Innovative Techniques for Outdoor Photography


Innovative Techniques for Outdoor Photography


Lesson Info

HDR Landscapes and Time Lapse

Hdr in landscape which is the place we would use it probably the most I used to live in california and place called low so so so and there were the there was some areas of oaks pygmy oaks that were beautiful but how did you capture them and there was just no way to come back again. What we talked about at the very beginning of this day was I had no idea how I was ever going to bring forth what I could see in those little oaks and then we learned about hdr I mean I was there for thirty some years so this all happened why was there so hdr came across and all of a sudden I'm able to take a syriza pictures in this case six pictures from opening up the darkest shadows, the middle tones and then all the way down to here to where we're getting the sunburst very nicely and the end result is let's go back the end result is showing what those pygmy oaks looked like because we didn't have to worry about the contrast so there are times when there is no other answer it doesn't look like a grunge pi...

cture doesn't look like it's an hdr picture it's a picture that shows us what's there and what are I generally sees because their eye is doing the same thing it does with a panorama it's doing the same thing with hd are these new concepts that we're doing with the computers and people will sometimes say, well, jay, you're cheating but what we're doing now instead of being limited by the camera, we're trying to use the computers to see more about the way we actually see or want to see we have that option as well here's a shot in with the five d mark five gs in the area by valley of fire and this is the eleven of twenty four millimeter lens at eleven millimeters and the long exposure three point two seconds at sixteen to get some depth of field out of it but at eleven millimeters and if you did this with a a fish islands, you would have all this distortion and we're not getting that distortion. You know, I think this is going to be a wonderful investment is what I would call it because this lens is an investment this is a fish I shot in on molokai in hawaii and it's an hdr this this is black law, but you would have no information in here unless you had done in hdr this is probably close to seven images at a stop a part of something like that across the way right in here would be ah, the island of oahu would be across from here but this particular shot and this proves that that columbus was correct the world is round another area on the other side of molokai that has this area which we call the bathtub and early morning, the sun is just coming up. If you look at this one of the single shots of this hdr, you will see that there is no information in here. So we've got a whole series of exposures that allow us to do this kind of a shot at sunrise and still come away with an image. It opens up a whole new world for us. This is another area in hawaii, and this is this is reality. This is what the area looked. This is a botanical gardens and has little waterfalls coming down through it and that's a straight video and that's what I would capture. So then I went to time lapse, and I use the quarter second, which you cannot use with video video has to be, if you're going to show it back at thirty frames per second, you have to have a thirtieth of a second for each frame. Otherwise it doesn't work, so can I will allow me to do it again. Yeah, well, so every shot is a quarter of a second, and that shows water the way I like to perceive it, so for me, this becomes mohr of way I perceive water to be so then I photographed it with hdr as a still and brought out the color and everything is a still photograph. And I also converted it to black and white, and it becomes very, very different. Think back now what you saw when I had the reality of that, that video is probably the closest to what the general person would walk by and see there. But if you have in your mind what the possibilities are and you use that hdr capability a little wider angle lens and everything you can see here, let me go back to them black and white. I really do like the black and white. You have these choices and it's up to you make the choices the you want to make. I like to do aerials. We talked about aerials, different panorama aerials this morning, but I also carry with me camera a lot of times when I'm flying in an airplane and we used to have roe small cameras like that old sixty d that I had that was six megapixels. I had one of those converted to infrared, and I could put that into my bag into my computer bag, and I would shoot out the window of airplanes, and I could do infrared and infrared takes out the takes the haze and just makes it disappear. It's just amazing what you can do with it. I'm thinking of getting another small camera converted so that I could be that the camera have now for in for it is a big monster five d s mark two and it's got the big motor drive thing at the bottom of it and everything so I don't take it out that often, but you can convert almost any camera in these point should cameras into infrared and it's a really a lot of fun to work with, but here I've been shooting out the window. I'm leaving honolulu and to hire an airplane, do this and to be in the area where the airplanes go up, the airliner's go up, you're not going to be allowed to fly there anyway, so I had a really good window. I and I got a very sharp image out of the seat. Everything worked. The window was clean. I had the camera. I got the right exposure. The clouds were good. So that's, not one that you would get every day. I mean, I could fly in and out of honolulu time and time again and probably never get this photograph again, and I have to think, uh, united airlines for that. So months ago I was flying into new york, but I flew into new jersey and I did finally get a bonus for flying into new jersey was that I've got this wonderful I'm shooting this panorama out the window of the airplane is relating there's a statue of liberty and we've got the new I think that's the new uh do building uh take a look at it here yeah, this is the new world trade center right there, so I don't normally have the camera like that available to me when I'm when I'm flying around these days and do I get a good window? Not very often um, but for some reason I had the camera and as I'm coming on looking, I'm saying, wow, that's manhattan and I just started taking pictures and it's it's like that ariel thing we talked about earlier, I'm taking a picture as we're moving, so I'm taking a picture of waiting a second take another picture, we're taking another picture and it all went together sometimes will surprise you you know the concept, you know the idea, but it doesn't always work but it's always worth a try and then I was in new jersey there's going to be there's going to be somebody that was going to buy this program in new jersey that just decided not to buy this program these are the marble caves of lago correra and this is the second largest lake in south america. It's in northern patagonia and I had some friends who lived not far from me in colorado that had built a house on this lake and had told me about these areas of marble and marble is somewhat soluble and the water flowing around it and everything will fetch it away over a period of time and they were telling me about these caves and I saw some pictures that this lady had taken and it just blew me away and I went to visit her my wife and I went over there and we photographed these caves but because of digital photography we were able to document the caves and if we hadn't seen these, you know, ten years earlier never would have happened because they're fairly dark inside you need wide angle lenses you need image stabilization. You need all of these things to make it happen so you can see the etching underneath in here and there's some areas this's almost. You know, this is only held up by these other areas and there's another cave that goes back inside of this cliff. In fact, this they have marble goes down, goes all the way underneath the lake and comes up on the other side of the lake way miles and miles away and goes underneath their house their house is built on top of this marble and they took an area in the very center of their living room and polished, headed, polished and that's part of the marble that they're the floor of their living room is just amazing story, but the place is absolutely beautiful and had really not been documented. The lady which is linda waite hoffer, who does a lot of photography in patagonia area there had that's a beautiful photographs from it. She allowed me to come there and also we didnt article together for outdoor photographer on this. But look how this is etched back into here we have some light coming from behind me opening up. You see, there are some other holds in here, but I have a seventeen to forty millimeter lens that's pretty seventeen millimeters is pretty wide and I'm shooting it vertically as we were talking about doing panorama is and I would do a quick set of of panorama is and we actually got them to go together and because of the s o kicking it up to, like, eight hundred s o of with image stabilization, we can actually do some look, these things with seventeen to forty does not have image stabilization, but we were able to get some pretty nice shots but look at the colors and the formations that are inside of this area now, since we've published this and since she's published them images there are now tours going into here, so if you want to do a photographic tour into here it is now available. If you find any beautiful spot on the planet on publish those pictures, there will be a tour there within a very short period of time. We call this the devil's breakfast are the whales the whales breakfast and it looks like here like a gyp who was in japan? What was his name? Japan with pinocchio, he was swallowed up by the way or something like that, but anyway, that's what this looks like and this is a fish islands in there and trying to get, you know, the high I a soak in middle of that, so we're in there with a boat there's, a local guy who will take you in there on and embracing myself on the very front of the boat in here and that's how I'm getting these long exposures thirtieth of a second with this wide angle lens and I'm doing panorama is and stills and everything else and it was just absolutely gorgeous. Namibia is one of my favorite countries in africa number one it doesn't have a lot of people in it number two the desserts are absolutely gorgeous this is the salsa flayed area of the nanny of desert and also there's a good wildlife you go up in the northern parts of namibia, there's a couple of national parks up in that up in that area that they're fairly dry, but at the same time I didn't see a single photographer darryl gillian and I were were in there for a few days, and the photography is just absolutely wonderful. So this was quite a few years ago, and the earth some of the shots done there in the name of desert, and then I came I went back there a couple of years ago, and I took new techniques in the sense that this is now hdr and a panorama the same this is the same sand him from that I'm very different position. Obviously I'm closer because the tree is bigger and this doesn't look as tolerance is it as it is, is close to a thousand foot tall but it's actually three sets of panoramas, so I took the top half of it and shot it once normal underexposed over exposed the bottom half overlapping is normal, underexposed, overexposed, and then the end result is that so you go back to the same place and you find different pictures than you found the time you were there before and you're always going to be different, I didn't mona lake for more than thirty years with workshops every june for more than thirty years, and every time I'd go back, I'd get different photographs and never got old because I always found something different. That weather was different, the clouds were different, the lake was different, so I highly suggest that you go back and do the same places in these same things again and again. Well, it doesn't all have to be pure nature. We can take all of these things that we're talking about and something that interests you and colorado springs had a balloon classic every labor day, and they have eighty or more balloons. Ben has a balloon festival of actually it's two weeks from now, and they get eight to nine balloons but it's still pretty cool, I'll show you a picture that is better than any picture I ever got here with eighty balloons. I got it with one balloon, but it's fun to go in there with these wide angle lenses to do video, to do all these different things that you know how to do, and you're doing it because you just want to be there and you do some different things. So the standard stills you look for colors you look for design elements, reflections in the water and all those kinds of things, everything that we would normally do is still photography and that's a lot of fun. We also look for pictures like this where I'm kind of shooting in a little hole at the top of the balloon, where the air escapes if they allow it to and looking for shadows and things that are along the sides and with all these brilliant colors and everything. So you're looking for design elements as well, and then I realized that there was a panorama in front of me, but I don't have a tripod, so this handheld panorama thing works really well, so you just quickly take a serious of shots. You use this as your as your reference to make sure that you keep it level and but you shoot it quickly because the balloons air moving if a balloon moves from one image into the other one, you waited too long, so we'll let this show the end result here. So we've got quite a few different balloons in here. There's here's, a noah's ark balloon and then patterns and things on your different, but there was a number of different shaped balloons over the years that came into their, but mostly I like the color, and I like the fact that I could do a panorama handheld so you're panorama is only as far away as your brain, and the software comes later. You weren't you'll figure it out how to put it together somehow later, and you'll take a workshop that will tell you how to put it together and up to that point, you know, you have the images because you overlap them and you did what george said, and you kept the manual for the exposure manual for the white balance and in law worked together, so one year I decided to do video instead, so I put the fish eye lens on the video camera and it's a whole another it's a whole other thing. I had some filmmaking experience when I was getting my degree and so forth, so I try to put some of that work has been many, many years, but you don't try to stay on any one thing too long you have you have to be kind of watching up decides to see where things are going to go so that you could go with them, and in this case, we're trying to get the balloon to go up and what I'm shooting this one again with the fish eye, I see off to my right that one's going up, so I then move slowly over to that. I have a tripod, I have a bit of a, uh the, uh, fluid head that I have mentioned when we were talking about video now they come over the trees, they come down and then they touch the lake, the water and this is to prove that they are pilots and that they can control their balloon because they could bring it down, touch the water and then take off again. Hopefully so everybody is watching this happen, and I'm starting here with the reflection and going up to the balloon itself. But listen, when that balloon hits, the water touches the water, they're not supposed to hit the one that proves that they can pilot there balloons when my questions is, how do you indicate to yourself the beginning and end of any of your panelists and and and I do this? You need to know where one starts and one ends because you're going to do a whole bunch of these images and what's going to happen is that you're not going to know where one began and one started, and you're gonna have to look and see. Well, where was that? I always I photographed my hand at the beginning of it. I take my panorama or my hdr, whatever, and then I shoot my hand again, and that tells me that this is the beginning and the ending of something and I try to do that every time it's like we talked earlier about always doing the same thing, going from right to left or something of that nature. Well, this is one of those things that you have to remember to do that every time, because a lot of times you if you forget it, you just you sitting there, you just can't imagine where it started and where it didn't and where everything is. Just shoot your hand or shoot the sky so that you got a different shot started off something. That's, a good question. Okay, we're going to do a quick time lapse here. I'm going to rerun it. I took one frame every three seconds and actually I was doing the video over there and my wife was watching the time lapse over here and we put it close to the lake so that nobody would walk in front of us. You notice what happens? So here come the first set of balloons and the the geese were just really upset. They did not know where to go. They were just going all over the place. You can see how all of the ants air going back and forth over here, the people on the shoreline, you could see the whole balloon festival in just a few seconds. Uh instead of sitting there for a couple of hours well these balloons and there's two batches of them that come up but you're seeing all of these here is the second batch going up and there's there she is she's going to come down there and she takes all these pictures that's great she's taking lots of pictures thie father comes over and he turns around asked asked my wife are we in your picture? You know just a few hundred but there is the whole balloon festival you saw that you just witnessed the balloon festival of the years at least one of the day's lift offs and it was just it was great so time lapse congeal great fun thing in a different way of showing this whole thing so here is the balloon festival balloons over bend and we take the stills the first time that I knew it was happening I took some stills we have these the smokestacks this is the old stacks from the old mill that had been in the old mill district which is now a bunch of really high end stores and restaurants and that kind of stuff so whenever you have those and you put the balloons into it that's has been and this is farewell park and over here so this is where they take off from but I really wanted the balloons in front of the in front of the mountains so the second day they go off on two different days I climb I went up on the side of this pilot butte area that I shut the lightning from before and I says ok, they're all going to come up and they're all going flow towards me and I'm going to have all these balloons in front of the mountains that's going to be the shot I had a pre visualization, right? I had it nailed well they all came up and they went every direction not where I was and then one balloon came up and was starting to come across and for some reason I quickly attached my interval ometer I set it for ten seconds and when I took a picture all I did was I followed it with this tripod is set and the camera fires automatically every ten seconds and I followed it all the way through it went up a ways and it came down and it came all the way past the sisters. Now this there's broken top in the background. It started with bachelor there's south sister there's middle sister and there's north sister talk about luck but I was prepared and I had this crazy idea in my mind that maybe this would work and I you know I could have put the interval ometer on there and then nothing happened and it went straight up out of the picture and it was gone and that's what could have happened with those cranes when they when they took off? Now the camera is vertical remember that we we want to take these pictures vertical because that gives us a better, better file and after putting these all together, we made a huge print of it maybe about that tall but I don't know how many feet long and it hangs in the deschutes brewery in the in the bar and I could go in there and probably get a free beer or something is when I hung it there are they gave you free beer maybe if I go back and don't take it down they'll give me another free beer, but every ten seconds it just took a picture and you'd think it would take longer than that for it to move those positions but it didn't it's only a few minutesworth of time but hunch I guess this is, you know, sort of like an action sequence panorama type of a thing, but I know that this is going to happen I brief I frame it and that's mount jefferson in the background and I just every so many minutes I took another picture and another picture and then the eclipse kept going until it disappeared before the full eclipse was over, it disappeared over the horizon but it's just using the same techniques that we've been talking about but applying it to a whole different situation somebody was asking me about doing milky ways and this is we're going to run through it again here but look at look at the airplanes coming through there's even a meteor going through this and everything but it's it's pretty neat I want to do this a lot longer so that we get a lot more time with it I kind of like the cameras just sort of follow the milky way as we go this is I don't know how many hours already so things don't move that quickly when you get up there and this is up on mackenzie pass in that's actually the back side of the sisters the area over here which is gilou little light pollution is banned itself but there's very little light pollution up there it's really a wonderful place to go and do this kind of photography cannon came to me and said that the seventy mark two could do time lapses and we wanted to show how that worked that just using the time lapse feature within the seventy mark too so this is well what if I do a whole bunch of cloud things within the the cascades and they said, you know go ahead and do that so it is like the other shots you know like how do I do that so I did spend some time out there, and over the course of a couple of weeks, we have all these different cloud formations again. There's, all of the movements of the camera are all ken burns effect. If you shoot it, if you shoot this with enough resolution, you could move within the image in the ken burns. But I had great fun doing this is this is one of those projects that they have a really good they're going to pay me to do this. I hope they don't look at this there's, not jefferson it's, just amazing. The way the clouds build and change. And and, uh, again, the movements within it are all ken burns. So if you want to do this is online on the cannon website. Now, if you look under the seventy mark to the they show this in order to get that this's not washington, was on my way to the willamette valley, and I saw this going on, so I stopped, and I got a nice sequence here for the for the video. That was what I was planning on doing, but I saw it happening, so I stopped, and I did the timeline again. This is different. This goes right towards what we've been saying all along is that if we show something different from what you see on a day to day basis you don't see these clouds moving like this that's why I think time lapses are so fascinating to everyone is that it shows nature in a way that we don't get to see it on a day to day basis and that's why everybody is loving the time elapses because it's showing us something different I used a lot of different lenses five hundred one to four hundred eighteen to one thirty five ten to eighteen used well, they're all in seventy mark too, so they were all with those other lenses tio this's taking a block from my house so we come back to what we started with we talk about pre visualization the ability to anticipate a finished image before making the exposure and this is the ninth this is before nineteen eighty that's when he published the book, he talked about pre visualization long before then and but it fits so perfectly for digital photography. If you can look out there and say, wow, I can do a time lapse look at those way those clouds are moving today, or or the tulips and all these people are moving around let's do a one second exposure so that it looks a little different or something like that if you can come and look at what's ahead of you in front of you and hit it creatively with all these tools, all these concepts that we've talked about today, you have these options that you never had before. We have new equipment, that is, from fifty megapixels to sixteen hundred millimeters, thirty, two hundred millimeters video. We have our own wifi systems. We can look at what's on our cameras, all of these things that we've been talking thing about today, add to our creativity, it's. Like I said, I've been doing this for sixty years, and this is the most exciting time. I mean, I'm not burned out at this point in time. It's, you know, I got to keep going.

Class Description

It takes some serious skill to capture the magnificence of the great outdoors in a single still photograph. Find out how the pros do it in Innovative Techniques for Outdoor Photography with George Lepp.

George is one of North America’s best known outdoor and nature photographers. He is a leader in the rapidly advancing field of outdoor photography and digital imaging and in this class he’ll share innovative techniques for shooting outdoors. You’ll learn how to:

  • Create dramatic panoramas – from start to finish
  • Shoot with macro lenses
  • Achieve extended depth of field
  • Portray action like lighting strikes
  • Work with tele-extenders and HD video
  • Produce cinemagraphs

George will discuss the techniques behind some of his best-known photographs, sharing the secrets behind his celebrated images from Namibia, Chile, and more. You’ll learn about lighting, shooting, and editing high-quality images of wildlife, flowers, snowflakes, and landscapes.

If you want to create truly stunning images that capture the depth and complexity of a landscape, join George Lepp for Innovative Techniques for Outdoor Photography.