Travel Photography: Creative Storytelling


Travel Photography: Creative Storytelling


Lesson Info

Scene Details

Telling a great story means getting all of the details: exteriors, interiors, people, and details. Again you'll notice I'm traveling pretty light, I'm still working with a 16-35MM. I've got other lenses if I feel I need them, but for travel photography, you're gonna find it's easier to move quickly with a very minimal setup and work all the way through the scene. As I get into the details, I start to look at little things like the forks and knives lined up on the tables, the kinds of lights, and what are the elements that make the place unique? What is the feeling that you get when you go into a place? You have to learn to see things with fresh eyes every time you go into a different room, you want to say is there a big fishing wheel on the wall or some sort of a different kind of a light bulb setup on each table that gives it character because character is ultimately what we're telling in the story, the different people, the different elements of the scene. I'm gonna work through show...

ing you how I'm gonna do it, how I'm going to choose different details, and why I'm choosing the ones I'm choosing. I'm gonna take a quick look and just test and look at my lighting and by looking through the camera and pressing the button only about half way, I'll look at my settings, and so I'm still at ISO 1600. I think for the details, I can go back to ISO 800, a little more sensitive but less sensitive than what I was shooting at with people because I'm not really focusing on moving objects. I'm focusing on inanimate stationary objects so I can get away with that, and at f4.0 I'm getting 1/600th of a second, so that's pretty fast. That gives me a little room to get a little more depth of field, should I choose. So at f8.0, where there's more depth of field, I'm getting 1/25th of a second, so I can still handhold. The way I'm able to determine that handholding is based on the focal length of the lens. The general fast, quick rule to knowing if you should handhold something or not is judging on the focal length of the lens and the shutter speed. You wanna make sure your shutter speed is atleast equal to or faster than the focal length. So if my lens is a 35mm lens, I wanna make sure that my shutter speed is at least 1/35th of a second. Looking at this, I've got more than enough room to be creative, I don't need to worry too much about my shutter speed. I can have a lot of fun just working the depth of field and aperture in different scenes. Our gentlemen have left and one of the things that I like about the table and how I can help tell the story is one of the things they relayed when I sat down and talked to them is, up until a couple months ago, there were four of them at the table. Sadly, one of them has passed away, so now we have three glasses at the table, and that's a nice way to illustrate how many people are here especially with the photo of four of them up above it. I'm gonna take a few different shots, and it's similar to shooting wildlife or flowers, I wanna work the scene. The light is quite beautiful, it's coming in evenly, it's reflecting off of the varnish of the table itself. I wanna get a little bit higher up and get this shot as well and it might be hard for me. Let's take a look. I'm looking through. I could do it this way, or similar to how I might shoot when I'm real low to the ground, I can just turn on Live View mode as well. It's a little easier to do it this way. Check your Auto Focus and then fire off a few frames. I'm shooting at f8.0, just to make sure I have enough depth of field because the glasses come up a little off the table so I don't wanna have super shallow, which would be down here, I wanna make sure I have a little depth so everything is nice, equal, and sharp. I get that shot and now I'll take a wider shot as well with the lamp, make sure I'll turn off the Live View. Get lower... and I'm not really interested in what's going on outside the window. It doesn't really tell anything to the story, it doesn't add to it at all, so I'd rather have everything much brighter, lighter looking, so I'd rather expose for the indoors. Let the windows get blown out, have them overexposed. Not even gonna focus on that in general. It'll give a nice sort of bright airy look. If you ever open a magazine or go to a website, you'll notice the images tend to be very bright, very clean. A big part of how they do that is simply overexposing and letting the window light come in and do its thing. Now I'm gonna get the shot, we'll make sure I see the photo in the background, and it's subtle. It's super wide, it's getting lost, especially since its in the shadow. So I'm gonna take a step back and zoom in with the lens and see if I can bring all of those elements tighter. Because by zooming in, and I'm still at the same aperature, my focus is on the cups and the picture, I'm able to get a pretty clean shot. I'm using the sense of symmetry and line. I'm getting low to the table. Generally speaking, when shooting any sort of architecture or interior, I try to get low and equal to the table, the counter, whatever it is it might be, and shooting across at it. Or if I'm shooting food and things like that, in which case I might... Stand up and shoot straight down, or I might try and get super close. There's not a real reason to go super detail. You might feel like you wanna shoot macro or something along those lines, where you get very very very tight. Unless you're shooting something like a bowl of blueberries, you don't really care about the actual exterior, I don't think you really will need that, or not very often. Only in some rare situations or cases, you might want to isolate a certain element or subject matter, especially if you're focusing on agriculture or some sort of farming and there might be a detail that might be more pertinent, but for the most part if you're trying to shoot travel and you're trying to shoot food, you're looking to get ambient detail, you're looking to show a wider shot. The 16-35mm does it really well, as I said. I might bring out a 24-70mm in a larger venue, but it's a pretty intimate, cozy Seattle setting, and so for the most part this lens really helps zoom in and tell that story.

Class Description

Whether you are an outdoor adventure photographer or you specialize in weddings, travel photography can round out your portfolio giving you a new creative outlet while adding new revenue for your business. Traveling is more than just seeing a beautiful skyline or view, it's about immersing yourself into the culture. In this unique course, outdoor photographer and filmmaker Ian Shive explains how to tell the story of your travels while capturing the daily details of your experience. He'll show you everything from capturing the mood of a cafe to photographing the people at the heart of the city, town or destination you are visiting. When it comes to travel photography the journey really is the destination.