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Storytelling with Mobile Photography

Lesson 3 of 21

Aesthetic Considerations when Photographing a Cultural Event

Ed Kashi

Storytelling with Mobile Photography

Ed Kashi

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Lesson Info

3. Aesthetic Considerations when Photographing a Cultural Event

Lesson Info

Aesthetic Considerations when Photographing a Cultural Event

So we sort of talked about the aesthetic considerations, now I think we're gonna roll a video. We're here in Seattle to photograph the Sister Kate Dance Troupe, which is a local Seattle arts organization and cultural organization. And this is an example of photographing a cultural event. Now, they're not performing, they're rehearsing, but still, it's a chance to... There's a different set of skills and needs, challenges if you like, when you're photographing a cultural event. So I wanna understand, who are they? Why are they doing this? How does it fit into the local cultural scene? And then in terms of the pictures, because of the lighting conditions here, this is a good example with mobile photography of how, actually, this can be a tool with limitations. So you need to learn to work with them because the light level is low. But more importantly, or more germane to this is they will be moving. So in this case, I'm going into it thinking, I'm going to be working with blur, because my...

camera cannot freeze action in this light. I guess, this month we just want, like, one thing. So went to the Romeo and Juliet ballet. We went to the Libra Opera thing, which I'd recommend everyone go to, it was amazing. And then we went to Seaside Jazz Festival this weekend, which was also really fun. (upbeat swing jazz music) (dancers laughing) Sort of running with them shooting. You know, not, I know that they're going to be blurred, but that, again, that was what I was going for. (slow jazz music) We love props. Ooh. Ooh. Oh, right, sorry. (dancers laughing) Omen, actually it's the title of my next book, and it's a way of photographing that this sort of a scene really epitomizes where I'm, in some cases, very out of control, and there's movement. And I'm just looking for these sort of magic moments that I don't even see, actually. You know, as opposed to a much more precise way of photographing. (slow jazz music) One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight. One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight. Is that you look like you're having fun. That you look, and I'm not saying, like, you fake it, but that, again, people pick up on your energy. And if you're being weird, or you're having a good time and then it makes them, it opens the welcome mat for you that much more. (muffled speaking) (dancers laughing) Us too. Yeah. I just realized. (drowned out by talking over each other) (laughing) Five, six, seven, eight. One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight. (dancers laughing) One, and hold. (dancers laughing) Still doing the comedy routine? Yeah. (muffled speaking) One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight. (stomping) One, two, three, that's four. One, two, (drowned out by stomping) (dancers laughing) (choreographer drowned out by stomping) Aren't we? Alright. Which foot are we? We are doing this right before here. Yeah, that's weird. Yeah, it felt a little bit dippy. (laughing) It appears that we kind of should have. Yeah. Right? Both of those legs, right? Yeah. (laughing) Yeah, so I'm gonna go, I'm gonna go five, six, seven, eight. (muffled speaking) Eight, five, six, seven, eight. And to say that while I use an iPhone, everything we're talking about today is appropriate for Android users as well. And you know all of this, this class is not meant to be highly technical. I welcome any questions from the audience on technical stuff. But I really want this to be about opening your mind up to what the possibilities, the opportunities, and to inspire you to take your mobile camera and make pictures. (laughing) Oh. (drowned out by talking over each other) (stomping) One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight. One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight. (muffled speaking) (squealing) (laughing) Talk about one of the technical things, I use the ProCamera app, generally, to capture, because it gives you very high quality 17 meg TIFF. And there's functionalities that I really like you can trip the shutter by touching any part of the phone so there are ways that I can shoot much more freely. But when I'm in a situation like this, whoa, where there's a lot of rapid movement. And as I, I don't know if you noticed, in some cases I'm shooting almost like motor drive, well, thumb drive. Anyway, so the dance rehearsal is over, and as I suspected, the light was pretty rough. So I really tried to focus on either portraits and moments where the women were still or play with lots of movement and kind of crazy energy. Speaking of energy, one of the things I love about photography is that, in this case, I got to witness a group of women having so much fun doing what they're doing that it doesn't even matter whether they're good or bad, or it looks great or not. It's just the energy was so beautiful and it really, I got a contact high from it. Now I need to take a nap. (chuckling) So just to finish the point that when I'm shooting in a situation that's, where it's very rapid or I might be making a lot of pictures, then I'll use the in-camera, the in-phone camera. In the case of the iPhone, the camera that comes with it. Which is a great camera because that, while it still makes good quality photographs, it won't buffer. But with the ProCamera app, if I'm shooting rapidly, then it'll actually slow down because the image size is so large. So, again, with like any tool, you need to learn, as well as with the apps, what are its strengths? What are its weaknesses?

Class Description

Momentary, stunning lighting on a landscape. A toddler’s first stuttering attempts at standing. An interaction between strangers on the street strikes you as unexpectedly poignant. There is beauty and opportunity for storytelling all around us, but inspiration often comes with a ticking clock. There isn’t always time to set up a tripod and perfect the exposure on your SLR. Fortunately, we live in an age where the potential for professional-quality photos rides in our pockets wherever we go.

Join veteran photojournalist Ed Kashi for an in-depth workshop on the power of your mobile phone to create powerful visual stories. 

You’ll learn:

  • How to identify the aesthetic considerations of a location and be intentional with the type of image you want to capture
  • How to interact with people in various situations and capture the emotion you are looking for in a portrait 
  • How to quickly edit your photos within your mobile device and share with the world

Amateurs and professional photographers alike will benefit on this deep dive into mobile visual storytelling. You will learn how to capture striking images, alter them in post-production, and make the most of social media to spread the impact of your stories. Bring more meaning and intentionality to the way you record your everyday experience, and discover the powerful versatility of the lens in your phone.  

Class Materials

Bonus Materials with Purchase

Storytelling with Mobile Photography App List

Intimate Event - Aesthetic Considerations Video

Intimate Event - Human Interaction Video

Intimate Event - Capturing Portraits Video

Cultural Event - Human Interaction Video

Cultural Event - Capturing Portraits Video

Cultural Event - Aesthetic Considerations Video

Street Photography - Aesthetic Considerations Video

Street Photography - Human Interaction Video

Street Photography - Capturing Portraits Video

Ratings and Reviews

Student Work

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a Creativelive Student

I was not interested in this class and just decided to tune in. This is one of the Best classes I have watched on Creative Live! I love his total "attitude" about how to treat people, what to do and not to do to engage in more courteous ways and polite ways. I found him inspiring and engaging, creative and providing lots of information in what I watched. (I did not watch the entire course.) I am certainly going to check out other classes he might produce in the future. I very much enjoyed what I did watch and found him a wonderful instructor! Lots of valuable tips as well. Thanks for allowing me to preview it today!

belinda leung

ed kasha did an amazing job taking us through his creative process. practical tips helped me immediately spot things to help improve my photos immediately. I downloaded and started using the apps he recommended right away. thanks creative live and ed kasha!

Lynn Hernandez

Very inspiring seeing Ed Kashi's excitement for the creative process. Seeing the final photo and then watching a video of what happened to make the photo was really helpful. Have a list a new apps to try for photo-editing and double-exposures. Loved the class.