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Location Assessment

Lesson 3 from: Travel Photography: Creative Storytelling

Ian Shive

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Lesson Info

3. Location Assessment

Lesson Info

Location Assessment

So when you first enter a place, you want to keep your eyes wide open, take it all in, enjoy the sounds of the dishes, and try to figure out what it is that you're actually going to try and shoot. You want to shoot a wide shot, you don't just wanna have details of food, or portraits, or the chef cooking, but you wanna make sure that you actually show the whole interior of a place too. Because the purpose is to work your way wide from the outside to the inside, and then work your way closer into the details as you go. So I'm gonna walk through, and as I'm walking through, I'm also paying attention to the small things that might give it a sense of character, looking at the lights, and the way the silverware is lined up, the way the booths are lined up. And I'll probably shoot as I go. At ISO 800, I'm in a hand hold. And just slowly walk through the scene, take pictures, try to figure out what might work, and what might help an editor when they're trying to get a final layout. So it's a p...

retty cool place, it has great atmosphere, a lot of lot of natural light, which works nice, and you're able to really get a sense of it. The only thing I would probably do differently when shooting on assignment for a magazine is to actually have some people in here, have them different booths, different places. And again it's very important to have a conversation with people, such as the manager or staff at the time to ask, "Can I come in, can I take a few shots?" But generally speaking, if you're shooting on assignment, you really wanna try to get that extra press for people and their restaurant, and most people will be glad to have you in there. But not everybody always likes a fork up to their mouth in photographs, so just be cognizant of what it is you're getting. Be respectful, but obviously try to tell a story as best you can. We're on the other side of the restaurant, and it has a completely different look. It still captures the same sort of character and feel as where we began, but the turquoises are here, we've got some bar stools. We've got in general a little bit of a different feel, and so if we really wanna capture the whole place and give our editors the best opportunity to show the Salmon Bay Cafe, then it's important that we capture this part of the story as well. And a little later, we're gonna sit down with Ken, and he is the proprietor of this place, and talk to him a little bit about what he thinks the character is.

Ratings and Reviews

Black Fender Productions

If you are interested in shooting a travel story for publication, this is a helpful class. Ian breaks down the elements of storytelling through photography. He shows you what to look for in building that story and how to shoot it. This is a journalistic documentary viewpoint, not a go on a family vacation and take great photos class. In addition to the story-telling education, I also found it helpful to learn about the technical details; how he uses ISO, shutter speed, Aperture priority (Av), how to shoot into windows, and the importance of shooting both in portrait and landscape. If I were to add to this class, I would include segments on how to pitch your travel photos to publications and perhaps an interview with an editor to find out what they like to see from photographers. I would love to see more locations as well. I've taken some of Ian's other classes, and I think he's a great instructor. This class was definitely helpful.

Chris Miedema

I guess travel photography means different things to different people. I understood exactly where Ian Shive was coming from in this presentation and I found the information was extremely useful. I guess if you are looking for a video on how to photograph the Eiffel Tower, when traveling with family, this is not for you. If you wish to take back a deeper memory of a place, or wish to submit an article for travel publications, this series of videos would be more to your liking. I enjoyed watching Mr. Shive go through the process of documenting the cafe, its owner and its patrons. His general advice and strategies were useful to hear and see in action. He did provide some technical information on settings, although I did note he was in a well lit establishment. It would have been interesting to see how he would handle a place with less than ideal light. Overall, that is a small criticism. I very much enjoyed the flow of the videos and recommend them to anyone who is interested in seriously documenting the interesting locations they come across in their travels.

Marwa Elchazly

as the title is "travel photography" what came to my mind is walking through the street of a city, but it wasn't ... Ian Shive took "Salmon Bay Cafe" as a case study for traveling photography, through which he gave good tips for traveling/ magazine essay / telling a story in general. I've learned a lot about the effect of ISO and "handholding" the camera, tips for how to get the authentic story of a place and tell it with photo... It's not all you need about traveling photography, but it gives a good start and lots of valuble tips

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