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Shooting in the old mining town of Ballarat


From:

Travel Photography: Desert Road Trip

with Ben Long

Video: Shooting in the old mining town of Ballarat

(SOUND). I'm here in the town of Ballarat, which is in the southern part of Panamint Valley. I use the term town very loosely, it seems to mostly be inhabited be very annoying little flies. Ballarat's an old mining town, there's a Lot of borax mining up in the mountains here. And so this was a place for supplies and apparently it was a pretty wild town according to a historical marker up the road. There's another one right here that says the town was founded in 1897. And the post office closed in 1917. And that was kind of the end of things. So Ballarat didn't have a great, glorious existence.
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Watch the Online Video Course Travel Photography: Desert Road Trip
1h 55m Intermediate Jun 07, 2013

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

Every type of location presents its own photographic challenges. For the stark wilderness of Death Valley National Park, these can include harsh desert light, stark landscapes, and a vastness that can be daunting to capture in a single frame. In this course, travel along with author, teacher, and photographer Ben Long to Death Valley to learn about the challenges and techniques behind capturing the exotic beauty and surprising details of the desert.

Topics include:
  • Looking at the light
  • Composing a shot to show rock texture
  • Taking a shot with haze and working it in post
  • Shooting sand dunes in changing light
  • Exploring the vistas for a more dramatic shot
  • Understanding the pace of a place
Subject:
Photography
Author:
Ben Long

Shooting in the old mining town of Ballarat

(SOUND). I'm here in the town of Ballarat, which is in the southern part of Panamint Valley. I use the term town very loosely, it seems to mostly be inhabited be very annoying little flies. Ballarat's an old mining town, there's a Lot of borax mining up in the mountains here. And so this was a place for supplies and apparently it was a pretty wild town according to a historical marker up the road. There's another one right here that says the town was founded in 1897. And the post office closed in 1917. And that was kind of the end of things. So Ballarat didn't have a great, glorious existence.

Still, there's some cool old buildings and some other stuff around here. That I'm just going to wander around and see what I can find. I'm working this shot right here, just it's very simple. I've got that circle that is a wheel, and that door which is a nice strong rectangle. Just wonder again, about playing them against each other. One thing you gotta be careful of out here is a lot of this stuff is very old, it's incredibly fragile, it can collapse very quickly. It's tempting to go inside here and poke around, which I might do, but you really want to check out these spaces a little bit before you get inside them.

a lot of interesting, just straight geometry here. This is cool though. It's actually got a brick floor, that's still in tact, and, I guess these are actual baked, bricks. There's a stone foundation here. Again, I don't know if any of this is going to make any interesting pictures, but The pictures had led me to wander in here and I've kind of found this cool thing, and it's just interesting. (SOUND) Not finding anything that's really knocking my socks off here.

It's important to just keep shooting through it though, it's I'm still looking for interesting light. I'm looking for interesting shapes. I'm getting bitten by bugs, and that's. Even if I never use any of these images, it's still important to take them. Remember, you've got to, that the good photographs are found, or at least, the subject matter is found, and then the photo is made out of that subject matter. You've got to just keep looking through the lens. And it can be kind of discouraging to be shooting like this and going I don't know, I'm not really excited about any of these.

But that's okay, they may, there may be more to them than you think when you get home. But also, this is just part of the process. I'm seeing, I'm looking, I'm trying to get my eyes open. I'm trying to figure out what the interesting shapes and textures are around here. You just gotta keep shooting, even when it feels like maybe it's not going that great. I am staying in aperture priority pretty much all the time. There's nothing moving out here. I don't need any shutter speed control. What I'm thinking about is depth of field.

So I'm just staying in aperture priority so I can very easily move between different apertures to control my depth of field. (SOUND) Going deeper or shallower. I'm on a full frame camera, so I'm never taking my aperture smaller than F 11. If I do that, I'm going to risk softening my image, because of diffraction artifacts inside my lens. I'm not using a particularly fast lens, so for shallow depth of field, I can't really open much wider, than F4. All right, well, I think that's it for the suburbs of Ballarat. Let's go on into town and see what we can find.

(SOUND)

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