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Shooting Inside a Tent

Lesson 7 from: Photographing America's National Parks

Ian Shive

Shooting Inside a Tent

Lesson 7 from: Photographing America's National Parks

Ian Shive

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Lesson Info

7. Shooting Inside a Tent

Lesson Info

Shooting Inside a Tent

I'm gonna kick it off by sort of introducing you to how I've shifted gears so in general we've been talking about is a landscape photography slowing down your process using filters, early morning light, long exposures this is going to be completely different this is going to involve people. This is going to involve the quote unquote, in between moments as I talked about in the last segment and also using a variety of different lenses. So as I mentioned, I travel and pack pretty light and it's one of give you a quick overview of what pretty light means I'm not gonna go gear, buy gear detail by detail, but just give you an idea of sort of the range of focal lengths that I like to bring with me that cover the inspection that I feels pretty is pretty uh, pretty broad and certainly has accomplished all the needs I've ever had across my career, and I'm definitely gone through a lens here and there and definitely a few lens caps. Mohr ah, then I have actual lenses, but typically speaking, obv...

iously I've got at least one, usually two bodies, especially if I'm out on assignment I don't travel with the second body ah, the reason being an outdoor photographer and I'm not necessarily most coordinated person you'll ever meet and I like to work around water, so if I usually go in to the water and I'm on a really important project or a camera dies due to a rain or storm or something like that have cut my weight by only carrying one and b I preserve my second body by leaving in my hotel bag room wherever someplace safe preferably or um you know somewhere where it's it's out in not necessarily in the higher risk environment so I'll typically only go with one body um you know for day long shoot type things um few lenses I'd like to bring a sixteen to thirty five you're going to get a ton of information on the sixteen thirty five as we go through the course how I use it when doing basic landscape compositions uh and filters and and all of those uh things along with that the next step up from that lens is my twenty four to seventy zoom um all of these lenses all these l siri's lenses including my seventy two hundred or our f two point eight um and the only one with my ass is my uh my seventy two two hundred I asked being image stabilizers twenty forty, seventy people often ask if I could only bring one lens into the field which lands would it be? This is the one I would bring I love the twenty four to seventy because it's got a wide angle twenty four up to seventy telephoto pulls off portrait pulls off some mackerel work yesterday we had a great opportunity to get some media macro work with the seventy millimeter out on, uh, out on ruby beach in the olympic peninsula olympic national park here, and so the twenty four to seventy again super diverse um sometimes you don't want to carry this whole backpack, especially if you're focusing on other in between moments like travel photography you're maybe going into ah temple or sacred, a place where you don't wantto have a backpack and a tripod on all this gear, this thing gets you the wide angles gets you the establishing shots, it gets you the details with seventy um this is definitely my best all around. Uh, when's, I've got the seventy two, two hundred as well. Um pretty common popular linds it's ah, all telephoto great for pulling out details once again, you see this thing get used really well in the home whole rainforest, where polite details and a zai mentioned a cz well, all of these lines is not just the wide angles are critical to photographing landscapes, so they're not just people lend his portrait lens is someone I use them for everything portrait people details, butterflies, bugs, you name it so all of these air our part port, part and parcel of the arsenal we're also going to really use the seventy, two hundred right now on this shoot, I'm any use probably two lenses, primarily and maybe a third, but the most, uh, most common lands I'm going to use on on this camp campground shoot is the seventy two, two hundred devils got a fifty macro, um, super cheap, affordable lens because they're high in manufacturer, but really awesome to two point five let's me get things that life size and with these two extension tube's, I've got twelve millimeter and a twenty five uh millimeter extension two lets me get larger than life macro shots. And once again, uh, over the course of the next couple days, when we get out into mount rainier national park, I'm gonna show you how to use all three components of these in detail, photographing wild flowers and insects and details and really digging into the abstract and artistic source of elements. So, uh, superfund lands it's also a great place to just play around, you know, with with an extra few bucks without spending, spending the whole bank account on it to get really good telephoto for happen upon wildlife. I'm not a wild life photographer most of those shooters air going out with at least three hundred mill, four hundred, five hundred, six hundred those things there giant tubes that quite frankly, need their their own wheelbarrow or sled to move around the gigantic um, I try to travel light, so I just bring what's called an extender. This is a to x, and essentially it doubles the focal length of my seventy two, two hundred. So that turns to one hundred forty millimeter to a four hundred millimeters. I get about four hundred out of it. And once again, you'll see that employed in ruby beach where we happened upon a bald eagle with some prey and its talent. So that was very unexpected. Spontaneous, but again, that's. Why? This is the bag I pack. I've got a little bit of distance, some I tell the photos and I've got a lot of wide what him to start with. Um, I got one other piece, and you got a strobe. I've got five. Fifty e x strobe with an offshoot cord have also got some, uh uh uh whatchamacallit, the wireless. Uh, the wireless devices I can fire this without a cord also like the core because it's also super reliable. And if I need a free hand, I can actually just let it dangle, which you probably shouldn't do, um, and some diffuser zzzz well, and then an interval ometer uh, which is basically a cable release and a bunch of other little gadgets anybody knows photography knows tony gadgets already kind of giving you a rough breakdown of my filters and sort of how I, uh plan for those um and I also have two additional philip ears which I get again in detail ah in rainier and olympic and that's the polarizer sze um and I haven't for both my wide angle and my telephone so that's the general a land I've got brushes, cleaners all kinds of other little goodies um that help help ease the process of photography and keeping your gear maintained, which is super important when you're working out doors you've got dust you've got, you know, a bang the equipment around quite a bit. Just recently it was actually on a boat and I really whacked the edge of my wide angle lens and dented the ring, making it a little heart to screw on polarizing filters and the nd riel uh nd filter ring um so, you know, I like to bring sometimes like a plier or screwdriver other elements that will help me make a little minor repairs in the field um, because you know often again your nature photographer, you're not gonna able to just run down to the corner and get everything fixed so that's generally speaking, all I'm carrying um the lens I'm actually going to show you though that I don't actually use that often but I think could be kind of a fun thing for this composition is ah an ultra wide it's a fish eye it's ah eight to fifteen millimeter um and really I use it mostly uh very often for underwater photography when I've got it in a dome and I'm doing magnification tze and cool kind of effects with over unders and so on but what a fish islands will do is really just give you a super super wild curvature so let me give you an example of what I'm gonna dio and I'm gonna show you how we can also tell the story and in between moments of a campground life using for starters this lens and then going into the telephoto so I'm gonna spend spend some time showing you that so we've set up this little little makeshift tent here and I'm gonna just fire off a frame so you get an idea of what does a fish I look like so watch out wide this thing goes so it's super super wide now you notice that the wider I can also zoom in a little bit but it's still giving you a weird curvature you might not notice it with the roof of the tent is easily but watch if I go like this with my hand you see how wide this gets and you can see how it basically gives a distortion overall to the image. Well, why would I want that distortion? And why would I want that lens? The truth is, these kinds of lenses are awesome and they're fun, and they were great and very specialized environments, but they're also very frequently over used, um, because there because they're just so different because you could basically get funny looks, get close to an animal, get close to a friend and their nose looks really large and there's a bunch of every things you can do with it. But there's also really great application to and that's working and really tight space is really tight, narrow spaces like this tent so immediately what I'm gonna do is I'm gonna work on this ten a little bit. I noticed somebody left a head lamp up here, so I'm gonna clear the ceiling and the goal of this is let's start by showing the first person perspective of camping. You know, um, when you think of photography, always think of, ah, nature photography is like let's make pretty landscapes, but we also want to share the full experience and you want to get people to feel immersed in it, and so one shot that I've always liked the idea of shooting straight up through ten now, depending on your tent you may have visibility issues you may have ah rain fly or something on it this particular case there's no rain fly it on the roof and I'm going away flat inside like I'm camping and hard to do get really comfortable this is probably the first person ever get in a sleeping bag creative live they don't call it creative live because you don't get creative and what I'm gonna do is I'm gonna try it if I shoot horizontal of course I'm gonna get everybody camera guys everyone else but that's how wide this thing is so rather than getting all the way down on one end what I'm trying to do is essentially show what it looks like to wake up in a tent now you guys notice how blue everything is and how much the light is being ah cut uh we're probably losing about a quarter stop just from the nets alone and I'm gonna zip this up hopefully still seem to see me this is my way of getting a nap after that early sunrise so I don't need a zip it all the way anyone to do center up go vertical and I'm getting my own me in here so I'm gonna try and actually angle myself more and the nice part is still yet my own knee I'm gonna get a little bit closer and closer to see if I'm all the way back down flat I'm getting my own leg a little bit over here to see in the bottom left hand corner so just like a landscape photo I'm trying to clear my corner so the only way to do that is either to zoom in a little bit to fifteen or you could see how that looks and that seems to do the job now you notice how everything looks really blue we'll fix that later that's a color balance issue and a change that it's a lossless resolution but what's happening here is I'm capturing the whole roof even if I'm laying here and I'm looking out at the ten then I'm really only looking at one window at a time or maybe a couple at a time but with the fisheye I'm able to capture the entire dome and the entire roof now that khun applied towards any small space that you're working in, it could be a cave with drawings on it it could be, you know, beach ten it could be any any small space we're trying to capture the whole thing in the distortion isn't immediately recognized. Instead it just looks like the roof of a tent but to show you what it would look like warm dot I'm gonna actually show you how I would do this and I'm gonna go when I say warmed up I'm talking about my white balance, so I'm gonna go and do a white balance adjustment manually and remember cool is uh is going to be a larger number on the kelvin scale, so what I did was I went from about a fifty two hundred kelvin to about ten thousand kelvin now watch the difference so there's the difference on the images and then here's the before awfully image before it you could see how the roof is more blue and on the second one it's a little warmer it looks great that tree on the top of the frame or depending on what angle the left of the frame it's the darkest part of the framing because really thiss frame could work from any and is really, really dark um, so I would either try and find a way to move the ten I waited for a different time of day um we're simply just over exposed a little bit more and get a shot more like that works pretty good uhm ideally, if this was just a clear sky wouldn't work as well the more interesting the sky if we were having a foggy morning and uh an olympic or you're doing some beach camping or something along those lines in that case you get more interesting areas but what's really happening this is not just a fish eye lesson, but I'm also using other elements in the campground and in the environment to frame my shot, I'm using these lines, these stripes, these poles, everything to frame what should be more interesting up here. And the more interesting the subject matter is outside the tent. The, uh, the better the overall results will be, and so there's a few different things that work. Ah, when working on this.

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