Elements of Design: Shape
We've got line now we've got shape, right? How do we simple shapes give us familiar already? Is anybody not know what this is? No, we're good bighorn sheep, right? All I've done is gotten low he's sitting on the ground with his head just up in the air. The sun is setting in montana and I've just gotten low and put him up put his head up higher above the horizon to get this kind of warm glow from the sunset light that's it seventy two hundred lens I'm on a boardwalk he's on the grass below me I just get down essentially get my camera below his body height take the shot this was taken with him and what's pretty cool is I don't know if you can see it, but just little eyelashes and stuff. So even then, in the day of film, we still had detail coming out in photographs. If you shot this today, that would be so much sharper. It would be unbelievable, but it's still really cool that, you know, film shot still has merit kind of in, like in my life, in my opinion, I made him go out there and do ...
it he also did some yoga poses, which was really cool. But it's really hard to balance on these kind of volcanic rock shin this is in hawaii the best sunsets I've ever experienced in my life were are in two places ones hawaii the other one was in mexico and I don't know here on the volcanoes it's like a convergence zone teo behind us is and I think it's to the east but I could be wrong behind us pouring rain yes to these because we're looking at sunset uh and then to our west clearing sky delineating were essentially on the delineating line of the islands so pouring rain behind is awesome amazing sunset in front of us this happened every night for ten days so if it happened every night for ten days, chances are it's probably going to happen a lot s o we just go upon the volcano into the saddle in that zone and had our way every single light at finding different subjects to photograph at sunset ueno their birds somebody know what kind of bird they really matter no I mean it does some people does it doesn't the others really is how we progressed the photograph right very simple shape we know their birds we know their in flight were no it's sunset we come through the frame this way we come through the frame that way we can even come through the frame this way you know, kind of pointing arrow out into the flight path canada geese sandhill cranes again the drink of water at sunset you know after this we need lights around the top of a ridge line but again just very simplistic we don't need to see details and everything you know the people who are insanely mad about hdr photography like I don't want to see what she's wearing in the shop I like that moment I mean this is how I see it with my eyes when I'm on that ridge because it's bright out still right okay so complex ships intrigue it's called an elephant flower and it grows in the marshes on mountains in colorado why's it an elephant flower looks like you know elephants and I think it's actually called so why does it look like that will pretty much but the cool thing is this flowers only that big it's tiny it's gonna get a macro lens you got to get down and low and okay so it's shot with film I'm shooting I so fifty film we're on a mountain in a marshy area at sunset what happens we get breeze what happens with brees flowers move how do you stop flowers from moving? You increase your shutter speed but if you only have I so fifty film how do you get faster shutter speed aperture writes so very narrow depth of field here and we're going to talk about that tomorrow in the back country you start seeing this kind of stuff this is a big red flag snow is moving above you you don't want snow to move above you because what happens when snow moves above you it comes down on top of you right? I know this firsthand uh, so you don't want to be here but at the same point you can traverse this environment you don't want to skiing here but you we were traversing this environment and I have a person on the safe zone on the other side of slope and I have a person behind me on the others that behind me on the another safe zone and I walk I'm skinning a cross and I just see a shot I'm like I'm going to take it and keep moving I'm not going to sit there and stop but what's cool about it is this is a shape we all car kind of correspond to to me it's breakfast, quad mocha and a cinnamon roll right? So it's a complex shape but we can then kind of identified with it and if you're a skier or you really identify with because you think of it is danger if you're backcountry skier you know that snow's getting heavy it's starting move we don't want to be there very long because you never know what can happen we're looking at crabs where is it market chose to show him upside down that was intentional on my part because they're dead and it was kind of like you see the spider on the floor and it's curled up in his upside down right? So that's what it kind of meant to me so I could have shown it to you the other way for kind of view sick but for me it was about this upside down you know, this is kind of upside down right there cone they're becoming our food at that point so it's not really a real reality kind of base scenario who knows where this is? I love that building just for the highlights and shadows and dramatic contrast that frank areas designed into it it's just really, really cool. Uh we've got the, uh what's called the monorail right? So that's a monorail tower and I'm showing you this very abstract I mean to me this looks like picasso's guernica, right it's like this abstract kind of layer upon layer of distorted forms but then I give you one little tangible element the number five and that was just the five of the tower on the concrete tower so further progressing into shapes we have curvilinear shapes, free flowing and natural so have you guys ever looked at kind of like war shocking tests? You know where you see the face with or you see the vase depending on how you so that's what this kind of shot corresponds to me some of us see the line and others of a seed the two opposing sides of the line so it becomes this kind of rush ac deal facer base I called that curvilinear ship now what's the person ad right there scale that's that's that's the next presentation we talked about scale but it's just this kind of free flowing form these air ah they're called follies and this is in shanghai, china the whole thing was closed, but the beauty of a lot of international destinations is just because it's close doesn't mean you can't get it he just kind of opened the gate and go in and somebody chases you out well okay, so we're just there's nobody there because it's closed but this one guy did the same thing. We did just kind of walked in and started taking photos of this great location lots of different kind of architectural features and abstract you know, I love looking at architecture abstractly now too because great design from an architectural standpoint has great kind of texture has great line has great all of this great stuff that kind of I came from I can still utilize in my kind of day to day life and again looking for that very abstract jackson pollock this is a this's a confluence of glacier fed river on the coast near katmai in alaska and low tide is out. So this is that milky glacier water hitting the ocean where the tide is gone right now and I'm in a plane flying into a lodge, shooting photos if I get up in the air and take pictures that's a different perspective than nine times out of ten that I can get, so I'm going to take advantage of that and shooting directly through the window, and I was in a beaver, so you know the pretty bulky kind of slow flying aircraft, so you can just shoot to your heart's content, especially nowadays and then finding that natural, repetitive form of the weeds that essentially grow on these cars limestone cliffs in china. So finding a connection through layers, through design, through everywhere I'm traveling and going it's really important to me, and I think the images get stronger and stronger, the more I do it, so it just kind of becomes almost like a game to me. How can I challenge myself and how can I challenge my viewer? And you were taking a free flowing kind of natural form line, but we're putting it in a fairly engineered context, what is it, an airplane? We don't know what kind of airplane it is, it's. Kind of funny. I have a lot of guys from boeing and workshops, and they're like they just paige that's a b seventeen or something. So it's, kind of cool that you start knowing lines of things, even this abstract lady, they can pick that out. This kind of need, but to me, it's about the number one and it's about the relationship of the one that we probably go to first. And then the further relationship with that curve line, and then further getting depth out of that side of the photograph, you know, we way see the force. And I think when you see that you start your mind starts making connections that its air force, it could be a fighter bomber kind of. Okay, so we were at curvilinear shapes. Let's go to rectilinear shapes again. Man made an organized. We're not funding a lot of rectangles in nature. They are there, but for the most part, this is something we built, right? Horizontal vertical lines create horizontal vertical shapes, rectangular shapes this's in yakima. And this is before they go harvest. They stack all these boxes up, and I just happened to be there at a time when there's there's a kid there he hughes on something it wasn't stone cold sober, but he came running up to me and kind of scared me. I was just taking shots of things that I want to be in the picture, I want to be in the picture and like uh okay, right through the frame so we rode through the frame a couple times and bam, I've got the shot and now I've got a shot that actually sells a lot, I think there's, you know, there's a very strong connection between what's going on with him riding the bike and he creates in the background guys playing basketball in venice beach, california, giving you all the answers right here, right? The building tells it all but it's a very rectilinear shape, it becomes part of the main subject shooting on a tripod one second or so exposure, these guys were running back and forth on the court on far away from them that I'm not engaging with them, but when I walked up, they saw the guy with the big white lens, right? And I just waved to I pointed the camera just waved to him and they were like, yeah, cool and went back to playing, so when they went back to playing, I kind of got backto, you know, I went to work kind of got some shots shot it with them being still frozen balls kind of in the air passing that kind stuff but then I'm like, ok, I'm on a tripod why am I not trying to illustrate motion here? Because they're running back and forth I'm gonna have a sharp friends are I had somewhere to fall but then we get this whole concept emotion uh this is the mining town in body california and this to me represents how these people lives right there mining they're starting to find things and as they find things they make more money and as they make more money they add on to their house and there's no architect involved here we're just going to slap a little thing here put some tin there okay? Additions done, honey so that's the way this whole town kind of formed as they started making more money they started building more buildings they started adding on the buildings they had and here I am kind of whitney with miss ning the scene it's about this very rectilinear construction. Okay, so it's an abstract take on the literal you know, lots of people photograph the buildings here and show what's inside those windows of the of the empty shops and stuff but what about going beyond what about showing something that people may not see? Then it becomes more interesting we talked about his earlier notice rectangle secondary rectangle leads you to jackson line coming in there's a relationship here right? So there's a fought out balance this photograph reign as the element of bad weather we don't like to be in rain typically colors start you start seeing the fact that it's fall autumn rain that kind of thing silos in the loose anybody see the little hidden element? Do you see the little element in here? That's not really someone in between the someone in between the silos very good so another photographer was shooting out there and walked into my frame she was so far away from me that she didn't know I was taking pictures you know that direction and I left it in there and when I was when I used to do drawings azan architect we used to these detail sheets where kind of showed the construction of the entire building and it was used to draw a little fish in my drain tile which is at the bottom of the foundation it's like my little signature and some people would see it and other people will not. So it was like my goal to get the fish past, you know through like through the through the planning department through the permitting all that kind of stuff there's jay's fish wrote rolling in the detailed drawings of this so that reminded me this was kind of that this is my fish you know, in the photographer concept context, but so manmade structures and then very greece will kind of rolling hills in the background. There's a relationship going on there? This rectilinear pattern is offset by this rectilinear pattern. I'm kind of creating an implied diagonal line through the frame are not within. That is the activity shovelling ice on the fresh catch that just came in on the docks and then jessie's fish company, et cetera. Then we start making connections, right, where's that well, it's in oregon. But we can figure that out that in iceland, uh get real jack on and myself let a tour group there a couple years ago. It's kind of funny that emily was that you were there. You guys were all out in the field and it was freezing. And gabriel and I got in the van were like, we're not going out there. We've been in this kind of weather report have fun. But I saw the shot. The door was open and here's this reflection going on of a little bit of context. So I'm laying down in the van, taking phone calls kind of semi freezing cause the door was open. But again rectilinear shape right? We kind of start picking it apart I think you can figure out that it's a rear view mirror than it's on a truck you know, do you do you make of the overall connection? I don't know, but you're in the mountains do you think you're immediately going to notice a four by four right? These guys built this crazy shelter on second beach in olympic national park and everybody's out there photographing sunset and I see this thing and I'm like there's like five guys there who built the thing and they're all camping on the weekend and I have this brand new eight to fifteen millimeter fish islands I want to try out I just walk up to him and said, can I take some shots of you? And then yeah and I said after I need to get you guys release so I can use them wherever I want because it's like this is too cool to pass up so they're like chopping wood and you know, building a fire, getting ready to make dinner and here I am taking shots of their kind of the whole thing they built what's cool is that knowing how fisheye works well I could use that fish I get that tree which is completely straight curved and then leading you out to a different camp site in the french so it's all intentional going from we have curved we have square now geometric we'd go circles we go triangles strong presence right? Where is this so anything in there that allows you to figure out what's going on state flag red you may not know what state flag it is, but we know that it's a state flag so it's colorado state flag of you know, u s flag and I think the other flags city flag of denver this is a convention center in denver again beautiful piece of architecture done by daniel libeskind love this building and I loved his work when I was in college so thirty years later I'm looking at people I admired in school in very different ways. I found blue sky in colorado because of the atmosphere it's always blew you don't even need a polarizer iphone takes it right up hidden valley in yellowstone night before pouring rain in the summer in that environment I know that rain means cool cool means humidity, humidity means fog get up early enough there's a potential for me to get something out there that not many people would get and when I got to this scene it was completely white out I could not see anything but these pieces in parts of the reeds in the water and as soon as the sun rose, the heat from the sun started changing the clouds and the wind started moving them into these triangles, and I was there, I took the shot and I've never seen that happen again, and I probably will never see it happening ever again in my career. So just being there at the right moment, you know, my daughter pointed this out on a rock for me, these guys again early morning there, they respond to the environment, so they're not moving at five o'clock in the morning and they're sitting on something that's going to help them be camouflage to them kitty so until their wings warm up, then they take off, you have a moment to just utilize it with the spires of territory in patagonia. This was taken right after that first shot I showed you when we talked about light all I've done seventy two, two hundred lens with a one point four converter on a tripod zoomed in, giving you different elements of kind of the landscape before me. Now we're kind of we're not so in the environment of the meadow anymore. Right now, we're more in this environment of the background pvc pipes in hardware store in china. What was cool to me is, you know, they just stacked all the random pipes and you know, it's not like our home depot where everything is very organized this is just like we got a bunch of pipes excuse keep filling him until he can't film anymore and then there's this random quality tio a very structured on so that's kind of cool, you know, there's a playfulness going on and we're going to look at some behind the scenes stuff of this shot actually tomorrow so to get to this, they have to ride over this they have to jump here lands here and they come just ridiculously fast through the frame but I just got on the edge of the berm of fish knowing that the closer you get your elements to the edges of a fish islands, the more curve you get. I mean, it is a you know, a circle essentially a doughnut around the tree, but now I'm really grab really illustrating that way and we talked about this, right? So again circles where can I find him? Countertops? This is the lobby of a hotel in china. Everybody that I was with was shooting it from down below, but I saw the two sets of stairs you know, when you have this kind of construction background, I kind of wonder where they go they were roped off but I'm like I'm just going to jump it let's see if anybody else in me I walked up the serious and they were the totally everybody was sort of cool at the hotel with me doing so I get this perspective that kind of responds to me right it's it's the way they connected all of these umbrellas in the lobby of this hotel and bam I've got this kind of crazy structure looks like something out of french era architecture for may probably is actually so circle of the spinning wheel kind of highlights the time of day curve of the back responds to the curve of the wheel he's motion right this's handheld know tripod notice how he's blurry everything shop how going to do that hand health I just know that at a fiftieth of a second using a fifty millimeters lens I can handle that shot his motion is faster than a fiftieth of a second wheel spinning arms moving but his head's not moving so again you can get really cool handheld shots if you're thinking about those kinds of things the apple store chang I china uh I just love the way the traffic in the circle you'll see a bunch of different shots that we'll talk about two coming up about kind of this scenario you know we've got this great circle this is a pedestrian walkway over the traffic because there's so much traffic cars are going to stop for you we're going to get run over so how do you alleviate that problem we bring that you bring the pedestrian traffic up above it so here's the circle cars going through it I'm on another building and I am outside they have a walkway it's fenced in but the fence is big enough that I can stick my camera lens through the entire thing and start shooting environments like this shanghai is amazing at night and during the day it's very, very muted and I think it's just the pollution you know sun sets an hour before the actual designated time because there's such a pollution layer there but at night this place just comes alive I could shoot like this all night there it's really really cool okay so organic shapes now free flowing can I find kind of abstractions to things you know this looks like a war said to me saying but I'll see that you know this is driftwood so to me it's like the sea horse I kind of found in driftwood on the coast parts this is our version of drawing on the side of a cliff, right? People don't like it because in this environment it's so dry it's hard to groups it's hard to get that off but I took the shot because it kind of responded to you know the stick figure that we're talking about earlier and just those curvilinear shapes off the hillsides in iceland devil's club you know, walking through this is not fun but how can I use that to my advantage it's all over the side of this trail I'm going to get really close to that and then I hit you over the head with the devil's club throw the rider in there that's van not van gogh scream was I can't remember the pitcher's name. Yeah so right it's that's that and driftwood just walking along people my house when I looked her using the skeletons of the trees doesn't hurt that he's got a bright orange showman on kind of stands out and I love I love this helmet you keep this was this helmet all year so you know we're going to know he's in a lot of shots but it's just so awesome so we could go implied shape way have kind of this rectangle setting herself up ok? Our mind fills in the gaps right she's warming her hands this's what she's selling those guys were coming into the marketplace kids digging for crabs on the beach again set up in this rectangular kind of implied shape the's four points kind of give us that trap is a little shape fellow photographer right down there you may or may not see it to me like I said, I don't take anything out so I can't make that person move because I'm so far from them but to me it doesn't distract the photograph and it may be a little kind of now that you find in the future same here when you see what not goes like this that means danger they all point the same line they flip their tails and it's very easy to find mountain lions in patagonia when they do that up in the cascades people learning about having blanche awareness and I saw it from afar the way they're setting up to kind of search for begins I just saw it from a distance and I took the shot because their color sets up this kind of shape and we respond to their color I have a ship so jackson pollock right there it is just uh scrub oak growing in uh the spring believes just pop out and get that little touch of color with all this very kind of jagged line the key to creating successful photographs this way is about balancing your lights and your darks and if you look at a pollock painting that's essentially what he did and he did it with complementary colors too so ghostly element this is just a puddle at the edge of a glacier and it's tiny it's only that big but I just zoomed in and I'm filling my frame with it didn't they see the element here? I'm not kidding you this is on the side of the road from where I lived in colorado and I walked up and I was like, that's a really cool scene you know, I like the way this rag weed is kind of just so dense in this area like man it would be really awesome of a deer walked through and literally he was like right over here completely buried with his head down her head down and walked over and pick your head up and I got the shot and a soon as I got the shot she jumped out of the frame so he just got, like, so completely lucky I'm like, oh my god, I cannot believe that just happened to me and that's it like there was one frame and done so if you're out there you know, the chances of you running into stuff happens pier pilings off the coast of oregon sons lighting these guys these guys are in shadow who sees the bear we're looking at rust that's all it is rest initially car tc school so what's crazy is I I was editing this shot and my daughter jumped on my lap and was looking at my photos and she's like school like just randomly and just I see this girl that's a school right there, you know, so okay, I'm starting to see like my six year old now like yes I can speed. I don't have tio stop it. Stop signs, it's. Ok, I'm only six.