Photo Scenarios

 

Travel Photography

 

Lesson Info

Photo Scenarios

What? What makes a good travel photograph? What makes a good photograph? And I'm going to steal again a little bit from my fundamentals of digital photography about this is my personal call on what I think makes a good photograph and a good photograph has a couple of elements to it that are important. One it's beautiful into it's. Interesting. And so this is kind of striking me on two different levels thie, intellectual level and morano hardened soul level. Now when I say beautiful, I want to let you know that I have a really wide latitude ofwhat I find beautiful I have found pictures of trash that are beautiful and so anything can be beautiful but it needs to be done in the right way and in order to do it in the right way you often need good light. We talked about not eating during the golden hours, being out there at the right time of day during the good light good composition will talk a little bit about that more in here. But you know, if you take a picture of a little bird and it'...

s right in the middle of the frame and it's, you know, one tenth the size of your frame that's kind of contrived having that right in the middle let's put it off to the side used that rule of thirds sure most people know about and then the thing that makes photography different from everything else in the world as we capture visual moment it's when you were there and you capture the peak moment the most exciting the most interesting the most telling moment that's what makes a great photograph and that cannot be done in video in video you're telling more of a longer story and so that's what cameras are best hat it's good to play to its attributes what both beautiful and interesting having combination is the subject you have chosen choosing the right subject whether that's the right building, the right person to photograph or whatever it's really being your choice as a photographer, what your subject is and being clear about it what is interesting to people things that are new things that they haven't seen before so when you travel you're going to encounter a lot of things that are interesting now maybe you're going to go someplace that a lot of people have been before and everybody's seen it they say everything's been photographed but maybe you could do it in a slightly different way from a slightly different perspective no it's been didn't this way, but what if we added this element or what if we did it with this lens in this way and finally what makes things interesting is mystery and in this case mystery is almost the lack of information think about a murder mystery you start off knowing very little and that's what makes it interesting is you don't know all the answers in a photograph a mystery is sometimes when you don't have the whole story and you never have the whole story in a photograph but purposely leaving some things out of the photograph I'll show you some images that do embody that mystery element but it's the moment that photographers are most have most unique to their cameras and so that's the thing that I concentrate on more than anything else okay, so let's talk about going and shooting particular locations all right? So let's say you have a building to photograph I come from a photo journalistic background and the method that most photojournalists used in many cases is you kind of start off wide, get the big sketch big scene and you move in for the details and so one of the first things I try to do is just captured the simple straight shot of a building. This is in jena molly it's, the largest adobe building in the world and I just wanted to get a straight shot of it and this is a satisfactory shot of that building, but I went back the next day and it was a little better light, same time a day, a little better light and these three kids came out in front of it and they added a little bit of scale to it, and if I compare the two images, I much prefer the image on the top that just slightly more golden light and you wouldn't know about this unless you went back there and actually saw and photographed the building again, so going back is one of those things we talked about having time to see something for a second time I'm going to take you through a bunch of different just really world examples of places I've been so this is a watch elmo bridge this is a natural bridges monument in utah and they have a wonderful paved road that goes around this fairly large park and they haven't out overlook and if we look here paved trail to overlook two hundred twenty feet well that doesn't take very much effort anyone can make it to the overlook so you go to the overlook and you take a picture because that's what tourists do right? Well, let's take a look at that photograph now is that not the most beautiful, amazing photograph you've ever seen in your life? Wait a minute. Where is that dang bridge? You can barely even see that natural bridge there. Okay, let's, go back to our map, take a look at this, okay, what was one of the things that we talked about if you want to get good pictures you got to put out some effort okay so look at this there's a trail that takes you all the way down underneath the bridge so rather than just hopping out of the car grabbing your ten second quick shot and hopping back in the car and say I got it let's go let's spend an hour or two roaming around the trails and so with natural bridge is you've got to get some skyline below it so that you can see that it's an actual bridge and that's going to help out quite a bit explore the area move around I think this picture has a little bit of mystery to it if it was shown to you and you didn't know the context of it you would be wondering no wait a minute something seems amiss here this is not the way the world normally works well in this particular case this is the way it works now do you know the difference between an arch and a bridge? Anyone here in the classroom know the difference between an arch and a bridge because they look kind of similar and so ah bridge is over water and it is formed by water erosion and arches formed by wind and gravity and other forces and so it around natural bridges you're going tohave waterways and so you're going to find reflections looking for places so that you can kind of double up on the bridge and gay twice as much in there, and so I spent a couple of hours they're just roaming around, sticking around till sunset. Sorry, dinner got put off till nine thirty that night, but I wanted to get good shots and this was actually my favorite shot that I got the next morning, and we compare that to the tourist who's going to spend ten seconds jumping out of their car, grabbing a quick shot, and there is a bit of difference in the image that you're going to get if you put in the effort to explore the area to investigate it and check it out with different light. Another good example in the same region is the watchman. This is in zion national park, and I told you before, kind of the first thing that I do is try to get the straight clean shot. Well, that doesn't mean that that's gonna be a good shot at all. And so this is the watchman it's, a it's, a small mountain, you might say, and I went on this hiking trails so that I could get nothing but just this mountain in it and it's really not that interesting, there's? Not a lot going on in the foreground, there's many other places to photograph and get that mountain, innit? There is a very famous location where there's tons of photographers every evening, photographing from the bridge in the middle of the day. It doesn't look very good there's a lot of bright light and the mountains in shadows a little earlier. In the morning, we get a little bit of sunlight on the left side of the mountain, but we still have a lot of contrast if we come back at the right time a day were able to see much more even light along the river, but there's a lot of other places there's a lot of other walkways and other things that you could get in the foreground some tree branches and grasses, rocks and other plants filling the bottom of the frame, and so using other elements in the environment to add to that particular photograph, the virgin river goes right there. So using a long shutter speed with the tripod and the mountain in the background and then coming back at sunset as the sun's making that side hit there, using that polarizer to really get that nice blue sky and we compare what that looks like with kind of the original starting image you progress. And so this is why you need to build time into your photographs so that you can explore the area and refine your technique for that subject as you go along the way we're going to travel an incredible distance about one mile away from where we are right now, just to talk about how important those critical moments of light are. The library here in seattle is very unusual. Unusual library. This is our downtown library and this picture was taken shortly after sunset and I just stayed in position because I was waiting for better and better light and it's the light got a little bit darker and the ambient light came around. You got much better balance between light. So just in these four photographs we started off with very plain, not so interesting, like toe a much more interesting balance. I started off at seven. Thirty eight just a few minutes later and just a short twenty minutes from bad light, too good light and that's how critical that timeframe is and that's, why you kind of have to block that timeframe out. All right, this is one of my favorite locations in the world. The wave. All right, so this is down in northern arizona, and it is a protected area on the u s bureau of land management, and you have to win a lottery to get a ticket to go in, and you can do it online six months ahead of time. Or you could just go down there and put your name in the hat and there's, usually about sixty to eighty people on a daily basis who are vying for ten tickets to get in there and so I went down there and I got my name in the hat and I didn't get it, but I went back the next day and I got it the next day and so I hiked in here and this is kind of the straight clean shot and when I'm at a location like this, I'm not going to shoot one picture I'm going to shoot hundreds of pictures from different angles I'm going to crop out the sky and fill the frame with lines at one point I had a shot very similar this to set set similar to this set up and some people walked into the shot and they looked up at me and they suddenly said, oh, we're really sorry for being in your shot we'll get out of the way I go no, you look great walk side by side and come right on up. I'm often using people as scale and so here you can't really see their faces we don't need permission to use their photograph because they're just general hikers that have come out people in the photographs can sometimes really be a good thing I was playing around with a really wide angle lens and I kind of like this angle of view, but it didn't look real good under bright sunlight and so under cloudy skies, it had a very different look to it, and I don't have a gallery where I hang my work, but if I had a gallery, the name of this picture is bacon, because it just looks like a big old slab of bacon to may. And so I'm going to stick around this particular location because it's so difficult to get to you, I mean, you have to get your access pass, and they actually have to hike in which it's several miles to hike in and you got to navigate to it. I'm going to spend as much time there as possible, and in this case, I was exploring all the different canyons and walls around here. One of the interesting things here, I love the siri's it's really hard to tell scale how big is a person if they were just standing right there and so I don't have anybody else. So I just used a self timer to put myself in the shot and of course lines or one of the great graphic elements that photographers can use just looking for lines, getting back, hiking around. What does it look like over here over there, sometimes you just have to hike over there to see what it's gonna look like. Now in this case I did something that was a little scary for me because I just seen the movie one hundred and twenty seven hours that's the movie where the guy gets his arm caught in iraq in the slot canyon so I'm out here in the middle of the desert with nobody around until dark and I was waiting for the sun to go down and then I was waiting for it to get really really dark because the shot I wanted to get was this one and what I'm doing here is I'm doing light painting and so what I'm doing is I'm using a flashlight to light up the rocks and I had to do this several times painting the rock with lights but I wanted to get those stars in the exposure now this is a single exposure this is not a double exposure there's no photo shop or trickery like that and so it's just a natural exposure but spending that time going through that effort to get the shots and I think at least if I have this in here because people always wonder what were you using? I'm going to see if I have it here that's why I brought it no I guess I don't well uh the flashlight that I used was not like a gargantuan spotlight that they haven't hollywood premieres it was just a little handheld flashlight it's amazing with digital cameras can do as faras picking up under little light conditions hey john there's a question that just came up a little while ago and I think now's a good time to bring it up about self portrait because you're just showing a self portrait a couple slides back on fashion tv is wondering any practical tips on how you can capture awesome self portrait like you creative yourselves and with a beautiful background especially no quiet location where you have time tio explore that how do you make sure you're in focus? You know, I really wish I had a slide for that e I actually have a whole section on a self timer section coming so I will totally get thank you. Okay, just some more scenarios uh an iceberg. Okay, I went down to south georgia and an article and what I'm gonna do in this case is I want to show you the final photograph first and then the pictures that were leading up to it so there was this great look at iceberg down there and I love this this iceberg, but let me show you kind of how it got started when you go down on these cruise ships, you go down there's about one hundred passengers on the cruise ship and they put you off in little zodiac's that they take you for a little cruise is, and on this particular day there was kind of interesting iceberg that looked like this and as our captain of the zodiac was dr minnis around, we went around the side and that side looking at different things and it's always kind of hard to tell what's what's the interesting aspect and the thing that I was fixated on at first with these blue lines I really like these vertical blue lines and I told him, well, can we go down here let's go down here and I just couldn't get it to work out never did get a picture where that really was thie subject of the photograph, but when we got around to the end of it, the jagged, ragged edge of it really stood out against the background now movie sitting in a zodiac and you can see the seas are kind of turbulent here they're moving around quite a bit shutter speed had to be very fast, theis so was pumped up a little bit because we're just moving around so much and it's hard for me to keep the horizon line and hard for me didn't keep the iceberg in the photograph, but we're getting into it just seemed like a good position and I noticed that it was creating this wave over on the right hand side that would crash about its every seven or eight seconds and have this nice flow of water coming over and so this is actually the final capture here and I just want to show you how much photoshopped do I do to images so in this particular case this is about as much effort is all go through in photoshopping an image I will level the horizon and that just tends to be a problem that I have next up I'm going to crop it so that it's an interesting composition or at least it fills the frame as much as possible when I shoot raw you often need to add a little bit of contrast to your photograph and that's going to add a little bit more saturation and then the final step is I darken the sky a little bit just to just to make a little bit more dramatic and so kind of the original capture versus my photoshopped finished version just to kind of bring out as much as that picture has to offer and all raw pictures need a little bit and we could get into a whole ethical debate about how far it is that you should take your photographs and we're not going to do that your pictures do we do with him what you want so how about five tips on shooting from a moving vehicle? Whatever that vehicle maybe if you have lens or camera stabilization turn that on before you get to where you were going take test shots to figure out what shutter speeds you need in order to get sharp pictures do not brace your camera on the vehicle, so the worst thing you could ever do is get in a helicopter. Embrace your camera right on the pillar that holds the door there. That's going to pick up all the vibrations. You want to use your body as a shock absorber. Shoot fast, chimp. Later. I guess I should probably explain chipping, huh? All right. So in the early days of digital cameras would show you the image that you took and it was so impressive at that time, people would go do. And when you took a siri's of pictures, it would show you the first one and then the next one and the next one so sports photographers would go boom a boom who do? And they sounded like a monkey. And so you should check your images to make sure they're sharp. But don't be going oh, we're flying over this quick wow, that's! A really great picture. I'll let zoom in and you gotta shoot while you're there because you will never get an airplane back to the exact same location and it's really tough to get a boat back to the same location and so really concentrate on shooting and worrying about what you shot later, finally shoot with the motor drive on. And so this is so you can shoot as fast as possible when you get to the good area, just boom, boom, boom, boom, boom lay it on heavy shoot, shoot through what you can there so that you don't miss that moment. So that's some tips from shooting generally from just any sort of moving vehicle. If you're gonna be shooting from an airplane, you're probably going to need a shutter speed of a thousand or faster. It depends on the airplane and where you're situated. Some other factors, but that's a starting point. If you can sit near the front of the airplane, try to sit in front of the wing, if you're like on a commercial flight that way, you're not getting the exhaust coming out of the engines. This is one of the areas where the lens hood is not doing you any good. Take the lens it off. Sometimes you can use your hand to kind of crunch your lens up near the window, not resting on the window, because that picks up vibrations, but you can use your hand is a shock absorber between that the flash is not going to do you any good from an airplane, so turn it off, it'll only be a reflection in the window. And if you do have the opportunity, try to sit on the opposite side is the sun is the sun comes in the windows of the airplane. It causes just horrendous flair and color distortion. And just, you know, one sixth tip is you probably are not gonna be able to use a polarizer because their windows are often already polarized, so don't use a polarizer as well. I have to change it to six tips. I probably should just cut something out. They kind of keep it a five. All right, let's continue on our way around the world were goingto baobab alley and this is in madagascar, off the coast of last africa. And so there is these wonderful. I'm very iconic. Unusual trees on travels to the edge was going through there, and we had the opportunity to shoot these trees in the afternoon and evening and then come back the next morning, two opportunities twice as much chance to get good photographs. And so when we first got there, the light was all not all that interesting. So I was making a big tour, walking around the field, looking for places that I would like to come back to when the light is better and so when that lights critical and you got that twenty minutes you're not there I don't know what to do I think you're here I could go there you should already have kind of a checklist I want to get this shot I want to get that shot I'm going over here and see how this one looks so know what you're going to be dio this is kind of the standard shock they call it baobab alley because the cars the road goes right down through this grove of trees and when you're there for a long period of time you can start just in around with compositions that you might not normally shoot with. No we stayed there until the evening and we stayed there through dark and so grabbing silhouettes with the setting sun was obviously a no brainer there when you have subjects that have distinctive shapes they're going to look really good in silhouette like this and then the shot that I really wanted to get was one tree you can see just a little bit of star movement cause it's about a thirty second exposure had this all set up it was running perfectly and then some idiot drove his car right down the road in the middle of my shot and I got really mad until I saw that he lit the trees up in a really nice way and it made the shot and it was the only car that came through in that entire period of time and so it was one of these magical moments where kind of a happy accident we talk about. I did everything right and got a little lucky. And so one of my favorite pictures from madagascar all right, this is maybe my most, but definitely one of my top photographic moments of my life is I was travelling to egypt, which is a place that I would love to go with on tour, and I know just the person who knows egypt and knows the right people to take me there on tour egyptians if you're there watching cool it, just settle down because we would like to come visit, but we would like to have things a little bit more settle down over there, um, and I will be more than happy to come back because he has a great country there. So I knew somebody who knew somebody who knew somebody who's knew somebody that worked in the ministry of antiquities and they pretended like I was a well known photographer, and I should be given access to the pyramids before everyone else got in. And somehow I got access with security guard and the driver to go in and photograph the pyramids before sunrise, and it was just barely before sunrise, and I had never been to the pyramids before, and so I'm just I'm kind of looking through the back seat of the car. You know where where are they? Where can I go? And I go just take me up as close as you can right now because I was supposed to get it at six. A. M there was a lot of logistics and we don't get into, like seven and the sun was starting to rise and so I don't have much time to work with. So I just wanted to grab a quick shot up at the base and what's only different about here is that it's getting to an unusual okay are iconic very well travelled to destination, but not when everyone else got to go there. And so I got to photograph it at night up close. And I knew from research on google earth that there was a road that went off kind of to the, uh, get the directory to the west and I could shoot back shooting to the east. I said, take me out this road. I know we're driving away from the pyramids, but I think it's the direction I want to go. And so now I'm shooting with the sunrise behind the pyramids, and I like these two pyramids over here on the left, but the one on the right kind of was it was too much separation and the other remnants of a pyramid just didn't look good wasn't clean enough for me and so I was concentrating more on the two pyramids on the left but we were too far away so I said everybody back in the car we got to get back closer because these things there were you know, three quarters of a mile away so you gotta hop back in the car and drive down and get a little closer now I'm wasting precious minutes here and it's killing me because I'm not in the right spot I'm just trying to find the right spot now over on the right hand side of the screen you can see that the sun is not so much rising as emerging from the smog and so it's starting to become apparent and so kind of the first thing I wanted to do is I wanted to get the sun behind the pyramids so I start running with my tripod and all my gear to the left so that I can get this shot which I thought would look good but I wasn't really is happy when I actually saw it in the camera didn't look so good I needed a little bit of space and I wanted the sun to kind of balance with the pyramid on the left and this was actually my final capture and att the time I felt like I don't know I don't know did I get it? Maybe maybe not, and so I needed teo fix the horizon, I overexposed it by a little bit, but I shot ross, so I had plenty of room to work with, so I just darkened it up a little bit and I'm going to crop it because there's a lot of extra wasted space on the top and bottom of this photograph, and I don't know what they're doing with the grounds there, but there's like no flowers that scraped with a bulldozer and there's nothing of interest, and so I went and I selectively darkened the ground a little bit just to draw it down a little bit, and this is the final image that I was happy with, and so I had to it make a few adjustments and it's one of those rare times where I'm in the field, and I'm not one hundred percent certain that I got it, but it took a little bit of work in post to make sure that it came out the way that I had envisioned it at the time. All right, let's go to jordan, which is a place I led a tour in two thousand ten with some photographers, and the citadel in the middle of the city is a place where they've kind of reconstructed some some roman ruins there, and they have a whole complex and this is one of my favorite type places and when you get let out and you can kind of wander wherever you want and it's a three d environment and you get to play with all sorts of angles and different focal inks and you instead of walking closer to something, you walk further away in this case, I'm shooting a black and white, changing it to black and white. There just wasn't any interesting color just to show the simplicity of it walking up close to things, shooting with wide angle, exploring this side and that side. There is these two little pillars with a little piece over the top, which makes a nice archway to shoot from, and so you can use this archway and shooting through windows and framing is a nice little aspect for composition sticking around till sunset, shooting the silhouettes of shape it's playing exactly with the juxtaposition. And then if you're lucky, something nice will happen like a couple of kids will come running around and just happened to jump up on one of the rocks, and I quickly moved to where the sun was the most saturated to get them silhouetted and you get one shot off and that's it, you're done, and so you have to be prepared for lucky things to happen on, so, uh, that was the one of my favorite shots in jordan later on in jordan we did go down to the treasury which we talked about earlier but some more shots from the treasury now this wass this was the go to spot on this trip so I was going to jordan and this is it this is the big one get ready get your stay breast the night before charge your batteries format your memory card you're going in fully prepared for this and I did the research and I knew that we had to hike in and see this and so I'm going to get my clean shot uh just you know, the basic building I'm going to use elements around to help, you know, add some of the local flavor and texture and the shot that I had researched on the end and internet the go to shot for this place is looking through the slot canyon and anyone who goes there has seen this shot a thousand times and it's not that I wanted to copy everyone else there's only so many places you can stand to get this shot there's a very small little area to get this shot and I got the shot okay and I fight around shot twenty different compositions out this when we had were down there shooting there was uh some australians that had followed us down there and they were right in front of us kind of getting in the way and they kind of realized that they were in our shots but you know they have a right to shoot as much as we do uh but I asked him when they were done if they would go down to the end and just pause for a moment at the entrance and I got this shot here which is kind of nice because it shows scale and a lot of times I'm trying to get people out of the shots because I just want a nice clean shot but it's occasionally good to get those shots with people in it but after getting all these shots I just didn't feel like I had really captured it to my heart's content I didn't do the job that I had hoped and I don't know what it wass but I went in I photographed throughout all these other buildings in ruins and so forth rest of the day and as I came out you know, I kind of wanted to shoot in the afternoon but there's bright sunlight on the ground and there's all these tourists around the grounds and they just kind of clutter it up and they don't look good but I realized that the big benefit of shooting later in the day is that the way the building stance light will hit this rock wall and bounce over to this rock wall and you'll get this golden color that you don't get in the morning and this is what it looks like in the afternoon and here I've just selectively cropped off the bottom and so my final and favorite shot was a horizontal version and I think this kind of embodies the mystery element it's not showing you the whole building just show me enough and tease me a little bit about what's going on and so on playing around spending time going back trying at different times a day that time and effort in order to get the better shots let's go to another one of my favorite locations india varanasi and so in varanasi there's all these boats out on the ganges river and they obviously make for good easy subject for any photographer and this is what my first shot look like and now it's like terrible what do you think that's not a good shot I mean there's not overly technically wrong but it's just not quite there so you've gotta move around you've got to get into the groove you've got to start playing around and like in egypt the sun doesn't come over the horizon it emerges from the haze and smog in the sky and so one of the first things I did with this is okay we have an overly bright sky let's get that split neutral densely neutral density filter to darken the sky so we're going to darken the sky and you can see how much of that helps with it and then it's just a matter of moving around a little bit here or there playing with the juste juxtaposition of the boats keeping an eye on the color the boats I really like that blue boat on the left and my final capture is this one here and it just was the one that ended up being the most pleasing to me and if you look at the siri's of photographs hopefully at least I think they get better as time goes on and this is just over a period of about five minutes and this is why you need that time sometimes five or ten minutes toe work a shot and you know, as I say that I also have to mention that every once in a while it's not gonna work out no matter how much time you spend on it and you have to know when to cut that project off and say I just not gonna be able to do what I want this time to go into the new project but you need to invest a little bit of time in each of these projects through another one here salar de uyuni this's down in bolivia south america it's the largest salt flat in the world and we camped on the salt flat at night and we're going to go out and shoot the next morning and I knew exactly what I wanted to dio and like many times, I know exactly what I wanted to do. I was wrong, but that was my intention. Yes, I wanted to go out here and I want a photograph of the sun coming over the horizon just halfway over the horizon was going to be the shot, and when I took that shot and I saw it on the back of the camera, I kind of went, uh, no, not really, but maybe I'll just keep shooting, see if something develops and so I'm sticking it out, you know, now I'm getting some more distinctive lines here in the foreground. I kind of like that, but I don't think I'm in the right position to really make it look right, let me move around. Okay, well, here's kind of an interesting shape, but I still have a lot of dead ground right in the lower portion of the frame. So let's move ah, little bit closer. Okay, now we're filling the frame with mohr. Interesting stuff. We have a bright object in the top part. We have some very nice strong contrast the lines. I do have a little bit of a technical problem with the lens flare on this and there's really, nothing I can do about this this is the limitations of the lens that I have I can let it be in my case I went into photo shop and cleaned up some of the worst of it in photos because I thought it was a distracting from everything else that's going along in the photograph I left some of the lens flare there because I'm not completely opposed to lens flare it's just when it interferes with the subject in the story that you're trying to tell in your single photograph I don't know the name of this mountain so we'll just call it volcano all right it's down in bolivia and I'm pretty sure it's a volcano because it is steaming and this is one of those nights where dinner was planned for five thirty and you can see by the clock it's five oh nine and I told him I would be late I will eat my dinner cold don't worry about me I think the light looks like it might be kind of interesting out there and there's this cool mountain and so I hike up a little hill to go to this mountain and five fifteen the mountain is covered in clouds it's not very interesting but the reason that I was out there to begin with beyond the mountain just being kind of interesting that it's actually smoking is that there was a clearing in the west where the sun was setting and if that sun breaks through those clearing it could be kind of interesting with light reflecting off the clouds and so is the sun got lower. It started hitting the mountain. And now you can see just a few minutes later, we're starting to get some pretty good light and it's light started bouncing off the clouds in the background. There was a color that I had never seen before in a sunset. It was a salmon color that just filtered through out the entire sky. And then things happen very quickly, over just a couple of minutes, and I was kind of scrambling around to move my tripod to get in the right position. And so you can see, just a couple of minutes later, at five. Thirty and that I needed to get in a little bit closer. And my final picture here is just lightened. Lightened up the foreground a little bit. This is all totally natch, shal color and it's being in the right place at the right time. The simplicity of actually taking the shot is unbelievable. I mean, it was just clack. I mean, you could set almost any shutter speed aperture it's on a tripod. It's, super easy, but it's all about putting yourself in the right place, entering the lottery so you can win in this case, I think there might be a good sunset, so let me go out there and test the opportunity because if it's there I'll get it, that color is just so rich I know it's very accurate to the way it wasit was just amazing it how it was glowing around the mountain. All right? So in kenya were in the maasai mara, which is a great place to go on safari, and in this case, I'm going to show you the final picture to start with, and I'll show you kind of what led up to it. And so in this case, we have thousands of wildebeest on migration, and when you're out on safari, you're out in these vehicles and you're driving around and there are times when you drive around and you don't see anything and you're like people make a big deal about this there's no animals, but then you could drive around the corner, and suddenly there are hundreds, if not thousands of animals around, and so is we're trying to position our vehicle looking for the right way to capture a large herd of wildebeest moving we got by a hillside right here now this shot was taken with a two hundred millimeter lands. Now the goal in photography is not to show everything, okay, so if I wanted to show everything, I could use a fifty millimeter lands and everything would be really, really tiny in the frame and so what I did is I pulled out the four hundred millimeter lands, and then what I wanted to do is I just wanted to kind of pan around the frame, come on pan around the frame and where is the highest density of animals with a little bit of foreground? And so right down here was the highest density and that's what my four hundred millimeter shot is I'm not trying to show every will the beast, but I am trying to show ah high density of them in there and so that's why I'm choosing different lenses for different reasons is all right. Five quick tips for anybody going on a wild life safari she working with animals get close, but stay safe, okay? So there's a compromise and we're not going to get into the hole think about getting too close to animals, but you do need to get close, but you need to be safe. A lot of times people go on these safaris and they are so excited to see the animals, everything that they have learned photographically just drains from their body and you've got to start thinking about, oh, you're so cute, but he has a really ugly background let's go over here choosing your background, working with different lighting, thinking about all those things you got to keep those in your mind the more you know about the animal behavior, the more you're going to know what it's going to do, how it's going to react, how close you can get to the animal and so having that information can be very valuable traveling around in the vehicles it's very nice to have a little plastic bag because it gets really dusty either to throw your entire backpack in a really thin garbage bag or even just a little bag to throw your camera and just so that it doesn't have a lot of dust problems on it and a good photograph of an animal in most cases you're going to be able to see the eyes and so if you can't see the eyes, you know, really question I mean, I have some pictures of animals that you can't see the eyes that are nice and it's certainly possible, but for most of the time when you see an animal, you want to see where the eyes are, because if you can see the eyes, you can see where they're looking to get an idea of what they're thinking, what they're in dealing with and so always have those eyes in there. So some general safari tips okay, so if you're going on safari, you're going to probably need a three hundred millimeter lands or the equivalent of a three hundred millimeter lens or longer the longer the better it doesn't really help out that much beyond five or six hundred, but somewhere in the three four, five hundred millimeter range is where you probably need to be. A model pod can be quite handy because you are shooting from a vehicle that they often don't allow you out of, and you need to have your camera ready and that's one of the least muscles straining ways to have your camera ready on some vehicles you get up on top and you can use a sandbag on the top so that you can rest your camera in there now something I found out is that you don't actually need to bring a sandbank they often have sand over there so you could just bring a bag that you can put sandy or something or dirt if you're going to be working under bad weather and you want to be able to shoot there in rain or dust, there are special covers that you can get for your camera and if you want to get some practice in, just go to your local zoo or animal park and just through go go through a practice round and you'll get a field like what is it like to change lenses when I have all this year on and what's it like waiting for an animal toe look at me, how long do I have to wait and so it's just good practice for you and the final one we're going to dio is the kind of cover shot of our travel photography class. The attack saying monastery in bhutan so if remember, the travel shot? Well, actually, where is it? It's? Right over here behind me, I don't know if they have a camera on it, what's the making of that shot. So to get that shot you have to hike up was like a three four mile hike, and the monastery sits on a very high hillside. And when you get up to it, there was all these little platforms for shooting pictures and there's all these tours because it's a very popular destination to go sit and stand and take pictures of this place. And so I can't stand shooting pictures in a tight group of people. So if you go to cuba, don't all huddle around me and try to take pictures, spread out, go find your own location, and so they like to know your john gringo there like that. I want to go find my own location, and so I'm gonna wander around him. What trails there are and it's up on a hillside so that's not a lot of freedom to move around and so here is a kind of a little bit of a backed off shot and I'm leaving a little bit of open space on the right side to show that it is on a very sheer cliff and in some cases I'm going to play around with the composition and move it over to the left side just to show you how procure ius it is is out there now one of the things that was unusual is that we had all these flags floating around and I wanted to include them because they're a nice, nice little bit of chaos it's nice to have a little chaos in your photograph but too much is not good and so trying to get the right balance of chaos and beautiful subject matter is very difficult. One of the problems I was also dealing with was that it was kind of the wrong time of year and things were not in bloom and so the shrubbery didn't look too good but I found one spot that I could precariously hang on to a tree and kind of lean over and I could get a pretty clean shot which is this one here of the monastery without a lot of clutter around it and I had the strand a prayer flags that extended about two hundred meters and it was blowing in the wind, and as I sat there and kind of waited and watched how things changed, I noticed that as the wind came up the valley, it really brought these, uh, strand higher and higher and higher, and it was a matter of waiting and waiting for literally the peak moment. And so that's, when you want to be ready for your capture, so finding the right place and I'm really glad that I found the right place ahead of time. I waited, and I took advantage of it when it was there and so that's a little bit of the story behind the scenes there, and so five five final tips on just shooting locations, study your subject know what you're getting into, do a little bit of research, figure out where you could go and can't go choose the right time of day to go there. If you have an opportunity, sometimes you're forced to be it they're in a certain time and that's that you do that you do the best with what you can next up, try to find your own composition something different than you have seen before, and I know if you go to the taj mahal in india everything's been shot just make your own version, whatever that happens to be. In many of these cases, you're gonna be using a small aperture for great depth of field. Sometimes you'll need a tripod and be very sure to keep the camera still used. The tripod used the remote, used a self timer, if necessary.

Class Description

Travel photography is a wonderfully rewarding experience, but travel itself is a whirlwind in the best of situations. The mix of new landscapes, cultures, and logistical challenges can be difficult to navigate. Being an effective travel photographer requires careful planning and shoot preparation, but also the flexibility and openness of mind to take unforgettable photos.


Join pro photographer John Greengo for this class, and you’ll learn:

  • How to research and plan a trip around great photography

  • How to tell what gear you’ll need, and how to travel with it safely

  • Shooting tips and some of John’s favorite locations

Reviews