LIGHT & LANDSCAPE ISSUE 03
THE OPPORTUNIST LANDSCAPE PHOTOGRAPHER
by Gordy Elias
CREATE A WORDPRESS PHOTOGRAPHY WEBSITE with Scott Wyden Kivowitz
by Jennifer Wu
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LIGHT & LANDSCAPE
LIGHT & LANDSCAPE MAGAZINE
Alain Briot Gordy Elias Kah Wai Lin Debra Miller Gevork Mosesi Scott Reither Paul Sanders Simon Wrigglesworth Jennifer Wu Scott Wyden Kivowitz
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CONTENTS EDITOR’S NOTE
by Matt Reid
Scott Wyden Kivowitz
with Ross Murphy
A PHOTOGRAPHERS GUIDE:
Loch Ard, Scotland, UK by David Mould
featuring Julie Legg
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CONTENTS FUJIFILM X-PRO1 REVIEW
by Stephen Ip
FROM PASSION TO VISION
by Alain Briot
DEVELOPING YOUR FINE ART WORKFLOW
with Jay & Varina Patel & Nik Photography
PEELING BACK THE LAYERS
by Varina Patel
SYDNEY CITYSCAPES by Ilya Genkin
with Destin Sparks
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ello and welcome to Issue 02 of Light & Landscape Magazine. First let me start by thanking everybody who downloaded, reviewed, rated and subscribed to the inaugural issue. Thanks to you, Light & Landscape Magazine has received an awesome start in life and a solid foundation on which to build. Secondly, I’d like to extend my thanks to all those who got in contact with me. Whether it was to offer to contribute to future issues or, as in some cases, just to offer words of support, each and every email was greatly appreciated and a massive source of encouragement! Many of those who offered to contribute have been taken up on their kind offers, including 3 of this issues featured photographers! (Scott Wyden Kivowitz, Ross Murphy and Julie Legg). Others will certainly be featuring in future issues. If you’d like to see your work featured on the pages
of Light & Landscape Magazine, please don’t hesitate to get in touch! Equally, if you’d like to share your thoughts, opinions or make any suggestions, I’d love to hear from you. A big thank you to all this months contributors. I really hope you enjoy and find inspiration in the words and stunning images that they have so graciously shared through the magazine. I encourage you to connect with each of them through the links in their respective bios. Finally, don’t forget that subscription to Light & Landscape Magazine is totally free and ensures you never miss an issue! Enjoy!
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THE OPPORTUNIST LANDSCAPE PHOTOGRAPHER
THE OPPORTUNIST LANDSCAPE PHOTOGRAPHER BY GORDY ELIAS
iming is everything, and the quality of the landscape images we all endeavour to capture involves significant amounts of it. Visits, revisits on different days, times of day, seasons, cloudy days,
sunny days, selecting the quality of light that will best suit capturing the subject. Timing, coupled with an abundance of skill and patience, is indeed everything as all of this magazines contributors amply demonstrate. I admire with envy
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THE OPPORTUNIST LANDSCAPE PHOTOGRAPHER
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THE OPPORTUNIST LANDSCAPE PHOTOGRAPHER
their beautiful imagery. So what if, like me, time isn’t a luxury commodity in your daily life? My own circumstances are that of a full time employed, very happily married father of 2 beautiful young children in full time education and a wife also full time employed. School runs, Theatre Club, Judo Club, Sunday morning rugby, kids parties. Life is busy, very busy. Sound familiar? If I’ve already struck a chord with you then let me take the opportunity to share with you my approach to a rare day off work in a cold, English November and the chance to indulge in my passion for landscape photography.
My chosen “target” was a nature reserve on the Lincolnshire coast known as Gibraltar Point. Having never previously visited (as I live in Lincoln which is over an hour’s drive away and nowhere near any of my children’s clubs), I read about it in an article in a local magazine and found it somewhat appealing. Always up for a challenge, I decided there I would spend my day and see what transpired. Even if I came back with precious little (never, ever come back with nothing in the camera), then I would have at the very least done a recce to plan for a revisit or discount it from future plans. I should explain at this point that I have a military background and I implement a 5 Ps philosophy (Prior Planning Prevents Poor Performance) to much of what I do. Light & Landscape Magazine | 9
THE OPPORTUNIST LANDSCAPE PHOTOGRAPHER But ultimately, this is just good old fashioned research, right? My first step was to grab my OS map and kick up Google Earth on my ipad. A top down satellite image of the area combined with a good reference map would be a good starting point to ascertain the size of the place and features of the ground to name but two. Ease of access by road, check. Car parking, check. There’s a nice river running right through the reserve from Wainfleet out into the Wash too, guess that means it’s a tidal river so check the high and low tide timings for the day whilst I’m at it. The tool that is the internet served me well. The next obvious step was to look at the weather forecast. Now as anyone in England will tell you, trying to nail down the local weather is akin to herding cats. Four seasons in one day is not uncommon, particularly in November. I’m no coward when it comes to adverse weather. My gear? Well that’s another issue, but I wrap it up warm and dry and take care not to point it into horizontal rain. I don’t know about you but I’ve got a thing for clouds, particularly when they lift and get ripped apart in the upper atmosphere. Even those pesky low level rain clouds add so much to a landscape whether it be in a post process HDR, or trying to catch their movement with a nice long exposure using a multi-stop neutral density filter. The only planning complication of capturing cloud movement is wind direction, but if you keep the horizontal rain on your back and point your lens downwind it’ll be worth it, providing of course there’s something of interest in front of you (refer back to the 5 Ps principal)! So before I’ve even contemplated looking at my camera gear I’ve researched location, terrain and weather. I’ve
got an idea of what to wear, how far I’m likely to walk and what to expect from the worst of the elements. My next bit of armchair planning involved the use of The Photographers Ephimeris (type in TPE in your Apple app store search). Those of you who use this app will know just how valuable a tool it is.
Using a top down image, the ephemeris overlays in which direction and at what times the sun and moon will rise and set and where exactly the sun will be at any time on any given day. This in addition to other useful features too numerous to get
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THE OPPORTUNIST LANDSCAPE PHOTOGRAPHER into in this article. If you’re looking to improve your landscapes buy it. It’s probably the best £5.99 you’ll ever spend. Finally, I checked online imagery from around the reserve to try and gauge prominent features that I had yet to uncover and cross reference them on my OS map. The OS map could be perceived as a luxury item, but what do you have left when you’re in the middle of a reserve with no internet or satellite connection on your electronic hardware? Whilst I realise that all of the above may be a little too clinical for many, it took just a couple of hours sat on the sofa whilst my wife watched one of her favourite programmes and I got me into a landscape frame of mind. We all need our escapes and landscape photography is mine. My last piece of planning was to fully check my kit, especially batteries. You’d kick yourself if
you’d driven 40 miles and had little life left in your camera batteries wouldn’t you? The weather forecast leading up to my day off had been for a high pressure to sit over the entire eastern coast and sure enough, not a cloud to be seen as I took the kids to school. I got to the nature reserve around 0930, perfect blue sky and lovely sunlight. So much for moody clouds but the bleak environment still looked great. The river was close by and it was at low tide as planned. A lot of the pleasure yachts had been lifted onto shore for the winter, but one or two sat on the mud and it was there that I began. My previous weeks’ few hours of planning served me well throughout the day. I managed to capture most of what I had envisaged, and a little more besides late in the afternoon before heading back to Lincoln in the twilight. It had been a good day, a
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very good day.
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THE OPPORTUNIST LANDSCAPE PHOTOGRAPHER
Gordon Elias GORDON ELIAS Often described as the “Pantry of England”, Lincolnshire is a challenging county for landscape photographers. None of the looming hills and mountains of it’s neighbours to the north, nor the busy urban cities of those counties west and south. What you do get is big open skies and a glorious capital city at it’s heart boasting one of the worlds’ great cathedrals. I’ve been a corporate photographer for most of my adult life but I’ve always, always maintained a passion for landscapes. Every landscape photographer will tell you that the great outdoors is the best studio you can immerse yourself in. I love all the seasons, they offer a different challenge, particularly here in Lincolnshire where the changes are often subtle. The light during the morning and evening “golden hour” are well worth waiting for, and on those glorious blue sky days I often use an old Nikon D60 that has been converted for infra red by those great guys at www.lifepixel.com, based in the USA. I’ve always admired the late Ansel Adams work, his monochromes stand the test of time magnificently. More recently I’ve embraced the HDR post processing method, sometimes time at the computer is worth it, and draw inspiration from the work of Trey Ratcliff. I firmly believe that every day is a school day and that’s not just because I have 2 young children!! Light & Landscape Magazine | 13
FROM PASSION TO VISION
VISION PART 2
EVERYTHING YOU ALWAYS WANTED TO KNOW ABOUT FINE ART PHOTOGRAPHY BUT WERE AFRAID TO ASK by Alain Briot “Be Yourself. Everyone else is already taken.” Oscar Wilde
INTRODUCTION In part 1 of this series we saw what vision consists of. However it is one thing to know what vision is and another to know if you are expressing vision in your work through the creation of fine art photographs. Therefore, in the second essay in this series we are going to look at what it takes to create fine art photographs. What follows is a list of what I consider to be the most important aspects of fine art photography.
ART CAN BE CREATED WITH PHOTOGRAPHY AS WELL AS WITH ANY OTHER MEDIUM The artist defines the creation of art, not the medium. Painting, sculpture, drawing, dance, architecture, music, etc. are all mediums that are traditionally considered to be appropriate for the creation of art. However they are not the only ones. Any medium can be used to create art. It is how the medium is used and not the medium itself that defines the creation of art.
EQUIPMENT DOES NOT CREATE ART. ARTISTS CREATE ART. Great photographs are no more taken by great cameras than great meals are cooked in great pots, great music played with great instruments, great painting made with great paintbrushes, great books written with great pens or word processors, great sculptures carved with great chisels and so on. Great art is created by great artists, period. When we start we are worried about gear and not about the creative process. As we learn and progress we realize that the creative process is the most important of the two. All it takes to get gear is money and a visit to the store. The creative process cannot be bought. Dedication and nurturing are required to unlock it.
TALENT AND LUCK DO NOT MAKE ART. RELENTLESS STUDY AND PRACTISE DO. Art is the outcome of mastery. This mastery must cover both the artistic and the technical aspects of the medium. Mastery
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FROM PASSION TO VISION is achieved through continuous study and practice and takes a long time to acquire. 10,000 hours is often considered minimal. This is 5 years at 40 hours a week and longer if you can only work part time on photography. This amount of time has proved to be accurate in my career.
ART IS ABOUT PERSONAL EXPRESSION AND INTERPRETATION, NOT ABOUT DOCUMENTATION Cameras are designed for visual documentation. As such the camera alone cannot create art. To create art with a camera means using the camera as a means of personal expression, not just as a mean of documentation. The camera records visual information. The artist creates photographic art. If we just photograph all we have is an image created by a camera. To have an image created by us we need to alter the image created by the camera. How we alter that image is one of the fundamental aspects of personal style. In practice, this alteration is called a personal interpretation of the original subject. To do this the artist uses artistic license. Artistic license is the freedom to represent things as you see them, not as they appear to others. Artistic license makes use of both technical and artistic means.
ART NEEDS TO MAKE US FEEL SOMETHING, NOT JUST SHOW US SOMETHING Art is an emotional response to a specific
subject. This means we must ask ourselves what are our personal emotions when we photograph. Artistic photography is not about what we see in a photograph. It is about what we feel when we look at that photograph. It is not so much about the literal content of the image. It is primarily about the metaphorical, hyperbolical, symbolic, aesthetic or other aspects of the image. An artistic photograph makes the viewer react primarily emotionally to the image, rather than analytically or technically. This means that a metaphorical level of meaning is present in the image. A metaphor is something that stands for something else. Metaphors can be expressed through any medium be it writing, visual arts, music, architecture, etc. In fine art photography metaphors are created with visual elements that are either present in the scene or modified by the photographer. These visual elements are used to express a metaphorical level of meaning that extends beyond the physical contents of the image. For example, a young tree located next to a mature tree may be used to represent the contrast between youth and old age. In this instance the trees have a metaphorical meaning that extends beyond their physical presence. The young tree stands for youth while the mature tree stands for old age. Similarly, a pool of dark water may be made to stand for mystery, or the reflections of clouds in water used to represent infinity or introspection and so on. The possibilities are endless and limited only by the artistâ€™s imagination.
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FROM PASSION TO VISION
THE GOAL OF ART IS QUALITY, NOT QUANTITY When creating fine art photographs the primary concern needs to be quality instead of quantity. A single photograph that shares an emotion carries more value than countless photographs that are purely factual and documentary. No one cares that you took, processed and printed 10,000 photographs this year if none of these photos express a personal emotion in a style that is unique to you. The goal is not to create content for a stock photo agency. The goal is to create a high quality body of work focused on your vision. The goal is also to create a masterpiece -- your Mona Lisa, Hernandez, Water Lilies, etc. When creating art, cost and time-saving considerations are secondary. Creating fine art photographs is not about trying to save money by buying lower-priced equipment (cameras, lenses, computers, etc.) or supplies (film, paper, inks, mat board, frames, etc.). It is not about trying to save time by photographing, processing, printing or matting as fast as possible. Instead, it is about creating the finest piece possible regardless of cost and time. While we all have a limit to how much we can spend on our art, concerns for time and costs need to be secondary, not primary.
ART IS LUXURY Luxury items are products and services that we acquire when our basic needs are fulfilled. We cannot create, acquire or enjoy art if we are starving, do not have proper clothing, cannot pay our mortgage or can-
not meet other basic needs. Creating art is part of self-actualization, the last step in Maslowâ€™s Pyramid of Needs.
THE VALUE OF A WORK OF ART IS GREATEST WHEN IT IS MADE AND SIGNED BY THE ARTIST A photograph printed and signed by Ansel Adams has a much higher value than one which is not printed or signed by him. The same holds true for any artist, be it a painter, a photographer, a sculptor, etc. Pieces made and signed by the artist hold the highest value. This means that if your goal is to offer the highest value to your audience, you need to optimize, print and sign your work yourself. If you invest in art, purchasing signed originals offers the highest investment value.
TALKING ABOUT ART MEANS USING THE VOCABULARY OF ART All professions use a specific vocabulary. Artists use the vocabulary of art to communicate with each other and with their audience. Without it we cannot talk knowledgeably about art. Unfortunately, most photographers only use the vocabulary of photographic technique. While this is an important vocabulary, using it exclusively will not result in the creation of art.
CREATING ART MEANS USING FUNDAMENTAL ARTISITIC CONCEPTS This means we have to learn what these fundamental concepts are, how to use them and why. These concepts include visual
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FROM PASSION TO VISION metaphors, color palette, hue, saturation, luminosity, movement, facture, composition, light, exposure, format, style, color, harmonies, coherence, hyperbole, symbolism, exaggeration, simplification, negative space, minimalism and more.
Art created today builds and expands upon the heritage of art created in the past. Understanding this rich heritage means learning what are the different art movements and which artists belong to each movement. It also means getting involved with art by deciding which movements and artists we like and dislike and by collecting art.
CREATING ART MEANS LEARNING THE RULES BEFORE BREAKING THE RULES CONNECTING WITH A LIKE-MINDED AUDIENCE IS Any activity involves learning the rules that IMPORTANT govern this activity. This is true for art as much as for engineering, medicine, legal practice etc. It is tempting to see rules as being purely limiting, bypass learning them and move directly to doing things ‘our way.’ However, doing so means practicing an activity which rules we are ignorant of. Eventually practitioners who take the time to learn the rules will create better work than those who do not.
Acquiring mastery means being humble and accepting the fact that learning the rules is an important aspect of education. Over time, through practice and study, we will learn to modify these rules, break them, or invent new ones to fit our unique needs and be more creative than everyone else.
STUDYING ART HISTORY IS IMPORTANT Art does not exist in a vacuum. Art started a long time ago when people decided to express and share emotions with others through various means of communication. The work done by artists that preceded us teaches us a lot about what is art. It also inspires us and provides us with guidance and illumination.
We cannot create art in a vacuum. We need both peers and audience. Being part of an artistic community is necessary for both support and inspiration. Sharing our work with like-minded people who appreciate what we do is an essential aspect of being an artist. Our audience consists of people who like our work. Our audience does not consist of people who despise what we do. We need to find out who they are, earn their trust and stay in regular contact. We do this by showing our work and paying attention to the audience’s response.
AQUIRING A PERSONAL STYLE IS THE ONLY WAY TO CREATE WORK THAT IS TRULY UNIQUE In art, personal style means a unique way of expressing our emotional response to a subject. If you see other photographers represent the same subject the same way you do, your style is not personal. A personal style is achieved through an artistic approach to photography, by featuring in your work some, or all, of the elements discussed in this essay. Focusing on technique alone is not enough to achieve a
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FROM PASSION TO VISION personal style. At best you will be acknowledged for being a great technician, at worse you will be known for having prints whose only quality is to be technically sound. As Ansel Adams put it: ‘Nobody cares about a sharp photo of a fuzzy concept.’ Personal style calls for personal choices. It is tempting to embrace all the new ‘stuff’ that comes out almost daily. For example, photographing landscapes, wildlife, close ups, architecture, portraits, weddings, cars, pets and more. Using HDR, collages, textures, blending, plugins, layers and more. Printing on watercolor, glossy, luster, bamboo, Baryta and other papers. Mounting and framing with white mats, colored mats, decorated mats and more. Mounting photos on wood, aluminum, Gatorboard, acrylic and so on. Marketing by offering prints in 12 different sizes, in both ‘fine art’ and ‘poster’ form, matted in 32 different mat colors, framed in 17 different moldings, all with the choices of papers and mountings that I previously mentioned. That’s cool. And if you can do all this it is certainly very impressive. But besides shortening your life expectancy due to the resulting stress, it will do nothing to define your personal style. If you sell your work you will be buried under the inventory you will have to carry, to say nothing about the amount of money you will have tied up in this inventory. On top of that this will do nothing to increase your sales. When it comes to style you are better off saying, for example: “I use a layer-based workflow, print primarily on Hahnemuhle Photo Rag and mat everything in white.” It is OK to keep things simple because you
are doing art not running a grocery store. Picasso was a cubist all his life and used only one type of canvas. Cartier Bresson did only street photography and used the same printing paper all his life. Creating art is not about offering endless permutations of subject matter, processing approaches, print sizes, printing papers and mounting styles. Creating art is about offering a singular -- and above all personal -- vision. While exploration and diversity can certainly provide inspiration, it is necessary to specialize and simplify in order to create a coherent body of work.
WRITING YOUR ARTIST STATEMENT IS IMPORTANT An artist statement is a description of your artistic goals and of your personal vision. It can also include your personal philosophy of photography. It is not a tutorial on how to do what you do and it is not a list of the equipment you own and use. Your life and your work are interconnected. Your life influences your work and your work influences your life. Therefore your life story matters. Your artist statement provides the opportunity to tell your story and to explain the relationship between your work and your life. It also provides an opportunity to explain what attracted you to photography versus other mediums and what attracted you to a specific subject versus other subjects. An artist statement is an important document because it describes who you are, what is your training and experience, how you are positioned in the art field and what
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FROM PASSION TO VISION is your vision for your work. As such it legitimizes your work, your vision and your goals.
FOCUSING YOUR WORK ON PROJECTS, NOT ON SINGLE IMAGES, IS IMPORTANT A project is a group of photographs focused on a specific theme. A project, also called a body of work, says more about an artist’s abilities than a single photograph. This is because a project such as a folio or a portfolio, demonstrates the artist’s abilities over time instead of in a single instance. A single quality photograph can always be seen as being an ‘accident’ by a suspicious audience. However, a portfolio of quality images puts these suspicions to rest by making the point that the artist can create high quality images regularly.
A VALID PROJECT IS NOT “EVERYTHING THAT CATCHES YOUR EYE.” We have all worked on a project from the day we got our first camera. This project is called ‘photographing everything that catches our eye.’ I started working on this ‘project’ on my way back from the camera store the day I purchased my first camera. I was lucky that I had great teachers who stopped me in time. They explained to me that there was nothing original in this project, that everyone was doing it and that it was the most commonplace and un-original ‘project’ one can ever pursue. To be original a project needs to have a specific theme. This theme can be a variety of things. It can be a location (for example
White Sands), a concept (for example Wilderness), a technique (for example Color Harmonies), or a specific subject (for example Migrating Cranes). Feel free to add your own project ideas to these examples. Every artist has started a project. Few have completed their project. Therefore a project needs to have specific and realistic goals and deadlines because without those nothing gets done.
LEARNING HOW TO FIND YOUR BEST WORK IS IMPORTANT Finding your best work is your responsibility, not the responsibility of your audience. To find your best work you need to rank your photographs on a quality scale and proceed by gradual elimination. First, eliminate technically unacceptable images. Second, eliminate redundant images. Third, find the strongest images for each location or subject. Fourth, equalize quality across your final selections. Editing is fundamentally ruthless.
SEEK MEANINGFUL COMMENTARY, NOT BIAS RESPONSE What people say about your work is only as valuable as what they know and what they can do. Your mom, dad, brother, sister, relatives, significant other, office mate, boss, etc. may be supportive of your work and have the best intentions, but unless they are accomplished artists and teachers they are first and foremost relatives, friends or workmates and as such unqualified to provide professional-grade fine art photography advice. If you want to get meaningful advice, avoid common pitfalls and save time, it is necessary to seek coun-
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FROM PASSION TO VISION cil from people who are where you want to be, people who have made photography and teaching their career.
LEARNING TO OVERCOME CREATIVE FEAR IS NECESSARY The one thing that holds back artists the most in their development is creative fear. Also called fear of criticism, this fear makes people unable to create work that is different, unique and otherwise uniquely theirs. Artists who suffer from this fear are afraid that if they create original work they will be singled out, put down and unfairly criticized. In reality no such thing will happen. At worse someone may not like your work and will pay no attention to it. At best someone will fall in love with what you do. In practice the second option occurs more often than the first.
LEARNING TO DEAL WITH ADVERSITY AND CRITICISM IS IMPORTANT Creating fine art photography offers challenges. To be successful we need to know what these challenges are and use effective strategies to cope with them. Strategies are proven, long term solutions designed to prevent specific problems. Here are some effective strategies: - Don’t make excuses --Success needs no explanation but failure is doctored by alibis. Napoleon Hill - Understand criticism and learn how to handle it -- read my essay Understanding Criticism on luminous-landscape
- Learn how to explain the rationale behind what you do -- what you do is less important than why you do it - Don’t quit -- most people quit just before reaching their goals - Learn how to stay motivated -- action is the best anti-depressant - Learn to separate fact-based and opinionbased criticism -- ‘I don’t like blue’ is not a valid criticism. ‘Your photo is blurry because you did not use a tripod’ is valid criticism.
LEARNING TO LET IT GO IS IMPORTANT We all started photography because we wanted to emulate the work of the master photographers we admire. Their work helped us because it provided inspiration and guidance. However, at some point we have to create work that is uniquely ours and not a copy of what the masters have done before. We need to become ourselves and do that we need to let go of past influences. You know when you are ready to let go when you find your work to be more exciting than the work of the masters.
VISION EXAMPLE: WHITE SANDS SUNRISE On a recent trip to White Sands National Monument in New Mexico I had a vision of space, vastness and immensity when looking at the giant expanse of white sand dunes. I also saw the dunes as a peaceful and quiet place. To represent this vision in my images I showed a large expanse of land using a panoramic format created by collaging four horizontal captures. Vegetation is scarce in the dunes and consists
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FROM PASSION TO VISION
White Sunrise, White Sands National Monument, New Mexico
primarily of Yuccas. I included a single Yucca in this panorama because doing so gave a feeling of vastness that several Yuccas would not have achieved. I also minimized the size of this single plant because using a small size Yucca in a large sweeping panoramic image reinforces the concept of vastness and immensity. In regards to color palette I used colors of low saturation, light density and soft contrast because such a palette reinforces the concept of peacefulness and quietness that I wanted to express in this image. Soft, de-saturated and light colors are peaceful and quiet while strong, saturated and dark colors are strong and vibrant. They shout while the ones I used in my panorama whisper. At times I want to create images that shout, but this time I wanted to whisper.
A COMMENT ON BEAUTY A student once made the remark that a photograph can be just about beauty and that it does not need to contain metaphors about other things. This is certainly true. And beauty is definitely one of my main focus. The title of my website, beautifullandscape.com, is a case in point in this regard. However, beauty does not have
to be the only metaphor present in an image. There can be other metaphors that build upon the concept of beauty to enrich it and make it more than just ‘skin deep’ if you will. Such is the case here. Vastness, immensity, space, quietness and peacefulness are visual metaphors that build upon the concept of beauty. These concepts are all beautiful in my mind and are rendered as such in this image. Yet they are more than about beauty alone and in doing so they make the meaning of this image deeper and richer. I also tried a semi-wide single capture with a higher contrast and saturation level. However, I find this attempt ineffective because the higher contrast and more saturated colors take away the feeling of quietness and peacefulness that I want to share. The two Yuccas are also less aesthetic and more ‘messy’ looking, further detracting from the effect I am after. Using a relatively tight composition does not work in regards to expressing vastness and immensity. It does not leave enough room for the subject to breathe and it does not give enough room for the viewer to dream. The viewer’s eye cannot roam
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FROM PASSION TO VISION
Horizontal single capture
around. Instead, it is forced to look at the objects in the image over and over again, locking the viewer into a tight visual space. For some images this is exactly what is needed. But for this image I wanted to offer the viewer space to roam around because doing so gives the viewer the experience of being in the landscape, of looking right and left and of feeling lost in the immensity of the dunes, far away from everything. If you look closely at the image above you will see the composition of the panoramic image. The single distant yucca featured in the panorama is located behind the two yuccas featured in the foreground of the
horizontal single capture. What is interesting is that the entire panoramic composition is present in the single capture. However, this composition does not work because there is too much extraneous space and because the colors are inappropriate for the effect I was after. Finally I tried a vertical panoramic composition before realizing that the horizontal panorama was more effective. While this is an interesting approach that works to some extent, it does not have the strength of vision that the horizontal panorama has. The color palette of this image is also less effective in creating the effect I was after,
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FROM PASSION TO VISION even though it is more appropriate than the palette of the single capture image.
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FROM PASSION TO VISION
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FROM PASSION TO VISION
ALAIN BRIOT “Originally from Paris, France, I have lived in the United States since 1986. Making my home in Arizona, my favorite photographic locations include Navajoland, where I lived for 7 years, the Grand Canyon, where I sell my work and where on average I spend over 50 days a year, and the rugged canyonlands wilderness of Southern Utah and Northern Arizona. I currently work with medium format and 35mm. The choice of which camera I use is based on my vision for each image. While I started photographing with film, and worked with 4x5 large format for a long time, I now use 35mm digital cameras and medium format digital cameras. The 35mm cameras are used for photographs that require speed flexibility, while medium format digital back cameras are used for the majority of my landscape work. The quality of my work is
the results of two factors: hard work and natural abilities. I have been an artist all my life and I was never pushed to make art either by my parents or anyone else. I had, undoubtedly, a personal attraction for creative endeavors and for all things artistic. However, only through hard work did this natural ability result in the work I am creating today.” Alain Briot creates fine art photographs, teaches workshops and offers DVD tutorials on composition, image conversion, optimization, printing and marketing. Alain is the author of Mastering Landscape Photography, Mastering Photographic Composition, Creativity and Personal Style and Marketing Fine Art Photography. All 3 books are available in eBook format on Alain’s website.
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SCOTT WYDEN KIVOWITZ
PHOTOGRAPHY & WORDPRESS: PART 1
PHOTOGRAPHY & WORDPRESS: HOSTING & DOMAIN NAMES WITH SCOTT WYDEN KIVOWITZ
reetings Fellow Photographers. Welcome to the first article and video in the Photography & WordPress series in Light & Landscape Magazine. In Issue 2 of the magazine I introduced myself, where I came from and what I do on a daily basis. If you haven’t read it yet please definitely check it out. In this series I will be sharing advice and walkthroughs on all things WordPress for photographers. I will start with a setting up your website and go on to some tweaks you can do to further improve it. Websites, like photography, is personal so I want to help you achieve the success you want with your website. I will also be answering any questions you may have. Just head over to scottwyden.com/light-landscape-magazine/ and submit your question in the comments. In today’s video I’m going to talk about hosting your Wordpress website, finding a domain name and where to register it.
VIDEO PLACEHOLDER Internet Connection Required
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SCOTT WYDEN KIVOWITZ
PHOTOGRAPHY & WORDPRESS: PART 1 The first hosting companies I am going to talk about are Bluehost and Dreamhost, two of the most popular and inexpensive hosting companies around. They’re both well under $10 a month because they are considered shared hosting. Shared hosting means that your website is shared on a server (think about it as a computer) as many other websites. The advantage of course is the cost, but there are a few disadvantages worth noting.
Both Bluehost and Dreamhost also offer hosting plans called VPS or Virtual Private Server. Think of these as a partition on a hard drive. Basically the server is virtually segregated into multiple servers so although you’re physically on the same hardware two customers are not sharing server space. That reduced security risk, allows you to increase resources for more website speed and traffic control, but comes with a higher price around $20 a month or more.
The first disadvantage to shared hosting is speed. As websites on the same server start having traffic increase and spikes, it will slow down other websites. This means that even if only one person is on your website that it can still be slow if another website on the same shared server has a high volume of traffic.
Another step up would be managed WordPress hosting from services like WP Engine or Synthesis. Both are fantastic but are a much higher price and you are limited to only hosting a WordPress website. Some of the advantages include automated and free daily backups, built-in caching for speed, CDN for image speed, security scanning and staging sites for making changes before going live.
The other disadvantage is the possibility of a security vulnerability. There are many things that you can do to protect your WordPress website, which we will get into in a later issue, but there is a chance for a back door. If another website on the same shared host is hacked then the back door could be opened. This isn’t to say that shared hosting should be passed over. I’m just saying that it’s a risk that a website owner has to take when saving money. It is important to note, as I did in the video, that Bluehost does not accept websites with adult content. That means if you photograph any naked people or boudoir then the host might bring your website offline.
Of course with a server that does so much for their customers it’s no shock that their prices are higher. Both of these companies start just under $30 a month, but their second tier plan is nearly $100 a month. What it comes down to is this… If you’re a photographer needing a website for the first time then go with a shared hosting company to save the money. But if you’re a photographer who needs something more than shared hosting I recommend considering a VPS before jumping to a managed WordPress hosting company. That’s my personal recommendation.
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SCOTT WYDEN KIVOWITZ
PHOTOGRAPHY & WORDPRESS: PART 1 You can read Erick’s recommendation for Bluehost at http://www.photocrati. com/the-best-web-hosting-for-photographers-and-wordpress/ or a summary of the more advanced WordPress hosting at http://www.photocrati.com/webhosting-for-photographers/. Domain names are actually separate from the hosting fees. However, shared hosting companies like Bluehost and Dreamhost include a domain name free for the first year with any new hosting plan. If you do not already own a domain name my first recommendation is to visit either https://domai.nr/ or http://hover. com and search for potential names for your website. Another popular registration company is GoDaddy. I personally would go with a branded website like johndoe.com or johndoephotography. com as it is more memorable for you and your viewers and customers. Domains cost around $10 per year (Hover is more expensive and GoDaddy is the cheapest) but without that you can’t have a website with your brand in the name.
Once you have your domain and have picked a WordPress hosting company you need to connect the two. Typically a hosting company with have detailed instructions on how to direct the domain name to their server. They will also provide assistance if you’re a complete novice and way confused. So don’t worry at all - and definitely ask for help from the people you’re paying. That’s what they are there for. So that’s a lot of information to throw at you in one shot. But I want to hear from you, and answer potential questions you might have in future issues. So here is what to do… Head over to my website at scottwyden. com/light-landscape-magazine/ and comment with your questions around WordPress, Marketing, SEO, Social Media, Domains and Hosting. I will be using your questions in future Light & Landscape Magazine issues so don’t be shy! Thanks for reading and see you next time. Scott Wyden Kivowitz
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SCOTT WYDEN KIVOWITZ
PHOTOGRAPHY & WORDPRESS: PART 1
Scott Wyden Kivowitz
My name is Scott Wyden Kivowitz and I am a New Jersey Photographer with a focus on landscape, portrait and commercial photography. In addition to making photographs I am also a blogger, educator and author. I believe that my creative approach and personal touch is what clientâ€™s deserve and it makes the experience enjoyable and memorable for everyone. The inspiration for my work reaches from so many places. However, my style of photography is often compared to that of Robert Frank, Lee Friedlander and Ansel Adams.
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SCOTT WYDEN KIVOWITZ
Save 20% on Scottâ€™s eBook using the coupon code LIGHTLANDMAG
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TURNING A SPARK OF PHOTOGRAPHIC INSPIRATION INTO FIRE by Scott Reither
here we were on Shell Beach in Southern California’s “Jewel” – La Jolla. If you consider shorts, t-shirt and flip flops ideal attire, then the mid-August weather was just perfect. The sweet morning light was just beginning to show herself to those of us eager enough to be awake, which on this morning included myself and seven photography workshop participants who were joining me for one of my California workshops. Shell Beach seemed like an ideal location to take seven passionate photographers for a sunrise – it’s small and intimate, yet contains many elements that
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MAKE FIRE can be arranged well for a diverse style of seeing photographic compositions. It’s only as wide as a football field, yet both sides lead upward to steep cliffs that stretch out toward the sea, undercut with partial caves on the sides and a scattering of rocks throughout the beach, with a couple large rocks just offshore where pelicans and cormorants linger about. Having photographed this spot many times before, I knew good compositional arrangements could be made, but of course, it is also quite easy to include too much or too little and fall short of success as well. So, an ideal setting to place students – a place where they can make it work, or not, and then discuss the why’s and why not’s as to what is working and what is not working in real time. Less than an hour into our shoot, everyone was quite enthralled and working toward making photographs. I had been bouncing from one participant to the next, spending a few minutes at a time with each, when I approached Mark at the far end of the beach. Mark, a semi-retired entrepreneur who had now turned his extra curricular energy towards
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MAKE FIRE photography, was well on his way to a nice portfolio of strong landscape work after a short couple of years. As I approached him, he was breaking down his tripod, as if just finishing up a shot. “Let me see what you’re up to?” I asked, gesturing toward the camera. He showed me the last few frames he had made and I was stunned, “These are great!” I announced. “I love the composition – how these two rocks are balanced and lead your eye inward to this 3rd rock which is the focal point.” I explained what was working and why, and why the image resonated with me the way it did. Then, I went on to explain what would make it better, and more dynamic. “If you were to wait until a larger wave came into this area of the frame, it would give further separation between these rocks, strengthening the entire image. Get back in there and recompose it, and stick with it – this is now the only composition here that matters for you.” It was then that I realized that all seven of the workshop participants had the same tendency that morning – to go from one compositional arrangement to the next to the next, without ever delving deeply into any of them. Whether it was working well or resonating with them, or not, they all tended to make a few frames and move on. Now, that’s cool if the composition isn’t working, but in many of the cases, including the example with Mark, they would be on to something strong and compelling, and in some cases knew it, but then still only explored the composition at surface level, without committing deeper to it. I told Mark, and soon after all the others, “When we are out photographing, we are running around with a little rock. We are banging
our little rock all over the surface of things until we find a spark. That spark is what we are looking for – it’s when things are lining up and resonating with us. It’s inspiration. Our goal is to find that spark, and then baby that thing and make a fire. Have you ever made a fire in nature using only a spark? It is not easy. It requires careful attention and effort. You have to have all your elements prepped and waiting and then carefully and attentively turn that spark into fire. Once you’ve committed your efforts and have turned a spark into a fire, then your fire can be felt by others – they will feel it’s warmth, and can be comforted by it. This is the same with the photographs. You seek out these sparks of inspiration where these external elements align with something inner and personal, and then you’ve got to commit to making a fire. When we come to this beach, your goal is not to make 10 sparks – it is to make 1 fire!” All seven of the photographers were making sparks, but not realizing that a deeper commitment was necessary, that they had yet to make fire. This, I realized then, is one of the primary differences between successful image makers and unsuccessful image makers, this willingness and understanding to go deeper once the spark is made. After 20 more minutes of committing to the composition with the rocks, Mark had successfully made a stronger image and had reached that point where he could say to himself, “There is nothing more I can do to strengthen this photograph.” He had made fire. Reflecting back on this past year of teaching workshops in my home of Maui; as well as in San Francisco, La Jolla, and
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MAKE FIRE Acadia National Park in Maine; I can look back and see that I have learned much from teaching. Well, it would be more accurate to state – many things that I knew have been strongly reinforced. I have minimized most of what I talk about down to the core of what I believe to be important in the making of expressive and evocative photographs. By emphasizing these technical aspects and creative perspectives and expressing and discussing them with others, they have in-turn been moved to the forefront of my attention. This has resulted in some changes along my photographic path, as well as some enlightening realizations both in my photography and my day-to-day life. I will give you a few examples, using a few points that I always try to make when working with early-on-the-path photographers: •Don’t Make Photography a Means to an End •What Do I Want to Communicate and Express? •Editing – Quality over Quantity Don’t make photography a means to an end. Really, this translates to anything and could be restated to say – don’t make life a means to an end. Speaking photographically, I always feel this is important to express. There needs to be a real love and passion behind the work, otherwise the endurance to carry-on (happily) likely won’t be there. If going out to make bitchin’ photographs is your primary goal and focus, you are using photography as a means to an end and it will result in frustration. Why? Because, most of the
time we go out and don’t make successful photographs! To this day, I am unsuccessful much more than I am successful in capturing and creating evocative and compelling photographs – therefore I’d be frustrated most of the time if that were my main objective. You have to love the process. That’s why I have related what I do photographically to the fisherman. We both go out to a spot that we love and want to spend some time. We bring all our gear and stuff to fiddle around with. In the end, we hope to catch a fish/ make a photograph, but if we don’t – it’s still sweet to be there. If we do, then it’s even sweeter! This is making photographs without making it a means to an end. This is much more rewarding and conducive for a joyous path. After repeatedly discussing and expressing this to workshop participants, I began to see it’s relevance spill over to other areas of my life. If I exhibited my work for a day and wouldn’t sell anything, I noticed I had the tendency to get down in the dumps. I realized that I needed to bring my same advice to my own experiences and follow it, given I thought it were so important to discuss with everyone I worked with. I realized that I needed to stop making exhibiting simply a means to an end, and enjoy the process. Since bringing a greater awareness to this, I have not allowed myself to get so down about slow sale days. What do I want to communicate? What do I want to express? These are important questions that every photographer must begin to ask if they ever want to make more personal and expressive work, and it’s something I bring to the attention of everyone I work with. Again, in doing so, it made me
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look much deeper into what my personal aims are, and what I was looking to communicate with my photographs. It forced me to delve deeper into the question, and ultimately the answer, and become more aware of my message. In turn, I have narrowed my vision and have focused much more clearly on what feelings I want to evoke in viewers with a new series of work tentatively titled â€œSpace and Solitudeâ€? (to be released in January 2014). The knowledge was there, but it was only after discussing and teaching it to others did it force me to delve deeper, resulting in a change of course.
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MAKE FIRE Editing. I discuss the importance of editing on a number of levels, but at its most basic – the photographer is only as good as their presented work. Therefore, if we look at a body of work by a photographer and we both agree to say “He/she is a great photographer”, then really what we are saying is that “He/she is a great editor”. Why? Because again, photographers are unsuccessful much more than they are successful, so the keen eye of a strict editor is necessary. If edited strongly, then the result is a strong photographic collection. If not edited tightly, then the result might be watered down and not as strong.
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MAKE FIRE You can find many examples of this in the world – watered down collections. Unfortunately, many (most?) photographers seem to think more is better. I always tell those I work with who have yet to build a collection of work, “It is much better to have 25 strong images and show no more. People will look at the 25 images and say, ‘he/she is a strong photographer.’ If you show 100 images – 25 strong images and 75 mediocre ones, then they will see you as a mediocre photographer who got lucky once in awhile. The power of a strong edit is the secret to being a good photographer.” Like the other points above, after discussing this over and over, I started to look at my own collection more closely. I remember earlier on my photographic path having a goal to make 50 dynamic gallery-worthy images. Then it was 100. By 2013, my collection had swelled to 225+ images(!), and I realized that I was guilty of what so many others are – adding adding adding, while never taking away. I was not editing out weaker images (and there’s always weaker images), and my collection was growing in number, but weakening at the same time. And worse yet, I found with the greater number of images available in my collection, the more difficulty collectors and prospective buyers had finding “the one” that really resonated with them, another downfall to having too much work. After months of realizing action was needed, I finally was able to simplify and minimize a decades worth of work that was divided into 9 portfolios and 225+ images, down to 4 portfolios and 100 images. A grueling task but a necessary one, and one that reminds
me that every couple years, it’s probably a good idea to clean house and cut some of the fat from the collection – this way the collection grows more strongly as opposed to growing simply in numbers. (The images included here in this post are some of the images that were recently cut.) I had some uncertainties initially about offering workshops but things aligned, the timing was good and I moved into it, curious to determine whether or not this path was one for me. I have been pleasantly surprised to discover that I enjoy the process and interpersonal dynamic with participants, and that I get back as much as I give out. Realizations continue to become more clear – that the photographic path is quite similar for all of us and that we are simply at different spots along the journey – the journey that has no ending; that the lessons learned in photography parallel and highlight those that need to be learned in life; that the path of photography can guide our lives to greater fulfillment and joy; that sharing knowledge and freely giving results in an openness that leaves one able to truly receive. You see, first there’s a spark. With careful attention and effort, you turn that spark into fire. Once you’ve turned a spark into fire, then your fire can be felt by others – they will feel it’s warmth, and can be comforted by it. This is the same with…
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SCOTT REITHER Born and raised around Big Sur, California, Scott Reither has achieved international recognition as a fine art landscape photographer with a taste for the dramatic and the transcendental. His long-exposure photographs sensitively record the atmospheric effects, lyrical beauty and emotional revelations that occur through the combination of light, space and time. Captured in evocative locations around the world, Reither’s photographs are expressive evidence of the raw and wondrous truths still to be found in the landscape Both Reither’s color and black-and-white images have earned critical praise and received over 40 individual honors at the International Photography Awards – the highest amount for any single photographer.
In such photographs as Fury, Broken and Galactic Palm, the theatricality of the light and the dramatic interpretation of these scenes are intended to engage the viewer in an immersive experience – the lush beauty becomes a lure toward a contemplative awareness of nature. Reither’s black-and-white scenes are often minimal and stark but no less compelling. The sharp visual clarity in such scenes as Passage and Exodus is balanced by their expressive eloquence. Reither’s work is intimate, meditative and ethereal. At the 2013 IPA’s, Reither was awarded Second Place (Architecture category) for House of Infinity, a compelling use of nighttime photography to create a symphonic scene of an old church set against a blaze of stars.
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NEW JERSEY SHORES
NEW JERSEY SHORES BY DEBRA MILL-
have been a lifelong resident of New Jersey (USA), moving to Southern New Jersey in June 2002. I now live extremely close to many of the beaches that New Jersey is known for. Ocean City and Cape May are where I spend much of my time photographing the Jersey Coastline. Iâ€™m sure many Americans will associate New Jersey with the exit that they live off of on either the NJ Turnpike or Garden State Parkway. However, what most people do not know, is how beautiful the Jersey Coast truly is.
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NEW JERSEY SHORES Through my photography I share the peacefulness and beauty of our beaches. When photographing the coast I try to take in the sounds and feeling of being on the beach. Surprisingly, even in the dead of winter, many people are out exploring the Jersey shore. For me, the beauty is irreplaceable. I find that sunrise is the most perfect time to be on the beach, camera on tripod, the anticipation of the beauty that will unfold in front of my eyes, is something I try to share through my work. Sunrise in particular, is magical on the east coast. The colors that envelop can be varying, some days there is an unbelievable purple and pink breaking through storm clouds, creating a perfect opportunity to explore HDR photography. The reflection I am able to catch in the ocean as it breaks on the shoreline is stunning. Living in New Jersey for my entire life gives me an advantage, although some may view this as stagnant and familiar. However, the challenge in this familiarity is how I see my surroundings, with â€œnewâ€? eyes each time I journey out. After Super Storm Sandy in October 2012, Mother Nature took care of the visual familiarity. What She could not take is the feeling evoked in me when I see our coastline. I strive to show the simple beauty of the New Jersey coastline with the technique I choose to use in photographing each beach. That same beach can take on a new and different feel each time I visit. Depending on my
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mood, the weather, and how I choose to interpret the reality in from of me, it can be either strong and vibrant; or soft and silky. No matter how way I choose to photograph New Jersey, it is still an unbeatable place, one I long to share with my viewers. This past year I went through an illness and most days I was not feeling very well. On the days I was able to get up and out, I would find myself at the beach. There is something to be said for the sound of a wave crashing on the shore. Many of my friends encouraged me to keep a log of my feelings while I was sick; however, for me the ideal therapy was photographing the shore. The quiet and solitude I experienced while photographing
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NEW JERSEY SHORES took me away from the daily reminders of what my body was going through. There is a certain calmness and serenity that I feel these days, after a long year of illness, which I believe can be felt in my photography of late. Recently I have been exploring long exposures. The mood that can be achieved with this technique is amazing. Through this type of photography, what I feel as I press the shutter button is conveyed to anyone viewing one of my photographs. This type of technique seems to parallel the calmness that I feel now that I am well again. Art for me is a vision that I have and being able to relay that vision to others is priceless. Often, what the camera sees is very different from what I see or more accurately, what I envision. In my opinion, art is what an artist sees in their minds eye, not always what they are looking at. One of my favorite places to photograph is the 59th Street Pier in Ocean City, NJ. This pier had been in ruins for many years, but there was still a certain beauty to this pier in spite of its decay. Numerous photographers would venture to this pier to photograph it because of it being in ruin. Sadly, last year during Super Storm Sandy most of what did remain was washed out to sea. Today, people still gather at this spot to sit, contemplate and photograph this wondrous structure. This end of the beach known as Corsonâ€™s Inlet is away from the noise and busyness of the boardwalk. It is one of the more peaceful sections of the beach and the pier adds to the aura, even though there are but a few pilings still standing.
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I have been to many of the beaches up and down the Jersey Coast, from Sandy Hook to Ocean Grove, Point Pleasant to Ventnor, and Ocean City to Cape May. Each town has its own feeling, however, the one thing they all have in common is the beauty of their beaches. I invite you to look at my photographs and if Iâ€™ve done my job as a landscape photographer, my emotional journey will become your emotional journey.
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Debra Miller DEBRA MILLER Debra Nancy Miller was born in Jersey City, NJ. After residing in several areas of New Jersey, today she makes her home in Smithville, NJ. She lives with her husband Brian, daughter Cristine and their Westie, McKenzie. Debra is a self-taught photographer specializing in landscape photography. Debra went from a person with no photographic knowledge or experience to a semi-professional photographer.
In 2008 she was given a Canon 30d from her husband as a Christmas gift. Several months later she was laid off from her job of 11 years. This presented her with much time to explore the new camera she had been given. She proceeded to take many webinars and read every bit of information she could find on photography. In 2012 she upgraded her camera to a Canon 5d Mark ii and several L series lenses. That same year after being diagnosed with cancer, Debra found that photography took her away from the daily reminder of what her body was going through. Debra currently makes the New Jersey Coastline her primary focus of photography. She can be reached through her website at
www.debranancy.com or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new lands but seeing Light & Landscape Magazine | 47
Q & A WITH PAUL SANDERS
Q&A WITHPAULSANDERS LL.Howdidphotographyfirstbecomepart of your life? PS. I first started taking pictures with my dad’s Praktica MTL5 – he used to keep in its bag in his wardrobe so I’d often borrow it without him knowing, rewind his film, put mine in shoot some pictures then put his film back in and forward it to the relevant
number – he rarely noticed the odd blank frame! When I told my careers teacher at school that I wanted to be photographer she pretty much laughed at me and explained that I had neither the skills, contacts or drive to achieve much more than work in shop or factory. After a brief spell at college following school, I started working – as any 18 year old would – shooting
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Q & A WITH PAUL SANDERS glamour calendars with a Coventry based photographer. I talked my way into the role and convinced the photographer Iâ€™d be invaluable to his operation! To be honest I knew nothing and it quickly showed but he really helped me as he could see how much I wanted to do the job well. We worked in Menorca it was hard work as you can imagine, but I learned so much more than going to college. Everything from cost, logistics, to working with art directors, models make-up artists and stylists it all came at me in a very steep learning curve and all before we picked up cameras and started shooting. We used Bronica SQA cameras at the time everything was shot on transparency and there was no room for error, I very quickly learned that my mistakes could
cost us thousands of pounds in lost commissions, it was quite a challenge for me but I revelled in the pressure of the assignments. I knew from here on that I would do no other job, being a photographer was special and chance to do what I loved and be paid for it. LL.Couldyoudescribethecareercourse that lead to you becoming Picture Editor at the The Times newspaper? What part didyouplayinthechangesthattookplace duringyourtenure?Whataretherealities of such a high pressure role? PS. The problem with being young and being paid a lot of money to shoot calendars was that I spent a lot â€“ in fact I spent all I
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had having a really good time. By the time I was 21 I owed more than I was earning so had to get a job. I started at The Daventry Express in 1991 as a trainee photographer earning £6500 per year. A far cry from the commission fees before! I worked my socks off, and learned a whole new type of photography, my people skills came in handy but to cover 10-15 jobs a day on no more than two rolls of film on a battered Nikon FM2 a 28mm and 180mm lens was a tall order. After doing a part time course with the National Council for the Training of Journalists I gained my only real qualification in photography and moved to a press agency in Birmingham called News Team. It was here that I started working for national pa-
pers and magazines. I covered everything from Premier League football to Sun Bingo winners, exposes for the Sunday tabloids and features for the broadsheets. I moved to Manchester with News Team and set-up a syndication operation with the Manchester Evening News, the Manchester operation grew as did my reputation for being a good operator, I was pretty ruthless back then and as an agency we took no prisoners on stories at all. If we didn’t get the best images we didn’t earn any money, so it was always do or die. The photographers and journalists I worked with at the time had a similar ethic. We lived in the same flat, worked and drank together. We were as tight as could be, and strangely creative
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Q & A WITH PAUL SANDERS with our stories, seemingly able to make the agency money from our ideas that usually started out as local stories but with good pictures. One morning the Editor of the MEN asked me to stop by and see him, it wasn’t unusual as we sold the pictures from the MEN around the world and he liked to know what we were making from his paper. This chat was different, he offered me the job of deputy picture editor, I laughed out loud, arrogantly said you can’t afford me! He doubled my News Team salary, gave me a car, expenses and the chance to help shape a photography department that needed some help. Working with the Picture Editor, Dave Thomas, I was again subjected to a steep and harsh learning curve. Picture ideas were tossed out of morning conference like rubbish, the news desk would try and always get ahead of us to make us look like we weren’t doing our job, as if that wasn’t enough the sub editors would literally ruin the picture that went on the pages because they were too lazy to crop them properly. It was an uphill battle, we had picture consultants come in to strengthen our cause and eventually won the battle after 9 months of fighting the picture desk were allowed to have a say in how the pictures were used on the page. After 18 months at The MEN I was offered a job at Reuters in London, this was quite a step up. Reuters is an international wire service providing news and pictures across the world 24/7. I was employed as UK assignments editor, looking after a team of 8 UK based photographers planning the cov-
erage and occasionally shooting for them too, mainly football or golf. The downside of Reuters and it was the only downside was that it was a bit cliquey, you had to be politically aware and make the right friends otherwise you’d never move on. Despite always having the photographers in the right places to enable them to get the images that made the front pages around the world on a daily basis, I never moved up the Reuters career ladder. In 2002 I got a call from The Times picture editor to go and talk to them about making more of their photographers. We talked and I was offered a job with, bizarrely, the same title I had at Reuters. I started at Wapping and immediately set to work trying to get our photographers in the right places at the right time. But newspapers are very different to agencies and there are other pages to fill than the front page every day. I was very soon having the same battles with sub editors and page designers that I’d had in Manchester. The Times picture desk, despite its best efforts, had little or no control over the pictures that were used in the paper. We would print out 100s of A3 images and hand them over to the page designers who would fit them in the spaces left when they ran out of words. The Times is a words paper, and nothing was going to change it! With some frustration I tried to leave The Times after 12 months but I was persuaded by the managing editor to go part-time, shooting as a freelance for 3 days and doing staff photography jobs the rest of the week. During this period I was asked to take part in a secret project for The Times, for two weeks I was to be part of a twelveperson team who would redesign the pa-
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per from the broadsheet to the compact. It required a whole new way of thinking about pictures, copy and design. I was the only picture person involved and together with a designer who had a love of images we set about changing the way The Times used pictures. What was great about this time was that the Editor, sub editors and other people involved in the project actually asked how to make the images looks better they wanted to understand cropping and composition. I was totally in my element and rose to the challenge that thrust on me. When the project was unveiled to wider world it caused division not only among
readers but those working on the paper too. We had two picture teams, two subbing teams, two design teams etc, the competition between the formats was immense and the pressure to produce better images has never been greater. I must admit I loved the pressure, the long days and the hunger to outdo people on the same paper who tried their hardest to leave me in the dark at times. On April Foolsâ€™day, 2004, I was offered the job of picture editor of The Times, to be fair my dream job. The formats were merged, and I was able to pull together a superb team of picture editors, researchers and photographers. There was a tremendous morale on the
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Q & A WITH PAUL SANDERS picture desk as we had total control over the images, from commissioning to layout and it showed on every page. The same applied to the website and eventually to the iPad versions. We experimented with new technology to keep us ahead of our rivals, introduced video shooting and even tried three 3D at one point. When you are responsible for the entire visual content of a national newspaper, you take on huge responsibility. Not only the pictures and the budgets but also the lives of the photographers, who travel to some of the most dangerous places on earth to cover the stories that matter.
You read about journalists and photographers being killed far too often and as a picture editor you hope it will never happen to one of your team. The pressures on the desk and photographer to deliver images is huge. Fail to deliver and you won’t be allowed to forget it. Succeed and the bar gets higher next time. It is a loose loose situation in some respects. Sadly, I was unfortunate enough to be in a position when one of my team took his own life while on an assignment abroad. The series of events around his death will live with me forever. The effect on his family, colleagues and I was huge. Even now there is barely a day goes by when I don’t think of him or the reasons why, which we still don’t know for
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Q & A WITH PAUL SANDERS certain. LL. You left The Times in 2011 and have beenexceedinglyopenaboutyourreasons forthis.Couldyousharethesereasonswith our readers? PS. I left at the end of 2011 after suffering withdepressionandinsomnia.Ibasically covered up my condition for fear of being stigmatised or being removed from my job. In a nutshell, my entire life fell to piecesbecauseItriedtohideitratherthan get help. I could barely function at work. My wife ended up leaving and I couldn’t sleepatnightbecauseIwasalreadyworrying about the next day’s paper. It was a viciouscircle.Aneweditordidn’treallyhelp. Nordidfurtherbudgetcutsandtheinevitableredundancieswhichresultedinthe remainingpicturedeskmembersworking longer hours. By the time I left I was in the office 14 hours a day, cycling the 26 miles toworkandeatingonlySkittles,crispsand drinkingcoffee.Iwasawreck.Iwouldliterally arrive home and break down in tears. Sometimes I’d sit in the shower for hours justhopingtomorrowwouldn’tcomebut itdidandeverydayIgotworse.Ironically,I producedsomeofmybestfrontpagesand inspiredpictureideaswhenIwaslikethat. WhenIIeft,onDecember31st2011,Ididn’t look back.NowitfeelslikeI never worked there.ThedepressionlastedlongafterIleft though and only now can I say that I am coming out of the other side. LL.Inwhatwayhaslandscapephotography helped you overcome your illness? PS.Istartedtakinglandscapestoalleviate thestress,tobehonestmydoctorandmy
ex-wifethoughtitwouldhelp.Ichose5x4 tostartwithandwentrightbacktobasics, bought a beautiful Ebony RSW and relearnedallthetechniquesandtechnicalitiesofshootinglargeformatfilm.Theeffect ofslowingdown,waiting,watchingthinkingandbecomingemotionallyinvolvedin the landscape and the effect it had on me wasarevelation.Istartedouttryingtotake imageslike,JoeCornish,CharlieWaiteand David Ward but found I couldn’t copy. It made photography more stressful. OnceIstartedshootinglikePaulSanders I found it freed me up. I started reflecting my emotions in the images. Some were very dark but at times there was light or fewerstormydays,andeventuallyacalmness started to appear in my work. Some would argue that I allow my emotional responsestotheworldtoover-dominate my work. But I really don’t care what people say. Essentially, I shoot for me. If I like theimagethenthat’sok.Theproblemwith being depressed and negative was that I didn’t like any of my work. I would always underminedotherpeople’sopinionofitby pointing out all the flaws! LL.Havingnowmovedintolandscapephotographyfulltime,howhaveyoufoundthe transition on a professional basis? PS. Well it’s a really hard job. Harder, but more fun, more frustrating and more rewarding. I love what I do. Most of my work attheminuteiscommissionsforFTSE100 companies andsome private work forindividuals. I do have to do a few jobs that aren’tlandscapetomakeendsmeet.I’ve gone from a six-figure salary to making endsmeetandsavingmyTescovouchers
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Q & A WITH PAUL SANDERS tobuyfood.ButwithoutadoubtI’mabetterpersonandinabetterplace.Yesmywife left and I left a glittering career to chase a dream, but this is where my heart lies. I’m notascommercialassomelandscapephotographersandIlookattheworkofothers andwishI’dtakentheimagesothershave. We are all the same. Whether amateur or professional,thereisalwayssomeonewho hasbetterlight,abetterinsight.Butwhat matters is my insight and my reaction to what’sin-frontofme.Thereisahugechallengethesedaysastheappreciationofthe value of photography has gone. Clients can’tunderstandwhyanimagecosts£400 - £1000 when they have a iPhone that will takegreatpicturesoncewhizzedthrough
InstagramorSnapseed.Therealskillisto doitincamera.Allmyeffects,mood,movementsandlayersaredoneincameranotin Photoshop.IfItakemorethantwominutes ontheMacI’mreallylooseinterest.Isatfor 8 years looking at over 17,000 (yes that is right) images every day. Sometimes on a bigdaytherewerenearly40,000! Thelast thing I want to do is sit in front of my computer! LL. Do you, in anyway, take a journalistic, storytelling approach to your landscape photography? Or have you made a completedeparturefromyourpresspastwhen shooting landscapes?
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Q & A WITH PAUL SANDERS PS.IliketothinkIhaveleftmostofthejournalistic stuff behind. But there is a part of methatwon’tPhotoshopimages.Iwon’t remove or clone away things I don’t like - I move my feet and try a new angle. Yes, it’s harder.ButIthenspendmoretimetaking picturesandlessmakingabadjobofPhotoshoppingimages.Ithinkthat’sjustlazy – I get a lot of flak about that stance. LL.Whatchallengeshaveyouencountered launchingalandscapephotographybusiness in the current economic climate? There are a couple of issues really. The market is saturated with photographers allshootinglandscapesofonetypeoranother. The premier league of landscape photographers;JoeCornish,DavidNoton, CharlieWaiteetcstillcommandgoodfees andtheirworkshopsfilloutquickly.Then there are the rest of us fighting for a piece of the pie. I had a client a few months ago who did a one day one-to-one with me. I tookhimtosomelocations,explainedhow Iworkandmyprocesses,gavehimaprint out of tips etc and then a few weeks later he set up a workshop of his own using my notesandchargedalotless!Somepeople reallytakethebiscuitbutit’sacompetitive worldandwerisetothechallenge.Thebiggestissuereallyisgettingyourworkseen andnewcommissionswonfromitwithout compromisingyourstyletosuittheclient. I’mreallystrictaboutthat.Iwon’tshootanythingthatdoesn’tfitwithmystyle.Iwon’t change the way I work because clients don’t like soft images with lots of movement. Generally it’s not a problem, but on occasionIhavewalkedawayfromaclient because they want me to shoot in a way thatdoesn’tsuitme.It’shardtodothis,but Idon’twanttodilutemyworkandbecome
somethingIamnot–it’sbadenoughwhen Igetaskedtodopicturesthataren’tlandscapes.IalreadyfeelcompromisedbeforeI start shooting on some assignments. What I am pleased about is that from my work being seen in people’s homes I am nowgettingcommissionsfromthepublic too.Thisisfantasticexperiencebecause thepeopleIshootforhaveaspecificplace andmemoryinmindandtosharethejourneyfromconcepttothewallisfascinating andverychallenging.Thecommissionsare very time consuming as finding the right conditions and light etc on a day when I havenothingelseplannedisquitetough. But so far I have delivered. LL.CanyoutellusaboutCameraKids?In what ways, if any, have integrated landscape photography into this project? PS.CameraKidsisreallyspecialtome.It’s aimed at 6-11 years olds and designed to helpthemlearntocommunicatevisually. Thechildrendon’thavethefearortheneed toabidebytherules.Whentheystartmaking images the excitement on their faces and their enthusiasm is incredible. I base eachsessiononadifferentaspectofphotography;fromtextureandmacrothrough to moving light and portraits. For the last 18monthsI’vebeenworkingwithaprofessionalteachertomakethelessonsmorerelevanttothecurriculum.Atoneschoolwe hadsomuchinterestfromparentsweran a night-time family class and had over 60 families turn up to learn how to paint with light. The school was alive with whoops andcries ofdelight, mainly fromparents! I think that I have probably gained more
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Q & A WITH PAUL SANDERS fromtheprojectthanthechildrenasthey aresoinspiringtoworkwithandtheykeep pushing me to come up with ideas that it becomes a nearly impossible task. LL.HowdidyourloveofIcelandandshootingtheAuroraBorealiscomeabout?What kind of experience could our readers expect from a typical Aurora Workshop? PS.I’vealwaysbeenfascinatedbytheAurora and first got the chance to shoot it with AndyKeenofAuroraHunters–he’sprobablythebestinthebusinessatgettingyou to a place where there is likely to be an au-
rora.Mostcompaniesofferingthechance to see the aurora just take you to a place theyhaveseenitbefore.Theydon’tstudy theSpaceWeatherorcloudmovements. AndyworksinFinlandandI’vedoneafew workshops with and for him. They were greatfunbutphotographicallyIfoundFinlandlackedsomethingduringthedayfor me.IwenttoIcelandaftertalkingtofellow professionalHamishRoots.Heworksthere a lot and having done a recce of locations I fell in love with the country – it has everythingfromgreatcoast,beaches,glaciers, volcanoesandtheaurora.Myauroraworkshops,tobehonest,areexhaustingforme
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Q & A WITH PAUL SANDERS andmyclients.HavinglearnedfromAndy, IstudytheSunandthecloudmovements butanaveragedayformeouttherewould be;dawnshootfollowedbybreakfast,then movetoalocationforadaytimelandscape. Lunchisusuallytakenlateoronthemove beforefindingsomewheretoshootasthe lightdrops.Afterabreatherandachance toseewherethecloudswillbreak,westart Aurora hunting. In Iceland you either get great displays or none. It is prone to more cloud than Finland or Northern Norway but the foreground interest can be much nicer. Soitisahugegambleformeandthe clients.Itendtofinishwhenwehavefound theaurorainoneshapeorotherwhichcan beaslateas4aminsomecases. Thenitall
starts again! LL.Whatwouldwefindinyourcamerabag onatypicallandscapeshoot?Whatisyour approach to post-processing and workflow? PS. My bag is supplied by Mindshift gear vistheirUKdistributorsSnapperstuff.InitI have3Canon5Dmk3.Oneisconvertedto IR.A15mmZeisslensthatIâ€™vehacksawed thelenshoodofftomaketheLeeFiltersfit. AZeiss21mm.ACanon24mmTSE.ACanon 100mm macro. A Canon 70-200mm. LeeFilters-thestandardsize100mrange ofgradsandNDfiltersplusthebigstopper andmysilkstockingfilters.Usuallytwotri-
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Q & A WITH PAUL SANDERS podsandremotereleases.AlwaysSandisk cardsandabout8batteries.Toprotectmy gear in the rain I use some chamois. Mypostshootworkflowisquitestraightforward: Import to Lightroom – caption –keyword,tweakthecontrast,clarity,desaturate slightly and then export to my backupdrive.IfI’mconvertingtoblackand whiteIuseSilverEffectsPro,althoughthe latestversionofLightroomactuallyworks beautifully.IonlyusePhotoshoptogetrid ofanydustspotsIcansee.ForclientsIuse aprofessionalretouchertocheckfordust andprintcalibrationbeforesendingthem off to Genesis in London who print all my landscape work.
theemotionalresponseasopposedtothe technical stuff that bogs down so many photographers.Iwanttofeelthepictures I take. I prefer to work alone and will sit for hours watching the light change on the scene in front of me. My mind clears of all of the issues of life and I sort of dissolve into the landscape. For me these are the rare moments of perfect clarity.
LL.Finally,areyoucurrentlyinvolvedinany new projects or experimenting with any particular photography techniques you would like to share with us? PS.I’malwaysexperimenting,usuallytrying out things that I have sketched on my iPhone. I’m really inspired by the work of the artist Turner. I am trying to develop a more impressionistic style. It’s great fun. I’m also doing a lot of in camera multiple exposures and camera movement stuff. Thisreallyfreesyouupcreativelybecause althoughyouhavecontrolit’snottotal,so therandomnessoftheresultsisliberating. Manyphotographerstendtomakefunof mysilkstockingfiltersthatIusetodiffuse theshotsItake.ThiscoupledwithlongexposuresgivesmethefeelingthatIexperiencewhenIwatchthelandscapechangein frontofme.Ioftenmeditateandbecause I’macommittedChristianprayintheplace I’mphotographing.SometimesIevengo barefoot, all in an effort to get closer to
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Q & A WITH PAUL SANDERS
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Q & A WITH PAUL SANDERS
PAUL SANDERS I have been a professional photographer since 1984. After beginning my career as a fashion and advertising photographer, I moved into newspapers in 1991, joining The Times in 2002 and becoming Picture Editor in 2004. While in this prestigious role, I oversaw the entire visual look and feel of the paper as it transitioned from broadsheet to compact format as well as developing the way in which imagerywas delivered across the many digital platforms offered to subscribers. I left The Times at the end of December 2011 to pursue my love of landscape photography and launch an after schools project for young children to develop their visual and creative awareness through photography. I am passionate about landscape photography, using every format, from 5x4 to my iPhone, to capture images. I believe anyone can take good photographs. All they need is to be able to understand the capabilities of their camera and to learn how to visualise the final result. In my spare time I am a keen road cyclist and take part in many endurance events around Europe. Light & Landscape Magazine | 61
WATER IN MOTION
WATER IN MOTION BYJENNIFERWU
hotographing moving water at varying shutter speeds produces different looks, from a silky effect to frozen detail. When photographing the ocean surf, waterfalls, streams or any moving water, I often bracket the shutter speeds to create a variety of results.
In the vertical waterfall image in Iceland, the water appears smooth and gauzy. The horizontal image of the same waterfall presents more detail, permitting more shape with enough blur to endow the shot with a sense of motion. I like both effects, so I vary the shutter speed to get more or less detail. When bracketing the shutter speeds, review each image on view screen to judge the results. If you see silky water with no detail where it is all white, move to a faster shutter speed. If there is too much detail where the water looks like ice, use a slower shutter to add enough blur for a velvety water effect.
Horizontal waterfall: Canon 5D mark II, 24-70 mm lens at 24 mm, f/16, Shutter speed 1/10, ISO 100. I used a polarizing filter. More detail in the water with a faster shutter speed.
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Vertical waterfall: Canon 5D mark II, 24-70 mm lens at 24 mm, f/16, Shutter speed .6, ISO 100. I used a polarizing filter. Smooth effect.
SHUTTER SPEED CHOICE How fast or slow the water is moving is a factor to help decided shutter speed for the amount of blur or detail. A slow versus fast moving stream will have different effects at the same shutter speed. In addition, wider-angle lenses show less apparent motion compared to a telephoto from the same distance. Several factors to help decide the shutter speed: • The flow rate of the water – slower shutter for more blur with slow moving streams • The amount of blur or detail you want – slower shutter for more blur • Distance to the subject – the water flow appears faster the closer you are • Focal length of the lens – slower shutter for wide-angle lenses for more blur
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WATER IN MOTION Waterfalls all fall at the same rate weather they are a faint stream or large waterfall. They gain momentum with the distance. The air resistance is the only factor that will affect the rate of water falling. I photographed the waterfall on the previos pages in Iceland while leading a photography tour with Jim Martin. In the horizontal image, I used a .6 second shutter speed for a satiny effect, while the vertical image has a 1/10 shutter speed to show more detail. In Yosemite, 1/125 of a second contributed some detail in the fast moving waterfalls. By contrast, I prefer 1/15 to 1/30 of a second to smooth the slower moving water on the floor of water the valley. Use a really fast shutter speed to stop the action of moving water. For waves at the ocean, I use around a 1/1000 of a second to get the detail in the splash. Each droplet freezes. In the next examples, the ocean images have a 10 to 13 second exposure to blur the water, transforming the surf into a fog.
Morro Bay rocks and surf, Canon 5D mark II, 24-70 mm lens at 24 mm, f/16, 10 seconds, ISO 100. I used a 3-stop neutral density filter and a polarizer to smooth out the ocean surf.
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WATER IN MOTION TRIPOD Using a STURDY tripod will be necessary for the slow shutter speeds. They are still a good idea for higher shutter speeds as they aid in fine-tuning the final composition. Keep in mind it is often windy at the base of a waterfall or around the ocean surf. Weigh down the tripod if necessary to avoid vibration or tipping.
EXPOSURE When taking a photograph, I decide whether the shutter speed or f/stop is the most important and set that first. Normally, I use manual mode and set the shutter speed first, followed by the f/stop. Next, I set ISO, ideally the native ISO for the camera, such as ISO 100 for Canon, or 200 for Nikon. Native resolution produces the least noise. If the shutter speed is too slow, I raise the ISO to the proper exposure. Finally, I add a filter, as discussed below.
Morro Bay sunset: Canon 5D mark II, F/16, 13 seconds, ISO 100. I used a 5-stop neutral density filter to obtain the softness of the waves.
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Smooth Wave, Morro Bay, California: Canon 5D mark II, 70-300 mm f/4-5.6 at 135 mm, f/22, 0.4 second, ISO 100.
SHUTTER SPEED In order to get slow shutter speeds for the satiny effect, try photographing in low light conditions since full sun may demand too fast a shutter speed for slow motion. For example: photograph at low light near sunrise or sunset on sunny days, with the subject catching the first or last rays of light. Exposure is easier when the water is in the shade, but be aware that your color temperature will change, shifting toward blue. Overcast conditions work well most of the time.
FILTERS Using a polarizer will reduce your shutter speed time by about two f-stops. Turn the polarizer to see the effect on shiny rock surfaces and note how the reduced glare reveals detail and form. However, be careful when using a polarizer so as not to take out desired colorful reflections. Neutral density filters (not graduated neutral density filters), grey in color, will reduce the light to the sensor, allowing for a slower shutter speed.
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IDEAS Water in all its forms is a dynamic subject open to many approaches. I like photographing streams in the shade with green leaves reflected onto the surface in the afternoon (Yosemiteâ€™s Fern Spring is good for that). Photographing along Yosemiteâ€™s Merced River at sunrise provides the opportunity to capture the warm reflections of the mountains in the river. The combination of fall colors and sun lit leaves reflected in the shaded water is a perennial favorite.
TIPS FOR KEEPING THE LENS DRY Use a lens hood to keep spray off the lens. Carry a hand towel or pack towel to dry the camera and tripod when you return to the car from the shoot. Use a chamois cloth to wipe the droplets off the lens. Chamois are used to wipe cars dry and it works just as well on the lens. If you are in heavy spray from waterfalls, the ocean or from rain it is helpful to use a small sized soft absorbent pack towel to wipe the lens of most of the water then use the chamois, as it will get soaked too fast and become useless.
Wave in Action, Morro Bay, California: Canon 5D mark II, 70-300 mm f/4-5.6 at 300 mm, f/5.6, 1/1000th second, ISO 200.
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Boiling Mud Pot, Iceland: Canon 5D mark II, 70-300 mm f/4-5.6 at 260 mm, f/9, 1/400 second, ISO 320
TIPS FOR CLEANING SEA SPRAY First, use an air blower (not canned air) to remove any bits of sand or dust that might scratch the lens. Next, wipe down your camera and lenses with a damp cloth to clean off the salt from the sea spray. Do this as soon as possible. If you do get sea spray on the front element of the lens, use some lens cleaning fluid on a wipe or tissue and use that to remove it. Use lens cleaning solution and do not use abrasive or solvents. Wipe in a circular motion from the center outward. Do not put fluid directly on the lens. If it is very misty, bring the fluid and wipes with you to the ocean. Another option is using a UV filter when at the ocean to protect the front element of the lens from the salt in the sea spray and you can clean the filter after the shoot in the same way as mentioned above. Clean the eyepiece in the same way if it is needed. Have fun photographing moving water and creating inspiring images!
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WATER IN MOTION
Jennifer Wu JENNIFER WU Jennifer Wu is a nature and landscape photographer and best known for images of the night sky and stars. Canon named Jennifer as an Explorer of Light, a group of internationally recognized elite photographers for her night sky photography. Canon states, “The Explorers OfLightprogramisagroupof62oftheworld’s best photographers, united in theirlove and passion for photographic excellence. They also share a common desire to contribute back to the industry with a willingness to share their vision and passion with others.” Jenniferenjoys sharing herenthusiasm and passion for nature photography in lectures and workshops for Canon. She is honored that Canon publishes her spectacular sky photographs in their professional camera brochures and advertisements. Her images, featured in numerous magazines and books, have won a wide varietyofprestigiousawards.Whenevershe is not on nature expeditions at some of the most beautiful locations in the world, she over 10 years with traditional black and exhibits herimages at nationallyrecognized white photography. She currently lives in galleries and art shows. Sacramento, CA and makes that her home base between adventures. Jennifer was born in Illinois in 1968, grew up in Davis, California. She moved She taught photographyand digitalimaging to Sacramento to attend California at CRC and California State University State University, Sacramento where she Sacramento. received a BA in Photography. She spent
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WATER IN MOTION She now enjoys lectures, seminars and speaking events as well as leading workshops for Light Photographic Workshops, Canon and aFilm International FilmWorkshopsBarcelona,Spain.Sheleads tours with James Martin to Namibia, Death Valley, Greenland, Montana and Iceland. View her images at www.jenniferwu.com.
ARTIST’S STATEMENT I strive to craft landscapes that evoke a mood, a strike chord of recognition, or trigger a sense of longingwithin theviewer. Depending on the image, one may sense tranquility and peacefulness, apprehend nature’s power, or imagine evoke a feeling of mystery, and vivid qualities, drawing the viewer to the subsequent images. I photograph dramatic landscapes that are
at the edge of the light, the border of night and day, as I search forexquisite and unique perspectives of the natural world. My lifelong quest for capturing nature’s elusive beauty or even unrecognized beauty impelled me to embark on ever more challenging adventures in California, expanding throughout the United States and abroad. I spend an inordinate amount of time driving, flying and hiking to searching for ideal locations and waiting for the wind, clouds, and light to fuse in a mystical way. When it all comes together, striking compositions display the story of the transitional world as a beautiful place illuminated by magical moments. – Jennifer Wu
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WORK LIFE BALANCE
WORK LIFE BALANCE
he topic of discussion at work is often about work life balance. As I listen to the discussions, often my thoughts are how I can balance working as a physician, with family life and the aspirations of becoming a landscape photographer Over the years, as I built my career as a physician, photography has slowly become more than a hobby. What started with a classic Canon AE-1 and a 50mm lens given
to me by my brother-in-law 20 years ago has become the focus of the next chapter of my life. Donâ€™t get me wrong. I love my career as a physician. But photography is my passion. It is my medicine. I simply love the outdoors. I love to capture moments in time and share them with the rest of the world. I also hope that through my photography, I can help raise appreciation for the photographic arts in my community and our natural world.
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WORK LIFE BALANCE As I continue to evolve as a landscape photographer, I have faced many challenges. Time. My number one challenge would have to be lack of time. As I work as a full time physician, I most often struggle to find time to get out and take pictures. This restricts my outdoor escapades to family vacations or few short photography trips on extended weekends. This also means that often times, the conditions aren’t ideal for photography. My most recent trip was planned seven months in advance. I had always wanted to take a road trip to Northern California and Oregon. So when I requested the two week October vacation in April, I specifically picked mid-October for the autumn colors. My final destination would be Portland, Oregon, where I would photograph the famous Maple tree at the Japanese garden.
On the way, I would visit Redwood State and National park, and then head north to Oregon. After visiting Portland, my plan was to head South-east to Bend, Oregon, which is known for its beautiful alpine and high desert terrain, the Sisters, and lakes. The stay at redwood state park was short but one of the most amazing experiences I’ve ever had. It was short because we only stayed there two nights. We were rushing to get to our destination. I forgot my own rule. “Enjoy the journey; don’t just look forward to the destination”. Given the lack of time, I didn’t have enough time to scout the area to look for spots to photograph. I took my shots as I explored the trails with my family. I felt I was being rushed. My wife and daughter were very supportive, but you can’t help it when their patience runs out. Also my 7 year old daughter would want to take restroom breaks at the most critical
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WORK LIFE BALANCE
times. One of my favorite shots was taken when we were heading back to the car, because she had to go to the bathroom. As I was heading back on the trail towards my car, with my gear still on the tripod, I spotted the shot. I guess you could also argue that if I weren’t rushed to the car, I would have missed that shot. Never the less, the stay at the Redwoods was amazing, and it planted a seed for another visit to the area. As we headed to Oregon, the autumn colors were at peak which was great for my Maple tree shot, but it was sunny and no rain in the forecast. That was horrible for landscape photos. No clouds? No rain? In Oregon? Wow, it was October (which usually starts to rain with a very dramatic weather), 75 degrees, sunny and not a single cloud in the sky. Great for the Oregonians. They were amazed. Not so great for me. My visit
to the Portland Japanese garden was an amazing experience. As I finally found the infamous majestic tree, I was amazed how small it was. Not kidding. This was the main reason why I drove almost 1300 miles; I had to get it right. I spent few hours on it, with different lenses, different lighting…Wife finally had it. She finally took my daughter to the zoo nearby, which gave me more time. I later realized that my best shot was one of the first ones I took. I also took a few with my large format camera. Since the weather was so sunny and free of clouds, I didn’t feel it was the “right” time to visit Bend. I wanted things to be right. I decided that we would head back to California. I guess if I went then, I probably wouldn’t be visiting again anytime soon. This way, I’m forced to go back next year. I have mixed feeling about this decision.
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WORK LIFE BALANCE Other photographers may have thought differently. It’s the “all or nothing” mentality I have, which is a bad combination when you have limited time to photograph around the year. The trip concluded with few days stay in San Francisco. We visited Half Moon Bay, where I had a chance to photograph the famous “row of cypress” trees at Moss beach. Reflecting back on this trip, I do wish conditions had bee different, but the reality is that we do not control nature. As all photographers are well aware of this, you just have to deal with the limitations and challenges, and be creative. Now I can say that the theme of the recent trip was “trees”. But most importantly, I spent 12 great days with my wife and daughter, driving from San Diego to Portland, and back, spent some nights in the tear drop camper, away from
the hectic clinic schedule. As I look at my pictures, I know exactly what my daughter was doing. Having a career in medicine has limited my time photographing, but it also has allowed me to take my photographic journeys with my family. As I look at my photo library, I can see my daughter mature through them. As I document my journey, I am also documenting my life with my wife and daughter. I’m going to quote a friend I made recently. To balance the three “P’s” (profession, parenting and passion), one needs to have patience, pragmatism and perseverance. In the future, I hope to move to a different location of the country where I will more conveniently be able to photograph. Until then, I will continue to capture Mother Nature’s beauty with family and make memories.
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WORK LIFE BALANCE
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WORK LIFE BALANCE
GEVORK MOSESI Gevork Mosesi is a physician and a landscape photographer based in San Diego, CA. He has been an avid photography for 20 years. He shoots with various formats including digital, 4x5 and 6x17 panoramic cameras.
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READER’S SHOWCASE SIMON WRIGGLESWORTH
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SIMON WRIGGLESWORTH I have always loved looking at beautiful pictures of places that I have visited or would want to travel to, but it wasn’t until fairly recently late in 2007, that I purchased my first DSLR and started on the long road learning how to craft my own pictures that people would hopefully enjoy as much as I loved being there capturing them. My style and passion drives from capturing scenes that can look quite ordinary during the day yet if I can be there at the right time of day, in the right light, and sometimes the right time of year, maybe just maybe I can get lucky and manage to capture the extraordinary. My home county of Norfolk always proves challenging for landscape photography and I spend most of my time scouring our wonderful coastline for new locations, while we don’t enjoy some of the classic rugged coasts from elsewhere in the UK, we do enjoy simple, clean lines and those all important huge skies
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READERâ€™S SHOWCASE KAH-WAI LIN
am Kah-Wai Lin. I am originally from Malaysia and currently I am a research scientist in USA.
Photography is my lifelong passion. I got my very first SLR camera 15 years ago. Over the years, I have shot very diverse subjects - panorama, HDR, birds, nature, travel, landscape, etc. I love travel, and this is a good combination with hobby. I also love astronomy, although I am still a beginner in astrophotography. Once
upon a time, I was hooked by the beauty of churches, and I have photographed over 50 churches around the world. At the moment, I am hoping to shoot more landscapes, particularly the American National Parks, which I enjoy the most. Today, I am a serious amateur. A few years ago, I owned a photography company in Sweden that specializes in architectural photography and virtual reality (VR) tours.
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