Principles of Design: Focal Point


Intro to Adventure Sports Photography


Lesson Info

Principles of Design: Focal Point

We think a focal point we think of like an element right in our frame that's the most focused thing or becomes our subject but what if what if we had an element that became a focal point because it was a different color than the rest that work to what becomes a focal point? The shot it's the curvy red algae kind of infested part of the water where the white stuff just kind of falls away right? We follow the red line it's like the yellow brick road following the yellow brick road is whose job? So what becomes focal point here? We're actually focusing on it if you've ever flown an airplane first thing when you're coming in to land the plane where you focused on the number of the runway because you want to you want to have as much runway available to you when you land an aircraft as possible you land down here, you don't have a lot of room left for error, right? You land right there, plenty of room so intentionally well, I didn't have a choice here because I didn't have a high eye, so cam...

era this is a very first gen kind of digital camera, so I couldn't ramp up my noise I got I got to choose an aperture that allows me to get enough speed because I'm going to moving airplane that's about to land too so I focus on the numbers, but focus on where the pilots focusing ok? So we don't care about all this stuff when you're landing a plane because really, you got to be able to control the craft, to put it on the ground correctly were as when you're flying across country and things like that you're monitoring all that stuff because you don't need to worry about what's out there as much, right? So in this scenario it actually worked to my advantage. I focused on the numbers and got the shot you can see there's quite a bit of noise kind of going on here in the shadows and that was because it was like I saw eight hundred of the time which people are like eight hundred god, I should add sixty four now, you know so that's I mean, even in the age of age of digital, it's improved that much right very narrow the field he becomes the subject is the focal point, right he's in red in a blue field there's a little bit of green in there on that subject somebody spent the time to carve that into the trees. How can I illustrate that in a different way and other than walking right up to the tree and going blanc here's the shot of the naked girl carved in the tree, right well, I've got tons of trees around me can I make it truly the focal point? Can I focus just on that it's in this grove of trees that have tons of carvings? But that one stood out, everybody spotted it. So now how do I illustrate it in a way that doesn't just plunk it right down in front of you think you work for it a little bit? You know it's about breakfast. So this is when I got to go up and shoot the vancouver olympics when they were in vancouver when I lived here, actually, so that was like the first morning I was there with one of my friends and completely hung over, I got to go to take patients now, really, this is a secret door that you can't see when it's closed and that's where all the office staff works and the bite just happened to be leaned up against the wall when the door opened, so I'm like, I got to take it there's my focal point, okay, so rhythm in unity, talk about rhythm now the reason they're together is rhythm in unity kind of work together, yeah, there's rhythm to that there's also unity to it because they're all kind of the same bowls, so there's really not an illustration in a photographic away that kind of differentiates it right so they're together it's more rhythmic to me because it's kind of this progression through the frame as opposed to being unified but you could fight me on it and I wouldn't fight you back rhythmic progression of the peers going out into the ocean the rhythm of the wind blowing the daisies further accentuated by the photographer moving the camera got wind moving the daisies me moving the daisies picking a shutter speed that allows me to show elements of detail that your eyes gravitate to so not complete chaos controlled chaos chris king factory you know this is to a biker this is like I just you just want to take all the stuff and just start coordinating your pockets right so precision we made cool colors just just the way they build the stuff is it's very very organized right was kind of cool so there's a rhythm here it was a rhythm to these guys there was a rhythm that guys this is one guy's work bench you guys on the other side front hubs backups and we know this is taking it like full abstract but buildings no water going I guess it's a good guess but no, that was creative um it's fireworks so everybody shoots the firework doing this well, this was after it did that it started blowing in the wind and I chose a shutter speed just long enough to get that kind of rhythm of these embers kind of hovering in the winds kind of interesting what was cool about it is you know the different temperatures of the actual fireworks so again playing with blues, oranges, yellows you know this is stuff getting ready to get packaged this's after it's manufactured it's anna dies it creates so unified via the egg crates unified via the elements completely disrupted by the color and what's kind of cool is I always ask the question in my workshops what color did you see first when the shot came up and inevitably the people that's can have their favorite color here see that color first the people who don't have their favorite color here I don't see any color first they're kind of like I don't know I saw you know this this just kind of an interesting play on the psyche of us does anybody see their favorite color? First in the room he did read it's kind of interesting okay, so unity truly unified right? These guys look in the same way definitely from the same family these guys looking the same way definitely from the same family. Ok? If one of them's looking a different direction the photograph immediately takes on a different play but because they're all looking this way it changes it not unified by color right but unified by yes good great balance asymmetrically balanced to right we're gonna repeat that answer that it was size and shape specifically size and shape yes not color citizenship though scale and shape works here the repetitive unified element is the actual makeup of the shelving all the little pieces and parts are the different things and that's what leads us to what is going on here again? A great thing ok machine shop you know this is the way these guys work what are we looking at its parts to build bicycle frames okay, their front forks from out thanks. They build so many of these every thirty seconds they get lined up there's another guy that comes they they hang out here for a two eight hours to two days to make sure the air seals all that stuff doesn't work I've got pattern here, right? These guys they're totally unified by rhythm and by unity and I think that's really cool I would put that on my wall but I'm a bike rider and that's something different you know but that's the way they have to do this stuff because they make so much product and they let it sit has to have quality control make sure the ones that start leaking they see the leaks and they chase it down that one gets sent back for modification before it goes out to customers not unified by color again but unified by shaped somewhat but more so elements they're all bicycle hubs what becomes our subject is the un unified thing recycling all the broken pieces yeah, we recycle our ginger ale cans too so that's the element that caught my eye immediately and unified by like elements unusual fied by perspective scale etcetera all right despite truly isn't any different size wise than these guys but its relationship is again making that scale stand out thus making that like the subject he's become more of the supporting elements, right? Those air the historical pieces and when you're in a machine shop just no no stopping pattern I mean it's everywhere I like some of them are written on those are the ones that need to be chucked for specific reasons but that's how, you know, once in parts manufactured that's where they get him, they ship him down to the next person in the line that builds a thing starts putting another other pieces and here just unifying are our subject via its similarity of objects right there all toys there there's no color really I mean some of them yeah, I have the same colors but for the most part it's a pilot toys, right and there's a unity going on there even though they're very different let's talk about tomorrow so first thing number one gear we're gonna we're gonna go through not only the kind of support of equipment that I need to go mountain biking and skiing kind of in the wilds, but also the camera equipment that I bring with me and how I put all that stuff in my pack, how I carry that with me. My ski pack is about thirty pounds. My mom blake packs about twenty five it's a lot of weight. Thus I need to be in the gym more more than those athletes who wear nothing and ride faster than a camera controls. We're going to get into f stops, shutter speeds, isis, how to use that creatively to create all of the images we just kind of went through. Ok, so we're going today. We kind of designed our photograph tomorrow we're actually going to take the photograph, right? We're going toe get there behind the camera and we have to take something. And how do we take that? And how do we make these adjustments to the camera and allow us to illustrate our point? We got some behind the scenes video. Ah, that shows me shooting in the field and then I'm going to go through this sequences that we got and then show you the final image. That is going to lead us into the work flow in processing section which is going to close it out and I'm going to take the images that we look through in session seven I'm going to show you them as ross and I'm going to show you some of the things that I do in my room how I catalogue my images how they kind of progress through a workflow how I master those images what I'm using I use a lot of presets get me kind of going through things and then customize it based on what I see in the image so just closing in a little teaser video this is kind of cool um this is shot in thailand with uh my iphone six two hundred forty frames per second at seven twenty hd yeah so I got soaked now when you're in thailand you know there's inevitably like fourteen hundred cattle have gone through this water so I'm getting sprayed in the face with god knows what kind of bacteria but anyway is just it was really cool I mean just discovering a little two hundred forty frame per second camera in my pocket it's like kidney candy store all over again so any questions you know really fantastic question which I would you know kind of going through these and I came across this one and it's just a really nice question to end on today and we have a couple minutes left j r there we've learned a ton of stuff today of about the mass about composition about color and this question hits home are their ingredients, principles or elements that you specifically prioritized for adventure sports photography? I don't necessarily think so I kind of just approach a scene I think my overall approach is to approach the scene like my daughter open eyes you don't have a preconceived idea because if you have a preconceived idea and that scene is not going to give you that preconceived idea, you're going to struggle so I mentally always thinking about ok, I've got line, I've got shape got color I've got scale all of these things kind of in my repertoire ends when I'm presented with something out there in the field do any of those you know, that kind of flickers through my mind you any of those kind of work in this scenario or do they not working this year? This is scenario, you know? So I don't kind of I don't really go out there saying it's going to be live or yeah, I'm going to focus on line or I'm going to focus on color it kind of just it kind of just drives itself and in the adventure sports world, I think you really just truly need to be open because you're working with one, two or up to fourteen individuals as we saw you you kind of just need to fuel their personalities and feel your own and kind of make this connection tio ok, we're trying to get this this is how I want to work the scene can you guys do this? Can you do that? Okay, well, I see you know, I see the color and some of my athletes like andrew, who you just saw in the in the slow mo video riding through the puddle he'll actually when we're going to shoot he's like, do you want to know where a specific color today? You know? So he starts to think the way I think and it's kind of cool because when we're in the field it's like, I think I'm struggling here, man, I need help, I need help and he's like, well, there's this you know, he'll come up with one of my own ideas, so shoot it back at me and I'm like, oh, yeah, I didn't see that, you know? So I don't think there's any one of them work better than the other, you know, bicycles have round wheels well, there's a circular shape to immediately start working with right, we're in an environment where there are trees there's line immediately, so those are the kind of things I would say on a global scale when I head out to take photographs line is the most, probably the most used element, just in general for me and it's. The thing that's, the easiest to find. I think you confined line anywhere if you truly looking for it. So I think that's, also a good starting point to, you know, if you want to, you want to try some of the stuff that I have talked about today. You know, go with wine, can't go.

Class Description

Open the door to the thrill of outdoor adventure sports photography! Intro to Adventure Sports Photography with Jay Goodrich is your guide to the gear, the visioning, the schlepping, the post-production, and the fast-paced lifestyle of professional outdoor sports photography.

If you’ve been dreaming about making your living as an outdoor photographer, Jay is the guy to show you how to do it. During this introductory class, Jay will talk about what it takes to get the shots, land the clients, and process the images that tell a story. You’ll learn about:

  • The gear you actually need
  • A whole new way to see images
  • Jay’s post-production process
  • Easy ways to make your images better

Jay will teach you how to create a story for any location or project. He’ll cover the techniques he uses to design a photograph, instead of just taking a snapshot, and he’ll detail the steps he took to build a successful business.

If you’ve been looking for your opening into adventure sports photography, this class with Jay Goodrich is the perfect beginner’s guide for you.