Outdoor Photography: Shooting at Sunset, Sunrise, and Night | Chris Burkard | Skillshare

Outdoor Photography: Shooting at Sunset, Sunrise, and Night

Chris Burkard, Staff Photographer, Surfer Magazine

Play Speed
  • 0.5x
  • 1x (Normal)
  • 1.25x
  • 1.5x
  • 2x
14 Lessons (1h 8m)
    • 1. Introduction

      2:06
    • 2. Project Assignment

      0:38
    • 3. Inspiration

      4:15
    • 4. Equipment

      10:21
    • 5. Sunset

      1:50
    • 6. Night

      2:00
    • 7. Sunrise

      1:48
    • 8. Sunset

      7:31
    • 9. Night

      8:21
    • 10. Sunrise

      10:10
    • 11. Editing I

      7:54
    • 12. Editing II

      8:14
    • 13. Final Thoughts

      2:11
    • 14. Explore Photo Classes on Skillshare

      0:36
192 students are watching this class

About This Class

Go on-location with photographer and adventurer Chris Burkard (chrisburkard) as he explores the wilderness and discovers great photos along the way. Chris shows how the best shots occur when you're aren't looking for them, while also providing the know-how and tips to make sure you're ready to capture the moment when it arises. Lessons include working with lighting at different times of day, shooting long exposures, and incorporating subjects into a landscape shot. Perfect for pros and enthusiasts alike, this class will help you take your shots to the next level.

What You’ll Learn

  • Introduction. Explore Joshua Tree National Park with Chris Burkard as he reveals his passion for “quick, dirty” photography. Chris’s best landscape photography tips revolve around teaching you to be a flexible photographer who can adapt to your natural surroundings.
  • Shooting into the sun. To learn a new skill, you have to be willing to make mistakes. In this lesson, Chris will emphasize the importance of mistake-making by encouraging you to photograph during sunrise, sunset, and nighttime using all the wrong techniques.
  • Finding your inspiration. For Chris, a passion for art combined with a love for the outdoors inspired him to try outdoor photography, a medium that lets him become “part of the action” when it comes to exploring nature’s beauty. Listen closely, as he speaks on his inspirations, from architecture to the processes of other photographers.
  • Equipment. As Chris takes you on a tour of his photography equipment, you’ll learn the best times to use a Sony A7 vs. a Sony A6000 and become well versed in the filters to use in landscape photography. If you’re not yet ready to invest in a new camera, this lesson will also demonstrate how to make the best of your iPhone camera.
  • Sunset. You can never plan for epic moments. Here, you’ll learn how to come prepared to shoot epic sunsets in five-minute windows.
  • Night. Long exposures are great for capturing stars in the night sky. You’ll see what a 45-minute exposure can look like and learn what to avoid when leaving your camera running (spoiler: You get to explore the different forms of intrusive light).
  • Sunrise. Capturing sunrises doesn’t have to mean just taking pictures of the sun rising. Chris will show you how to use subjects and objects to turn a simple sunrise photo into a narrative.
  • Sunset II. You’ll witness the importance of surveying an area before choosing where to take your best shots and how to best capture humans in nature from afar. Chris will explain the advantages of coming to a location with one idea in mind and leaving with something entirely different.
  • Night II. Now that it’s getting dark, you’ll explore ISO photography and learn about specialty lenses for low light. You’ll also discover the best fake and natural light sources to use during long exposure nighttime shots. So, as Chris instructs, “Set up the camera, let it run, and go to bed.”
  • Sunrise II. Chris will show you how high vantage points can help reveal depth and scale in sunrise photos. You’ll see how a Graduated Neutral Density Filter and a polarizer can improve early morning shots.
  • Editing daytime photographs. You’ll learn basic photo editing tools through watching Chris play with saturation, vibrance, shadows, and highlights.
  • Editing nighttime photographs. You’ll learn how to make sure nighttime photographs stay true to real life scenes. Chris will teach you how to do this by honing in on a single object from your photograph.
  • Final thoughts. Parting tips from this lesson include focusing on framing, using clean color palettes, and coming up with a consistent editing style.

Transcripts

1. Introduction: My name's Chris Burkard. I'm an adventure photographer from Central California. I'm 28 years old. I'm out here in Joshua Tree National Park, to teach my Skillshare class. So, the class I'm doing on Skillshare, is really just about adventure photography, at sunrise, sunset, and throughout the night. Those are my three favorite times of day to shoot, and I brought us out to Joshua Tree National Park, that's one of my favorite playgrounds, with some friends to basically just see what it's like to shoot on the road, and knockout some images for potential commercial use [inaudible] and also for personal use. The work that I'm best known for really is my expedition style, surf trips that I've shot for the last eight to ten years for surfing magazine. I shoot a lot of commercial work. I've been lucky enough to work with clients like Toyota and Apple and Microsoft, and shoot a lot of that stuff. It all kind of comes back to the same, sort of identity that I've tried to help create for myself which is, authenticism, timeless imagery, that isn't overproduced or over touched up or over commercialized. I came out here with my good friend, Brian, who I have been colliding with for the last couple years, as well as Christian, who works with me in my office. I think students should take this class because there's a really unrealistic perception of what it's like to have to shoot this type of stuff on the road. They think that you need the best equipment, tons of gear, tons of time, but really, for me it's like some of my favorite projects are the ones that are just quick, dirty, ending in the back of the car, you're eating, whatever food is available. You're just out there kind of in the elements, and that's when I feel sometimes you get the best work. It's really just about being willing to be creative, being willing to make mistakes, being willing to try and test out. That's honestly my favorite thing about photography is kind of infusing those things. I'm constantly learning. Are you ready? 2. Project Assignment: So, I think for our project assignment, what I really want you guys to do is basically to go out, shoot one photograph that exemplifies sunset, nighttime, and sunrise. If I can suggest one thought for that, it would be to immerse yourself in the project, meaning that the best images that I find are the ones where I'm out, camping, I'm sleeping on the ground, I'm right next to where my tripod is, I wake up, I grab my camera. That's when I feel like I really get the best stuff. So, I would love for you guys to be able to go out, explore experimenting. Explore shooting into the sun, explore doing everything wrong, and explore what it means to utilize a subject in that frame. 3. Inspiration: So, I got started in photography really because I just wanted to be out experiencing nature. It's funny to say that, but I used to do art a lot. So, I had an easel and would be on a hillside somewhere taking reference photos and back in the lab or my studio. So in high school, I loved art. I used to draw, I used to paint, but there's just something weird about being so removed from what was going on. I realized that I could take a camera and be in these settings. I can be in the mountains, I can be in the ocean, I can be in the water and that you could be as much as part of the action as, say, as anything. So that really drew me and that really made me feel drawn and excited to go and explore what photography would be like as a medium for creativity. So I started shooting landscapes and then from there, that evolved, and I realized there wasn't really much money in shooting landscape photography. So I wanted to infuse landscapes with my other passions which was being in the water and being by the beach because I grew up there and shooting surfing. So I kind of infused the two and started shooting a lot of California coastal, surfers, lineups, waves, whatever and was submitting images. I made a name for myself in that regard and the rest has been history. Motivation is a funny thing. Motivation, inspiration, really, these are things you can find anywhere. Nowadays you can find it by the scroll of your thumb because everything that we would ever need access is right there at our fingertips. But for me I love to look in some of the most unlikely places I find a lot in architecture and in art and I love design and typography and all those forms. For me photography is just one facet of what gives us creativity. Really, it's a matter of kind of infusing all these things and pulling the details in the sort of the marrow, the juice, the good stuff from everything that you do and infusing that. Also for me, being an active member of the outdoor community, I loved climbing, I love surfing, I love body surfing and all those things. That really helps inspire me too because you see a lot of little visuals along the way that I think are going to motivate you and make you want to push yourself and so the more skills you can develop the more, I guess, you feel comfortable. As far as the people that inspire me, it's a broad list. I definitely find a lot of inspiration close to home within my family, the other people that I think raise me and gave me an appreciation for all of these beautiful places, some of the photographers that I've interned under, Pete Harris, Michael Fatali and people that I've really spent my time studying their work, understanding their work, a lot of contemporary artists too. I think it's hard to start listing off names because so many come to mind but really I seek to not only just appreciate a body of work from people but really understand their process. So one of the folks Michael Fatali that I really grew up appreciating his work and the way that he approached landscapes was he would go to a place and because he was shooting 8 by 10 large format, he would just plot his camera and start shooting. He would take a pause and absorb what that place meant to him, what it meant to him in any way spiritually, physically, emotionally, whatever and just sort of digest it. Then from that, he would really allow himself to get an appreciation for a place before he took out his camera. So that's kind of something I've always aimed to do. Even when I'm shooting in a fast-paced intense scenario, I still aim to create that same appreciation for the places I shoot and slow down. For me, it's become so important because I grew up without the ability to travel. I didn't travel much as a kid and I had the opportunity to cruise around California and The West a little bit. But as soon as I started to hit the road, I realized how grateful and lucky I was. So I've always had a real affinity for being able to go see new places and bring those experiences back. 4. Equipment: Basically wanted to touch base on some of the essentials that I bring on really any trip whether it's a camping trip or a bigger longer expedition or something like that. Basically, I've got everything that I've pulled out of my car here for coming out to Joshua Tree. To pair it down to just the essentials, I really wanted to discuss the different types of cameras that I use for really any assignment. That would really be the iPhone, Sony A7, and the Sony A6000. Now, what's the difference between all these? Obviously, these are cameras that take multiple lenses. This is a fixed lens camera with a really small sensor. Difference between these two cameras is that this is a full-frame camera that has full-frame lenses meaning, better image quality, better depth of film, meaning, you can actually get shallower, it has better low light sensitivity and it's been the standard for professional photographers to use full-frame cameras. Now, it doesn't mean that's what you need. This camera is a APS-C sensor, which means it's a tiny bit smaller than a full-frame. Still incredible quality, still usable for all types of huge commercial editorial assignments there's really a subtle difference and in some ways, these cameras people prefer more. The reason being, this can shoot faster frame rates, 24 frames a second, it can focus faster because it has a smaller sensor so if smaller focusing area. It's a smaller camera which means I like to bring it into the back country if I have to choose between bringing one of the other I bring this camera into the back country with me or I pack this thing super light and bring it with me. But like I said, there's big differences here in terms of just overall image quality, overall like light sensitivity, this camera's going to be way better for shooting at night, shooting star trails, shooting portraits, things like that, yeah. So, you just got to find what works the best for you. One thing I do for both my cameras is I always set my back-button autofocus. Meaning, what I do is I turn my autofocus off on my shutter and I put my autofocus on back here, which means I can basically be focusing with this back button and independently firing with my trigger. I do that because what happens is, if you're focusing and shooting with your trigger, you're going to miss frames in between because it will be continually trying to focus in between shooting, right? So, while I'm shooting a sequence it's going to be continually focusing rather than just letting the feuding take priority. Because for me, I'd rather have a shot slightly out of focus then miss it altogether because my camera's searching for focus. So, that's a function I love about setting these things up that way. The lenses on these cameras. Like I said this is those super wide angle the basically 16 to 35. This is another 24 to 70 or since this is APS-C this is 16 to 70, which translates to about 24 to 105. So, this is another Zeiss lens, F4. Really awesome, just do it all lens camera. I keep this thing always in my bag tucked into little case maybe shoved in the top because if I need to grab a camera and just fire off some frames this is really going to be the one. It's something I pick up I can shoot, I can click it on, scroll the exposure, know exactly what I'm getting because I have live view on and I just fire away. So, you can see, you can hear shutter super-fast. So, one thing to consider is obviously I'm a Sony shooter, I've been shooting with Sony cameras for about six years now. The mirrorless cameras are really something that I've adopted into my workflow. I love the way that they function and operate, I love how small they are because they don't have to have a mirror inside, it actually allows the body to be much smaller. You can see when you open up this camera all you're looking at is a sensor. There's no mirror in between. So, the entire function in this camera is much smaller. Now, lot of people have the idea that quality's decreased because of that, it's actually not in any sense. The form, this is still APS-C sensor which is the same size in fact, better quality than a 7D or something like that. This is a full-frame sensor which has rated higher than the D800. So, these cameras as well both of them much smaller, much lighter, easier to carry, easier to fit in your jacket. There's some other functions of the mirrorless cameras I love one of them being live view. Meaning, everything that I'm shooting I can see directly onto my screen. So essentially, I'm getting a live view of what I'm shooting at all times. It's like shooting on your iPhone. It's like what a lot of users who've come with from point-and-shooter are used to. So, as I scroll this exposure reel, I'm actually seeing what's happening in my frame. I'm seeing my depth of field, I'm seeing everything in live-time. Which is nice because that way there's no guessing. It takes the guesswork out of a lot of those things and when you want to shoot fast and quick, you're not trying to adjust you actually know what you're looking at. One of my other favorite features for this is called direct manual focus. That function operates by basically when you put your camera into manual focus mode, and you scroll your focus wheel right here, what it does is, it actually zooms in. So, it zooms into let me get a very very detailed and accurate focus. So I talked a lot about the graduated neutral density and a lot of people ask what that is. Well, this is a graduated neutral density. Dark on top, light on bottom. So, basically, what you would do, is you have a frame that they can hold this, or if you're like me sometimes you're lazy, you'll just simply hold it in front of your camera or you'll tape it up from your camera. Basically what this does is when you have a sunset or you have a sky, that's nice and bright and you have a foreground that's really dark and you want to utilize this lens to capture both, you basically will slide this down wherever you can to evenly gradient the entire frame. So, by putting this on you're going to lose a couple of stops of light. Which is okay, because typically your skies a couple stops brighter than your foreground. This really comes in handy at sunset conditions under really any other scenarios where you have some not optimal lighting scenarios. So, that is the graduated neutral density. Now a normal neutral density, isn't graduated, it doesn't have the gradient from dark to light. What that would look like, that would be something like this. Because it doesn't have to move up and down, you don't have to catch that horizon line where the landscape is meeting the sky. So those can be circular. This is a pro ND64 meaning, neutral density 64 stops or something like that. I'm not exactly sure what that 64 stands for, but essentially what it means is that you can put this on there and it basically allows you to shoot long exposures midday. So say it's super bright, say you' re shooting near the sun and you want to shoot a long exposure of a river or the car lights driving by. Well, what this will do is, you can put it on and now if you were shooting at F11 at 30th of a second, now you can shoot two second exposure at F11 because it just knocked your exposure way way down. It just basically adds a big gradient to your shot. So, if you're looking for the ultimate setup that's when you move to a variable neutral density. Now what this is, this is spinning like a polarizer, but what it is is, as you spin it gives you a greater density. So, I don't know if you can see as you look through, but essentially It'll get darker as you spin it. To where its like that, to where it's completely clear. So, that's a really cool tool to use for a lot of guys who shoot video if you're in a situation where you don't want to carry a bunch of different neutral density you just want to spin it to get the right scenario, that one can work really well. So, in here I also have some more polarizers and just some essentials like that. That's basically my filter kit that lives in my backpack. I'll take the filters out I want to use, put it in my small one or put them on my cameras and I'll go from there. Lastly, the iPhone. Basically, I have over last couple years become a huge supporter of mobile photography, and one of the things I love about it is the opportunity to have a camera that's with you at all times especially one that's as powerful as this. So, what I've done is I've been able to team up with the guys at Olloclip who make the best iPhone lenses on the market to really test and and get a lot of images with their equipment, now they make a lens called like- they make four lenses that this is the two-in-one. What that means is that on one side it's got a wide-angle lens on the other side it's got a fish eye. You can just remove this lens flip it around, put the fish eye on and it's good to go. Looking at me and then you'd remove this and you can see how much tighter your normal frame is. So, one of my favorite things to do when I'm with an Olloclip is really to que into those good times a day to shoot it. I find when you have a lot of light and you have a lot of room to work with, that's when the iPhone seems to do the best. Right now we have awesome sun coming this way, we have really dark beautiful skies and I want to get a cool shot of the Joshua Tree basically framed up against this really dark sky. Because I think that imposed I can edit it really cool. So, I'm going to put on my Olloclip, got my wide angle on right now. The nice thing is without wide-angle I'm really able to get this close to the tree but yet still get the entire tree in the shot. That's what for me to using the Olloclip is really is good for. It's getting those unique perspectives. It's really cool. 5. Sunset: So, one of my recent favorite kind of sunset shots that I took was really just a great example of how you can never really plan for kind of epic moments to unfold. I was in the Faroe Islands and we just landed maybe like 15 minutes, and we saw the sun was going down, we knew we're really close to the airport. From the airport, we're really close to a lot of these really amazing sea cliffs and stuff, so we drove out, got our stuff drove from the airport straight out to basically this really cool bay. Where there's these huge jagged sea cliffs but they're actually part of islands, right? So, we're looking out and it's just a big kind of blanket of dark clouds. As we sat there, we kind of waited, we saw the sun starting to peek through these clouds and start to like kind of crawl down, and all the sudden, you know what he realized was right between the top of the cliffs and the bottom the clouds were just opening in the sun just burst through right there. It was such an interesting scene, it was so incredible and I really wanted to give it some contexts as well as work with making sure the sky felt dark enough so it didn't feel blown out. So, I took a neutral density filter pulled that down and use that for the top of my sky. The one thing that really stuck out, was the opportunity and ability to have a camera system that I could really work with really quickly. So, having everything, my bag, having my graduate neutral density on hand, my polarizer, I didn't need a tripod because I had enough light, and to be able to kind of capture that really quickly because we only have about four or five minutes. So, that was kind of one of my favorite sunset images I feel like I've shot in recently. 6. Night: One of my favorite long-exposures images actually that we shot in Yosemite was at the big Glacier Point. We went up there and shot some stuff towards the evening. The tourists left and we ended up just basically car camping at the top. Not something I'm recommending you legally do, but if you happen to be there. So, what we did is we realized that there was no community traffic and I walked down the trail always, set my camera up. I'm pretty familiar with my equipment and I know that if I just basically let it run until it dies, it'll still keep the exposure. So, I basically pulled my camera and I shot a photo of half dome. I wanted the stars to be really moving across it, not a full circle, but at least like a 45-minute to two-hour exposure. So, that's exactly what I got. It was one of my favorite ones because you really can't get that unless you really let the camera just sit and just absorb that star movement. One of the things I did to help that as I waited the tripod down so there's absolutely no movement. You make sure all the legs are locked. You really root it firmly in the dirt on the ground obviously, somewhere that you're not going to have a lot of wind. I find that the nights when you can shoot a really long exposure, well, it's special. You need good conditions, you need no wind, you need a really steady light source. If there's clouds, I can pretty much guarantee long, long exposure is not really going to work because what might start out as a really cool scene with clouds and stars will ultimately just be clouds because those are going to move through your scene. So, typically, you want a steady light source. You want no ambient light, or city lights flickering, or cars driving by because if one car drives by and hits the back of your camera, it can basically blow up your scene, or tourists walking by with the headlamps. So I find that the moments you can do that are really when you're in place of ideal solitude or you can put your camera off trail somewhere and know that it's safe. For me, those are some of my favorite ones when you can get that. 7. Sunrise: I was in Russia in 2012. One of the things I was the most surprised about when we went to Kamchatka, was that we actually, rather than having pea soup weather and cloudy skies and just crappy conditions the entire time, we actually had epic sunrises and warm days and I was super shocked by the weather. One of the coolest things, we were camping, so being able to be outside and have camera equipment dry and be able to kind of function, not be freezing the entire time really made for a lot of awesome images. One morning, I remember getting up early and kind of seeing the sun. Pretty sunrise starting to happen and I basically took my friend's tent and moved it out towards the beach. He was basically getting ready inside of it to go surf and I took the fly off, and the reason I did that is because that way you can kind of see through the tent, you can actually see the silhouette of of his body. So, that was an image that I really liked. It was kind of this subtle, quiet moment. I took a step back and grabbed that shot but I liked kind of everything that's said. We had the surfboard stuck in the sand, a cool view from the tent, and he's in there basically pulling his gloves inside out, getting ready to get his sweat suit on. So, that photo, to me, just as the sun rose, it's like everything's either black or gold in that frame, you really have like a simple color palette, so you're not trying to figure out everything that's going on, you're just sort of reading that image. That, to me, was a great example of being able to use what would normally just be an uninteresting sunrise, staring out into the ocean and then making it sort of something unique and putting some subject in there to tell a story. 8. Sunset: I was just going to say what my favorite things when I come to a spot is I hate just taking my camera out and start just shooting photos. I want to be able to circumnavigate the entire area, look low, look high, get an idea to feel for every other way to shoot it because that's the only way you can really understand kind of what your subject is by looking at it from all perspectives. So, we're here. This is a crazy little feature. We're going to check it out. It's easy to feel like, "Oh, this is the postcard angle. This is it." But if you're able to get low, kind of put your camera down for a second, maybe just snap an iPhone photo or just circumnavigate the area, you get a totally new perspective. I can't tell you how many times I've gone to a spot and as I'm leaving I see something that I wish I would have shot at the beginning, but I didn't walk around. I just went to the same angle. So, now that I'm here one of my favorite things to do is just to walk around, maybe shoot a little video, checkout a bunch of different perspectives so that I can gain an appreciation for the setting and what's going to make something like this look so unique. So, we're hoping that the sky is going to pop underneath these clouds and just give this little blanket of clouds a little bit of color. I think that's one of the always the risks you take as a landscape photographers like you're always looking to go when the weather conditions are adverse because that's when you get the most dramatic sky. When it's bluebird and sunny it's when you have a big dark clouds, shout towering over all your landscapes, and your features and you want that little glimpse, that little moment and usually it's pretty fleeting, but it's what makes it worth it so, yeah. So, one thing, I'm always looking for when I'm dealing with a figure in a landscape is the separation of where their body is to the sky. If he's just plastered against that rock or someone's who knows they're lost in the trees whatever, you're really going to lose all the details. So, you really want to have that separation of their body against some sort of a flat backgrounds, which is nice because right now we have this cool silhouette where he's basically climbing. He has this little bit of movement where you kind of see him painted against the sky, and that really gives you more of a dramatic subject. In fact, when you're looking at the photograph your eye is going to be drawn to that exactly. You're going to go right there and even more intensified when you have that brilliant bright sun and that's what you're looking for. I decided to come out here with my really good friend Brian, Tyler, and Christian and basically, I've climbed with these guys a lot, I've worked with them on jobs, and so, whenever I have an opportunity to go and shoot something for me whether it's commercial or editorial I prefer to bring people I know. That's just kind of the style of work that I like to do is rather than trying to use models, use real people. I think that comes through in the images a lot stronger and it actually makes for real more intimate interaction, just real moments. That's kind of the beauty of, I think going on trips where you're really just out there shooting stuff that's meant to inspire people as it should inspire you as well. So, I really want to get up there also. One thing that's always important is to maximize the opportunities to get different angles. I tend to be pretty mobile. Sometimes it messes me up, sometimes it gives me a ton more opportunities or different looks to one single frame, but I hate sticking around one spot because when you have something that's super cool and feels like once-in-a-lifetime, the last thing you want to do is have one frame of the whole thing. Yeah. So, I tend to shoot multiple cameras because I shoot mirrorless and mirrorless cameras are smaller. So, you have the ability to actually do that more efficiently, but one thing it does, it makes a hard. You're kind of jumbling too. I shoot cameras different lenses on them. So, I don't have to be swapping. It's just one of the ways I like to operate because really when it comes down to it, I'm shooting with a camera that's as light, two to three cameras can be as light or lighter than one probity DSLR. So, that gives me a lot of options to work with. So, a lot of times if I have a model and then they're someone I'm shooting and I want to get body parts that can register if they're all compressed into one little area, it can be hard to see what's happening especially if they're small, they're far away. So, little things like separating your legs or having your hands up in the air or something kind of like that will just give you an essence of like, "Oh, okay. Well, this this registers as a person." Sometimes by moving higher if I'm close and I'm super wide it's going to make the subject or the object look a lot bigger or look a lot more dramatic in the sky, but if I get up higher maybe I'll shoot a little more compressed and this is an instance where I'll put on a 50 millimeter, like F18 and it'll compress the subject into the background but because it's just a shallow lens, it's actually going to give me some separation. So, it's just a different look, a different way to kind of see something and you're limited when you're close because you don't really have so much you can do. Your object starts to be a hidden, but if you pull back, you can really move back as far as you want and then compress in. It's just a totally different way of seeing things. You come to a scene, you have this idea where the sun going to be but it's not. So, what do you do that or you're just like as you all know you have to re-evaluate your situation. I didn't understand or know that this time of year the sun doesn't set here, it sets over here. So, it's 270 degrees in another direction. So, as I shifted around my subject I saw this moon rise and directly above it and that made what I think was actually a way more interesting image. I think that's how photography goes and most the time its flexibility, especially when you're shooting adventure sports. You could travel halfway around the world and go to shoot a mountain range that you could never see because it's covered by clouds. So, what do you do then? Well, you have to be able to think quickly on your feet and sort of I guess, evaluate your surroundings and make quick decisions and that's what I think what makes somebody be able to work in intense situations and wouldn't situations are just more fun and you're just trying to get something unique to be able to be creative on the spot. So, that's why I love coming to a place with an idea, but also leaving with something different. I always love to try and nail my thought, my concept, whatever that initially was and then again, leave with something unexpected, something I didn't plan for and leave myself open for those experiences. Camera technology plays a huge role in the work I do, I feel like a lot of situations that are super tough to shoot in. Right now, we have this red sunset, but if I didn't have a camera that can pick up that low of light or a lens that could do that, then I wouldn't be able to shoot anything. So, being able to use a Sony a7s which picks up a ton of low light and it's actually built for that it really works really well. So, it's kind of the end of the night. It's getting pretty dark. I feel like what I love to do is be able to go get a camp set up, maybe shoot a couple of photos around the campfire, kind of see how that plays out for us. Once again, I'm really just have some general thoughts or ideas in my mind, but nothing set in stone because I want to leave myself open for what might come to pass. If we get a break in the clouds, we see some stars, maybe who knows or some, who knows? 9. Night: Typically, I try to handhold absolutely as much as I can. But in the evening time, when I'm shooting long exposures, anything really over 15 seconds, that's when I pull up my tripod. I tend to be very liberal with what I use the tripod. It could be rock, it could be a steady hand, I don't know, but when I want to get really sharp, tack sharp images at night, especially when I'm getting stars moving, when I want to get a fire that's lighting up or water that's looking really milky, that's when I put my tripod down and I'm usually shooting somewhere between a sixth of a second to a couple of hours. Typically, for me I love to use ultralight tripods carbon fiber. I'm not somebody who's taking mine on and off all the time. I usually just attached my camera, and fold the legs, and put it over my shoulder and move with it. So, I like light tripods that can be shoved in a backpack, can be mobile, and taking with you anywhere. I tend to take this one backpacking a lot, shot all over the world with it, and usually the lighter equipment works better. One thing people have a problem with is, they feel like the lighter ones vibrate. When I have that issue, I usually just attach some weight to it, a little caribena or string, attach a backpack to the bottom, it holds it super firm. So, the S7's is one of the best cameras I've ever used for for low light. When I say low light, I basically mean that it has a supersensitive ISO range. It's native ISO setting is 1,600, which means theat it can basically output beautiful images like at a very high ISO. Most cameras you whenever you want to put there. This camera for me is nice because it does it all for me. It's not really the camera I would go and want to shoot big billboards with, or big huge gigantic images to be printed, but it's something that works great for low light, great for editorial, magazines, social media, digital web, and it's light small in it's full frame. So, say you don't have a camera that can shoot super low light well, the lucky part is that you can still get away with just shooting a longer exposure. Right now, my settings are right around one second at 1,600 ISO. But if you had a camera that wasn't as sensitive to light, you could just basically bump your shutter speed down to maybe five seconds, 10 seconds, 18 seconds, and you could still get amazing really good results. The difference is that you're going to have a little more movement in your subjects. One of my favorite things to shoot is shooting low light, shooting long exposures by having people or objects in them. It gives a surreal nature to the images, and having people standing around a fire, or having someone far off in the distance lit up somewhere or light painting and being able to do that, I find that having a camera that's really sensitive to light helps to create that movement in the image. One of the lenses that I always try to bring it as a specialty lens, and this is 24-14, and this is really set up for night photography. It's mainly when I use it, because I like the shallow depth of field. More importantly, I like how much light it lets in. So, typically with this lens, I'll be taking a step back, trying to get the entire scene, and allowing myself to shoot a lower shutter speed because I have a smaller f-stop. So, I can let in more light. So, I'm going to throw this on my camera and see if I can crank my ISO down a little bit, and actually crank my shutter speed up from maybe a second and half to a sixth of a second. For shooting at night there's a lot of different sources of light you can use, and everyone has their own personal preference. Headlights work great, flashlights, car lights, there's obviously a studio strobes, and things like that you can use or any other type of strobe or flash, and then those are all the, I wouldn't call them fake lighting, but essentially that's more of the tungsten light. So, all those sources would be more artificial light. Then you have your natural light, you're warm tounge. So, long exposure of photography is really the art of shooting a shutter speed that is meant to absorb light. Right? So, to absorb light, you really want to have something below a sixth of a second where your camera must be on a tripod. I find that typically, when I'm shooting long exposures, I'm shooting a sixth of a second, one second, five seconds, 30 seconds or multiple hours, and all of those provide different results. But ultimately, they're trying to do the same thing. You're trying to bring light to a subject that's pretty dark or dim. Long exposures can usually be shot in the evening, around a campfire, around the moonlight, if you're trying to capture the stars. If you're trying to capture moving lights of cars on a freeway, and you want to shoot multiple exposures, it can really be done in a totally a bunch of different ways, but really it's all about the end result of giving yourself a bright scene from something that was basically in the evening or dark. There are the times when you'll shoot long exposures, where you really want to focus on getting maybe something really abstract, and that's typically when I'll lay my camera out, maybe I'm camping, maybe I'm car camping until now, but I'm somewhere where I'm not going to get a bunch of ambient light, meaning I'm not going to get cars driving by, or people walking by with headlamps, and maybe I'm out somewhere where it's totally dark. What I would do, is I'd set my camera up for maybe an hour, two hours, and I would just basically let my camera absorb all the light, and the results from that can be really cool. You can have star trails circling around something, or you can have the sun rising with some stars above it. It can give you a really unique results, but it's usually complete trial and error. So, you typically, at the end of the night, when I've done shooting all the scenes that I wanted to setup or shoot, I would just set up my camera, let it run and go to bed, maybe set myself a timer, so that I get up and turn it off in the middle of the night, or let it run until it dies, and wake up and just see my results. It's usually like unwrapping a present. You just never really know what's going to be. So, right now, when I'm shooting this campfire scene, I'm actually shooting under 30 seconds. So, every camera typically has a shutter inside that will let you do a 30 second exposures. When you want to go above 30 second exposures, that's when you have to use a cable release. Cable release is a small object basically that plugs into your camera, and gives you a remote trigger that you can lock and hold. So, typically, if you want to shoot a multiple hour exposure, or 30 minutes, or five minutes, you have to time it yourself, and you basically lock that cable release, let it go, come back and unlock it. Cable releases are also really good for when you want to have absolutely no camera vibration. So, if you don't want to be touching your camera, shooting the trigger yourself, and you want to be standing away shooting it, that's a form of using a cable release. That can also be super-effective during the day as well. One of the important things about cable releases too, is that not all of them are wired. You can also use infrared releases which can actually go right to most cameras with little infrared sensor, or your cell phone which is also a really cool way to use the technology. So, you can effectively use up a bunch of different ways to release your camera if you don't want to touch it. So, for night time photography, I would say one type of camera, I really shy away from is my cell phone. I typically for me at least, I'll shoot my phone 20 minutes before sunset, or 20 minutes after sunrise, till about 20 minutes before sunset, because one thing that the phone doesn't do super well, is low light right now, and I have found that it can really do an amazing job midday, it can do an amazing job when the light is getting really good, but if you want to shoot that really contrasty sun going down, or if you want to shoot a longer exposure, it really brings a lot of noise to the image, because you can't control your ISO and all your settings. 10. Sunrise: We woke up at like 6:30 because we wanted to catch the sunrise right around seven, and I think one of the hardest things when you're in kind of an area with a bunch of rocks and a bunch of mountains and surrounding features just to get above all that to kind of catch a view of what the sun looks as it's kind of cresting over the mountains and spilling into the valley. We came over here to Hidden Valley to basically jump and climb on top of this feature called the Cyclops just to get ourselves some elevation and look out sort of over Josh Tree and see if we can possibly see the sun on this cloudy day. Some of the things I find for sunrise that makes it really interesting is you're always dealing with really intense light. Whether you're shooting into the sun or whether you're shooting towards a landscape or a subject. Usually, you're kind of hoping for that like bright sunny contrasty light. One of the things I love to use for sunrises is usually kind of coming back to that idea with sunset is that isn't graduated neutral-density as well as a polarizer. Basically, polarizers is the same kind of technology you'd find in your sunglasses. When it's pointed towards the sun, it really sort of deflects a lot of that light. When you point a polarizer towards water, it'll actually cut that reflection out of the water. Typically, what you will do is if it's like kind of a mid-morning, midday, and you have white puffy clouds, you point it towards those clouds and you engage your polarizer, meaning it actually rotates with you, it'll make those clouds really pop. It'll actually like sort of engage in a way, and you'll see in your frame a lot of contrast come to that image. Usually, I try to, when I'm shooting sunrises, because I know I have a lot of light, a lot available light, is I'll try to bump my ISO down as far as I can to give myself the best quality image. I think that oftentimes, if we're shooting landscapes and we have a body of moving water or some moving clouds, that's a good opportunity to use a tripod as well, maybe slow it down just a tiny bit not too long to get some movement there. This morning, we kind of have still, stagnant clouds, and we sort of have a pretty flat even light landscape, so we really can't do too much movement because we would have to probably be like in the four or five-minute range. I guess one of my favorite ways to approach shooting sunrise, sunset, is really just kind of I guess breaking some of the rules and shooting directly into the sun. I love the contrast and the silhouettes that that gives. Especially when you have unique light, when you have dark clouds and you have really contrasty light, and the sun pops through, I think that's when you get the images that really are the most moody or the most genuine. Essentially, if you're looking to create authenticism in your images, I think one of the best ways to do that is to kind of make your subject or your landscape or whatever it is into sort of a unrecognizable figure. Meaning that it's not going to be dated by what they're wearing or logos or the snap. It's just basically going to be an opportunity to shoot that image of that subject where anyone could see the image and kind of relate to it. I love shooting into the sun, shooting subjects. I love placing my subject between myself and the sun for sunrise or those really killer times of day. What that does, like I said, is it just gives you an awesome silhouette. It gives you a really suggestive kind of moody image, and that's something that I try to aim for every time I have that opportunity to shoot with sunlight. I called Bill to get up high and get a perspective for this place that you maybe hadn't seen. One of my favorite things is being able to kind of change your perspective. I always feel like it's easy to go to a place you've been a lot of times and look at it from the same perspective every single time. Essentially, being able to get up high, change that up, look at things in new way, it's refreshing I think as a photographer really to be able to see things that way. Even if it's just the simple things, like this cool road that zigzags through the valley. I can actually see a tiny bit of sunlight cracking over those hills over there. This is an awesome instance where you have these really dramatic clouds and the sunlight is kind of behind us. Essentially, what we're getting is when you polarize it, you're just getting that much more contrast out of the clouds. It's also a really interesting thing to use the polarizer when you have maybe some reflection on a surface. Not necessarily reflection of water, but like say the sun is reflecting down onto some cement or onto a wet surface or whatever, and it cuts that. What it can let you do is rather than just getting all that reflective surface, it can actually kind of see the color underneath and give you just a little bit - a unique kind of way of seeing it where normally, your eye would just kind of immediately go to all that muted light essentially. One thing I love to shoot when I'm elevated and we have kind of some dramatic cloud is shooting widing and being able to kind of really zoom out, get that perspective where you kind of have clouds leading up, your foreground leading out. Because when we're up high, we really want to show kind of the distance of that sky versus that ground, rather than being on the ground where everything's kind of flat and compressed. This allows us to kind of show the depth and the scale of where we are and how big it is. We have these really unique cloud formations, and this is one of the cool things, is you have to be able to go with the flow. You don't have an epic sunrise coming out of this direction, so what do we have? We have these really, really dark dramatic clouds, so what I'll probably do is I'll probably try and underexpose a tiny bit to save some detail in these clouds because I know that in post, I can go back through, I can edit these clouds a bit and get some of the detail out of the foreground and make the clouds even a bit darker if I wanted to and just kind of mess around with that. I'm going to change lenses, put my 24 to 70 on. Typically, when I'm out here looking at a landscape like this, there's a lot of ways to humanize it in a way, and that's something that I think is is always interesting. You have this really vast big area, and it can be hard to sort of tell or get a perspective for how big it is or how unique it is or dramatic it is. If I'm up here with some friends, I might be like, "Hey, I want you to go and sit on that rock over there," frame that up so that when I'm shooting in that direction, I kind of have a subject or an object that can - I guess you can relate to, something you can get for scale and for size, which is super important. This is kind of cool I like to use are these these magnetic filter sets. Basically, rather than having to just screw on my polarizer every time, I can just go like that. Because I have a magnet that basically sits on there, and so I can take it off, put it on, rather than trying to unscrew or screw, because I like to shoot really fast, and I like to shoot, kind of change things as they happen. Being able to do this and just be able to take a shot, put it back on, take another shot with the polarizer on is really helpful when you're kind of in a, I guess more fast-paced environment. Now, that I've got Brian standing up on this little object right here, and what I'm really trying to focus on is this cool zigzagging road, and I have the light kind of spilling out into the valley. I might throw my polarizer on, maybe try and get these clouds to give a little more dramaticness in the frame. Really, I would really not frame this any other way. I guess one thing that's important is like if putting a person in your shot makes you shoot it in a completely different way, maybe it's best not to have them. Because for me, it's really all about these rocks in the foreground, these hills in the background, this road in the midground. Adding someone in there really just kind of gives you perspective and scale. It's not so much something that I'm doing because that's the main object here. It's just mainly an opportunity to kind of give you a little more weight in your image, a little more, something to kind of put in there so you understand how high up we are. That's kind of always I guess my rule of thumb, is add a person to compliment the landscape, not to make it the focus. Right now, it's probably maybe an hour after sunset, and as we looked out towards here, we can really see that sun just kind of beating through those clouds. Really a huge hot spot there. That can kind of be tough to shoot, so what I find there is like if you are basically going to, if you want to shoot into the sun and it's kind of a midday, and you just have a big, bright hot spot, it can be good to kind of put something inside that frame, or kind of help fill that frame so your eye is not automatically led to whatever that is. I do love the way that the light is, really dark clouds around it. When I look through the viewfinder and I sort of try to get the exposure right on that, what happens is I end up making my foreground all dark. There's really no filter kit you can use to make something like this work because you're dealing with such an intense time of day. One of the things I'll try and do, if I know that I'm dealing with really bright sun is rather than try to get the exposure perfect, is just let it blow out. Maybe go the opposite way. Maybe explore what it looks like to make your images feel completely the opposite, where you're kind of celebrating the fact that it's overexposed and it's blown out, and that's okay. Over here, rather than try to save all that detail, I might just basically focus on my foreground more, maybe take some of the clouds out. 11. Editing I: Right now, I'm basically opening up my body of images and lighting. You can see as I look down here, these are the selects I've chosen, these 66 images. They really represent a really various, they vary in the times where they are shot. Some are right when we arrived on the scene. Some are when the sky going a little bit darker and a little bit more moody and more blue. Then we have basically looking the other direction where the moon's out and even all the way to a, basically, post sunset into the night. This is just the last three hours of shooting. So, so here's the quick skimming on how I would process these images. I basically select all, first thing. I would go into here and I would make my overall adjustments. Meaning, I would bump my saturation just a touch. Maybe, usually, for me I really try to keep parameters, keep it right under about 12 percent. So, right now, I tried about my saturation plus seven. I go through here to my highlights, my tone curve. I really don't like to touch the contrast ever. I typically try to leave the contrast alone but I love messing with the tone curve because really what that does is rather than just taking your whole image and shoving a bunch of contrast in it and blowing out the highlights and crushing the blacks, it allows you to go individually and mess with the shadows or the overall darkness or the highlights as a whole or the light as a whole. So, it's a really detailed and accurate way to go in and adjust your shadows and your darkness. So, essentially I would come in here and some realm and just fidget with these a tiny bit. I need to get on a sharpening. I just set my basic sharpening adjustments. For some reason, I've always stuck with these numbers. It's what I learned when I worked at the magazine years ago of the baseline sharpening parameters to set. I think it's around 160 and I think 34 amount detail and masking. So, I'm clicking on my image, make sure looks sharp and sure looks good, okay, cool. Now, that I've done that, I go through here but my shadow's a tiny bit. I really am a big fan of when there's opportunities to show detail, just show it. I don't like to force an image to be a silhouette when it shouldn't be nor what I like to force an image to have detail when it shouldn't be. I feel if you wanted to shoot it that way that's really how you should have shot it, don't rely on posts for that. So, for this image, I'm really trying to bring back the details, bringing out the details and a lot of these shadows by pulling the shadows up and bringing back the details in the sky by bringing these highlights down. So, what I've done is I've preserved the sky rather than being here. I preserve the sky and I preserved some of the shadows here. The blacks, usually I open these up a little bit. If feel most people who tend to crush them, but I really want to open these up a touch and give a little bit of that the whites. I tend to back off on the lights a little bit. Because that way, I can bring more color into the sky. If I'm cranking these whites, just going to block my image which can be a really cool look, but I really want to get as much color out of this photograph as I can if my goal is for it to be a color photograph. Maybe, this photo looks better in black and white, but as of right now that is the parameters I'm setting. I'm going to maybe exposure to touch 40th and stop over 40 percent over. I'm good with that. So, essentially, what I'm going to do is I'm going to select all and I'm going to sync all the images to those settings. So, now I have a baseline, first thing I'm going to do is I'm going to take out this ugly little dust spot that was on my sensor. That's gone. Cool. Now that I've dealt with that, let's see here so opacity. Now, that's gone. That's gone. I'm going to go in here and I'm going to adjust this image more particularly and edit it more in depth. This is where I look at the image individually and I think, okay well, now that I know my baseline, I know really where I can take it. I might crush some of the blacks a little more. I might just crop in a tiny, tiny bit in here. The beauty's I'm shooting on full-frame so I've got a really nice shot up the field. I've got a lot of room to work with. I'd love to explore black and white. I'm going to go in here and bring my exposure down. I might pull my shadows back up now that I'm editing in black and white. I might add a little bit of grain, move down to here. So, this is one version of this image that I am going to keep. Since I'm shooting black and white for this one and I want to basically take my sharpening down a little bit so it doesn't feel so crunchy, all eventually zoom in here to see how that image looks. Cool, I really like what I'm seeing here. I definitely didn't envision this image as a black and white but now that I see it as one, I really like it. One other trick here I wasn't planning on migrating into this, but what I really want to bring back that sky and I really want to bring back some of that detail, I'll bring down a mask. You have a bunch of series of tools up top. One of them is this basically graduated mass photo. So, I'll go down into here and maybe I'll bump the exposure down a tiny bit. I'll really push the highlights down because that's going to bring some this cloud depth back for me. Now, I have a little bit more depth in my image. I have a tiny bit more opportunities to just see that. So, I really like the way this image is feeling now a lot better than before. I feel some of the stuff that was shot earlier is going to look a little bit better in black and white. It exactly have a lot of that interesting unique detail of the sky. So, here's another great moment I really like this body position here. I think that's what's really speaking to me. It's the way that he feels, he has momentum. He's in the sky in some unique way. So, once again, I'm going to try and heal that little dust spot. I don't really see it. This image might crank up. So, what I really do when I mess with saturation, I usually go to vibrance instead of saturation. I typically, saturation, basically is, or vibrance is basically smart saturation. That's what the lightroom gurus told me. It's a way of getting color out of your individual palettes of your scene, rather than just taking an overall brush and bringing out as much as you can. So, for this, I might bump the exposure on a little bit. I really tend to enjoy working with my tone curves as well or, sorry, my temperature. It's something I really, really enjoy working with. When I want to bring color out of an image, I typically will really work to figure out what temperature it felt like. If I want to make it warmer, I want to make it cooler, this is I feel for me at least my favorite thing to really mess with. I feel you can bring a lot of uniqueness out of an image by pulling the temps in one direction. 12. Editing II: So, one of the bad things about beyond early processes images, is getting back to that idea of shooting for post. So, a lot of times when I'm looking to edit my work, I'm looking to basically find a way to recreate that exact scene that I saw, and really bring those same colors to life, that cool exposure of the moon with the warm exposure from the fire, and so this is that process of just going back through, trying to create and gets close to the images I can, and what it looks like out by our cam see. I really actually like the way a lot of these turned out. When you're using a fire, when you're working with a fire, you're working with a natural light settings, you don't tend to want to saturate too much, that's where you really start to get some flared colors, and some really weird skin tones and stuff. So, I try to keep that as minimal as I can. What I really try to work with, is my temperature again, and just giving that moonlights in blue to work with, giving that fire something to work with, and really bringing my overall scene, bringing back the exposure that really looks like. I'm still seeing little dust spots, but that can be taken care of. So, I am sifting through seeing the ones I like, looking for those simple things that I was talking about before, movement in my shots, whether that's movement in the fire right down here where I've got little bits of sparks flying up or whatever, or maybe I've got a headlamp going around the fire, or just little details like that. That's the stuff that brings your image to life, and this frame right here, I really really like to. So, I'll go back in here, here the moon's really doing accrual number on the scene as well. So, since this image is so close, I'll just basically copy paste go to the next image, paste the edit on there, I might make a tad more blue just to give variety in my edit. Now that I've done that, I'm really seeing tons of colors, maybe I'll just back-off the saturation. So, there's really no pop and color at all. It's just exactly how a shot on the camera, and that way is nice because then you can really get in here, and mess with the tone curve and not feel like you're manipulating anything too much or too heavily. This is a prime example of that idea of movement, and you see as the fire gets brighter, it really starts to blow out some of the colors here, the reds and his jacket, start to get a little overkill, so I've got you crank this saturation down, maybe even go negative, go over to the temp, bring the temp back a little more, just trying to get it's something a little more. It felt a little more realistic. Working with that exposure is one of the toughest things, because you really start your colors can go of variety of different directions, you have ambient light, you have light pollution, you have tons of different things that can come into play here. So, you really want and just, I always find that less is more, getting it back to the way that it naturally looked is always to me the most crucial thing. So, by really keeping your saturation low, keeping your editing just to a minimum can really help out. Like I said, once again just keep being getting something, so that you can bring it back to that same look whether that's your sky, you want to get your sky the same way it was, you want to make sure your fire was, how you remembered it. I find that if you can key into one object, or one subject, whether that's a skin tone, or the sky, or the rocks or whatever it is, make sure that that looks exactly how you remembered it. Then, you can adjust everything else around there, because the problem is that when you're lighting things by fire, your light things by a little flashlight, it doesn't look natural. So, you don't necessarily need your edit to feel 100 percent natural, because that's just not realistic always. So, now I'm coming in here, I am taking the blocks away, so they don't have any of that. I'm pushing more of the blue in there, there we go, and more saturation for this one because it's shot in a different way. Yeah, I really like this image, that blue really pops from that evening sky. Maybe bring a little more warmth in here. You see how much that warmth can do for you, can really make your sky go through a real deep rich blue to more muddled blue, bringing a lot more of that warmth and there. You want to find even medium, and that's the key for I think a lot of your imagery. You find that even medium, and you find what really made the most sense to you, and if you haven't made the most sense to you to see it in HDR, then do that. So, here's getting back to some of our ten shots, now these are tricky because you're dealing with multiple light sources right. So, it's really important that the saturations down low especially when you're dealing with fire, moon, tent-like, that's like natural light plus you have some not natural light you really want to bring your saturation down. So, you can go back and adjust each one individually. So, for here, I'll take a little brush, I'll go over my tent, I'll take this whole tent, and I'll bring my highlights way down, I'll bring my exposure down because a tent doesn't need to be that bright, it's not meant to be like a flashlight in a distance. It's just meant to be something simple and small, and a little, something that kind of makes the scene just a little unique. So, once I've brought my tent down, now I can work on the rest of my scene. So, for me just my personal style of working, is to try and bring as many things as much exposure to the back as I can, if that's how it looked, and was interpreted. So, bringing the tent back to uneven exposure so it's not blown out, bringing the rocks back, so they're not blown out, making sure that the things that should look and feel natural should really look and feel natural. That can go. Cool. So, another shot, this one has a little bit more even exposure. So, I might go in here copy-paste, go back through, it looks like this tent has a better exposure. So, I don't need to mess with it so much. I can just go into here and bring the highlights down a bit, bring the exposure down a bit on the tent. The rest of the scene looks pretty good without much edit at all. I can bring the shadows up a tiny bit, and this is really exactly what I'm looking for in a tent. Seeing something that gives you this really cool to warm gradient, and then what it does for you in your image that's been so important to me in my entire career is, I wasn't a photography student, so I never studied f-stops and apertures in school. What I studied was art and I studied the idea of how colors really can make us interact with an image emotionally, physically, and wholly contrast. So, for me, I'm always looking for those types of color palettes that really move us and make us feel like we could be in this image. Ones that make our images, they're two-dimensional, feel three dimensional. So, that's really what I'm always looking for in my photographs, is a way to give the viewer that third dimension or that depth you don't really get when you're shooting a flat compressed photograph. 13. Final Thoughts: The key things that I'm going to be looking for and noticing are where you place your subject if you decide to use a subject. Where you put the sun? Is the sun bulls-eye in the center of the frame? Are you implementing rule of thirds and how easy is your shot to digest? Can I look at it pretty quickly and understand, "Oh, wow, that's what's going on." Or my hunting and searching and trying to figure things out, is it busy? I'm really looking for clean color palettes, strong use of light, and if there's a lack of light and you don't get the epic sunset, I want to see exactly how you use that in your shot, how you worked with that light. Also, too, it's really important to see your post-processing. I really want to see your editing feel congruent, so that it feels like it's something that is intrinsically you. It's important I think to create a style all your own, so I want to be able to identify your three images of the set. Don't get caught up in the f-stops and apertures of your shot, this is not about that. This is about going out and creating images that first and foremost means something to you. If it's a place or an experience that you had, that you can talk about, in the end, we really have to be true to being a storyteller. So, I want to be able to know, maybe in your image description, I would love to be able to hear what that night was like, what the place was like, why you went there, why you chose to do that. Because to me, what you write is just as important as your image, and that's the one that I feel like it's going to be the most significant. Having good composition is really probably one of your most important things when it comes to your actual image itself. The exposure, the shutter, all these things, that's what Photoshop for. No, I'm just kidding. But the exposure, all those things, it's really irrelevant compared to how well you frame, how well your eyes saw things because you can teach anyone f-stops and apertures, but teaching good composure is something that really you have to put in the work to create. Thank you guys of for taking this class, it's been super fun to work on. I hope, if anything, you have fun doing it and you come back with some awesome learning experiences as well as some cool questions and maybe a different approach to your work and get some sleep. 14. Explore Photo Classes on Skillshare: