Skip to main content

One Hour Photo - Ian Shive

Lesson 120 from: Fundamentals of Photography 2016

John Greengo

One Hour Photo - Ian Shive

Lesson 120 from: Fundamentals of Photography 2016

John Greengo

buy this class


Sale Ends Soon!

starting under


Unlock this classplus 2200+ more >

Lesson Info

120. One Hour Photo - Ian Shive


Class Trailer

Class Introduction


Welcome to Photography


Camera Types Overview


Viewing Systems


Viewing Systems Q&A


Lens Systems


Shutter Systems


Shutter Speeds


Choosing a Shutter Speed


Shutter Speeds for Handholding


Shutter Speed Pop Quiz


Camera Settings


General Camera Q&A


Sensor Sizes: The Basics


Sensor Sizes: Compared






Sensor Q&A


Focal Length: Overview


Focal Length: Angle of View


Wide Angle Lenses


Telephoto Lenses


Angle of View Q&A


Fish Eye Lenses


Tilt & Shift Lenses


Subject Zone


Lens Speed


Aperture Basics


Depth of Field


Aperture Pop Quiz


Lens Quality


Photo Equipment Life Cycle


Light Meter Basics




Histogram Pop Quiz and Q&A


Dynamic Range


Exposure Modes


Manual Exposure


Sunny 16 Rule


Exposure Bracketing


Exposure Values


Exposure Pop Quiz


Focus Overview


Focusing Systems


Autofocus Controls


Focus Points


Autofocusing on Subjects


Manual Focus


Digital Focusing Assistance


Focus Options: DSLR and Mirrorless


Shutter Speeds for Sharpness and DoF


Depth of Field Pop Quiz


Depth of Field Camera Features


Lens Sharpness


Camera Movement


Handheld and Tripod Focusing


Advanced Techniques


Hyperfocal Distance


Hyperfocal Quiz and Focusing Formula


Micro adjust and AF Fine Tune


Focus Stacking and Post Sharpening


Focus Problem Pop Quiz


The Gadget Bag: Camera Accessories


The Gadget Bag: Lens Accessories


The Gadget Bag: Neutral Density Filter


The Gadget Bag: Lens Hood and Teleconverters


The Gadget Bag: Lens Adapters


The Gadget Bag: Lens Cleaning Supplies


The Gadget Bag: Macro Lenses and Accessories


The Gadget Bag: Flash and Lighting


The Gadget Bag: Tripods and Accessories


The Gadget Bag: Custom Cases


10 Thoughts on Being a Photographer


Direct Sunlight


Indirect Sunlight


Sunrise and Sunset


Cloud Light


Golden Hour


Light Pop Quiz


Light Management


Artificial Light




Off-Camera Flash


Advanced Flash Techniques


Editing Overview


Editing Set-up


Importing Images


Best Use of Files and Folders




Develop: Fixing in Lightroom


Develop: Treating Your Images


Develop: Optimizing in Lightroom


Art of Editing Q&A


Composition Overview


Photographic Intrusions


Mystery and Working the Scene


Point of View


Better Backgrounds


Unique Perspective


Angle of View


Subject Placement


Subject Placement Q&A




Multishot Techniques




Human Vision vs The Camera


Visual Perception


Visual Balance Test


Visual Drama


Elements of Design


The Photographic Process


Working the Shot


The Moment


One Hour Photo - Colby Brown


One Hour Photo - John Keatley


One Hour Photo - Art Wolfe


One Hour Photo - Rocco Ancora


One Hour Photo - Mike Hagen


One Hour Photo - Lisa Carney


One Hour Photo - Ian Shive


One Hour Photo - Sandra Coan


One Hour Photo - Daniel Gregory


One Hour Photo - Scott Robert Lim


Lesson Info

One Hour Photo - Ian Shive

Hello, welcome everybody to One Hour Photo. My name is John Greengo. We have another great episode for you this month here. What we're gonna be doing as always. We're gonna start off wight a few of your questions. And it seems this time around a lot of you have questions on what camera to get. So I'm going to see if I can give you some advice on finding the perfect camera for what your needs are. Secondly, we have Ian Shive in the house and he is a great outdoor landscape photographer and he's been making the transition to motion video and film and we're gonna want to talk about that, his classes that he has at Creative Live and he's brought in some photographs which will always bring up a lot of things to talk about. So we're going to have a good time with Ian here a little bit later on and then finally Ian and I are going to take a look at some of your photographs in our image review section. We have a few images that we want to take a look at and we're gonna see what we like, what w...

e don't like and maybe what you can do to improve those types of images. So, lots of fun stuff for you to learn a little bit more about photography and learn about the great Creative Live instructor, Ian Shive. All right, so let's go ahead and get started with the class and one thing I wanna kinda get you up to news is we have a new page that you can go to for all of the interviews and all of the one hour photos here and so you can find this at Creative Live, I find it easiest to just go in the search bar and search for one hour photo and then you can pull up all of these and these are all free and so you can download and watch these any time you want, so if you want to type in the long link, yeah, that's fine and that's at the bottom oi the screen there for ya. All right, next up, we wanna do your photography questions here and so as I said, a lot of you have questions on cameras, so let's see how I can help you out in this regard. Now, if you do want to ask questions, the way that you can do this is through our Facebook page, the Creative Live Creative Photography Challenge Group which is actually about photographic challenges that the Creative Live members are going to give you to go out, shoot, and ask to see your photos. But in between all of that, feel free to ask your questions. I will go in there and kind of search for people who have questions about various photography things that I think I can help you out with. And that's where I'm getting my questions, so, if you want a fun challenge or you want to ask questions, just log onto Facebook and type in Creative Photography Challenge Group with Creative Live and you will find that page. All right, our first question is from Frederick Wheeler, he asks, I'm looking for a point and shoot camera for my daughter, something better than an iPhone, that is good to hear to start with, I'm leaning towards the Sony Cyber-shot DSC RX100 Mark III or maybe the Canon Powershot G7 X Mark II, any thoughts? Okay, first off, I used to work in a camera store many years ago and keeping up with the point and shoots was very difficult because they kept changing so quickly and I mostly concentrate on cameras with interchangeable lenses. I do happen to know what these two are but very quickly, they change over very, very fast. And so the things you want to think about when you are buying a point and shoot, whether it's now or probably 10 years, 20 years into the future. Is the first thing that you want to be aware of is the sensor size on that point and shoot camera. Is it small or large and you can probably get the person at the camera store or you'll have to do a little research online or you can watch one of my classes about sensor sizes and make sure that you're getting a camera that has a sensor size that is reasonably large. There is a trade off. The larger the image size, generally the better image quality that you're gonna get with the camera. But it does make the camera bigger and more expensive. And there is a lot of different choices that you can get out there from probably 100 bucks to well over $1000, for just a point and shoot camera. And so, for these particular camera's, Sony has been doing a very good job with their Cyber-shot, the RX100 series. And they've done also something kind of weird is they had a version one, two, three, four, and they're up to five at the latest, right now. And they've kept all the old ones around and they just lower them by about 100 bucks every year. And so all of the RX100's are very good camera's and the three, I forget the difference, I don't know what the difference is between the three and the four and the five, they made some minor adjustments there and so this one's kind of a pretty good value, I would say at this point. Very good image quality. The GX7 from Canon. Canon in my mind has made some of the best point and shoots out there. They feel like they're very much in concert with their SOR camera's, their menu systems, and so forth. I found that the Nikon point and shoot seems to be made by a different company than the Nikon SLR's. They're just very different. Some people like them. But Canon does have a larger size sensor in the GX7 so I know that's a good camera. And they're both going to give you really good image quality. I think for the point and shoot, people are getting into point and shoot's because they're small in size and there's going to be a difference in size between these two. I believe the G7X might be a little bit larger, I could be wrong on that cause I don't pay 100 percent attention to it. But it's a matter of getting a camera that you're gonna be happy carrying around with, that has a reasonable size, sensor, and has the zoom range that's appropriate to what you wanna do. And for most people, I'm looking for an equivalent of around 28 to 85 in focal length and so if you have a lens that does that that's good for a basic point and shoot. If you're taking it out on safari with wild animals, you're gonna need something much larger and much different. So both of those are really good. I don't think it's gonna be a world of difference between the two of them. Those are my thoughts on choosing a point and shoot camera. Next up, this is from Anthony D'Souza. I'm 18 years old and I've chosen to pursue photography as a career. It's my passion and I love taking photos. Great, I love to hear that, that's pretty much exactly when I got started and exactly how I felt. I've been suing my phone but I would like to get a DSLR camera. My question is, what DSLR camera would you recommend to get as my first camera? Now you do mention here, specifically DLSR. Now we do also have mirrorless cameras, which do not fit in this category, that may be really good cameras. And when I decided I wanted to get into photography and I needed to get my first camera. What I did was I went to my photo instructor and I asked them, what do most professional photographers shoot, because that told me what was probably good on the market and what was really common, if I was to be a part of a staff of photographers that used cool equipment and at that time, it was Nikon. And now it is Nikon and Canon are kind of the predominant main sources of professional cameras out there. Don't hate on me Sony fanboys. Sony makes some great cameras, Fuji makes some great cameras, so does Olympus, and yes, the list goes on and on and on. The safest choice to make is probably something with a Canon or a Nikon lens system because you're going to get into a system that has lots of different bodies that you can grow into, lots of different lenses that you can access. And so what I did was I basically purchased the cheapest body I could get into because that was all I could afford when I got into my original Nikon system. And so, just looking at anything in the Canon or Nikon line is going to be a safe and easy choice. And I know that some of you are out there who just wanna argue with me and say, but Sony or Fuji has a better value for some particular thing and they do make some great cameras and if you know exactly what you're getting into and those systems offer exactly what you want going down the road. It is a great system. I highly recommend it. I own many of those cameras. But when you're 18 and you don't know the direction that you're gonna go, I mean, you could be a nature landscape photographer, you could be a portrait, you could be a fashion photographer, you could be doing architectural photography. And if you want all of those avenues open to you, Canon and Nikon are the two that are going to give you the most open doors when it comes to the options in camera equipment. And you can buy a used camera too. I'm a fan of used cameras if it's clean and the sensor is, does not have any problems. And so that's what I'd look at if I was starting my career over in photography. All right, next up from Mabel Tan. Hi John, I bought your 5D, I bought your class on the 5D Mark IV, but I couldn't figure out why my shutter speed is so slow and even I turn it, and even when I turn it to high speed continuous mode, it took about more than two seconds to write a file. Please help me. All right, I wish I had your camera to see exactly what's going on because there's potentially a couple of things. You might have our camera set in aperture priority and it's just giving you a two second shutter speed. You can have your camera set in shutter priority which is TD on that little mode dial on the top. And you could be accidentally selecting the two or four second shutter speed. But what I suspect is going on is that maybe you have your camera set to long exposure noise reduction and I believe this is in the menu section under shooting, I forget which page its on but look for something called long exposure noise reduction. And what happens in this case is the camera will shoot a photo and then it will spend some time processing that photo, saving it to the memory card and while it's going through that processing, you can't shoot another photo. Now, according to the test that I have done, I have found that this long exposure noise reduction does virtually no good at all. And I don't see it really reducing noise. I really don't see noise being a problem in the photos to start with. And so I would look for that feature and I would turn it off cause I suspect that's what's causing the camera to really slow down in the writing of the file. The other simpler options is that you just happen to have a slower shutter speed set, but take a look at that long exposure noise reduction. And I have found what I said about that not being very effective. I have found that not very effective on all brands of cameras out there. It's something that you may want to test if you wanna make sure that it works for you but in general, I found that it's not real effective. All right, from Margaret Nicosia. I have a Canon 7D Mark II and I have gotten so much clipping while out on my photos both inside and in, I think they did say lightroom. What is causing it? And so what clipping is is when the white areas of a particular photograph becomes so bright they don't offer any detail at all. And it's one of the things that you generally don't want in most photos is the large areas of overexposed pixels. So there's a couple of things that maybe wrong or you may be misinterpreting. When you look at your camera, the back screen of your camera, is it showing you the absolute full dynamic range of what your image is going to offer? And so if it looks right on there, it may or may not be right in the final image. That simplified view doesn't give you all the detail that you want. A lot of cameras will have a highlight alert which will blink over exposed pixels at you. And that's to warn you that there's an area of overexposure and you need to change your exposure in some way. And that's a good thing to look at if you don't wanna overexpose your images. One thing to keep in mind is that when your camera starts showing you that information, it is based off of a jpeg, not the raw image and so that's kind of a whole other issue. Are you shooting JPEG or are you shooting raw? If you're shooting raw, there's a good chance that you're gonna get a fair mid of that or all of that information back. And so first off, if you don't want to blow out those light areas, shoot raw, so that you get the whitest latitude possible. If you get a little bit of clipping information in your camera that says that you have a little bit of area overexposed, I wouldn't worry about I too much to start with, overriding all of that, there are sometimes when we shoot photos that have very bright sources of light or areas that are extremely bright. So just because there is clipping in a photograph doesn't mean that there's anything wrong per se, it depends on each photograph in and of itself. So once you do get your image into some sort of post production software, I use lightroom myself, there is often little sliders or adjustments that you can use to control the brightness levels and you can kind of draw down that brightness on that. And so there's a number of reasons that this could be happening and hopefully those ideas will get you looking in the right spot to either address those issues or to see how bad they are. Very good question though. All right, next question is from Catalina Parra. Hi John, I'm checking your class "Fuji X-T10 Fast Start" on Creative Live and would like to know if this course suitable or could work also could work for a Fuji X-T20 camera as a fast start class, thanks? Okay folks, thanks, I do select these questions and every once in awhile I will select a softball question for me to answer and so yes, there is a class for the X-T20. You can do a search on the Creative Live website for the X-T20. You should find a course page for that where you can find and purchase that class and so, let me address one other issue, is that every once in awhile I just don't have time to get to every camera on the market. And so if there is a camera that is close to your camera, my class is probably somewhere between 80 and 90 percent relevant to your camera. If it's just one generation off or just a very similar model to it. Amd that's because most of the menu items in these cameras of the same brand are almost exactly the same, they do change features here and there and they move some buttons around and all. And so I just like to make a new class, just to make it very specific for individual cameras. But if you're just one generation off, as I say, you're probably 80 to 90 percent gonna be up to speed on all the features of that particular camera. So thanks a lot for those questions. Keep them coming in. If you do want to ask a question, you can go to the Facebook page, the Creative Live Creative Photography Challenge Group, ask your questions in there. I will also check my own Facebook page so you an look under John Greengo Photography on Facebook and I will take a look for your questions that you have coming in there and I might throw those into the next version of One Hour Photo. So thanks very much for those questions. All right, next up, it is time for our special guest, Ian Shive is a great nature and landscape photographer. He is a published author, and he has recently been making a transition from stills to video and motion which I think is very exciting. And so I'd like to introduce Ian Shive. Come on out, Ian. Great to have you here. Thanks a lot for being a part of this. Thanks, John. I appreciate it. You've been doing some great work for awhile. You've had a few classes here at Creative Live. Yeah. And let's sit down and chat about what you've been doing and so you, I remember you put down a class a couple of years ago on outdoor photography. That's right. We actually did a critique. That's right, we did. It's been awhile. So what have you been up to since then? Well, as you mentioned, you know that transition from stills to motion has really preoccupied most of my time. It's not a simple thing. I don't think people realize like, oh, I can just switch right over and there's such a range of options, just like still photography. You know, you could be somebody who just pursues it as a hobby, you could be shooting professionally or it could be like yourself, first traveling all over the world and different continents and scouting out workshops, it's the same thing with motion, there's such a range of options. You could be producing a YouTube video that may be very simple all the way up to the large screen and so for me, it's been a bit of a journey, in many ways relearning aspects of my career. So let me go back a little bit. When did you first get into still photography? Well, you know I grew up as a son of a photographer. Okay. So photography has been a part of my life in some way and pretty much from day one, yeah. I've got my pictures of me with a camera around my neck as a toddler, so it's always been a part of it. I mean I really started to pursue it in earnest when I left for college, so I grew up in New Jersey, I went to Montana. I was just blown away by the big sky. Yeah. I go, okay, I've got to show my friends back home and in New England and you know in Jersey and everywhere else. This is what this is about. And really that's when the path began, so. That is, and so when did you start shooting video? Um, you know, I really, I've always had this desire and interest to be in the motion picture industry and I like the production side. The thing I didn't like really, was the mainstream motion picture industry. (laughing) I like nature. I like photography. I love being outdoors. I really didn't know how all those things really could fit. You know, how truly could I express those stories that were important to me? So I'd say again, I started really honing the visual craft as a still photographer. And that applies just as well, almost even better I think, in motion if you have that foundation as a still photographer, but I would say it's been a process that began gradually, just like my photography did. Probably not all that long ago in the big scheme of things, I'd say maybe about seven or eight years ago I really started to think about, could I have a career as a director or as a cinematographer or something like that? Yeah, cause that's not long after video started really becoming put into all the different cameras out there. That's right. And now it's in all the cameras. Yes. And as someone who teaches classes on cameras, I find this, there's a struggle because it shoots stills. Yep. But it does shoot video. Yep. Does that make you a director? No, it doesn't. (laughing) Well it depends. Maybe, maybe, maybe, maybe you think so. You know, and that is a struggle. I mean, that has been the hardest piece of it because if you enjoy photography and you're passionate about it and you love doing stills, how do you suddenly say, in an incredible moment outdoors, time to put that camera down or flip the switch and make a motion clip? How do you say I want one over the other? And a lot of times, especially nature photography, you know, if we were in a movie studio, you could say, cut, have the actors do the scene again and you get a second shot. But when, you were telling me a story about your trip to Africa recently and how it was this incredible moment. You might only have one chance to get that incredible moment. Yeah. And you have to pick whether you feel like this is part of my motion story or this is part of my still story and it's still a struggle to this day for me. Yeah, yeah, I mean, I, on this recent trip we were at this pool of hippos and for that moment I decided I wanted to shoot some video. And something really dramatic happened and right in the middle of the video I'm like, I would rather be taking still photos but I'm shooting video and I just gotta go with it. And I find it very difficult to go back and forth between the two because there's kind of a different mindset and so, you know, photography is all about the moment. Yes. The one particular thing and if you take a good photograph of almost anything, it's useful in some way. It tells the whole story. A great photograph tells the whole story. You know, the adage of a pictures worth a thousand words. You know, whereas a film, you really need like a thousand clips a narrator voice over the music, and some sound design, right? Yeah. So, yeah. And so now, when you have these great video capability in a camera and you record five seconds of great nature video, just for our purposes here, that doesn't have a lot of purpose. No. You've gotta have a bigger story. That's right. And so, tell me about these bigger stories that you're working on. Yeah, I'm really excited to be doing some of the things I've been on. So as I continue this journey in the motion side. Yeah, I started with short films. Started documenting. I love oceans in general. I've always been passionate about coral and just so many different challenges with coral and coral reefs and oceans in general. And so I began there by telling these short little clips and now, cut to all these years later I'm working on a giant screen, film that will be released on IMAX screens called, Hidden Pacific. And another film, On Midway Atoll, and it's been incredible because I've gotten to travel to some of the worlds most remote islands. Some of these places I step foot on are literally the size of the room we're in right now. Wow. I mean, they're tiny. You walk across them, you see across them. You're like, that's where it ends. And so, creatively, so challenging. You know, when you're working in remote locations and you're, so I'm shooting stills as well. We have a small crew. You know, there's only me and maybe two or three other people at the most. You really have to figure out how to make it work. How do you creatively tell the story of these tiny, tiny places that play such pivotal roles on a global landscape? How do yo connect them to people back home, in the States or around the world. Really challenging, but really rewarding at the same time. So this is definitely a much bigger project than like, you've done classes here, you've done books and the articles, probably crazy, and you know, that was probably a lot you and maybe a few other assistants and others, what does the team look like for a project like this? Well, I mean on Midway alone I think there's over 70 people credited. You know and it's a great question, I mean, cause the scope and scale of motion is very different from stills as well. It's a great point. It might work with one or two other people in the field. You might have an editor you work very closely with as a still photographer who's looking at your work and giving you feedback, and maybe keeping you on track. But when it comes to motion, you're probably, especially something that's like, our end product will be 40 minutes. I'm in my 19th month on the 40 minute project. So, you know, if you're working 19 months on a still project, it better be an incredible passion and a very large book. Unless you're covering a huge topic of course, over time, but to work on one 40 minute story for that long, with that many people, it's a whole new way of thinking. Yeah, and it's fun taking on those large projects. When I, I was telling you I got a video camera when I graduated from college, and this was back in the old handicam days, and I didn't know anything, I didn't take any classes or anything, but I just shot video and one of the things I learned is that, okay, if you're going to have one minute of video, you need to spend at least an hour just to have something that like is watchable in a very casual way. But if you spent 10 hours, okay, then it gets pretty refined and you're talking on the level of probably spending a 1,000 or 10,000 hours per minute. And having somebody else spend that time, too. Yeah. You know, as a still photographer, we can go through and do an edit of our work and figure out, here's how I'm going to tell that story and here's maybe even the order that story will be told in. You come back with hours and hours of clips and you know, oh, I left the camera on and it ran for 20 minutes and somebody's got to figure out if that really was the case or not. And you typically, I'd say one of the biggest changes is, you're not able to always tell that story yourself. You're not sitting in the editing bay cutting it together. You know, I work with somebody who's able to do that and tell that story, and I just don't have the patience for it. You know, part of the reason I love still photography to begin with is I've always had this urge to just get that story, move on, try different scenes, try different situation. You know, that energy was always really moving forward. Sitting in a booth all day and just clicking through footage. Not my patience, not my style. But you know, I am still passionate about seeing the story come together, so, that's something else that really has been hard to get used to. Now, you probably also have to give up a lot of control. I mean, you're not fine-tuning, could this edit be a half second longer and this would be a half second shorter? And can we use that other clip here and there's only so many of those that you can go into probably. It's true. It may be your project but it's just like, okay that's getting me-- Yeah. How do you deal with that? Well, it's a creative team and so I think the best way to deal with that is to just respect people and their process and know like, if this is a composer who's doing a song like, even working, so we had a composer do the Midway film and he scored the entire thing from beginning to end. You know, I'm actually, most people don't know this about me, I'm a classically trained musician so the same time I was growing up, I learned to play piano, I took lessons for 12 or 13 years. I did recitals so I feel like I have a very strong connection to music. You have to go into it and say, let this guy do his job. You know, let this woman do her job. Let these people who have their own creative passion, because it's really an ensemble. Motion is about having a team of people with a set of skills that can tell that, it's an orchestration, they tell that whole story together and you have to allow hem to express that creative vision. Now, if you're directing the film, you'd be able to say, here's the direction we're going. Mm-hmm. Here's the end result I would like to have. But how you go and how you get there, that's what we're bringing you onto. So it's a change of mind but I think you have to just step back and allow people to do what they do. Yeah, well I'd be interested in hearing more about what's going on in the field, you know, the structure of it because like, I'm a big fan of movies. There's the director who describes the entire direction, but then there's a director of photography who's making a lot of specific visual choices. Right. But then there's the actual camera operator who actually fine-tunes and says, okay, I think we need to do this little thing with this and so, what are you doing, what are some of the other people doing? What does it look like out in the field? Yeah, so I mean, our team is actually pretty small in the field. I wish we had camera operators and all kinds of things, so typically for us, because we're doing both land and underwater ecosystems and showing how they tie together, there's an underwater team and there's a land team. I'm part of the land team but I'm directing the project so, I'm definitely involved in and reviewing footage at the end of the day from the underwater team, but oftentimes I'm not there and I'm not in the water so I've got a cinematographer who's in there with the housing that is larger than this table and takes two people to get into the water. It's a beast. Sounds like a submarine itself. It looks like a submarine. It's this giant black long box with a lot of buttons and dials and buoyancy and vacuum pump, all kinds of other really complicated things. And he usually finds a nice safe place where there's no dust or anything else. You should give him a shout out. His name is James Scott, the man is incredibly patient, he's very, very talented. But that's how it typically works because we're going to places. I mean if we have the luxury of going somewhere where we can drive, which I have yet to do, I'd love that opportunity. Then yeah, I would have an assistant camera and maybe a tech, but for the most part, you're going to have me operating a camera on land, you're going to have him operating a camera in the water, and we're each going to have at least one other person with us to help and kind of move that process along and then preferably somebody on the tech side to do the backup, check the footage, you know, troubleshoot. We've had drives and RAID arrays and all the other things that can go wrong in the field and that's just the one thing you want to avoid and so, they're typically very small teams. Yeah. I'm tempted to get into some of the technical that, I don't want to go too far, but okay, let's just say, describe your travel package when you were doing still photography verses when you do a shoot for an IMAX movie. Uh huh, I mean gosh, they're not compare, I mean, there's no comparison whatsoever. I mean, you know the dream job and trip for me as a photographer is, when I get in my car with a sleeping bag, a tent, and it's just me. A little road trip. Yeah, like that's the best. Like that's where the heart is most of the time. I mean, I long for those days, but creatively, you know, I want to drive bigger and better projects, so, on a still shoot, yeah, I mean it's usually a backpack and a tripod. You know, it's pretty tame, I might have an extra case or extra lenses or you know, if it's a really big shoot, I might have a couple bags. On this film, on this project that we're doing now, Hidden Pacific, we had 285 pounds of gear. So, you know, we just had case after case after case and honestly, that was exceptionally pared down. That was, I think we had 12 pelican cases that were just gigantic. And we were the ones that had to move them around. And so, that's pared down and that's because we were going to such remote places that the weight restrictions were very, very, very rigid. Right. You know, there were only so many ways you can get that stuff out there. So that was really challenging as well. Yeah, I worked on a film crew myself and if you think about the large suitcase for checking at the airport, 50 pounds. And you have numerous of those but you only have a few people to move them around and just physically getting them to the baggage check can be difficult. Well I think the best part of being a photographer or being a filmmaker is the expression on the bag people's faces as you're walking up to the counter and they're like don't come to me. (laughing) I don't want to have to check all that. That's probably the worst thing. It's like where are you gonna go? If you've had an experience like I had one time you know they're like do you have any electronics in this bag? You're like, you really get started. Yeah, I know. Do you have any lithium ion batteries? Pretty much the whole bag on my back. Yeah cause you're not supposed to check those. That's correct, yeah. You have to make sure you have, and that's actually a big challenge because you want to keep your expensive gear with you but you have to make sure you don't put your lithium ions in your check baggage and so typically my bag is mostly batteries. Not very glamorous. And heavy. So I hear you're shooting with red cameras. That's right, shooting on the red. Getting ready for another project now, it'll be shot in 8K. So for, Sweet. Yeah, resolution is king when it comes to shooting large format. So, I don't know if you know about other IMAX movies but most IMAX movies now are shot digitally. Cause I know they used to be shot on 70 millimeter. Yeah, and a lot of them still are. The standard is sort of in flux right now. You know, digital has just come so fast and so far in that different people are doing different things. I've been so comfortable with digital photography, going back to still and knowing and understanding the quality that I wasn't married to film the same way that other film directors are married to film. You know, some think it's creatively very rewarding others feel like, you know, this is still the standard, I'm afraid to maybe go over to this area. I like the way I can control it. You know, I already have probably a very well-ironed team and workflow out, so that transition for, you know, think about some of these really big movies that are out. You know, like I see this 70 millimeter prints and World War II epics, they've been working with the same group of people for 20 years sometimes. And so to shift that into a digital space, means a shift potentially of team workflow and habits that could rock the boat in a way that's not necessarily favorable. So there really isn't a standard, I think in the education science space, you know when you go to a natural history museum and you see that big screen, I think that the paradigm is shifting towards digital. Yeah, it just seems that their transition is a little bit, 10 to 15 years after stills cause it's a different thing. It's true. You know folks, if you don't go to IMAX movies, it's just a fantastic experience. It's something very special. Occasionally I go to the movies. Sometimes I watch something at home on TV but, we have a great IMAX theater here in Seattle and we have a couple of em but we have one that's really nice and I go to see regular movies there sometimes because that screen is so big. Oh yeah. They're beautiful but they're so immersive. It's an immersive experience and that's one of the most beautiful parts of it is, that size, is the immersive experience. And that's the hardest part I think, with photography and I was talking about this at one of my classes yesterday where I said, we rarely get to hold our work anymore. You know, it's all coming at, so it's all being shined at us back from our devices. You know and so to be able to hold a book or a magazine or fine art print but now imagine being able to see what you do in a very large format, you know, or being able to share it in that way. It's very rewarding in a different way. Nice, before we get to your image, I've got one final question on an area that I have no expertise at all, but I know when you go to an IMAX movie and something very important in any movie experience is sound. Yes. Now, are you an expert in sound? Did you have to learn that? Talk a little bit about that. It's a great question. In a perfect world you want somebody dedicated to sound, I mean, sound is at least half the project and people don't realize it. Yeah. You know, you've got, there are all these different pieces, I mentioned you have that ensemble, right, that kind of comes together. I had to learn field sound enough to be able to capture things that might not otherwise be able to be captured, like the sound of an albatross or you know, other rare birds and things like that. So, you know, if your team is so limited by weight and the number of crew and people you can bring, then inevitably you have to learn new skills and bring that in. But for the most part, a lot of sound is edited afterwards. What I typically do in the field is, I go out with my recorder, a great sound setup, and I don't bring my camera, I don't bring anything else, which is quite a pleasure, because you're so pared-down, you don't have all this gear, right, you're finally on a break. All that glass. Exactly, you just sat there like this. It looks like you're interviewing birds, you know, getting their sounds. So, it's great, but a lot of it happens afterwards. Yeah, and we have audio techs and people that really bring that together. Nice, good deal. All right, so let's dive into some images here. Yes. You've supplied quite a collection of images. Speaking of birds. (laughing) So yes, just what's going on here, where are we? This is Midway Atoll. This is the first island I went to, probably, God, almost 14 months ago was the first trip and obviously a lot of pre-production planning for these things. And this is a still image. This is, you know, one of the things that's interesting is, and I say it's a still image, obviously it's not moving, but I mean it's a still photograph and from a still camera. As opposed to pulling a frame from a RAID. That's right, there's a lot of that. I've actually had a lot of successful pulling from motion clips, but there's just a different mentality into your approach, your style, your ability to capture the exact and defining moment, I think is also a little scattered. You think, oh, I can just scroll through and pick the right frame. You know, I don't think it's that simple. Yeah, I think the way that we approach things as still photographers is very unique and so this to me was such an intimate moment between an albatross and the chick and they're such loving, loving creatures and as you said, so pointedly about the ability to tell a story in a single image. That's what I'm going for here. And being able to tell that story of love and compassion and you can see the other birds with, you know, in their nests there in the background and so, that's what I was going after and I had also a great morning. It was beautiful light. Nice clouds. Great clouds, good texture. So, creatively and technically, it was an exciting moment to be able to capture. I'm laying down on the ground, at some point after weeks on islands where you're surrounded by birds, you stop worrying about what you're laying in, and so you just make sure you get the shot. (laughing) You get your dirty clothes. So, yeah, obviously, from a photographer's standpoint, proximity to your subject is huge here. So, I thought before, what you just said, I thought you were using a remote camera. No, no. So, these birds, by the way, that is a very large bird, they have a six foot wingspan, which is quite a bit taller than I am. And that's the Albatross? This is the Laysan Albatross. Okay, Yeah, it's the Laysan Albatross, it's actually the smallest of Albatross, and even though it is quite large, they're very tall, they probably stand at least a couple feet off the ground, and they are very friendly. They're not used to people for the most part, and you just get out there, as long as you're not obviously in their nest or their eggs, but for the most part, if you're sitting still and you're chilling out for a while, they won't care that you're there, and a lot of times, they'll come up and they'll pull the zippers down off your bags, and they'll peck at your hat, and if you walk by, they might clap at you like the old video games with the Albatross there. But for the most part, no, you don't need remote triggers there. They're right there and you're able to have these intimate moments simply by being part of their world. So, you said this is the Pacific Atoll? That's right, this is Midway Atoll. In the middle of the Pacific, it's literally midway between the continental US and Asia. And it is the only emergency stopoff point for commercial airliners crossing the Pacific Ocean. So if something goes wrong, that's where they land, and every few years, a plane does land out there, but it is very small, there's probably only about 30 people out there, none of them are permanent residents, although some have been out there for many, many years. And so, you're more or less on your own. Now, is this part of US territory, is this protected area? Good question. It is, it's a national wildlife refuge. It's part of the larger marine national monument. So the island and its immediate surrounding waters are Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge. It's also the battle of Midway, from 75 years ago, Battle of Midway National Memorial. And that is part of many islands in Atolls of this 1,200 mile by 200 mile marine national monument that begins in the Northwest archipelago of the Hawaiian Islands, and that's called Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument. (laughing) Ooh, very nice, very nice. Yeah, it took a little while to learn that. So it is, it's all protected as national wildlife refuge, and of course, part of our heritage. Wow, it sounds like a very remote region. Yes. All right, what's this? Speaking of protected areas. This was, honestly, this was quite a moving experience. In my mind, one of the scientists I was out there with, so, this is one of the world's most remote islands, truly. Very few people have ever had the opportunity to step foot out here. It took me five days to get there, and that included two different flights, from LA to Honolulu, from Honolulu to American Samoa, and then a 10 hour 185 mile steam on a boat over high seas where everyone had to lay flat the entire time to get out to an island that's only 16 acres. (laughing) And to me, this is Yellowstone of the Pacific. To see these big pools, and it almost looks like a thermal pool. Yeah, it looks like a geyser. Right? It looks like mammoth hot springs or something like that. It's not. It's 80 degree warm ocean water. The pink is a crystalline coral algae, they call it the CCA that you can walk on. So you're able to walk out there on low tide, it's ankle deep or in most places, you want to be careful of course of your footing, those pools are a couple feet deep and they're just surrounding the island. I mean, it's a photographer and filmmaker's paradise. And the island in the background is Rose Atoll, and so this is also a national wildlife refuge, and it is part of its own marine national monument of the same name, Rose Atoll. Wow. I'm thinking about walking around on this stuff, because it's like a few inches of water, right? Yeah. And I'm just thinking of what a horrible area to be trying to film and shoot with expensive camera gear, because you can never put anything down. Nope. That's a great observation. I'm really impressed. Yes, you are 100% correct. there is a reason by the end of these trips that your arms are twice the size of when you started. Because I'm so used to, I mean, I fill up a backpack full of lenses and I just put it down on dirt or grass and then pick out what I want, and here you've got to be able to figure out how to get to everything that you're carrying. You sacrifice a tripod to the saltwater gods, that's exactly what happens. Because, you have a tripod and you put the camera on, and that's your only break. You're not able to set a backpack down, you're not able to put your, you're totally right, you can't put anything down. And I'm not close to that island, I mean, I'm walking out a quarter mile from the island at low tide, and I'm spending hours out there. You find ways to strap heavy red cameras, my camera weighs about 25 pounds. You find ways to just dangle things off your shoulders as much as possible, but generally I go very paired down in situations like this where it's a camera, a lens, maybe a couple filters, it's also very hot, very warm, very exposed, so you're covered in sunscreen, which is a nightmare for your lenses and your gear, and a tripod, and then you make it work. So I actually did a stills trip, and then I did a motion trip. I didn't do them at the same time. And that's a good example of where you've got to make decisions and sacrifices for one or the other. Yeah, and I'm switch to the next image. Sure. So, is this shot by you, were you shooting underwater? I was, I love to shoot underwater. As a still photographer, I don't dare tempt the motion side because there's so many moving parts to it, literally. This is in Cuba, this is actually in a channel outside the Gardens of the Queen, it's their national park in the Southeast side of Cuba. it was from a trip I was down there with, a while back, with the Environmental Defense Fund, and it was great. And ironically, there's a barracuda in the background and I did not see it when I was taking this picture. Oh, you should never admit that, never ever admit that. Nah, I knew it was there the whole time. (laughing) I didn't know it was that close. I didn't know it was that close, exactly, he was checking me out. I love those little bonus elements in there like that, very nice. People wouldn't think Cuba when they see something like this. No, it's such a beautiful image though. This is in Palmyra Atoll, This is one of the best places to see coral in the Pacific that hasn't been completely obliterated. This is an area that's considered a baseline to judge other corals. So, photographically, you know, very, very rewarding, it's so rich and vibrant. And I'm using strobes, so I really like to use light for still images, and I don't like, and our cinematographer is in the same boat, so to speak, no pun intended, in the sense that he doesn't like to use light for motion. And the reason really is a lot of the times, color correction for motion is very different from photos, and when you restore the color and the warmth that you lose when shooting underwater, it's more natural on motion, we find then having these flood lights pumped in, because things are moving and you're moving up and over things. As a still photograph, I like the light because it's the best way to bring in a color, it's a great way to show the separation of the ocean and the elements and the background, and also, you rarely get to see the true beauty of coral, even when you're there in person, without that light because the blue water is illuminating or filtering out all of the red light, so there's two strobes on each side meant to just flood it real clean and the water vis is just so beautiful. Yeah. And to me, this shot just sings because of it. Yeah, I know, I love that texture in the color and the water. Beautiful there. All right, now I'm trying to think, I think I've seen this location before. Yeah, maybe you've been there. I think that's upstate New York, right? Yeah. (laughing) So, tunnel view at Yosemite National Park. And what do you have to say to people who say, oh, I've seen tunnel view before? Sure. Because there is, I find it challenging, you know, I look at photo collections and I look at the comments and it's like, hey, I've already seen this location before. What do you say to people who want to shoot in a great location that's been shot before? Look, I mean, we can say everything's been done before. It's all about being there at a fortunate time. I've never seen the light do this in this exact kind of way, it was pretty. Is it the most exceptional image I've ever seen of El Cap in Yosemite? No, not necessarily. It might be in the top 10%, guys. (laughing) But it's a beautiful image, it was rewarding for me. And I think that's an important thing for most people that they should understand is, you go to a national park, you may or may not have an opportunity to do something different, but unless you put yourself in the position to have that opportunity, then of course you're not gonna do it. If you Google it out before you even try, then will you ever really be able to have that extraordinary shot? Of course not. So you have to try, you have to make an attempt, and every now and then, you get lucky. Yeah, it's a beautiful image. I was just down there a couple months ago myself, had a good evening. Not quite this nice, but you know, you put your time in, you play the roulette and maybe you win, maybe you don't. It's the light luck. Don't give in to the haters who say, that position has been shot, you can't go shoot there. In this particular location, quick story, I didn't want to shoot here because everybody shot here, so I said, well, there's a trail that goes much higher. I'm gonna go through all this work, I'm gonna hike up five miles, I'm gonna hike up this trail to the top. And I went up there and I went, oh, when you go up here, the mountains don't line up quite right and it's not nearly as interesting, and what happens is, El Cap doesn't look as tall as it does from this location. And so this is a popular location, number one, because it's right next to the road, there's a big parking lot. For sure. But it is actually a really good spot to shoot. Why not? That's exactly right. So, forget it, put your time in, get your shot, enjoy the experience, and yeah, go look for those other unusual shots. Well, it depends on what you goal is too. Are you shooting for yourself, are you shooting to share with friends, or are you shooting to sell? You know, even if you're shooting to sell, which would be the most limiting factor of why you might choose the location, this is a place that's written about all the time. And so there's always a need, there's always oportunities for people to run new images and new perspectives of things that otherwise might be deemed as classic. Real quick, what time of year was this? That's a good question. This was October or November. I think it was late October. Okay, because the light really changes the way it comes in. Yeah, you can see the trees, I think, are changing a little bit in the foreground. Okay, yeah, I think there's some color down there at the bottom of the falls. Very nice, very good. Thank you. So, whereabouts are we now? Well, this is in central California at Tehachapi Corridor. And unlike the image before, which everyone knows exactly where it is, this is an often overlooked beautiful stretch of central California. It runs East, it's sort of towards Bakerfield. It's a great wildlife corridor. It's a 50 mile stretch of area that I was on assignment for the Nature Conservancy at the time, and they had these incredible rock formations, and these are the kind of opportunities, as a photographer, you wait for, you hope for, which is something new, something that hasn't been done before many, many times. And, you know, the challenges you have to work twice as hard to find them, maybe three times as hard to find them. Yeah, I was gonna say, better look more. Exactly. But as you well know, but you know, at the same time, timing is everything, so it was gorgeous and rolling green, which in California, is like seven days long. All jokes aside, it is a very short window of time that you have green rolling hills in this part of the world, and they're usually otherwise very golden, but the green is lush, and then just fine different rock formations. I was able to spend hours out there working the scene. Okay. Yeah, and this image has been used quite a bit. Nice. Well, one of the concepts that I think is kind of interesting to explore is, when you take an image that you like or it's a great image, when did you know that you were going to take that photo? I mean, did you know about these rocks two days before? I didn't know about those rocks 10 minutes before. Okay, so this is something you found and it's kind of, you're just working on the moment. That's right, yeah. Working the scene, driving around on dirt roads, through these rolling hills, trying to figure out where I could get a good elevated view, and I get up there and then there's these lichen-covered rocks, and I'm like, oh, perfect. (laughing) But you don't know, I mean, and that's the risk, is the light is changing, and things are rapidly, and there's a lot of wildflowers, so I kind of had a backup black in my mind at the time, but ultimately it's about recognizing that moment and making that investment and saying, I'm gonna slow it down, bring out my tripod, and this is the composition we'll go with. And I shot it horizontal. I loved the vertical because it just kept the energy moving with the rocks. Yeah, it gives you more elements to work with in there. That's right. And so, as a photographer, you really, you have to be kind of optimistic in that there could be an image five minutes away that I don't know about now, and I gotta be ready for it. And it can be really hard because-- And tempting, very tempting. I'm sure that you've been out and there are situations just like, there is nothing to shoot, I have no reason to pull my camera out of the bag, and then something changes and you have to be ready for that. Usually the weather. (laughing) Usually the weather, or maybe the wildlife, right? All right, wildlife here. Yeah, classic shot, you know, classic location up in Logan Pass in Glacier National Park, and this area is just epicly beautiful, and it was actually really fun because there's just so many of the mountain goats roaming around in there, and they make great subject matter. But again, you have to put yourself in the right place at the right time, and being able to do that means being there. That's so much of photography is all about being there and having those opportunities, as we've said. So this was that, good clouds, good light, and a great model. Yeah, and I can guarantee, at least I'm very positive that when you hiked up there, you did not know that there would be a mountain goat waiting for you. I did not. A little bit of luck in there. I called the park service, but they were like, we can't guarantee it. So, you know, it's tough. (laughing) Take advantage of those opportunities as they arise. All right, another beautiful image here. And I'm guessing this is not California. It is not California, nope. This is in Palau. This was actually the trip that really opened my eyes in new ways to coral and the oceans. And this was also the first time I had attempted to really take on storytelling in motion. And so I was on assignment again, also for the Nature Conservancy, and I managed to convince a couple people to split the cost with me, take the doors off the helicopter and fly over these island, and these are the rock islands of Palau, and they are absolutely iconic. they are unbelievable, I haven't seen anything like that. I mean, it looks like broccoli growing all over the sea. (laughing) I like that, that's really true. These little fuzzy green rocks floating out there in the middle of nowhere, and it's such a beautiful ecosystem, you can see the color shifts in the water, and you don't necessarily see a lot of boats out there. It's a huge diving destination, but it's still not overdone, and it's still relatively small population, small dive community that goes out there. So being able to have this boat moving through is just luck of the draw. It was a 45 minute helicopter flight, I certainly couldn't afford to just keep flying around. This is pre-drone era as well, which is noteworthy because any of these shots up until only a couple years ago had to be done the old fashioned way and at quite an expense. A lot of money there, definitely. Another nice little bonus element of that boat in there. Yeah, helps tie to together. And scale, talking about scale here. That's right. Sometimes it's just, again, roll the dice, be there, good light, put yourself out there, shape, line, texture. You know, I love when you can put a big foreground element in a frame and shoot a landscape photo with a long lens. It's so rare, people always think, if I'm gonna do a big landscape, I've gotta use a really wide angle lens. I've gotta have that foreground element inches from my lens. And it's not true. The big landscapes can be done with a telephoto, and this was shot at, I think, about 200 milli, I think it was a to 200 that I shot it, it might have even actually been at 400, now that I think about it. So, big landscape photos, sometimes big lenses. Okay, I know it's one of two states. It's either California or Colorado. You're right in California, first guess. Yup, it's Death Valley. All right, very good. And did you position that person there or did they just happen to be there. I added it in post. (laughing) No, I'm just kidding. I'm ruining my own images. They made us-- I have a hiker stamp that I can just stamp on the photos. (laughing) I should, that'd be great. It would save me all that effort. No, I actually anticipated somebody walking up in the shot, and so I saw them coming, I saw that they had broken from their group, and I had an opportunity to isolate them as a silhouette. Great, great little element. good opportunity there. Organ pipe cactus, you know, tough shot because you gotta wrap things up before it gets too dark. I had talked with park service there, told them where I was, it's along the border, so aside from the technical components of this, which is 75 frames, over 75 or so minutes, I think it was, stitched together with a single frame. The first frame was actually the foreground element, and that was the cactus, which was actually lit using moonlight, but it wasn't all that dark. It was like moonlight and that ambient sort of, it was a full moon rising behind, and there was this ambient still sunlight sort of in the sky from the set, and then waited for it to get darker, took the 75 exposures, but there's more to it because when you're along the border with Arizona and Mexico and you're in these back country areas, safety is obviously a concern. And so it was a heavy trafficking and immigration route, so you always had border patrol potentially coming through or headlights and lamps, and there were a lot of drones and other things that were flying around for security reasons, so very, very frustrating, but in the end, it was exceptionally rewarding because it ended up working out pretty well. It's very Van Goghish. Yeah, beautiful. I was wondering how you did the even lighting on that and that explains it. Yeah, just a nice long exposure only for the cactus. Yeah, perfect. And thank you very much for bringing those images, and let's talk a quick moment about sme of your other classes here at Creative Live. Right now, I think you have three classes. Explain a little bit about, real quickly, what one class is versus the other one. Yeah, they're very different, but they all revolve around the outdoors, so if you're passionate about the outdoors, this is where they start. My first class, which really was about photographing the national park both from a technical perspective as well as a lot of the great questions that you brought up today, which is how do you do something different with iconic landscapes? How do you figure out compositional elements in a new way and shift your thinking on that, and so, the national parks a great place because they're so challenging because it's all been done before. I always hear that, right? But it hasn't, and so that class really addresses that. The outdoor photography class is sort of a general one hour, it's more of an introduction to the theme where the national parks is a deeper dive, and the outdoor enthusiasts guide is the one I just finished teaching. I'm very excited because it is an absolute deep dive and it not only includes photography, but all of those challenges that come with the shift to motion. Nice. And so, if you're interested in those classes, take a look at them up on the creative live website. I think there's some free previews there, but all very good classes. So let's switch gears here, and I'm gonna pull up our light room program and we're gonna take a look at some of our viewers' images. So this is Barbara Polignano. Polignano, very nice. Okay, so now we got the credit out there, so, I'm thinking kind of urban roots ' type stuff. And one of the things I noticed about you is you use a really good cloud filter in all of your pictures. You seem to attract good clouds. Yeah, I wish. And I think we got some here, what do you think? I'm a conjuror of clouds. Yeah, I love it, I mean, great skies, they change the shot instantly. And being able to recognize that, you know, you can always tell an outdoor photographer because they're always looking up. They're always looking at the weather, what's happening, what's shifting, what's changing, and you become sort of a meteorologist of sorts. So, for me, I love that, I love the color and texture that's going on. Definitely getting the route 66 vibe. It looks like there maybe is a little too bright of a spot on the camper itself, but the eye is drawn to it anyway, so I don't know that it's necessary. Yeah, I was wondering how they lit that. And either it was a flashlight a long way off, but it kind of looks, if you look right around the edge of the trailer, it looks like they just went in in post and lightened the whole thing, and they accidentally lightened some of the clouds up a little too much. Yeah. And so I think that could be backed off just a smidgen there. Yeah, I agree with you on that. It's a good shot where it is in the frame, the composition works. You know, it's got the rule of thirds going. The one minor little thing is that, over on the left hand side, there's like a pile of stuff there, and I might have tried to shoot closer with a wider lens to get the same composition, same clouds basically and avoid that or just shift position a little bit because it just doesn't look right. Yeah, I agree. That would be one area of minor improvement, but in general, I like the image a lot. Great catch, yeah, it's true. All right, so good thinking going vertical on this. Who's this guy? Oh, thank you very much. This is Patty, Patty Luck. All right. And so, I like when people remember to turn their camera vertically. Yes. I like when I remember to turn my camera vertically. Any idea where this is? Because those look like, that's pretty unusual. It almost looks like California in a way. It could be out, it's hard to say. You know, I'll tell you the one thing that I like about this right out of the gate, straight horizon line. Yeah, they did a good job. I like when you're paying attention to your horizon lines. If they're crooked, they should be embraced as crooked, and it really should move the composition forward. And it's easy to get something like this wrong. It is, it is. And it becomes very, very obvious very quickly. Yeah, that's true. I'm feeling that maybe they could have got a little closer to that one rock group in the front. Because there's that one little thing off on the left hand side that kind of half runs out, and if they got closer to the main one, they might have been able to avoid that and even have more impact having that fill, rather than a third of the frame, almost half the frame. That's true. I do like that the lines move up through the frame, I think that worked. But I do think because that one rock is different from the rest too, your eye goes to it and it is a little distracting, but at the same time, generally speaking, I think it's the right idea for sure, and it's a good composition. So, if you saw this out in the field, how many photos would you take in order to fine-tune your composition, how long do you think that would take? As many as it takes. (laughing) As many as it takes. And with digital, there's no cost to that. That's true, except for your hard drives. So, we threw in something non-nature in landscape on this. So, I love symmetrical photos, and this kind of fits into that. What are your thoughts? Symmetry, beautiful symmetry. I like the shot a lot, I think, interesting. I mean, it's almost a little, the actual aspect ratio of the frame looks like maybe it's been cropped or shot at a different formal potentially. I love the feel, I mean, emotionally, I get a very strong reaction to it. It looks like it could be a movie set, it could be a historic photo, it could be a modern photo when you start to look at it, so it gets the mind and the eye wandering around a little bit. I'm on the fence on whether how high in the frame the bridge is. I almost want to see more of the street, I almost just want to see more all the way around. Right, I was having the same feeling. It kind of felt like it naturally should be a vertical image, and part of me, you know, your eye goes to color, and all of that is kind of that center bottom, and I kind of want to see more, so part of me wants to see more of that, part of me says, oh, you're hiding it from me, it's a bit of mystery, so I can kind of accept that to some degree. I think there's some other nice versions of this, but I think this is really nice without really any specific faults. Yeah, I would agree with that. Whose image was it? Thank you. Terry K. Thank you very much. All right, and let's get the name out on this one right away, Melissa Brookmire. Uh huh. All right, so we're shooting sunset, and it looks like we got some really nice clouds. And it hard to resist when you get cloud lighting like that. It is. I mean, you just find something to put in front of it when you get a sunset like this. You know, you just find a foreground, find something, I don't care what it is, just get in frame, let's go, we're gonna do this. You know, but that's the challenge, because it's so easy to get excited by great conditions that you might not always be in a place to make a great image. I probably, if this were me, I probably would have changed this composition significantly. I like that she's recognizing the opportunity, and now I think the composition itself would need to be more addressed, probably approach it more from an artistic perspective, get lower, get down in those rocks, probably shot it vertical, bring the clouds, the rocks, slow exposure, the waves, the sunset, might even wait for the sun to go behind the horizon to get more of that approach to it. It misses the mark a little bit for me, but I do like a lot of the elements of knowing the right time are already there, it just needs to be worked a little more. Yeah, I think the top half of the frame is quite nice. I mean, it's not a lot of your doing, but it's your timing and being in the right place at the right time. The bottom half is kind of muddy and dark, and we would like something interesting beyond just the sunset because sunsets attract a lot of cameras, but I don't know a lot of photographers that are kind of like, I'm a professional sunset photographer. It's like, that's just an added element on top of everything else. That's in my bio actually, I'm a professional sunset, oh wait, that's the magazine, I think. (laughing) Nice. All right, so we're gonna look at some closeup work here from Louis Kennedy Etienne. And we got a bumblebee on some sort of flower here, and macrophotography is challenging. Do you do much macro? I love it. Yeah, I do it whenever I have the patience for it, it's so challenging and time-consuming. And this is, you know that it took probably a lot of tries to get this. Yeah, and so, having the macro lens that can focus really close, probably like a 100 or 200 millimeter macro lens. They got some nice lighting on this, I don't know if it was artificially lit or if they had a nice cloudy day, but they got good light on this one. Yeah, definitely good light, I like that there's an eye light on the bee itself. Nice even light, it could be overcast, it could be artificially lit, it's hard to tell because we don't information about that, but generally, I liked that the flower is completely in frame, it's not overcropped, and so it gives you a sense of place, even though that place is very small. Yeah. I'm not sure about the bright out of focus thing right behind the bee, and so possibly if that was like in your backyard, if like, ooh, we forgot to move the lawnmower, didn't move the lawnmower out of the way, that one thing, but they nailed the sharpness, they nailed the exposure, I think they got good composition on it, so well rounded photo, I think. Nice work. Whose was that? Did we get that one? Yeah, we got that. Yeah, Louis, yeah. So, let's jump in and, and here. And so... Looks like somebody got a picture of me in the field. (laughing) And so this feels like Arizona, Utah area. Yeah, it does. Well, it's tough, because our subject is in the shade and backlit, and that's always a challenge unless you're silhouetting something and using it as a compositional element, I think it really is tough, it takes away from it, and also the eye contact, usually I try to avoid that with anything wildlife wise, even with people unless you're intending to do that and create portaiture. I think that it's just too jarring, like this goat's looking through my soul. Sheep, sheep. It's a very interesting environment, and it feels to me like somebody was on a hiking trip and they had a great encounter with a wild animal, and it's generally a clean shot, which is nice. The bulleye treatment doesn't work so much for me. I would, I don't know, just the positioning of the body, I probably would have put it over on the bottom right hand side of the frame, but I would have also kind of moved left and right a little bit to see if I could find that dark background behind it, which you may or may not have. It might have just been walking through, stopped there for two seconds, you got that photo and that was the best there was gonna be in that situation. And so, if you are given the time to move around a little bit, you know, if you can move up a little bit higher to get that dark bush behind it a little bit more behind it so it stands out, just that bright area right behind it, it's distracting for the eyes, it's hard on the eyes. I agree, I agree completely. Yeah, it's absolutely true. Bullseye way of putting it, I like that. All right, thank you for submitting that. And I think this may be out last one here. And so, this one just kind of has some funky colors. I'm looking at a slow shutter speed, so we got some cloud movement, and the sun just kind of peeking out behind a little island of some sort, so you're a bit of an island expert now with all your Atoll work. What do you think is going on here? This looks like American Samoa. Let's bring up the name. Jike Z. You know, there's, again, good approach, shooting in the evening, longer exposure, recognizing the sunset, the texture, but for me, compositionally, I think there's just a lot of challenges as well as potentially in post-production. I'm seeing a range of colors in here that are just almost taking me out of the world. They're too surreal, so I think just being really careful about your post processing is important. And then compositionally, where you have this island happening over on the left hand side of the frame, but there's also looks like a path or a wall or something that's kind of cutting up into it. It's really just, it's not leading me through the right part of the frame. Everything is sort of happening on the left hand side, and then there's a whole lot of nothing happening on the right hand side that's not compositionally as appealing to me. But not to detract from it, because I do think, again, a lot of elements are all there, I would just reorder them and then just be careful about the post-process. Yeah, it feels a little like an Instagram filter in some ways. True, I didn't think of that. And the walkway, my thought, if I was there, is either I want to completely eliminate it or I want to include it with some sort of element. Maybe there's a person sitting on the end of it, and I want to have that to show, hey, you can walk out to this area there. And so, once again, it's, you finding the locations, you're in the right time, you just gotta keep working and finding different compositions, so I'm checking my camera going, is that really what I intended, is that what I think looks right for this place? And it could be an editing thing. I mean, it could be that maybe the frame exists, so maybe go back and take another look. Because it is very much of a square image. there's more to this image someplace. And they probably cut it because it's not good, so there may be garbage cans over there, something that's going on. So yeah, you gotta keep working it. Yeah, I agree with that. All right, well thank you for sending that in. One last one. I threw this one because I was up at Mount Rainier just 24 hours ago shooting. How was it, good? Well, it was just like this. It was a sunny day with no clouds. And we've been talking a little bit about clouds and this is my first thought is, sunny day, okay, that's a base start. You're gonna get the sun as an added element, but boy it's sure nice to have a few extra little texture elements in the sky. I'm sure you've been up in this area. Yes, I have. I was there with Creative Live actually. We went up there for our national park class, and it was actually, so, My first time at Rainier, I climbed it. I didn't actually get to photograph all the waterfalls and the flowers, and so that was a very interesting way to experience the national park for the first time. But I did finally get to go back, and it's either, it's tough because it's either all cloud or no cloud up there. It's hard, yeah. It can be really challenging to get the exact right timing on it. So, compositionally, I think this is really pretty. I don't know if there's a trail or something maybe going the foreground there in the middle or-- Well, there's a bridge right here and during most of the year, they have a fence up so you can't get any closer, because in the past, photographers would go right up to the river and put rocks in the foreground really close. Oh really? I didn't know that. And you have all these other compositional opportunities, but now you're restricted because too many people are trampling over everything. And so, compositionally, you really can't do better than this without breaking the law, without breaking their rules. That's a shame that that has been ruined for other people by doing those kinds of things. So, I mean, yeah, compositionally great, obviously a popular spot for photographers, I think just different conditions and also different post-processing. This, to me, is looking a little too HDR, which is taking me out of the world. And I say HDR meaning the HDR post-processing of it. It just, the shadows, the highlights, everything feels like it's the same level. Right, right, and so I was up there yesterday because the wildflowers turn right about the beginning of August, and I've always gone up the second week of August and it's been a little late, so I wanted to go up there now. It's too early, and kind of looking at this photograph, wildflowers still aren't out, and so, timing it so when the wildflowers are right at their peak is just another way for you to take that photo to the next level. Timing's everything. This is a really good shot and there's nothing really wrong with it. There's just a few little things to take up a notch and another notch and another notch. I agree. Whose image was that? That was Brinavets. Thank you very much for sending that in. And thank you, everybody, for sending those images in. you can submit those images through the class page for the fundamentals of photography. There's a class materials classwork that you can submit your images and that's where we're gonna be pulling future images from. So, thank you very much for sending those images in. Ian, thanks a lot for being part of this. I think we ran over our 60 minutes, our one hour photo. And so, folks, tune in next time. I'm not sure who's gonna be here, but we're gonna have a great talk and we'll look at some more great photos and talk more about photography. So, thanks a lot, and see you later.

Class Materials

Free Download

Fundamentals of Photography Outline

Bonus Materials with Purchase

Learning Project Videos
Learning Projects PDF
Slides for The Camera Lessons 1-13
Slides for The Sensor Lessons 14-18
Slides for The Lens Lessons 19-31
Slides for The Exposure Lessons 32-42
Slides for Focus Lessons 43-62
Slides for The Gadget Bag Lessons 63-72
Slides for Light Lesson 73-84
Slides for the Art of Edit Lessons 85-93
Slides for Composition Lesson 94-105
Slides for Photographic Vision Lessons 106-113

Ratings and Reviews

a Creativelive Student

Love love all John Greengo classes! Wish to have had him decades ago with this info, but no internet then!! John is the greatest photography teacher I have seen out there, and I watch a lot of Creative Live classes and folks on YouTube too. John is so detailed and there are a ton of ah ha moments for me and I know lots of others. I think I own 4 John Greengo classes so far and want to add this one and Travel Photography!! I just drop everything to watch John on Creative Live. I wish sometime soon he would teach a Lightroom class and his knowledge on photography post editing.!!! That would probably take a LOT OF TIME but I know John would explain it soooooo good, like he does all his Photography classes!! Thank you Creative Live for having such a wonderful instructor with John Greengo!! Make more classes John, for just love them and soak it up! There is soooo much to learn and sometimes just so overwhelming. Is there anyway you might do a Motivation class!!?? Like do this button for this day, and try this technique for a week, or post this subject for this week, etc. Motivation and inspiration, and playing around with what you teach, needed so much and would be so fun.!! Just saying??? Awaiting gadgets class now, while waiting for lunch break to be over. All the filters and gadgets, oh my. Thank you thank you for all you teach John, You are truly a wonderful wonderful instructor and I would highly recommend folks listening and buying your classes.


I don't think that adjectives like beautiful, fantastic or excellent can describe the course and classes with John Greengo well enough. I've just bought my first camera and I am a total amateur but I fell in love with photography while watching the classes with John. It is fun, clear, understandable, entertaining, informative and and and. He is not only a fabulous photographer but a great teacher as well. Easy to follow, clear explanations and fantastic visuals. The only disadvantage I can list here that he is sooooo good that keeps me from going out to shoot as I am just glued to the screen. :-) Don't miss it and well worth the money invested! Thank you John!

Vlad Chiriacescu

Wow! John is THE best teacher I have ever had the pleasure of learning from, and this is the most comprehensive, eloquent and fun course I have ever taken (online or off). If you're even / / interested in photography, take this course as soon as possible! You might find out that taking great photos requires much more work than you're willing to invest, or you might get so excited learning from John that you'll start taking your camera with you EVERYWHERE. At the very least, you'll learn the fundamental inner workings and techniques that WILL help you get a better photo. Worried about the cost? Well, I've taken courses that are twice as expensive that offer less than maybe a tenth of the value. You'll be much better off investing in this course than a new camera or a new lens. I cannot reccomend John and this course enough!

Student Work