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Travel Photography

Lesson 20 of 32

Locations: Opera House & Dumbo

John Greengo

Travel Photography

John Greengo

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Lesson Info

20. Locations: Opera House & Dumbo

Lesson Info

Locations: Opera House & Dumbo

In Sydney, the Opera House is very famous. You know, getting shots of it with the city line and the Harbor Bridge there, very popular thing to do. The first thing you do, is you kinda get close up shots and then I want to kind of back off do a little bit of framing. There's a park there where you can shoot from and so I'm going to try this and came down to the side there's some rocks down here that you can play with, working with this. And as I look here, I was thinking, you know what, look at these rocks down here. These rocks are all sculpted and worn and just really interesting patterns so I said, that's what I want in the foreground. And so I got in nice and close on that and it took me a couple tries to find a nice foreground that I liked. But this was one of my favorite photographs here. We didn't end up getting, you know, a beautiful red sunset at the time but we got a little bit cooler blue which is nice in a different way. But really finding the most interesting foreground tha...

t we could. And so, in this particular case, you want to try and shoot in the best light you can. Put yourself in the best place. You may not always get the best light but try for it. Closer isn't always better. Think about framing and foreground material. There's our foreground material. I went to New York City a couple years ago to spend some just free time going around shooting and there was one shot I wanted to get over in the Dumbo district. I'd seen it many, many times before. It's an iconic photograph. I'm not going to be the first person to get this but I don't care that I'm the billionth person to grab this shot. I wanted to experience it myself. It's over on the Brooklyn side and the Manhattan Bridge, if you back up far enough, the opening in the standard on the bridge, the bridge supports, will frame the Empire State Building. It's a nice place to get... I don't like the cars in the foreground here so this isn't the right place to be so you want to back up a little bit further so it's a little bit bigger in the frame and you get these two beautiful brick buildings as a framing element. You do have to be careful because if you do shoot the ground you'll probably have about 30 different people shooting selfies and Instagram shots down there. It's an extremely popular. It is a scary popular destination. So I'm trying to work this in many different ways and so I said, well if I want the Empire State Building to fill that opening, I need to go back as far as I can get. So I went all the way back and I got some shots. Then I realized, oh now the tree blocks the buildings. So, I got one element but I missed another important element. So I decided I needed to come back and try it again under good lighting. So I came back the following morning, right around a corner is the place that you can shoot the New York Skyline with the Brooklyn Bridge which is a nice shot onto its own after you're done with that you go around the corner and two blocks away you're here at the Dumbo district. Framing it up, okay now I know I want the buildings in there I've got the building right in the middle and there's not a lot of leeway left and right on this. There is one spot in the street that you want to be on this. A lot of people, well they're not into photography like us. So they're kind of sloppy. Their photographing it from the sidewalk and they're up too close and they're backed too far away but there is kind of one sweet spot that if I asked all of you here in the room to go find you would probably all end up with a five foot region. That's just where things end up being the best. I, of course, tried to shoot a variety of things out there in the morning light. I got exactly where I wanted to and then I added the polarizer and that really made the sky pop. I lightened the shadows up a little bit in post production and I got a nice frame shot. It's not an original shot that nobody's ever got. It's been shot a billion times before but I had fun getting it myself and I ended up with a nice shot which is all I care about. One of the things that drives me absolutely bonkers is when I go on the internet into the forums of comments somebody posts a whole bunch of beautiful photos and somebody will say, seen them all, shot them all, let's see something else. It's like, why would you be a hater like that. People are saying, people already shot that, you can't go shoot that. Everyone's already shot it. Does that mean you shouldn't read a book that other people have read? Go to a movie that other people have seen? You have a right to experience it yourself. I say, shoot whatever you want. I don't care how popular it is. Have your own experience shooting it. For something here, sometimes there really is only one spot. I like to create my own version but getting that lineup, there really is only one spot to be. If you can schedule a couple of mornings, two evenings, it's nice to go with a learning (mumbles) This is the test run we're going to see if we can get a great shot. If things don't work out, we have another opportunity to come back the next day or at some other point. Just keep trying to improve upon your shots. Don't just take the same shot. Click, click, click. No, change something. Change your depth of field, your focus, your point of view. Change something. There's no sense having duplicate photos. You can do that afterwards very, very easily.

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.

user 1399347749726793

John is fabulous ... and so inspiring! I can travel the world and live vicariously through him! I've watched John for years and always find that he teaches me something new every time! Thanks John and CreativeLive for another awesome class!