One Hour Photo Featuring Mike Hagen


Lesson Info

One Hour Photo - Mike Hagen

Hello, everybody. Welcome to One Hour Photo. My name is John Greengo. In this hour, we're going to be looking at some of your questions. I'm going to be doing my best to answer them. We're gonna have special guest Mike Hagen in here to answer questions about what he does and talk about photography. And he's a big Nikon shooter. So we might get into some Nikon talk, too. So a little bit of tech talk for a change here. And then what we're gonna do is we're gonna look at some of your images. And we're gonna critique and see what we would like or don't like and how we would improve images, as well. So a lot of good stuff. So let's go ahead and get started. The first part we wanna get to is some questions that you have. All right, so the first question is actually a two-part question, or at least, there's two questions from the same person. So we have Frederick Wheeler writing in. I'm shooting a group of graduating students. Which focus area should I use for group shots: single or group? Al...

l right, so it's a little confusing there. You could use the group focusing points for group people, 'cause you've got the word group in there. But actually, if the group is just standing there, and they're not moving around, which they probably shouldn't be for a group shot, I would prefer to use the single point and choose my focus point very specifically. Now, the big challenge in some ways is how big is this group and how much depth of field do you need. For instance, if it's just one row of people, you wanna make sure that they're all about even distance from the camera and just focus on the person in the middle. If it's three rows of people, you don't necessarily wanna focus on people in the front row, because your depth of field grows a little bit in front and a little bit in back. So you might wanna focus on somebody in the second row. And it gets a little bit more complicated as you get up to the group size. But I would choosing the single point so that you can be very precise about where you are setting your focusing point. All right, the second part of this question. If my group is going to throw their graduation hats into the air, should I use the AF-C, 21-point or 51-point auto focus and the high speed continuous drive? OK, so there's a lot of things goin' on here. You've got a group of people who are gonna throw their hats in air. I would probably have the camera in the continuous drive, because there's gonna be a lot of good moments, and you're not really sure when the hats are gonna make the best patterns in the air and so forth. So I think continuous, high speed motor drive is a good start. Now, as far as the focusing, there is a lot of movement going on in the photograph. But the people that you're photographing, the graduating students, they're not actually moving towards you or away from you in any significant way. It's just the hats moving up and down. So your focus point is gonna be very much like the first question, is you're gonna pick one focus point, about the middle depth of where you need, as far as the people in the group. And the key thing here, in my mind, is probably what shutter speed do you choose. Most people would probably go for a fast shutter speed, where you can stop and you can see the tassels moving in the air. There could be some really interesting slow shutter speeds. Personally, I would probably go with a fast one, 'cause you're kind of guaranteed to get something pretty interesting there. The slow may or may not be interesting. If it was a group that was willing to throw their hats in the air about 10 times in a row, I would do a couple of fast shutters speeds and then a couple of slow ones to see if I get something interesting. But I would probably be choosing a shutter speed of 500th or a 1,000th of a second, depending on the lighting that the situation allows for. If you're inside and it's dark and you're in a gymnasium, you're gonna really have to bump up the ISO to get that faster shutter speed. So if you can get 'em outside with some better light, that's gonna help out in that situation. But the focusing is gonna be in the single focusing. I don't recommend using the continuous focusing, because nothing's really moving towards you or away from you. So, hope that helps out in that situation. And congratulations to all those graduating students. All right, next question comes from Gediminas Juska. Could you give a simple explanation of depth of field scale on a prime lens? And so, a simple explanation. OK, that's a little challenging. So I brought in a couple of example lenses over here. And these are prime lens, which of course mean they do not zoom back and forth. They are a single focal length. And a depth of field example over here on a 200 millimeter 2.8 lens, you can see, we can see the focusing scale. And there's a little white mark right there in the middle, which shows us where we are focused at. And this is what I would consider a terrible depth of field scale, because it gives us very, very little information. It tells us that if we stop down to f/32, we get a little bit in focus to the right and to the left of where the focusing indicator is. And so this is a pretty much, completely useless depth of field scale. And it is on here. And it is showing us the range of focus from the foreground to the background. Now, if we move over to our left a little bit, this is a manual focus Canon lens. It's a tilt-shift lens, and all of their tilt-shift lenses are manual focus. But this is a 17 millimeter. And you can see that the scale is much larger on this. And so one of the ways that I would use this is if I wanted everything in focus. Right now, the lens is focused on infinity. But if I move that infinity mark over to the f/22 portion, right about there, if I stop down to f/22, the picture will be in focus from infinity all the way up to .5 meters. So about a foot and a half. And so I know that if I set the lens here, I will get pretty much everything in focus. And that's what we call the hyperfocal distance, something I talk about in my Fundamentals of Photography class with more graphics and spending more time. But that's the depth of field scale. And they did mention on prime lenses. Because on zoom, lenses, you no longer get these scales. Back in the '70s and '80s and so forth, there was these interesting scales that they had on these push-pull zoom lenses that showed you how much depth of field that you got at 70 millimeters or 200 millimeters. And now that we've changed the type of zoom lenses we have, they've taken all those scales off. And so they cleaned up the graphics as far as the look of the lens, but we no longer have that information. So even your top level pro lenses from all of the manufacturers will not have those depth of field scales. And just another quick note, those depth of field scales are quite common on Nikons and Canons, but you're not seeing them on a lot of the mirrorless cameras, because they often use a fly-by-wire focusing system. And so this is something that is kind of disappearing in the world of photography, which is really unfortunate. 'Cause they're very helpful tools for photographers out there, trying to make sure everything's in focus. But we do have a number of digital tools that are kind of taking the place. And so I think I've gone past the simple explanation. But that is my explanation of the depth of field scales. All right, next question. Got a little bit of a long one here. What are the real advantages and disadvantages of using older manual prime lenses versus today's primes? I've heard the new lenses have a more direct light path to the sensor than old lenses. From Logan Clark, thank you for that. OK, so one of the cool things is that you can get adapters to use older manual lenses on a lot of the newer mirrorless cameras, because they a short flange distance. And they alow for these adapters to be used. And there's a couple of issues that are going on when you do use one of these older lenses. First off, in pretty much every case that I can think of, there might be one exception, you are gonna lose autofocus when you put a manual focus lens onto an autofocus camera. So you're gonna lose autofocus. And a lot of times, you use a lot of the communication between the lens and the body. So things like shutter priority and program may not work. It's possible that aperture priority may work, depending on the system. In may cases, you will be regulated to using manual. The metering system may not work in the camera, depending on the combination. You can always use the live view or an electronic view finder to determine correct exposure. The lenses typically are not as sharp. Now, part of it, from what I know, does have to do a little bit with that light path. A so the film and the way that it accepts light is different than the sensor. And the pixels do need a little bit more light directly coming into the bucket. Sometimes we use the analogy of water going into the bucket. And it kind of likes that light coming straight in. And so they've changed the optical path on a lot of the newer lenses. Now, I don't know how much they've changed, or which lenses they've actually changed or not changed when they've gone from film to digital. Because the whole optical formula, the light path, that's all proprietary, secret information. It's not real readily available out there. But the newer lenses are definitely better. One thing that is very clear these days is that the highest resolution digital cameras that we have out today, 36, 42, 50 megapixels, it is more resolution than we were getting on any 35 millimeter film cameras. And lenses have had to increase in quality. One of the trends that I've noticed over the last couple of decades in photography is lenses have gotten bigger. And that's because they've gotten better in quality. The optics have are better. And designing bigger, better optics requires more glass, more weight. If you wanna see a really high-quality lens that's big, look at the ZEISS Otus lenses. They're, I think it's a 55/1.4 lens and their 85/1.4 are just huge, chunkin' lenses. But they're some of the sharpest lenses out there. And so there's nothing wrong with using older manual primes. There's some great little things out there. You're not gonna get the sharpest lens on the block, but you're gonna get a lens that may have a bit of character, or lens that you just like to use. And so look around those thrift shops, and Craigslist, and eBay, and some other places for some funky lenses. Do a little research, make sure you're not overpaying on them. But their can be, really, some good finds out there. So have fun with that. All right, last question is, I do event photography and use a manual exposure mode, but during post processing, I'm having a hard time getting the same exposure to every photo as there's always a slight difference in lighting in every photo. Any tips on how I can have same exposure to every photo? Well, if you're shooting under different conditions, it's gonna be very hard to get even exposures. And so with a program like Lightroom, and there's many other programs that'll work pretty much the same way, if you take a group of photos from one general scene, you can take all of 'em and select a brightness level for that entire group. You can fix white balance, and pretty much anything else you want, for the entire group, all at the same time. And so that would probably be the first step to get 'em generally pretty close. If you really want every one perfect, there's no gettin' around it, you're gonna have to go to every image and make that slight little tweak of an adjustment. I'm sorry to say, there's just no way around it. But I think you are right using the manual exposure mode. As long as the lighting is not changing dramatically, if you're in generally even lighting, I would continue to use manual exposure mode. But look at grabbing a group of those in whatever post processing program you have so that you can do groups of 'em, and get 'em pretty close to the mark. You may wanna grab an image that's not on the lightest, not on the darkest, somewhere in the middle of the group, and work on that one, and then you'll have the least amount of work to do going with the rest for them. So I hope that helps out. Those can be very, very challenging situations. All right, next up is a photographer from the local area here, in the Seattle, Washington area, Mike Hagen. And he is, he does a lot of things. But they're also very similar to what I do. I feel like I'm almost gonna be interviewing myself here. He teaches classes here at CreativeLive. He writes books. He photographs. He hires out on occasion. He does workshops and tours. And so, we don't have a studio audience, but everybody at home, please clap your hands. Bring on out Mike, Mike come on out. Thanks a lot. Thank you, thank you, John. All right, let's grab a seat and talk. It's good to be here today. Good. All right, so for people who don't know who Mike is, why don't you give us the snapshot view of Mike Hagen the photographer. Sure, yeah. So I've been a professional photographer since about and went full-time with my craft in 2005. And since then, I've done just about everything you just described. I'm an author, I've written eight books so far. Have my ninth and 10th books comin' out this year. Really lookin' forward to those. I've led a lot of workshops around the world, taking people to Africa, Galapagos, Iceland, those places. And then, I've taught hundreds and hundreds of classroom-based workshops for different companies I've run over the years. Additionally, I do all the stuff that a professional photographer does. I photograph for corporate clients, and I photograph their construction projects. And just about anything, when someone says, hey Mike, do you shoot this as a photographer, the answer is yes. Nice. So what would you say is kind of your favorite area, or what would be the favorite assignment, or the favorite project you put yourself on? Well, there's no doubt about it, my passion, I love the outdoors. I just love being outside and photographing wildlife and nature. And so I spend a lot of my time shooting in crazy places around the world, shooting animals and wildlife, landscapes, that type of thing. So if I could make a living doing that for the rest of my life, that's what I'd be doing. Nice. Now, I know you do a tour in Africa, right? What do you do there? Yeah, so we go to Tanzania. I've been going to Tanzania for about 10 years now. And I take folks, photographers. It's all specifically around the word of photography. So I take photographers. We go in safari vehicles and spend the whole time photographing lions, and leopards, and cheetah, and elephant. And about two weeks on the ground on each of my trips. Sweet. So I'm gonna kind of disregard everyone at home here, and I'll just have a chat here. 'Cause I gotta tell ya, I'm actually going to Africa. I'm going to Kenya and Tanzania this summer. And what I'm doing is I'm scouting. I'm gonna do my own tour, and so you know, 'cause there's a-- Oh, competition. Yeah, I mean, you know. You do this, see, I gotta do that. So you know. And so, I know lenses and cameras with the best of them, but I still haven't decided on what to bring. And so part of me, and for anyone who wants to go to Africa on safari, bringing the right equipment is a chore. And so here's my problem, is part of my wants to bring the 100 to 400. And using it on a crop frame body, 'cause it's got a huge reach. And it's like, I really don't, anything further than that, it's just too much air out there. And so I think that would be a nice setup. But I also have a 300/2.8. And I have all the converters that could go with it. And so I can shoot a big lens that's wide open, that can focus really quick, and I can get shallow depth of field. But I'm afraid I'm just going to be changing lenses too much. What do you shoot, what do you recommend for your clients? Yeah, so what I always tell people is never go to Africa without bringing at least two bodies, two camera bodies-- Smart, smart. Or three. So, personally, I always travel with three. And so we're always thinking about dust and changing lenses. And for me, the dust isn't that big a deal. The most important thing, though, is you wanna be able to move quickly. So Africa, especially East Africa, where you're gonna be going, the scenics and the landscapes are fantastic. So I always have one camera with a 24-70 on it, OK. Then my next camera, I've got a 70 to 200. And then I've got one more camera, typically a cropped camera like you're describing. And I'll have my long lens on there. And so that way, I can just set one down, bring up another one. And I'm shooting, I'm not changing lenses in realtime. Now, lenses, you have to make a decision. Do you wanna photograph mammals? In which case, your 100 to 400, perfect. OK, elephants, zebra, all the mammals, no problem. But if you wanna photograph birds, you've gotta be out there, the minimum, 600 millimeters, more like 800. For the smaller, yeah, they're so flighty. Oh yeah, yeah, quite literally. So I always tell people, if you wanna photograph birds, you have to bring that long lens, minimum 600 millimeter with a teleconverter, even on a cropped sensor. What do most of your clients bring? Is there kind of a typical setup? Most people who come on my trips aren't professional photographers. Most people are enthusiasts, and they wanna take great photos. So very few people actually own a $15,000 600 millimeter f/4. Really, really? Why is that? Yeah. So most people actually bring the 100 to 400. Or in the Nikon world, there's the 200 to 500. Those types of lenses from Tamron, Tokina, Sigma, Nikon, Canon, anything in that kind of 100 to 500 zoom range, it's perfect. But make sure that you also bring another lens, like a 70 to 200. Because I have never been on a trip where someone didn't drop a camera or somethin' didn't break. And your trip, it would be a bummer to be out there with no lens. Yeah, no, I won't leave the country with one camera. Good. I have to have two cameras. And sometimes there's a third, depending on the situation. But yeah, no, I was thinking 70 to 200 on one, and then the other one's got the longer one. So I'm still gonna, I'm gonna be rakin' this over until the last, until the night before, going, should I do this. But another big problem that we should talk about is airplane flights and regulations about how much stuff you can bring onboard. Oh, so the last time I went was last November. So stuff is so dynamic, the airline industry is changing so rapidly. So for example, if you have to fly through Europe, most likely, you're not gonna have any issues with your flight. But if you have to fly through the Middle East, now there's this laptop ban that we have to deal with. There's electronic stuff that you can't take into the airplanes. And they're talking about expanding that to all the European flights now. Yeah, exactly. So now you're thinking, well, am I really gonna put $20,000 in camera gear in the hold of the airplane versus carrying it on. So at this point, I don't check anything under the airplane that is electronic. I put my tripod down there, I put a lot of stuff like that. But all of my camera gear, I take on the plane. The thing weighs a ton. But I never let the agent at the desk weigh it. Check it. Oh, right, right. Weigh it. I never even let 'em pick it up. 'Cause if they pick the thing up, they're like, sir, this is a little over weight. This is gonna cause our compartments to fall down. Yeah, exactly. And so, but I think, if you're going over there now, you better be prepared for having to check it. And so I'm just trying to think, what I would do is maybe-- Lock. Have a couple of T-shirts and stuff them around the lenses just for extra padding in there. And potentially, little TSA locks on there as well. Yeah, exactly. Someone who's determined to rip your stuff off is gonna find a way around any type of preventative measures you put into it. But yeah, wrapping your stuff well. I mean, I've traveled a lot, you've traveled a lot. I've actually seen baggage guys literally throwing bags across the tarmac, landing on the pavement. Makes you shiver. Can you imagine your camera doin' that? I know, I know, it'd be terrible. So one of the things I wanna talk to you about, 'cause you do a number of Nikon classes, what are your Nikon classes that you have currently at CreativeLive? So actually, I don't have, well, you know what, I think I do have one currently-- Yeah, but don't you have an-- At CreativeLive. It's on the Nikon autofocus system. So that's based on a book that I wrote, actually. And my second edition's coming out. But yeah, so the Nikon autofocus system. And then, another class on the Nikon flash system, the Nikon wireless flash. Right, and Nikon has, what I would determine, the best flash system on the market, all the companies. They have the best. It's good stuff. But it's also very complicated, too. Yeah, it is. And so, the interesting place that we're in right now is Nikon and Canon have been producing really good SLRs. And you got Sony comin' around with some really great mirrorless cameras. The a9. And the Fuji, and Olympus, and Panasonic are producing things. And it's just no doubt that, at some point, Nikon and Canon are gonna have a mirrorless SLR. And there's been interesting talk on the internet recently. And one side says keep it the same lens mount. That way we can use all of our lenses. And Nikon's been so good. I mean, 'cause when they went autofocus, they kept the same lens mount. Now, granted, not everything worked 100%. And as I explained in my Nikon classes, is there's an evolution. And like, if you reach 20 years forward or backward from a product, it may not be 100% compatible. But Nikon's been really good about bringing that compatibility forward. But on the other side, if they were to put out a whole new mirrorless system, they could design all the lenses and the focusing system and everything around that new system. What are your thoughts on this? Well, being a professional photographer, I need my gear to work, and I need it to work well. And I love mirrorless, I love the idea of mirrorless. I like the size, the weight-saving, everything like that around mirrorless. But I've been using DSLRs for a long time. And for example, just to use a specific example, my Nikon D500, I was shooting sports this week with it, and it blew my mind. I mean, just focused on everything. Literally, I shot 1,200 photos. I went through 'em picture by picture. And like 10 of 'em were not in focus. Nice. So, for me, the reason to keep goin' with the DSLRs is because the autofocus systems have achieved this very high level of proficiency and technology. And I think part of the reason why Nikon and Canon are holding off going with their full-frame systems is because, I think, autofocus is probably holding them back. And I know using the mounts and the lenses that we currently have, the autofocus systems and mirrorless won't perform as well, because they're based on a different technology. You're focusing on the sensor, right? Yeah, it's the contrast system. Exactly. And so it's this balance of, the mirrorless is technically more accurate, because it dials it in and figures it out exactly, but it takes more time to do that. Speed issue. And so, but Nikon did just a tremendous job with their 1 series, OK, as far as focusing. (chuckles) There's a lot of other things that I think they stumbled on on there. But if they could that technology and just scale it up, I think that would make a really good camera. Yeah, I agree. I like the Nikon 1 system. I shot with their very first ones. I brought 'em to Africa, actually, one year. It was the Nikon 1 V1, and I was stunned, blown away with the performance. But it was a really tiny, dinky, small sensor. And there's some dynamic range issues there. So I would love for Nikon and Canon to produce some mirrorless cameras. I would welcome the weight reduction. But as we both know, I'm gonna hold this up, full-frame lenses to go with full-frame sensors, you're not gonna save any weight in the lenses. You're saving weight in the camera body. So there's still some technical stuff that I know that Canon and Nikon are working through. I think they'll get there. I don't know if they'll use the same mount. Honestly, for me as a professional, it doesn't matter so much if they have the same mount or not. I gotta buy my gear to do the job I'm gonna do. And so I wouldn't mind buying a couple of other lenses to go with a nice Nikon mirrorless camera. I could very well see them coming out with a new mount system that has an adapter, allows you to use the older ones. Because I think, my theory is, is they're waiting for the autofocus technology to improve. And they're also kind of waiting to see what the other one does. And it's like, and I don't know how that changes what they do. But they love, there is this competition between Canon and Nikon that is just to the point of ridiculousness, you know. When you mount a Canon lens on a body, you turn it like this. Oh, I know. When you have a Nikon lens, you do this. When you focus this way, it's infinity for Canon and infinity this way for Nikon. For Nikon, yeah. And they've tried to do so many things. And if you go through the manuals and the other data, they just, like every term they can use, image stabilization, vibration reduction. Well, competition is really good for the industry. And it's, I don't know, for my world, I'm a Nikon guy. And I really started my career teaching all things Nikon and writing all my books on Nikon. And so, for me, it's a little bit scary to see other people like Sony coming into the market and honing in. But I think competition is good. Oh, definitely. And to be honest, the Sony, the new a-series cameras are phenomenal. Can't wait to get my hands on an a just to play with it, you know. Yeah, yeah, no, I mean, it looks like a very good sports camera. The big problem is, is all the sports photographers are like, 100-400, that's not what we shoot sports with. I mean, that's a great wildlife, kind of an enthusiast lens. But when it comes to professionals, f/5.6? Nope, we need our 2.8s. Not even close. And so yeah, there's gonna need, definitely, faster lenses. But they're doing some amazing stuff with that camera. So you brought some images in. So let's go ahead and start takin' a look at some of the images. And so give us a little brief on, maybe, where this was or what we're lookin' at. Yeah, so the first few images I have are based on the trips that I lead and the places I love to go to. So one's, this is in Tanzania. And this in Serengeti National Park. This is a leopard. And one of the things about Tanzania, specifically the Serengeti, is it's the cat capitol of the world. Oh nice, OK. And as much as we like elephants, and zebras, and giraffe, it's really the cats that bring out the oohs and ahs of people. And so this guy, actually, this gal, is lookin' right in the camera. I just love the eyes, love the background. One of my favorite images from Tanzania. Yeah, I was gonna say that the background, the green, leafy tree in the background, I mean, that's not easy to get. 'cause usually it's gonna be kind of a blank sky on a sunny day. Yeah, you gotta be, you gotta work hard. I've led now, what am I, on my 10th safari to Tanzania. And it is hard to get leopard photos in the trees with great backgrounds. I mean, of all the years I've been doing this and thousands and thousands of pictures of leopards, I've found that it's very difficult to get a nice, clean backdrop like that. So do you know what lens you shot this with? Yeah, this would be my Nikon 200 to 400 f/4. And it was, this image now is probably pushin' seven or eight years old. And I probably shot that with my Nikon D700. OK, so full-frame camera. Full-frame, teleconverter 1.4, 400 millimeters. So what is it, 560? Yeah, and I'm not trying to say that if you buy all that equipment, you're gonna get that good a shot. But as far as the distance-wise, now, you were in a Land Rover or safari vehicle at this point? Yeah, land cruisers. Open top. All right, let's go to another. Yeah, so cheetah. Another part of the Serengeti. Cheetahs are dwindling in numbers globally. But you're almost guaranteed to find a great cheetah shot when you're in the Serengeti. But to find a cheetah shot with a whole family of kittens-- Oh, that's nice. It's really hard to do. And to get them all posing in a way, and all together, normally, it's like herding kittens, you know. Exactly. So here, they're up on a little bit of a termite mound. And this mom is a pretty successful mother. Cheetahs are preyed open, they're killed, actually, by all the bigger cats. So it's uncommon for cheetah offspring to live to adulthood. I think, I forget the number, but it's like 10% make it to adulthood. And so the fact that there's four of 'em here was a really special moment. And we, I remember the group that I was with on this trip, we were just in heaven. We got to photograph them for probably 45 minutes to an hour, which is an eternity. That is. You would go through a lot of images. Oh man, yeah, now with the newer frame rates. You know, 10 frames a minute, or second, and 12, 15 frames per second. You come home at night, you've got thousands of pictures to go through. So what's a typical day, as far as the number of shots? Well, I'm a very prolific shooter. I'm very selective in the images I finally choose. You like the sound of the motor drive, I can tell. Oh yeah. But I literally come home from a trip from Tanzania with, I'll say 11 to 12 days on the ground, I come home with 15,000 to 20,000 images. So you're shooting 1,500 shots a day? Yep. Pretty easily. Now, do you try to edit those down? Do you just keep 'em around for awhile? How do you-- Well, I don't delete anything. But I use what I call the elevation method. I keep all of my images. Because I write so much and I do so much lecturing and teaching, I like to use my bad images, I'm sure I shot them on purpose bad. I do that, too. I do that, we do, it's a thing in the industry. We do it on purpose. But in terms of the images I actually show or use in my books, I use probably, from a trip to Africa, if I come home with, I always tell the people this, if I come home with 10 pictures that are great images, I'm a happy man. You know, 10 pictures from a trip that you can actually use commercially, or professionally, that's a good trip, I think. Right. All right, so let's change environments here, definitely. So whereabouts in Africa were you for this? (laughs) Yeah. This is the very cold region of Northern Africa. No, this is Iceland. And another place I go to every year is Iceland. This is in Jokulsarlon. Jokulsarlon. Yes, I've been there so many times. I still can't say it. But it's the ice lagoon. Such a cool place. I've photographed there, I don't even know how many times. But every time I go, I just enjoy it. So this is at, well, I'm gonna say sunset. But sunset in the summer in Iceland is like at 11:30 p.m. So the sun was just comin' over the hill, and it backlit these beautiful clouds against this glacier. And this was also with a 200 to 400 millimeter lens. So I use that lens to do landscape photography. For landscape, yeah. You know, yeah, I'm surprised at how much I do use a 70 to or a short telephoto for landscape stuff. And you get these details that are great to show. And I've seen this lake a lot of times. I've been there, 'cause I did a bike tour around Iceland. And when I was there, so many people, it's flat lighting. Because it's very cloudy in Iceland all the time. And that lighting is so rare. And you gotta be just going nuts. Oh, I was. I remember this night. The sunset lasted for an hour and a half. Because in the summer in Iceland, the sun's just skimming along the horizon. And I was just, as a photographer and as a tour leader, I was just flippin' out. And I'm sure that my participants were like, this guy's a little bit strange. And I'm going like, you don't understand, this is wonderful. And it is a little bit strange. Because when you shoot in Africa, a sunset, it's like 10 minutes, and it's just gone. Gone. 'Cause it's just coming straight down. And the northern tip of Iceland just almost touches the Arctic Circle. And so photographers are normally used to shooting at a certain pace, and it's, I know I run. So it's like they're running the mile. It's like, we've gotta go quick, we gotta get all these shots, and it's like, (gasps) when's the end, it's keep going, and it's keep going. You get excited, you stay, but it keeps going on and on. Yeah, for this shot, I remember it was pushin' midnight. And the sun still was out. And we had all got hundreds of photos that were great. And finally we all looked at each other said, uh, why don't we go back to the hotel and go to bed. We've exhausted our cameras. Well, nice shot, nice shot. Great. Iceland, as well, these are eider ducks. And this is also the glacier lagoon. And these guys were just swimmin' around. And I just laid, I literally laid down, put the front of my lens on the water surface, and just lying there, photographing these guys. They'd come past me. And fortunately, the water was flowing from left to right, so they weren't moving that fast. So I'd shoot a whole sequence of shots, and then I'd jump up and I'd run 30 down, and lay back down in the dirt and shoot again. So they were like moving in slow motion then. Because you're working with the current. Yeah. Nice. They were paddling furiously, but the weren't actually, relative to my location, moving that quick. So yeah, definitely, I think, in this one, point of view really makes it look different than kind of your standard shots, somebody just standing up by the shoreline, shooting straight down at the water. Getting those icebergs in the back really placed this as someplace unique. Yeah, that's a good point in that I always, when I take people on trips, wherever it is in the world, I always encourage them, get low, get low. Shoot whatever wildlife you're photographing at eye level. And that puts the background farther away. It makes the background go blurry. But also, it's this intimacy that you don't get by shooting up high. Right. Well, let's continue our world tour into another location. All right, so this is not Africa or Iceland. This is Galapagos, one of my favorite places to, how can everything be my favorite place to photograph. Gotta be careful with that one. Yeah, so Galapagos, these are giant tortoises. And that's really one of the things that Galapagos is known for are these giant tortoises. And so this was at, actually, a tortoise reserve. And, boy, I think all of these shots that I'm showing today were all with my 200 to 400. This might be with my 70 to 200. Yeah, in fact, I think it is, 70 to two, 'cause you can get right up close. And that's the special part about Galapagos. The animals have no fear of humans. So you literally, as we're walking along the beaches and the trails, you actually have to watch out where you step, 'cause you might step on the animals. That's a nice experience to have. 'Cause normally, if you go into a typical place, basically, despite what the park rangers say, and don't hold me liable for anything, bears don't just come and eat you. They typically see a human, and they typically run away. They don't want to be around humans for the most part. They do want food. So if you have food, that changes the thing. But I have seen bears in the wild a number of times. And it's like, there's a bear, I'm gonna get my camera. Oh, it's gone. Gone. And here, you have to be very careful. And I'm sure they have lots of rules about how you approach animals and so forth. Yeah, they use the two-meter rule. They basically say, if you've got a walking stick, hold your stick out and don't get any closer to the animal than that. And it's good, because the special part of Galapagos is the wildlife is so approachable, we don't wanna ruin it. So follow those rules if you ever go. So in the Galapagos, are you shooting a lot from the boat, or are you getting let off on land and doing most of your shooting there? Or was it kind of a-- Yeah, the tours that I run are all boat-based tours. And so we stay on the boat overnight. And we go back to the boat for lunch. But then almost all of the wildlife photography in addition actually on shore. So you do at least two show excursions a day. One in the morning, right at sunrise. You can't be on the shores before the sun comes up. That's a national park rule. Oh, don't you hate those, they just don't understand photographers. They don't understand what we need, yeah. I know. Actually, my idea for somebody, I'd do it myself, but I don't have enough time, but be a photography consultant for national parks and stuff. But it's 'cause I've been to these national parks, and I'm like, you know, if you built this boardwalk just a little bit out here, you wouldn't have all these photographer running out here to get the shot because you have a tree in the way. Or if you trimmed this bush, it'd be a little bit easier. And OK, could you let us on shore a half an hour before? Well, some parks, you can get special permits, scientific permits. And I know some parks in the USA, some parks, you can actually talk to the park administrator and get a special entrance ahead of time. But most parks are not conducive to photographers. Yeah, we're not first on the list, somehow the animals always beat us out. They win. They always beat us out. This is also Galapagos. This is an owl. And this is one of the few raptors that actually are in Galapagos. There's two, there's the Galapagos hawk, and this is the owl. And this owl lives on, these owls actually live over these vast beds of lava. And they're almost impossible to see. And one day, we were walkin' along. And literally, this guy was three feet away from us and just sat there. And we shot this bird every way from Sunday. And then it took off and flew. And I just, and like you said, in Iceland, it's cloudy a lot, same thing in Galapagos. It's actually, it's a marine environment. Oh really, OK. So there's a lot of clouds. Just happened this guy flew right in front of some blue sky and looked right at the camera. And, plug Nikon, my Nikon autofocus system got the shot. Nice, oh, love that head turn. That head turn is great. I mean, getting something a little out of alignment, you know, normal bird, everything's straight, even flying forward and stuff. And so, no, that's great, that's great. All right, changing our journey here a little bit. Yeah, so another thing that I do is commercial photography. So I work for clients. They pay me to photograph things like their construction projects. I work for a lot of clients who manufacture pieces and parts that work in the construction industry. So for example, a couple weeks ago, I photographed this business's deck railings and deck material. I'm getting really excited now. Really excited. I know. Super exciting and thrilling. But it really is, it's a totally different type of photography. And my purpose is to show their product in the environment that will sell, that they can use to sell more of their product. So I'm providing a service for a client. And I do it, so this is basically a kind of a mix of architectural photography and product photography in the real world. So it's really dependent on the weather. It's dependent on time of day. It's depending on the phase of the construction project. So this company here, they manufacture that orange stuff. It's building wrap. The orange stuff. The orange stuff, yeah. And so they wanna show how it's integrated into the building structure. So I work with the construction agencies. I work with the safety departments. I have to wear hard hats, and steel-toed boots, and-- The vest. Yeah, and I get to wear my Carhartt pants and look like a construction guy. But it's all to serve a purpose for the client. Right, and so you know, for all you kids at home, may not be the most exciting thing, but there's needs for photography in everything in the world. And it's just a matter of kind of making those connections and contacts and working with 'em. Yeah, and that's one of the, I think a lot of times, people that are looking to become a professional photographer, they have a lot of misconceptions about what it means to be a photographer. Or what the industries are. There's a lot of niches in photography. And there's a lot of ways for us to make money. This is one of those ways. And I'm happy that I shoot it. It's not the most creative or soul-filling type of photography, but it pays the bills. Yeah, yeah. And I'm sure you learn things from there that apply to your other parts of photography. And it's just good to do a variety of things. Absolutely. Now, where is this? Yeah, so this is one of my Creative, I took this at one of my CreativeLive classes. It was panoramas and printing. But I just used this to illustrate that I love panoramas. I do a lot of panorama photography. It's one of my passions. And so beyond just shooting them commercially, I just enjoy it from an aesthetic standpoint. People always talk about, the human eye is like a 50 millimeter lens. I don't always believe that. I kind of feel like what we see, we see more of panoramas as humans. And so I like to show that in a lot of my imagery. So this shot of Lake Union in Seattle is one of my favorite shots. So I am actually looking at a very small image of this. The boat moving, and dealing with moving subjects in panoramas, are you just letting Lightroom or Photoshop stitch it together? Do you do it manually? Do you do kind of little tweaks before you put it together? What are a few tips? Yes to everything you just said. Panoramas can be as complicated or as simple as you want, as simple as your iPhone, swiping across the scene, as complicated as using specialized programs and layer masking. So I do all those things that you described. But what I will typically do is, so if you can see this at home, if you're looking at the screen and you see this picture, there's a boat, it looks like a red boat there on the left side of the frame, it was moving from left to right. So what I typically do is I find out what's moving in the scene, and then I actually pan the opposite way of the movement. So you'll only get them in one frame. So it only ends up in one frame. Because if you pan with a boat, and you go like, picture, picture, picture, it's like-- You're gonna have five boats in there. It's a parade of the red boat. But yeah, I do, Lightroom does a good job of stitching simple panoramas. For my more complicated, I typically go to Photoshop. I think the panel processing engine is better in Photoshop. Yeah, I've seen that on a number of issues. OK, let's go to another one here. Yeah, so this is a little place called Scammon Bay, Alaska, and-- Not Salmon Bay? No, Scammon. Wow, that sounds deceiteous. (laughs) Yeah, it's out there. It's way out there. And so I show this because another thing that I do, I spend a lot of time doing mission work and spending time in the field serving other communities. And a lot of times I do that with my camera. But I also do it with labor. So we went to this little, tiny village in Alaska and helped rebuild a house for a local. And we spent about, my team was there for about a week, but it was over about a two-month process. And I love doing photography when I'm serving on these mission trips. Because, A, they can use the imagery. They can use them to help tell their stories. So a lot of times, I will donate my photos or charge them some small fee. We can use them to tell stories about what's going on in that community and kind of raise awareness for the issues they have. Great doing some photography with a cause. Yeah, absolutely. I like that. Very good. All right, final image. Of your favorite places. Right, Cuba. Cuba. Havana. Yeah, in fact, you've probably photographed at the same-- I think everyone has at this point now that's been to Cuba. Yeah, but this is at a boxing, training facility in Cuba. But I show this image to show that I do a lot of portraiture as well. And then, one of things is small strobes, the Nikon wireless flash system. So this photo, I took with my Nikon wireless flash. I brought an umbrella and a light stand down to Cuba. Oh wow. And I shot some boxing guys. And then I was leading a class, actually, when I was there. So I brought in all of my students. And we all shot kind of high-end location portraits in Cuba. It was really fun. That's always a fun trip for everyone. And bringin' all that stuff there, gotta give you some credit points there. Yeah, the Cuban TSA, or the Cuban immigration and whatever, they check your bags, you never know what's gonna happen when you come in through there. Yeah, yeah, so you've gotta be prepared on that. So let's show some people, some of the classes that you teach here. You have many more than this. But tell us, if you will, a little bit about these three. Sure, so this one is a new series, this first one here, How to Shoot with your First Flash. And it's really, one of my goals with photography, and just in my life, is I like to make things accessible. I like to make complicated things easy to understand, just like you in your teaching. And so these classes, How to Shoot with your First Flash are all based on, hey, I got this Nikon, or Canon, or Fuji, or whatever flash. And I put the on my camera once, and I took a picture, and the person was washed out. Deer in the headlights. And so it's all about learning how to soot with that, learning how to make beautiful-looking images with your first single flash. In some of my beginning classes, I don't even go into flash. 'Cause I just simply say, flash is the most complicated part of photography. Yeah, it's one of these things, it is complicated until you know a few tricks, until you know a few things about it. And then it's like, oh, why was I so worried about that. And so that's why we're here, is to help teach this stuff and to help people understand it. And then, building your own home studio. Yeah, DIY. So one of the books that I'm writing, it's coming out later this year, is a do-it-yourself, it's all on do-it-yourself projects. And so we've doing a series here at CreativeLive on do-it-yourself photography, like building your own lighting equipment, building your own backdrops, building your own macro gear. The home studio is obviously all around studio photography. But we have other classes coming, and that are here right now, that are just on macro, like how to build your own extension tubes, and how to do this thing called free-lensing. Yeah, I love modifying. Pretty much everything I have has been modified in some little-- Customized. Yeah, no, I like doin' that. That's great, so that's some great stuff. Check those classes out. Great teacher for that. And if you can stick around, would you like to look at some photos from the students? Let's do it. That's be fun. All right. So we've got 10 photos to look at. And we're gonna take a look at these. And just for those of you at home, we don't know what you were encountering when you shot these photos. We don't know what your challenges were. Like, I couldn't move left, there wall. All we know is what the images look like. And so we're gonna try to be nice, but we're also gonna be honest. So we'll say what we think and see what we get up with here. Great. So, OK, I think we got a barred owl here. And for the average photographer, getting a shot of a bird and an owl is just like, the first time you do it, you're totally happy. I think this is a pretty good shot. I think the lighting is both good but challenging here. What are your initial thoughts? Yeah, initial look is, we got catch lights in the eye, which I think is fantastic. I'm always looking for catch lights. Explain the catch light real quickly. So, see, if you look closely at the eyeballs, you'll see a little pin-prick of light. And that just shows that the animal's alive and vibrant. So that's a really good thing about the photo. It is challenging light, though. I mean, it looks like he's kind of in the shade. It's mottled. Yeah, that, it would be better if it was a solid backdrop of greenery behind it. Like, there's a trunk of tree up to the right-hand side that's just solid, dense, and having the dark background. And so the blue, let me just jump into Lightroom here. This is not gonna help out very much, I don't think. But you could take the whites or the highlights down a little bit just to darken that blue a smidgen. That may have darkened the photo up a little bit. And so this is very subtle adjustments. I'm not sure if you're seeing it home. But we really do wanna be able to see that owl, unless, of course, you are trying to disguise it into the background, and it's kind of a hidden little figure. Now, what about the composition, putting it right in the middle? Yeah, I think, so you just said, hey, the first time I photographed a bird in the tree, it was like, oh, take this shot, bam. But it is smack-dab in the middle. And so one of the things that we always try to do as photographers is move the animal, or move the subject, a little bit off-center. Maybe a little bit to the right or a little bit to the left. And so what I like to do is I like to have what I call negative space, or viewing space in the photo. So if the, let's just say the owl's gesture generally is to the left, well, then let's put the owl on the right side so there's this negative space over there. So what I don't like is the bottom right corner. There's a part of a tree trunk down there. And so if we just kind of bring this up and out, and we put him kind of down there in the bottom right-- Super. With that kind of Y in the branches, and his tail is kind of down towards the right, and his head moving more up to the center, now his face is still pretty close to the center of the frame, but it just throws him off a little bit. And could play around subtlety. I don't know that I got it quite perfect there. I can see maybe, I can see, well, I'm kind of getting that out of the corner, that bottom right piece. But working with the Y, I kind of wanna put him back in the middle there. But there's a number of other options, just getting him a little bit out of the middle. All right, next up. OK, so very different for going for portraits here. And so I like the really, getting in there tight range. And so, OK, I'm forgetting this right now, one of the things is that people read words. We can't stop reading. And so, it's like, I looked at this Long Range. It's a farming product. I don't know if, I mean, I had to look it up on the internet, 'cause I was like, what, what, what are you, and it's some sort of bacteria that you have for cattle. And so that's potentially distracting. Or maybe this is, you're advertising the product for something. Yeah, when I look at it, I think baseball player, right. I think, is that kid playing baseball. Yeah, that's what it looks like. Yeah, and so eliminating distracting elements. Now, if you're trying to sell this product, or if this is a thing that's your identity, or if it's even the team name or something like that, OK, then include it. But if the logo doesn't have anything to do with the photo, you've gotta get rid of it. And so, yeah, you could possibly, so let's just crop this out just for a second, and just bring it down. I'm not gonna gonna worry about the composition. And so there we go. And so if you take up in the right-hand side of the screen, the Histogram, what I've noticed is that we're kind of a little bit on the dark side. And so we could, one of the things that works well in black and white images is a bit more contrast. And so I'm just gonna bring up the brightness of this a little bit. And then I'm gonna bring the blacks down a little bit. Perfect. And so it depends on your screen, exactly what you see on there. But potentially, a little bit more contrast. Now, let's see, I'm gonna reset this again. 'Cause I thought I'd practice doing something better. And so I'm gonna try with the highlights, bringing the highlights up a little bit. Might bring the white of the eyes just a little bit more. And so there's some subtle adjustments that you can get in there to play with. And it's hard dealing with image quality on the internet. 'Cause everyone's screen is calibrated a little differently in resolution and so forth. Well, I think the big takeaway from your little edit there, your little development moves, is that black and white photography really benefits from contrast a lot of times. And so assuming that there aren't a lot of pockmarks in your subject's face, you can really amp up, bring up the highlights, bring down the blacks. And it just makes a much more dynamic image. All right, next image we have here. And you know, I probably should have been giving credit to people who shot these images. Yeah, who are these people? So Nichole Lombardi got the owl. And Jennifer Basford, our portrait. Some nice shots. And MargotVisser on this one. Margot. Margot, oh. Thank you very much. Yeah. It's important. Thank you very much here. And so this one, my first instinct is, OK, there is something kind of cool going on, but, boy, that lighting. Yeah, I like, OK, so, good. Whenever I do these reviews, I like to say what do I like about it and then who do I think needs to be improved. I like the perspective. I like the columns kind of leading you in towards the subject. I think that's good use of framing. Lighting is really difficult. And our subject, the guy, he's in the shade. Yeah, and I don't know if there's a spot where they get to where they're in the sun, but that could be a magical point, because-- Yeah, wait, wait till he walks forward a little bit. Right, and so I was thinking, I don't like him walking away. But you know what, that could be OK. I would, in my ideal situation, I'd say, Jimmy, walk back and forth 20 times. And I would wait for them to hit the light, and I would shoot it going away and coming forward to see what it's like. This probably has a completely different look on a cloudy day. And so if this is a park in your neighborhood, go back on a cloudy day and try it again. OK, granted, it's not as fun to wade in the water on the cloudy day, it's not as warm. But I think they got the composition basically down. And in this case, center subject, I think, works fine. It works. 'Cause it's that perspective point of view. But that contrasty lighting, there's just not enough controls in Lightroom to really, totally fix that. One thing I was thinking as you were talking through this, one thing that could make this photo maybe a little bit more compelling is a longer shutter speed. Look at that water. Yeah, that could be interesting. That would because a good experiment. Because they probably used a fairly fast one. I don't know if we can pull up that information. So we were at 1,000th of a second. 1,000th. So we were stopping the water droplets, which is one good option. And any time you shoot something, if you have the opportunity and the time, try a couple of different things. Because none of us know it all. And we have to experiment and play around and see what's gonna work. OK, so you're goin' in the right direction. All right, so, gorgeous. All right, gorgeous. I love it. Slow shutter speed. Got the water movement around it, which is nice. You've got some great colors. You've got a good foreground subject. Let's see who's got their game dialed in. Matthew Hawk, I think you're doin' great in here. What are your thoughts? Yeah, Matthew, great work. Really fantastic. Everything that he said, I double. It is hard to find fault in this image. But I think every photo can be improved. So how would I improve it? Well, one thought is that foreground. The water flowing in the foreground, it's nice, it's blurry, it's soft, that's cool. But it doesn't really, in my opinion, add a lot to the composition. I think if you have a bigger image that you crop this down to, go with the bigger image and maybe lose, can I use your computer? Yeah, go ahead, go ahead. Maybe try something like this, where you're not showing as much of the foreground, and you're showing maybe that same strip of sky, or maybe a little bit more of the sky. And then the other thing is, that sun is really nice. That sun over there on the right-hand side, it's really cool, and it feels a little cramped to me. So maybe there's a pier or there's a person standing over there. Well, I was gonna say the same thing. I very much like the new HD framing aspect ratio. And so sometimes, because I just present classes in the HD aspect ratio, which is 16 by nine-- Ah, perfect. And so go in there and just crop it. Now, you can move it up and down a little bit. And so I like that wider look. And the aspect ratio of one by 1 1/2, which is what most of our cameras have, is a good general purpose piece. But I'm very free to change it. And I typically, for landscapes, I don't mind going a little more cinematic and wide. And for portraits, when I go vertical, it's a little too tall and skinny. So I am often cropping off a little bit. And so we don't want to crop too much, because we're losing megapixels. But little bits here and there, just keep all the good stuff in the frame. Yeah, HD format works fantastic for this. It would make a nice wall print, too. All right, next up, this feels like the Tetons to me. And it's a beautiful, beautiful neck of the woods. We've got, it looks like a barn. I like that. We got fog, gotta love that. We got mountains, we got a fence with a pattern. I love all those elements, but I'm not totally lovin' the photo. There's a number of elements that aren't going great that kind of, the bottom left empty corner would be the first problem. What are your thoughts on this? Great, so the things I like. I like the leading lines. Every photo, we should aspire to find something that brings the viewer into the photograph. So the fence serves as kind of that leading lines. But at what expense? The fence is kind of leading the eyes out of the frame. So maybe there's some work we can do there. For me, I think the biggest issue in this one is the sky. It's the time of day they shot. Yeah, well, it looks like it's probably near sunrise. But that sky is all washed out. And if you look at the Histogram up on the right-hand side, it's that gigantic spike on the far right side of the Histogram. Yeah, so solutions for that, shoot a little bit earlier, a little bit later. Wait for the lighting to kind of equal out sometimes between the landscape and the sky. Or neutral density filter. Right, now, ideally-- HDR. Yeah, you would want to use a neutral density filter out in the field. I'll try to use one here. I don't know if we really have the data. It's a JPEG, and they may be able to fix this with a raw image. And so this is a very rough, OK, I just do it extreme, just so I can see where things are. I come back to where it looks normal, and then I just bring it in. And I'm just gonna not be too heavy. Clearly I see it there, so I'm gonna back off a little bit there. And so before and after right there. And so maybe that's a little bit too much. But the sky is too bright. And so I think they've got some good elements. And they just, I mean, they're choosing the right subject. They just need to play around a little bit with the composition and maybe a little bit with filters and so forth. Yep, the fog is what, in my opinion, the fog is what makes this image worth keeping and maybe even doing a little bit more work in Lightroom. The fog is great. All right, moving on. All right, so I'm guessin' we're in the fish market here. And, boy, the colors from those lights are horrible. Yep, fluorescent. And so it's an interesting place to shoot. And so to fix the color, this isn't a Lightroom class, but we are doing-- Who is this, by the way? This, thank you very much, and this is Eleonora. And so thank you for the photo. And so just to fix the white balance, I'm gonna take it off this guy's coat, 'cause I'm pretty sure he's in a white coat. It suddenly feels very green, but let our eyes adjust for it. I'm gonna just concentrate on color. I'll let you talk about something else. This just kind of feels like a black and white image to me. And so when I get really, really funky lighting sometimes, I say, I'm just gonna shoot black and white. Because just to solve, because trying to go in there and solve that is a bit of a problem. Now, if you said, I absolutely need it in color, I might come down and just lower the Vibrance or lower the Saturation, just to make it a little bit less intense. Yeah. I agree with everything you're saying right there. Let me talk composition. I like this, this is such a classic street scene. You're walkin' through the fish market. There's these guys there, they're workin' in the market. So if it's about the people in the market, you really wanna see their faces. This guy on the left side with the hat, standing there with the pencil and a pad of paper, he's the photo, he's what's making that image. So let's find a way to make him more prominent. Maybe it's walking closer. Maybe it's gesturing and saying, hey, can I come in. Or asking him, hey, come closer to the camera. 'Cause really, he's the personality that makes that photo work. Also, we don't wanna crop him off, right. So if he ends up being the thing that makes the photo, kind of the anchor, he's gotta be fully in that frame. All right, and this looks like Cannon Beach, not too far from us here in Oregon. Immediately, I'm noticin' the square image. And I like square images. I used to own a house of plaid at one time. And so I don't like things that are kind of, just slightly out of square. But once they go square, I think they look kind of nice. And so we do have a lot of open space here I kind of like. This one, they've taken black and white. I think, in general, it's very, very good image. I like it, I like how they've gotten some reflection out of just water on the sand. What do you think? Yeah, it's a classic, timeless photo. It could be taken in any era. It could be taken in the '40s, the '50s, the 2000s, whatever. I like that timelessness about it. I like the contrast. The haystack rock is nice and dark, but there's just enough detail in there that you can see some of the basalt columns. I think that's great. I like the human figures for scale. One of the things that I keep moving my head over, I can't quite tell if the horizon's level. I think it is level. If you're goin' square, and if you're goin' for symmetry, then make sure everything is actually symmetrical. And I think it is. I think we're right on. Yeah, I think, if we pull it up, it looks pretty good. Yeah, the only suggestion I would have is, you've got everything goin' for ya, just keep shooting, the two figures that you have out there, they almost kind of look like they're going in opposite directions. And so playing around, they're generally in a pretty good spot, I think, just having them off to the side there. But maybe having both moving in, or just keep playing around. 'Cause you obviously don't have control of the way they're movin' around in there. And just get as many different ones. And maybe this was the best of the group there. But that would, really, the only other variable, 'cause they've dialed everything else in. Yeah, I think a great comment I heard from another great photographer, I think it was Bob Krist, I don't remember exactly, but he said, find something interesting, find an interesting light, and then wait for something interesting to happen. And so that's to your point. Just wait for those people to move in a way that the composition works. Right, and don't be afraid to shoot a bunch of photos. And thank you, Rachelle P., for that shot. And so thank you, all for you, for your photos. Appreciate that. Mike, I wanna thank you for comin' in today. Good talking to you. And thanks for helping all this folks out with their photos and so forth. And so we'll be back again next month with a new episode. I'm not sure what we're gonna talk about, but hopefully it'll be another good hour of learning. So tune in next time, and we'll see ya around. Thank you.

Click here to ask John Greengo your questions for future One Hour Photos!

Every month, John gives you an hour of expert guidance and immediate feedback with ten questions and ten critiques in this exciting new series we're calling One Hour Photo. John will also sit down with one guest photographer to offer insights, advice, and industry knowledge, and this month’s guest is Mike Hagen.

In this hour, John responds to questions about the best focus area to use for group shots, and the best type of autofocus, advantages and disadvantages for using older manual prime lenses vs. modern prime lenses, and tips on creating the same exposure to every photo.

Mike Hagen is a professional photographer, author, and workshop leader. He's taught hundreds of workshops and thousands of students over the years on just about all photo topics including camera gear, studio lighting, Photoshop®, Lightroom®, landscape, travel, and digital workflow. One of his favorite things to do is take people on photo safaris to far-off places like Africa, Galapagos Islands, and Iceland. Mike is a prolific writer, having published many books on photography, software, and digital workflow. Check out his CreativeLive classes here.



  • I just watched this One Hour Photo class and thought it was well done. As a beginning photographer, I found the image critiques (both Mike's travel images and images submitted by others) to be helpful. I like the One Hour Photo class concept - just enough time for getting tidbits to improve your photography. Regarding other classes - I have watched several of John's and Mike's Creative Live classes. They are well organized, easy to follow and provide ideas to improve your photography. As an aside: I have traveled to Tanzania, Galapagos, and Iceland with Mike Hagen and can say this about the trips: Sign up now! All three trips were fantastic. Mike is a great teacher and leader who is focused on participants becoming better photographers.