Core Photo Ingredients: Composition
There's two two difference things I'm looking for here the way in which a hole or mixture is made up and setting up the characters in order in the first thing I see when I see composition is order and I'm really against world you know I have a radar detector I speed everywhere I don't stop it stop signs you know rules are not for me man I just don't need him so order kind of goes along with rules right now if I'm going to compose a photograph via rules what am I going to do? Do we know this rule of thirds right? How many people this is the first rule we all learned we're trying to create a good composition now bam there's our subject how does this differentiate us amongst anybody else who's composing with the rule of thirds it does not right not that this is a bad thing but for me it is I don't evils conformity we don't want to be conforming steps as photographers we want to run through the fields naked free right free is the day we were born so freedom you know here's my to do list fo...
r tomorrow all the pink ones or crisis the blue ones ok, they might not be that bad just kidding but so we want freedom, right? But if if we take freedom too far we have issues now this whole thing kind of the whole thing kind of comes to a head when my daughter does something that she wasn't supposed to I'm printing a forty by sixty print on my printer she pulls the print off creases it I'm like that's not gonna work I hear it's yours so she takes it and she starts drawing on it and I'm like, oh my god there's a photo here and I immediately grabbed a camera I stand on the edge of the couch I grabbed the tripod I'm like setting this thing up like this thing's going down fast I don't know how I'm going to be able to pull this off s o I start distracting her, my son is he hates the camera he hates the big camera likes the iphone so he disappears you could see his truck there he was playing on the thing too she starts writing I love skiing you know I heart skiing and I'm like, ok there's something going down? I've got a photograph, I'm going pull it out, I'm going to grab it here's an inspiration moment for me, she's she's the free spirit she becomes an inspiration for me to go back and start thinking about my work so everything in my life kind of is coming together at this point in time where I'm like oh my god this is really this is this is this kind of amazing stuff I'm truly inspired I'm really going for it, so I take the photo twenty minutes later, I send a j peg to the photo editor of powder he's like, oh that's really cool, I'll use it we're doing this new thing new column in the magazine called glass it's about a photo and something inspirational about that photo that has to do with skiing like okay, great so they put this, they put the photo and they run it and john cleary davies is the managing editor of powder. Now he writes this poem or kind of statement about the thing and I am like reading this thing and I'm like, oh my god, it's about being free taking photographs is freedom to me it's about being in that environment, being in a place where I'm not confound by a desk, not etcetera, etcetera, I can get there. All right, so what am I free from free from apprehension? And I go to my daughter and I'm like, ok, what's she doing in her life that could further inspire me so she's really into painting and she's into using pastels and chalk and all other kinds of, uh, watercolors and stuff and I look at what she's doing and I start seeing picasso and I start seeing jackson pollock and I asked her you know what are what are the names of these well these your hands and I start seeing that no our training whatsoever she's five years old were living in washington does not have art school in washington s so we're trying to push you know this creative freedom expressions are and she's doing uh flowers he drives the skagit valley it's spring full of tulips she sees it in this way I'm like ok what's going on draws her friends she's in a dual language program half of her friends are white half of friends or hispanic essentially so she trails all her friends is people of color which is really kind of cool on like there's no prejudice with her there's no she's free from all of this stuff that as adults we get like a beat down on you know we can't speed we're going to get a ticket or insurance is going to go up on all this so how do how do we go back? We have to think about our kids and it was this apple commercial that steve jobs did many years ago that kind of nailed that you know put the nail on the head kind of thing I was like ok, we have to be different right? Because people who are crazy enough to think that they change the world are the ones that actually do okay so go back the artistic arrangements of the parts of the picture. No more order. What am I looking at? Artistic are is there is a lie that makes us realize the truth painting, burst, photography. Lots of photographers do not believe that they could create a painting, right wing or not? He's a stupid brushes and candice and stuff we need technical. Really nice black box, that's all really kind of machined and nice and shiny. Does anybody in this room not think they could do that painting? We all can, right? Ok. So if we can do that now everybody says hall that's, you know, simple times two and a half million years ago. But here's one thing to think about, look at the way the sun is setting, projecting light across that that is thought out. There is no doubt in my mind that that thing was done underneath the overhang. So it stayed there for eternity so people could see it like us, who go there two and a half million years later, and notice where the sun is setting cascading across it don't have light except for fire. But you do got the song. How does the sun react to what we're producing this's, a culture and people that are thinking about it, anybody in this room could do this what about modern art do we know who josef albers is oh managed to the square he did dozens of these you know four million dollars if you want to buy this painting right now okay so we are going to do one thing we're going to step on the puppy pumping you up to the to the rest of the day but there's one major detail right garnica by picasso it's an entire museum wall uh how do we how do we get beyond that how do we create what picasso created what we need experience right and we don't really have it necessarily yet so what are the stages? A photographer ok soon he was kind of cool here's where we start my phone has a camera you know we know nothing we think we know it all we think our levels up here right so blue is how good you think you are. Green is quality of photos on orange is thie knowledge look at this chart it's all over the place here's when you started there's your death so somewhere in the middle here that's where things kind of you start figuring things out so literally I'm twenty years into actually taking photographs and you know, I probably I would say I'm probably somewhere in here I'm on I'm on a path I've got direction I know where I'm going but there are all these hiccups along the way they're things that catch us, you know, hdr, everything I shoot is bad. You get your first tripod, all your work tanks, you know, I just can't shoot the tripod, you fall into the gear faggot tree stage here, where, you know, I need fifty two lenses to do a one lens job, all that kind of stuff, and that changes the way you work because it clouds what you're truly in there for from the beginning, which is this vision and this experience of translating to your viewer, right? So what is a strong photo need? I go back to school and I re analyze what I learned in for in five years of architecture, education, how to design something in this time I'm not designing in a three dimensional world, designing in a two dimensional world, but it works the same way. They're the same concepts that are applied to learning how to design a building that apply to learning how to design a photograph, questions we got him over here. So ali girl five o one would like to know how much editing do you do much editing in your images? Or do you prefer a more photo journalistic approach? That's kind of a confusing question as faras editing? If she means like yeah yeah so I don't know you were gonna be talking about we are going to work flow tomorrow yeah, I just thought yeah, I'm looking at some of the work here I just want to communicate today yeah that's a lot of this stuff is really so originally used to do a lot of photo shop stuff no had emerged blend exposures, multiple things like that the first time national geographic came to me, they were like, yeah, we don't accept any of that need to give us truth in advertising and we want the raw image you can process it however you want, but if there's anything different about the raw in comparison to the final, like removing elements and things like that cloning things out content where uh if there's anything happening along those lines, we're going to reject it. So that truly changed the way I looked at a photograph and truly changed how I was gonna do my work flow and I'm like, ok, well, now I'm going to do everything in camera and what does that entail? Sales filters and details paying true attention to the light and getting that shot out there in the field on dh er I was I'm essentially my clients have allowed me to use light room because they can do a check box and see what the original rollup like and then see if I've added anything back in or taking anything out so the way I work is I make adjustments in light room and I have a huge light room catalog now two hundred fifty thousand images and it's the best solution for me it's very time saving and everything is organized there I got a library and I've got develop module and I go to town so I don't I actually open photo shop a couple days ago for something and I was I haven't used it in so long I was kind of don't remember what to do now but that's we're going to talk about that tomorrow but I'm my client's kind of forced me into it and yes, I wanna work in that marketplace that's the way I'm doing it just one quick question I know is that you you talked about using a tri part when he was like downtown in the city when that but do you pack one when you go out on the trails when you're going skiing or anything? Sometimes sometimes a lot of I would say probably eighty percent of my work is handheld twenty present tripod now you know, having a high also available to me that has truly changed kind of the way I work and I think if you the benefit of the tripod is that allows you to really fine tune your composition especially when you're learning even though people feel kind of weird about it uh but so yeah eighty twenty I will carry one I'll carry model pod sometimes too on dh sometimes I make the athlete carry it one last question before we close off this segment this is from al vero hernandez who would like to know how important is it to be in awesome shape when you doing adventures for its photography? I mean they're very important, right? Yeah there's going to be yeah, there is I train actually a lot and I lift weights I ride my bike every day when I can in the in the summer every day that I'm home if I'm not home and I'm traveling I typically run all trail run a lot uh I do touchy and I had a really bad injury this past winter which has kind of got me into a little bit of yoga which was funny I stepped into it this morning here in the studio I was like, oh, I could do some of this stuff s oh yeah that is really important it's not for some of this stuff it's not as important if you can hike a trail, you can hike into shooting out making if you you know, can hike hike but if you don't walk anywhere, you can essentially walk to a location to shoot something but I'm kind of some of those further outreaching expedition type rides or things like that. You need to be in shape. My goal is to be, as in has in shape as I can be, so that I see the athlete when they're riding full pace. They're going to drop me like I'm nobody's business. But if I can see them and where they are on a ridge, aiken can always yell, and I can always use it to eight. I do a radio toe, have them slow down as long as I can see him, so that's my goal, keep them in the gun sights says.