For many landscape and field photographers, mastery of long exposure photography, particularly in daytime conditions, is an essential skill. For all photographers, mastery of composition and design is what distinguishes the good from the great. In this course, you will learn the same tools and techniques used by the pros to take jaw-dropping long exposure images in the field and then polish them even further using industry standard software. You will be able to use simple, powerful compositional devices and design principles that famous photographers and artists have been employing successfully for decades.
Master Long Exposure Photography, Composition and Post-production Techniques in Order to Take Your Skills to the Next Level
Master Key Skills That Pros Use to Create Award-winning Landscape Photographs
If you’ve ever wondered how professional landscape photographers consistently create those knock-your-socks-off gorgeous images that get into magazines and hung on gallery walls, then this course is for you. If you love long exposure photography, but have struggled with it during daylight conditions, then this course is here to help.
The benefits of knowing how both the principles and elements of art can aid you in crafting truly amazing photographic composition cannot be underestimated. You don’t have to spend several years and countless thousands of dollars studying to get a design degree in order to learn and use these as a photographer. This course has distilled the most important concepts I have used over the years teaching design and packaged them into easy lessons you can apply immediately in the field. Many of the most famous artists and photographers of all time have used these same principles and techniques. Now you can too.
Contents and Overview
We’ll begin by comparing long exposure photography during both low and full daylight conditions to see how they each affect the image making process. I’ll use plenty of my own work as examples along the way, so that you can understand my thinking and process more effectively.
Then we’ll cover photographic gear essentials and what you’ll need to create long exposure photos anytime, but especially during the more challenging daylight hours. I’ll give you suggestions for a range of budgets and specs, so that you can find the right combination of gear for your own unique situation. You will learn about filters and the most powerful tool in my arsenal for making photos with extended shutter speeds. I make it all easy and fun.
Using the Three Pillars of Light and the Exposure Triangle, I’ll explain how to manipulate your camera settings for correct exposure, depth of field and image sharpness under virtually any condition.
The section on Composition will take you through a step-by-step mini-course on the Principles and Elements of Design, so that you can begin using them right away in your photography. You will progress far beyond the basic Rule of Thirds to become a master of compositional design. In a stand-alone section, we’ll deconstruct many of my own photographs to see what worked, what didn’t and why.
Finally, we’ll go out together for three case studies that will take us from the field to the studio for some post-processing magic. You’ll learn how to make good photos great and great photos exceptional with an easy to follow workflow in Adobe Lightroom and/or Photoshop. I will share with you my techniques for painting light, color, saturation, clarity and contrast back into your images. By the end you’ll be a master of the histogram, able to fix crooked horizons, replace skies and remove unwanted elements from your images.
You’ll also receive bonus material that will help you choose the right gear for your budget and needs. You’ll get suggestions and links for plug-ins that can save you time and make the post-production process more efficient.
A DSLR, Mirrorless or other camera with the ability to change lenses and manually control shutter speed, aperture and ISO
Access to, basic skills with Photoshop, Photoshop Elements, Lightroom, GIMP, or similar would be very beneficial, but not strictly necessary
What Am I Going to Get From this Course?
- Which camera model is best?
- Camera "Must Have's" for Long Exposure photography
- Lens overview
- Full frame vs Cropped Frame
- Lens prices and quality comparisons
- Lens filter basics
- Lens specifications for field shooting situations
- Tripod overview
- Reciprocal Rule
- Weight & Leverage
- Tripod Head Mounts
- What does a Polarizing filter do?
- Stacking with other filters
- Neutral Density filters - The Magic Tool for Long Exposure shots during the day
- Comparison: Adjustable vs Fixed ND Filters
- ND Filter Scale
- Shutter Speed & ND Filters
- Manual vs Bulb Setting
- Remote Shutter Releases
- ND Filters & Depth of Field
- Overview of the Three Pillars of Light - ISO, SHUTTER SPEED & APERTURE
- LIGHT and the THREE PILLARS
- Controlling the light sensitivity of the camera
- SHUTTER SPEED
- How much MOVEMENT do you want to capture in one "still" image?
- How much LIGHT can be let it to make a LE images well exposed?
- Opening of the Lens "Eye"
- Aperture & Depth of Field
- INTERACTION of all THREE PILLARS OF LIGHT
- Coordinated group of elements
- Which comes first and why?
SHUTTER SPEED in Long Exposure Field Photography:
- Controlling the MOVEMENT of image elements over a period of time (shutter opening)
- Controlling the amount of LIGHT during that period
- How LONG the shutter remains open
- CHART - Field Shooting Situation sample Shutter Speeds
- Shutter Speed EFFECTS - Stopping Action vs Blurred Action
- Image Sharpness & Defraction
- LE Examples
APERTURE - The "Eye"
- Key Role in...
- Correct exposure
- Depth of Field
- Image Sharpness
5 TIPS to acheive Focal Area "Tack Sharpness"
ISO - Controlling the Camera's sensitivity to Light
- Controlling Light during the day with LE photography
- Emphasis of Focal Point
- Unity & Variety
- Rhythm & Repetition
ELEMENTS OF DESIGN
- Space & Perspective
- Color & Value
- Basic Design Principles of Balance
- Movement of focal point
- Symmetric vs Asymmetric Balance
- Compensation vs Over Compensation
- RECAP - Main Elements of BALANCE
OVERVIEW: Contrast & Tonal Range
- Creating DRAMA with Contrast and Chiaroscuro
- PATTERN & REPTITION
- LINE, COLOR & SHAPE
- TONAL RANGE& COLOR SATURATION
What is "WHITE SPACE"?
Your FIRST ASSIGNMENT!...
- Find examples of both GOOD and BAD use (or non-use) of WHITE SPACE;
1) So out in the field in search of images with LEADING LINES;
2) Shoot examples of LEADING LINES that DISTRACT or DETRACT from the MAIN FOCAL POINT;
3) Have fun!
When is a LINE not a line?
- Mental connection of photographic elements
- Make it work for you
- Look through your archives...
1) Can you find images with IMPLIED LINES? How do they affect the image?
2) Shoot new compositions where you INTEND to incorporate IMPLIED LINES;
3) Find examples that both ENHANCE & DETRACT from the FOCAL POINT;
4) Have fun!
Putting it all together...
- Follow your eye;
- Trust your intuition;
- Take advantage of the natural elements.
RULE of THIRDS - Design Element of the Galaxy
- Know it...
- Breaking the image into thirds;
- The 9 rectangles;
- Grid intersections;
- Moving beyond the RULE OF THIRDS
COMPOSITION - Putting it all together..
- Making intentional visual choices,
- Practical application EXCERCISE
EXAMPLES EXPLAINED #2
- Watch where the lines lead;
- How would you do it differently?
What else is out there?
- Recognize serendipity as the GIFT that it is!
- Plan well, but be prepared to go a different direction if necessary;
- Break convention
- Watch the changing Light for possibilities.
Demystifying the Histogram...
- Black & White and the TONAL RANGE between them;
- Using the Histogram to visually assess tonal range;EXAMPLE: Practical Application
- Using Adobe Photoshop Crop Tool;
- Maintaining desired aspect ratio;
- Visually exploring the options;
POST PRODUCTION TIPS & TRICKS
- Sharpening a soft focus on an image with Photoshop "High Pass" filter;
LOWER LEWIS FALLS - Gifford Pinchot National Forest
Take a day trip, explore and have fun!
LOWER LEWIS FALLS - Setting up and Composing the shot -
- Considering exposure, setting, perspective, light, contrast... and safety;
- Varying camera angles
LOWER LEWIS FALLS - POST PRODUCTION #1
- *Using Adobe ADOBE LIGHTROOM, PHOTOSHOP & NIK COLOR EFFECTS PRO;
- Choose your shot;
- First steps... Adult Blacks & Whites;
- Adjusting Shadow, Highlights, Contrast, Clarity, Vibrance & Saturation
- "Photo" --> "Edit in Photoshop"
- Command "J" , create layer;
- Spot Healing Brush
- Nik Color Effects Pro filter explained;
LOWER LEWIS FALLS - POST PRODUCTION #2
- Editing tonal ranges (LIGHTROOM);
- Vibrance, Saturation adjustments;
- "Painting" for image spot editing;
OUTLET FALLS - A WINTER PHOTO EXPLORATION
- Snow & ice as photographic elements;
- Meditative, subdued imagery approaches;
- Be prepared with appropriate winter gear and footwear.
- Correcting the horizon line in LIGHTROOM,
- Using ADJUSTMENT LAYERS,
- Adjusting CURVES & VIBRANCE,
- Creating a GRADIENT SKY Layer;
- SKY REPLACEMENT techniques
- Spot Healing Brush Tool;
- Lasso Tool & Content Aware edits;
- Clone Stamp Tool
ASSIGNMENT - Try editing one of your own images by removing elements you would prefer not be in the photograph. Show someone and see if they can spot your edits.
PALOUSE FALLS - Shooting a CONTRASTING LANDSCAPE
- Assessing the landscape and shooting options;
- Field work with the variable Neutral Density filter
WHITE RIVER FALLS - Painting Light into a Shadow in LIGHTROOM
- Workflow Explained
- Find 2 - 4 images in Camera RAW with flat lighting and poor contrast;
- Using techniques discussed in this lecture try to improve the image and maximize the tonal range, color palette and saturation;
- Have fun!
A Short Bio
Throughout a successful career in advertising and high tech as an award-winning Creative Director, I have provided high-profile solutions for dozens of global Fortune 500 companies. I have also continued to teach and mentor students from around the world as adjunct faculty, online, and as the first Visual Communications Dept. Chair with the International Academy of Design and Technology in Seattle, WA. I am totally passionate about empowering and inspiring others to achieve their potential and live their passion through learning. I have an MBA in Information Technology as well as two design degrees, including a BFA from the renowned Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, CA.
As a published Author, Illustrator and Photographer, my work has appeared in print, online, broadcast and as stock for many well-known publications and organizations. I also love adventure travel and have visited more than 33 countries thus far with more in the planning stages. Aside from teaching, various creative and business endeavors, I love to rock climb, practice yoga, scuba dive and stay fit.
What do you want to learn?