(gentle music) (feet thudding)
So just right now, just looking at what's going on around me, trying to visualize a little bit of the situation, what's going on, and how I could potentially shoot it. Not a whole lot happening right now, in the clouds. The peak's flirting with us, kind of coming in and outta frame. So, we'll just keep analyzing. But you know, at the end of the day, we're out here to enjoy our time in nature and get out and hike and exercise and appreciate it, and it's not always about the photos.
He's right, it's definitely not always about the photos, but sometimes it is about the photos. We'll see what it is about tonight. Maybe photos?
No, definitely photos. All right, so we're in the little basin bowl, behind us is Mount Cheam. And now lately, the lighting is a little mixed right now. The peak is flirting with us, it's in and out of the clouds. We're really hoping that it clears up, the forecast said that it was supposed to. So hopefully, we'll get a lot of coo...
l drama and mood with the sunset. But right now, as we're hiking up, I want to shoot these flowers. I want to shoot some of this peak behind us, that's in the light, and just talk about different lighting conditions and how you can take the most of it, as well as different settings and different features and techniques you can do with your camera. All right, so along the way up the trail, came across this really nice wildflower field. So, I want to show you some examples of depth of field and how you can use that to your advantage when shooting things like this. We put this external monitor on, which will show you exactly what I'm seeing on the screen. You can say hi to RJ, our very talented videographer here. (RJ laughing) So, I really like these flowers here, and I want to shoot it against this light, this mountain, sorry, and the reason I'm doing that is because over here the highlights are really bright and you can see in the camera, having the bottom frame exposed overexposes the top. So to make things easier, I wanna shoot this way, and I like this composition better anyways, because it kind of leads up to this peak. And it's a really cool little triangle peak, so we're gonna isolate the flowers, so the background's blurred, and you get that kind of whole flower field in focus. So, we're gonna shoot a F/2.8. This is letting in a lot of light and it's allowing us to get a lot of depth of field. So you can see here, I'm gonna bring down my ISO. I like to keep my ISO pretty low, I try not to go to more than 400 if I can. Cameras these days, you can go pretty high and get really good settings and there's a lot of cool programs that will allow you to get rid of noise, but to get the sharpest image possible, we'll keep it low. I'm gonna aim for 250, I'm gonna keep my aperture at F/2.8, and then I'm gonna move my shutter speed. Another thing you could do is put it in AV mode, which allows you to only adjust your ISO and your aperture. So let's do that. And it will automatically pick what it thinks is best, which looks pretty good. The highlights are a little overexposed there in the clouds. So, I'm gonna put it back into manual, but that just shows you that you can use that to slowly only adjust that and then let it choose for you. (camera beeping) So I'm gonna focus on these purple flowers here. I don't know exactly what they're called, they might be a lupine. And I'm gonna add these flowers in the foreground to create a lot more depth of field and add some burst of color. (camera clicking) Just a reminder is to stay on the trail. Places like this are pretty protected and you don't want to go in, trampling it, ruining it for others as well. (camera clicking) So there's an example of F/2.8. Say you want a little bit more in focus and you wanna show more of the flowers, you would bring up your aperture. Let's say 5.6., that should give us the flowers in focus, as well as the mountain. Let's see where we want here. So now you can see the mountain's quite a bit more in focus, and the higher your aperture is, let's go 11. See, now it's a bit too dark. I'm shooting at 1/25 of a second, and you'll see if I have any sort of movement, it might get blurry. So, I'm gonna raise my ISO and I feel okay doing this because it's the only thing I can do with this lens to go any lower, to shoot at this aperture. So now you can see quite a bit more is in focus. So that same kind of shot. Now everything's a lot more clear and you can keep adjusting that. But for this shot, I kind of liked a lot of depth of field, I'm gonna bring my ISO back down. I'm gonna bring it down to 160, and that way I have a faster shutter speed, make sure everything's nice and tack sharp, and boom, there you go. You can see the side by side comparison of these shots and you can kind of see how the aperture plays a role in your foreground and depth of field. (air whooshing) So starting out, I made a lot of mistakes 'cause I only shot on JPEG. I didn't know that I should be shooting in RAW, and the reason you want to shoot in RAW is because it gives you a file that it's a lot larger that you can work with, and you'll see what I mean in the post-processing episode. But basically, it gives you a full range of motion to choose your white balance, you can change the colors a lot more. Just gives you a lot more free reign on editing your image. And it's just a lot higher quality of an image. So, I don't typically shoot JPEG along with RAW, just purely RAW. There's so many photos I shot in JPEG that I wish I had in RAW because I can't really do too much with them, and I kind of kick myself in the butt for that. But, it's the way she goes, so always shoot in RAW. If you want, you can shoot in RAW and JPEG, just to have those options. (air whooshing) I also want to bring up white balance, sometimes I leave it in Auto because I'm not too concerned, 'cause in post-processing when you shoot RAW, you can adjust it. But typically, if you're doing a batch edit of photos, you want to keep it in the white balance setting that you like the most, that way you don't have to constantly switch it. So for this, I'll show you the different looks you get. So this is Daylight, it's a lot cooler. This is Shade, it's a lot more yellow, cloudy. I really like that, it just looks what this scene looks like with my eyes. Tungsten is very blue and bright. White fluorescent, same thing. Flash, don't have to worry about that. Custom, you can adjust it to exactly however you want. But typically, it's either Auto or I'm just being mindful of the shot while I'm shooting it and what I want those colors to look like with the white balance. You can adjust, so I'll show you there. There's one in there, and then what Auto picks up, pretty similar. (camera clicking) (camera clicking) Sweet. (air whooshing) So in some cases, like how it has been, where the sky is really exposed and then what you wanna shoot in the foreground is really dark, if you want, you can combine those images with an HDR image. Basically, it's a high dynamic range image where you shoot three different exposures. You could shoot less or more, but basically, it'll blend them all together to create one even image, and you could do that in post-processing. We'll talk about that in the editing episode. Ways to combat it, you can use a neutral density filter. Talk a bit about that later on. But basically, this will give you an overall image exactly how you want it, with multiple different lighting conditions. So we'll set up a shot and show you, walk you through it. So a lot of the newer cameras will have a built-in setting where you can create an in-camera high dynamic range image, basically know as a HDR image or bracketing. So, for the sake of your camera not having that, I'm gonna show you a manual way to do it, and then we'll edit it in Lightroom in the post-processing episode. So, you're gonna wanna figure out your composition. For this one, I just have a basic scene with some flowers, with that mount in the foreground. Nothing too crazy, but it's a beautiful scene. So what I'm gonna do first is expose for the sky. And right now, I have it in manual focus, so everything stays the same, except for my shutter speed. I have my ISO, my aperture fixed, and then I'll change the shutter speed for the rest of the image. So, I have exposed for that. I'm gonna take one photo and then I'm gonna take a second photo with a little bit of the sky and a little bit of the shadows, still kind of there. And then I'm gonna take another one with the sky blown out, with the shadows well exposed. Boom, so now we'll stitch those all together. One thing to keep in mind when you're doing this is that the whole frame ideally is still and in the same position. I'm not quite sure how it's gonna turn out yet because of all the flower movement and the sky, but we'll do our best to make something out of it. But that's just a way that you can do it. (air whooshing)
So you'll notice on your camera, you have a few different settings. You have B, which is bulb, which is mostly what you want to use for, you know, long exposures where you can control how long that exposure time is. Something I typically don't use too much, unless I'm doing like a two minute exposure with the ND filter on and really want to get a lot of movement, but that's not very, very often. M which is manual, which basically means you control your aperture, you control your shutter speed, and you control your ISO. I typically shoot in that because I like to have free range of all the settings I'm using, especially in constantly changing light. Some alternatives to that, which I think are great. You also have AV mode, which I really like because it's basically an aperture priority mode. So that means you set what aperture you want your camera to be at, and it will automatically figure out the best settings for your shutter speed. The downside to this is if you want a certain look or effect, it might not know what you want, and then it will give you something totally different. And that's the same with TV, which is shutter priority, which basically you set what shutter you want, whether you want something fast and caught in action or you want something slow with a lot of movement. So those can be useful, but if you really want full control, manual will give you the best free reign that you can. For example, if you want the clouds to be wispy and moving, you can now adjust those settings and play trial and error with getting that shot. Or if you want a lot of depth of field, and you want to be able to get that motion blur as well, you can do that.
Taylor Burk is landscape and adventure travel photographer based out of British Columbia. Select clients include Backpacker Magazine, Travel & Leisure, Men’s Journal, The North Face, Backcountry.com, Tourism Canada, and Samsung Mobile.
Incredible course! I learned so much watching this. I loved Taylor's teaching style and found it really helpful to get to see how he works out in the field. Everything about it was so well thought out - I appreciated the little details he included in the course like the PDFs and photo book recommendations. I would definitely recommend!
This course is awesome! Great insights into landscape photography. Highly recommend.
This course was great--Taylor's approach and delivery of the topics is straightforward and extremely helpful. I am somewhat comfortable with my camera/settings and know some of the basic rules of photography, but his explanations help translate in how to use those tools to create YOUR own images no matter what you are trying to achieve. Can’t recommend this course enough to any aspiring landscape photographer.