Where’s Art? Episode 3 – Point Reyes National Seashore

Episode 3 of Where’s Art is now up for your viewing pleasure! In case you missed them, you can check out all of the episodes of this segment so far on the Where’s Art section of my multimedia page. We have some exciting new ideas in store for this segment in the future!

This time around, I was on location in California visiting the Point Reyes National Seashore. I like to make this trip whenever I’m in the San Francisco area. There is such an array of wildlife – from bobcats to a variety of birds – it’s hard to come away unsatisfied. Special thanks to Daniel Dietrich for being my field guide during this trip!

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Where’s Art? Episode 2 – Abstract Astoria

 

Episode 1 was a huge success, thanks to everyone who watched, and left comments! This time around I was in Astoria, Oregon teaching my Abstract Astoria workshop. You’ll have to excuse the audio quality, as I recorded in a bunker – but for good reason! Check out the video to find out more!

Thanks again to Mitch Stringer for providing the interview questions. If you missed the first episode of Where’s Art?, you can find that by clicking here!

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Where’s Art? Episode 1 – Premier!

My staff and I are always striving to bring you new content whenever possible, and we are proud to present to you a new feature on our site, “Where’s Art?” hosted by Mitch Stringer. Each episode of “Where’s Art?” is brought to you on location, with insightful questions from Mitch along with images from wherever I might be at the time.

Our premier episode is from my recent trip to the Columbia River Gorge with a small group to photograph not only the iconic waterfalls of the area, but also the micro-environments and details that make this part of the world unique.

I hope you enjoy this new segment! Let me know in the comments how you like it!

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Technique Tuesday – Using Soft Light in Complex Compositions

It’s no secret that soft, diffuse light is often preferred for great photos unless you’re going for a specific style, look, or feel. This quick video shows one reason why soft light is preferable. not only is the location of this village in Mali complex in terms of the many rooftops and structures, the conical rooftops themselves are textured complex pattern. Add in a busy landscape of brush and trees, and there is quite a bit going on.

Shooting this scene in more direct lighting would create a high contrast graphical image that might be interesting, but you would lose the detail that informs the viewer of the context of this location. Most of the materials used to construct this village are from the landscape it’s built upon. Showing the even tones, hues and cohesive nature in which everything blends together helps capture the symbiotic relationship between the people and the land in a way that a high contrast image with dark shadows and bright highlights simply wouldn’t deliver.

 

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Technique Tuesday – Composing Images with Wildlife

Welcome to another technique Tuesday! Today we revisit creating compelling compositions focusing on wildlife that also give context to their environment. Often times just centering up your subject isn’t the most interesting way to present it, even if your focus is on an animal or person. Unless your goal is to inform the viewer about the specific detail of the subject itself, there is often more to be learned about it’s nature by including the world it lives in.

I also give some tips on how you can ‘break the ice’ with wildlife and increase their interest and comfort level, ensuring they stick around until you get that well-composed shot you’re looking for!

Tomorrow I’m heading south to the Washington-Oregon border for my Columbia River Gorge workshop – stay tuned to the blog for new photos!

Argentine Gray Fox, Torres Del Paine National Park, Chile

 

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Technique Tuesday: Wide Angle Lens Compositions

Even in an environment with an abundance of interesting detail to focus on, like the Pancake Rocks of the South Island of New Zealand, sometimes stepping back with a wide angle lens to give context to those details is the best way to capture them. It can be easy to get caught up in the surreal nature of an unfamiliar landscape and focus too much on the alien details of something you won’t find anywhere else in the world, but it’s that contrast with the more familiar surroundings that can make them feel even more unique.

Here I’ve used a 16mm wide angle lens with, at the time, my Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III. A shutter speed of 1/60th froze the waves in the background while an aperture at ƒ10 ensured the subject of the pancake rocks were captured in full detail. The bright day allowed for a low ISO of 100, so very little noise infiltrates the image.

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Technique: Maximizing Depth of Field

 

The ƒ-number you choose for a particular shot is an important element when it comes to framing the story of the particular shot you’re looking to achieve. The ƒ-number can be a bit confusing to novice photographers, as the higher ƒ-number means a smaller aperture and a greater depth of field. In turn, a greater depth of field means more detail in the background of your shot.

In this video, I was on location in Antarctica shooting gentoo penguins. Their environment and community is as important to their story as each individual. Shooting at a high ƒ-number to capture this detail helps inform the audience that the story I chose to tell encompasses that environment as an element as important as each individual penguin.

On a related side note, have you ever wondered how to type the fancy “ƒ” on your keyboard to give your photo comments a little bit of flair? It’s simple really:

PC:

Hold down the “alt” key, and using the 10-key pad on the right of your keyboard, type “0-1-3-1”. Let go, and you’ve got your fancy “ƒ”!

MAC:

A little simpler on a mac – just hold down “Option” and type “f”!

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Technique: Photographing the Macro Landscape

When you visit some of the world’s great landscapes, it can be easy to miss the beautiful details beneath your feet. Using a tripod and a small aperture, capture the details that will make your photographs unique and personal while giving context to the location you’re shooting.

For more tips and techniques, my Photography As Art seminar may be coming to a city near you soon!

 

 

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Creative Live Rebroadcast of “Creating Art Through Photography” 3/26

If you missed my CreativeLive course two weeks ago, you’re in luck. They will be rebroadcasting it beginning Sunday, March 26th at 9:00am PDT. Set your reminders!

Create Art Through Photography: Maximize Photographic Opportunities to Enhance Your Creative Vision

You can also check out my other CreativeLive classes offered in this glorious three-course bundle!

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CreativeLive Event: Make Artistic Statements, Enhance Your Creative Vision, and Preview Photography As Art

You may have heard that Friday I will be giving a class over at CreativeLive starting at 9am PST. You can sign up to watch the live class for free, or you can pre-order on-demand access for $59, a savings of $20.

I will be concentrating on several key areas:

1. Navigating an Ever Changing World

How images were collected in the past has changed and the world has become closer in terms of access thanks to the advances in travel and technology. As a result, change seems to accelerate and keeping in step becomes a necessary skill. I will share how I research, plan, and execute as well as review and edit for projects. With over 100 book titles, television shows, exhibits, presentations – how does one manage it all and how do projects transition from an idea to achievement?  In this segment, I will review my processes for efficiency, economy and how I chart the course to a successful outcome.

2. Ways Technology has Improved my Work

The truth is that technology has been giving artists new ways to share their work for a very long time. Tools and art have evolved together, becoming intertwined.  Cameras, software, lenses, even drones – they are all tools for the photographer, the artist, the storyteller. I will share how I have incorporated technology to enhance and redefine my work.

3. Preview to Photography as Art

“Photography as Art” is a groundbreaking seminar created for individuals who want to spark their imagination and discover how to make artistic statements through photography. I will share an excerpt from this seminar created for the creative professional to see and make art in exciting new ways. With art history as a reference point, I explore avenues to maintain inspiration, foster personal style, and discover ways to distinguish your own photography from others.

4. Live Critique

At the end of the program, I will critique viewer-submitted photographs.  These photo critiques provide viewers a great opportunity to look through the eyes of a professional photographer and learn by constructive feedback on what makes an image stronger.

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