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A favorite travel destination is the seaside small town—a place with salt air, beaches, shingled houses, and seafood on every menu. And a great way to get there is by car, making stops along the way.
In this course, photographer Mikkel Aaland travels to Mendocino, a classic seaside small town in Northern California, making stops in Mendocino's Anderson Valley and redwood forests along the way. The course details the gear and shooting strategies involved in capturing the personality of a small town and, just as important, its natural setting and the people who live there. Throughout the course, Mikkel emphasizes the importance of putting your own creative stamp on your travel photos through the use of simple props, friends, or family members.
So, we're outside the Fensalden Inn. It's a bed and breakfast here in Mendocino. And I just want to see what's inside. We're not staying here. but I have a feeling that this is going to be a really cool experience. Because these bed and breakfast places, which are all over the place, are all unique. And let's just go inside, take a look. I'm going to ask the owner if it's okay if I take some pictures. If they're not too busy, hopefully he'll say yes. Well, let's go on inside and check it out.
So, we walked in the door, and these were the nicest people you can ever imagine. I explain what I wanted to do, take some pictures, look around. The, there were not so many guests upstairs. Actual, actually there's a, there were a lot of people gone for the day. so we went upstairs and beautiful rooms. Cool. I wanted to try a, something a little bit different in the first room, give it a little bit of energy. So, I opened one of the windows and had the wind blowing through kind of ruffling the, the curtain.
A little bit of, a little action, if you will. I shot it on a tripod, because I was going to try to get the the HDR, the high dynamic range image, which requires multiple exposures. And it's best if you do it on a tripod. You can do it handheld, but it's better if you do a tripod. So, I think I got (SOUND) (SOUND), (SOUND) And a completely different room, though, because that's the beauty of these bed and breakfasts.
They're, they're totally unique. Every room is a little different. Came downstairs and walked into this dining room, and just, it had a, it was eye candy. There's so many really neat things. And I started by doing an overview of the table (SOUND) with a wide angle lens. And then worked the room with a macro lens. It's hard to focus on what to photograph, there's just so much happening here. I'll just pull one element out of the table to focus on.
Maybe that salt shaker. I really like the (SOUND) (SOUND) So, when I'm shooting, I'm always thinking what I can do later. What, what do I have the, what do I have control over now when I'm shooting and what do I have control over later when I'm sitting in front of my computer? And I'm using mostly Lightroom and Photoshop.
And today when I was shooting, I, I thought well, it's very easy to use multiple exposures to do, to create high dynamic range images. All that really means is that these are images where I can capture a whole really wide range of tonal values, all the way from the highlights to the shadows. And with a single image with most digital cameras now, you can't capture that range. so you need to take a variety (SOUND) And then you need to use software to put those images together.
And that's post. And there's other things that you know, I know that when I'm shooting in a space like this that my white balance may be off a little bit. But I don't worry about it when I'm shooting raw, because later when I'm in the software that I use I can actually dial in any white balance I want. So, I know I can fix it later. So that's one of the things that you know, I can relax when I'm shooting. I don't have to pay so much attention to the white balance. So those are the kind of things. There's, there's a lot of little things.
Like sharpening. I know that I can sharpen to a certain extent later. But it's best that I get as much sharpness on the, in the shooting end as possible. And that's why I did a lot of my shots especially the interiors, I had the F stop, stopped way down, which gives you a greater depth of field. So, I had less chance of things being out of focus or soft. So those are things again, knowing that sharpness is best to get right, in the camera. Because it can be fixed later in software, but it's better to do it in the camera.
And those are just, things are just going through my mind all the time when I'm shooting. And I you know, really, at this point it's almost, I don't, I, it's second nature, I don't think too much about it. But if you're starting out, it's really important to understand what you can do in post and what you can't. And that really will have an effect on the way you shoot images.
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