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Travel Photography

Lesson 11 of 32

Gear: Filters

John Greengo

Travel Photography

John Greengo

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Lesson Info

11. Gear: Filters


  Class Trailer
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1 Class Introduction Duration:11:45
5 Travel Gear Duration:19:13
6 Health, Safety & Security Duration:11:09
7 Gear: General Advice Duration:06:20
8 Gear: Cameras Duration:15:56
9 Gear: Lenses Duration:12:48
10 Gear: Tripods Duration:15:44
11 Gear: Filters Duration:04:08
12 Gear: Camera Accessories Duration:13:33
13 Gear: Final Thoughts Duration:03:55
14 Camera Checks Duration:04:20
15 Technique: Camera Settings Duration:13:30
16 Advanced Techniques Duration:13:00
17 Workflow & Composition Ideas Duration:07:42
18 Scouting Duration:17:33
20 Locations: Opera House & Dumbo Duration:05:12
22 Details: Buildings Duration:05:15
23 Details: Pattern Duration:14:51
25 People: Street & Candid Duration:08:46
28 People: Environmental Portrait Duration:15:37
30 Wildlife Duration:08:44
31 Events Duration:08:19
32 End of the Road Duration:09:35

Lesson Info

Gear: Filters

Okay. We're gonna do kinda the round robin, quick stuff of different, other accessories. I do like to use UV Filters. They protect the front of the lens and then I don't have to bother about using lens caps. One of the most valuable filters to use for travel photography is the Polarizing filter. Now the polarizing filter is a unique filter because it blocks certain types of polarized light depending on where it's coming from, depending on what it has struck and how it's coming to the camera. So by putting it on the front of your lens and adjusting it, turning the dial, you'll be able to see this effect right in the camera. And it can have a very strong impact in some cases. So as an example, notice the blue sky as we go from minimum polarizing to maximum polarizing. We go back to minimum. Look at the windows on the building, how their reflections change as we go from minimum to maximum. And so there's a lot of different good places that this can be used to reduce those reflections. The...

re's a lot of reflections. This is a video clip and you can see as I'm rotating the polarizer, how much difference it makes in the saturation. It's gonna have the greatest effect when the sun is 90 degrees to the right or to the left. Here you can see the sun's coming from the right hand side and look at the difference between those two shots. It's amazing as to how much it can change the scene in some but not all situations. So the quick instructions on how to use a polarizer is locate the sun and turn 90 degrees to where the sun is at. And that's where you're gonna get the most impact with that color saturation in the blue skies. And so let's do that real time. We're looking at the sun. Let's turn 90 degrees. Let's add the effect of the polarizer and watch how much it darkens up that sky right there. And so it has a nice, big impact and this is useful in many, many different places. So very, very helpful tool. It's gonna reduce reflections, increase saturation, get a better blue in the sky. There is a bit of a warning though, with this. And it's not for ultra wide lenses. This is an ultra wide lens and you can see when I polarize, it only polarizes the middle portion of the scene. So it just doesn't work well on lenses wider than about 24 millimeters for full frame gear. It also loses about two stops of light, so it's not the best for indoor photography. Another filter that I think is very useful is the graduated neutral density filter and that's because the brightness of the sky and the land can be very different. And by using a graduated neutral density filter, you can darken the sky so you can see the clouds and the sky more easily but the ground is the same. And so these filters are usually square. It's gradated in from nothing to two or three stops in density. The official idea is to put an adapter on your lens and then there's a holder and then you put the filter in there. A lot of times, most of the time I'm simply taking the shortcut route and I'm handholding it in front of the lens so that I can move a little bit more quickly. And in those contrasty scenes where yeah the flowers in the foreground look great but you would like to see the mountain but it's blown out. If you change the exposure well now you can see the mountain but the flowers are all really dark. And if you wanna get the best of both worlds, then we're gonna set it all up so the flowers are natural. Bring down our polarizer and darken that sky. And so this is helpful when you are shooting outdoors and you have a lot of sky in any photograph. You're gonna get a little bit more saturation, better color fidelity and it's just a very, very helpful tool especially at sunrise and sunset. Look at how much difference it makes with that sky. Takes a blown out sky and starts giving you some colors and texture in it. So these are a couple of tools that I don't leave home without. I will usually take a two stop and a three stop. I'll use them about equally and if one breaks at least I have the other one. So at least I have some built-in backup there, you might say.

Class Description

Are you going on a once in a lifetime trip and want to have photos that you can share with friends and family? Do the decisions of what to bring, where to shoot, and what to capture feel overwhelming? Travel photography can feel challenging, time consuming, and expensive. But with the right tools you can plan and prioritize to come home with images that you treasure.

Join photographer, educator and author John Greengo, who has photographed all over the world, as he guides you through all of the steps that you need to capture the photos that you want during your travels. This class will offer different plans of what to bring, and how to create a realistic agenda based on your priorities, whether it’s documenting your trip, telling a story through photographs, or simply capturing great images.

John will teach you:

  • What gear to pack based on your goals.
  • How to create a media storage plan and workflow while traveling.
  • Best practices on how to find and scout the best locations to photograph.
  • How to approach locals and build trust before taking their portraits.
  • Camera techniques and settings for different shooting scenarios.
  • Different types of travel photos, such as The Walk Away, The T-Shot, and Environmental Portrait.
  • What to do with your photos once you’ve returned home.

Don’t let the challenges of travel photography keep you from capturing images that will provide you with lifelong memories. Join John Greengo to learn the best techniques, tools, and technology to capture great photos no matter you limitations in time, money and resources.



As usual John has been an awesome instructor. He is so energetic and fun. I love taking his courses and this was no different. I absolutely loved it. I have learned so much by taking his courses. Thanks John for all you do to help us beginners out.

Melissa Maxwell

So inspiring! This class is so comprehensive and I look forward to applying all of Greengo's tips. He is a wonderful instructor and the example photos are breathtaking.

a Creativelive Student

John Greengo was fresh, exciting and entertaining. He was extremely well prepared for this class, and I loved hearing little nuggets from such a seasoned travel photographer. The course provided great content and ideas I can take with me on my next trip!