Never been to The Great Sand Dunes National Park in Colorado, I wasn't really prepared for how massive these dunes are. Looking at photos online, It's difficult to get a feeling of scale, or size, of The Great Sand Dunes. The best way to display scale in a photograph, regardless of your perspective, is to add something to the scene that the brain can reference to find scale.
Usually, I don't like people in my landscapes. I would prefer a wild animal, or a bird, but because this is a pretty busy spot I left all the sand explorers in the shot so the viewer can really get a sense of scale.
I've never heard of LCD Soundsystem before I saw this video and despite being a pretty good song I was really blown away at the story being told. Why is this important? Story telling is missing in a lot of our photography and videos today. For me, I don't see it a lot. Why? Because I think it's not easy to do. When I do see a great story, whether in a single image or a video, it stops me and makes me think and feel. It's hard to explain but you probably know what I mean. In the music video, oh baby, I feel like I just watched a full blown movie with a beginning and an end and it leaves me wanting more.
Telling a story is easier said than done. I try to apply this in my own work Country Lady, The Prospector, Surfing Santas.
Using a little imagination, thinking about your shot a little more, what do you want to portray/project. What is the story you are trying to tell? How do you want people to think/feel about your work? Try to find elements other than just taking a snapshot makes for interesting imagery and you will make people feel and think too.
A couple weeks ago I was driving down the road, stopped at a four way, and took off when it was my turn to go. My phone was in my front pocket and as soon as I hit the gas it flew out with such force that it broke my screen. What does this have to do with editing photos? Well, with my old phone, I use to have great editing tools that just came with the phone. These editing tools were the same Nik plugins I use in Photoshop. So when I had to get a new phone, those same editing tools were gone. So, I searched out new editing tools in Google playbook. What I found was "snapseed". Google had made an app with those same editing features plus a lot more. I am back in business.
This is such a great tool for when you're on the go, or if you don't have a need for Photoshop. I can even wirelessly transfer my photos from my Sony camera to my phone for editing. This photo example below was shot with a cell phone camera and edited with "snapseed" to create a kind of old African safari postcard. You can download this great app for free. So get it, edit, and have fun with your photos.
This really isn't a "high noon" Nikon vs Sony shootout. I just happened to shoot with both cameras and the results, to me, are very interesting.These two cameras are very capable. I guess what strikes me is the Sony a6000 APC sensor looks just as good as my Nikon with nice bokeh, rich color, and sharp. To me the Sony is a lot sharper than my Nikon. I'm still blown away with the results this little a6000 produces. Both were shot in RAW. Both at f2.8.
So my question to you is: If I told you what camera I took these in, would it matter?
My dad recently bought the Sony RX100 III professional point and shoot camera. Recently, I had done a review of the Sony RX100 II and found it was an excellent camera, so I recommended it. We met up recently and I gave him some photo pointers and told him about my W.I.S.E. settings: (White Balance, ISO, Scene Selection, Exposure Compensation) to help him remember what settings to look after. Even though we got some pretty nice shots with the camera in scene mode I was trying to tell him that its not the end result. If you want the most out of your photos, you will need to edit them in Lightroom, Photoshop, or iPhoto, which ever you want to learn to create better photos.
As professional shooters, we sometimes fool amateurs into thinking that what they see in a our photos is exactly what we captured or we were at the right place at the right time to capture such magic. The truth is, and what I tried to explain to my dad, is that the photo process doesn't just end after the click of the shutter, there is still work to do to create that magic. The problem is, unless you take the time to create custom shooting settings to render your photos (basically Photoshop within your camera) then you have to post process. Most (ALL) cameras shoot flat. Meaning: no contrast (and other things). Even though you capture a great shot, and you say wow, you can make shots look even better.
Here are some before and after examples from the Sony RX100 III:
One thing I have noticed with Sony is that when you shoot around greenery the color cast in the photo gets really green. I've seen this in portraits as well. I don't see that too much in my Nikon, It's not necessarily a bad thing it just needs to be corrected. In the above photos I did basic contrast and color correcting.
Looking at this scene above with the old architecture and clouds would make a great black & white.
To make the above photo a bit more creepy I performed the basic corrections but also added a neat filter from the google nik plugins.
In this set of photos you can really see the flatness of the photo in the original. Adding correct contrast, color saturation and sharpness it really pops the image and creates a little more drama.
So just remember, with any camera: what you see is not always what you can get. Polish off your photos with a little post processing and make that snapshot a finished masterpiece.
I love the GoPro! It takes amazing video, but give this beast enough light and you can capture some stunning imagery. I always carry my GoPro Hero 3 in the dive housing. It provides great protection for this tiny camera. The one thing I love to do with my GoPro is to dip it in water half way to get a different perspective I cannot get with any other camera. I think the results are pretty amazing. This is a shot looking towards Flagler college from a fountain across the street in St. Augustine, FL.
Free Online Photo Editor for Your GoPro images: http://www.photoshop.com/tools
How To: The GoPro Hero Video and Photos are shot with a flat profile. This is to capture the most dynamic range in the scene. To get your GoPro photos to look even better you need to edit them. Adobe photoshop has a great free resource that allows anyone to upload and edit their photos online. Have fun with it and play around! Brett
I shot this photo with my GoPro Hero B.E. Handheld @ 1pm - middle of the day.
Half & Half just isn't for ice-cream. With all the new waterproof cameras coming out you can capture some interesting perspectives not seen too often. This is not too difficult to achieve, if you have a waterproof housing. Just dip half the camera into the water. It's easier if you have a LCD display so you can see what you are shooting. It would probably start getting uncomfortable to keep dipping your head in the water to get your eye up to the viewfinder. So, have fun, explore and experiment! Brett
I love capturing sunny lens flares! I know, I know, you’re not supposed to aim your camera sensor at the direct sun, but it makes really cool photos. So the question is: Should I risk my camera sensor for art? I say, YES! (I wouldn’t keep it pointed at the sun for too long though, just in case.)
As photographers, we have to keep pushing the limits of our compositions and equipment’s abilities. Some times we must take risks for bigger rewards. Not every lens will give you the same flare though. So far, wide angle, no zoom gets me what I love. - Brett
This is a real world review based on how most people will use this camera. I used this camera in Manual Mode, Scene Mode, Full Auto, Program Mode. I didn't have the manual I just started shooting. The menu system is outrageous. It's basically got photoshop built in.
A friend at work just bought the Sony RX100 II and was nice enough to let me borrow it for a few days. I will say right off the bat, this is the best point & shoot camera I have ever used. If I put up shots from the Sony RX100 II and a Nikon D700 most people wouldn't be able to tell what camera took which picture, and the prints are amazing as well.
* On a side note, I was surprised at how long the battery lasted on this camera using the flash all the time. Usually, you take one shot with the flash and your battery indicator reduces by one bar. I think I took 20 something photos with the flash before the battery started going down.
I am going to put the original photo next to a photo edited in photoshop using Nik Photo Plugins to see how well the image holds up to editing. I will put a link to the original file so you can download, edit, and see for yourself.
Let's look at some sample images. All shot JPEG Finest quality. All shot hand held.
If you would like to buy a copy of Photo Notes, you can get it here: http://goo.gl/wWQRE
We visited and photographed the Florida Everglades and Big Cyprus swamp just days before the huge BP oil disaster in the Gulf. The Everglades is one of the most exciting places I have ever visited. There was tons of wildlife and a lot of unique looking landscapes.
This place is a must visit and it's worthy of numerous trips in the future. Our time was limited, we tried to see and do as much as we could. For our first trip out there I think we chose some really good spots.
If you care to share your favorite places, post them below.
Equipment I used was:
Mostly 70-200mm Nikkor lens w/1.4x multiplier. (you could definitely use bigger lenses here)
28-70 Nikkor lens
Gitzo Carbon Fiber Tripod
Shot this during my lunch hour. Set the gopro camera directly on the ground pointing it at the mid day sun. I'm very surprised at how well this camera handles bright mid day sun. Shot at 1080p60 slapped down in a 720p24 timeline.
Watch and learn photography. You can now watch Brett's DVD for free on youtube:http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL0HKGARO8ZvayDbpxpsgtVgoOKA9MOQct
January 1, 2010 – Photographer Brett Higgins of Capturing the Elements has released a new photography DVD entitled Capturing the Elements: Forks, a 42-minute how-to photography program for digital camera users of all levels of experience, featuring the W.I.S.E. Method of Photography, a system created by Higgins to help people learn to take better photos by choosing a series of settings on any point-and-shoot digital camera.Filmed in Forks, Washington (setting of the Twilight saga) the how-to photography DVD contains footage of professional photographer Brett Higgins (Magnolia) and top model Cherie Wimberly (Star Search, General Hospital) taking photos using a dSLR and point-and-shoot camera, respectively, as they explore the beaches, waterfalls, and rainforest areas surrounding Forks, WA and Olympic National Park.
The Capturing the Elements team first produced an original photography video series, Beyond the Photograph (2006 -2008), seen worldwide over the web at an average of 15,000 viewers per month.
"Before I had even heard of Twilight we were slated to film the Hoh Rainforest near Forks back in 2007 for the web series," said Higgins, "but everything was put on hold while developing the W.I.S.E. Method of Photography. So when it came time to choose a setting for the DVD, we looked at places with the most diverse scenery in one location and Forks was our number one choice."
Developed from his own personal experiences of teaching others to take better photos, the W.I.S.E. Method of Photography is a technique Higgins hopes will help people take control of their image results at a time when digital technology has made nature photography more popular than ever.
"I remember when there were very few people taking photos in the backcountry," Brett said, "people used to stare at my camera like they had never seen anything like it. Now, digital cameras out on the trail are as common as hiking boots, but there hasn't been much progress in teaching people how to use them."
Now available on Amazon.com for a retail price of 19.99, the Capturing the Elements: Forks DVD contains several tips on basic digital photography, along with a lesson on dSLR exposure settings, plus Brett's trademarked W.I.S.E. Method of Photography and bonus footage of the original Capturing the Elements video series Beyond the Photograph filmed in Joshua Tree and Paramount Ranch, California.
Capturing the Elements and the W.I.S.E. Method of Photography are trademarks of Brett Higgins. All rights reserved.
Capturing the Elements: Forks, a how-to digital photography video released by photographer Brett Higgins is now available for purchase and rental on Amazon.com Video on Demand.
PR Log (Press Release) – Jan 13, 2010 – SEATTLE, WA – Photographer Brett Higgins of Capturing the Elements has released for download on Amazon.com a photography program entitled Capturing the Elements: Forks, a 42-minute how-to photography video for digital camera users of all levels of experience, featuring the W.I.S.E. Method of Photography, a system created by Higgins to help people learn to take better photos by choosing a series of settings on any point-and-shoot digital camera.
Filmed in Forks, Washington (setting of Twilight) this how-to photography video, also available on DVD, contains footage of professional photographer Brett Higgins (Magnolia) and top model Cherie Wimberly (Star Search, General Hospital) taking photos using a dSLR and point-and-shoot camera, respectively, as they explore the beaches, waterfalls, and rainforest areas surrounding Forks, WA and Olympic National Park.
Now available via Amazon.com downloads for a 7-day rental price of 1.99, or the purchase price of 11.99, the Capturing the Elements: Forks, video on demand, contains several tips on basic digital photography, along with a lesson on dSLR exposure settings, plus Brett’s trademarked W.I.S.E. Method of Photography and bonus footage of the original Capturing the Elements video series Beyond the Photograph filmed in Joshua Tree and Paramount Ranch, California.
Capturing the Elements ™ and the W.I.S.E. ™ Method of Photography are trademarks of Brett Higgins. All rights reserved.
Landscape photos by Brett Higgins have been featured in Outdoor Photographer, the National Parks and Channel Islands websites, and A&I Los Angeles. For more information visit Capturing the Elements online at www.capturingtheelements.com.# # #
Capturing the Elements™ is a collection of works from professional photographer Brett Higgins that includes breathtaking images of nature, behind the scenes footage that takes you beyond the photograph, teaching photography to digital camera users.