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Landscape Photography: Wildflowers and Macros

Lesson 11 from: Photographing America's National Parks

Ian Shive

Landscape Photography: Wildflowers and Macros

Lesson 11 from: Photographing America's National Parks

Ian Shive

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Lesson Info

11. Landscape Photography: Wildflowers and Macros

Lesson Info

Landscape Photography: Wildflowers and Macros

I'm gonna get a setup going that lets me use some filters, because if you notice sky super bright, the foreground is not nearly as bright course because white doesn't reflect our doesn't reflect rather white flecks more then darker colors, so I'm going to go and switch to a wide angle lens and this's not ideal magic hour, but this is what I'm going to try and do to just get set up and then work this whole ridgeline, and I call that working a scene and allows me tio just kind of keep shooting, keep trying different things, see what works until I get a composition that I like, but the first and most important thing is to you, make sure that technically have got all the elements accounted for. Speaking of accounted for, I lost the lens cap actually on the lens. All right, I'm gonna use neutral density filters. I've got two rings and a wide angle and the telephoto ring and then eh holder, which I'm going to go into these and more detail of it later, but essentially what this allows me to d...

o is control the contrast on the sky and the clouds as well as slow down the shutter speed of the camera, so why would I want to slow down the shutter speed of my camera? Because you see that water it's rippling a lot and this is reflection, legs I want to look like a reflection, so by slowing it down to the absolute slowest, I can get it long shutter speed think five, six, seven seconds those ripples won't be there because it's a cumulative effect building up on the sensor, and that means this will look like glass. All right, just removal felt their holder snaps right on that. Good to go get the camera tripod snaps in place now to get my filter. So what kind of a filter? There's two kinds neutral density with a hard line on a soft line and I might be speaking a foreign language. Essentially a neutral density filter is just that it's a neutrally colored, so not using colored filters amusing, neutral colors density meaning it's dense as darkness to it and it will cut the amount of light actually passing through. Okay, so this is a neutral density filter neutrally colored and you could see what hold up to the sky ds darker only to an extent that allows me to control how much light is passing through the top part or if I flip it over the bottom part of the frame. Typically it's used to control how much brightness is coming out of the sky, especially with a darker foreground. You could also push the entire filter over the lens just to slow down the overall light coming into the camera that way you can get a very slow exposure when there's a lot of light even when you're limiting the amount of light that's coming in so to slow the process down just a little bit here at f twenty two very tiny amount of light coming into the camera you've got the nice slow shutter speeds that means that a lot of light is coming in over a lot of time even though you're not letting much in you want to limit that amount of light to using neutrally colored piece of resin in this case and it limits the amount of light passing through that allows you to get a proper exposure so for me the indies a real critical component teo controlling landscapes controlling the moving elements allows you to get those nice soft water effects moving grasses blowing grass is so on so forth um helps you also really capture with the I would see naturally um but that may otherwise you're very difficult to capture uh without doing a lot of photo shop worker multiple exposures is let's get it all in camera so a cool tip to know where your filter is actually covering or not they're actually going alive move and you can see exactly how far down it's gone the other way to do it is to go out alive mode and used the depth of field preview button little button located up near the front of your lands and look through it and when you look through and push that you could see more precisely where the filter is actually covering idol as you get more actual shot here's what I'm gonna have you got a six on the sky I'm gonna put a three on the water because the sky's reflecting in the water so I want to control the bright down there lighten up the middle and the dark and the sky up there they've got two filters on filter stacking it's one of my tricks and make sure I got him in the right place and now all we need is a mountain to come out and nice light and assuming it does won't have a really nice shot or we've wasted a lot of time one of the two. All right, so this is what I call naptime we're going to wait and see if the clouds break and we're gonna wait and see if we actually get a mountain out here tonight and get our magic hour so here we go, hang out, take our nap, come back in a bit, you know one thing about nature is there's always something to photograph, even if there's clouds even if the thing that you set out to photograph isn't working out, you've got to just be willing to adapt, be creative and go and find a new composition somewhere else. And so today we went, and we found a field of wildflowers and some beautiful landscapes that we could work under this relatively diffuse light, and I think it was super successful, so I stop because there's a really amazing set a while, flowers growing here on this hillside and you could see with no direct sunlight, it's very balanced, very soft, and the color is very even so I'm gonna take a look and you notice they're blowing a little bit, and so the settings for this, you'd be very different from the water, the blowing motion, but I don't blowing equally, the taller plants blowing faster than the lower ones. I could kind of give you a impressionistic view if you use a long exposure, takes a little experimenting to get it right, and depending on whether you want to get a background or how you want to go about it, in my case, it might be nice actually shoot straight across the wild flowers rather than going and looking down on them. Change the perspective from that of somebody who's, just hiking on a trail and get the perspective of a flower itself, and that will make the composition little more interesting hopefully, and help us blend a little of the colors together. So I'm gonna get down in here without stomping on too many, right off the trail, we hiked a little bit in and just kind of work it, leaving some flowers intentionally out of focus, so I like it when the flowers right in your foreground or out of focus, it lets you kind of use them is a really kind of design element to become the sort of blurred looking, uh, you know, abstract, uh, colors of light, I could probably go even lower it all the way down, so I left on the wide angle lenses to get an idea of what my options might be in here. I'm shooting it f sixteen means I'm getting a lot of lot of death in here, so I'm actually gonna go shallower and get a little bit less death, and it makes a big difference in the shots is you'll see that this all comes out of focus and everything in the distance that I'm focused on stays nice and sharp, the truth is, a long lens would even compress the scene more so the wide angle, getting the trees and getting flowers over here, everything else I might want to try and go a little a little a little tighter and see what I get, and I think you'll get a big difference generally speaking, I like a nice long lens. For wild flowers unless I'm doing macro work and I'm really focusing on a single petal or a very small detail someone take my lens off I'm gonna do a little field change and go on grab a seventy two, two hundred leave that wide angle handy and there's no sun somewhat to worry about lens, hood, there's no dust on their we're gonna use a shallow depth of field so the dust won't be is noticeable and using a tripod, of course, because we want that stability much stability as we can get the better. Now I'm gonna just basically work around adjusting the focus and adjusting the focal length until I see something that looks like a nice composition. And what? How do you know when you have a nice composition, trial and error? I find one flower that I really like, what stands out, and I'm looking at the symmetry, the patterns as they repeat things like that now going to try and kind of worked my way through the scene. An aperture start at f two point eight I so one hundred aperture priority move, then I'll go up to maybe five, six to eleven take a review on the back of the camera, see what it sees, and with each of these frames there's a big difference, and with the end result, is obviously with the very large aperture two point eight always to eleven there's a shift two point eight being very, very soft past oral very magical looking as you get up to eleven more and more comes into focus, you get a clear sense of what's happening in the scene, and that gives me an idea of what I'm getting so you could see starting at I have two point eight and then at five point o and after eleven, and if you're not sure how your balance is going or your settings, you could always use the hist a gram and a history graham, as we like to say, never lies hissed. A gram shows you your highlights and your darks and the area in between, obviously being all of your mid tones, you want to make sure that you've got a nice balance in the middle. You don't want to have a spike on one end or another, so if you're really over exposing something, the camera will let you know about showing you the history graham if you notice in this the shots obviously completely blown out and the history ram shows you all the way to the right it's too bright, all of your focus is on the brights if you look at the shop before that I took because you can't just trust the back of your screen. You can look at that history ram and see that there's a nice balance flo nothing is stuck on the left in the darks and nothing nothing is stuck on the right the whites the brights and so when you look at one that's off you could look at this one you see it's really balanced and you know when you're working in bright sunlight or low light if you're just trusting your monitor are the back in your screen there's a lot of room for error this gets you the most information out of your file when you're shooting like this so I won't mind working through this focusing on different flowers looking for different patterns and we've got three different colors really happening four different colors really happening in here we've got the green obviously but then we have the white flour purple flower and red flower so I'm gonna look for a combination of different colors as I worked through and try different shots maybe on this one I'll focus on a purple flower and a real shallow depth the field two point eight and aperture priority modi eso one hundred c you got a good history graham once again hitting the info button you can see what the shot looks like it's pretty shallow very shallot up the field you know I'm not sure if I've got enough focus in there I can zoom in and double check knowing that that's the flower amon it's a little soft, so I'm gonna go and add a little bit more the field. I'm gonna narrow the aperture down from two point eight to five point six fire again and start to pick up a little bit more detail. I'm gonna check on my focus and it looks like I might have to many objects right in the front that are actually blocking the lens. So in this case, I'm going to shift over a little bit to the left and try to get a clear angle on some of the plans. Because no matter how much you try to focus, if there's something right directly in front of lens moving up the middle and that's what you're trying to focus, it will never be sharp. So I check again and now zoom in and it looks like I got a nice, sharp wildflower image. This is a great way to make a wildflower imagery very simple, long lands very compressed, and you can see what the results are there really, really pretty. And of course, because we're shooting in low light, very ambient light and there are a lot of, you know, there's, no direct sunlight, very low contrast, the end result is, uh, really, really gorgeous. So we lost our our mountain earlier we're gonna figure out how do we get a landscape photograph at the end of the day so I still have the seventy two hundred on that I was making landscape photographs with and I'm gonna try and find a mountain that's way out there and take these wildflowers there in this field by using a long lens I'm gonna compress the two so it becomes more of a two dimensional image so what that means is a two hundred millimeter lands takes these wildflowers and makes it look like the right below that mountain way in the distance probably ten, fifteen miles away and so I'm going to continue work on this, but the problem is in this shady area there's not a lot of light and that sky still picking up a little bit of light from the sun over there so I'm gonna go and take a filter neutral density and use it to reduce the amount of light happening upon the mountain. So let me grab one of those try and not get devoured by the insects as you'll notice. I've got my little base camp set up there, which I like to do all right, so I've got my neutral density filter my holder and my three neutral density filters I'm gonna use a hard one on this well put my ring adaptor on sure it gets on there in a way that will come off check for dust, but on the second adapter and I'm going to try with a six has explained earlier, you have three I'm going to try with a point. Six there's the three different stops three, six, nine, six being the middle and just see what that looks like I'm gonna make sure it's not blocking too much of the sky, but just enough to give me a little bit of darkness in there. So now I've got a filter on the sky. I've got my wild flowers in the foreground and I've got auto focus off. I also have the image stabilizer off when I have my lens on the tripod. You don't want the stabiliser on because the gyroscope itself will be trying to move might shake the camera. I have had issues in the past where sometimes that will actually cause mohr shake, uh, with long lens. Um when you have it on the tripod, you already haven't try thought it's already stabilized, so there's no sense in having any moving parts. You want to keep it a stable as possible. The longer the lens, the more every little shake makes a difference, so now we've got this set up. And because the flowers are moving, we have a long lens we don't want too long of a shutter speed we have a long shutter speed in the flowers will be blurring that could be a desired effect I'm going for more of a sharper big landscape sort of effect, so I'm choosing to go and f thirty two maximum depth of field I s o four hundred and I've got my exposure compensation wheel dead in the center and I'm gonna take a frame it's going at half a second I'm gonna take a look and not quite looked a little bright and that's because it's still sort of reading the difference in the flowers and the white flowers and the light in the mountains, so I'm actually going to use the exposure compensation wheel to make go below make it darker a couple stops so you get a faster exposure and the problem I'm still having is that the mountain is so far away compared to the flowers still not quite working out, so the way to fix that is to change where I'm focused on. So right now I'm focused on some flowers close to mei instead of being focused on those flowers close to me, I'm gonna pick an object halfway between the closest object in my frame and the farthest object in my frame focus on that take a shot and there we go now we've got maximum depth of field in the foreground and way in the distance. That's the only way to really do it with long lens we're trying to make landscape photographs is to look at the object or area that seems like it's halfway between now, halfway between and miles the halfway between in your composition foreground elements mid ground element. Oh, yeah. This's gorgeous work this hiked up a little bit in the back country feeling the elevation a little bit that's what this little anderson california have todo but I walk in and the first thing I think of is what is this shot gonna look like when it's done it's that idea of pre visualized thing understanding what it is you want to conceptually first thing I do before I figure out what lens bob oblong I get all my gear together let's take it in the lady is going to change its clarity. We've got all the time in the world because we can do a long exposure can go take a look and I noticed first thing here, all I've got is a bunch of dead trees couple of wildfires very green you want to look a little bit farther, it looks like somebody planted the wild flowers all on the bank, on both sides. Where there's gorgeous cascading stream running down the middle I'm not going to focus on the sky or the background, but it said my framing for something like this is to use those lines that we've been talking about something that draws your eye through and use the river as that line use the rule of thirds put it on the left side of the frame we're the right side of the frame but when I compose also try the centre but ultimately pry off center because I also have this entire patch of wild flowers and boulders. This is the classic quintessential alpine meadow in the peak of august and so this is really exciting to a nature photographer for me to get this composition I'm digging a wide angle lens sixteen to thirty five zoom give me a little option polarizer to still deal with the glare of the water off the very cloudy sky and that's it it's dark enough out here that I don't need nd filters to slow the exposure down or anything else I was going to use a low I s o supersensitive keep the quality up, keep the noise down and otherwise it's all gonna be about making a good composition so I'm to change up my lenses already kept my polarizer on get the dust off I'm gonna change don't do this at home you know what that dust flying in there you want to buy as many camera bodies as possible so that you never have to change the lens ever when that tonight I'm gonna take my neutral density and we'll leave it behind excited I want to use this light I'll repack that's not going anywhere I'm gonna take the seventy two hundred off set that down for a few minutes and let's go make some pictures so as I mentioned, I really like these meadows of wildflowers and wildflowers kind of change as I move up so I want to be able to work my way up through this patch yellow ones but then you'll notice pink ones and other colors kind of come in and the opportunities change the opportunities to be dry footed or if you bring boots you can go in the water but I'm gonna kind of pad around on the dry rocks and then just kind of worked my way up until that curve in the river each point along the way, changing my composition and focusing on nothing more than my composition because I've already decided I know I want maximum depth of field I know I want alot I s o for quality and to make sure that I got a nice long shot her speaking I want to make this water real creamy and rich way are going for calendar quality images here so intern that I so down to one hundred shooting raw on a white balance f twenty two myo explosion compensation wheels back in the middle and now I'm just gonna focus on those compositions and not loving it immediately. I'm gonna take a shot, they could look at it, see what it looks like with water slowed down, because obviously you can't picture absolutely everything, and I'm picking up that grey hillside a little bit, which is very distracting in the top left of the frame. So for me, composition is all about removing elements that are distracting, trying teo to, uh, whittle it down to just the minimum amount of what you need to convey what it is you're trying to do creatively in this case, I'm trying to convey to things wildflowers, alpine meadow and, uh, rolling river and creek now kind of doing my oh, no, no, I'm shooting at more or less I level this is just to get a feel once I kind of figure out a spot, I'll probably get lower, change my angles and just kind of work the scene. I'll take hundreds of photos, I'm not gonna edit in the field that's always a bad idea, and in this case, I'm gonna start to move on and work my way up the river. So immediately, I like this spot more. I've got a lot more foreground and a lot more elements to work with. I also think I could probably get lower in here, and I'll do so initially just by opening the legs a little bit on my tripod. I'm never afraid to get the legs of my tripod wet, so I started my widest sixteen millimeters, and then I kind of push in, removing elements around, changing the composition, changing the legs pending everything is I go in each exposure at f twenty two low I s o four five seconds long. I'm also dialing in the ring on the polarizer, so I am using a polarizer and I will. Even though it's not sunny out, not raining out, it takes any gloss or sheen off of the wet leaves. Haiti glossy sheen off of the rocks helps everything stay smooth, balanced, low contrast and, of course, a maximum amount of color. By using this, I'm gonna do another exposure. I'm gonna go for a little bit darker, a little bit fast. Because I noticed that everything's blowing a little bit still rather an f twenty two I'm gonna go down f sixteen I'm getting at a sixth of a second and it looks pretty good to me so now I'm gonna push up a little bit more we'll have standing here waiting for that for five seconds to go I'm using up the time I don't have a lot of light available to me so I'm using up that time looking at okay what's the next rock I'm going to go to what's the next spot when they go to constantly thinking forward because I don't want to go home in one photo and even if I think that the shot that I'm going for and that I love I'm not done here there's more to do because I want to keep working the scene you never know really if you've got the shot until you finally go you run out of light it's time to go home and only then when you're home and you're editing your work do you decide this is the one I like otherwise I try to shoot as much as I can as much of a variety of possible always remembering to alternate to between horizontal and vertical so I'm gonna move up a little bit more well I was waiting at that shot I really decided I like the way that these flowers air our position so I'm gonna get up a little bit higher. So now looking at a really cool foreground elements and that's these flowers right here, so now I might push in a little bit and use the river as a background elements. So I'm making these flowers that are pink, my right hand focus. These yellow ones are sort of my mid laugh focus and the river sort of a back around flowing element in between the down side is they got really windy and so everything's blowing around if I use a really long exposure it's gonna cost him problem. So let me because my flowers all be out of focus doesn't mean it's a bad thing. It could be a good creative choice for you. In my case, I wanted to be a christmas possible, so I'm gonna leave my aperture at f sixteen it's not mac. I doubt I've only got a sixth of a second and I'm gonna keep firing away until I feel like I've gotten a break in the wind or which might not happen. So what I'm gonna do is I'd rather have a photo that looks like what I want in a photo that it doesn't work at all, so I'm gonna push my eyes so up to four hundred should be no problem. I'm gonna take my amateur down fourteen, and now I'm at a third of a second it's fast, but it's, not fast enough, even looking at the screen at this size, I could still see there's a lot of blur. I will sit here and work this until you get a break. We'll realize that we'll never get one and have to move on. That's, the downside of dealing with any of these elements in the outdoors. There's so many uncontrollable pieces, there's the clouds, there's, the wind, there's, the light, there's, every element, I mean that's. What it means to work outside. So the only thing you can do is calibrate as much as possible to the conditions that you have. And work with them and accept them, and sometimes that means you have to be really creative. Maybe I can't get a lot of depth of field. Instead, I'll go for a shallow depth of field shoot at seven point one and get a thirteenth or fourteenth of a second, which is enough to freeze the wind. My foreground elements air sharpe, this is out of focus, but it's still a really pretty picture that has the river in the background big number one rule when photographing in nature, it should not get so married to an idea that you're stuck to it. You don't wanna have this concept of pre visualization that you feel like I have to have that, and that is all I can go home with. You have to be adaptable. You can't make something work or make something be what it isn't and that's a very critical component composition. All right, so I've moved my composition again, and if you're wondering where my focusing typically, I'm focusing on something about a third of the way into the frame and again, I'm talking about feet were distance, but compositionally. What falls about a third of the way into the frame? In this case, I'm gonna try and embrace the wind I can't make it work because the wind is constantly moving my flowers I'm wanna have a long exposure so I'm gonna just embrace the fact that there's wind and still keep it short not overly long but find that happy balance with a a little bit of wind blowing you still know we have wild flowers that you still have this beautiful background this new spot its last spot so far is my favorite because I actually get to see the leading lines coming down I got this river flowing down it's cascading over different little waterfalls and it's traveling through the hole left hand side of my frame on the right hand side of got this burst of color and the two combined are really a beautiful composition. Kino is just kind of hang out, shoot a lot of frames and kind of work with the wind and whenever it dies down, shoot some frames as often as possible I might even shoot a bunch while the wind is really blowing just to see what I get there's nothing wrong with being creative still using a polarizer still shooting higher I s o four hundred, but I mac stout my depth of field at f twenty two and I'm getting about a third of a second I'm also using the exposure compensation wheel and going about two thirds of a stop lower so that my image is a little bit darker and if I need to, I can bring that back up in photoshopped with very little loss and resolution, so I got a real still moment really still moment. Nothing is moving so now with nothing moving and make a quick move toe so one hundred from the lower my aperture f sixteen opening up my aperture a little bit more kind of balancing the to and now I've got a razor sharp photo just by hanging out and keeping and working at the scene my wild flowers or sharp my river sharp my background, sharp way of this night's, even light look, mom, no hands. I'll be the one I like the most. It's always good to look through the camera this's going pretty good just right off its trail. We're about a half mile up into the, uh, myrtle falls trail from paradise, and I just like the way the the the fog and the do is sort of built on these grasses, the white and then the lilac out there, the purple and white because of the fog and the waterfall way the distance, so I'm not really sure if we'll get anything, but it is one of those places where I'm gonna play around first with that. Tripod and then with um try and find some compositions that work and using these grasses and flowers is sort of our foreground leading lines and then kind of going out any here so this is really a uh landscape composition and um just going to start by uh by scouting it out with my lands doing some sample photos I'm getting low because I want this foreground element to be as close to my lenses possible because that's a big part of this leading line sort of idea and looking at it looks really pretty problem is I'm really wide I'm not getting the compression on this by I would get with a zoom in meaning the whites and the purple zaveri spread out where when I get back a little bit farther and then I do man I'm able to get more of that look that I'm looking for which is uh compress compression compress scene so looks pretty nice disguise are still pretty white um just take it a half a step off actually no not that straight down really good god so I'm gonna handle this I'm gonna goto I so four hundred taking youse a larger depth of field uh smaller aperture so when are you gonna get the focus going? Somebody going f eleven and after priority seems to give me about a fortieth of a second which should be good to handhold around twenty four to thirty five millimeters pretty good you wondering why I say it's good to hand hold at twenty four to thirty millimeter lens at forty eighth of a second I have a rule in this sort of a general rule that there's a long is your shutter speed is at least as fast as your focal length so they're thirty five millimeter a fortieth of a second at least as fast or faster you can hand hold and not get handshake um obviously you want to get a little space between that but it's a good sort of rule of thumb and when you need a tripod when you can hand hold I'm gonna keep moving but I'm gonna keep my eye on this because it's still a really uh still really pretty scene so the section behind me here caught my eye because I like the color of this rock how it's so bright and different that I'm looking at the terrain in the background I like to get layers when composing my image is some sort of foreign element mid ground elements leading lines that traveled through the frame like trees in the middle. I also like the trees way up in the back as well as the fog and the light that's the sending down not to mention the light is still really diffuses the sun's trying to break through these clouds so this is a perfect spot trying capture these uh wildflower meadows and sort of the general landscape of the cascade range and the hillside here going up towards mount rainier. All right, so I've changed lenses went from the sixteen thirty five to the twenty four seventy, so I'm going from a wide angle, teo a mid range lens that gives me a little wider telephoto and try this out because that seventy is it's sort of been looking for that fifty to seventy range help me kind of compressed the scene helps you pull all the elements together to really like this foreground rock as I was talking about as well as the wild flowers and trees in the back rooms were trying a bunch of different compositions. I am going to move my eyes so down to one hundred going, teo, get my aperture up pretty high and started sixteen yeah, I'm gonna get a tripod that way I get nice, solid stability, solid stability that redundancy and ah, get some stability and then just kind of work the scenes I've already playing around taking a few shots here and they're trying figure out what composition I like, but I think I have an idea, so now I'm gonna actually try and execute it, which is right on the trail self, self, more or less, but I'm in a little bit leg on this side and expound some tripod so him and I'll lock it down sam still as always shooting raw files shooting uh ice a one hundred right now get my leg straight no and I'm gonna go vertical gonna put that rock in my foreground zoom all the way into seventy it's pretty good I could probably get a little more height so was going to use the quick middle but a little here get more of that height walking down and then we work the composition pretty cool all right so now I'm gonna take it off auto focus I want to show control my focus and focus about a third of the way into the frame for maximum depth of field and do a test run it looks pretty cool might be able to go on a longer lens but I'm going to continue working this for a little while and just kind of keep seeing what I get so I just did a little sample shot handheld put the rock on the left and I wasn't really going to try that you know I don't really like and beautiful really shows the meadow the slopes contours of landscapes and I mean my tripod and do it again this time no handholding just to make sure I get maximum sharpness on it and now of course all my legs are too long I'm gonna do the old hunchback leg full all right? So what I'm standing eye level oh and I'm looking at that rock I'm noticing just actually kind of a brown patch like a path that people born in don't want to see that I want to have true did view of the flowers in the field in the meadow so I'm going to get lower so that I'm not looking at it from this height but rather looking out across the meadow you know, seymour of the contours in general also helped me get more of the background element by doing that so I already got a kind of low I'm gonna get a little bit lower trying to figure out exactly where I'm gonna put all that, um but that should really make it uh make it come together it's good composition more or less already gotten shop uh again I visit zoom in a little bit but not all the way to seventy I met around forty forty five and that just seemed to work well with composition was getting some trees in the top left hand corner of my frame and is getting the trail on the right hand side of my frame so I won't be able to shoot straight out across and keep my corners clear been doing landscape photography, keeping the corners of your frame is really important that's what having a tripod recon slow you process down really analyze each element and then make adjustments as necessary I'm always paying attention of those things and in this particular case of managed to clear my frame gonna wait for the wind it just died down a little bit because I'm shooting at f twenty two small aperture big depth of field s o one hundred forty five millimeters focused about a third of the way into the frame in average your priority mode at one thirteenth of a second and I'm going to go down just a little bit on my depth of field you little bit of a faster shutter speed at f eighteen getting a twentieth of a second no blow a few frames for some reason there's this cookie rule that if you get three four five frames in a row one of them is bound to be perfectly sharp usually the middle one I don't know why exactly I'm not even sure there's a technical reason it could be an urban legend, but whatever reason I still buy into it therefore I'm going to do it and I do think it works because somehow I always have that middle frame that sharp, so I'm gonna change my composition again. I've gotten a horizontal I'm gonna switch and get a vertical I would like to double up, which means I've got to get my camera hire this middle bar works really well for that because it's just the right length to get that extra height and then by the time I go vertical, you'll notice the camera goes lower and then I'm gonna move my tripod around a little bit and alter my composition and looks good I'm not unfortunately low enough we got a little too height too much height on that so I'm gonna go andi still picking up that dirt patch that's what I'm trying to get rid of it, so I'm going to get all the way down looks like I got too much height, but I needed a little bit new continue adjusting zoom in more on this one and with these flowers that are kind of cutting into the right side of my friend they're yellow and enough bad fire a few frames off, but I'm a new try and get them out of there because they're really close I'm afraid that even if twenty two with me zoomed in all the way to seventy that I'm never gonna get a good focus on both them and the background elements. So I'm gonna try and get those yellow flowers out of my frame simply by moving my position just a little bit, not too much and making sure of course, that I'm on a well worn trail and not wearing my own down like a little bit and that should do it getting whacked that's all right photography is pain on your focus fire a couple frames still not fully feeling it, so I'm gonna kind of keep moving around and the reason my feelings I'm still picking up that dirt patch, and, uh, I think there's got to be a better way to do that, so I'm gonna I'm gonna shift around and see if I could get something more in there, so I'm gonna actually go a little bit lower down in here where there's, no flowers and it's pretty, but I lost my foreground elements. So just by coming down, I realize there's, no way to get that composition someone come back up and see if I can kind of tuck myself into these wild flowers here and get real. Oh, there we go. All right, look pretty good, all right? I'm liking this. So what I'm doing now, you go in alive, you will show you what I'm actually doing is I compose does that move around? I've got that rock, but I want to tighten my frame so that the right side in this corner up here doesn't have any too much bass on tighten it up on those trees in the corner, and I use my zoom for that, and I've got my rock over here on the rule of thirds, and then I've got this nice line sort of traveling through the frame. And uh, and then I have all these wildflowers and elements that are really pretty and then this hillside and the fog coming down in here, so I have these sort of diagonal lines that are coming down across through the frame and a lot of different elements to lead your eye through it. So I really like that hat of twenty two I'm gonna go in a fifteenth of a second, focuses around a third of the way through and take a double check on the back of the monitor looks pretty good, but just my focus a little bit more if you're in a third of the way through a little bit of guesswork, but you've got digital not film hopefully and uh you could just keep firing away. We want a couple shots where I brighten their scene up using the exposure compensation wheel going about two thirds of a stopover just because it's pretty bright out here and the camera's getting tricked, I think and to double check that in and take a look at my history ram hitting the info button and sure enough, what I'm seeing is ah, that is the bright star actually too bright so my mind's tricking me by looking at this monitor and thinking, well, everything looks really dark but that's because it's so bright out here it's hard to see that the camera's actually right and so that over exposure is a bad idea. So I'm gonna go back down right in the middle and I'm going to shoot another frame a double check on the info that history graham and it still says it's a little hot, I'm losing my highlights, and so the reason, of course, is that we have a pretty bright foggy sky, so you're always gonna lose a little bit of the highlight, but just to be safe, I'm going to start to move that towards the other end of the exposure compensation and down a third of a stop to two thirds of stop below the middle line to make it darker and fire off a few frames until I start to see that history ram come into more of a round of being in the middle. I want to have more control over this when I get back into the studio and I've processed by images. The other nice part about getting have twenty two and starting to go with the darker image is that you are getting a faster shutter speed, so the wind that's blowing my flowers around isn't as much of a problem. That said, a little wind out here in a really long exposure could be really cool creative effect, you might want to try putting a neutral density over it, shooting on low. And the wind comes in and it jostles of flowers around they'll look like little streaks of color like streaks of paint ah on your photographic canvas and that's a that's a really cool facts when I enjoy um good work where it well here but in this particular case I like the idea of keeping it really sharp because of a lot of elements in the scene and I want to able to see them really clear um and so that's the effect that I've chosen to go after so here in the myrtle creek trail and we've got tons of wild flowers all around us and this is actually just slightly above where we were yesterday were working along a different waterfall in a different trail and it's kind of a continuation of the wild flower theme except here we're not just focusing on the detailed wildflowers but rather more of a landscape scale composition you know where to put elements in a frame how to get those leading lines and sort of the thought process of what lenses amusing how to how to check the corners and make sure that you don't anything sort of jutting into your frame you get home later in your studio and you're looking at your shot and you realize ah this isn't you know something's ruining it I've gotta telephone wire running through or something like that so this is a really great way to slow the process down analyze your landscape photography not just wildflower photography it's certainly part of that but really looking at landscape photography and the rule of composition are here in rainier on the myrtle creek so mushy one more landscape here I see it is a horizontal and this is rather than a rule of thirds or what we did with the red rock and putting it in the left hand side of the frame sort of a basic compositional element I'm going to go and put this composition with the centre of focus dead center literally so I'm gonna go and what's appealing to me this sort of how my eye naturally caught onto this patch of wild flowers the yellow in the middle these two pine trees further out and then even further more pine trees that kind of form a peak and then the fog behind them and so for me all of the energy of this area sort of building into the shop so going continues a long lens twenty were longish mid range runs twenty forty seventy millimeter get a little extra height on it too much but I'm going to go horse ah vertical on the shot it doesn't work as well as the horizontal there's a lot of patches without flowers and so on so I want to keep the density of the flowers really predominant in my frame so we'll try and work the composition a little bit get my zoom in and see if it works and make sure that my tripod nice and tight, I'm gonna move a little bit because I'm getting stillson tree sort of in the background there so I could use a little bit longer lens I'm a twenty four to seventy switch to a seventy two, two hundred, and the reason is I can't get the compression, the tightness I want I'm picking up this tree way out on the right hand side and it's kind of rooting the right hand side of the frame, so I'm gonna switch lenses seventy two, two hundred I want to get to right around eighty millimeter, and that should do the trick, so we'll come back after that switch put on my seventy two hundred like all of my gear, a little beat up, I'm going to use a lens hood. This gets the any kind of flare, any sort of casting or color casting from the ambient light, make sure it doesn't, uh, doesn't really get in the way, and then you'll notice that camera was on their use this middle plate on the lens to mount it to my tripod, and you make sure there's more stability it's more of the center of the weight is evenly distributed, which will make sure that I have a nice stable. Camera once I actually get it all set up so you two go and back to my my vertical and make sure that my tripod has got the right stability on it just the lead legs a little bit and I'm gonna zoom into that eighty I was talking about and what kind of play around my focal length and it looks to me like, right around one hundred, exactly hundred millimeter a little more than I thought, but I got some really good compression in there, so I'm gonna make sure good focus on everything, and once again I'm gonna make sure that my image stabilisers off auto focus is off. It doesn't ruin the job that I'm doing my mainly focusing about a third of the way into the frame and att f thirty two little higher than my sixteen thirty five and that means ah, greater depth of field, very small aperture. So because I'm using a long lens. I don't want to have any sort of shake out here, and my cable releases my bag and I kind of set up base camp a few feet away, so of shortcut kind of a tip, tip or trick that I like to use is use the self timer, and I said it to the two second self timer hit the button, my hands aren't on it exposure goes now I know I've got a nice sharp image I look at it and even though I look into the frame something looked a little crooked when I looked at it on the back of the cameras and make a slight adjustment but the camera settle pushed the button but the self timer go takes a frame at f thirty two looks pretty nice double check my history ram and that's showing me that I am potentially a little too dark so I'm gonna go and adjust this f thirty two using my exposure compensation whale get a little bit of a longer exposure now it's looking pretty good to me mr graham looking good fog is nice I've got killer foreground elements and I'll be honest this is this's the kind of shot that I love, the rare the beautiful landscape that has all the elements of color of death pattern of layers um all the things kind of coming together in this fog and the balance light out here is adding drama whether in general can add a lot of drama to a photo it's just really really exquisite somebody get a little lower and I don't know this is gonna work I'm really happy with the last shot but like always I keep working the scene and see if it somehow looks a little bit better to get lower and get a different angle and get more of the more of a flower in the foreground and I kind of like it so I'm gonna just pop off a couple shots like to not add it in the field I'm here to shoot when I'm out in the field so I'm just gonna keep taking shots at it later and quite frankly, this actually could be better so had I given up on that last one, I probably been disappointed with myself and so I'm gonna keep shooting a little bit more all the same settings but a good example of working the scene and getting even more of that wonderful color in a wild flower that we have out here today. So now I'm zooming in a little bit more any tighter on it, so since I'm lower, I'm able to get even more of a zoom in it and we're going past one hundred millimeters on the lens, which means I've got to adjust my focus make sure about a third of the way into the frame and those flowers are moving out there. So when I can't pay attention to that, I want a lot of sharpness in here to keep my eye on that and I'm making sure that the highest point on those trees in the distance are the dead center of the frame and looks good I'm gonna shoot that I like to do that's forming on these little paintbrush looking cotton balls of a flower so when you use a long lines all the way a two hundred super shallow depth of field two point eight ice of four hundred putting my image stabilizer back on auto focus back on I'm making sure that knows when we had a closer range not a farther range and the fire off yeah handheld job I got to eight thirty two hundredths of a second on four hundred I hope I take that down I don't think I need it that fast so not gonna sacrifice I esso and quality a mini go and focus instead on get a two, eight, eight eight eight hundredth of a second that's four times is technically necessary with I s a little bit more and I'm not just going to shoot it to a guy about four five as well get a little bit more depth since I got a couple of foreground flowers that are really pretty same lenses before instead of a landscape in getting a detail double checking it and looks really great going to give a little bit more of a bump on aperture up to six point three get a little bit more depth of field and because of that I want to make sure that my camera states fast I'm going backto I so four hundred making all these changes sort of on the fly and you see I'm kind of shooting across at the flower rather than down at it or up at it where there's a white sky but rather I'm getting right across that all the other little pink and green colors in the background becomes sort of my my palate for these, uh, images and shooting a lot because I'm shaking a little hand's moving a little and I wanna make sure that I get the composition I like double check looks pretty good on my screen. I feel pretty good. I got the shot move on. Same thing spoiling off a couple shots of the seventy two hundred getting iced up the field keeping it I s o four hundred kind of why not think it's gorgeous up here? Very, uh very, uh cinematic and its beauty and I want to try and embrace that pathway and sort of the idea that it's okay, the road of wild flowers into the fog keeping the path on the left for the third's go from two, eight, two, four, five, five point o just a touch of depth of field. Make sure my getting a vignette in which sometimes happens on a long lens looks good. Move on. How great is this? Unbelievable. Well, it was kind of scouting with my lands trying to take a couple steps off the path let's, take a look at it from here, it's pretty feeling it after looking at it through the land, so keep going on and check out this creek up here could be real nice. This is what I call that I don't want to get wet when photographing wildflower moment and it's also really steep and there's a ditch here, so I'm just setting the land's got it on auto focus, holding down, making sure it focuses using two hands for stability and then just firing a bunch of different options. But the truth is, all this fog is getting a lot of moisture on all the petals, so it's a really great time to not think about wide angle, nothing about telephoto or landscape, but something that I love to do really beautiful work that you could get out of it, which is macro photography. So we switched to a fifty millimeter macro lens, walking through what it means, how you use it, as well as two little add ons called extension tube's that is something that I love to get really artistic sort of again playing a pastoral, uh, almost abstract macro type of photography. So I'm gonna switch lines is now all right, so I'm working right off the path here, and I obviously want to not going trample through all of these wildflowers, someone trying to stick along the edges. But as I mentioned, the fog has really gotten some awesome looking do and moisture on all the different pedals, so wanna play around that kind of create some abstract imagery I've put on a fifty millimeter lens which before you zoom all the way in a very small little lens doesn't look like much but it's a macro lens, which means I can get super close to subject matter closed the focal distance, focus on subject matters and make them look larger than life or at least equal toe life with this lens so you'll notice that there's a ratio on the edges of the of a lens, so if you've got a macro lenses a ratio one two four one to two one to one point five one to one point two and then finally one toe one what that means is one toe one is life size one two four is a quarter of life size, so when I'm all the way up, I'm getting a interpretive view of the lens at one toe one or life size ratio I could go farther than that by separating the focal distance even more using extension tube's but first I'm gonna work with this land's using shallot at the field hand held f two point eight uh actually this is my bad f two point five two point five lens so it's a little bit faster when a handhold and just kind of work around getting real shallow depth of field shots and some of the petals of these flowers and looking at the background elements what flowers in the background so on so forth and I might try and move my aperture towards ah greater depth of field right now we'll use a shot of the field large opening two point five and just play around with some of these purple flowers with dew on them so when I'm picking a flower I'm gonna make sure there's not one with some weird twisted pedal ah, you know our petals missing completely or looks like people have kicked through them or something like that almost looking for different shapes sometime they have really cool shapes around them or mohr do arm or um noticeable contrast and to do so in this particular case I really like this one and this one they look like the perfect flower so I'm gonna shoot them straight on straight down and see what I get and so it's dead center in my frame and you know something a lot of pictures because I'm holding my breath like I did earlier in doing landscape photo when I have a little bit of a shake holding my breath and my hands are moving a little bit when you're shooting that close to your subject matter to get a focus, distance every little bump and shake it could ruin your shot so I shoot a lot of frames hoping that one of them sharp and at a thousandth of a second out here with a lot of light nice overcast fog I got a pretty good shot at getting something sharp so I'm actually gonna go and add a little bit more depth of field trying to the same thing my shutter speed got down a three twentieth of a second but there's a little bit of a breeze which I'm gonna wait for that to pass go again still a little breezy take a breath hand here we go take a look here's the plus sign on the back to zoom in it looks pretty good probably a little bit more depth of field looks like some of the moisture of the petals are falling off so I'm gonna go all the way up to eight point oh, and just make sure it stays nice and fast to my eyes so if the two hundred no harm in that, see what I get then wait again for that wind to die down and you notice I'm not really focusing or using auto focus but rather from leaving the focus ring is what adjust the ratio of the one who wanted the one before leaving at one to one and to focus I'm simply moving the camera in and out to focus on the flower those little subtle movements or what's changing the focus on it now, it's looking pretty good, I'm gonna change a different flower little variety cut my depth of field all the way down, all right, so instead of the shooting straight on straight down, time to try and get really artsy, keep my shot up the field and coming at an angle and only get a small portion of the flower in focus. So what? I'm shooting straight down, everything is on the two dimensional plane when I'm shooting across something, you're getting death in a three dimensional planes, and so when I go like that and I come in, you get a completely different look, but I'm also getting a lot of background on it, and I'm not getting his artsy of a look as I was hoping, because I'm still picking up a lot of area around the flower, even at one to one. So how do I close that distance? Get even closer and focus on a single drop of water on each petal. I had extension tube's too, my fifty millimeter these my extension, tube's there's, two of them actually here, twenty five millimeter, twelve twenty five being thicker, the twelve being shorter and if you notice they're completely hollow, you can see all the way through, they're simply a light proof box that's going to her circular box that's going to go between my lens of my camera body and that distance that separates between the lens of the camera body once I actually detach it that distance allows me to focus on an object even closer so one to one now suddenly goes and becomes two to one three to one etcetera depending on how many extension tube's are used and eventually you get so close that the focus distance and you're going to notice will be almost on ly millimeters practically an inch or less depending on how big I use this one to one one to force but a member of no longer using one two one one two four so extension tube's simply separate the lens from the uh the focal plane or your sensor that distance allows you to get closer to your subject to focus which essentially allows you to magnify your objects even more lying to get macro photography and hone in on a single drop of water on a pedal. So let me put that to use and show you how you can get artsy and abstract with this focusing on the same flowers I'm not going to focus I'm simply gonna use both hands of locked him on my knees for stability because now I'm zoomed in so tight even harder and now watch out close I am I'm gonna come in on an angle three dimensional and I'm holding my breath and I'm blowing a lot of shots off now I'm gonna get a little bit more depth of field well's gonna but my eyes so to four hundred I need is fast the shutters possible because the flowers are blowing my lenses, moving my arms moving the tripod wouldn't really help. There is another way to do this and that's called the bellows that allows you to move the distance in and out on a tripod, basically on rails and allows you to glide back and forth. But when you have a lot of light like this on a perfect day for wildflowers, it's, easier to handhold and just move in and out and you could also get a lot more of your subject matters captured, so I'm gonna move around, focus on different flowers and different competitions see what we get kind of fluctuating with our depth of field. So now I'm gonna actually go try and take a different flower, different drops when it boost my depth of field up a little bit more. I'm gonna go to about eight point. Oh, and I'm gonna carefully step into here close like this because it's just a little bit more moisture on this one, I can't breathe. You know, the depth of field still seem like it's falling off a little too much and made a hyundai point oh, two hundredth of a second and I wish I was a little bit more of a sharpness in there, but so what I'm gonna do is actually back off of the zoom and I could either do that or very moving extension tube we're rather having to take the lens off the body just start to back off of the focus ring till I get to maybe like a one in one point five on here remember more than that because we have extension tube's on, so now I'm gonna go and try it again, and this time I'm not nearly as close to the flowers I was before allows me to get a little bit more depth on the shot and sure enough, about more sharpness throughout the image and you could see more of the center and the petals in the water and they all look pretty nice and sharp, so now I'm gonna focus again. I'm getting the same flower that using these as a background and zoom out a little bit more down at one point formerly the extension tube's on no point taking him off believe my depth of field at a point out and I'm gonna angle myself around so that this becomes my background at once or someone say I read somewhere that the difference between a professional photographer and a uh aspiring or an amateur photographer is somebody that a professional photographer always looks at the background of the image not just the subject that everything that's happening in the background as well this is something similar in the sense that I'm not just looking at this subject of the pedal the leaves in the water even though its subject by itself but also the background of the colors they're going to be seen in the shop so I'm gonna shift myself around come down here and play photo yoga again and now I'm coming straight at that color I'm gonna push in till it's focused where I like it holding my breath and everything looks a little dark so I'm gonna go and remove one of the extension tube's twelve millimeter should hang on to it and then try and do that again and reason is I'm not getting as much of that background as I was hoping I was a little too close to knows I'm now even farther away from the flower allowing me to get more of the background colors and each time I'm sure pushing that shutter feeling my body move around and that means the sharpness and the focal point is changing and so a couple of shots but it looks a little off frame crooked I'm gonna keep trying until I basically get right well I want it so now it's just to kind of play on the whole artsy effect I went ahead and got on my extension tube's out meisel throw mall on max out my macro and now just play around all the different colors all the different flowers try different angles straight down at the side down from below backgrounds different everything you see just try and play around shallow depth of field maybe a little bit more depth of field you could spend hours out here literally just trying different things but now you have all the tools of using a simple macro set up very very affordable lends the fifty millimeters one of most affordable lenses in the world actually because they're very very common um there's lots of them in manufacturer and so this is a great way to really get artistic image is spending a lot of money but also giving yourself something new to challenge your challenge your sensibilities for photography all right, so now that you got everything out you got your fifty millimeter lands to extension tube's you've got all the basic skills of shooting mackerel work especially with wild flowers which were a great subject matter I recommend just spending time trying different flowers different angles from straight above coming at it on the side and you basically have everything you need to go and create artistic wonderful photographs and the great news is a fifty millimeter macro lens like this is it's one of the most affordable lenses in the world, there's a lot of manufactured, which is why they're so affordable. So if you're looking to take your photography to the next level ah, you know, I really recommend getting a macro set up like this and just going out you get a foggy day and you think it's not a great day for photography. It's actually perfect day for macro photography well, we took the roll the dice and tried to get a shot of mount rainier yet again probably the nice tenth eleventh try so far on the ship. I'm not exactly sure, but we saw the mountain came out completely from the parking lot down at paradise lodge and of course, there's no shot down there, you've got people pathways, roads, everything else so game running up the side of the mountain as fast as we could take a good twenty, thirty minutes in that time, I think we got further under the clouds and, uh and we never got an opening never even actually saw the mountain again since the parking lot. So sometimes, you know, obviously the goal is to be in the right place at the right time in some place, sometimes what ends up happening is you end up in the right place at the wrong time but it is a saying on the way up here thinking to myself ah, you know if you can't you can't win you can't get the great shots and lets you put in the effort and you try and that's the part of nature photography that people forget you've got to get out you hike you gotta put in some sweat labor to actually get the shots that said, um these mountains behind me are looking pretty incredible and we're going to try and make lemonade out of the chute and find some meadows on the way down teo trying to score some really great landscape photos so like always will see what happens until we get there we'll keep our eyes out all right? So we're on the back side of where we were earlier when we were at paradise and we're actually at what's called tips to lake and for me lee day light sort of this is almost what I would consider a mid day light and so you know you want to continue shooting as often as possible is a photographer you want to make the most of your day and shoot him in the midday light is pretty challenging a lot of photographers think that mr using artificial wide or doing portraiture or something like that that there's not a lot you can do is a landscape photographer for me when I woke up to this yeah it's definitely hard you know, very, very hard to work light, but we also have a lot of backlighting happening. We've silhouettes of trees, you got the water glistening, you've got the full view of mount rainier, which is pretty awesome and then a really great layer of jagged peaks in there. And so as a photographer, I'm getting foreground elements and getting a lake, I'm getting what's very much a classic sort of summer feeling, imagery and a lot of different layers of trees and cliffs and mountains and sky, so I'm going to try and combine all those, and I'm just gonna embrace the fact that it's midday light, I'm going to shoot this when he's an nd filter to try and control some of that highlight up there and actually kind of give it a look in this particular case this nd filters probably be too strong for what I'm using, but that's actually the point I want the top of the sky to have sort of a dark line across from it. So it's not so blown out looking and that's more just a stylistic thing for me, so I'm gonna give it a shot get on the tripod, do a wide angle, ah sixteen to thirty five, but it probably max out my depth of field or come close depending on how much everybody need in here. I'm going to get my eyes, so what one hundred and I'm going to overexpose a little bit just to make sure that the camera's not over reading the scene so many it myself set up and locked myself in and just throw the nd on for now, but I'm gonna reposition it in a minute, so first thing we'll do is figure out where we want this to be rather being at a sixteen thirty five zoom in trying compress it a little bit to give their enough sky means the lake and the mountain is sort of my centerpiece make sure nothing's level was watch your lines when shooting landscape photos I'd like to make sure the lines are all perfect unless it's really intentional that they're uneven and so that's a big mistake that people make a very common mistake people make it's always a little slightly crooked, then you're cropping to get it right. Why crop that cuts out megapixels of reduces the quality of your image. I want to be able to get it as close to perfect as I can in camera, so look at it like this I'm gonna work on my focus, which at this point we're more or less said infinity because everything's out there and I'm going to bring that nd filter down over the sky give it that look and I'm gonna fire off about two thirds of a stop over and way too strong, so I'm gonna bring it down a little bit more and I'm just trying to gauge how the and he's going to read this it's always a little bit different, it's getting hard to see, but when we get this back into the studio with a look and see that preserving a lot of the details and lines in the mountain and I could probably stop this down a little bit more, actually going to go about two thirds under now I'm going to make the image darker overall, that looks pretty cool, but I'm starting to really lose a lot of the dark areas in the trees here. It looked a lot better when it was opened up. So rather than going down and keeping everything dark and trying to get a camera, I'm gonna add more filters. Someone start stacking my neutral density filter's gonna go back to being two thirds over, we go back to my camera bag and get out of six hard, and I'm gonna get a nine soft, which will help me kind of blend the two together and try those and see what the results are this's this is one of the few times when the back of the camera is your best friend because you really get to see. How unusual midday lighting you know and conditions and ever it's always going to change it always will be a different mountain, different cliff, different light coming in it's more of an idea and a style the end result and less about the, um, you know, the very technical specifications you can't really say this is the right way to do it. It's a little bit of the art of moving the filters around, figuring out what looks like the desired result. Ultimately let me get my camera bag, throne's more filters come back and then see if we're getting anywhere. All right, so I'm back. I've got two filters, I'm going to go and throw the six on first and it's a six hard and as I mentioned before, each one represents different level of stops three, six, nine, each one being stronger than the last. I'm gonna go through the six on and I'm going to go and not line it up exactly the same as the nine I'm going to be a little bit off because I don't want them to have, like a real clear hard line, nothing to sort of blend each other in their and their dissolved, also going through another nine on third filter. And this one has a soft edge on it and that would also help me sort of blend all of them together that's baby overpowering and I'm also going to stagger that one as well might be overpowering but I'm not one hundred percent positive until you really just fire off and take a look and sure enough it's not overpowering exactly on in a way that controls the brightness of the sky keeps these trees in this dark area here over opened and shot in general is a little little blue but what I'm gonna end up doing is warming it up a little bit in post production I had a little bit more contrast to it sharpen it up and ah and ultimately I think we'll have a really great evening slash midday sunset slash summer pastoral shot of mount rainier I really think it's actually great and I love the layers in it you know any other way that to really make this thing sing to really make this photo saying would be also do see this little path going around the edge of somebody goes by on a bike where you get a family walking through or something like that that really shows the the user experience, so to speak and add that sort of human element to the to the image it's not just a landscape photo but the human element so I'll hang out here for a little while keep looking through as they see people come through fire off a few frames every now and then and of course the light will keep changing, and I'll keep watching to see how it all works, but ultimately I end up having three filters on I s so one hundred shooting at f twenty two I'm two thirds of a stop over so that the shot is brighter than what the camera would normally read, especially with all these filters arm hasn't mentioned a staggered the filter so that the grady in't sort of blends in this middle area and the hayes is actually really helpful and kind of adding depth to the scene. And ah, this is, you know, ultimately the sun is going to set on the other side of the mountain, so this is a shot that's just gonna disappear so I'm gonna get better is the evening goes on? In fact, the sun I get more direct to become more into the camera will be more difficult if anything, this is a sunrise location, but you don't always get to pick exactly where you want to be and when you want to be there ah, sometimes you're working with weather and environments and you have to take the shots that you have and make them the best you possibly can, so this is again a good situation of taking bad weather on one side of the mountain coming around with the non ideal time of day but still getting an awesome shot of mount rainier and tipsy lake all right, so just after a few minute wait ah, we got somebody walking around the trail they're going to go through this ideal spot my head that's kind of dead center and we'll sort of illustrate the user experience so I'm gonna get a shot of them as they walked through and one thing I wanted to add about using a lot of filters is even if they're clean and the brand new the dust at f twenty two is inevitable and so plan on actually having a lot of dust removal uh when you're shooting with that kind of depth of field it's definitely gonna be a bit of a studio challenge for us but it's all worth it in the end because you're gonna get a great result. So here comes my subject now walking through and I'm not gonna fire one frame I'm gonna fire bunch of frames because you never know exactly what position they're gonna be in leg wise and you want to look natural and of course we'll pry it looks like they stopped behind those trees so we're gonna wait a couple of minutes patience is the name of the game when it comes to landscape photography gotta sit tight and wait it out oh, great, they went the wrong way see, this is what happens absolutely unpredictable you wait you think they're just about to get in the frame and a few steps away for no apparent reason whatsoever decides walking around this lake is not something I want to do that turn around go back so I will wait again until more people come by and I get the shot that I want ideally I'd love for like a canoe or something to come to that water, something to break up the uniformity of it, you know, so then cut through and create some ripples in the water that could be kind of a cool effect as well. Landscape photography for me is my passion it's the number one thing that I've got me into photography in nature photography and the last two days we have covered cem really great tips and I've had a lot of fun doing it ah depth of field certainly understanding aperture ah shall owed up the field versus large depth of field and working the exposure's ports using your tripod and how to slow down your process and get really solid compositions the slower you go, the more time you have to think about it we also really got a good opportunity tio on that same note slowing down your process to analyze your frame to know when to clear your top right corner you left corner bottom corner and knowing how to analyze your own work in the field, not just at home, when it's too late and you realize you can't go back because the trip of a lifetime has passed. And you really don't know how you're going to make that shot work without cropping it or losing some resolution. So all in all, I think we picked up some incredible skills. And for two days of photography, we made it work. We definitely had some challenges with the weather. But every nature photographer knows you've gotta work with what you have. And I think, that's, what we did.

Class Materials

bonus material with purchase

Field Guide to Photographing the American Wilderness
Icons of Nature Keynote
National Park Photography Intro and Setup
Photo Editing Keynote
10 Steps to Processing Perfect Star Trail Images
Business of Photography Keynote
Gear Guide

Ratings and Reviews


I have taken quite a few courses with createlive and this was by far one of the best. Ian is a fantastic teacher and remarkable at describing what he is doing and his thought process clearly. There is so much good information in this course, I definitely plan on buying this class. Not only is Ian a great teacher, but he also seems to genuinely want to help other photographers and see them succeed. You can tell he cares more about seeing good pictures of nature than anything else. I cannot recommend this course enough. Whether you are a beginner who shoots landscape photography as a hobby or a professional who already specializes in landscape photography, this class has something to offer and will expand your skill set. Can't thank Ian enough and I hope he does another course soon.


Ian is a great teacher and it is great when some one who "can do", can also explain how he does it. Clearly, his experience and commitment are why he is good at what he does. There is a lot more to a great photo than getting the camera settings and filters right. Ian did his best to help us understand what to look for when "working the scene" and finding a good composition without distractions. A great course. Thank you, Creative Live and Ian Shive.


Amazing course. Ian Shive is a wonderful teacher, as well as photographer, and it all comes across. I was glued to my computer for the entire 3 days when the class was live, and just had to purchase it so I don't lose any of it. The bonus materials alone are worth the purchase price. I've got a trip coming up soon and will have the opportunity to put some of what Ian said into practice; and love that I can have it with me on my portable devices so I can refresh my memory and reinforce it all. Great to have on a long plane ride. If you are on the fence, get off that fence and go purchase this great course!!! You won't be sorry. My thanks to CreativeLive, and Ian Shive for giving us this wonderful opportunity to not only learn, but to actually be in the field with Ian.

Student Work