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Storytelling in Motion

Lesson 4 from: The Outdoor Enthusiast's Guide to Photography & Motion

Ian Shive

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Lesson Info

4. Storytelling in Motion


Class Trailer

Bootcamp Introduction


Storytelling with Stills and Motion Overview


Elements of a Well-told Story


Storytelling in Motion


Choosing the Best Gear for Your Outdoor Project


Gear for Drones


Gear for Motion


Inside Ian's Gear Bag


General Advice for Preparation


Virtual Scouting




Permits and Permission


Model and Property Releases


Health and Fitness




Location Scouting Overview


Location Scouting in the North Cascades


Drone Introduction


Drone Safety


What Kind of Drone Should I Buy?


FAA Part 107 Test: How to Prepare


Telling a Story With a Drone


Drone Camera, Lenses and Movements


Selling Drone Footage


Why Does a Photographer Need Motion?


Establish the End User


Identify Your Audience


Build a Production Plan


Create the Story Structure


The Shooting Script


Production Quality


Composition for Stills


Composition for Stills: Landscape


Composition for Stills: Telephoto Lens


Composition for Stills: Macro Lens


Techniques for Capturing Motion in the Field


Lenses and Filters for Outdoor Photography


Capturing Landscapes - Part 1


Capturing Landscapes - Part 2


Capturing Movement in Stills


Shooting Water, Sky and Panorama


Understanding Stock


Editorial vs Commerical


Pricing Stock


Producing Stock


Shooting for Social Media vs Stock


Choosing an Agency


Assignments and Capturing Stock


Stock Photography Market


Create A Style Guide


Stock Shoot Analysis


Workflow for Selecting Final Stills


Initial Editing in Adobe Bridge


Reviewing and Selecting Motion Footage


Keeping Track of Your Story Ideas


Script and Story Structure Evolution


Editing to the Content


Music as a Character


Business Diversification


Business Strategy


Pillars of Revenue




Partnerships and Brand Strategy


Galleries and Fine Art




The Future of Photography


Q&A And Critique


Lesson Info

Storytelling in Motion

storytelling in motion is different. And I'm gonna show you an example from one of the refuges in a minute from, ah, the Salt Lake City area where we were last Ah, last early fall of actually felt like late summer very, very hot and also very buggy. Start to see a theme here. Um, but I want o prep you before you watch this because one of the hardest parts about watching motion clips is you get called into from You could very analytical about stills, but Motion has its own set of rules and challenges, but storytelling in motion all the elements of a well told story apply equally to stills. Emotion. I keep saying that I will continue to keep saying that you have to revisit these points often. I always revisit everything. Always. I mean, I'm I'm I I am my own student all the time because it's impossible to keep everything in there all the time. You know, I write things down every visit them. I look at my own work just to get ideas, giggling at me, somebody saying something motion differs ...

from stills and that you now have the opportunity. Tell your story and multiple dimensions, and you have a wide, sweet a tool. So that's what I love is the pairing of these things. You can use stills in social media, other places you can use motion in the same way. But you hit different groups, different audiences, and you're now taking all of these pieces and you get to hear the birds you can add. Music that tells a story may be developed character. Now you have characters beyond the music voiceover. Narrator maybe of dialogue in the field, maybe interviews. Sound effects. All these things tell your story on multiple levels and multiple dimensions, and it allows you to be more creative. If you're passionate about storytelling, that's the groundwork. These are the pieces that you use and instills in motion. Editing is very similar that you're putting visual and auditory elements in a specific order to tell a story, just like you do photos, just like I did with the sleeping bear dunes in Michigan. You know all the little pieces of the same thing. Instead of now seeing the shoe with San Frozen, you'll see the shoe sand pouring out. That's really the only big difference between the two except in motion. You could get away with even more, get a lot more detail on things that don't work. It's stills because they get you from point A to point B. Maybe you see the foot going in the sand. You know, we see splashing up into the shoe, then you see the shoe pouring out. You're not gonna do that in a s a photo essay Unless you've got your own magazine and you can put 100 photos in there. There, you gotta be more concise in motion. You're going to really, truly develop. You need a lot more. A lot more content to get from point A to point B is our editor also Damian at tandem says you can never have enough footage. Keep shooting. I'm like, I think I got it. I'm guilty of this all the time. He says, Just keep shooting. I need more anymore. Keep shooting anymore footage. I mean, we use everything all the time. You can never have enough. Um, so that's tricky, cause then when you finally stop, when you know you have, when do you know you have enough to actually make what you want to make. We're gonna cover that, of course, in the class. But this is a key first step because editing is now starting to put all those visual and auditory elements in a specific order. You want to draw people in to the story, right? Powerful line. We're gonna talk a lot about story structure acts how we put all those things together, but story again. I keep hearing that word. You'd almost think this isn't even a photography or still is in motion class, but story class because, really, that's what puts it together. And how many images do you need? As I just said, Still is in motion are very, very different because there's no right or wrong answer. But you need probably, you know, on a still shoot I might shoot. So in the last 48 hours, it probably took about 500 frames. Maybe no more than 600 in North Cascades. Um, a lot of child care and education on an assignment over 48 hours will probably shoot about 2000 of that. I hope to get about 75 images typically over the course of, say, 48 hours. Let's say an average for me is about 35 images a day. I ideally would like 5 to days to truly tell on assignment those. These are my numbers. This is how I got to my place in my head where I know I've got the coverage to tell the story at the quality level caliber that I want to tell it at, um, motion is a whole nother Boac, especially when you're by yourself. So this is a by myself project in the field. Solo certainly had support working with the National Wildlife Refuge local refuge called Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge, and I want you to pay attention to the story and three dimensions that I'm talking about. When you only a couple minutes long, I want you to pay attention to the sound effects audio, the dialogue, music and how they come together had they bring you in and how it almost feels like in many ways, a landscape photo is still photo come to life. So with that, we'll cue the video. This valley is alive, a world nestled between two mountain ranges, the problem in Torrey and the Wasatch from a distance, large flocks of birds lifting off the water look like notes, lifting off a page of music all the while perfectly orchestrated. This is the Bear River Migratory bird Refuge. Places like those are special because they help us connect back to nature, take a deep breath and just experience what it is to be wild. Open waters. Mudflats, wetlands and uplands are vital habitat for migrating burns, with over 250 species moving through this area annually to rest and feed. Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge is an oasis in the middle of a desert, and birds come from tens of thousands of miles to stop here and take advantage of that freshly flooded area. As the fall rains return to the bird refuge, water plays a vital role here. Without it, life disappears with it. Life is breathed into the landscape. Bear River is seeing diminished water flows, and so as diminishing returns to the Bear River, they're also gonna affect the people that called the Wasatch Front their home. I'm used to a really urban area, so for me to come out here and get to work in a place like this, where it's empty and you can actually see like forever is pretty cool. The refuge is more than just a rest stop for migrating birds. It is a place for people to stop, rest and reconnect with nature, to feel the sunlight on her face. And remember that no matter how busy our urban lives become, we always have a place of refuge. All right, so there you have it. Simple. Taken in two days, 2.5 days, a shooting, probably at about 30. Some stills as well, slow and easy, working my way around different shots. Different angles. Um, I had support from the refuge, took me around, give me a tour, tell me where to go, obviously got on camera. But for the most part, it works as an introduction. You get a sense of the place. The water, the weather, mood stops, takes a break. It's a story in three dimensions, and it really and it's in the backyard of all of Salt Lake City and that part of Utah. It's accessible. You look at something that works in motion doesn't necessarily was. Work is a still image, right? And so this would work. This is emotion clip from that we just watched, and their stills of this is well, it works great since the landscape pretty sunset, but I would probably never use this as a still image right image on the left of the clouds. It's okay. It's pretty I would never put into my library will never be a stock image. It's just clouds with sunset where doesn't say where didn't say what and say anything other than I had a nice evening. But this and this isn't even ideal. But this is at least shows the mountain range, the refuge of whatever a little bit more maybe you could get away with that is it's still but not this but yet in motion this works. It gets you from point A to point B or C right it is point B. It gets you that next step. It gives them an editing process. You know, it allows you to go and say, OK, we're gonna be here. Will show the passage of time, tell its story, then we're wider, you know, we start close and we're wide that work differently, very different from ah, still so at work and it's things you need to think about and so This is where Motion really diverges from stills. I'd probably say the single greatest shift is cost, though, as I'll go through in my gear and I'll show you what I use what I bring. And I have a range of options. Um, that is gonna be the most significant thing now. The truth is, many of us probably already have what we need to get started in motion. Um, you don't have to go all the way and have the biggest camera set ups and the biggest situations. In fact, the more exponential your camera system goes up, the price and cost will equally go up. And not just in the equipment itself, but all of the support that is required and processing that, and I'll go into details. But the single greatest shift, of course, is going to cost, but creatively, you know, there are a lot of new opportunities, and that includes revenue. So shooting individual clips out of your SLR DSLR isn't necessarily increase your costs that much. Maybe more storage, little more hard drive, maybe need a faster memory card. But if your cameras already shooting video, maybe shooting four k, That's great. I mean, That's kind of the new standard, right? For quality. You know, you really you will now doubled up. You already in the field. Let's say you're not even shooting an assignment, which is so you're taking pictures and you've got a great landscape photo and the winds blowing Shoot the still shoot a few seconds. 15 2nd maybe video clip. Now you've got two different products to different marketplaces. New ways to diversify. You could do this whether you're full time or not. There is a big difference, though. Talk about that and that's that last thing permits. I'm gonna come back to that. But generally speaking, that's the rule editing the story. Do it yourself. You put on the client, you hire it out. You need to figure that out. How do you tell this whole story? I have somebody. It doesn't for me. I don't have it. I can't have it. So you need start thinking about how are you going to do that? Do you want to add it? You might want to. You might enjoy it. Might realize that telling a story is an editor's fun. I used to try. I was never all that good I don't that much patients. So I'm in the field. 80 day new gear, hard drives, fluid head audio story in three dimensions means a bag in three dimensions. You need all these new pieces potentially that need to be a part of it. Hard drives of the bane of my existence. I have so many social so money and I have cloud services and everything else you can think of, but space is a big one, but you need a fluid head. You're gonna need audio. You need to figure that out. You know where you're making it up like this? Are you do a bit shocking. You have a person who just does nothing but audio in the field. Does your budget allow that? Do you want to do that? Do you enjoy audio? Do you find a new third piece of the pie that maybe you'll enjoy putting together? Those are the things you need to think about. Maybe do it all after the fact. So with the exception of a couple of the duck sounds and the on camera interviews, everything else was done afterwards. Sound effects for the birds were done afterwards, gathered a lot of it. I have a shotgun on the camera every now and then just to get some Ambien or make it. Sure, I have a back up. A lot of it coming down afterwards. Um, you can license more than just photos, your license. Sound effects. You need more time. This is another real big one. These are old, seem basic, but you might not think about it. It takes a lot more time. You're not gonna hand hold a whole lot. You can maybe handhold. You need amount. Might be another piece of gear you need if you want to do, but it's even still shaky. But if you're doing these big, beautiful things in nature and you're outdoors and you want that nice fluid pan or whatever, you're gonna need to slow the process down, set up the tripod leg, do it a few times, wait for the moment to come by. Life is not happening. At 1 4/100 of a second out there, you're not shooting at 24 frames per second and it changes. So it's all much slower process. It's a new way of thinking, and this is also another huge, huge challenge. Stills or motion. How do I do? Both Don't do both. Well, and I think the challenge, really there is Teoh. Practice practice makes perfect on all of those things. Having two people in the field might be another way to go. Maybe you want to tell the story. Maybe you don't necessarily be the one to shoot it. It's another way to go. Quality control. Um, this is ah, vast subject matter that I'm only gonna touch on. But making a decision on what you're going to shoot your video on is also going to be something you have to start thinking about right away. If you're thinking seriously about motion, do I want to use what I already have? Chances are what you already have is probably where you should begin. Don't feel compelled unless you have extra money to burn and you want to run out and buy a new camera system. Don't feel compelled to do that to shoot motion. If you've got one that already does it get there. As I always tell people, if you're buying new gear, it's because you hit a wall with a year you already have. And so you've hit that wall until you feel like I've maximized my potential with what I have. Don't buy it. You only buy it when you feel like I can't do what I want to or need to do. That's when it's time to buy something new, in my opinion. And that's anything lenses, still cameras. Whatever, Um, I say SLR vs red. I use both. My urban videos were both depending on what it is. The red camera is Ah, whole thing. If you're not familiar with it, they're very high resolution cameras, six K eight K. Whatever they might be, their files are gigantic. I'll talk a little bit more about it, but each memory card is 512 gigs, and I will go through to in today. So I'm shooting tear by today. So you need to figure out where is that going to go? What do you How are you gonna manage it? And by the way, can you play it back? All those costs are going to be there. So you figure out where do you want to be? Do you really need it? A lot of people say I could buy the camera. Sure, you could buy maybe come by the camera. Maybe you bought when used. Do you want to buy all the hard drives that are fast enough to process it all? Because they will equal, if not surpass, the cost of the camera? Often distribution. This is another big one. This is where motion divergence from stills distribution For stills, you pretty much got two or three options. For the most part, you've got editorial for your Stills magazine, whatever you might have social media and online and otherwise you might have commercial use, maybe billboards, ads, whatever. But usually that's gonna be print or broadcast. That's it. This change is now in a big way because you also have the personal online, your broadcast. You have theatrical. Are you going to YouTube? Are you going in video? Are you going on a television? Do you want to be a filmmaker? Going to film festivals is a big screen is a little screen is a really little screen. Is that this screen? You have a lot more options, and all of them are going to change things like quality control, gear story cost. All of those things kind of work their way up. So These are the things you need to start thinking about as we start to go into this, the last pieces permits and I've got a big section on this because it's important drones. We'll talk about that in the drone class. I'm gonna scratch into it, but use your imagination. Okay? You already know permits the second you switch that switch in your SLR camera to motion in a national park and you want to do something commercially with it. You need a whole new permit. There's a process, doesn't work the same stills. Rules are very, very different for motion than stills. So you need to think about what it really means. Because now you're not just talking about I'm gonna go out and be creative. You're talking about production about pre production. You're talking about a process, and you need to make sure it's very well ironed out, you know, paperwork, things like that. So that's if you want to commercialize it. If you want to go in to make a personal film, you want to share something and you just want to be really great and you want to do it on YouTube commercially, you're not selling I'm starting commercially. Personally, we're not commercially personally, then you don't need that. Go have fun, but it does change the second you start to sell something. That's the case with stills as well, but it's even more aggressive and more complicated for motion. So I just want to have this reality check. I think it's really important for people to understand these things. I think it's, um it's not not to be intimidated cause it's not. The truth is you start small and you build out. That's what I did. I start with an SLR right in my backyard. I think some of the early days for Channel Islands, actually as well. So everything should be a process. Everything should be gradual. You don't need to go all the way with everything all the time. And so I wanna talk a little bit more and do summary. But maybe there's some questions are all right? What about permits? Getting in to some of these places? There are a lot of places around here on this Squali National Wildlife Preserve, for instance, the gate is open at sunrise, encloses at sunset, that stuff and you know, how do you get out there when the gate is closed. Can you get out there? I mean, is there a permit process for that? Yeah, it's a great question. Is there a permit process for the places that are closed? Um, there's always a permit process for any place that is closed. Whether you'll be successful or not is going to depend on the place. Um, you know, different organizations have different reasons for why they're closed. Um, you know, one of the places I've been working at recently is similar to this quality. It's a refuge on his qualities. The National Wildlife Refuge here outside of Seattle. Um, really great place fund ago. I love film there. Before I followed the sunrise to Sunset Rules, um, for the exact reason. Usually that means a little bit after sunset, maybe a little before sunrise. But it's not always ideal, and I do think it is definitely a challenge for photographers. You know, some closures are because, like you saw with those nesting birds in San Diego, where you've got the entire population on a sandbar, one dog or one person who's unruly can wipe out an entire species so some rules exist for the protection of wildlife and different organizations like the refuge system have that balance of people and wildlife that they have to pay attention to. Um, the Park Service has its own set of rules in different ways of working and also has different styles of management. Um, you know, I think the question is really know exactly what it is you're asking for and simply call or reach out. All have a permit process for the most part, commercial film permits. Some are longer. Some are a lot more relaxed. Um, I'd say, you know, it's it's unfortunate because the reality is I think something like the parks themselves have been little more challenging because they're all different. There isn't a hard and fast rule to say, Hey, I want to do a commercial shoot here. There are rules, but they're in all honesty. In my opinion, they could be a little more clear. So the best way to be clear is to just see what the individual parks were. Refuges or places have, um, but you know, there are ways to go in after hours and and have beyond access. If it's really important to you, are part of the story. Um, you know, another thing that really I find helps in a big way and certainly how I start my career is to give back. You know, if I go into a place, I'm asking for special access, and somebody's got to go out and maybe be with you so you don't walk in tow, you know, whatever. Ah, bird nest or something like that, You know, share the content. If you're open to that, Um, that's one thing, especially with our federal lands. You know, I think it's always helpful for content to be shared for the federal lands able to give it away. I don't think you have to put in the public domain necessarily, but maybe you maybe they can use it for their presentations. I've done that before where I had a Ranger help me in Sequoia, and she's like, Oh, could use some of the photos of you know, that you did up there. And I said in her presentations, When she teaches kids, sure, why not? Right, You know, as long as it's limited to that and you figure out what you want. But I think there's different ways to do it. There's an official permit process for each place. It's simply a matter going on the website, reaching out to the different refuge of park and finding out with their processes for it. Very often, you'll find that they'll be helpful in trying to accommodate the request, provided it's reasonable. Before you start one of these projects, Do you storyboard? I dio Yeah, storyboards. Andi Shooting scripts are very important. Um, so there's a whole class that's actually in this part of this boot camp that will actually talk about that, um, in the different steps and structure of building the story. But in between the prep phase and research and going into the field. And you know, the thing is, when you're working with nature working outdoors, the story has to be adaptable. So you go in with an idea, going with the structure and my shooting scripture usually like here's the story points, and then here's how I want to show it. Visually, they're usually side by side, and, um, and I'll show an example of that in the class. Um, but yes, it's absolutely important. The shooting script is a text version. A lot of times will do a visual version as well, and a lot of that comes out of the out of the research phase two. Um, you know, lately I've been going to some places that there are no photos at all were very limited. And so that's been challenging because you really then rely on interviews with people that have been there or hearsay in a lot of cases. You don't know if it's true. Did they really see this? Do they not? People might say they saw this kind of shark when in reality, they saw this kind of tuna. Um, you know, you just you gotta you gotta take with a grain of salt. So it's It's challenging, but yes, as best as you can. Yeah, absolutely. I think it's helpful, and even if you diverge from it, it gives you a jumping off point. Teoh approach it. It's good because it gives that foundation. You know, I think it's very helpful, so I definitely encourage that idea. Yeah, thank you. Good question. Kinda question from online. Earlier, you showed us your cooking stills and talked about the spices and just getting out there and practicing. If you were Teoh, just if you're just getting started with the video side motion side, what would be sort of an average length that you might shoot for in terms of kind of like a project to get yourself just going? Yeah. I mean, there's no right or are wrong life. I don't think you want to start with a two hour feature, right? I mean, I think starting with maybe 30 seconds is a really good place to go. Um, 30 seconds, maybe trying to in 6 to 8 shots. Um, one of the classes actually break down the entire project frame by frame of every shot that's used, and you can see how many shots there are. And then how many that were actually taken? Um, and that really, I think will be helpful in getting a sense of like, Oh, this isn't nearly as scary as it seems. Because when you watch a video like we just saw a bear river or did you count how many shots were in that? Now, I have no idea. I don't have any idea. But when you start to break it down and you look at have been full of your clips, you realize it's not nearly as intimidating as you think. 30 seconds is a great place. You might be 68 shots. It might not even be that many. Might be three or four, you know, Might be a little audio. Something like that, I would say no longer than about two or three minutes. And I would do the two or three minute thing for a long time. Master. The two or three minutes I mean a great example. Or movie trailers look at what vast, incredible story they tell in 2.5 minutes. They sum up the whole movie oftentimes too much. But they sum up the home movie in a very short period of time. Count how many shots air in there? That's one thing I like to do. It's a little bit of a habit. Watch something and say, Okay, they did that 13 shots. That's real interesting. How did they do that? What kind of shots that they use, how wide had detailed, you know, bubble bubble on different styles. Different filmmakers all have different ways of doing it, but I like anything start small photo essay, I would say. Do 68 photos ultimately you know, my son said story. I think on the Channel Islands, I think they only if I remember correctly. I think the only ran, like five or six shots total after a couple of days, you know, and you're out there producing hundreds of images, but that's just how it is. But that's why now there's online and social media, and so there's all these other little areas now to share on a wider level. But that's it's a really good question, and it's it's start small with everything. Don't try and come out of the gate with warm piece. Yeah, three might be jumping the gun a little under swim, but I was wondering if you had any advice on logistics, like managing especially power and media in the field impression. Planning a trip in about a month to them Elias. Yeah, and trying to figure out how to make that work within about a month long trip. About four weeks, 17 days of it in the mountains. It's a great question how to manage, uh, how to manage your power and logistics in the field. Um, you know, bring if you're there for 17 days, bring 17 of everything. Uh, in all in all honesty, you know, I did a 21 day trip. Um, similar situation. I was in a mountain area with no power. I literally brought 21 fully charged batteries. Um, you know, I don't Haven't I know there's a lot more options for solar? I haven't really gotten into that for power charging, um, you know, for the most part, you know, I've you know, there's definitely you definitely want more options than there used to be. I can tell you that, but I mean logistically. And I'll go through a whole gear and prep area that talks a little bit more about I might plan for something like that, but it will be a huge challenge. I mean, the other thing is especially or backpacking, or you don't have, um, you know, you want to watch your weight specifically. I mean, I have to be a really big problem. Um, you know, I've had, you know, my last project. I think I had my current upcoming project £385 worth of gear. Haddaway it out. My last one was around £ of gear. Um You know, I was, like, 11 cases, I think, or something like that. And that was because I was doing stills in motion on a very large level. Um, I brought five batteries, but even then, you know, I was I had I was able to have a base station. Reckon plug in. Um, there's no real right answer on that. It's gonna depend on where you're going. What the situation is solar is a good option. But if you're shooting something like on a very high end film camera where you're charging these massive lithium ion batteries, that might not that might not be a solution. It's gonna be about finding, finding power or just bringing a lot of them with you. Big downside to all of this. And I talked again more about prep and gear and planning. Um is lithium ion batteries You can't check in your luggage, and so you have to balance out. I want to carry that, you know, expensive camera gear and lenses in my backpack. Most of the time, my backpack is filled with batteries because you have to carry them on to the plane. You want to de charge him, you wanna make sure that they get in this different cameras, different settings. You can actually have a menu, say says. Keep my battery charge for two days before it. It lets it out. Um, others. You just need to burn them down. It just depends. But, uh, there's not an easy answer, and especially for traveling, it's going to really complicated. But the only other way would be if logistically, if it's a big enough project in the funding is there's a generator? Yeah, that's usually not an option. Channel Islands. There's no power. I go out for 56 days. I literally bring 12 batteries. I'll bring two batteries for day. Usually, Um, these days, my cameras burning the battery a lot faster. The new cameras seem like they're burning him a little faster. You know, my older I was working on a mark. Three. Can a mark 35 mark three. And the two and I would I could go full day. No problem on one battery. Ah, shooting heavy. So it just depends on what you're using. System wise. I did have a question. You showed us both images. That were four full story. So photo essays you're talking about and then sort of images that make the cover of a magazine when you're out, Are you? Are you photographing for both? And is there a difference in terms of getting an image that's going to tell that story? I photograph? Wind hover? Well, no. Just support for a long story air. You looking for something different per image versus an image where you're telling a story in one image? No, I think honestly, I think it's a good question for me. I think if I'm telling a story and one image, yeah, you may. I mean, it's one image. Truly, you're going to want to change how you shoot. You're not gonna shoot a detail shot and then be like figure out the story. Um, it's really about telling this story in knowing the end product, and that's a great question. And knowing your audience or where it's going, um, is very important because if you have five shots, you can do the five different kinds of angles wide to close up the detail, it said. If you only have one shot literally, then you need to figure out what tells that story. Typically, the wider shot is going to tell the story the best. Um, very rarely will close up truly tell a whole story. You know, maybe a medium shot. You know, depending you think about journalism. I think about war photographers or some of the most famous images in history has plenty of blog's that haven't go look at them. Mostly we're gonna be medium too wide for the most part, you know, they're gonna have multiple things going on in the frame. People action. That defining moment, of course. Eyes gonna be a key piece of telling that story if it's journalistic if its landscape photography. Um, you know the story. Maybe more subtle, just like the opening shop, the guys standing on the cliff with Lake in the background in the snow. This story is not blatant. There's a compelling story there that's going to be very, very important and going to change everyone's lives instead. The story is simple. That's what solitude One thing is that I think that's important about story and talk about it as a challenge is conveying themes like strength and confidence and solitude and friendship and other things. When you look at an image, it's not just a landscape photo, but it's it's It's an emotional connection to the place, and I think having an emotional piece to your story, whether that's in a single frame or multiple frames is really key to telling it. So question had come in from Don Morrison, who's in Florida, who asked, Do you always work alone? I know you've said that you work sometimes with other teams. So what? Who are the team members that would come with you? In what scenario? Yeah, great question. No, I don't. I rarely work alone these days. Occasionally, I'll do it just because, you know, I maybe one on some sort of creative mission of my own, but not not often. So these days is there's more people than ever before because our projects have gotten larger than ever before. So I've got a core team at home in L. A home office. So you know, I've got Erica and Kendall. Kendall is working on sales, looking at licensing images, keeping a moving into the marketplace for me as well as all the rest of our photographers. We have an editor. Ah, full time assistant editor is well, who's processing footage and cutting them and work flowing them into clips. You know, I've got somebody on the text size who's handling customer service and the software component. Abigail. I mean, So there's an entire group of people communications. Um, that's Sharon and I will give her a call out while I'm doing it, you know? So there's, you know, and Nick, who's on our tech is well in early developer. So there's a whole team at home as a home base because it's kind of gotten a little large. Um, but in the field, there's a whole another set of people. Aziz. Well, so you know, when we do the underwater work Azul see in one of the later films out of Midway a toll, we photograph all the reef in the fishes and beautiful. I have an underwater cinematographer, James Scott, who have been working with on all these big expeditions. You know, he's super easy to work with. We go to these remote places. They're very complicated, is very proficient. So you tend to build the team. You do it over time. You know, you might try different people, different things. Um, you know, on our fish and wildlife stuff. We've had different people communist biologist scientists, sometimes making sure you don't step on an egg. Sometimes they're making sure you see the bird. It just really depends, because if you're going into an ecosystem where maybe you've got 48 to 72 hours you don't know to look for, you're not a scientist. You don't know where the turtle or bird or anything is going to be. And so those people become very important. Um, almost always. I've got at least one science advisor with us in the field, Um, in some capacity, that's a biologist or refuge manager or something like that. Um, so there's definitely a lot of people I'd say an assignments like a sunset assignment. You know, you might go and actually planet with a group of friends cause it's easier keeps things authentic. Um, maybe a little more relaxed where, um, you know, on something like a you know, a personal project. You might go solo and maybe you meet somebody on the way, or you just you kind of ride it out by yourself. And that's where the self timer comes in handy.

Class Materials

Bonus Materials with Purchase


Ratings and Reviews


Ian was an amazing instructor.; very fun, enthusiastic, encouraging, and comprehensive. I hope to be able to return as an audience member for another of his classes. It is a privilege and a gift to have access via Creative Live to such a wealth of expertise. Thank you!

Cindee Still

Ian Shive is a dynamic speaker with a wealth of knowledge he is willing to share. He has had a magical path that led to his success. He touches on so many aspects of making, selling and creating images as well as how to market them and make an income from your work. It is so much fun to be part of the studio audience. The Creative Live staff are always so warm and friendly and they feed you like your on a cruise ship! Wonderful experience.


What a great class this has been. Thank you Ian Shive and Creative Live! Recently retired, I have set out to learn everything I can about photography and pursue this passion to capture the beauty in the outdoors. Creative Live has served as an amazing educational platform to help me learn everything from how to use my camera, the fundamental technicals, and learn about software and tools. This class brought it all together. At the end of this class my approach to photography and my images are different. Ian shares so much valuable knowledge that will change the way you go about taking a picture; from scouting a location, to thinking through the story and adding elements to an image to evoke an emotional response. My personal growth has been significant and I have changed to the way I approach creating an image from an Outdoor Landscape to an Outdoor Experience. Loved every minute of it, sad the class is over.

Student Work