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The Outdoor Photography Experience

Lesson 15 of 29

Pismo Beach - Shooting Under the Pier

Chris Burkard

The Outdoor Photography Experience

Chris Burkard

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Lesson Info

15. Pismo Beach - Shooting Under the Pier

Lesson Info

Pismo Beach - Shooting Under the Pier

we're almost we're almost done uh yeah we got one las little video and then any kind of final questions you guys have we can we can jump into basically we're bottom here I just want to really quick they kind of go over you know when I'm with a couple of quick easy things I think that I always try to approach when I'm when I'm at the location is like obviously looking at it from every perspective right so one of my favorite things just kind of work with reflection right so wear the top of the pier we're shooting some photographs and now you know this this scene really is better in the evening mainly because the sun sets over there and she had this amazing pool of light but I just kind of wanted to show you know so I brought a wide angles as well if I was gonna approach this place and shoots um maybe landscape photos I think what I would probably do is want approach it down here where the water can really come close to the camera you can really shoot wide and you can have this pier kind ...

of leading leading off in the distance right maybe you'll walk down the beach a bit and have the pier sort of pushing in this direction or you'll have you know something maybe a little more unique or abstract with water kind of misting on the pylons right for that I probably using my wide angle sixteen thirty five as well as a tripod and stuff but one thing I just really want really quickly want to shoot was sort of somebody walking out to surf um walking out to serve you know going through these pylons cause I really love the way this reflection look so follow me over here so I don't know you guys have whiting on you but one of my favorite things to do with this uh it's like a super wide angle lens sixteen or thirty five something like that getting kind of these these pylons and this whole kind of abstract you know surface just filling the frame and the beauty is that we have when the tide comes up watching look it'll get you the tide comes up and it pulls away you have this really epic reflective surface so I'm just gonna grab a quick shot james will you you mind walking out to serve just on the other side of those pylons yeah I just want you straight out but back up a little bit and then walk us like yeah thank you perfect so I'm gonna do is I'm gonna wait for the tide to suck away and then I'm gonna get in here and I'm gonna shoot kind of cem cem wide angle perspectives which is really nice because when the tide goes away I get this really cool reflection of the pylons right I'm able to get some of the sky able to get a little subject kind of walking out so I'm really just documenting you know this entire process of like going out to the pier shooting surfing somebody going out to surfing if this was like an editorial assignment okay you go to prison for the weekend you know show us what it's like to start there this these are all elements I want to capture right so just trying to think of this in terms of like assignment or like a larger way of how you could more details of what you could shoot as well as being down here you know it's it's a it's a good perspective to kind of see like you guys we talked about before is how flat it is right what looks really cool if you start to compress it you know you can compress people entering the water into those beautiful hills whatever but to really elevate it I think it's nice to have some foreground you know go behind these lifeguard towers right or go behind some of the swing sets have those in the foreground of your frame okay and if I was shooting landscapes this would be an amazing place to shoot as well because I could basically have this water who I could have this water basically be some of the movement in my shot right and it would be contrast against the skies like warm skies hills everything really provides an amazing anger for the front of my image okay so um I think it's far as shooting that you know there'd be a lot of the elements that go into it you know you probably using graduated filter of some type used polarizer probably to cut some of the reflection because you want a little more depth into like the color saturation even here to a polarizer works really nice simply because I have these little patches of blue and since I'm actually shooting frontally it works really well on this wide angle so um uh but basically being on a work with this polarizer it's allowing me to get that blue a little more to find pop out the whites of those clouds as well as cut some of this reflection if I want you to bring a little more saturation in the frame just something like really I always have on me um what I find is it's really tough to shoot polarizer tze when you're working with skin tones or you're working with the ocean like to kind of surfaces at least certain at least waves right shooting surfing a wave but mainly because you need the fast fast action fast frame rate and what it can kind of do is it can kind of put a little bit of unrealistic look onto the water service when you're shooting like when you're trying to shoot blue water blue blue ocean right and I find it a little tough there if you're shooting landscapes a different scenario right because you're kind of going for more of an abstract look you're having slow down water you're having a little more of a surreal surface right so they work really well but in terms of uh in terms of just my data they use I usually always keep one on just to have it so yeah they can be a burden sometimes I find that it's a matter of figuring out how it can work best for your workflow right and it's also like if I'm shooting indoors I'm shooting people a lot there's no need you know but what if I'm shooting some shooting outside I'm showing a lot of nature of shooting on landscapes a lot of bigger places with bright colorful skies I really try to use it as best I can as much as I can in those regards because one thing that we don't realize that there's a lot of reflection that gets put on the surface is that we don't even recognize grass for example you know it's it's has a sheen to it and the sun hits that it puts off a lot of reflection you the leaves of trees right all those things put off reflection polarized you could help cut that reflection right so it's super important even if you had you know yeah hazy days have you had you know cement pylons those cement pilots when they're wet they can put off reflection if you want to cut that out and really get more of that dark rich color this is gonna help that so it's a matter of kind of knowing your equipment knowing what your subject isn't what you're shooting in knowing how it can help apply because filters could be amazing to use when used properly it's on ly polarized uv filters uh I'm not a fan of I really like sun flares I kind of like the natural look of you know son blaring into your shot I feel like it feels more realistic and to me it's like anytime you put a piece of glass in front your lens you're gonna cut down a tiny bit on the ability for to focus as well as the sharpness of that lives right because if you're shooting through another object so I'm not a huge fan of those but a polarizer is something where I feel like the benefits outweigh whatever it takes so what do you gonna remove from the frontier lens uv filters can you want I'm not a huge fan of him but I've always found that you know they they what they take away more than they add you know I mean if I feel like the ability to get a lot more natural some flares as well as just you're focusing ability you know any time like I said anytime you put a piece of glass in front of your lens toe one more thing that your camera ask you to focus through right

Class Description

Short on time? This class is available HERE as a Fast Class, exclusively for Creator Pass subscribers.

Shooting outdoor photography is a powerful way to commune with nature and experience the fullness of life. Learn how to train your eye on incredible shots and convey the energy of the outdoors in The Outdoor Photography Experience with Chris Burkard.

Chris’s beloved images of life on the world’s coasts are alive with action and emotion. In this class, he’ll share the tools and techniques he uses to capture the photographs he sells to magazines, brands, collectors, and publishers.

You’ll learn about his shooting style and the gear he brings on his global adventures. He’ll also talk about the business of photography and share tips on marketing and selling your work.

If you want insights on how to create rich, dramatic images that let you enjoy more time outdoors, don’t miss your chance to learn from Chris Burkard in The Outdoor Photography Experience.



I've been staying up all night to watch the live broadcast. As somebody else here mentioned (latsok), it's emphasizes on the non-technical aspects (emotion, engagement, colour and composition) rather than the technical stuff like shutter speeds, iso and f-stop. Although I can use some help in both, the technical aspects are not only camera specific but fairly objective as well. The non-technical aspects however are something much harder to grasp. Getting help in this by no-one less than Chris Burkard is just amazing. I bought this class so I can re-watch certain parts of the broadcast again whenever I need it. But also to show my appreciation for Chris Burkard and Creative Live for providing this great online course!

Matt Redfern

This class was packed full of amazing knowledge. I really enjoyed the topics covered and have found it super helpful for my work. I have had so many takeaways ranging anywhere from how to put myself out there, finding my style that stands out, practical applications, etc. I would highly recommend this class to everyone interested in photography! Big thanks to Chris and CreativeLive for putting this together.


This was a phenomenal class. I highly recommend it to anyone. Chris is not only a sensational photographer, he is a wonderful teacher. He provides such detailed information and freely gives same to his students. He is really really available and eager to answer questions and so easy to understand. I learned so much and I was thrilled. I am very very grateful I found this particular class.