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Snowkiting Image Review

Lesson 21 from: FAST CLASS: Minimalist Photography

Curtis Jones

Snowkiting Image Review

Lesson 21 from: FAST CLASS: Minimalist Photography

Curtis Jones

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Lesson Info

21. Snowkiting Image Review

Lesson Info

Snowkiting Image Review

So that was snow kiting. And I hope you guys enjoyed seeing some of that. Some of what we do for fun up there in the north and uh we're gonna jump right into Photoshop. I've got a couple of shots from the day opened up and ready to look at and I'm gonna go over briefly. I think it's three or four images that I've selected and I want to talk about some of the techniques and principles of minimalism that we've tried to incorporate into these subjects. It was really fun challenge for me to try to shoot snow kiting. It's something that I've done a lot of in the past, but to try to shoot it in this minimalist style was a fun challenge and I think we got some pretty good stuff. So here's the first photo and to be honest, the first photo of the day is actually my favorite photo. It's the photo that I had in my mind that I've been thinking about, that I wanted to create for the last couple of weeks or months leading up to the shoot. And it's it's kind of nice that it actually came together and...

worked out so well, I mean, it took a lot of planning and a lot of like trips out there to get it right and without the help of my friends and the fighters and the community up there at large, like it never would have happened. So to say that it just happened is is somewhat misleading, but it is really nice sometimes when you have an idea and you can get really close to it. What I think really works well is the fact that it has so much negative space and I really wanted this to carry that weight. I wanted the simple portrait or simple moment captured of a kite er jumping a snowmobile which I think is a really cool moment and I've shot it not this specifically, but I shot jumping caters before and it's very dynamic, very high energy, big action what I like about this because of all that negative space. It really grounds the moment and it looks more graceful and calming than it does like high adrenaline, high octane which is exactly what I was going for. It took many, many jumps by by eric to get this particular move to work out to get it to line up. I mean I have so many images that are offset one way or the other right or left of this um or where he's just not in the perfect sort of facing down, skis down right over the snowmobile. It's almost like he could reach out and say hi to Willie on the machine there. The other thing I really enjoy with this image and the negative space is just that it really highlights scale. You can see that this vista the arctic, it's huge. You can tell that we're just tiny. Um and I really like that. It it really showcases the scale. I mean we all have some bearing for how big a person is, how big a snowmobile is. So you can tell just how big this space is by comparing all those things and the position of your subject in that frame. It was important for me to try to use the telephoto lens here. As I mentioned, I've shot the skiers and skaters and stuff a lot in the past and I've always kind of gravitated towards a wider angle to to kind of get that that action dynamic going. And with this shot, I wanted to slow things down and calm things down. So again, on top of the negative space, it was really important to use a telephoto. So the 70 to 200 I tried a couple different focal lengths and about 70 80 millimeters seemed to do the to the trick, it's difficult at times to get the kite, the kite, er and the snowmobile or whatever it happens to be the environment all in one frame. It's even harder when you're shooting with a telephoto, that's often why I'll use a wide angle lens to get it all in there. But I think that the distance we were from the subject and the fact that we had them up against like a really clean skyline, all of that, I think added up to helping build a nice composition. The final adjustment, I guess that I made with this composition, this frame was to do a black and white conversion and when I was thinking about this image black and white is how I saw it. So when we went out there it was pretty monotone to begin with. It just made the decision to do the black and white conversion all that more simple for me. And so I really leaned into the black and white. You can see here from the history Graham that I am like cutting a little bit into the highlights but that's okay. I was going for high contrast. So the fact that it's a little bit high key like this um, and more graphic uh, is great. It looks to me, it looks more classic and elegant and this is the last shot I wanted to show from the day and it's actually one of the first shots I took. And it was when the guys were just out riding around and kind of getting a feel for the snow and the wind and I was just exploring and looking for frames and this is my friend Will and he's just coming down this little soft slope here. And I noticed that it just looked so great to have this very sort of minimal bleak line of this rocky outcrop coming down from the right to the left corner. And so I got him to do a couple of passes back and forth on this hill and ended up getting him positioned in what looks like this little gate here between rocks with all his lines at the first kite going out this way and it creates this really nice sort of flow of line going down and then back up out to the kite. The only thing that, you know with this shot again, we're talking about color versus black and white, the color in the kite itself. I feel like it's a bit of a distraction. I feel like my eye goes up there and then sort of stays there. So I finally just decided to turn this one to black and white as well. And I think it looks really clean and really simple. It's actually probably my second favorite shot of the day, other than the one, the telephoto of boomer jumping. But I really like this shot. It's just clean and simple and I think it has a classic look.

Ratings and Reviews

Brittany Riggs
 

Lovely and information. The information was relevant and ended up helping a good bit.

Vincent Zuck
 

Very interesting class, in a very unusual location (Arctic), which blended together to give a top notch class. I learned a lot about Minimalism as applied to photography, and Minimalism as applied to post-processing. Curtis is engaging while teaching and demonstrating on site, or back in his "office". I really enjoyed this class. Thank you Curtis.

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