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The Practicing Photographer
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Seizing an opportunity


From:

The Practicing Photographer

with Ben Long

Video: Seizing an opportunity

So we're just driving down this little two lane You know that feeling that you have where it's difficult to shoot
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  1. 5m 46s
    1. Using your iPad as a second monitor
      5m 46s
  2. 1m 35s
    1. Introducing The Practicing Photographer
      1m 35s
  3. 6h 37m
    1. Choosing a camera
      5m 27s
    2. Looking at light as a subject
      2m 22s
    3. Using a small reflector to add fill light
      5m 45s
    4. Editing photo metadata with PhotosInfo Pro for iPad
      6m 30s
    5. Let your lens reshape you
      7m 26s
    6. Compositing street photography images with Photoshop
      7m 44s
    7. Expand your filter options with step-up and step-down rings
      3m 56s
    8. Shooting without a memory card
      3m 6s
    9. Give yourself a year-long assignment
      5m 28s
    10. Working with reflections
      1m 26s
    11. Exploring mirrorless cameras
      7m 25s
    12. Batch processing photos with the Adobe Image Processor
      7m 30s
    13. Limiting yourself to a fixed-focal-length lens
      2m 13s
    14. Creating tiny worlds: Shooting technique
      4m 15s
    15. Creating tiny worlds: Post-processing techniques
      11m 41s
    16. Shooting macro shots on an iPhone
      3m 18s
    17. Using a tripod
      3m 33s
    18. Wildlife and staying present
      5m 58s
    19. Batch exposure adjustments on raw files
      6m 52s
    20. Why Shoot Polaroid
      11m 12s
    21. Seizing an opportunity
      4m 4s
    22. Four photographers do a light-as-subject exercise
      12m 24s
    23. Shooting macro bug photos with a reversed lens
      4m 54s
    24. Varnishing a photo for a painterly effect
      13m 36s
    25. Shooting wildlife
      7m 24s
    26. Discussion on how to shoot architecture
      12m 27s
    27. Using a lens hood
      4m 48s
    28. Working with themes
      2m 48s
    29. Setting up an HDR time lapse
      7m 55s
    30. Processing an HDR time lapse
      7m 55s
    31. Two perspectives on travel photography
      12m 28s
    32. Scanning Photos
      5m 37s
    33. Photo assignment: shooting an egg
      3m 13s
    34. Reviewing the egg shot images
      6m 47s
    35. Shooting in your own backyard
      4m 38s
    36. Jpeg iPad import process
      3m 17s
    37. Shooting a product shot in open shade
      9m 34s
    38. Reviewing the product shot images
      4m 5s
    39. Warming up
      3m 26s
    40. Taking a panning action shot
      10m 17s
    41. Scanning polaroid negatives and processing in Photoshop
      8m 17s
    42. Shooting a silhouette
      3m 9s
    43. Going with an ultra-light gear configuration
      5m 29s
    44. Working with masks and calculations in Photoshop
      12m 38s
    45. Working with flash for macro photography
      4m 55s
    46. Colorizing a black and white photo in Photoshop
      5m 10s
    47. Using duct tape and zip ties in the field
      4m 14s
    48. When the on camera flash is casting a shadow
      3m 4s
    49. Using Lightroom on the road
      6m 28s
    50. Listening to your camera to get good exposure
      2m 20s
    51. Shooting a successful self portrait with a phone
      7m 18s
    52. Switching to Lightroom from another application
      9m 48s
    53. Photographing animals in wildlife refuges
      6m 41s
    54. Shooting level
      2m 42s
    55. Photoshop and Automator
      8m 54s
    56. Shooting when the light is flat
      3m 23s
    57. Discussing the business of stock photography
      9m 48s
    58. Shooting tethered to a monitor
      3m 21s
    59. Making a 360 degree panorama on the iPhone
      4m 45s
    60. Understanding the three flash setup
      3m 34s
    61. Shooting a three flash portrait
      4m 6s
    62. Understanding the differences with third party lenses
      4m 43s
    63. Understanding why files look different on depending on device
      5m 25s
    64. Working with a geotagging app on the iPhone
      4m 43s
    65. Using high speed flash sync to dim ambient light
      7m 29s

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The Practicing Photographer
6h 44m Appropriate for all May 16, 2013 Updated Jul 24, 2014

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

In The Practicing Photographer, photographer and teacher Ben Long shares a weekly serving of photographic instruction and inspiration. Each installment focuses on a photographic shooting scenario, a piece of gear, or a software technique. Each installment concludes with a call to action designed to inspire you to pick up your camera (or your mouse or smartphone) to try the technique for yourself.

Subject:
Photography
Author:
Ben Long

Seizing an opportunity

So we're just driving down this little two lane country road out in the middle of nowhere in Oklahoma. And it's very pretty out here but nothing's really been catching my eyes. We've been driving down some, by some stands of trees and things like that, but I didn't see any reason to want to stop. We come up over this hill though, and I look off to my right and I see this. This stand of trees, just immediately caught my eye. It's been burned, or the bark has been stripped off, or some combination of both. And what I was immediately struck by was, wow there's a whole bunch of really bright white and a whole bunch of really dark black.

So I've got really extreme contrast which means just tonality. So we pulled over and made our way through the barbed wire and I started shooting. Now the reason that stark black an white caught my eye was I, I immediately started thinking. If I'm shooting with an eye toward black and white, I'm going to have all of this contrast to play with. And contrast can be a very good way of guiding the viewers eye. I really like shooting trees because they're strong lines. And these really dark blacks and white whites combine with all these lines would probably make for a lot of interesting compositional options.

So I prowled around. It turns out these are two mostly empty watering holes, probably for cattle. And, there must have been a fire here at some point because the trees are charred. I actually got soot on me from climbing around on them, but the, the ground is still all wet from when there was water here. And, I'm just working the basic, doing the basic work of composition. I'm trying to find lines that are interesting, I'm trying to make sure that the lines that I'm composing or guiding the viewer's eye somewhere.

I'm trying to make sure there's an obvious subject and obvious background, but then I've also got this stark black and white to play with. Now, while I'm out here, it's actually a, a really nice location. It's very hot out today, but it's, it's very pretty. But I'm thinking of these in black and white because I'm thinking with this, kind of heathery stuff around that's real nebulous. Plus these strong black and white lines. This could end up looking really post apocalyptic somehow. Or, or, it's just a weird environment, as pretty as it is. So, I've been working the shots.

it's very important in a situation like this to really move around a lot. I found myself getting down low a lot, mostly to try to simplify. Its, it's a little bit frustrating in this kind of shooting situation. Because you'll see the shot that would be perfect if there just wasn't that one other tree there. Now I might remove some of these extra trees in some of these shots, but I'm trying to do most of it through camera position and angle. And that very often means getting down low to move the horizon line to try to simplify the frame. Turns out to just be a really fun, very satisfying shooting experience in a place where I really wasn't expecting it.

Now I say all the time, oh good photos can happen any where. But it's hard to remember that and it's hard to really follow that. So, I would offer to you the challenge of get in your car, do not set a destination. Just take off driving and see what you can see. Keep your eyes open. Keep your eyes open for strong lines, for strong tonality For strong color choices. Anything that you feel even the slightest impulse of, oh I think maybe there's some raw material that I could work with there. So I shot this for a while and then something changed.

You know that feeling that you have where it's difficult to shoot around your own house or your own neighborhood because it's too familiar. You can't imagine that any of it is actually interesting. When I first stepped into this scene, I thought, wow, this is all really interesting. After only 15 or 20 minutes though, there was just a slight shift, my eyes went a little numb to it. It stopped being about this big play of geometry and tonality and started being about a bunch of trees. And at that point I make a shift in my head where I go eh, who's going to find a bunch of trees interesting? So I decided to stop because I don't want to come away from this situation feeling, I'm a lousy photographer, I couldn't see anything.

I'm, I'm quitting while I'm ahead and before my eyes go totally dead because I want to keep them open, because I want to keep driving. So get in your car, it doesn't matter what time of year it is. Head out, look for those telltale impulses that might lead you to good shooting. And see what you can find.

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A: We publish a new tutorial or tutorials for this course on a regular basis. We are unable to offer a Certificate of Completion because it is an ever-evolving course that is not designed to be completed. Check back often for new movies.
 
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