Cityscape Photography: Capture Your City's Story | trashhand | Skillshare

Cityscape Photography: Capture Your City's Story

trashhand, Cityscape Photographer

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9 Lessons (51m)
    • 1. Introduction

      1:40
    • 2. Scouting: Tools & Tips

      4:35
    • 3. Scouting: Favorite Shots

      4:21
    • 4. Shooting: Hustling, Lighting & Composition

      5:29
    • 5. Shooting: Lines, Texture & Long Exposure

      7:20
    • 6. Shooting: Night Photography

      6:44
    • 7. Editing: Using Adobe Lightroom (Part 1)

      9:50
    • 8. Editing: Using Adobe Lightroom (Part 2)

      10:54
    • 9. Learn More with trashhand

      0:30
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About This Class

Please respect all rules of social distancing when completing your class project.

Show the world how you see your city. Scout meaningful locations, shoot in your own experimental style, and curate a final photo set of your one-of-a-kind story.

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Tell the story of your city with this one-hour class from rising cityscape photographer trashhand (trashhand). Travel with him to iconic Chicago landmarks and underground hideaways, scouring heights and corners, learning as he shows and shares his unique approach to scouting, shooting, and editing. This class is for all levels and all equipment: whether you iPhone or DSLR, his daring, ambition, and artistry will inspire you to develop and capture your city's story.

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What You'll Learn

  • Introduction. Street photography has always had an element of hustle to it, and skilled photographer trashhand knows a couple of tricks to help you find unique shots that tell the story of your city through pictures. Follow trashhand through Chicago as he gives you his philosophy and tips on how to take the best cityscape photographs by shifting your perspective. No matter where you live, these lessons will help you create a photo essay of your own city that represents your unique point of view.
  • Scouting: Tools and Tips. Cityscape photographs require the artist to find new and unusual spots from which to take their photo. Sometimes this might require you to act like you’re staying in a hotel just to get access to the roof, but be careful not to get locked out up there! trashhand gives you his techniques for avoiding trouble when all you want to do is take a cool picture. He’ll show you how to stay safe and use your common sense, as well as a few sleight of hand tricks you might need.
  • Scouting: Favorite Shots. A great photo can be found almost anywhere, from a staircase by Frank Lloyd Wright to a backyard fire pit. This isn’t a class just about how to take pictures, it’s about finding the right picture that gives your unique perspective on the subject.
  • Shooting: Hustling, Lighting, and Composition. It’s all about the hustle. Follow trashhand as he hits the streets early in the morning to avoid crowds of tourists to get the exact shot that he wants. Mornings offer a specific kind of light that can turn an ordinary photograph into something magical.
  • Shooting: Lines, Texture, and Long Exposures. In many of his photos, trashhand looks for the “universal symbols,” or what he calls cheat codes. Things like bridges and red balloons evoke certain feelings in the viewer. Learning to find these symbols can change a picture of a simple yellow taxi from ordinary automotive photography into a work of art. Look for textures in the environment or a long exposure to further examine your subject and add those small details that make for a great photo.
  • Shooting: Night Photography. Longer exposures can alter the photo in unexpected ways. They can also change a busy street into an empty one, depending on the shutter speed. When shooting at night, certain considerations must be made in order to capture the image correctly. Even the small vibration of pressing a button can ruin your shot. trashhand gives a few examples of the gear he uses to capture stunning images, even at night using low key photography.
  • Editing: Using Adobe Lightroom Pt. 1. Once you’ve gathered your photos, it’s time to find the best ones and create your photo essay. You’ll start by quickly narrowing your shots from hundreds down to a few dozen. trashhand shares his thoughts on what to look for in a photo and how to decide which ones stay and which get discarded. He’ll go over what makes a photographer’s style unique and how to develop your own.
  • Editing: Using Adobe Lightroom Pt. 2. In the final lesson, you’ll learn about the “rule of thirds” to help you crop and compose your images, edit for tones, and accentuate certain colors. From the before and after, you’ll see how these small changes can affect the photo in big ways. Once you’ve finished, you will have a series of photos that takes viewers on a tour of your town through your unique perspective.

Transcripts

1. Introduction: I'm hoping no one's up there. Otherwise, it'll lock. It was two months after I got interviewed by Instagram, it was in December. I got hired for a bunch of gigs, and I said yes to it even though I didn't even own a camera yet. I think my third paid gig ever was my first Nike game for the World Basketball Festival in DC. Our project for this class is to create a photo essay that will best represent your city in your own perspective. Today, we're talking about scouting, shooting, editing. Scouting is a process of finding new locations, angles, and perspectives. I say, we head out. Three things that I always consider is light, composition, and subjects. So, they're using the carpet as your guide and you want to use the lines and the architecture because this is obviously not perfectly in the middle. When it comes to editing, I definitely have a couple of favorite apps and filters I like to use. Most people wouldn't get rid of it but it's the details. I'm not one to be in a studio. Photography and the way I shoot and being a street photographer, you have to be out in the city, literally on the street shooting, finding spots and locations, creating unique backdrops and moments. That's the type of photography I'm into. 2. Scouting: Tools & Tips: Hey. This is Trashinan, we're in Chicago, it's 5:00 AM. We are going to be exploring some locations across the city, and talking about our class project. Which is trading a photo essay for your city. We are, just going to basically act like we are staying there. Once I rollup I always try to act like, I'm pulling out my room key. Which is always this, white card that I have plastic, just like credit card or like a hotel key. I hope that no one is out there. [inaudible] So we are the rooftop of a hotel right now in Chicago. Classical scouting you just, always go to the rooftop. I know every hotel that I stay at I always try to go to that top floor and see if I can gain some access. So, this is my bag. It's my favorite bag too. My favorite camera bag. It's got the weatherproof top and the weatherproof zippers. Which for me, is a super key and essential just because, my favorite weather to shoot is always cloudy and gloomy weather. So it's always raining, so I'm always caught in a storm. Inside I have my, Canon 1DX. Always attached to it usually, is my 24 millimeter 1.4 Canon lens. I love this thing. I also have with me at all times, is a classic 35 millimeter. You could start with this lens and you can end with this lens without having to buy another one, is how good this 35 is, it's just classic, along with this 51.2. All my lenses I carry with me are all R prime, they're all L glass. I just feel like real street photography, R prime lenses, getting close with your subject, actually moving around. I also have my gorilla pod with me at all times, with my iPhone attachment as well, in any case. So, really any smartphone, can work on this. Couple extra 1DX batteries, some batteries. Also, a remote controller to fire off when I'm trying to do long exposures. I think scouting is cityscape photography, because cityscape photography is all about locations. I think, if you are great at scouting, you have an advantage over everybody. As more photographers appear and more people have cameras in their hands, the people who are able to spend their time scouting and finding new locations, are going to be able to retain more attention, and get more exposure than, people who are just shooting the same things as, other people. I think that's one thing that, helped me get my start, in the photography game was scouting, and always being out and, trying to push through those doors. They say it's easier to ask for forgiveness than for permission. And I just live by that every day as I scout and shoot. I think the most important thing is that if you just, show and explain your passion for photography and what you're doing there, and that you're not there to vandalize, but you're just there to take photos and just experience. I think they're going to let you go 99 percent of the time. They have for me 100 percent of the time. I'm fully supporting, exploring your city in capturing it in a new way, and exploring new places but, doing it in a safe manner, in a responsible manner is the most important thing. You have to use a bit of common sense when you go into these places. You never know who's going to be inside. I've gone shooting with a bunch of people who, take precautions in a bunch of different ways. I know somebody who, whistles before he goes in every room. Just in case if somebody whistles back, he's definitely not going back in there. Even though, a lot of my locations are from rooftops or abandoned buildings, I find just as many good locations like on the street, on the sidewalk, or the most tourist see locations. It's just all about, your perspective and your style, and the way you show things. You don't have to be trespassing to get a great shot. 3. Scouting: Favorite Shots: This one was entertaining. I had tweeted out if anyone knew somebody that work at the AON Center. I knew that that building had to offer some insane views just the way it's located and how tall it is, 80 storeys tall. So, this guy, he called me at six in the morning and he's telling me that his company is having a physical for all the employees for the company and he is going to hire me to shoot it just as a recap for the medical event, but not really he just giving me access to the 72nd floor because that's where they were having it. So, he comes meets me in the lobby, gets me a badge, takes me up and I'm shooting people getting their blood drawn and their blood pressure being tested, but every couple 4-5 shots I'm walking back to the window and firing off like around, getting these views right here, and this is funny because I would go back to the window, shoot a bunch, and then go back to shoot a couple patients, go back to the window, shoot some more, it's hilarious. Then once I had what I needed, I just looked at the guy, we nodded to each other and I walked out. Yes, this one of my favorite locations because I parked about two blocks from The Rookery. This is a staircase inside of The Rookery building in Chicago on South Street. So, I went to Chicago's oldest buildings and it was designed by Frank Lloyd Wright. Staircases are unbelievable and you go to the top and like in this photo, you have to get access from the property manager and a permit and all that. So, what I did is I parked by two blocks away and inside of my car, I just changed. I put on a button down, some black slacks, like a coat and a briefcase and I dissembled my camera and everything. I walked in the building, walked through right past security. Every time I walked in that building they always stop me and this time they never said a word. I walked up the staircase, went to the second and third floor, took the elevator right to the top and then, so I just opened my briefcase, started putting my camera together, fired a couple shots, took the elevator back down and just walked out. This is on Thanksgiving day in my parents' backyard. We're actually burning tree stumps because it's a way to get rid of tree stumps. This is my brother's silhouette and then one of my favorite things about this is that obviously, we went over the top, my brother was drilling holes deep inside of the tree stump, filling it with gasoline. But just the reference of the lighting about this image, my favorite thing about it is that we are backlit, the sun's behind us, so you actually, the sun is intensifying the colors of the flame bringing the the red and the orange out a lot but it's also you're getting a silhouette from my brother's shadow. So, even though my brother's not in there, he still serves as a subject. I think this is my favorite photo I've ever taken. This was in a small alley in a loot in Chicago. The alley's probably only five feet wide. I think I just love this shot because of this pigeon on the front. He was honestly protecting all the other pigeons behind them. I got super close to him and I just casually walked and he stood there for a good two minutes and did not move. As far as composition goes, I definitely have the rule of thirds playing out, you can see that the white here on the ground serves as the two-thirds and the top part is the one-third. But the focus is on the pigeon up front as he is just the main subject, he's the one looking at the camera, he's the one up forward. He's kind of protecting his gang from the back. Also, one of my favorite things about this photo is actually the way his head fits in between these two pigeons' tails. I feel like they really just lead to his head. But I actually, in editing, I darkened the back of the photo of the alley just to bring more attention to the foreground and bird just to not distract your eye from actually what I really wanted to tell the story of. 4. Shooting: Hustling, Lighting & Composition : Wake up as early as possible while it's still dark out because you want to get there before, I mean, even this I like to usually be there even sooner but we're still on great time. We want to get there right before the color hits because there's a time right before the sun hits the horizon where the colors really pop in the sky and that's that moment that you want to be shooting. And it goes by so quickly, it could be around for 30 seconds, it could be around for two minutes, but it's definitely not around for long. Yeah, it's beautiful out. So, the sun still hasn't even come up off the horizon yet. Did you see that guy? Hustle's real. You know what though? I don't blame him. I'll be right back. I definitely want to select the sun. But once you do that, the photos get darker but also the colors get more vibrant. Also if you hold down the select, this will come up, the auto expose, autofocus lock. So, no matter where you look, it has the same focus and expose which is really what most people don't know. Alright. Sun's pretty out. I say we keep moving. So today, we're just driving around Chicago. We started out by the lake because the sun was rising that way. Chasing good light, that's the whole idea behind photography is you're really just kinda chasing light; when you find good light you find a good photo. So yeah, right now are just heading to The Bean, originally and respectfully known as the Cloud Gate. For early morning shooting, it's one of my favorite places to visit because usually during the day at 11:00 AM to 1:00 PM, not only will this place have harsh light and the sun beating directly down at this mirror bean but it's just flooded with Chicagoans and tourists and people of all kinds. So, I'm usually up before anyone is up, trying to get that empty shot before tourists start waking up and start flooding the scene. But you can see the sun hasn't even really hit the bean yet but still soft, like, the shadows aren't dramatic compared to if I was taking this at midday. So, even here you can see that I'm just, like, trying to get my angles right. Even this line, you can see that it follows directly down, so I'm just using that as my center point for my perspective and scale my lines and stuff. I find it's easier, also, for me to line up my shots this way. Like when I'm trying to get a super symmetrical shot, I will shoot this way over this way. I feel like it's harder for me to really actually get my photo, at least with an iPhone, completely lined up the way I want it to. I mean, I could share my ISO settings, I could share my aperture and shutter, but the thing is, it's like, those types of settings vary so greatly and I could tell you exactly what I use for what shot but you could go back to that same exact location and stand in the same exact spot but there's so many different variables there that are going to change, whether the lighting, weather or whatever, that those settings are not going to work for you. They worked for me at that exact moment with my exact camera in my eye and that weather and they're not going to work the same for you at all. But the only way you can know that is just know your camera and know lighting is just by shooting every day, having that camera in your hands, going out, taking photos of bullshit, taking photos or your shoes, taking photos of your coffee cup while you're at home chilling. While you're watching TV, during the commercial break, cycle through your settings, play around, see what this does, see what that does, play with different lenses, play with different apertures. Like really get to know your camera, your settings, what your eye is attracted to and what you really want to shoot. And when you're able to do that, when you're on the street everything will become muscle memory, your fingers will begin to move as your mind is processing. You won't be thinking about shutter speed, your fingers will be already making that decision while you're there. The best way to learn photography is through mistakes by losing moments. That's how I learned because every moment lost, I learned something new. I learned how to be quicker and how to be smarter, how to react that much faster so I could get that shot before that moment was gone. 5. Shooting: Lines, Texture & Long Exposure : All right, this here is like a perfect moment that I hoped for in every blue sky day, is like when the clouds come and cover the sun just for that moment or the light becomes soft again. It takes away all those harsh shadows. You see nice even light across the board. Yeah, it's a beautiful thing. Going back to the project in this class and talking about our photo essay, we are at La Salle bridge in Chicago over the Chicago River. It's just very iconic to Chicago, not only in the Chicago River but all these bridges and the architecture of it. So, I'm just telling my city's story from my perspective of course, I'm going to include this city's bridges and river. So, one of my favorite things to utilize in photography are these things called universal symbols. I also like to come chicodes, and there are things like bridges, and yellow taxi cabs, and red balloons. These are things that just as a kid we've grown to love and enjoy and see all the time. So when we see like photos of bridges or photos of yellow taxi cabs, just universal symbols that we've all grown to know, it's just like subconsciously it's easier for the viewer to feel part of that photo, to like that photo, to be engaged in that photo, to participate in it, and to feel some type of way. Just to go back to the lighting, you can see that the cloud has passed, and the sun is at full strength, and light is back to being harsh. You can see all the shadows, the shadow right here. Do you see another one like right underneath the bridge right there? But even to the human eye like we can see this in normal detail right now, in real life. But in a photo this would be dark, you know what I mean? Because the sun is behind it. So this entire thing will be act as a shadow, all the way up to this point. But on a cloudy day, where the light was soft or a cloud came over it, you'd be able to see in detail all of this, clear. But even here, another even difficulty of shooting under the sun is like being able to look over your photos, it's just difficult to see exactly. Yeah, with the sunbeam like this, I wouldn't even be here, so let's just go. Looking for dove reflections, this puddles actually massive. You see like, I don't know if you can see it, but in this big puddle, there's tons of vibrations from the wind just from sound and stuff. But if you look at this one, small puddle, it's super still. If you actually flip your phone upside down to and get the lens closer to the puddle, you can just get a deeper reflection. There's less space so it actually mirrors even better. Just wanted to get a clear shot, I wanted one of those yellow cones. So actually, instead of using the carpet as your guide, you want to use the lines and the architecture because this is obviously not perfectly in the middle. You can see they're just like overlapping. So you really want to use the sides and a roof as your guide to lining up your shot correctly. Even here, I'm trying to use like the rule of thirds semi advantage just for some different perspective instead of just right down in the middle. Even though this seems like the only shot, the middle perspective is the only shot, that's when like the rule of thirds comes in and where you can really begin to stand out and use your own creativity, and scale, and perspective to get your own voice across. I switch my 50 bags in my 24 just because I want to get a wide angle this shot. It's pretty wide. I just want to capture as much as I can. We are on Madison and Wabash on the top plat form the train. That lets you connect you from one side to the other. This is one of my favorite spots in the city. I love this view, it leads you right down in Trump Tower and this is in the heart of the city. It's definitely a representation everyone takes the train. It gets you anywhere in the city. I wouldn't do a photo essay of Chicago without including this location or the Elon shot. It offers a lot of symmetry. It's one of my favorite parts about it. Both red awnings lead to the same exact tip giving you this perfect symmetry along the else tracks. The buildings itself are not symmetrical but the distance between them gives you that feel of symmetry. There's clouds in the sky covering the sun, so we're getting a lot of even tones throughout, no harsh shadows. Okay, I guess this is perfect right now, we've got both trains here, adding to the symmetry even more. I was able to accomplish this shot because I had a model in the foreground, the train in the background, and my focus was on him but my shutter speed was slow enough where I was still able to capture the movement from the train passing by. Pile at two trains go by, and if I final around 40 shots. Maybe only three of them came out in focus because I was still holding it by hand. If I had a tripod, it would have been a little bit easier. But I was like any element, you're on the CTA, you can't really have a tripod out here or you get stopped. So you just got to do what you can, hold it, even use your knees as a leverage point to keep your hands even steadier. But even utilizing this as much as possible, having it, hold down. Use your body, use what you have around you to get the shot and make it happen. We so sake to hop on there in that middle part. Another day. 6. Shooting: Night Photography: Like I said before, there's no sidewalk here. So people don't ever, take this bridge, they don't walk it. I love this spot. I just like this because you can see the road going down, but you can also see it going up, on both sides. There's so much happening here. This median right here that goes down and this dual light posts, that's the center of my image, so that's where I'm trying to find my lines and just trying to match everything up with. There's so many different ways you can shoot this. You can shoot it 50-50 where the top of the Upper Wacker, serves as the middle of the image. So, from the street level up, would be 50% and from the street level down of this, would be the other 50%, or you could shoot it. Some of this were almost, the road is the one-third of the bottom and architecture and the sky is the other two-thirds. I favor for this is just the 50-50 because it just fills in the most of the photo. There's so much happening here. Just touching the ground you can feel vibrations, you know what I mean? Even here, you can feel even more vibrations, because it would be cool, for minimal reasons use this and just hook it up to this, but there's too many vibrations happening on this from the cars passing by driving on the road. This will just be useless and I'm probably going to shoot this horizontal and vertical. All the buildings enclose this. It's like from left to right, it's going to be nothing but architecture which is really rad. But just to get a beautiful wide shot, even just looking in your eyes is just full. But I also want to shoot it portrayed, vertical style, even right here I just want to capture this road and that's it. I don't want to capture this tree and everything and all this. You're almost cutting out the nonsense. I remember where I got my camera for the first time and I put my 35 on there, I was so stunned and shocked, I even got anxious and nervous because there was so much more in the photo that I had to worry about. There's so many more elements because it's so wide. You had to worry about what's the edge of your frame. Everything matters now. You can't just hone in and then crop just this little thing that you want to highlight, you have to worry about this entire picture. Sun is still pretty high in the sky, I'm just going to wait till it comes down a bit and starts giving me some tones and I'm getting more even light across the board, so there's no light spots or anything like that, it's just even flat light throughout. Photography is all about patience, just waiting for that right moment, but also being aware of that moment, so you can shoot it and capture it. Since I am a huge fan of symmetry and lines and perspective, this is a tripod head that allows you to precisely move the angles of the camera so you can really dial in to getting your angles really right. So for night shots, usually I try to keep my ISO as low as possible. For the standard setting, it's ISO 100, the greatest aperture possible, so maybe 22. So even when you're shooting a long-exposure, just the fact that you, pressing the shutter is enough to cause the vibration from the beginning of this shot. So, you can do two things, one, you can just set a timer remote, or you, every time you press the shutter, it'll wait two seconds and then fire off, but I like it just being in set where I just know. Just because with this, with cars coming, that two seconds could be a lot. I got a couple. It's weird because the settings are almost like you're shooting at its brightest time, as far as your ISO, your aperture goes. Aperture being at 22 and your ISO being a super low. Your shutter speed is all the way as the bottom at 30 seconds long. I'm just firing away, I'm not going to even look at my second shot. I kind of want to just get two shots. One, it just completely empty. I'm also looking to get some light trails and stuff like that, just as an additional shot, just to show movement in the photo, life. I want the lights to startup just like when you do a long exposure. You can see it here. You can see a star effect in this light posts and all in here. It happens from long exposures and a location like this, I could spend five minutes here, I could spend 2, 3 hours here, just trying to get everything that I want, where no cars are really coming and I get that empty feel. Because one car like this can ruin it. So probably, be my best one though. This might be my best one, oh no. That's the whole thing with 30-second exposures man, is that you got a lot of time for variables to start coming in. I'm going to put a lens hood on, because I got a flare coming in from this lamp posts right here, even though it's not in the frame, it's bleeding through. I would put the lens hood, just to stop that. So, this is with the lens hood and this is without it and you can see, this spot right here, of that red. That's what happens with long exposure, any light source will affect the photo, no matter how big or small, it will affect it in some way. You ready? 7. Editing: Using Adobe Lightroom (Part 1): Usually after a day's shooting, I comeback. I use lightroom for most of my photo editing. I've always used the lightroom. I just find it to be the most user-friendly. I use it to edit and manage all my files. We shot close to 1,300 photos, I was able to select them down to 38 selects. As I was cycling through, I was just selecting B to add them to the quick collection, where I can view them, as just as my main selects. From there, I use the five numeric keys in the top to just give them a rating. When I did that, I was able to get them down to my favorite seven, right here. I think when I was going through, I was just looking for photos that spoke to me the most. Ones that were the most symmetrical and even, the ones that had the most light, and the most color, for like the sunrises. Usually before I lay any type of preset, I always adjust my exposure and my temperature. I just find it easier to know where I want to take the photo after. In lightroom, I use the viscal filters to usually edit my photos. I won't be giving away my favorite filters that I use, just because I feel like that's everybody's fingerprint, that's the last thing that they should keep secret to themselves as a photographer. I'm always willing to share my gear, and any tips, but, I feel like the presets and the filters that you choose are your own signature that you just keep to yourself. I always enable profile corrections in lightroom, I do it automatically, and it just fixes the distortion on the photo that your lens creates. I always like to add just a bit more of sharpening, and bring the highlights down, just to bring more of the skies. You see if I put a 100, the sky looks white, and kind of blown out if bring it down. You get all that blue back in there. So, I just want to bring into a comfortable about them. I'm always happy with. I'm actually going to [inaudible] if I were to crop it, to a one-to-one ratio. I just find it way more attractive. I'm cutting out all the BS, and just focusing on what I want myself and the viewers to be looking at. Another thing that I'd like to do, is that when I'm in this crap and string section and lightroom, I always try to make sure that the middle point goes up and down in the middle of the photo, and you can see that this median is going to serve as the middle of my photo. So, I tried to make sure that this middle spike just goes all the way down through the center of that. That's just so I know when I go through Instagram, and I upload the photo, it's going to go perfectly down the center of your iPhone. It just looks way more precise, you're focusing on the road and in the city. You're not worrying about this tree, and this light that slides just not that pretty, and this tree is not doing this photo justice. This photo was taken at Lake Michigan in Chicago, around 5:20 in the morning. Was before the sunrise, you can see the sun still hasn't come off the horizon yet. I'm just going to look for a filter that can give me some added tones, but also retain the tones that are already there, and the color. Just something solid enough to add to it, not really take it away, or overpower the sunrise. Usually with vsco filters, they have some grain on there sores. I usually take it off at first. Sometimes I come back it. A sunrise and sunset photos, I always bring, not always, but I tend to bring my highlights down. I just feel like it brings back all the information that was blown out from the sun back to the photo, especially when you're shooting it raw, and it gives you a clear picture of what was happening in the cloud formations. Sometimes I'll actually even bring the photo down, an exposure. When I bring the exposure down, it can increase the saturation of the colors that are already there. This one I actually like the way you can feel the body of water begin to move from this point, I like the way the water feels right there, it's got this curve, it just doesn't look completely still. I also like this because,you can't see that, but there's birds flying far off in the distance. Increase the contrast. Maybe even the vibrance, even down here in lightroom, under the it shows L setting, hue, saturation and luminance. I can play with different colors and actually manipulate them. I can change orange to more yellow, more red, or pink, and once I'm there I can even saturate even more, to really affect the photo, and change it to how I felt like I saw when I was there. I'm not trying to be something I'm not when I'm editing. I'm trying to just be myself, and be a representation of myself, and my own vision. So, I just draw the line when I begin to feel uncomfortable and, I won't stand behind my working anymore, or behind my edit. I always straighten my photo. You should always straighten it. Pretty so that. As far as composition goes with this photo, I'm really sticking to the rule of thirds here. Just with the sea taking out one-third of the photo in the sky, and the sun taking up the other two-thirds of it. Classic one-thirds, the blue skies and other one-third. Seems seed in sections, one-third, one-third, one-third. The human eye is just attracted to symmetry, it's attract to the numbers. I chose \ this photo because, it's a great skyline shot. It's one of my favorite locations in Chicago. It's North Ave. Beach, dried off the lake-shore drive. I love this photo, and its because the skyline, foreground and the water, but also the moon was still out even at around 5:30 in the morning. I also like the the soft clouds in the back going on into the sky. I use the same filters just because these are the colors I believe that I see when I'm out on the street, and I'm out shooting, and I just want to be able to replicate that for myself, and for the people who were looking at my work. I think it's just like an honest way for me to stand behind my own style and my own interpretation. So, I'm just bringing the highlights down again, I'm going increase the clarity just to add some detail, along the sharpening. Of course enable profile corrections. You can actually see what that does, removes this bubble effect that the lens glass creates, and almost a soft vignette, that you don't really see until it goes away. Even create that vignette just a bit. Even here you can see in the crop and straighten, it gives you that rule of thirds automatically already. You have the one third, two third, three thirds, and the same thing this way. So, even just automatically shrinking it down to size, if I wanted to be exact. This is what you would get your one-thirds, two-thirds, and three-thirds, one-thirds, and the other two-thirds to fill out right here. You don't always have to live by that, I'm going to let it breathe a bit more just so I can fit that moon in the very top of this image. I'm going to actually bring into the side also, just so I can capture more of action that's happening at Navy Pier. In a small distance you can even see the Ferris wheel. This is another photo that I will post on pretty much all my social networks. I think it's just a photo that everyone appreciate a nice skyline, the water, beautiful sky, nice colors. You can obviously tell it was taken on an early morning, which always seems very peaceful, and relaxing, and just to throw it in a one-to-one ratio. This is what it would pretty much look like. 8. Editing: Using Adobe Lightroom (Part 2): So, this one was taken at top of the rooftop hotel. You can tell the sun hasn't risen up all the way enough where it's shining light on the bottom of these streets here, where the buildings are actually covering it. I'm just going to remove the gray once again. I'll bring the highlights back down, just to retain more of that sky information. Increase the clarity of it. I'm actually, increase the contrast, add some sharpening as well, approve the Enable Profile Corrections, that's it. Honestly, it's easy enough. Overall, what I was trying to achieve with my edit was just to change the overall tones of this photo not dramatically, just subtly, just to add some more greens to accentuate these greens that are already happening. It added some purple tones just to add more to the early morning sunrise feel at the shot, and then I also increases some clarity and sharpening just to show more detail for everything that's happening, because there's so many windows and buildings and stuff like that and and trees that you can really begin to appreciate them, when you add that extra bit of information. But even here, you can get a glimpse of an idea of this being the two-thirds right here of just filling it up with city and having the sky as the one-thirds. Once again, just living around that rule of one-thirds, the human eye and the mind are attracted to this. As long as you continue to play with it in any direction, whether it's left to right, right to left, and down up, up to down, every photo will still feel different even though you're still balancing around the rule of thirds. So, this is the before and this is the after. You can even see in the Hancock Building, just to increase clarity of what's happening in the windows and the detail and even in the diamond structure of the building, we added more exposure to the bottom area into the overall image, but also with the filter, it created a fade. So even though it's lighter, it's also darker at the same time, but still retaining and showing a lot of information even though there is a fade and shadow. Once again, this is an early morning. These shadows are soft because of the soft light. The sun hasn't risen all the way up and it's not harsh, and it's not strong, it's not beating down. For this shot, as you can see, the shadows are pretty dark still here that I'm just going to increase the exposure before. Just to get a better idea of how I want the filter to lay out on top of this beforehand, Enable Profile Corrections. This photo's a little crooked and it bothers me right away, so I'm going to take care of it. I want to make sure that it's perfectly centered, and it goes down the middle, right here. I had it already done but increase the clarity of it, get some more, or actually boost the shadows, bring exposure back down, contrast a bit, bring the shadows once all the way up. Shows you how much I don't like harsh light. But even here, I would probably bring it into Photoshop and remove these two legs standing right there. Even though it's so small, if photographers and other people are watching, that little detail is so much that you would want to get rid of something like that. Thing one thing, that's cool about this. As for Tumblr, why do you get to keep these two columns right here which, I think, add to the photo. Add to the symmetry to the photo, add to the vibe of it. Once you crop it to that one-to-one, it gets way more focused onto the Cloud Gate. It's a way cleaner shot and it just feels like this is the only thing that's there. Cropping is a perfect tool to be used to isolate your subject. Quick before and after. You can really see how harsh these shadows are compared to how well lit buildings in the background are. So I just tried to even that out throughout my edit. I think for my own brand and my own style for the way I shoot, I like my photos to be moody, to be gloomy. I feel it gives it that very cinematic vibe, and blue skies just don't really do it for me. They seem just very cheerful and uplifting, and that does serve its purpose. But for photos that I want to be representing my brand and myself, I definitely want my skies to be gray and gloomy. Just so in my work can be looked at overall as a whole, it has a consistent theme to it. This is a shot of the walkway into the parking garage off of Randolph. This photo is awesome because it's already awesome. The lighting in the room was already cool. You actually get great reflections off the shiny floor from the architecture that's there. It's got a beautiful vanishing point. I didn't live either one-thirds. I use this mainly as my center point to just treat the admonishing point. But I did get on my knees so it has just kind of a lower perspective. I will probably crop in down. But even if I do so, this bar, this yellow line, will almost give you that one-third. So, even though it's 50/50, you can even feel that one-thirds. It's just more lines and symmetry. So, when I was shooting this, I was using the actual architecture to line up my shot. I wasn't using the carpet because the carpet is just, it's uneven and it was placed there so you know that it's not perfectly on point compared to these other lines. So, you can see on the corners, I've lined up while the shot was taken before I even straining. You can see I've lined up each corner of this yellow bar. The same thing even here with these two yellow studs, they're perfectly in place right there, perfectly in place right there. You can't rely on that. Just once again, I'm just going to go through and do my normal routine. Enable Profile Corrections, take out that grain. The filter automatically makes the photo brighter. So, I'm just going to bring the highlights down, I wish it should bring the darkness down a bit. Bring that light information that was getting blown out by the filter and just the adjustments back down. I might even actually bring the exposure back down. If I bring the exposure down, it gives a clear picture of what's happening. Increase clarity, I could see that my yellow was just a bit blown out especially in this area right here from where I was before. But if I just decrease the luminance a bit, you can see that now, when you go back and forth, it's much more even. So, it goes back to it being true to the location and the actual shot. There's even a little spot right here in the carpet like a dust. It could be a little pebble or a rock. For some reason, in this sea of carpet, this one little dot is there. Most people wouldn't get rid of it but it's the details. Even right here, clean a little bit more. This is just like a spot edit removal. I have it on heal with opacity of 100. So, I'm selecting this to be copied by the other circle. This photo was taken on Madison in Wabash on the L stop in Chicago. You can actually see it right here. It says Madison or Wabash, if you don't believe me. I actually like a lot of the red that's happening here in the distance from this building, this building, this from the red awning, and even over here. I also like it because it's pretty perfectly symmetrical. Yeah, it was definitely stealth when I took this photo. I think the light is soft here. There are no harsh shadows. The sky was completely cloudy at this point in the day. You're going to see everything completely in full detail. It's even tones across the board, and the colors, even though they're subtle, they're actually, to me, very strong. This is a photo that I could post even without an edit if I really wanted to. For a photo that's already good like prior to editing, I do minimal editing but I still want my signature and my style to come across. So, I may not go as heavy but I still do my signature edit: increase sharpening, neighbor profile corrections, remove grain. For this one, because it's so center focus, I actually might even create a vignette. Make sure that my photo is centered. You can tell right here, this middle point, go straight down and right through the middle, and this of course is a photo that will live on all my social networks, and just for a quick crop, to a one-to-one ratio. Boom. Before and after. You can see the tones are like very white and red, and my filter brings out a lot of green fade to it with some light purple and red highlights just to accent the red awnings and purple sky. 9. Learn More with trashhand: