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slide1

Tibor Vari Western Landscape Photography Workshop

  • Agenda
  • Research
    • Books
    • Guides
    • Internet
    • Magazines
    • Trip Planning
  • Equipment
    • Camera
    • Lens
    • Film/Flash Cards
    • Filters
    • Tripod
  • Clothing
  • Exposure
    • Depth of Field/Shutter Speed
    • Camera Meter
    • Histogram/Bracketing
  • Composition
    • Center of Interest
    • Rule of Thirds
    • Telling a Story
    • Impact
  • Slide Show
slide3

“Before I even leave home, I’ve thoroughly researched the mountains I’m heading to. I already know where I’m going, otherwise valuable time and light can be wasted trying to determine where I needed to be in the first place.”

Art Wolfe

Outdoor Photographer, March 2004

slide4

Photography Research Sources

  • National Park Visitors Center
    • Postcards, books, sunrise/sunset times, weather conditions, park rangers, tourist information offices
    • Scout sunrise/sunset locations during the afternoon. Search for interesting foregrounds.
    • Ask Rangers for locations of photographs & best time to shoot them (sunrise/sunset).
  • Books:
    • John Shaw, Nature Photography Field Guide
    • Joe Lange, How to Photograph Landscapes, Yellowstone & The Tetons, Grand Canyon & Northern Arizona
    • National Geographic Photography Field Guide
    • Laurent Martres, Photographic the Southwest Volumes 1 & 2, Land of the Canyons
    • Michael Frye, The Photographers Guide to Yosemite
    • Gary Braasch, Photographing The Patterns of Nature
    • Bryan Peterson, Understanding Exposure
    • Art Wolfe, The Art of Photographing Nature
    • Andy Cook, Colorado’s Best Photography Locations (cdrom)
    • Sierra Press
      • Yosemite The Cycle of the Seasons, Yellowstone The Cycle of the Seasons
      • Death Valley A Visual Interpretation, Bryce Canyon A Visual Interpretation
      • Zion A Visual Interpretation, Grand Teton A Visual Interpretation
      • Grand Canyon A Visual Study, Islands in the Sky – Scenes from the Colorado Plateau
    • Sierra Press “Wishing You Were Here” series of booklets
      • Olympic NP, Arches & Canyonlands NPs, Yosemite NP, Death Valley NP
      • Glacier NP, Sequoia & Kings Canyon NPs, Mount Rainier NP, Mount St. Helens NM
    • Books by Art Wolfe, Galen Rowell, William Neill, David Muench, Tim Fitzharris, John Fielder, George Lepp, Jim Brandenburg, Daryl Benson, Frans Lanting, Joe McDonald
  • Photography Guides
    • Photograph America Newsletter: www.photographamerica.com
    • Photo Travel: www.phototravel.com
  • Magazines:
    • Outdoor Photographer: www.outdoorphotographer.com
    • Photo Techniques: www.phototechmag.com
    • Popular Photography: www.popphoto.com
    • PCPhoto: www.pcphotomag.com
    • PhotoLinks: www.photolinks.com
    • Vivid Light Photography: www.vividlight.com/
slide5

Websites:

    • • Fall Color Reports: www.vividlight.com/articles/fall_foliage.htm#2
    • • NY State Fall Foliage: www.empire.state.ny.us/tourism/foliage/
    • • Maine Fall Foliage: http://www.state.me.us/doc/foliage/
    • • New Hampshire Foliage: http://www.newhampshire.com/pages/foliagereport.cfm
    • • Vermont Foliage: http://www.1-800-vermont.com/seasons/report.asp
    • • New England Foliage: http://foliagenetwork.com/
    • • New England Foliage Driving: http://www.adirondacks.com/fallfoliagedrives.htm
    • • Leef Peeping: www.fs.fed.us/r9/white/other_things/leaf/leaf_peeping.html/
    • • Photo Secrets: www.photosecrets.com
    • • Photo Trips USA: www.phototripusa.com
    • • Luminous Landscape: http://www.luminous-landscape.com/ <- great photos and articles
    • • Computer Darkroom: http://www.computer-darkroom.com/home.htm
    • • Sunrise/Sunset times: http://aa.usno.navy.mil/data/docs/RS_OneYear.html
    • • The National Park Service: www.nps.gov/ <-excellent site to search every NP
    • • America’s Parks Online: www.parksonline.org/index.html
    • • Tons of Links: www.members.aol.com/OptiquesJN/links.htm
    • • Nature Photo Gallery: www.naturephotogallery.com
    • • PhotoNet: www.photo.net
    • • Desert USA: www.desertusa.com
    • • American Southwest: http://www.americansouthwest.net/utah/index.shtml
    • • Antelope Canyon tours: http://www.antelopecanyon.com/index.html
    • • Monument Valley Tours: http://www.monumentvalley.com/Pages/english_tours.html
    • • Zion Narrows Equipment: http://www.zionadventures.com/narrows2.htm
    • • Coyote Buttes & The Wave: https://www.az.blm.gov/paria/index2.html
    • • Photo Trip USA Showcase: http://www.phototripusa.com/showcase_list.html
    • • North American Nature Photography Assoc.: www.nanpa.org
    • • Nature Photo Gallery: http://www.naturephotogallery.com/
    • • Slot Canyons: www.americansouthwest.net/slot_canyons/index.html
    • • Capital Reef: http://www.phototripusa.com/E_gallery_1298.html
    • • Arches NP: http://www.parksonline.org/parks/ada/arches/index.html
    • • Escalante Staircase: www.ut.blm.gov/monument/
    • • Dennis Halkides: http://www.dhalkides-stockphoto.com/home.htm
    • • Don Baccus: http://donb.furfly.net/
    • • John Shaw: www.johnshawphoto.com
    • • David Muench: www.muenchphotography.com
    • • Galen Rowell: www.mountainlight.com/
    • • Art Wolfe: www.artwolfe.com
    • • Bill Atkinson: www.billatkinson.com
    • • Pat O’Hara: http://www.patohara.com/home.htm
  • Tibor Vari’s website is at http://www.tiborvari.com Email: tibor@tiborvari.com
slide6

End Result of Research & Planning is a Trip Plan

Know where you are going to be during the magic hours of light!

Have alternative locations (sunny vs rainy days)

slide7

Filters

Polarizer Filters (one for each lens), eliminates glare and reflections – will pop the colors of the subject. You will lose about 1-2 stops of light.

Warming Filter (81A or 81B), good for shaded locations to remove blue tint

Enhancer Filter, pops the colors, in particular red (great out west in red rock country). Always take a shot with and without filter.

Neutral Density Filter (2 Stop & 3 Stop versions), used when the brightest to darkest parts of a picture are greater than 3 F-stops

How to use the Polarizer filter: The basics of this filter is that you get the maximum polarization by being 90 degrees from the sun shooting towards your subject. When looking for subjects to shoot, I make a concerted effort to be 90 degrees from the sun. When using Velvia out West, you will have to back off from maximum polarization otherwise the sky will be a very dark blue (same with digital).

SUN Light Direction Subject

Camera aiming at subject

slide8

Shutter Speeds

1/1000 1/500 1/250 1/125 1/60 1/30 1/15 1/8 ¼ ½ 1” 2” 4” 8” 15” 30”

Freeze Action <-Silky Water-> Low Light

Lots of sunlight F11-F22

Wide Open Apertures Slow Film (ISO 50)

Fast Film (ISO 400+) Narrow Apertures

F Stops

F1.4 2.8 4 5.6 8 11 16 22 32

Portraits Landscapes

Shallow DOF Great DOF

Background blurred Everything sharp

ISO

(film/digital speed – generally in 1/3 to ½ stops)

50 100 200 400 800 1600 3200

slide9

My Typical Settings

Landscapes:

RAW, ISO 100, Aperture Priority (typically F16 or F22), RAW compression On, Tone Compensation -1, Color Space Adobe, Color Mode III (landscape), 12MP, White Balance Auto

Sports:

JPEG, ISO 400+, Aperture Priority (typically F4.5 or 5.6), JPEG Compression optimal quality, JPEG Fine, Image size L (12 MP), White Balance Auto, Color Space sRGB, Color Mode I (portrait), Image Sharpening Normal

slide10

Tonality

  • +2 ½ stops: textureless white Broad expanse of snow (overcast)
  • +2 stops: extremely light Textured snow, sand dune
  • +1 ½ stops: light light Birch bark
  • +1 stop: light Khaki shirt
  • + ½ stop: dark light Caucasian skin in sun
  • Metered value: medium tone Most grass, green leaves
  • -½ stop: light dark Caucasian skin in shadow
  • -1 stop: dark Animals with dark hide
  • -1 ½ stops: dark dark Dark Shadows with texture (pine tree bark)
  • -2 stops: extremely dark Fur on a black cat
  • -2 ½ stops: detailless black Night sky
  • Sunny 16 Rule Daylight exposure = 1/ISO of a second at F16
  • Camera meter wants to make everything 18% gray
    • Snow or Beach Scenes - Compensate by +1 to +2 F-Stops
    • Dark subjects like a black cat - Compensate by -1 to -2 F-Stops
so what is a histogram
So What is a Histogram?
  • A digital camera histogram is a graphical representation of the brightness levels (from pure black to pure white), in an scene and the relative count of pixels within each brightness level.
  • Do not trust your camera monitor to judge light and color! The monitor is not calibrated!
digital histogram on a d2x
Digital Histogram on a D2x

Digital Camera monitors are not calibrated! Thus you cannot judge exposure or colors by it!

Use your histogram to determine image exposure! If you do, you will not have to look at the image using the camera monitor at all!

Finally, your monitor will be difficult to see in daylight – the histogram will in fact be easier to see.

slide15

Rule of Thirds

  • Center of Interest
  • Telling a Story
  • Leading Lines
  • Impact
slide16

Compositional Do’s

  • • Please yourself first, not someone else.
  • • Wander around to find the best subject.
  • • Handhold your camera to find the best composition, then setup your tripod.
  • • Preview the depth of field.
  • • Check for background distractions.
  • • Check the edges of the frame for distracting objects or hotspots.
  • • Check for merging tonalities.
  • • Control or enhance the light if needed (flash or reflectors).
  • Check camera histogram for “blinkies” (hot or dark)
  • • Be deliberate about camera placement and lens selection.
  • • Position your camera as the subject matter dictates (leading lines, rule of thirds, etc.).
  • • Simplify, Simplify, Simplify.
  • Most of the above items taken from John Shaw’s Nature Photography Field Guide.
slide17

Compositional Don’ts

• Do not photograph the first subject you find; look for the best subject.

• Do not mount your camera on your tripod before you’ve found a good composition.

• Do not extend you tripod legs before you’ve found your subject and composition.

• Do not photography contrasty subjects in bright sunlight.

• Do not bull’s-eye your subject in the frame.

• Do not tilt horizons or place them in the middle of the frame.

• Do not try to capture everything with one picture.

• Do not photograph low objects from a high perspective.

• Do not let objects barely touch the edge of the frame.

• Do not pick a flower (or harass an animal) to move it to a better spot.

Above taken from John Shaw’s Nature Photography Field Guide.

slide18

T-Tours Addendum

  • • If the light is good – keep shooting (you can eat/sleep back in NJ).
  • • Know your equipment and camera controls without having to look.
  • • Clean equipment, lenses, and install fresh batteries before trip begins.
  • • Read and bring your camera manual. Then read it again!
  • • Get up early and be at the sunrise location 45-60 minutes before sunrise.
  • • After framing a shot – run your eye along all four edges & corners – make sure nothing is intruding in the shot that is not needed.
  • • Look for interesting foregrounds & middle ground for your main subject.
  • • Remember the rule of thirds
  • • Start wide, then keep getting in tighter and tighter.
  • • Try scouting sunrise/sunset locations during mid-afternoon.
  • • Walk around – visualize the shot in your mind. Afternoon for distant drives
  • • When in doubt about exposure – bracket (film/digital is cheap vs trip cost!)
  • If your shooting digital – use your histogram!
  • • Be cognizant about having to use your ND filter.
  • • If you compensate – remember to reset to zero!
  • • Take notes of locations and make map notations.
slide19

SUMMARY

  • Do your research!
  • Know your camera
  • Use your histogram
  • Use a graduated neutral density filter where necessary
  • It’s all about the light – get up early
  • Composition:
    • Rule of Thirds
    • Leading Lines
    • Impact
    • Tell a Story