Live Encore: See Your City in Fresh Ways with Photography | Cyn Lagos | Skillshare

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Live Encore: See Your City in Fresh Ways with Photography

teacher avatar Cyn Lagos, Visual Storyteller

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

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    • 7.

      Final Thoughts


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About This Class

Unlock the artistic inspiration all around you with photography! 

Cyn Lagos, a visual storyteller, graphic designer, and street photographer, uses her work to capture the diverse culture and breathtaking beauty of cities. In this Skillshare Live, recorded on Zoom and featuring contributions from the Skillshare community, Cyn will show you how to look at your surroundings with fresh eyes, and how to use your camera to capture what’s unique and gorgeous about your own hometown. 

In this wide-ranging, fun, and deeply informative class, students begin by learning to find inspiration in architecture. Cyn will break down how the shapes and geometry in the buildings you see every day can be a key piece of capturing their beauty! She’ll teach you about composition, and show you the best ways to compose a photograph when your subjects can’t be moved or directed. Did you know that the angle of your shot, the light and shadows, and even the time of day can hugely change your final photograph? Well, Cyn knows, and she’ll teach you her tips and tricks for capturing that perfect image. Finally, she’ll show you how she uses Adobe Photoshop Lightroom to bring out the best in her work by doing a live edit with their mobile software. If you have Lightroom, you’ll get a lot from following along with her, but if not, don’t worry! The wealth of knowledge Cyn shares in this class will be helpful for any photographer, from beginners to seasoned professionals.

Meet Your Teacher

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Cyn Lagos

Visual Storyteller

Top Teacher

Cyn Lagos is a Latin American visual storyteller with a focus on multi-diverse digital expressions; Street Photography, Graphic Design, and immersive technology. Because of her personal journey as an immigrant pursuing the American Dream, Cyn has embarked on a mission to inspire social change and educate the world on conscious visual storytelling.

Cyn Lagos has been remarked on by global tech companies such as Facebook, Google, and Instagram. Most notably, she was awarded the Adobe Creative Residency, where she cultivated the passions of aspiring artists by mentoring them in the techniques of Visual Language that advocate Storytelling via a more empathic lens.

Longer-term, Cyn Lagos aspires to focus her craft on philanthropic efforts using her technical p... See full profile

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1. Introduction: I find myself always very attracted to beautiful geometry and the way eclipses and the neighborhoods. Hello, my name is sin logos. I'm a street photographer and graphic designer. You might recognize some of my work from the Adobe Creative Residency or my class on Skillshare. So today's costs we will be covering architecture, photography, and love at the ADF teaching architectural photography because I think it's very close to the way I see most neighborhoods. I'm always intrigued by the architecture and the way people and habitats. And this lesson we will be exploring different techniques for photographing architecture and keeping in mind a shortlist that will guide you through the entire process. And then we will jump into light room where we will learn to edit the photographs to enhance its colors and symbolism to tell a better story, I hope that after taking this class, you get a sense of confidence and how to approach architecture photography. And just keep in mind that this lesson was recorded live. So I'll be answering questions of students as we go. All right, let's get started. 2. Geometry: Hi everyone. I'm Danny here on behalf of Scotia. Really excited to have you here today. This class is going to be all about inspiration and architecture. And how she finds inspiration and architecture through photography. And without further ado with that, to introduce you sin and would love to just hear from your perspective what we're here to do today. Today we're going to be talking about architecture photography and everything in between. We chose architecture photography because I think at the moment, it's very interesting to look around our neighborhood and find ourselves maybe in spaces that aren't as populated. But nonetheless, you can bump into a really beautiful architecture. I am currently you're reciting in Austin, Texas. And I've just keep bumping into and so many beautiful old homes. And I felt like maybe some of you could relate to some of this. So we have chosen architecture, photography for today's topic, four points that I think I keep in mind as a shortlist and the back of my mind or whether on a notepad or wherever, I need to be able to go out there and shoot with intention, right? So one of the things that I like to think about a lot is geometry. And geometry is one of those aspects of my photography that really sort of seeped in from my graphic design background. And if any of you have a background in art, I'm sure you understand this part as well. In school, we learned so much about the abstract and color theory and all of these beautiful of visuals that communicates their friends emotions. Well, it turns out photography has plenty of that. And if we hone in and some of those elements were able to not just take a clean photo, but rather we are looking for the specific elements that will be highlighted within this curated image. So geometry is definitely top of mind when it comes to photography in general and architecture, photography is absolutely one of the best ones. Zoom is a particular concept like, I think, well, I think COVID as a technique. More specifically. I always tell my friends, like if you don't know, what we'll call them positioned to do. And composition is usually how things are laid out within an image. If you don't know enough about that. And that seems like a huge bites of just knowledge that you haven't really gone into yet. Just think in terms of zooming in and zooming out. Sometimes some photos benefit from focusing in on something that is the detail of an architecture peas, or in anything really like it applies to a portrait photography. It applies to so many types of geography. Most of what you'll learn today will apply to all different disciplines of photography. But when it comes to architecture, you will learn that most of the architecture resides in particular neighborhoods or spaces. Maybe you find a building on top of the hill. You definitely wouldn't want to zoom in and miss out. The fact, the factor that you were impressed by was that it was on that particular hill. So zooming out is one of those things that I think about a lot in terms of composition, when it comes to architecture, sometimes prompts could be a whole lot of things. But I think about props in terms of if someone is walking by or maybe there's a particular plant that we can use as a prop that really highlights the environment of that architecture. And I'll dive more into it a little bit ahead. The last one is, of course like I really, it would be very difficult to go out there with a shortlist that doesn't involve light. When it comes to my particular photography, I think light is a huge drive to most of my photography. But in general, I think it's one of those things that can be constantly changing. So therefore, it, it provides a lot of different avenues for you to experiment with, right? Depends on what you are into, right? Of course, at the end of the day is very much a stylistic choice. And we'll talk a little bit more about some of those options. Let's talk about geometry when it comes to geometry, I have just been so in love with architecture on that basis alone. I think that the, the folks who, who design architecture, let's just, I mean, I wanted to give a MAS, standing ovation in general because I know that they take the time to consider these same aspects that we're, we're about to consider right now, to just take a photograph right there, thinking about how the spaces are going to project themselves in a, in a specific neighborhood or how they're going to utilize. So how are they going to be? Admired from afar. So as such, I try to put myself in that headspace and I think about the geometry that exist within a lot of the architecture. A lot of the pieces that I'm going to show here, some of them may be extravagant, right? That's possibly true. But then there's others are a lot more simple and yet you can still find elements of geometry within them. This one in particular is the vessel, and some of you may be familiar with this is the vessel in New York City. The reason why I included it here is because it's a really prime example of how geometry can be just utilized so perfectly in a space that it, it becomes a pattern. It becomes absolutely such a, such a beautiful masterpiece almost in itself, right? So photographing something like this, it's not as difficult. But nonetheless, what I was keeping in mind was highlighting the geometry. And then we go from something as extravagant, do something so simple, like a red wall. And this particular wall was such a, Honestly it's one of my Prius or you probably had become familiar with this photo because I really do love showcasing. It is a really good example of many different techniques. But very specifically, when it comes to geometry, I find that you can see the simplicity of something like a wall and then find different angles that can really become, I guess, and its own, right, simple shapes, right? So don't be too intimidated by the fact that maybe you live in a neighborhood that isn't necessary or a city that isn't necessary, you know, covered in all the masterpieces that exist in the world when it comes to architecture, even something as simple as wall can be translated into these techniques and still represent a, an image that is admirable. This photo I actually recently took it. I took it here in Austin, Texas. And again, it's a building with Windows and something about it just called me on one end ever had a lot to do with the light at the moment. But it was also a question of how can I photograph says where the composition percents itself as something more than just a building. So I thought about symmetry, and I thought about highlighting all the little windows as something that could just represent all the patterns. When it comes to geometry, I think simple is better, although there are, there is room for complexities. I like to reduce most of the images, too. Simple, simple elements. So you can see on the left, there's basically maybe three elements and their forth, if you forgive you, accomplish shadow, right? You have the laddering of the wall, you have the sky. It's something as minimal as that can be. Maybe a challenge for a photographer because we're, it's very difficult when you go out there and you find yourself just photographing, looking at it so much that he has potential to be photographed. But I think the challenge there is, how do we curate a specific image with somebody or architectural photos? Do you ever like, change the environment for your photo? So Heidi asked if you've placed that ladder there. But in general, when you're doing this type of work, are you ever are thinking about putting props and, and that sort of thing? Because my pursuit is street photography. I try not to tamper too much with the post processing of it. Most of my post-processing, you'll see today relies heavily on color theory and how we accentuate the colors to represent or maybe reduce a certain type of emotion. That ladder was sheer luck. I guess there were fixing something in the roof and yeah, it was there that day, had passed by that walls several times. And it just seems now symbolic, right? It looks like it's going somewhere. It's really interpreted to whoever looks at it. But yeah, no, I didn't put it there. And this photo here, I think again, the minimalism, it shows itself very much on this photo. But what I really felt like was highlighting the geometry or the geometry, geometric aspects of it is repetition. Being able to find something like, for example, the windows on the right-hand side of that. I just mentioned being able to find something, but how's repetition could give you right away a clue that this is something that can be photographed. Maybe you look at it and you're seeing that plus the building to the left and the building to the right. But just knowing that what you want to capture, if your W2 see it as a, as a final image, was these key elements like abstraction, repetition, and symmetry. You're already kind of doing that magical part of being a photographer, which is curating an image from your viewpoint. 3. Zoom: Next we're going to explore how zooming in or out I can give you different perspectives. So the Zoom technique is fairly simple. Like I said before, it's all about considering, if you don't have a way to think about composition and you're not necessarily there yet. Zooming in and out with your lens, or literally walking forward or backwards can help change that composition, competing. So I think about it in terms of showcasing details, things that are more intimate to an architecture. So this is, these are buildings and Spain. And I thought there were so particular to me because I love how something so simple like where someone lives, has so much charm, says so much charm and has these particular windows. And I wanted to zoom in into that. I go to zoom out and shown everything else, but I really assessed what was drawing me towards this photo. And so I read that zooming in and said, when it comes to this photo here, I wanted to zoom out because I wanted to showcase that scale of the buildings in contrast to the people. And I thought it was such a perfect moment when I was walking there that was impacted me. That's what stopped me in my tracks. And I looked at it and I said, What what is it? What is it that I want to photograph it? Otherwise, I would have probably zoomed in and said, Okay, I'm going to zoom in into these, these folks. They seem interesting. But that wasn't why I stopped. So I think that's also another way to think about it. And this is an example of that. This is a property here and Austin also, I I was shocked to see this is just so beautiful, like I said, is just where it's placed. So intriguing. The landscape here has so many hills and it was so different from from where I'm from and in Miami. So I thought that was particular, but this photo just didn't do it justice. But when I zoomed out a showcase so much more. And although maybe someone gives you, perhaps we are not talking about architecture photography from a place of just a hobby or just creativity, but rather it's a job I think. I think your client would appreciate when you're able to showcase also the landscape where the property is. Because just, it's just as important in some cases. And I think in this one, it really shows off more of the correctness of the building. I guess Azure, we're seeing all these varieties of photos are just looking for things. Are you going out with the big ideas in my kind of like what you want to graph or are you more just absorbing your environment and taking photos of what strikes you? There are some most days I think the majority of the time I go out just to discover. And I think that in itself is what keeps me is Titan so much to this craftmanship because it's such a beautiful experience. Discovering your own city and rediscovering may be areas that you walk by all the time, but you never really slow down and paid attention to. And I think we've been taught anything this past year is slowing down as a beautiful thing and I think we all should exercise more when we get caught up in the digital world, it's very easy to meet the deadlines and gone a fast pace. But I think what's wonderful about photography is that it asks you to pay attention and to be conscientious of your environments. So I like to approach it in that regard. Though, if you find yourself a beautiful building, but you want to come back to it because it's just wasn't the right day or the right time or the right weather. Then I think that's great also because that I love folks who keep accountability of, you know, I'm gonna photographs that. I'm going to come back for that one, you know, and, and take that wonderful photo because he saw in their minds eye. So, so both ways I guess there's no, there's no way of doing that wrong. But so long as you really go out there and photograph and make an image happen. So this is another photo that is an example of zooming in. I think this, this particular, these particular nuances of patterns are very, very specific to the art deco architecture and Miami. And I think this one, maybe because it's not in a prime location, is just dismissed. And so I thought it was really beautiful to give it a little bit of spirits. And with the palm trees just give us so much more of a life, right? And so zooming in is, is one of those things that just help you get more intimate with the architecture. 4. Props: Now let's talk about how to use props around you to bring architecture to life. And when I think about prompts, I use that term loosely. Mostly because that can be a lot of different things. At the moment, I thought architecture is one of those peculiar things you can photograph now because there may be less people out there and that can actually work in your favor. I remember passing by some, some beautiful buildings and I thought, Oh my God, why are there so many cars parked in front of it? Right. Like it just messes the whole picture. And so these are those times where like instead of seeing it as at this vantage on this advantage is actually an opportunity. However, if you do find yourself where there are vehicles or they are people from, of course, the safe distance, you're able to utilize those, those props. And again, use this word as, as a way to showcase the architecture more. So in this case, you're able to use the person to show off the spirits of that color whole building, right? Like you get more of a sense of like queries I building. Okay. It's an a place where people are closer to maybe somewhere where they can go to the beach or the water. It's also gives it that like vibrant spirit and you can get a sense of the scale of the building. And so likewise, I u, I find myself using other things. Like in this case I was using a window and happens to be the window of a plane. But you can use any, anything to frame an image in such a way that you're showcasing the Bs, the building as a subject, right? So sometimes we speak about subject matter as a people, but subject matter can easily be a building. And so you can see here, I chose to put a center stage and frame it like almost voyeurism, right? Like you're looking through the viewfinder in a way. And then when I think about the second one, again, if the guy hadn't been there, the building is exceptional. I love I love how it has so much character. But I had photograph that several times before and I wasn't pleased with it. But having this person here stretching, I think if you've ever been to this area of Miami and if you haven't been, you get more of a sense of like the people who inhabited and how these places come to be and how real they are. Because sometimes buildings can be so out there and so comical then you need some, someone to bring them to life. Because otherwise you feel like way, this is every ONE. This looks like a illustration, right? We go back to that. And I think this kinda gives it that realism. And I find myself doing the same thing with vehicles. So instead of them being an obstacle, I try to approach it more from the mindset of, for example, this. It could be any vehicle, right? But in a situation where you see brands are logos, over time, those things will change and that becomes a timestamp for your photograph. And that makes your photograph agents such a beautiful way because if it's a representation of that time. So there are ways that maybe thinks that look like obstacles because you're not close enough, because you're just looking through a window. I mean, the first photograph ever taken was taken on through window. That's it's crazy to think of that, right? So if you use it intentionally, you can actually find herself highlighting more of the building because you're, you're giving it life. This is one of those scenarios where I chose to face away from the buildings instead, photograph through a glass. And then again being inside of a building. And trying to give my reviewer perspective of would have felt like to be inside and in doing that through a doorway. So using those spaces and itself like things like here, I used the bikes as a prop. So now you understand that this, this part of this architecture is, is utilitarian, right? It's utilized for something. And you change your mindset. You don't think of things as I wished, I wasn't there. I mean, there are moments I think that because I loved to observe things from a minimal perspective, I love to see less and less and less. But there are points where I embrace these nonsense and I think this could actually become an element of storytelling. 5. Light: Now this look how we can explore the different times of the day and how we can use light to improve our photography. There are so many beautiful moments, especially in places like that, are filled with buildings like downtown where there's little spotlights. And when you think about the word spotlight, it truly is reserved for when you're spotlighting a singer or an actor, someone right, that's performing. But if you're treating your built, the building as a subject matter, then we want to create a spotlight that makes sense as well. So I find this completely justifiable to say, okay, maybe I don't see the other side of the building, but because there's a beautiful spotlight here, I'm actually highlighting it even better. And this is one of those examples where I want you to consider the project that we just talked about. Like what if you see something but it's just not the right time of day and the lighting is just not quite right for what you're seeking. These were this was one of those instances where I kept going back to the same composition and trying to see which one was the best one. And this was in a matter of maybe two days. I found myself photographing it at nights. Maybe. Honestly not none necessarily. The my favorite. There are so many ways to photograph things at night does require more equipment. And then there's this photograph at the one in the middle I photographs known. And you can see that there's, there's this beautiful difference between the sunrise and, and the photograph and the metal that you just see. There's a shadow play happening. And you are able to see this very beautiful installation. There's a, there's a sphere insulation between the two buildings that I wanted to highlight. And you can see there that now this is, this sphere has changed as facade entirely because of the time, time of day. So that's something else to consider. I was generally in between the two. There's also something beautiful at night because they do do that color with the lighting. So that's kind of cool too. And and yeah, I just think is one of those moments where it requires a style taste in your style that you're seeking. And also a bit of commitment on how many times you're willing to go back for that same shot and find yourself the best one. These are other examples where you'll see that something so ordinary can turn into something completely different when there's a little bit of light play happening. All right. I like having the sunlight right through the arches. It's wonderful and you have to place yourself. And this is one of those examples, carries on different techniques. You have a prop, so you have a person, you have the lighting play, you have your zooming out to showcase more of the space. And that digest starts to layer on the meaning that you want the viewer to take on because the photograph does not speak. And in most cases you will not be there to speak for the photograph. So it's beautiful to be able to embed if some symbolism, some techniques and layers of, of communication that really tell little bit of that story that you experience while you were there photographing it. I love this photo is one of my very favorites because it took a good It took a lot of effort and good friendships because we hadn't had my friends gone in the building and role-play this scenario, whether it's reaching for each other. And I just gave that, that element of life that we were discussing. Being able to take a building from something that is completely still to almost a tail that you can develop along the way. 6. Editing: Finally, I will give you a quick overview of how I edit my photography and labor. So I think when it comes to this photo, I love the lighting and I want to be able to usually I always play with the lighting, but I don't necessarily mess around so much with the exposure. The exposure is a setting that treats the photo universally. So it's, it's changing light conditions all around the photo. So I like to be more specific. The more detail-oriented. So I think about editing instead, the highlights. So the highlights aren't as a way to only focus on the highlights and not tampering with any other parts of the image, like the mid-tones or parts of the image that are, It's extremely wide or the shadows for that instance. So you don't want to lose a contrast because as you can see, the contrast creates such a wonderful impact when a viewer sees it. So I tried to bring, I'm going to bring down a little bit of the highlights here because I want to bring back some of that blue color so I can play with it. That's really why I wanted to do that. I'm going to play with the shadows also. In this case, I actually want to, if I bring back black, is usually because I want to bring back information. So I bring back a little bit of ice. I bring up the slider in this case, and I think of it as bringing back because I'm bringing back that information. But you can also use a for situations where maybe the contrast is far too much. So we're going to jump into color colors. Probably one of my favorite places to stick around for awhile, right? I'm huge. A huge, I guess, like photographer That's just seeks some kind of some degree of color symbolism in her photographs. So I think a lot of people really resonate with that. And I wanted to show you some of the ways that you can mess around with the colors here. So when it comes to this section, not a lot of people know this. But you can see right away we, most of our colors here are blue and orange. We play around with blue. You can completely change that palette, that whew, right? And in a way, the way we perceive it is that it seems like the weather changed in a way. So you can start to see the differences. Here. It's it looks like I guess you don't believe it anymore because that doesn't tend to happen. But you can use this in New York fever when you're trying to change the weather conditions, especially when it's an overcast day. You want to bring back a few, a little bit of those colors. This is something I find myself doing a lot. I don't play too much with the saturation because it's, it's an easy way to mess up your photo. If I'm using saturation is usually to decrease the color just to maybe increase the orange. In this case, if I was to do that, I can do something like that and increase the orange. And now I'm highlighting the vessel more. Right. So that have had that purpose. But but that's the intention as opposed to I'm just, I want it all I want. I 1 richness. I want all the saturation possible. That's one end, that's a bit greedy. So try not to do that. Because the saturation instead can become your, your luminance or it can become your vibrancy, which we'll learn later. Something that a lot of people miss that I like to think about a lot is this button right here. This button right here can actually identify colors within your image. And what's really interesting is that most of the time, the difficulties is telling the AI in the Lightroom software that you're just want this blue change, not this blue, but this blue. And being able to use this, this element here, you're able to actually target that specific color and change its hue, hue also. So it's just so much fun to find herself here and change your photograph from from something. I make something completely different, right? So I can do the same thing when it comes to the use. These colors. Are they really cool? There was a question about that from Simon. Just about like, is this guy a separate layer or you just adjusting the overall color at that and it sounds like you're just adjusting the color but you can pinpoint that specific color, right? Yes, you're right. Yeah. So actually there are no layers. We're now playing with layers in this case. Um, I think in the past, if I wanted to do something like this and we wanted to be specific with an area of a photo. I would go as far as selecting that area in Photoshop. But because of the advance, advance AI in these updates in Lightroom, I'm actually able to just detect that with some few simple steps. And that just eases my process altogether. 7. Final Thoughts: That's everything for today. Thank you so much for joining me. I hope you learned some new techniques and you go out there and take photographs and I love to see the editing that you were able to explore and Lightroom. You can share your photographs with me on the project gallery. Thanks so much for joining. I am excited to see more of your work and I welcome you to check out my sculpture class on my profile.