Locations: Blue Mosque & Charles Bridge
So this next section is on shooting different locations. Cities, parks, or other type places. I think a good way to start with this: what do I like about this place, what makes it unique? And so here is where we get into some photo stories where I'm gonna walk you through photos that I've taken to see how I've discovered a place or interpreted a place in a particular way. Istanbul, Turkey has a place called the Blue Mosque. It's maybe the most famous, largest, most photogenic mosque, and I like it because there's a large, open public area all around this mosque, and there's all so many different ways that you can compose the photograph. You can try to get up close and you'll get a nice, clean shot of it, which is, you know, good, but I like framing it in with all the vegetation and the trees and so forth. There was a water fountain that was a lot of fun because now I can play around with really slow shutter speeds, and I could come here at different times of day to get different types ...
of lighting on it and then they would use colored lights in the fountains at night, mixed with that twilight which is a great time to shoot. Using foreground in the bottom of the frame up to the mosque there, in all different areas, there's just tons of different material to work with, trying to capture it without all the other information as well. It's kind of hard, 'cause there's just a lot of trees around here. Get in really close for a tight up. All of these are worthy interpretations of what you're photographing. One of my favorite times for shooting buildings, we'll talk about this, is shooting at twilight, because a lot of buildings will have tungsten orange lights. The orange and blue are opposite on the color spectrum, and they just work really well together. They are best buddies when it comes to color, really nice. Obviously, nice sunsets, good time to shoot it, and one of the locations that I came to like, it's not the most fancy place, but this, over on the side of the trail, I was actually standing in a garden. I wasn't sitting on flowers but just standing on the dirt, placed not normally in the walkway, but it was the only place to get it really framed up within these branches here. And one of my favorite, and I know this is kind of odd, is this shot here, because it's the type of shot I could show somebody and at first they're not even gonna see the building, and then they suddenly realize, like, if you saw this in person, you'd be kind of excited. Like the little kid who's seeing the Disneyland castle for the first time. "It's over there! "I know where it is, I know where it is! "We gotta get closer, we gotta see it!" And so it's the type of shot that has a bit of mystery, which is one of my favorite elements of a photograph is, you don't have to show me the whole thing, just show me a little bit, just peeking out here, and you're gonna want to see more about that. And I love that in a travel photograph. And so when I go through this I always learn something, and so finding as many points of view, that's just fun. How many different great shots can you get? Working different times of day. And then working with that mystery, as I said. In Prague, the most popular place to go, and if you are a bride getting married, well you should go here at 6 o'clock in the morning 'cause you'll be here with about five other brides, 'cause that's when they do all their wedding shoots there. But it's this fantastic old bridge, and so I of course got up at oh-dark-thirty to get out there first thing in the morning. The lights are still on, that's a good time to get it. Not much color in the sky, got to wait a little bit longer. Getting this nice blue in there, getting these star points by stopping down the aperture depth to 16 or F22. Try it on a different day, there's more fog over there. But this is one of the most popular destinations in Prague and you can see that lineup of photographers there, and you will find this lineup of photographers almost all the time. Don't even try to come here in the middle of the day, it's just absolutely packed in here, and so these are all the photographers getting the shot in. You know, I love photographers. I just don't like working around them. (chuckles) I just don't like getting the same shot as everyone else. I just kind of prefer to be off a little bit, sometimes shooting my own shots. And so I got the best shots I could here and so that's a good time. Wander off, find something else, work someplace else, so I went over to the next bridge on the river, looking back at the St. Charles Bridge. This is not a good shot in my mind, but I'm looking back on it just going, oh, what do I have to work with? And you can't see it quite in this shot, but just off to the left there was a lone fisherman out in the water right here, and I liked that, 'cause it was pointed straight at the bridge, and so there's some symmetry here and I like this, but I'm seeing the bridge, but there's so much on either side of the bridge. I need to do something else here. So what I did is I ended up shooting two shots, left and right, and I turned them into black and white, and then I put them together so I got one that got me the width that I wanted and also more resolution, and the boat wasn't really moving around so I could stitch this together very, very easily, and because I stitched it together, the resolution in this image is fantastic. I mean, I could blow up and show you tiny little details, really clearly. And so this was one of my favorite shots of that bridge and of Prague. And so, you're going to see some repeating themes because they're very important. You know, go for the popular shot. That's right, you know, start with that, get it out of your system, clear the cyst up, and once you do that, just go do something else on your own. You need to allow time to explore. This doesn't happen when you have 10 minutes. You need an hour, you need two hours of free time to do that. I'm pretty good at visioning what things are going to be like. I've never bungee jumped, but I know pretty well, I think I know what that's like. But you know, I still need to move around. Does it look better over here? Oh wait, no, it looks good over here. I actually need to get myself in that exact position to really know whether it's right or wrong. More often not, I think it's gonna be good over here and I come over here and ah, it's terrible, and you just got to keep moving around to find that best place.