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Create Art Through Photography

Lesson 7 of 16

Timelapse & Video in Art's Photography

Art Wolfe

Create Art Through Photography

Art Wolfe

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Lesson Info

7. Timelapse & Video in Art's Photography

Lesson Info

Timelapse & Video in Art's Photography

Amazing times. All these nerds working in buildings in Japan and everywhere around the planet are creating a new way of seeing for me. I really greatly appreciate these people because what they're doing is transforming and just, you know, in a step later I'm using that technology. Focus, now these are just a series. If I sped this up, this would look like a video. In fact they're all individual frames. I'm taking 10 frames per second. The critical thing is the focus is so right on that it stays with these birds as they're coming straight at me. Historically you could never get a shot like this or you'd get one out of three, but every single shot in this series of mute swans, whooper swans I should say, on the island of Hokkaido. Every other year I take people to Hokkaido and we photograph these amazing birds, the Steller's sea eagles that you just saw. It's a wildlife spectacle and I just love to take people there. We shoot with this technology and we get the shot every day. Look at th...

is. These birds are flying straight at me. I'm thinking they're gonna whap my in the face with their wings. I'm thinking there's no way I'm gonna get this in focus and yet it just stayed with it, 10 frames per second. It's amazing technology. And then the bears. The bears up in Alaska, Katmai National Park. They're chasing salmon left and right and I'm just locking on and clicking and using rear focus and this is-- Again, I live-- I'm so happy that I lived in the time when you couldn't do this because I really appreciate it now. People that are just coming into photography, "Oh yeah, I get it." They don't appreciate how difficult these kind of shots were historically to get. They're so like, "Okay, yeah, we get it." I love this. I never ever disregard the fact that the technology is really advancing what we're shooting. When you lay down in front of a bear that's chasing a salmon it creates that illusion that the bear's attacking. It's emotionally involving and that focus is staying with it and bing, bang, boom, you get that shot and click. Bring it forward. Then later I'll open up the eyes with a little bit of Lightroom, because their eyes are notoriously dark, and there you got the shot. Just recently I was up in Manitoba walking with the bears. Historically people would photograph from tundra buggies looking down, but now there's places where you can walk with the bears. The mother's bringing her cubs out. I would shoot like this. This is very typical. I'm shooting click, click, click as the bears are walking by, and then I can pick the best one out of a sequence. They're moving. Every one of these could be very, very good, but there's inveritably and always one or two frames that are the best. That's what I'll pick. Look at it, they're just walking. I kind of like the way all their bodies work together. I'm teaching a workshop later in the Camargue of the Rhone River in France. I've photographed these guys 27 years ago. I love the horses. They're little ponies and when you get French cowboys running the horses with you, but as they're running right towards you that focus is staying with them. That's incredible to me. The ability for the camera to react to very rapidly changing situations has been a godsend for me as a photographer. Time lapse is something that I love to incorporate in my lectures. I give lectures all around the world, not that you would know that I am an experienced speaker based on what I'm saying today. But I would take a time lapse. I put the camera on a tripod. I put it in a building, in a major intersection, in Varanasi and I have a little intervalometer and so you click a shot every couple seconds and you speed it up and it shows the kinetic crowded world that you live in. Some people would just go bonkers being in that environment. I love it. I love being surrounded by the drama, the craziness of India and other places. One year I was in Yellowstone photographing the great fires and, you know, in a still it's kind of like okay, that's dramatic, but when you do a time lapse it just transforms and shows the drama of the moment. There's certain things that time lapse play into a lecture. I give a lot of lectures, a lot of talks, a lot of inspirationals, and these time lapses play into that. This is years ago with an old camera but it's no less true today. One year I put the camera above the tunnel in that famed Ansel Adams viewpoint of Yosemite and I just had to click every minute and this is what it looks like. I went shooting somewhere else hoping that nobody found my camera and that's-- You know, you come back and you collect these things. Time lapse have been something I've been using for years. I'm doing more and more of it, because in today's world giving lectures, giving talks around the world, which I'm now doing, you want to be able to use technology to inspire people. Including these into a lecture is part of the way forward as is including video. It's all those expectations of combining the still image with time lapse with video. I used video in a shoot on the human canvas. And let's see, where are we going with this? Oh, the video component. It's something I've just recently started doing. I still have a lot of things I wanna do with the single salient, emotionally impactful capture of a single picture. That's the world I lived in. It's drawing a picture, painting a single frame. Taking a single picture, but today we have the cameras that just with a little button on the back of the camera you can shoot 4K video. And so why not? I'm starting now to use that as I go forward. I'm doing more TV productions and more communications. Having the ability to click and bring in video is becoming a tool that I'm catching up with. I'm still kinda-- I've been in front of the camera quite often. I've not really used my cameras to their full capacity. Recently I was in Iceland this cold morning and the waves were coming in and then I just shot a little video because it captures the birds flying through and more of the drama of the moment. I might drop that into a future lecture. I'm just evolving with the times. I don't wanna be considered a dinosaur, but you and I know I am a bit of a dinosaur, but I'm catching up. I'm pretty hip, I'm listening to music. I'm listening to the music I shouldn't be listening to. (audience laughing) The truth of the matter is I'm living in denial. (audience laughing) I'm an old man. Up on that volcano last year in the Congo here's the shot of the volcano. It's a single capture. It's got the detail that a video might not have, but then when you shoot it again with a little bit of a video it captures more of the drama of the moment. You see the speed with which the surface of that volcanic lake is exploding. It's just a different view of the same subject. Wherever there's drama now, where there's movement of the wind or the water, or in this case bubbling lava on the surface of this lake, yeah, why not shoot a little bit of the video? I'm just taking advantage of the technology. Recently in Iceland-- I was in Iceland a couple of weeks ago. I just started shooting these tiny little vignettes of nature that I could see maybe putting music to and having a little interlude in a narrative where I'm talking people to death, and then we click into this beautiful little scenes that you could just hear the music. As I say, I'm catching up on and cluing in to these beautiful details. Here the waves are coming in against the ice. This is more of a setup shot, but the next one is kind of a graphic detail. I just love the way it's those moments that you wouldn't anticipate. You're looking now through and iceberg and the movement of the ocean behind. I like that artistic element. I'm an old dog learning new tricks. I'm happy with it. It's all brought to me by the new technology that we have. I put a GoPro in the water when I was photographing the bears and suddenly I wanted to see what I would get. Suddenly this whole swarm of salmon came straight over the GoPro. It's video technologies, time lapse. It's all that now rolled into it. When I'm in-- Was doing the TV show we had this happening. These two bears are working in unison. When they confuse the salmon they likely will catch the salmon. Now watch. (inspiring instrumental music) Nice, good catch. (water splashing) All right, in this particular case only one got the salmon. Hey, better luck next time. Shoot the stills and then we can do the videos. It's just amazing technology.

Class Description

Photography is more than just a click of the shutter as it can create a statement or evoke a feeling and thus becomes a powerful art form. Internationally acclaimed photographer, artist and educator Art Wolfe joins CreativeLive to teach creative professionals how to see and make art in exciting new ways. 

In this class Art will share:

  • How to maximize photographic opportunities while traveling to unique and beautiful photographic destinations.
  • The best ways to take those special images efficiently. 
  • His favorite technological advances and how he uses them to enhance his creative vision. 
As a special segment, Art will preview how knowledge of art history provides a creative foundation and show students how to apply these principles to enhance their own compositions. He will also include a live critique of student images and, using Adobe® Lightroom® CC, will guide students through the editing process to transform the images into stronger artistic statements.

Class Materials

Bonus Materials with Purchase

Art Wolfe eBook Bonus Material

Ratings and Reviews

Student Work

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Thank you, Art Wolfe and Creative Live for this outstanding and astounding invitation to open my eyes and mind to a new way of thinking based on classic elements of design. This set of video lectures is a rich feast for the brain and heart willing to consider change. Art explains the elements of design such as texture, line, etc., and then shows how he has applied those basic principles. He explores metaphor, ambiguity, graphic design and negative/positive space--all with eye-popping examples. Wolfe takes us through the galleries of the Impressionists, Abstractionists, and Pop Artists to show how visiting our local art museums with a photographers eye can teach us to see in new ways. I love the way he shows, for example, a Mondrian or a Jackson Pollack or a Hokusai painting and then segues beautifully into examples of his own work inspired by those greats. Never does Art lose sight of the mission he has in this series, which is to inspire serious-hearted photographers to rise to new visual heights in their own work. He has a way of seeming to say, "Look. If I can do it, you can do it. Here are my secrets--let me break them down for you." To me, it was a privilege to take this class--my brain is exploding, and I'm itching to get out and shoot! Thank you so much, Art Wolfe and the Creative Live team--you are both amazing! Sandy Brown Jensen Eugene, Oregon

JIll C.

After watching Art Wolfe's presentation for just a short while, I have an almost irresistible urge to pick up my camera and get out into the world to look for the abstracts that can make stunning images. His body of work is simply stunning, and his verbal patter is mesmerizing. He proposes to find beauty in decay, and to train our eyes to see what others overlook. This is not a technical class, and there is no discussion of gear or camera settings. I found it very inspiring, and his ideas will surely help me to overcome the lethargy that has overcome my photography hobby.


Wonderful lecture with tips and tricks of how he shoots, what gear he uses, suggestions for comp, and samples of how he processes a RAW file in LR. Art was just as awesome as I had heard he was in person. I'm a professional photographer and definitely came away with many new tips, perspectives and inspiration to see your image differently and to look closer at the less obvious scene. Thank you Art for sharing your talent, its so very much appreciated!!