Skip to main content

One Hour Photo - Mike Hagen

Lesson 118 from: Fundamentals of Photography 2016

John Greengo

One Hour Photo - Mike Hagen

Lesson 118 from: Fundamentals of Photography 2016

John Greengo

buy this class


Sale Ends Soon!

starting under


Unlock this classplus 2200+ more >

Lesson Info

118. One Hour Photo - Mike Hagen


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 - Mike Hagen

Hello everybody, welcome to One Hour Photo. My name is John Greengo. In this hour, we're gonna be looking at some of your questions. I'm gonna be doin' my best to answer them. We're gonna have special guest, Mike Hagen in here to answer questions about what he does, and talk about photography. He's a big Nikon shooter, so we might get into some Nikon talk too. Little bit of tech talk for a change here. Then what we're gonna do, is we're gonna look at some of your images, and we're gonna critique, and see what we like or don't like, and how we would improve images as well. Lotta good stuff, so let's go ahead and get started. The first part we wanna get to is some questions that you have. If you want to leave questions for future episodes of this One Hour Photo, you can go do that at Facebook. Go to the Creative Live, Creative Photography Challenge Group. Now for the most part, this is where a lot of people are posting photos of various challenges that Creative Live is putting out there ...

for you, which is great to participate in. But if you want to pepper in some questions, I will be scouring that in the weeks and months ahead, looking for questions that you might have on photography. Feel free to ask any generic type question, and if it seems something that I am capable of answering of, I might put it into a future version of this talk. All right. So, the first question is actually a two part question, or at least there's two questions from the same person. We have Frederick Wheeler writing in. "I'm shooting a group of graduating students." "Which focus area should I use for group shots?" "Single or group?" It's a little confusing there. You could use the group focusing points for group people, 'cause you've got the word group in there. Actually, if the group is just standing there, and they're not moving around, which they probably shouldn't be for a group shot. I would prefer to use the single point, and choose my focus point very specifically. The big challenge, in some ways, is how big is this group, and how much depth of field do you need? For instance, if it's just one row of people, you wanna make sure that they're all about even distance from the camera, and just focus on the person in the middle. If it's three rows of people, you don't necessarily wanna focus on people in the front row, because you're depth of field grows a little bit in front and a little bit in back, so you might wanna focus on somebody in the second row. It gets a little bit more complicated as you get up to the group size, but I would be choosing the single point, so that you can be very precise about where you are setting your focusing point. All right. The second part of his question. "If my group is gonna throw their graduation hats" "into the air, should I use the AF-C," "21-point, or 51-point auto focus" "and the high speed continuous drive?" Okay. So there's a lot of things goin' on here. You got a group of people that are gonna throw their hats in the air, I would probably have the camera in the continuous drive, because there's gonna be a lot of good moments, and you're not really sure when the hats are gonna make the best pattern in the air, and so forth. So I think continuous, high-speed motor drive is a good start. As far as the focusing, there is a lot of movement going on in the photograph, but the people that you're photographing, the graduating students, they're not actually moving towards you or away from you in any significant way, it's just the hats moving up and down. Your focus point is gonna be very much like the first question, is you're gonna pick one focus point, about the middle depth of where you need, as far as the people in the group. The key thing here in my mind is probably, what shutter speed do you choose? Most people would probably go for a fast shutter speed, where you can stop and you can see the tassels moving in the air. There could be some really interesting slow shutter speeds. Personally, I would probably go with the fast one, 'cause you're kinda guaranteed to get something pretty interesting there. The slow one may or may not be interesting. If it was a group that was willing to throw their hats in the air about 10 times in a row, I would do a couple of fast shutter speeds, and then a bunch of slow ones to see if I get something interesting. But I would probably be choosing a shutter speed of a 500th or 1,000th of a second, depending on the lighting that the situation allows for. If you're inside and it's dark, and you're in a gymnasium, you're gonna really have to bump up the ISO to get that faster shutter speeds. If you can get 'em outside with some better light, that's gonna help out in that situation. But the focusing is gonna be in the single focusing. I don't recommend using the continuous focusing because nothing's really moving towards you or away from you. Hope that helps out in that situation, and congratulations to all those graduating students. All right, next question comes from Gediminas Juska. "Could you give a simple explanation of" "depth of field scale on a prime lens?" A simple explanation. Okay, that's a little challenging. I brought in a couple of example lenses over here. These are prime lenses, which, of course, mean they do not zoom back and forth. They are a single focal length. A depth of field example over here on a 200 millimeter, 2.8 lens you can see. We can see the focusing scale, and there's a little white mark right there in the middle, which shows us where we are focused at. This is what I would consider a terrible depth of field scale, because it gives us very very little information. It tells us that if we stop down to F32, we get a little bit in focus to the right and to the left of where the focusing indicator is. So this is a pretty much completely useless depth of field scale, and it is on here, and it is showing us the range of focus from the foreground to the background. If we move over to our left a little bit, this is a manual focus Canon Lens. It's a tilt shift lens, and all of their tilt shift lenses are manual focus, but this is a 17 millimeter, and you can see that the scale is much larger on this. One of the ways that I would use this is if I wanted everything in focus, right now the lens is focused on infinity, but if I move that infinity mark over to the F22 portion, right about there. If I stop down to F22, the picture will be in focus from infinity all the way up to .5 meters. So about a foot and a half. I know that if I set the lens here, I will get pretty much everything in focus, and that's what we call the hyperfocal distance. Something I talk about in my Fundamentals of Photography class with more graphics and spending more time. But that's the depth of field scale, and they did mention on prime lenses, because on zoom lenses, you no longer get these scales. Back in the '70s and '80s and so forth, there was these interesting scales they had on these push pull zoom lenses, that showed you how much of depth of field you got, at 70 millimeters or 200 millimeters. Now that we've changed the type of zoom lenses we have, they've taken all those scales off. They cleaned up the graphics as far as the look of the lens, but we no longer have that information. Even your top level pro lenses from all the manufacturers will not have those depth of field scales. Just another quick note. Those depth of field scales are quite common on Nikons and Canons, but you're not seeing them on a lot of the mirrorless cameras, because they often use a fly by wire focusing system. This is something that is kind of disappearing in the world of photography, which is really unfortunate, 'cause they're very helpful tools for photographers out there trying to make sure everything's in focus. But we do have a number of digital tools that are taking the place. I think I've gone past the simple explanation, but that is my explanation of the depth of field scales. Next question, got a little bit of a long one here. "What are the real advantages and disadvantages" "of using older manual prime lenses" "versus today's primes?" "I've heard the new lenses have a more direct light path" "to the sensor than old lenses." From Logan Clark. Thank you for that. One of the cool things, is that you can get adapters to use older manual lenses on a lot of the newer mirrorless cameras, because they have a short flange distance, and they allow for these adapters to be used. There's a couple of issues that are going on when you do use one of these older lenses. First off, in pretty much every case that I can think of, there might be one exception, you are gonna lose auto focus when you put a manual focus lens onto an auto focus camera. So you're gonna lost auto focus, and a lot of times you use a lot of the communication between the lens and the body, so things like shutter priority and program may not work. It's possible that aperture priority may work, depending on the system. In many cases, you will be regulated to using manual. The metering system may not work on the camera, depending on the combination. You can always use the live view, or an electronic viewfinder to determine correct exposure. The lenses typically are not as sharp. Part of it, from what I know, does have to do a little bit with that light path. The film and the way that it accepts light is different than the sensor, and the pixels do need a little bit more light directly coming in to the bucket. Sometimes we use the analogy of water going into the bucket. It kinda likes that light coming straight in, and so they've changed the optical path on a lot of the newer lenses. Now, I don't know how much they've changed, or which lenses they've actually changed or not changed, when they've gone from film to digital, because the whole optical formula, the light path, that's all proprietary secret information. It's not real readily available out there. But the newer lenses are definitely better. One thing that is pretty much, is very clear these days, is that the highest resolution digital cameras that we have out today, 36, 42, 50 megapixels, use more resolution than we were getting on any 35 millimeter film cameras. Lenses have had to increase in quality. One of the trends that I've noticed over the last couple of decades in photography, is lenses have gotten bigger. That's because they've gotten better in quality. The optics are better, and designing bigger and better optics requires more glass, more weight. If you wanna see a really high quality lens that's big, look at the Zeiss Otus lenses. They're, I think it's a 55 1.4 lens, and they're 85 1.4 are just huge chunkin' lenses, but they're some of the sharpest lenses out there. There's nothing wrong with using older manual primes. There are some great little things out there. You're not gonna get the sharpest lens on the block, but you're gonna get a lens that may have a bit of character, or a lens that you just like to use. Look around those thrift shops and Craig's List, and eBay and some other places for some funky lenses. Do a little research, make sure you're not over paying on them. But there can be really some good finds out there, so have fun with that. Last question is. "I do event photography and use a manual exposure mode," "but during post processing, I'm having a hard time" "getting the same exposure to every photo," "as there's always a slight difference in lighting" "in every photo." "Any tips on how I can have same exposure" "to every photo?" Well if you're shooting under different conditions, it's gonna be very hard to get even exposures. With a program like Lightroom, and there's many other programs that'll work pretty much the same way. If you take a group of photos from one general scene, you can take all of 'em, and select a brightness level for that entire group. You can fix white balance and pretty much anything else you want for the entire group, all at the same time. That would probably be the first step to get 'em generally pretty close. If you really want every one perfect, there's no gettin' around it, you're gonna have to go to every image, and make that slight little tweak of an adjustment. I'm sorry to say there's just no way around it. I think you are right using the manual exposure mode, as long as the lighting is not changing dramatically, if you're in generally even lighting, I would continue to use manual exposure mode. But look at grabbing a group of those, in whatever post processing program you have, so that you can do groups of 'em, and get 'em pretty close to the mark. You might wanna grab an image that's not on the light, it's not on the dark, somewhere in the middle of the group, and work on that one, and then you'll have the least amount of work to do going with the rest of them. So hope that helps out. Those can be very very challenging situations. All right, so if you wanna have your question asked on One Hour Photo, you can do that at the Facebook Creative Photography Challenge Group. Just go in there and write your question, and we'll go ahead and take a look in there, and try to find it. All right, next up is a photographer from the local area here in Seattle, Washington area, Mike Hagen, and he is ... He does a lot of things, but they're also very similar to what I do. I feel like I'm almost gonna be interviewing myself here. He teaches classes here at Creative Live, he writes books, he photographs, he hires out on occasion, he does workshops and tours. We don't have a studio audience, but everybody at home, please clap your hands, bring on Mike. Mike, come on out, thanks a lot. Thank you. Thank you John. All right, let's grab a seat. Yes. Talk. It's good to be here today. Good. All right, for people who don't know who Mike is, why don't you give us the snapshot view of Mike Hagen, the photographer? Sure. I've been a professional photographer for, since about 1998. Went full time with my craft in 2005. Since then, I've done just about everything you just described. I'm an author. I've written eight books so far, with my ninth and tenth books comin' out this year. Really lookin' forward to those. I've led a lot of workshops around the world, take people to Africa, Galapagos, Iceland, those place. I've taught hundreds and hundreds of classroom based workshops, from different companies I've run over the years. Additionally, I do all the stuff that professional photographer does. I photograph for corporate clients, and I photograph their construction projects, and just about anything. When someone says, "Hey Mike, do you shoot this as a photographer?" The answer's yes. Nice. So what would you say is kinda your favorite area, or what would be the favorite assignment or favorite project you've put yourself on? Well, there's no doubt about it. My passion, I love the outdoors. I just love being outside and photographing wildlife and nature. So I spend a lot of my time shooting in crazy places around the world. Shooting animals and wildlife, landscapes, that type of thing. If I could make a living doing that for the rest of my life, that's what I'd be doin'. Nice. Now I know you do a tour in Africa, right? What do you do there? Yeah, so we go to Tanzania. I've been goin' to Tanzania for about 10 years now. I take folks, photographers, it's all specifically around the world of photography. I take photographers, we go in safari vehicles, and spend the whole time photographing lions and leopards and cheetah and elephant. About two weeks on the ground on each of my trips. Wait, so. I'm just gonna kind of disregard everyone at home here, and just have a chat here, 'cause I gotta tell ya. I'm actually going to Africa. I'm going to Kenya and Tanzania this summer. What I'm doing is I'm scouting ... I'm gonna do my own tour. Competition. You know. You do that so I gotta do that. You know, I know lenses and cameras with the best of them, but I still haven't decided on what to bring. Part of me, and for anyone who wants to go to Africa on safari, it's bringing the right equipment is a chore. So here's my problem. Part of me wants to bring the 100 to 400, and using it on a crop frame body, 'cause it's gotta a huge reach. Anything further than that, is just too much air out there. I think that would be a nice set up. But I also have a 300 two eight, and all the converters that can go with it. I can shoot a big lens, that's wide open, that can focus really quick, and I can get shallow depth of field, but I'm afraid I'm just gonna be changing lenses too much. What do you shoot? What do you recommend for your clients? What I always tell people, is never go to Africa without bringing at least two bodies, two camera bodies. Smart, smart. Or three. Personally, I always travel with three. We're always thinking about dust, and changing lenses. For me, the dust isn't that big a deal. The most important thing, though, is you wanna be able to move quickly. Africa, especially east Africa, where you're gonna be going, the scenics and the landscapes are fantastic. I always have one camera, with a 24-70 on it. Next camera, I've got a 70 to 200, and then I've got one more camera, typically a cropped camera like you're describing, and I'll have my long lens on there. So that way, I can just set one down, bring up another one. I'm shooting, I'm not changing lenses in real time. Lenses, you have to make a decision. Do you wanna photograph mammals? In which case, your 100 to 400? Perfect. Elephants, zebra, all the mammals, no problem. But if you wanna photograph birds, you gotta be out there, minimum, 600 millimeters, more like 800. More smaller. Yeah, they're so flighty (laughs). Quite literally. I always tell people, if you wanna photograph birds, you have to bring that long lens. Minimum 600 millimeter with a teleconverter, even on a crop sensor. What do most of your clients bring? Is there kind of a typical set up? Most people who come on my trips aren't professional photographers. Most people are enthusiasts, and they want to take great photos. Very few people actually own a 15,000 dollar, 600 millimeter F4. Really, why is that? Most people actually bring the 100 to 400. Or, in the Nikon world, there's the 200 to 500. Those types of lenses from Tamron, Tokina, Sigma, Nikon, Canon, anything in that kinda 100 to 500 zoom range, is perfect. But make sure that you also bring another lens, like a 7200, 'cause I've never been on a trip, where someone didn't drop a camera, or something didn't break. It would be a bummer to be out there with no lens. I won't leave the country with one camera. Good. I have to have two cameras. Sometimes there's a third, depending on the situation. I was thinking 7200 on one, and then other one's got the long lens. I'm still gonna ... I'm gonna be raking this over until the night before I go. Should I do this? Another big problem that we should talk about, is airplane flights and regulations about how much stuff you can bring on board. The last time I went was last November. Stuff is so dynamic, the airline industry is changing so rapidly. For example, if you have to fly through Europe, most likely you're not gonna have any issues with your flight. But if you have to fly through the Middle East, now there's this laptop ban that we have to deal with. There's electronic stuff that you can't take into the airplane. They're talking about expanding that to all European flights now. Yeah, exactly. So now you're thinking, well, am I really gonna put 20,000 dollars in camera gear in the hold of the airplane versus carrying it on? At this point, I don't check anything under the airplane that is electronic. I put my tripod down there. I put a lot of stuff like that, but all of my camera gear, I take on the plane. The thing weighs a ton, but I never let the agent at the desk weigh it. Weigh it. I never even let 'em pick it up, 'cause if they pick the thing up, they're like, "Sir, this is a little overweight." This is gonna cause our compartments to fall. I think, if you're going over there now, you better be prepared for having to check it. I'm just trying to think what I would do is maybe have a couple of t-shirts, and stuff them around the lenses, just for extra padding in there, and potentially a little TSA locks on there as well. Yeah, exactly. Someone who's determined to rip your stuff off is gonna find a way around any time of preventative measures you put into it. Wrapping your stuff well. I've traveled a lot, you've traveled a lot. I've actually seen baggage guys literally throwing bags across the tarmac, landing on the pavement. Makes me shiver. Can you imagine your camera doing that? I know, I know. That'd be terrible. One of the things I wanna talk to you about, 'cause you do a number of Nikon classes. What are your Nikon classes that you have currently at Creative Live? Actually, I don't have ... Well, you know what? I think I do have one currently at Creative Live. It's on the Nikon auto focus system. That's based on a book that I wrote, actually. My second edition's comin' out. The Nikon auto focus system, and then another class on the Nikon flash system. The Nikon wireless flash. Right, and Nikon has, what I would determine, the best flash system on the market, all the companies. Yeah, it's good stuff. But it's also very complicated too. Yeah, it is. The interesting place that we're in right now, is that Nikon and Canon have been producing really good SLRs. You got Sony comin' around with some really great mirrorless cameras, and Fuji, and Olympus and Panasonic producing things. It's just no doubt that at some point, Nikon and Canon are gonna have a mirrorless SLR. There's been interesting talk on the internet recently. One side says keep it the same lens mount. That way, we can use all of our lenses. Nikon's been so good, 'cause when they went auto focus, they kept the same lens mount. Granted, not everything worked 100%. As I explained to my Nikon classes, there's an evolution, and if you reach 20 years forward or backward from a product, it may not be 100% compatible. But Nikon's been really good about bringin' that compatibility forward. But on the other side, if they were to put on a whole new mirrorless system, they could design all the lenses and the focusing system and everything around that new system. What are your thoughts on this? Being a professional photographer, I need my gear to work, and I need it to work well. I love mirrorless. I love the idea of mirrorless. I like the size, the weight saving, everything like that around mirrorless. But I've been using DSLRs for a long time. For example, just to use a specific example, my Nikon D500, I was shooting sports this week with it, and it blew my mind. Just focused on everything. Literally, I shot 1200 photos. I went through 'em picture by picture, and 10 of 'em were not in focus. For me, the reason to keep going with the DSLR is because the auto focus systems have achieved this very high level of proficiency in technology. I think part of the reason why Nikon and Canon are holding off going with their full frame systems, is because I think auto focus is probably holding them back. I know, using the mounts and the lenses that we currently have, the auto focus systems in mirrorless won't perform as well, because they're based on a different technology. You're focusing on the sensor, right? Yeah, it's the contrast system. Exactly. So it's this balance of, the mirrorless is technically more accurate, 'cause it dials it in and figures it out exactly, but it takes more time to do that. Speed issue. But Nikon did just a tremendous job with their One Series, as far as focusing. There's a lot of other things that I think they stumbled on there, but if they could take that technology and just scale it up, I think that would make a really good camera. Yeah, I agree. I like the Nikon One system, I shot with their very first ones. I brought 'em to Africa, actually, one year. It was the Nikon One V1, I was stunned. Blown away with the performance but, it was a really, tiny, dinky small sensor. There's some dynamic range issues there. I would love for Nikon and Canon to produce some mirrorless cameras. I would welcome the weight reduction, but as we both know, I'm gonna hold this up. Full frame lenses to go with full frame sensors, you're not gonna save any weight in the lenses. You're saving weight in the camera body. So there's still some technical stuff that I know that Canon and Nikon are working through. I think they'll get there. I don't know if they'll use the same mount. Honestly, for me as a professional, it doesn't matter so much if they have the same mount or not. I gotta buy my gear to do the job I'm gonna do. I wouldn't mind buying a couple of other lenses to go with a nice Nikon mirrorless camera. I could very well see them coming out with a new mount system, has an adaptor that allows you to use the older lenses, because I think, my theory is they're waiting for the auto focus technology to improve, and they're also kinda waiting to see what the other one does. It's like ... I don't know how that changes what they do, but they love ... There is this competition between Canon and Nikon that is just to the point of ridiculousness. When you mount a Canon lens on a body, you turn it like this. When you have a Nikon lens, you do this. When you focus this way, it's infinity for Canon, infinity this way for Nikon. They've tried to do so many things, and if you go through the manuals and the other data, every term they can use, image stabilization, vibration reduction. Competition is really good for the industry. For my world, I'm a Nikon guy, and I really started my career teaching all things Nikon, and writing all my books on Nikon. For me, it's a little bit scary to see other people like Sony coming into the market, and honing in, but I think competition is good. Oh definitely. To be honest, the Sony, the new A Series cameras are phenomenal. Can't wait to get my hands on a A9 just to play with it, you know? Yeah, it looks like a very good sports camera. The big problem is, is all the sport photographers are like, 100 400, that's not what we shoot sports with. That's a great wildlife enthusiast lens, but when it comes to professionals, F5 6? Nope. Not even close. So yeah, they're gonna need definitely faster lenses. They're doing some amazing stuff with that camera. So you brought some images in. Let's go ahead and start taking a look at some of the images. Give us a little brief on maybe where this was, or what we're looking at. The first few images I have are based on the trips that I lead, and the places I love to go to. This is in Tanzania. This is in Serengeti National Park, it's a leopard. One of the things about Tanzania, specifically the Serengeti, is it's the cat capitol of the world. Nice, okay. As much as we like elephants and zebras and giraffe, it's really the cats that bring out the oohs and aaahs of people. This guy, actually this gal, is lookin' right in the camera. I just love the eyes. Love the background. One of my favorite images from Tanzania. Yeah, I was gonna say that the background, a green, leafy tree in the background? That's not easy to get, 'cause usually it's gonna be kind of a blank sky on a sunny day. Yeah, you gotta be, you gotta work hard. I've led now, what am I on? My tenth safari to Tanzania, and it is hard to get leopard photos in the trees, with great backgrounds. Of all the years I've been doing this, and the thousands and thousands of pictures of leopards, I've found that it's very difficult to get a nice, clean backdrop like that. So do you know what lens you shot this with? Yeah, this would be my Nikon 200 to 400, F4. This image now is probably pushin' seven or eight years old, and I probably shot that with my Nikon D700. Okay, so full frame camera. Full frame, teleconverter 1.4. 400 millimeters. 560. I'm not trying to say that, if you buy all that equipment, you're gonna get that good a shot. But as far as the distance wise, now you in a Land Rover or a safari vehicle at this point? Yeah, Land Cruisers. Open top. All right, let's go to another. Cheetah, another part of the Serengeti. Cheetahs are dwindling in numbers, globally, but you're almost guaranteed to find a great cheetah shot, when you're in the Serengeti. But to find a cheetah shot with a whole family of kittens. Oh, that's nice. It's really hard to do. And to get them all posing in a way, and all together, normally, it's like herding kittens, you know? Here, they're up on a little bit of a termite mound, and this mom is a pretty successful mother. Cheetahs are prey to ... They're killed, actually, by all the bigger cats. So it's uncommon for cheetah offspring to live to adulthood. I think, I forget the number, but it's like 10% make it to adulthood. The fact that there's four of 'em here was a really special moment. I remember the group that I was with on this trip, we were just in Heaven. We got to photograph them for probably 45 minutes to an hour, which is an eternity. You would go through a lot of images. Oh man. Yeah, not with the newer frames rates. 10 frames a minute, or a second. 12, 15 frames per second. You come home at night, you've got thousands of pictures to go through. What's a typical day, as far as the number of shots? Well, I'm a very prolific shooter. I'm very selective in the images I finally choose. You like the sound of the motor drive, I can tell. I literally come home from a trip from Tanzania with, I'll say 11 to 12 days on the ground, I come home with 15 to 20,000 images. So you're shooting 1500 shots a day? Yep. Pretty easily. Do you try to edit those down? Do you just keep 'em around for awhile? I don't delete anything. I use what I call the elevation method. I keep all of my images, because I write so much, and I do so much lecturing and teaching, I like to use my bad images. I'm sure I shot them on purpose bad. Yeah, I do that too. It's a thing in the industry. We do it on purpose. In terms of the images I actually show, or use in my books, I use probably, from a trip to Africa, if I come home with ... I always tell people this. If I come home with 10 pictures that are great images, I'm a happy man. 10 pictures from a trip that you can actually use commercially, or professionally, that's a good trip I think. Right. All right, so let's change environments here, definitely. So whereabouts in Africa were you for this? This is the very cold region of northern Africa. No, this is Iceland. Another place I go to every year is Iceland. This is yokel, yokel -- Jökulsárlón. Jökulsárlón, yes. I've been there so many times, I still can't say it. But it's the Iceland lagoon. Such a cool place. I photographed there, I don't even know how many times. But every time I go, I just enjoy it. This is at, well I'm gonna say sunset, but sunset in the summer in Iceland, is like at 11:30 p.m. The sun was just comin' over the hill, and backlit these beautiful clouds against this glacier. This was also with a 200 to 400 millimeter lens. I use that lens to do landscape photography. I am surprised at how much I do use the 70 to 200, or a short telephoto for landscape stuff. You get these details that are great to show. I've seen this lake a lot of times. I've been there, 'cause I did a bike tour around Iceland. When I was there, so many people, it's flat lighting, 'cause it's very cloudy in Iceland all the time. That lighting is so rare, and you gotta be just goin' nuts. Oh, I was. I remember this night. The sunset lasted for an hour and a half. Because in the summer in Iceland, the sun's just skimming along the horizon, and I was just, as a photographer and as a tour leader, I was just flippin' out, and I'm sure my participants were like, this guys' a little bit strange, but I'm like, you don't understand! This is wonderful. It is a little bit strange, because when you shoot in Africa, a sunset, it's like 10 minutes and it's just gone, 'cause it's just coming straight down. The northern tip of Iceland, just almost touches the Arctic Circle, and so, photographers are normally used to shooting a certain pace, and I run, so it's like, they're running the mile, so it's like, we gotta go quick, we gotta get all these shots. When's the end? Let's keep going and keep going. You get excited to stay, but it keeps going on and on. Yeah. For this shot I remember, it was pushin' midnight, and the sun still was out, and we had all got hundreds of photos that were great, and finally, we all looked at each other and said, why don't we go back to the hotel and go to bed? Exhausted our cameras. Well nice shot, nice shot. Iceland as well. These are eider ducks. This is also the glacier lagoon. These guys were just swimmin' around, and I just laid, I literally laid down, put the front of my lens on the water's surface, and just laying there, photographing these guys. They come past me. Unfortunately, the water was flowing from left to right, so they weren't moving that fast, so I'd shoot a whole sequence of shots, and I'd jump up and I'd run 30 feet down and lay back down in the dirt and shoot again. So they were like moving in slow motion then. 'Cause you're working with the current. Yeah. Nice. They were paddling furiously, but weren't actually, relative to my location, moving that quick. Definitely, I think in this one, point of view really makes it look different than your standard shot. Somebody just standing up by the shoreline shooting straight down at the water. Getting those icebergs in the back really placed this as some place unique. Yeah, that's a good point. When I take people on my trips, wherever it is in the world, I always encourage them, get low, get low. Shoot whatever wildlife you're photographing at eye level. That puts the background farther away, it makes the background go blurry, but also it's this intimacy that you don't get by shooting up high. Right. Well, let's continue our world tour into another location. All right. So this is not Africa or Iceland. This is Galapagos. One of my favorite places to phot ... How can everything be my favorite place to photograph? Gotta be careful with that one. Yeah. So Galapagos. These are giant tortoises, and that's really one of the things that Galapagos is known for, these giant tortoises. So this was at actually a tortoise reserve. Boy, I think all of these shots that I'm showing today were all with my 200 to 400. This might be with my 70 to 200. In fact, I think it is. 72, 'cause you can get right up close, and that's the special part about Galapagos. The animals have no fear of humans. So you literally, as we're walking along the beaches and the trails, you actually have to watch out where you step, 'cause you might step on the animals. That's a nice experience to have, 'cause normally, if you go into a typical place, basically, despite what the park rangers say, and don't hold me liable for anything, bears don't just come and eat you. They typically see a human, and they typically run away. They don't wanna be around humans, for the most part. They do want food, so if you have food, that changes the thing. I have seen bears in the wild a number of times, and it's like, there's a bear, I'm gonna get my camera, oh, it's gone. Here, you have to be very careful, and I'm sure they have lots of rules about how you approach animals and so forth. Yeah, they use the two meter rule. They basically say, you know, if you've got a walking stick, hold your stick out and don't get any closer to the animal than that. It's good, because the special part of Galapagos is the wildlife is so approachable, we don't wanna ruin it. Follow those rules, if you ever go. So in the Galapagos, are you shooting a lot from the boat, or are you getting let off on land and doing most of your shooting there? The tours that I run are all boat based tours. So we stay on the boat overnight, and we go back to the boat for lunch, but then, almost all the wildlife photography is actually on shore. At least two shore excursions a day. One in the morning, right at sunrise. You can't be on the shores before the sun comes up, that's a national park rule. Don't you hate those? They just don't understand photo -- They don't understand what we need, yeah. Actually, my idea for somebody, I'd do it myself, I don't have enough time, but be a photography consultant for national parks. 'Cause I've been to these national parks, and I'm like, you know, if you built this boardwalk just a little bit out here, you wouldn't have all these photographers running out here to get the shot, because you have a tree in the way. Or, if you trim this bush, it'd be a little bit easier. Okay, could you let us on shore, half an hour before? Well, some parks you can get special permits, scientific permits, and I know some parks in the USA, some parks you can actually talk to the park administrator, and get a special entrance ahead of time. Most parks are not conducive to photography. Yeah, we're not first on the list. Somehow, the animals always beat us out. They win. They always beat us out. This is also Galapagos. This is an owl. This is one of the few raptors that actually are in Galapagos. There's two. There's the Galapagos Hawk, and this, the owl. This owl lives on this ... These owls actually live over these vast beds of lava, and they're almost impossible to see. One day, we were walking along, and literally, this guy was three feet away from us, and just sat there. We shot this bird every ways from Sunday, and then it took off and flew. Like you said, Iceland's cloudy a lot. Same thing in Galapagos. It's a marine environment, so there's a lot of clouds. Just happened, this guy flew right in front of some blue sky, and looked right at the camera. Plug Nikon, my Nikon auto focus system got the shot. Nice. I love that head turn. That head turn is great. Getting something a little out of alignment. Normal bird, everything's straight, even flying forward and stuff. That's great, that's great. All right. Changing our journey here a little bit. Yeah, so another thing that I do is commercial photography. So I work for clients, they pay me to photograph things like their construction projects. I work for a lot of clients who manufacture pieces and parts that work in the construction industry. For example, a couple weeks ago, I photographed this business's deck railings, and deck material. I'm getting really excited now. Really excited. I know. Super exciting, it's thrilling. It really is, it's a totally different type of photography. My purpose is to show their product in the environment that will sell ... That they can use to sell more of their product. So I'm providing a service for a client, and I do it ... This is basically kind of a mix of architectural photography and product photography, in the real world. So it's really dependent on the weather. It's dependent on time of day. It's depending on the phase of the construction project. This company here, they manufacture that orange stuff. It's building wrap. The orange stuff. The orange stuff, yeah. They wanna show how it's integrated into the building structure. I work with the construction agencies, I work with the safety departments. I have to wear hard hats, and steel toed boots. The vest. The vest. I get to wear my Carhartt pants, and look like a construction guy. It's all to serve a purpose for the client. Right, and so you know? For all you kids at home. There may not be the most exciting thing, but there's needs for photography in everything in the world. It's just a matter of making those connections, and contacts and working with them. I think, a lot of times, people that are looking to become a professional photographer, they have a lot of misconceptions about what it means to be a photographer. Or what the industries are. There's a lot of niches in photography, and there's a lot of ways for us to make money. This is one of those ways. I'm happy that I shoot it. It's not the most creative or soul filling type of photography, but it pays the bills. Yeah, yeah. I'm sure you learn things from there that you apply to your other parts of photography, and it's just good to do a variety of things. Absolutely. Now, where is this? You know, this was one of creative li ... I took this at one of my Creative Live classes, it was panoramas and printing. I just use this to illustrate that I love panoramas. I do a lot of panorama photography. It's one of my passions. Beyond just shooting them commercially, I just enjoy it from an aesthetic standpoint. People always talk about the human eye as a 50 millimeter lens, I don't always believe that. I kind of feel what we see, we see more panoramas as humans. So I like to show that in a lot of my imagery. So this shot of Lake Union in Seattle is one of my favorite shots. I am actually looking at a very small image of this. The boat moving, and dealing with moving subjects in panoramas. Are you just letting Lightroom or Photoshop stitch it together, do you do it manually, do you do little tweaks before you put it together. What are a few tips? Yes to everything you just said. Panoramas can be as complicated or as simple as you want. As simple as your iPhone, swiping across the scene, as complicated as using specialized programs and layer masking. So I do all those things that you described, but what I will typically do. If you can see this at home, if you're looking at the screen, you see this picture. There's a boat. It looks like a red boat there on the left side of the frame. It was moving from left to right. What I typically do, is I find out, what's moving in the scene, and then I actually pan the opposite way of the movement. So you only get them in one frame? So it only ends up in one frame. Okay. 'Cause if you pan with the boat, and you go picture, picture, picture -- You're gonna have five boats. The parade of the red boat. Lightroom does a good job of stitching simple panoramas. For my more complicated, I typically go to Photoshop. I think the pano processing engine is better in Photoshop. I've seen that on a number of issues. Okay. Let's go to another one here. Yeah. So this is a little place called Scammon Bay, Alaska. Not salmon bay? No. Scammon. Wow. That sounds decievious. It's out there. It's way out there. I show this because another thing that I do, I spend a lot of time doing mission work, and spending time in the field serving other communities. A lot of times I do that with my camera. But I also do it with labor. So we went to this little tiny village in Alaska, and helped rebuild a house for a local. We spent about, my team was there for about a week, but it was over about a two month process. I love doing photography when I'm serving on these mission trips because A, they can use the imagery, they can use them to help tell their story. A lot of times I will donate my photos, or charge 'em some small fee. We can use 'em to tell stories about what's going on in that community, and kind of raise awareness for the issues that they have. Great doing some photography with a cause. Yeah, absolutely. Very good. All right, final image. One of your favorite places? Right, Cuba. Cuba. Havana. In fact, you've probably photographed at the same -- I think everyone has at this point now, that's been to Cuba. This is at a boxing training facility in Cuba. I show this image to show that I do a lot of portraiture as well. One of my things is small strobes, the Nikon wireless flash system. This photo I took with my Nikon wireless flash, and brought an umbrella and the light stand, and shot some boxing guys. I was leading a class, actually, when I was there. I brought in all of my students and we all shot high-end location portraits in Cuba. It was really fun. That's always a fun trip for everyone, and bringing all that stuff there. Gotta give you some credit points there. The Cuban TSA, or the Cuban immigration and whatever, they check your bags. You never know what's gonna happen when you come in through there. Yeah, yeah. Gotta be prepared on that. Let's show some people some of the classes that you teach here. You have many more than this, but tell us, if you will, a little bit about these three. Sure. This one is a new series. This first one here, How to Shoot with your First Flash. One of my goals with photography and just in my life, is I like to make things accessible. I like to make complicated things easy to understand. Just like you in your teaching. These classes, How to Shoot with your First Flash, are all based on, hey, I got this Nikon or Canon, or Fuji or whatever flash, and I put it on my camera once, and I took a picture, and the person was washed out. Deer in headlights. It's all about learning how to shoot with that, learning how to make beautiful looking images with your first single flash. The first class that I ran here at Creative Live was indoors, and then we've got another one coming up that's all outdoors. Yeah, 'cause that tricky balancing it with the ambient light. In some of my beginning classes, I don't even go into flash, 'cause I just simply say flash is the most complicated part of photography. Yeah. It's one of these things. It is complicated until you know a few tricks. Until you know a few things about it, and then it's like, oh, why was I so worried about that? That's why we're here. Is to help teach this stuff, and to help people understand. And then, Building your own Home Studio. Yeah, DIY. One of the books I'm writing is coming out later this year, is do it yourself. It's all on do it yourself projects. We've been doing a series here at Creative Live on do it yourself photography. Building your own lighting equipment. Building your own backdrops. Building your own macrogear. The home studio is obviously all around studio photography, but we have other classes coming, and that are here right now that are just on, macro, like how to build your own extension tubes, and how to do this thing called free lensing. Pretty much everything I have has been modified in some little -- Customized. Yeah, no, I like doin' that. That's great. So that's some great stuff. Check those classes out. Great teacher for that. If you can stick around, would you like to look at some photos from the students? Let's do it. That'd be fun. All right. So we're gonna get into our image review section of the class. If you would like to submit your photos, you can do that at Creative Live. What you can do is go to the Fundamentals of Photography page, that's the big class that I teach. There is a tab called Student Work, and you can submit work in there, and just post your photos, and there's a great collection of photos in there right now. Please add more to them, so that we can use those in future editions of this One Hour Photo. Let's take a look now at the image review section. We got 10 photos to look at, and we're gonna take a look at these, and just ... For those of you at home, we don't know what you were encountering when you shot these photos. We don't know what your challenges were, like, I couldn't move left, there was a wall. All we know is what the images look like, and we're gonna try to be nice, but we're also gonna be honest. We'll say what we think, and see what we get up with here. Okay, I think we got a barred owl here. For the average photographer, getting a shot of a bird, and an owl, is like the first time you do it, you're totally happy. I think this is a pretty good shot. I think the lighting is both good, but challenging here. What are your initial thoughts? Yeah, initial look is, we got catch lights in the eye, which I think is fantastic. I'm always looking for catch lights -- Explain the catch lights real quickly. If you look real closely at the eyeballs, you'll see a little pinprick of light, and that just shows that the animal's alive and vibrant. That's a really good thing about the photo. It is challenging light, though. I mean, it looks like he's kind of in the shade, it's modeled. It would be better if it was solid backdrop of greenery behind it, like there's a trunk of tree off to the right hand side, that's just solid dense. Having that dark background. The blue sky. Let me just jump into Lightroom here. This is not gonna help out very much, I don't think. But you could take the whites, or the highlights, down a little bit, just to darken that blue a smidgen. That may have darkened the photo up a a little bit. This is very subtle adjustments, and I'm not sure if you're seeing it at home. But we really do wanna be able to see that owl. Unless, of course, you are trying to disguise it into the background, and it's kind of a hidden little figure. What about the composition? Putting it right in the middle? You just said, hey, the first time I photographed a bird in the tree, is like, oh, take the shot, bam. But it is smack dab in the middle, so one of the things that we always try to do as photographers is move the animal, or move the subject a little bit off center. Maybe a little bit to the right or a little bit to the left. What I like to do is I like to have what I call negative space, or viewing space in the photo. Let's say the owls gesture, generally, is to the left, well then let's put the owl on the right side, so there's this negative space over there. So what I don't like is the bottom right corner, there's a part of a tree trunk down there. If we just kinda bring this up and out, and we put him kind of down there in the bottom right. With that kind of Y in the branches, and his tail is kind of down towards the right, and his head moving more up to the center. Now his face is actually still pretty close to the center of the frame, but it just throws him off a little bit. You could play around subtly, I don't know that I got it quite perfect there. I can see maybe ... Kinda getting that out of that corner, that bottom right piece. Working with the Y, I kinda want to put him back in the middle there, but there's a number of other options, just getting him a little bit out of the middle. All right, next up. So very different, we're going for portraits here. I like the really getting in there, tight range. Okay, I'm forgetting this right now. One of the things is that people read words. We can't stop reading. I looked at this LongRange, and it's a farming product. I don't know. I had to look it up on the internet, 'cause I was like, it's some sort of bacteria that you have for cattle, so that's potentially distracting. Or maybe, this is you're advertising the product, or something. Yeah, when I look at it, I think baseball player, right? I think it's a kid playing baseball. Yeah, that's what it looks like. Eliminating distracting elements. If you're trying to sell this product, or if this is a thing that's your identity, or if it's even the team name or something like that. Okay, then include it. But if the logo doesn't have anything to do with the photo, you gotta get rid of it. So yeah, you could possibly ... Let's just crop this out, just for a second, and just bring it down. I'm not gonna worry about the composition. There we go. If you take a look in the right hand side of the screen, the histogram, what I've noticed is that we were kind of a little bit on the dark side, and one of the things that works well on black and white images, is a bit more contrast. I'm just gonna bring up the brightness of this a little bit, and then I'm gonna bring the blacks down a little bit. It depends on your screen, exactly what you see on there, but potentially, a little bit more contrast. I'm gonna reset this again, 'cause I thought I'd practiced doing something better, so I'm gonna try with the highlights, bringing the highlights up a little bit. Might bring the white of the eyes just a little bit more. So there's some subtle adjustments that you can get in there to play with. It's hard dealing with image quality on the internet. Everyone's screen is calibrated a little differently, and resolution and so forth. I think the big takeaway from your little edit there, your little development moves, is that black and white photography really benefits from contrasts, a lot of times. Assuming that there aren't a lot of pock marks in your subject's face, you can really amp up, bring up the highlights, bring down the blacks. It just makes a much more dynamic image. All right, next image we have here. You know, I probably shouda been giving credit to people who shot these images. Yeah, who are these people? So Nichole Lombardi got the owl, and Jennifer Basford, our portrait. Some nice shots. Margot Visser on this. Margot. Margot, thank you very much. Thank you very much. This one, my first instinct is, okay, there is something kinda cool going on, but boy, that lighting. Good. Whenever I do these reviews, I like to say what do I like about it, and then what do I think needs to be improved. I like the perspective, I like the columns, kind of leading you in towards the subject. I think that's good use of framing. Lighting is really difficult, and our subject, the guy, is in the shade. I don't know if there's a spot where they get to, where they're in the sun. But that could be a magical point, because -- Wait. Wait til he walks forward a little bit. Right. I was thinking, I don't like him walking away, but you know what? That could be okay. In my ideal situation, I'd say, Jimmy, walk back and forth 20 times. I would wait for them to hit the light, and shoot it going away and coming forward, to see what it's like. This probably has a completely different look on a cloudy day. If this is a park in your neighborhood, go back on a cloudy day and try it again. Granted, it's not as fun to wade in the water on a cloudy day, it's not as warm. I think they got the composition basically down. In this case, center subject I think works fine. It works. That perspective point of view. But that contrasty lighting, there's just enough controls in Lightroom to really fix that. One thing I was thinking as you were talking through this. One thing that could make this photo maybe a little bit more compelling, is a longer shutter speed. Look at that water. Yeah, that could be interesting. That would be a good experiment, 'cause they probably used a fairly fast one. I don't know if we can pull up that information. We were at a thousandth of a second. So we were stopping the water droplets, which is one good option. Any time you shoot something, if you have the opportunity and the time, try a couple of different things, because none of us know it all and we have to experiment, and play around and see what's gonna work. You're goin' in the right direction. All right, so, gorgeous. Gorgeous. I love it. Slow shutter speed. You got the water movin' around, which is nice. You got some great colors. You got a good foreground subject. Let's see, who's got their game dialed in? Matthew Hawk, I think you're doin' great in here. What are your thoughts? Yeah, Matthew, great work. Really fantastic. Everything that he said, I double. It's hard to find fault in this image. But I think every photo can be improved. How would I improve it? One thought is that foreground. The water flowing in the foreground, it's nice, it's blurry, it's soft. That's cool, but it doesn't really, in my opinion, add a lot to the composition. I think if you have a bigger image that you cropped this down to, go with the bigger image, and maybe lose ... Can I use your computer? Yeah, go ahead. Maybe try something like this. Where you're not showing as much as the foreground, and you're showing maybe, that same strip of sky, or maybe a little bit more of the sky. The other thing is, that sun is really nice. That sun over there on the right hand side. It's really cool, and it feels a little cramped to me. Maybe there's a pier, or there's a person standing over there. I was gonna say the same thing. I very much like the new HD framing aspect ratio. Sometimes, because I just present classes in the HD aspect ratio, which is 16 by nine, go in there and just crop it. Now you can move it up and down a little bit. I like that wider look. The aspect ratio of one by one and a half, which is what most of our cameras have, is a good general purpose piece. But, I'm very free to change it, and I, typically for landscapes, I don't mind going a little more cinematic and wide. For portraits, when I go vertical, it's a little too tall and skinny, so I am often cropping off a little bit. We don't want to crop too much, 'cause we're losing megapixels, but little bits here and there, just keep all the good stuff in the frame. HD format works fantastic for this. That'd make a nice wall print, too. All right, next up. This feels like the Tetons to me. It's a beautiful, beautiful neck of the woods. We've got, it looks like a barn, I like that. We got fog, gotta love that. We got mountains. We got a fence with a pattern. I love all those elements, but I'm not totally lovin' the photo. There's a number of elements that aren't going great. The bottom left empty corner would be first problem. What are your thoughts on this? Great. So the things I like. I like the leading lines. Every photo, we should aspire to find something that brings the viewer into the photograph, so the fence serves kinda as that leading lines. But, at what expense? The fence is kinda leading the eyes out of the frame. Maybe there's some work we can do there. For me, I think the biggest issue in this one is the sky. It's the time of day they shot. Well, it looks like it's probably near sunrise, but that sky is all washed out. If you look at the histogram up on the right hand side, it's that gigantic spike on the far right side of the histogram. Yeah, so solutions for that. Shoot a little bit earlier, a little bit later. Wait for the lighting to equal out, sometimes between the landscape and the sky. Or, neutral density filter, HDR. Ideally, you would want to use a neutral density filter out in the field. I'll try to use one here, I don't know if we really have the data, it's a JPEG. They may be able to fix this with a raw image. This is a very rough. Okay, that's ... I just do it extreme just so I can see where things are. I come back to where it looks normal, and then I just bring it in. I'm just gonna not be too heavy. Clearly, I see it there, so I'm gonna back off a little bit there. Before and after right there. Maybe that's a little bit too much, but the sky is too bright. I think they've got some good elements, and they just ... They're choosing the right subject, they just need to play around a little bit with the composition, and maybe a little bit with the filters, and so forth. The fog is what, in my opinion, the fog is what makes this image worth keeping, and maybe even doing a little bit more work in Lightroom. The fog is great. All right. Moving on. All right, I'm guessin' we're in the Fish Market here. Boy, the colors from those lights are horrible. Yep, fluorescent. It's an interesting place to shoot. To fix the color, this isn't a Lightroom class, but we are doing -- Who is this, by the way? This, thank you very much. This is Eleonora. Thank you for the photo. Just to fix the white balance, I'm gonna take it off this guy's coat, 'cause I'm pretty sure he's in a white coat. It suddenly feels very green, but let our eyes adjust for it. I'm gonna just concentrate on color, I'll let you talk about something else. This just kinda feels like a black and white image to me. When I get really really funky lighting sometimes, I say, I'm just gonna shoot black and white. Just to solve ... 'Cause trying to go in there and solve that, is a bit of a problem. If you said, I absolutely need it in color, I might come down and just lower the vibrance, or lower the saturation, just to make it a little bit less intense. Yeah, I agree with everything you're saying right there. Let me talk composition. I like this, this is such a classic street scene. You're walking through the Fish Market, there's these guys there, they're working in the market. If it's about the people in the market, you really wanna see their faces. This guy on the left side, with the hat, standing there with a pencil and a pad of paper, he's the photo. He's what's making that image. Let's find a way to make him more prominent. Maybe it's walking closer, maybe it's gesturing, saying, hey, can I come in? Or asking him, hey, come closer to the camera. He's the personality that makes that photo work. Also, we don't wanna crop him off, right? If he ends up being the thing that makes the photo the anchor, he's gotta be fully in that frame. This looks like Cannon Beach, not too far from us, here in Oregon. Immediately, I'm noticing the square image. I like square images, I used to own Hasselblad at one time. I don't like things that are just slightly outta square, so once they go square, I think they look kinda nice. We do have a lot of open space here, I kind of like. This one they've taken black and white. I think, in general, it's a very very good image. I like it. I like how they've gotten some reflection out of just water on the sand. What do you think? It's a classic, timeless photo. It could be taken in any era. It could be taken in the '40s, the '50s, the 2000s, whatever. I like that timelessness about it. I like the contrast. The Haystack Rock is nice and dark, but there's just enough detail in there that you can see some of the basalt columns. I think that's great. I like the human figures for scale. One of the things I keep moving my head over, I can't quite tell if the horizon's level. I think it is level. If you're goin' square, and if you're goin' for symmetry, make sure everything is actually symmetrical. I think it is. I think we're right on. If we pull it up, it's pretty good. The only suggestion I would have is, you've got everything going for ya, just keep shooting. The two figures that you have out there, they almost kinda look like they're going in opposite directions, and so, playing around, they're generally in a pretty good spot. I think just having them off to the side there. But maybe having both moving in or, just keep playing around, 'cause you obviously don't have control over the way they're moving around in there, and just get as many different ones. Maybe this was the best of the group there. That would be really the only other variable, 'cause they've dialed everything else in. Yeah, I think a great comment I heard, from another great photographer. I think it was Bob Krist, I don't remember exactly, but he said, "Find something interesting," "find interesting light, and then wait for" "something interesting to happen." That's to your point. Just wait for those people to move in a way that the composition works. Right. Don't be afraid to shoot a bunch of photos, and thank you Rachelle P. for that shot. Thank you, all of you, for your photos. Appreciate that. If you want to submit them, you can do that at the class page for Fundamentals of Photography here on the Creative Live website. Mike, I wanna thank you for coming in today. Good talking to you, and thanks for helping all these folks out with their photos and so forth. We'll be back again next month, with a new episode. I'm not sure what we're gonna talk about, but hopefully, it'll be another good hour of learning. Tune in next time, and we'll see you around. Thank you.

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