One Hour Photo - Ian Shive
Hello. Welcome everybody to One Hour Photo. My name is John Greengo. We have another great episode for you this month here. What we're gonna be doing as always, we're gonna start off with a few of your questions. And it seems this time around, a lot of you have questions on what camera to get so I'm gonna see if I can give you some advice on finding the perfect camera for what your needs are. Secondly, we have Ian Shive in the house and he is a great outdoor and landscape photographer and he's been making a transition to motion, video and film and we're gonna wanna talk about that, his classes that he has at CreativeLive and he's brought in some photographs which will always bring up a lot of things to talk about. So we're gonna have a good time with Ian here a little bit later on. And then finally, Ian and I are gonna take a look at some of your photographs in our image review section. We have a few images that we wanna take a look at and we're gonna see what we like, what we don't li...
ke and maybe what you can do to improve those types of images so lots of fun stuff for you to learn a little bit more about photography and learn about the great CreativeLive instructor, Ian Shive. Alright, so let's go ahead and get started with the class and one thing I wanna kind of get you up to news on is, we have a new page that you can go to for all of the interviews and all of the One Hour Photos here and so you can find this at CreativeLive. I find it easiest just to go in the search bar and search for One Hour Photo and then you can pull up all of these and these are all free and so you can download and watch these anytime you want. If you wanna type in the long link, yeah, that's fine, that's at the bottom of the screen there for you. Alright, next up we wanna do your photography questions here and so as I said, a lot of you have questions on camera. So let's see how I can help you out in this regard. Our first question is from Frederick Wheeler. He asked, "I'm looking for a point-and-shoot camera "for my daughter, something better than iPhone." That is good to hear to start with. "I'm leaning towards the Sony cyber shot DSC RX100 Mark III "or maybe the Canon PowerShot G7 X Mark II to any thoughts?" Okay. First off, I used to work in a camera store many years ago and keeping up with the point-and-shoots was very difficult because they kept changing so quickly and I mostly concentrate on cameras with interchangeable lenses. I do happen to know what these two are but very quickly, they change over very fast and so the things that you wanna think about when you were buying a point-and-shoot, whether it's now were probably 10 years, 20 years into the future is the first thing that you wanna be aware of is the sensor size on that point-and-shoot camera. Is it small or large? And you can probably get the person at the camera store or you'll have to do a little research online or you can watch with my classes about sensor sizes and make sure that you're getting a camera that has a sensor size that is reasonably large. There is a trade-off. The larger the image size, generally, the better image quality you're gonna get with the camera but it does make the camera bigger and more expensive and there is a lot of different choices that you can get out there from probably 100 bucks to well over $1000 for just a point-and-shoot camera. For these particular cameras, Sony has been doing a very good shot. A very good job with their Cyber-shot, the RX100 series and they've done also something kinda weird; is they had a version I, II, III, IV and there up to V at the latest right now, and they've kept all the old ones around and they just lower them by about 100 bucks every year and so all of the RX100s are very good cameras and the III, I forget the difference. I don't know what the difference is between the III and the IV and V. They made some minor adjustments there. So this one's kind of a pretty good value, I would say at this point, very good image quality. The GX7 from Canon... Canon in my mind has made some of the best point-and-shoots out there. They feel like they're very much in concert with their SLR cameras, their menu systems and so forth. I found that the Nikon point-and-shoot seemed to be made by a different company than the Nikon SLRs. They're just very different. Some people like them but Canon does have a larger size sensor in the GX 7 so I know that's a good camera and they're both gonna give you really good image quality. I think for the point-and-shoot, people are getting into point-and-shoots because they're small in size and there's gonna be a difference in size between these two. I believe the G7 X might be a little bit larger. I could be wrong on that because I don't pay 100% attention to it. But it's a matter of getting the camera that you're gonna happy carrying around with that has a reasonable size sensor and has the zoom range that's appropriate to what you wanna do and for most people, I'm looking for an equivalent of around 28 to 85 in focal length and so if you have a lens that does that, that's good for a basic point-and-shoot. If you're taking it out on safari with wild animals you're gonna need something much larger and much different. So both of those are really good. I don't think it's gonna be a world of difference between the two of them but those are my thoughts on choosing a point-and-shoot camera. Next up, this is from Anthony D'Souza. I'm 18 years old and I've chosen to pursue photography as a career. It's my passion and I love taking photos. Great! I love to hear that. That's pretty much exactly when I got started and exactly how I felt. I've been using my phone but would like to get a DSLR camera. My question is, which camera would you recommend to get as my first camera? Now you do mention here specifically, DSLR. Now, we do also have mirror less cameras which do not fit in this category that may be really good cameras and when I decided I wanted to get into photography and I needed to get my first camera, what I did is I went to my photo instructor and I asked them, "What do most professional photographers shoot?" Because that told me what was probably good on the market and then what was really common if I was to be a part of a staff of photographers that used pool equipment. And at that time, it was Nikon. And now it is Nikon and Canon, are kind of the predominant, main sources of professional cameras out there. Don't hate on me Sony fan boys. Sony make some great cameras. Fuji makes some great cameras so does Olympus and yes, the list goes on and on and on. The safest choice to make is probably something with a Canon or a Nikon lens system because you're gonna get into a system that has lots of different bodies that you can grow into, lots of different lenses that you can access. And so what I did is I basically purchased the cheapest body I could get into because that was all I could afford when I got into my original Nikon system. Just looking at anything in the Canon or Nikon line is gonna be a safe and easy choice. And I know that some of you are out there who just wanna argue with me and say, "But Sony or Fuji has a better value "for some particular thing." They do make some great cameras and if you know exactly what you're getting into and that those systems offer exactly what you want going down the road, it is a great system. I highly recommend it. I own many of those cameras. But when you're and you don't know the direction you're gonna go. I mean, you can be a nature and landscape photographer. You could be a portrait, you could be a fashion photographer, you could be doing architectural photography and if you want all of those avenues open to you; Canon and Nikon are the two that are gonna give you the most open doors when it comes to the options and camera equipment. And you can buy a used camera too. I'm a fan of used cameras, if it's clean and the sensor does not have any problems. That's what'd look at if I was starting my career over in photography. Alright, next up from Mabel Tan. Hi John, I bought your 5D... I bought your class on the 5D Mark IV but I couldn't figure why my shutter speed is so slow and even when I turn it to high speed continuous mode, it took about more than two seconds to write a file. Please help me. Alright, I wish I had your camera to see exactly what's going on because there's potentially a couple of things. You might have your camera set in aperture priority and it's just giving you a two second shutter speed. You could have your camera set in shutter priority which is TV on that little mode dial on the top and you could be accidentally selecting the two or four-second shutter speed. But what I suspect is going on is that maybe, you have your camera set to long exposure noise reduction and I believe this is in the menu section under shooting. I forget which page it's on but look for something called, long exposure noise reduction. And what happens in this case, is the camera will shoot a photo and then it will spend some time processing that photo, saving it to the memory card and while it's going through that processing, you can't shoot another photo. Now, according to the test that I have done, I have found that this long exposure noise reduction does virtually no good at all and I don't see it really reducing noise. I really don't see noise being a problem in the photos to start with. I would look for that feature and I would turn it off because I suspect, that's what's causing the camera to really slow down in the writing of the file. The other simpler options is that you just happen to have a slower shutter speed set, but take a look at that long exposure noise reduction and I have found, what I said about that not being very effective, I have found that not very effective on all brands of cameras out there. It's something that you may wanna test if you wanna make sure that it works for you but in general, I found that it's not real effective. Alright, from Margaret Nicosia. I have a Canon 70 Mark II and I've gotten so much clipping white out my photos both inside and in, I think they did say Lightroom. What is causing it? And so what clipping is, is when the white areas of a particular photograph become so bright they don't offer any detail at all. And it's one of the things that you generally don't want in most photos, is large areas of overexposed pixels. So there's a couple of things that may be wrong or you may be misinterpreting. When you look at your camera, the back-screen of your camera isn't showing you the absolute full dynamic range of what your image is going to offer and so if it looks white on there it may or may not be white in the final image because that simplified view doesn't give you all the detail that you want. A lot of cameras will have a highlight alert which will blink overexposed pixels at you and that's to warn you that there is an area of overexposure and you need to change your exposure in some way. And that's a good thing to look at if you don't wanna overexpose your images. One thing to keep in mind is that when your cameras are showing you that information, it is based off of the JPEG, not the raw image. That's kind of the whole other issue. Are you shooting JPEG or are you shooting raw? Because if you're shooting raw, there's a good chance that you get a fair bit of that or all of that information back. And so first off, if you don't wanna blow out those white areas, shoot raw so that you get the whitest latitude possible. If you get a little bit of clipping information in your camera that says that you've got a little bit of area overexposed, I wouldn't worry about it too much to start with. Overwriting all of that, there are sometimes when we shoot photos that have very bright sources of light or areas that are extremely bright. So just because there is clipping in a photograph, doesn't mean that there's anything wrong per se. It depends on each photograph in and of it's own. So once you do get your image into some sort of post-production software, I use Lightroom myself, there is often little sliders or adjustments that you can use to control the brightness levels and you can kind of draw down the brightness on that. There's a number of reasons that this could be happening and hopefully, those ideas will get you looking in the right spot to either address those issues or to see how bad they are. Very good question though. Alright, next question is from Catalina Parra. Hi John, I'm checking your class on the Fuji X-T10 Fast Start on CreativeLive and would like to note if this course would be suitable or could work for a Fuji X-T20 camera as a Fast Start class? Thanks. Okay folks, I do select these questions and every once in a while, I will select a softball question for me to answer and so, yes, there is a class for the X-T20. You can do a search on the CreativeLive website for the X-T20. You should find a course page for that where you can find and purchase that class. Let me address one other issue is that every once in a while I just don't have time to get to every camera on the market and so if there is a camera that is close to your camera, my class is probably somewhere between 80 and 90% relevant to your camera. And if it's just one generation off or just a very similar model to it and that's because most of the menu items in these cameras of the same brand are almost exactly the same. They do change features here and there and they move some buttons around it all. So I just like to make a new class just to make it very specific for individual cameras, but if you're just one generation off, as I say, you're probably 80 to 90% gonna be up to speed on all the features of that particular camera. Alright, next up, it is time for our special guest. Ian Shive is a great nature and landscape photographer. He is a published author and he is recently been making a transition from stills to video and motion. I think it's very exciting and so I'd like to introduce; Ian Shive, come on out Ian. Great to have you here. Thanks a lot for being a part of this.
Thanks John. I appreciate it.
You've been doing some great work for a while. You've got a few classes here at CreativeLive. And let's sit down and chat about what you've been doing. I remember you put down a class, couple of years ago on outdoor photography--
We actually did a critique.
That's right. We did. It's been a while.
So what have you been up to since then?
Well, as you mentioned, that transition from stills to motion has really preoccupied most of my time. It's not a simple thing. I don't think people realize, I can just switch right over and there's such a range of options just like still photography. You could be somebody who just pursues it as a hobby, you could be shooting professionally or you could be like yourself or just traveling all over the world in different continents and scouting at workshops. It's the same thing with motion. There's such a range of options. You could be producing a YouTube video that's maybe very simple all the way up to the large screen and so for me, it's been a bit of a journey; in many ways, relearning aspects of my career.
So let me go back a little bit. When did you first get into still photography?
Well, I grew up as a son of a photographer. So still photography has been a part of my life in some way, pretty much from day one. I've got pictures of me with a camera around my neck as a toddler. So it's always been a part of me. I mean, I really started to pursue it in earnest when I left for college. So I grew up in New Jersey. I went to Montana. I was just blown away by the big sky. Like okay, I gotta show my friends back home in New England and Jersey and everywhere else. Like this is what this is about and really, that's when the path began.
Nice and so--
Quite a while ago.
When did you start shooting video?
I always had this desire and interest to be in the motion picture industry and I liked the production side. The thing I didn't like really was the mainstream motion picture initially. (both laugh) I like nature. I like photography. I love being outdoors. I really didn't now how all those things really could fit. How truly could I express those stories that were important to me. I'd say again, I started really honing the visual craft as a still photographer and it applies just as well almost even better I think in motion if you have that foundation as a still photographer but I would say it's been a process that began gradually just like my photography did, probably not all that long ago in the big scheme of things. It's say, maybe about seven or eight years ago I really started to think about; could I have a career as a director or as a cinematographer or something like that.
Because that's not long after video started really becoming put into all the different cameras. And now it's in all the cameras. As someone who teaches classes on cameras, I find there's a struggle because it shoots stills, but it does shoot video. Does that make you a director?
No, it doesn't. (both laugh) Well it depends, I don't know. Maybe, I think so. That is a struggle. I mean, that is been the hardest piece of it because if you enjoy photography and you're passionate about it and you love doing stills, how do you suddenly say in an incredible moment outdoors, time to put that camera down or flip the switch and make a motion clip? How do you say I want one over the other? And a lot of times, especially in nature photography, if we were in aa movie studio, you could say, "Cut," have the actors do the scene again and you get a second shot but when... You were telling me a story about your trip to Africa recently, and how was it was this incredible moment, you might only have one chance to get that incredible moment. And you have to pick whether feel like this is part of my motion story or this is part of my still story and it's still a struggle to this day for me.
Yeah, yeah, I mean on this recent trip, we were at this pool of hippos and for that moment, I decided I wanna shoot some video and something really dramatic happened and right in the middle of video, I'm like, I would rather be taking still photos, but I'm shooting video and I just gotta go with it. And I find it really difficult to go back and forth between the two, because there's kind of different mindset and so, photography is all about the moment; your one particular thing and if you take a good photograph of almost anything, it's useful in some way.
It tells the whole story. A great photograph tells the whole story. The adage of a picture is worth 1000 words whereas the film you really need like 1000 clips, a narrator, voiceover, the music, and sound design.
And so now, you have these great video capability in a camera and you record five seconds of great nature video, just for our purposes here; that doesn't have a lot of purpose.
You gotta have a bigger story. Tell me about these bigger stories that you're working on.
Yeah, I'm really excited to be doing some of the things I've been on. As I continue this journey in the motion side, I started with short films, started documenting. I love oceans in general. I've always been passionate about corals and there's so many different challenges with coral and coral reef and oceans in general. I began there by taking these short little clips and now, cut to all these years later, I'm working on a giant screen film that will be released on IMAX screens called Hidden Pacific and another film on Midway Atoll. It's been incredible because I've gotten to travel to some of the world's most remote islands. Some of these places I step foot on are literally the size of the room we're in right now. I mean they're tiny. You walk across them, you see across them. You're like, "That's where it ends." Creatively, so challenging. When you're working in remote locations like that and I'm shooting stills as well. We have a small crew. It's only me. Maybe two or three other people at the most. You really have to figure out how to make it work. How do you creatively tell the story of his tiny tiny places that play such a pivotal roles on a global landscape. How do you connect them to people back home in the States or around the world? Really challenging but really rewarding at the same time.
So this is definitely a much bigger project than... Like you've done classes here, you've done books and articles like crazy. And that was probably a lot you and maybe a few other assistant and co-workers. What does the team look like for a project like this?
On Midway alone, I think there's over 70 people credited and it's a great question. I mean because the scope and scale of motion is very different from stills as well, it's a great point. You might work with one or two of the people in the field. You might have an editor you work very closely with as a still photographer who's looking at your work and giving you feedback and maybe keeping you on track but when it comes to motion, you're probably especially something that's like... Our endproduct will be 40 minutes. I'm in my 19th month on the 40-minute project. (both laugh) So if you're working 19 months on a still project, it better an incredible passion and a very large book. Unless you're covering a huge topic of course, over time but to work on one 40 minute story for that long, with that many people, it's a whole new way of thinking.
And it's fun taking on those large projects. I was telling you I got a video camera when I graduated from college and this was back in the old Handycam days and I didn't know anything, I didn't take any classes or anything but I do shot video and one of things I learned is that, okay, if you're gonna have one minute of video, you need to spend at least an hour just to have something that like is watchable in a very casual minute but if you spend 10 hours, okay, then it gets refined and you're talking on the level of probably spending 1000 or 10,000 hours per minute.
And having somebody else spend that time too. As a still photographer, we can go through and do an edit of our work and figure out here's how I'm gonna tell that story and here's maybe even the order that story will be told in. You come back with hours and hours of clips and oh, I left the camera on and it ran for 20 minutes and somebody's gotta figure out if that really was the case or not and you typically, I'd say that one of the biggest changes is, you're not able to always tell that story yourself. You're not sitting in the editing bay cutting it together. I work with somebody who's able to do that and tell that story and I just don't have the patience for it. Part of the reason I love still photography to begin with is I've always had this urge to just (claps) get that story, move on, try different scenes, try different situations. The energy was always really moving forward. Sitting in a booth all day and just clicking through footage, not my patience, not my style but I am still passionate about seeing the story come together so that's something else that really has been hard to get used to.
Now, you probably also to give up a lot of control because I mean, you're not fine-tuning; could this edit be a half second longer and this movie will have a second shorter and can we use that other clip here and there's only so many of those that you can go into probably.
I mean, it maybe your project but it's just like, okay that's getting me, maybe the angle. How do you deal with that?
Well, it's a creative team and so I think the best way to deal with that is to just respect people and their process and know like if this is a composer, who's doing the song. Even working, so we had a composer do the Midway film and he scored the entire thing from beginning to end. I'm actually, most people don't know this about me, I'm a classically trained musician so at the same time, I was growing up, I learned to play piano. I took lessons for 12 or 13 years. I did recitals so I feel like I have a very strong connection to music. You have to go into it and say, "Let this guy do his job. "Let this woman do her job." Let these people who have their own creative passion because it's really an ensemble. Motion is about having a team of people with a set of skills that can tell that, it's an orchestration. They tell that whole story together and you have to allow them to express their creative vision. Now, if you're directing the film, you'll be able to say, "Here's the direction we're going. "Here's the end result I would like to have." But how you go and how you get there, that's what we're bringing you onto. So it's a change of mind but I think you have to just step back and allow people to do what they do.
What I'd be interested in hearing more about what's going on in the field; the structure of it because like I'm a big fan of movies. There's a director who describes the entire direction, but then there's a director of photography who's making a lot of specific visual choices but then there's the actual camera operator who actually fine-tunes and says, "I think we need to do this little thing with it." What are you doing, what are some of the other people doing, what does it look like out in the field?
Our team is actually pretty small in the field. I wish we had camera operators and all kinds of things. So typically for us, because we're doing both land and underwater ecosystems, it's showing how they tie together, there's an underwater team and there's a land team. I'm part of the land team but I'm directing the project. So I'm definitely involved in reviewing footage at the end of the day from the underwater team, but oftentimes, I'm not there and I'm not in the water so I've got a cinematographer who's in there with a housing that is larger than this table and takes two people to get into the waters. It's a beast.
Sounds like a submarine itself.
It looks like a submarine and it's this giant black long box with a lot of buttons and dials and buoyancy and vacuum pumps and all kinds of other really complicated things and he usually finds a nice safe place where there's no dust or anything else. You should give him a shout out. His name is James Scott. The man is incredibly patient, very, very talented but that's how typically it works because we're going to places, I mean, if we have the luxury of going somewhere where we can drive, which I have yet to do and I would love that opportunity, then yeah, I would have an assistant camera and maybe a tech but for the most part, you're gonna have me operating a camera on land, you're gonna have him operating a camera in the water and we're each gonna have at least one other person with us to help and kind of move that process along and then, preferably, somebody at the tech side to do the backup, check the footage, troubleshoot. We've had drives and reiterates and all the other things that can go wrong in the field and that's just the one thing you wanna avoid but typically, very small teams.
I'm tempted to get into some of the technical but I don't wanna go too far. Let's just say, describe your travel package when you were doing still photography versus when you do a shoot for an IMAX movie.
I mean, gosh, they're not even compared because there's no comparison whatsoever. The dream job and trip for me as a photographer is when I get in my car with a sleeping bag, a tent and it's just me.
It's a little road trip. One of those things.
That's the best. Like that's where the heart is most of the time and I long for those days but creatively, I wanna drive bigger and better projects. On a still shoot, it's usually a backpack and a tripod. It's pretty tame. I might have an extra case, or extra lenses or if it's a really big shoot, I might have a couple of bags. On this film, on this project that we're doing now, Hidden Pacific, we had 280 pounds of gear. We just had case after case after case and honestly, that was exceptionally paired down. I mean, I think we had 12 Pelican cases that were just gigantic and we were the ones that had to move them around. And that's paired down and that's because we were going to such remote places that the weight restrictions were very, very rigid. There was only so many ways you could get that stuff out there. So that was really challenging as well.
I worked on a film for myself and if you think about a large suitcase for checking at the airport, 50 pounds and you have numerous of those but you only have a few people to move them around and just physically getting them to the baggage check can be difficult.
I think the best part of being a photographer or being a filmmaker is the expression on the bag people's faces as you're walking up to the counter and they're like, "Don't come to me. "I don't wanna have to check all that." That's fine though (mumbles) where are you gonna go?
If you ever had an experience like I had time, they were like, "Do you have any electronics in this bag?" Like you don't even wanna get started.
Do you have any lithium ion batteries with you? Pretty much the whole bag on my back.
Because you aren't supposed to check those.
That's correct, you have to make sure you have... And that's actually a big challenge because you wanna keep your expensive gear with you but you have to make sure you don't put your lithium ions in your checked baggage and so typically, my bag is mostly batteries, not very glamorous and heavy.
So did I like hear you were shooting on with Red cameras.
That's right, shooting on the Red. I'm getting ready for another project now. It will be shot in 8K.
Resolution is king when it comes to shooting large formats.
I don't know, if you know about other IMAX movies but are most IMAX movies now shot digitally? Because I know they used to be shot on 70 millimeter.
Yeah and a lot of them still are. The standard is sort of in in flops right now. Digital has just come so fast and so far that different people are doing different things. I've been so comfortable with digital photography, going back to still and knowing and understanding the quality that I wasn't married to film the same way that other film directors are married to film. Some think it's creatively very rewarding. Others feel like this is still the standard. I'm afraid to maybe go over to this area. I like the way I can control it or I have probably a very well ironed team and workflow out. So that transition for, think about some of these really big movies that are out. Like I see the 70 millimeter prints in World War II epics. They've been working with the same group of people for 20 years sometimes and to shift that into a digital space means a shift potentially of team, workflow and habits that could rock the boat in a way that's not necessarily favorable. So there really isn't a standard, I think in the education, science, space. When you got to a natural history museum and you see that big screen, I think that the paradigm is shifting towards digital.
It just seems that their transition is little bit 10, 15 years after stills because it's a different thing. Folks, if you don't go to IMAX movies, it's just fantastic experience. It's something very special. Occasionally, I go to the movies. Sometimes I watch something at home on TV, but we have a great IMAX theater here in Seattle and we have a couple of them but we have one that's really nice and I go to see regular movies there from time just because that screen is so big.
Yeah, they're beautiful. They're so immersive. It's an immersive experience and that's one of the most beautiful parts of it. It is the that size. It's the immersive experience and that's the hardest part I think with photography and I was talking about this in one of my classes yesterday where I said, we rarely get to hold our work anymore. It's all coming at us, it's all being shined at us back from our devices and so to be able to hold a book or a magazine or a fine art print but now imagine being able to see what you do in a very large format or being able to share it in that way, it's very rewarding in a different way.
Before we get to your image, I got one final question on an area that I have no expertise at all. But I know when you got to an IMAX movie and something very important in any movie experience is sound. Are you an expert in sound? Did you have to learn that? Talk a little about that.
It's a great question. In a perfect world, you want somebody dedicated to the sound. I mean, sound is at least half the project and people don't realize it. There are all these different pieces. As I mentioned, you have that ensemble that kinda comes together. I had to learn field sound enough to be able to capture things that might not otherwise be able to be captured like the sound of an albatross or other rare birds and things like that. If your team is so limited by weight in the number of crew and people you can bring, then inevitably, you have to learn new skills and bring that in but for the most part, a lot of sound is edited afterwards. What I typically do in the fields, I go out with my recorder, a great sound set up and I don't bring my camera. I don't bring anything else which quite a pleasure because it is so paired down. You don't have all these gear. You're finally got a break.
All that glass.
Exactly, you just have to like this. It looks like you're interviewing birds and getting their sounds. It's great but a lot of it happens afterwards and we have audio tax and people that really bring that together.
Alright, so let's dive into some images here and you've supplied a collection of images.
Speaking of birds.
So yeah, what do you got? What's going on here and where are we?
This is Midway Atoll. This is the first island I went to, probably a little, oh God, almost 14 months ago. It was the first trip and obviously, a lot of preproduction planning for these things. And this is a still image. One things that's interesting and I say it's a stull image, obviously it's not moving but I mean it's a still photograph and from a still camera--
As opposed to--
Being framed from a Red. That's right, there's a lot of that. I've actually had a lot of success with pulling from motion clips, but there's just a different mentality into your approach, your style, your ability to capture the exact and defining moment, I think is also a little scattered. You'd think, oh, I can just scroll through and pick the right frame. You know, I don't think it's that simple. I think the way we approach things as still photographers is very unique and so this to me, was such an intimate moment between an albatross and the chick and they're such loving, loving creatures, and as you said... So poignantly about the ability to tell a story in a single image, that's what I'm going for here and be able to tell that story of love and compassion and you can see the other birds in their nests there in the background and so that's what I was going after and I had also a great morning. It was beautiful light.
Great clouds, good texture. So creatively and technically, it was an exciting moment to be able to capture. And I'm laying down on the ground. At some point, after weeks on islands where you're surrounded by birds, you stop worrying about what you're laying in and so you just make sure you get the shot.
You get your dirty clothes. Obviously, from a photographer's standpoint, proximity to your subject is huge here. So I thought before what you've just said, I thought you were using a remote camera.
No, no, so these birds, by the way, that is a very large bird. They have a six-foot wingspan which is quite a bit taller than I am.
And that's the black browed albatross?
This is the laysan albatross. It's the laysan albatross. It's actually the smallest of the albatross and even though it is quite large. They're very tall, they probably stand at least a couple of feet off the ground and they are very friendly. They're not used to people for the most part and you just get out there as long you're not obviously in their nest or their eggs but for the most part if you're sitting still and you're chilling out for a while, they won't care that you're there and a lot of times they'll come up and they'll pull the zippers down off your bags and they'll peck at your hat and you know, if you walk by, they might clap at you. You know the old video games where the albatross was there but for the most part, no, you don't need remote triggers. They're right there and you're able to have these intimate moments simply by being part of their world.
So you said this is the Pacific Atoll?
That's right, this is Midway Atoll in the middle of the Pacific. It's literally midway between the continental US and Asia and it is the only emergency stop off point for commercial airliners crossing the Pacific Ocean. So if something goes wrong, that's where they land and every few years, a plane does land out there, but it is very small which probably about 30 people out there. None of them are permanent residents, although some have been up there for many many years and so you're more or less on your own.
Now is this part of US territory? Is this protect area?
Good question. It is. It's a national wildlife refuge. It's part of the larger marine national monuments. So the island and its immediate surrounding waters are Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge. It's also the Battle of Midway from 75 years ago, Battle of Midway National Memorial and that is part of many islands and atolls of this 1200 mile by 200 mile Marine National Monument that begins in the Northwest archipelago of the Hawaiian Islands and that's called Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument.
It took a little while to learn that. So it is and it's all protected as national wildlife refuge and as of course part of our heritage.
Sounds like a very remote region.
Alright, what's the--
Speaking of protected areas, this was... Honestly, this was quite a moving experience. In my mind, one of the scientists I was out there with... This is one of the world's most remote islands truly. Very few people have ever had opportunity to step foot put out there. It took me five days to get there and that included two different flights from LA to Honolulu, from Honolulu to American Samoa and then a 10 hour, 185 mile steam on a boat over high seas where everyone had to lay flat the entire time to get out to an island that's only 16 acres. And to me, this is the Yellowstone of the Pacific. To see these big pools, and it almost looks like a thermal pool.
Yeah, it looks like a geyser
It looks like Mammoth Hot Springs or something like that. It's not. It's 80 degree warm ocean water. The pink is a crystalline coral algae. They call it the CCA that you can walk on. So you're able to walk out there in low tide. It's ankle deep or in most places, you wanna be careful of course if you're footing those pools, are a couple couple of feet deep and they're just surrounding the island. I mean it's a photographer and filmmakers' paradise and the island in the background is Rose Atoll. And so this is also a national wildlife refuge and it is part of its own Marine national Monument of the same name, Rose Atoll.
I'm thinking about walking around on this stuff because it's like a few inches of water, right? And I'm just thinking of--
What a horrible area to be trying to film and shoot with expensive camera gear because you can never put anything down.
Nope, that's a great observation. I'm really impressed. Yes, you're 100% correct. There is a reason by the end of these trips that your arms are twice the size of when you started.
Because I'm so used to it. I mean I fill up a backpack for lenses and I just put it down on dirt or grass and then pick out what I want and here you've gotta be able to figure out how to get to everything you're carrying.
You sacrifice a tripod to the saltwater gods. That's exactly what happens because you have tripod and you put the camera on, that's your only break. You're not able to set a backpack down. You're not able to put... You're totally right, you can't put anything down. And I'm not close to that island. I mean, I'm walking out quarter a mile from the island at low tide and I'm spending hours out there. You find ways to strap heavy Red cameras. My camera weighs about 25 pounds. You find ways to just dangle things off your shoulders as much as possible but generally, I go very paired down in situations like this where it's a camera, a lens, maybe a couple of filters. It's also very hot, very warm, very exposed so you're covered in sunscreen, which is a nightmare for your lenses and your gear and a tripod and then you make it work. So I actually did a still's trip and then I did a motion trip. I didn't do them at the same time. And that's a good example where you've gotta make decisions and sacrifices for one or the other.
I'm just gonna switch the next image.
So is this shot by you? Were you shooting underwater?
I was, I love to shoot underwater. As a still photographer, I don't dare tempt the motion side because there's so many moving parts to it, literally. This is in Cuba. This is actually in a channel outside the Gardens of the Queen. It's their national park in the southeast side of Cuba. It was from a trip I was down there with a while back, with the Environmental Defense Fund and it was great. And you know, ironically, there's a barracuda in the background and I did not see it when I was taking this picture. (John shouts)
You should never admit that! Never ever admit that!
No, I think it was there the whole time.
I didn't know it was that close.
I didn't know it was that close. Yeah, exactly. He was checking me out. I love those little bonus elements and they're like that. Very nice. People wouldn't think Cuba when they see something like this.
No, it's such a beautiful image though. This is in Palmyara Atoll. This is one of the best places to see coral in the Pacific that hasn't been completely obliterated. This is an area that's considered a baseline to judge other corals so photographically, very very rewarding. It's so rich and vibrant and I'm using strobes so I really like to use light for still images and I don't like, in a cinematographer, is in the same boat, so to speak, no pun intended. (John laughs) In the sense that he doesn't like to use light for motion so... And the reason really is, a lot of the times, color correction for motion is very different from photos and when you restore the color and the warmth that you lose when shooting underwater, it's more natural on motion and we find then having like these floodlights pumped in because things are moving and you're moving up and over things. As a still photograph, I like the light because it's the best way to bring in the color. It's a great way to show the separation of the ocean and other elements in the background and also and rarely get to see the true beauty of coral even when you're there in person without that light because the blue water is illuminating or filtering out all of the red light so there's two strobes on each side meant to just flood it real clean and the water vase is just so beautiful. And to me, the shot just sings because of it.
Yeah, yeah. And I love that texture and the color in the water. Beautiful there. Alright, I'm trying to think. I think I've seen this location before.
Yeah, have you been there?
I think that's Upstate New York, right?
Yeah. (both laugh) So Tunnel View at Yosemite National Park. What do you have to say to people who say, "Oh, I've seen Tunnel View before? Because there is, I find it challenging. I look at photo collections and I look at the comments and it's like, hey, I've already seen this location before. What do you say to people who wanna shoot in a great location that's been shot before?
Well, look. I mean we could say everything's been done before, right? I mean, it's all about being there at a fortunate time. I've never seen the light do this in this exact kind of way, which is pretty. Is it the most exceptional image I've ever seen of El Cap in Yosemite? No, not necessarily.
It might be on the top 10% guys.
But it's a beautiful image. It was rewarding for me, and I think that's an important thing for most people that they should understand is you got to a national park, you may or may not have an opportunity to do something different but unless you put yourself in the position to have that opportunity, then of course, you're not gonna do it. If you rule it out before you even try, then will you ever really to be able to have that extraordinary shot? Of course not. So you have to try, you have to have make an attempt and every now and then you get lucky.
Yeah, and it's a beautiful, beautiful image. I was just down there a couple of months ago myself, had a good evening, not quite this nice but you know, you put your time in and you know, you play the roulette and maybe you win and maybe you don't.
It's the light luck.
Don't, don't, don't give into the haters who say, "That position is been shot. You can't go shoot there." In this particular location, quick story. I didn't wanna shoot here because everybody shot here so there's a trail that goes up much higher. I'm gonna go through all this work and I'm gonna hike up five miles and I'm gonna hike up this trail to the top and I went up there and I went, "Oh, when you go up here, "the mountains don't line up quite right "and it's not nearly as interesting." And what happens is El Cap doesn't look as tall as it does from this location and so this is a popular location; number one, because it's right next to the road. There's a big parking lot.
But it is actually a really good spot--
Why not? That's exactly right.
So forget it. Put your time in, get your shot. Enjoy the experience and yeah, go look for those other unusual shots.
Well, and it depends on what your goal is too. I mean, are you shooting for yourself, are you shooting to share with friends or are you shooting to sell? You know, even if you're shooting to sell, which would be the most limiting factor of why you might choose a location, this is a place that's written about all the time and so there's always a need. There's always opportunities for people to run new images and new perspectives of thing that otherwise might deemed as classic.
Real quick, what time of year was this?
That's a good question. This was October or November. It was like--
Because the light really changes the way it come in.
And you could see the trees I think are changing a little bit--
Oh yeah, I think that we have some color down there at the bottom of the fall, very nice, very good. So whereabouts are we now?
Well this is in Central California, the Tehachapi Corridor and unlike the image before which everyone knows exactly where it is, this is an often overlooked beautiful stretch of Central California. It runs east, it's up to sort of towards Bakersfield. It's a great wildlife corridor. It's a 50 mile stretch of area that I was on assignment for the Nature Conservancy at the time. And they had these incredible rock formations and these are the kind of opportunities as a photographer you wait for or you hope for which is something new, something that hasn't been done before maybe many times and you know, the challenge is you have to work twice as hard to find them. Maybe three times as hard to find them. Exactly but as you well know, but at the same time timing is everything so it was gorgeous in rolling green which in California is like seven days long. And all jokes aside, it is a very short window of time that you have green rolling hills in this part of the world and they're usually otherwise very golden but the green is lush and then just finding different rock formations, I was able to spend hours out there working the scene and this image has been used quite a bit.
One of the concepts that I think is kind of interesting to explore is, when you take an image that you like, or is a great image, when did you know that you were gonna take that photo? I mean, did you know about these rock two days before?
I didn't know about those rocks 10 minutes before.
Okay so this is something you found and it's kind of you're just working on the moment.
That's right, working the scene, driving around on dirt roads through these rolling hills trying to figure out where could I get a good, elevated view and I get up there and there's these lichen-covered rocks and I'm like, "Oh perfect." (both laugh) But you don't know and that's the risk is the light is changing and things are rapidly, and there's a lot of wildflowers, I kind of like have a backup plan in mind at the time but ultimately, it's about just recognizing that moment and making that investment and saying, "I'm gonna slow it down, bring out my tripod "and this is the composition," and I shot a horizontal. I love the vertical because it's just got the energy moving with the box.
It' gives you more elements to work with. And so as a photographer, you really, you have to be kind of optimistic in that there could be an image, five minutes away that I don't know about now and I gotta be ready for it. And it can be really hard--
I'm sure that you've been out in there in situations just like there is nothing to shoot. I have nothing, no reason to pull my camera out of the bag.
A lot of the time.
Something changes. And you have to be ready for that.
Yeah, usually the weather. Usually the weather or maybe the wildlife.
Alright, wildlife here.
Yeah, classic shot, in classic location up at Logan Pass Glacier National Park. This area is just epically beautiful and it was actually really fun because there's just so many of the mountain goats roaming around in there and then they create subject matter but again, you have to put yourself in the right place at the right time and being able to do that means being there. So much of photography is all about being there and having those opportunities as we've said. So this was that, good clouds, good light and a great model.
And I can guarantee at least very positive, that when you hiked up there you did not know that there would be a mountain goat waiting for you--
I did not.
Little bit of luck in there.
I called park service but they were like, "We can't guarantee it." So you know the stuff.
Take advantage of those opportunities as they arise. Alright, another beautiful image here and I'm guessing this is not Californian.
It is not California. No. This is in Palau. This was actually the trip that really opened my eyes in new ways to coral in the oceans. Then this was also the first time I had attempted to really take on story-telling in motion. Again, also for the Nature Conservancy and I managed to convince a couple of people to split the cost with me. Just take the doors off a helicopter and fly over these islands and these are the Rock Islands of Palau and they are absolutely iconic.
It's unbelievable. I haven't seen anything like it. I mean it looks like broccoli growing all over this island.
I like that. That's really true. There's these little fuzzy green rocks floating off there in the middle of nowhere and it's such a beautiful ecosystem and you could see the color shifts and the water and you don't necessarily see a lot of boats out there. It's a huge diving destination but it's still not overdone and it's still relatively small population, small dive community that goes out there. So being able to have this boat moving through is just luck of a draw. It was a 45-minute helicopter flight. I certainly couldn't afford just to keep flying around. This is pre-drone error as well which is noteworthy because any of these shots up until a couple of years ago had to be done the old-fashioned way and they were quite an expense.
Lot of money there, definitely. And another nice bonus little bonus element of that boat in there.
That's right. Helps tie it together.
And scale, talking about scale here.
That's right. Sometimes it's just again, roll the dice. Be there. Good light. Put yourself out there, shape, line, texture. I love when you can put a big foreground element in a frame and shoot a landscape photo with a long lens. It's so rare. People always think if I'm gonna do a big landscape, I've gotta use a really wide angle lens. I've gotta have that foreground element inches from my lens. And it's not true. The big landscapes can be done with a telephoto and this was shot, I think like about 200 mil. I think this was a 70 to 200 that I shot it and I'm pretty sure this was a 200. It might have even been a 400 now that I think about it. So big landscape photos, sometimes big lenses.
Okay, I know it's one of two states. It's either California or Colorado.
You're right in California. First guess. It's Death Valley.
Alright, very good. And did you position that person there or did they just happen to be there?
I added it in post. No, I'm just kidding. I'm ruining my own inventions. (both laugh) They just happened to be there.
I have a hiker stamp that I can just stamp up. (both laugh)
I should, that'd be great. It saves me all that effort. No. I actually anticipated somebody walking up in the shot and so I saw them coming. I saw that they had broken from their group and I had an opportunity to isolate them as I saw that.
Great. Great little element. Good opportunity there.
Thank you. Organ pipe cactus. Tough shot because you gotta wrap thing up before it gets too dark. I had talked with park service there, told them where I was, it's along the border. So aside from the technical components of this which is 75 frames over 75 or so minutes, I think it was, stitched together with a single frame. The first frame was actually the foreground element and that was the cactus which was naturally lit using moonlight but it wasn't all that dark. It was like moonlight in that ambient sort of. There was a full moon rising behind. There was this ambient still sun. Sort of in the sky from the set, waited for it to get darker, took the 75 exposures but there's more to it because when you're along the border with Arizona and Mexico and you're in this backcountry area, safety is obviously a concern. And so it was heavy our trafficking and immigration route. So you always had border patrol potentially coming through or headlights and lamps and there were a lot of drones and other things that were flying around for security reasons, and so very very frustrating. But in the end, it was exceptionally rewarding because it ended up working pretty well. It's very vangoish.
Yeah, beautiful. I was wondering how you get the even lighting on that and explain--
Just a nice long exposure, only for the cactus.
Perfect. Thank you very much for bringing those images and let's talk a quick moment about some of your other classes here at CreativeLive. Right now, I think you have three classes. Explain a little bit about, real quickly what one class is versus the other one.
Yeah, they're very different but they all revolve around the outdoor. So if you're passionate about the outdoors, this is where they start. My first class which was really was about photographing the national parks both from a technical perspective as well as a lot of the great questions that you brought up today which is how you do something different with iconic landscapes? How do you figure out compositional elements in a new way and shift your thinking on that? And so the national parks are a great place because they're so challenging because it's all been done before, I always hear that, right?
But it hasn't and so that class really addresses that. The outdoor photography class is sort of a general one hour. So it's more of an introduction to the theme where the national parks is a deeper dive and the outdoor enthusiast guide is the one I just finished teaching. I'm very excited because it's an absolute deep dive and it not only includes photography but all of those challenges that come with the shift to motion.
Nice. And so if you're interested in those classes, take a look at them up in the CreativeLive website. I think there's some free previews there but all very good classes. So let's switch gears here and I'm gonna pull up a Lightroom program and we're gonna take a look at some of our viewers' images. So this is Barbara.
Polignano, very nice. Okay, so now we got the credit out there. So I'm thinking kind of urban Route 66 type stuff and you know, Ian, one of the things I noticed about you is you use a really good cloud filter in all your pictures. You seem to attract good clouds and I think we got some here, what do you think.
I'm a conjurer of clouds. Yeah, I love it. I mean, great skies. I mean, they change the shot instantly. And being able to recognize that, you can always tell an outdoor photographer because they're always looking up. They're always looking at the weather, what's happening, what shifting, what's changing and you become sort of a meteorologist of sorts. So for me, I love that. I love the color and texture that's going on. Definitely getting the route 66 vibe. It looks like there maybe a little too bright of a spot on the camper itself but the eye is drawn to it anyways so I don't know if that's necessary.
Yeah, I was wondering how they lit that and either it was a flashlight long way off but it kind of looks, if you look right around the edge of the trailer, it looks like they just went in and posted light the whole thing in and they accidentally lightened some of the clouds up a little too much and so I think maybe, that could be backed off just a smidge in there.
Yeah, I agree with you on that. But good shot, where it is in the frame, the composition. It works, it's got the rule of thirds going so Barbara did a good job.
The one minor little thing is that over in the left hand side there's like a pile of stuff there and I might have tried to shoot closer with a wider lens to get the same composition, the same clouds basically and avoid that or just shift position a little bit because, it just didn't look right over there. So that'd one area of minor improvement but I generally like the image a lot.
Alright. So good thinking going vertical on this
Thank you very much.
This is Pattie. Pattie Look. Alright, and so I like when people remember to turn their camera vertically.
Yes, I like when I remember to turn my camera vertically. (both laugh)
Any idea where this because this looks like, this is pretty unusual?
Yeah, it almost looks like California, in a way. It could be, it's hard to say. I'll tell you the one thing that I like about this right out of the gate, straight horizon line.
Yeah, they did a good job.
I like when you're paying attention to your horizon lines, you know. If they're crooked they should be embraced as crooked and it really should move the composition forward.
And it's easy to get something like this wrong.
It is, it is.
And it becomes very very obvious very quickly.
I'm feeling that maybe they could've got a little closer to that one rock group in the front because there's that one little thing off on the left hand side that kind of half runs out.
Yeah, I agree.
And if they got closer to the main one, they might have been able to avoid that and even have more impact, having that fill rather than a third of the frame, almost half the frame.
Yeah, that's true. I do like that the lines move up through the frame. I think that works but I do think because that one rock is different from the rest too, your eye goes to it and it is a little distracting but at the same time, generally speaking, I think it's the right idea for sure, and it's a good composition.
So if you saw this out in the field, how many photos would you take in order to kind of fine-tune your composition?
To get it right?
How long do you think--
As many as it takes. (both laugh)
That's a good answer.
As many as it takes.
And with digital there's no cost to that.
That's true except for your hard drives.
Yeah, so we threw in something non-nature and landscape on this.
I like that.
And so I love symmetrical photos. And this kind of fits into that. What are your thoughts?
Symmetry. Beautiful symmetry. You know, I like the shot a lot. I think... (sighs) Interesting. It's almost a little, the actual aspect ratio of the frame looks like maybe it's been cropped or shot at a different format potentially. I love the feel, I mean emotionally, I get a very strong reaction to it. It looks like it could be a movie set. It could be a historic photo. It could be a modern photo when you start to look at it. So it gets the mind and the eye wandering around a little bit. I'm on the fence on whether how high in the frame the bridge is. I almost wanna see more of the street and I almost just wanna se more, all the way around.
Right, I was having the same feeling. It kind of felt like it naturally should be a vertical image and part of me, your eye goes to color and all that is kind of that center bottom and I kind of wanna see more. So part of me wants to see more of that. Part of me says, "Oh well, you're hiding it from me. "It's a bit of mystery and so I can kind of accept that "to some degree." I think there's some other nice versions of this but I think this is really nice without really any specific faults.
Yeah, I would agree with that. Whose image was it? (John mumbles)
Terrie K, thank you very much. Alright, and let's get the name out of the way on this one right away, Melissa Brookmire. Alright, so we're shooting a sunset and looks like we got some really nice clouds and it I hard to resist when you get cloud lighting like that.
It is. I mean, you just find something to put in front of it when you get a sunset like this. You just find a foreground, find something. I don't care what it is, just get in frame. Let's go, we're gonna do this. That's the challenge because it's so easy to get excited by great conditions that you might not always be in a place to make a great image. I probably, if this were me, I probably would have changed this composition significantly. I like that she's recognizing the opportunity and now I think the composition itself would need to be more addressed, probably approach it more from an artistic perspective, get lower, get down in those rocks, probably shoot a vertical, bring the clouds, the rocks, slow exposure, the waves, the sunset, might even wait for the sun to got behind the horizon to get more of that approach to it. Misses the mark a little bit for me but I do like a lot of the elements of knowing the right time are already there. It just needs to be worked a little more.
Yeah, I think the top half of the half of the frame is quite nice. I mean, that's--
You know it's not a lot of your doing but it's your timing and being in the right place, the right time but the bottom half is kind of muddy and dark and we would like something interesting beyond just the sunset because sunsets attract a lot of cameras but I don't know a lot of photographers that kind of like, "I'm a professional sunset photographer." That's just an added element on top of--
It's in my bio, professional sunset... Oh that's the magazine I think. (both laugh)
Nice. Alright, so we're gonna look at some closeup work here from Louis Kendy Etienne. And a bumblebee on some sort of flower here and macro-photography is challenging. Do you do much macro.
I love it. Yeah, I do it whenever I have the patience for it. It's so challenging and time-consuming and this is, you know that that it took probably a lot of tries to get this.
Yeah, yeah and so having the macro-lens that can focus really close, probably like 100 or 200 millimeter macro-lens. They got some nice lighting on this. I don't know if it's artificially lit or they have a nice cloudy day but they got good light on this one.
Yeah, definitely good light. I like that there's an eye light on the bee itself.
Nice even light, could be overcast, could be artificially lit. It's hard to tell because we don't have enough information about that but generally, I like that the flower is completely in frame. It's not overcropped and so it gives you a sense of place even though that place is very small.
Yeah, I'm not sure about the bright autofocus thing right behind the bee and so possibly, if that was like in your backyard, if like, "Ooh, we forgot to move the lawnmower." Didn't move the lawnmower out of the way that one thing but they nailed the sharpness. They got the exposure. I think they got good composition on it so well grounded photo, I think.
Nice job, nice work. Whose was that?
Yeah, we got that one.
So let's jump in, Annher.
I think somebody got a picture of me in the field. (John laughs)
And so this feels like Arizona, Utah area and--
Yeah, it does. Well, it's tough because our subject is in the shade and backlit and that's always a challenge. Unless you're silhouetting something and using it as a compositional element, I think it really is tough. It takes away from it and also the eye-contact. Usually, I try to avoid that with anything, wildlife-wise, even with people unless you're intending to do that and create portraiture, I think that it's too jarring. It's just like looking. This goat's looking through my soul. Sheep, sheep.
It's a very interesting environment. And it feels to me like somebody was on a hiking trip and they had a great encounter with a wild animal and it's generally a clean shot which is nice. The bullseye treatment doesn't work so much for me. Just the positioning of the body. I would probably would have put it over on the bottom right hand side of the frame but I would have also kind of moved left and right a little bit to see if I could find that dark background behind it which you may or may not have. It might have just been walking through stuff there for two seconds and you got that photo and that was the best that there was gonna be.
Yeah, it's true.
In that situation. And so, if you're given the time to move around a little bit, if you can move up a little bit higher to get that dark bush behind it, a little bit more behind it so it stands out, just that bright area right behind it. It's distracting for the eye. It's hard on the eyes.
I agree. I agree completely. It's absolutely true. Bullseye way of putting it. I like that. It's true.
Alright and thank you for submitting that and I think this may be our last one here.
And so this one just kind of has some funky colors because I'm looking at a slow shutter speed so we got some cloud movement and a sun just kind of peeking out behind a little island of some sort so you're a bit of an island expert now with all your atoll work. What do you think is going on here.
This looks like American--
Let's bring up the name. Jike Z.
You know, there's, again... Good approach, shooting in the evening, long exposure, recognizing the sunset, the texture but for me, compositionally, I think that there's just a lot of challenges as well as potentially in post-production. I'm seeing a range of colors in here that are just almost taking me out of the world. They're to surreal. So I think just being really careful about your post-processing is important and then compositionally, where you have this island happening over on the left hand side of the frame but this also looks like a path or a wall or something that's kind of cutting up into it. It's really just, it's not leading me through the right part of the frame. Everything is sort of happening on the left hand side and then there's a whole lot of nothing happening on the right hand side that's not compositionally, as appealing to me but not to detract for me because I do think again, a lot of elements are all there. I would just reorder them and then just be careful about the post-process.
Yeah, it feel a little like an Instagram filter in some ways.
True, didn't think of that.
And the walkway, my thought if I was there is either I wanna completely eliminate it or I wanna include it with some sort of element. Maybe there's a person sitting on the end of it and I wanna have that to show you can walk out to this area there. Once again, you're finding the locations, you're in the right time. You just gotta keep working and finding different compositions and so I'm checking my camera, going, "Is that really what I intended? "Is that what I think looks right for this place?"
It could be more of an editing thing. I mean, it could be that maybe the frame exists so maybe go back and take another look.
Because it is very much of a square image and there's more to this image some place and they probably cut it because it's not good. So there maybe garbage cans over there, something that's going on and so yeah, you gotta keep working it.
I agree with that.
Alright, well thank you for sending that in. One last one, I threw this one because I was up at Mount Rainier just 24 hours ago shooting and--
How was it, good?
Well, it was just like this. It was a sunny day with no clouds. And we've talking a little bit about clouds and this is my first thought, is sunny day, okay, that's a base start. You're gonna get the sun is an element there but boy, it's really nice to have a few extra, little textural elements in the sky.
I'm sure that you've been up in this area.
Yes, I have. I have, I was there with CreativeLive actually. We went up there for our national park class and it was actually... My first time we were in here, I climbed it. I didn't actually even get to photograph all the waterfalls and the flowers and so that was a very interesting way to experience the national park for the first time. But I finally did get to get to go back and it's either all... It's tough because it's either all cloud or no cloud up there.
It's hard, yeah.
It could be really challenging to get the exact right timing on it. So compositionally, I think this is really pretty. I don't know, if there's a trail or something maybe going in the foreground there on the middle or--
Well, there's a bridge right here and during most of the year, they have a fence up so you can't get any closer because in the past, photographers would go right up to the river and they'd put rocks in the foreground really close--
Really, I didn't know that.
And you'd have all these other compositional opportunities but now you're restricted because too many people are trampling over everything. Compositionally, you really can't do better than this without breaking the law.
Without breaking the rules.
And that's a shame that that has been ruined for other people by doing those kinds of things but I mean yeah, compositionally, great. Obviously a popular spot for photographers, I think just different conditions and also different post-processing. This to me is looking a little too HDR which is taking me out of the world and I say HDR meaning the HDR post-processing of it. The shadows, the highlights, everything feels like they're the same level.
And so I was up there yesterday because the wildflowers turn right about the beginning of August and I've always gone up like the second week in August and it's been a little late so I wanted to go up there now. It's too early and I can kind of looking at this photograph, wildflowers still aren't out. And so timing it so when the wildflowers are right at their peak is just another way for you to take that photo to the next level. This is a really good shot and there's nothing really wrong with it. There's just a few little things to take it up a notch and another notch and another notch.
Ian, thanks a lot for being part of this.
Thank you for having me.
Over our 60 minutes, our One Hour Photo. Folks, tune in next time. I'm not sure who's gonna be here but we're gonna have a great talk and we'll look at some more great photos and talk more about photography. So thanks a lot and see you later.