you don't have to completely saturated color but beautifully done and more atmospherics any details here so I've it maybe you're not to deny the photographer of the signature but maybe crop it in from the yeah the signature will stay in crop it in from the lower left a little bit let's create a little bit more impact yeah it would go away but that doesn't matter I just want oh yeah just create a little bit more impact by coming closer to this amazing lightning effect there is a device on the market by the way that ah that'll help you make photographs of lightning on an accessory that you can put in a hot shoe of your camera that'll trigger an exposure and there's a lightning flash going on and that takes a lot of the guesswork out of it because if you stand there video camera on the tripod and you're a leash in how fast it goes and usually you're too late I liked us a little better on dh I wouldn't go any further of it creating contrast because we don't want to lose the delicate midtown's there beautiful this is another beautiful landscape wei have details okay but I would have stepped into it I would have taken my shoes off and just walk straight into the water and gotten close to it because the foreground doesn't really contribute anything to the image the interesting stuff was all happening here look at that reflected light here you know the cool blues and then the warm yellows and I think somewhere in here or maybe even in there is where I would've put my camera and then I would have worked if it the falling water you know all these different terraces instead of staying a bit farther back photographer clicked too soon any details here okay on these look like blackbirds perhaps um which mass by the thousands in late summer and full before they migrate ah spectacular pattern here but this is incidental so let's see if we can get rid of it we're losing a little bit here to bottom but regaining a lot at the top so maybe just get rid of this altogether okay okay let's take a look now now it's very graphic I don't know if there's any color left in it but we can switch that off and make it even more graphic there's another image in here because you know I find that a little bit distracting it's all about the pattern of the birth in my opinion but you know now we are maybe stretching the image a bit too much wei mei loo sharpness but uh that's where my mine's I would've gone and that's where I would've aimed my uh my camera a lot of waterfalls ham so and uh I hope I'm not repeating myself but justice with that other scenic that that we saw before my I've wants to go in there I'm gonna put my camera right here on the other side of that log look at this this eddie here that cries out to become a foreground and instead we're looking at something static instead of connecting this motion of the water without falling water so that is where I would have put the composition and I might have taking that out as well let's just to raise this quickly and lower death as well you're no one now we're not distracted at least less l all right barbara you were just uh say a big thank you to adrian people create saying well done adrian seems to anticipated frances moves well and truly in for full of fully on top of it thank you so could I make a comment to help that the photographers who contributed these images ah don't think that I made callous comments about him it's not easy to to comment about somebody's image when you don't know what the situation was it's easier for me to say you know two steps to the left but the photographer might have tumbled into a curve ass there so I'm just making things up based on what I perceive here but I hope that the comments have had some some value to the people who contributed in images and to everybody else who can go out and emulate it

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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