Outdoor Photography for Smartphone: Getting a Professional Look | Learn with olloclip | Chris Burkard | Skillshare

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Outdoor Photography for Smartphone: Getting a Professional Look | Learn with olloclip

teacher avatar Chris Burkard, Staff Photographer, Surfer Magazine

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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

    • 1.



    • 2.

      Approach + Scouting


    • 3.

      Gear + Lenses


    • 4.

      Shooting at Pismo Beach


    • 5.

      Shooting at Pismo Beach II


    • 6.

      Selecting Photos to Edit


    • 7.

      Editing in Adobe Lightroom Mobile I


    • 8.

      Editing in Adobe Lightroom Mobile II


    • 9.



    • 10.

      Explore Photography on Skillshare


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About This Class

Are you ready to take professional images with your smartphone?

Join adventure photographer Chris Burkard for an insightful, 45-minute class on capturing incredible images — vistas, mountains, and extreme experiences — with the smartphone you carry every day.

With a few secret pocket lenses, Chris has grown his Instagram following to over 2 million fans — and now he's teaching you how to do the same.

You'll learn to create and share exceptional images that look professional and feel immersive, including:

  • Inspiration: Every lesson is filled with behind-the-scenes stories of his real-life adventures, from surfing in Northern Russia to camping beneath the Northern Lights.
  • Shooting Tactics for Mobile: Learn how to capture timeless photography styles on your mobile device, from silhouettes to leading lines and more.
  • Pro Editing on Mobile: Level up your smartphone editing with Chris's step-by-step workflow using Adobe Lightroom Mobile, available for both iOS and Android.

By the end, Chris asks every student to share photos of their own — from their adventures, hometown, and daily sunrise. Get ready for a true photo adventure!


Enroll in the class and submit a project in the Project Gallery by January 1st, 2017 for a chance to win some awesome prizes from olloclip, Artifact Uprising and Skillshare:

Grand Prize (1 winner)

Runner Ups (4 winners)


Ready for more? Check out Chris's photo trip to Joshua Tree in Outdoor Photography: Shooting at Sunset, Sunrise, and Night!

olloclip creates a line of ground-breaking lenses and accessories for the mobile photographer.

Meet Your Teacher

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Chris Burkard

Staff Photographer, Surfer Magazine


Chris Burkard is a self-taught photographer and artist, based in Central Coast California, whose work is layered by surf, outdoor, lifestyle and travel subjects. Burkard's images are punctuated by energized landscapes and moments of bliss, by adventure seeking and the lifestyle that ensues, by movement and intuitive light-working capabilities. With the ocean as his main muse, Burkard has consistently captured this subject in timeless and expansive photographic impressions, utilizing the tool of surfing to approach the ocean's intricate personality and then extending out to include the human personalities that draw meaning from this same source.

Searching for wild, remote destinations and offbeat landscapes, Burkard portrays the humble placement of the human in contrast to nat... See full profile

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1. Introduction: Hey, this is Chris Burkard. I'm a photographer. We're at my studio at Pismo Beach, California. Today, we're going to talk about a couple of tools for mobile photography. I was born in Pismo Beach, California, and this is the same place I decided to build my office. I wanted, since day one, to create a space that when I came home from traveling for six to nine months on the road, I'd have a place where I could hang my hat and have an inspiring and creative environment to basically do the day to day emails and editing. We rebuilt a studio that was by the beach, somewhere that we could climb and go surf and have friends stop by and check our artwork on a daily basis. It's always been in my mind to create a place like this, and we're really lucky to have it. My specialty is landscape photography, and that's what I grew up being inspired to shoot. For the last couple of years, I've been trying to find ways to infuse commercial projects with landscapes, whether it's shooting in national parks, which a lot of the jobs allow us to permit and do, or simply out somewhere in a remote part of the world. That's really, I think, where our specialty comes to life. Today, we're basically going to be exploring a little bit of mobile photography. One of the most interesting things for me, is the ability to capture your life in something that sits in your pocket. It's been a really cool tool for me to basically come home from traveling, still go out explore, be in the places I love, but have a way to still come away with photographs that I can use, or share, or print, or whatever. Today, we're going to discuss some of the best practices or tips for that. How can mobile photography infuse into your life as a photographer or just you're out there documenting your friends and your life, and everything else going on. At the end of the class, I hope you guys have been able to learn a couple of tricks for mobile photography, as well as how something like this can fuse into your life when you own a DSLR or a mirrorless camera, and you are a photographer. For me, what I find is that when I'm using a tool like this, it allows me to be a bit more in the moment, a bit more immersive, and I'd love for you to go out and see what you can produce with a device as simple as an iPhone or another tiny smartphone. Maybe at the end of it, you'll feel like you might have actually walked away with a bit more experience from that day. Any time you get to get out and photograph in nature is usually pretty rewarding, DSLR or iPhone. So, enjoy. 2. Approach + Scouting: I got in photography for travel and I'll be the first one to admit. My first desires for photography were purely selfish. I just wanted to fill my passport with stamps and I wanted to collect a paycheck. But pretty soon, I realized that wasn't really enough. It wasn't really enough sustain me and I think that the power and the beauty of seeing new places is what's kept me going. It's this opportunity to not only go to new places, but to actually put down roots places and meet people and meet cultures and meet friends and develop relationships. I've been lucky enough to go to Iceland 25 times all for work, never for personal use at all and every time I go, I learn something new, I see someone new, I see something that I knew before and that's been really powerful for me is the ability that something like this right here can take to live to see the world. For me being a young kid, who didn't have a passport, grew up from a low income family and envision never leaving the small town. It was a really eye opening experience to see all that. So, ultimately I guess for me that's the same reason I travel today. I travel today for myself but more importantly to inspire others to go and see these places and ultimately to come back with not only great photographs, but experiences and stories that will hopefully help open their eyes a little bit to the beauty that's out there. I think for me, more importantly than any money or income or stamps or covers of magazines, it's brought a lot of joy into my life and I think that's what we're all here for and I think that's a pretty damn good reason to keep doing what I'm doing. So on puzzle beach California, if you look over that way that Shell Beach and then Avalon Beach and this is Pismo up here right here we are and I grew up surfing at this pier and learning to swim here and taking walks on the beach, when I was a kid eating sand, when I was baby. So, I don't know, yeah, big part of me is here and this is sort of like when I'm home this is basically what I do is try to come down here and see whenever I can get in the water taking advantage of that. Living a life on the road is a little tricky like you don't really have a sense of place, you spend six months traveling in other countries, planes and random forms of transportation. So, I guess for me I like to stay grounded. The big part of that is having some ritual and that's for me that's been coming down here and try and see the sunrise. It all really depends if I'm going to go out and surf myself, all I really care about is clean conditions and nice winds and clean water, whatever you can really deal with but I guess what I'm going to shoot I'm really looking for an opportunity where there's really epic surf and I've got good talent or I've got just like a beautiful scenery and I don't know growing up in a place where we have insane mountains and that meet the ocean and the clouds kind of catch right here and I guess I've always kind of looked for that everywhere I've gone. So it's in a way like it helped to I guess like Foster like that type of scenario when I'm shooting. So, I really look for that as well. This is one of those days I ordinarily bring my camera out, never really do it. On a day like this, I don't really come down to the beach thinking I'm going to shoot, I come here for myself but it's nice to have something with you that you could always photograph or remember the experience by. I guess that's like what led me into mobile photography. I never envisioned, six years ago, I don't think anybody did using their phone as a means of actually taking pictures. But one of the craziest things is that a lot of times when you're shooting a photograph on your phone, it's almost more of an intimate experience than if you're shooting on your camera because those are the moments you don't have your camera with you. So, in a lot of ways, you're really present, you're really there for you and you're able to shoot a photograph that like maybe you'll remember a little more because of the fact that you were obsessing on trying to get a perfect photograph, you're just kind of there in the moment, experience you're doing ever you're doing. Usually, when I'm taking picture with my phone, it's more of a byproduct of me being there or a byproduct of like the experience. So, I think that's what makes it really special. That's what makes it so unique and I scroll through my camera roll in my phone and all of the photographs are usually of these like really cool kind of person or intimate experiences with family or with friends or on the road or a sunrise. I noticed that because it's mobile, because I don't have a DSLR or that I'm competing with usually, those photos represent experiences that are a lot more meaningful sometimes than just work or just the moments that I had my camera there I guess. I align them in a way it's like I remember them a little more vividly. It's always funny people ask me, where's next? Where do you want to go? What do you want to see? What's still out there for somebody who's seen so much of the world? The reality is I feel like I've seen very little of the world. But more importantly, for me the things that I get inspired to do are more project-based. Last winter I spent 25 days trying to photograph surfers under the Northern Lights in Iceland and we went there in the darkest coldest time of year. We basically had this crazy idea to go to this remote national park on a boat and we got caught by one of the largest storms in 25 years. After that this whole kind of misadventure ensued where we basically sought out the clearest darkest skies to photograph surfers out of the Northern Lights and it sort of happened. I don't really know how else to put it but it was a crazy experience and something that I can't wait to share with everybody and that's a film that we're putting out this next year. But there are so many places on the earth islands, remote islands, cultures and things that I still get really inspired to see. For me, I really like going to places that involve a lot of effort, energy, time invested to go there because I feel like the more you can put into it, the more you can, I guess the more of yourself you put into a place, the more it's rewarding to stand there. Like when you are on a beach somewhere in the middle of nowhere where you're like when I looked at this in a magazine, I could have never imagined now you're sitting there like that's a really crazy experience. It's something that you can't really describe to a 19 year old version of yourself. So, for me that has been everything, that's the most valuable thing ever is I don't know, figuring out where those places are and why and for me it's usually places with a dramatic landscape where the mountains meet the sea. I see things in a certain way and I know that but I guess the way to get around that is just simply by being there rather than me trying to think of a new perspective or new angle, wait for the light, the sky, the surroundings to be different. When you shoot that, then you could potentially perfect what you've already shot or you could start to see things that in a different way. The only way to really see something in a different way is to be there. So I think a big part of it is just waking up early, seeing what happens and it's important in some ways to be a reactionary photographer where you react into your surroundings. When I'm shooting with my DSLR one of the biggest difference is between shooting with my DSLR and shooting with my phone is that typically when I have my DSLR, I'm planning what I'm shooting, I'm there because I have it I'm not just and that's just my own style. I'm not really like a street photographer just kind of reacting to things but when I'm on my phone, I'm kind of just there, just to be there. So, I'm usually just kind of reacting to my surroundings or I'm sort of adjusting to what I see and the beauty is that you find yourself in really interesting situations when you have just your phone on you. You strip down all the things you need, all the lenses, batteries, charges and you just have one device and one or two lenses essentially and it kind of makes it really unique. 3. Gear + Lenses: Now, I love this kit and I use it for almost everything. There's variations where I'll shoot a wider aperture lens for night photography or a more compressed telephoto for shooting action. But, I'd say 75 percent of the time, this is it. Now, lugging this around as light as it is, like I said, it still can get pretty heavy and a little bag like this, it all fits inside. I look for opportunities, like I said, to carry something a bit lighter. I have this other tool on me, I have my phone. Maybe five years ago there wasn't even really an option to use this as a camera. At least in my mind, it wasn't even feasible. But, in the last three years, I've really come to recognize the power of a tool like this, of a piece of equipment. My first DSLR I ever owned, was digital. DSLR was the canon 20 D. It was eight megapixels, and the newest phones, I think are 12 or 14 megapixels. So, there's something to be said for the power of these devices. Now, what I realized was that, when I started shooting mobile photography, it first just wasn't really enough for me. It wasn't enough just to have the one lens. I wanted to expand. That's kind of what led me to looking for some third party lenses. The beauty of the system is that, with just something like this, simple as this, I've got a telephoto and a wide angle on one small device. That can just easily slip onto the top of your phone, and you can use it to basically shoot a whole variety of options. That's really what kind of opened my eyes to the opportunities, that mobile photography could present. Now, my go to is, like I said, it's the wide angle on this side, and then I have a telephoto on this side. I think what's interesting is that, it kind of mirrors the same kit over here. I've got my widing, I got my 16-35, and I have my more compressed telephoto, my 50-70 basically in here which is a 24-70. So, I find that the results that I can produce from my phone, they really match the same kit, the same system that I use on my mirrorless camera. Now, to speak on the quality of the iPhone, I think that's the reason that I've leaned towards iPhone. There's really no other reason to that, but just simply the quality of the camera. The ability to produce really stunning images. What I find is that, above the competitors they have gone to great lengths to basically try to update the sensor as much as they can. What brought me to Sony, was the ability to have a really high dynamic range, which means that when you're shooting into a really contrasting subject, like a bright sun or in a dark foreground, it allows you to bring a lot of that back. Now, cell phones are still lacking there. You know the sensors aren't great, but what I find is that slowly they're becoming better and better. So, this tool it comes out more than I would think. When I'm scouting for a location, a lot of times it's a big effort to take a photo of this, and look at it, and if I want to come back and shoot it later, then send it somebody else. So, being able to shoot it with this, and say, "Oh, how would it look with a 70 millimeter? Let me see. Boom. How would it look with a Widing? Let me see." Send that off to somebody, include it in the e-mail, include it in that attachment. The the power of this tool, is that I can shoot and send in a matter of a couple of buttons, a couple of thumb clicks. So, that is really one of my favorite things about it. Now, the other powerful thing really, is simply just its size. Take this away, and you have a kit like this, that can produce 40 megapixel images. That is really amazing. That it can fit in your pocket. That it's unobtrusive. That it's tenth the weight or less of this kit. So, for me I think the most important thing about a phone, is simply the fact that it can allow you to be in the moment more. Now, I've told people this a lot. I've shared this concept a lot in my workshops. But, when we're shooting in other countries, we're shooting portraiture, we're shooting whatever it is, there's something to be said for shooting with a device like this, because, this is not threatening. Everybody knows what it is. So, when you're shooting a portrait or you're shooting a picture of something, the difference to you having this, and having this, and even a bigger camera like a DSLR as opposed to a mirrorless, it makes a huge difference. People aren't as threatened by something like this. You often can sometimes get more intimate moments with a smaller device, because you're there more, your eye contact is there. There's something really significant about that. I think that is probably the number one reason, that my phone is brought out a lot of the time. I'm not going to lie, there's a lot of moments where I'll be shooting on my phone, and I wish I had my DSLR on me. But, oftentimes when I scroll through the pictures on my phone, there are usually photographs of memories or experiences or places I've been that I remember really vividly. It's because, I probably spent less time photographing them, and more time being there. So, you know compared to this tool which I love and I use every single day, the smaller the camera, the more intimate the experience. The less technology you put between you and your subject, the more intimate that experience is going to be. So, I think that's, if anything, that's the biggest plus that these devices have for them, more photography. Some often really shocked by some of the photographs that you walk away with on a mobile device. There was one experience in Russia, where I went there, I think 2012, when I was in Kamchatka. It was the end of a long day, and I'd been shooting on the beach all day. We went there for this kind of exploratory surf trip. I walked up to camp and I put my cameras away. I was just taking it all in, just cruising on the riverbank. I started talking to this fisherman. I walked back on this riverbank. It was like this crazy monochromatic sky, totally just greyed out, and the fishermen were pulling their nets out of the river. I shot this photograph, it was on maybe an iPhone 5 or 5s something like that. It was one of my favorite photos from the trip. Not because it was the most technically grey, or the most colorful, but it was just this wave appearing in the background of these two fishermen pulling their nets out. I think when I looked at that photograph, it brought me right back to that experience of having this sort of non-verbal conversation with this guy, because I couldn't speak his language, he couldn't speak mine, but we sort of nodded and said hi, and he told me what it's doing. It's always brought me back to that moment. I think that is sort of a testament to the power of the intimacy, that a small piece of technology can create. 4. Shooting at Pismo Beach: So, in a lot of ways, I guess, when I'm looking to shoot something, my favorite conditions are these conditions when a storm is just passed, and there's the option to see kind of a unique sky, or unique cloud formations or something like that. I guess, that's kind of what I look for the most. That's what I think makes it unique photographed something where you have conditions that you aren't normally you see a sunny bluebird day is great. It's beautiful. But also, it's just not really what I look for. In a lot of ways, the phone is more optimized for conditions where there's not high contrast. The small sensor on the phones doesn't have a massive dynamic range. Meaning, that if you're shooting into a really bright subject in a really dark subject, you can't really compute that very well as opposed to a larger sensor. Typically, if I want to shoot a great photo with my phone, it's under the conditions that you have a variance of colour and light. So, usually like any scenario, the still water is going to provide an awesome opportunity to create some a depth, right? In any photograph that I shoot, DSLR, phone, like I said, the same rules apply. So, I'm usually looking for something that's going to give the photos some depth though a little bit more of a 3D effect, and that's what you get when you have leading lines, or things like really strong color palette of blue, or cool and warm, and it actually pushes and pulls in warm tones, recede and cool tones, retrack. So, they push and they pull, and that's usually I think what I look for. If I'm even if it's a grey day, something that can kind of offset that. So, you can see where all this water kind of meets the shoreline right here. It's like face a low tide area. You have this insane reflection 20 feet this way, and it's just normal. Right here, you have these pylons that are basically giving this mirror effect. I guess that's what I have always loved about the ocean. In a way, the ocean was my first subject to ever shoot, and it's still like my favorite. Although, it can really damage your phone or camera, but it's just such an interesting thing. It's like my favorite landscape because it's so immersive. You can be in it, you can photograph it, you can kind of do whatever you want. So, it's like somebody is going out to surf some. I'm going to try and actually catch them as they walk to the pier because it's really really cool contrast. So, I'm shooting with the widing right now because I love the way that it gives the effect to the pier kind of like poles these pylons around me making it feel a bit less compressed, and a bit more kind of intimate and personal. I'm kind of framing him through the pylons to the pier. I guess just to give a sense of where we are in the world and what we're shooting. One of the things that's tough is like with the phone like I said before, the sensor doesn't really work that great when you have a really bright subject like the sun. So, this kind of pre sunrise light is really really beautiful but it doesn't. It's not going to last long so I'm kind of trying in a way to hide some of it through the pylons of the pier. I'm just running around giving myself some variations of a framing. I love framings really big in my photographs. Foreground, background, all those things, and this is something that I'm kind of in some ways maybe known for. So, one of the things too is now, the sun's rising. I love shooting into the sun is my favorite thing to do, but as I said before, the phone doesn't really handle the sun super well. So, I'm usually trying to hide it behind something like an object like the pier pylon, or something like that. So, I'm still getting the effect of the sun, but it's not the first thing that my lens is seeing and it's not actually exposing for that directly. For example here, if I just put the sun on the very edge of this pylon, or something like that, it still gives me a semi-flared effect without totally blowing out my entire image. Another thing too is when I'm shooting into a harsher lighting, I'll tap on the screen and it allows me to manually adjust what I'm shooting, right? It allows you to manually adjust my exposure. So, most scenarios where the sun is coming towards you, you can just basically use your exposure on the phone. It's 90 percent the time, it can be really great. But when I'm shooting in a harsher lighting scenario, I really like to manually expose. When I came down here, I loved the compressed look of the pylons, but it really gave me a lot more I guess intimate because I could be closer, and wider frame allowing more reflection larger opportunities to see the pylons in the sun when I used a wide angle. So, this is something so small. I can fit into a pocket just like my phone. I usually try to have something on me at all times that can just allow me to elevate what I'm shooting at a tiny bit, right? I'm not looking to bust out a tripod, or a flash, or something like that, I think that mobile photography is meant to be mobile. That's why we use it. We use it because we can essentially have it in our pocket. I think that's for me hide like it's always stay. Now, there is awesome things and tools out there. You can use to enhance it even more. But for me, I like to keep it as minimal as I possibly can by just using like the simple tools that I need. 5. Shooting at Pismo Beach II: A lot of times when I'm shooting something that I try to look at in a couple different ways. One of them is, am I shooting something that's timeless? That doesn't really make a difference whether it's DSLR or phone or motion or whatever. I really enjoy shooting silhouettes or land or something that gives an allusion to the fact that it could be anybody. It could be you in there, could be me, could be whoever. What that does, it allows the viewer to relate to the photograph really well. It allows the person to sort of feel like it could be them in the image. So, I guess that's sort of one of the aesthetics that I really try to look for when I'm shooting, especially with a DSLR. I would say that for me, 90 percent of the time, the lens that I use is the wide angle, because I'm a landscape photographer at heart, and I love the concept of being able to get everything into one frame, and I know that. So, I typically lean towards this wide perspective. As a beginning photographer or somebody who is learning, using a prime lens or a non-zoom, it forces you to move towards your subject rather than just zooming in. So, I love the wide angle because it forces me to kind of get close, it forces me to get intimate, it forces me to be right there. That's what the phone is kind of meant for. So, I guess being able to shoot this wide perspective where I can see the whole skyline, the whole everything, this is the number one lens that I probably lean towards using most of the time. Typically, there's something to be said for just playing to your strengths, and I think that's one of my strengths is seeing things in that landscape orientation. I'm usually going to manually expose. The reason being is that, the darker you make your frame, the higher the shutter speed. Now, there's a multitude of apps that you could use, but just for example, a couple of quick things as if the sun is over here, and it's aiming this direction, this is essentially going to be a darker part of it, like scene, the shoots. So, if I have a choice of shooting this direction or this direction, I usually opt for the angle that gives me more light. So, if I'm shooting this way, I'm actually aiming a little more into the sun. It makes my scene brighter, which in turn makes the internal camera in the phone shoot a little faster. So, there are manual exposure apps which you can totally get. I don't use any currently, but there are some awesome ones out there. Those apps can allow you to set your shutter speed kind of some of the settings in your phone internally. If I was going to be shooting just on my phone, I would probably get one of those apps that can really allow me to tweak the settings. But just in terms of a rule of thumb, what you can do is you can go to the scenario that allows you to have the most light. So over here, I'm shooting more into the sun. It gives me a little bit more light to work with. Okay? What I would do is, I'd frame up my scene here, and then I would tap on the screen. By tapping on the screen, I can move my light up or move my light down. It's a little sun ball. That basically gives you an exposure, so if you can kind of see, I'm making it brighter or darker, brighter or darker, brighter or darker. Well, the brighter it is, basically that means that your internal camera has to have a shutter that's open longer. So, a slower shutter. The darker it is, typically, that means a faster shutter. So, what I do is I move it a little on the dark side, and that what it does is, it doesn't trick the phone, but it just basically forces it to shoot a little faster shutter speed. So, typically, when I'm shooting a normal DSLR, a shutter speed of maybe 250 of them a second or faster is what I opt for action. If I'm shooting running, if I'm shooting surfing, the closer you are and the quicker that action is moving past you, the faster the shutter speed. Since right now, I'm shooting something that's hundreds of yards away. The shutter for me doesn't need to be as fast. The reason is because it's not moving across the lenses quickly. If I'm shooting a bird that's flying across the lens really quickly, that's something that I need to basically have a really fast shutter speed, because it's all happening right there in front of the lens. So, if I was to walk right over here and walk right above the surfers and look down, it would give me a scenario where I'd really want to have an even faster shutter speed, so that I could capture that. So, in a scenario where I'd want to shoot a more compressed perspective, I can throw a telephone on here and rather than being this big, wide angle landscape view or whatever else, it allows me to shoot kind of a more compressed things. So, if I'm shooting surfers that are farther away or even a portrait sometimes, this is a really good option. It just basically doubles the length. Without digitally zooming, it allows you to actually kind of zoom in on the glass. So, yeah, right now, I've got these really beautiful waves peeling with the sunlight kind of hitting them at an angle sky behind it or I'm shooting this scenario where I have waves breaking down the length of the pier, and I want to push in this wave against the diamond and that person watching. So, what it allows me to do is just basically have that as a lot tighter frame. 6. Selecting Photos to Edit: So, we came back from the beach and we're basically just going to go through a couple of images and kind of see if there's anything good in there. Big part of obviously shooting new digital photographs is processing them, and there's a million ways to do it, tons of apps. I usually lean towards one of two things. First, being Lightroom mobile. I like it because I'm used to using the Lightroom application on my computer and it's the program that I use all the time for editing DSLR images. But the mobile version is really powerful. It's probably the most powerful editing software you can get on your phone. For me, I just I love it. But oftentimes, I don't really want to go through the whole process of uploading photos, importing, and exporting into that app. So, I usually will just use the- if I'm going to share something or post something, I'll use the built-in Instagram editing features or I'll use whatever features you can in Snapchat or Facebook or whatever. So typically, for me, when I'm shooting on my phone, I'm not really investing in shooting on my phone and editing a ton, it's not really something I want to do. So, I have a kind of a quick process that I go through and it usually first involves opening up the app. Now, I'm going to push the plus sign and I'm going to start a new collection and I'll name this collection Pismo Beach. Okay. So, once I've created my new folder labelled Pismo Beach, I might go down in here at the bottom, put add photos. Keep in mind you guys, I'm going through this quickly and pretty much just kind of browsing through my stuff. But to really understand this program like anything, just be educated, take the time to actually learn how to use it. The way that I got to use this wasn't by going online and seeing a quick tutorial. I've just used it over and over and over and you learn by doing that. So, I just want to show you quickly my preferred kind of steps I take to edit my photos from my phone. But ultimately, it's going to be your own process that you develop over time. So obviously, I click add photos, I go to camera roll, and then it pulls up this huge, huge screen of all my photos. So, I'm going to go through a couple of these. I'm going to select maybe four or five images that I really like. The only really bummer thing is that they're pretty small here. So oftentimes, when I want to make them bigger, you can kind of zoom in and see it in a larger version. So typically, this is where I like to see it in a larger version because it shows me stuff. So, here's a sequence I shot of a bird. I kind of like that one. I clicked it and it made a little checkmark in the bottom right corner. But you got to be careful not to touch too tightly. So, there's another one I kind of dig. I'm going to scroll back down through here. Typically, I have an idea or concept of the images that I like already. I've got mental evaluation. I guess you could say of the photos that I was the most inspired by. So, I'm usually just kind of going through here and trying to find those images. I'm not. I guess in my mind I'm not typically going through my photos kind of surprise, "Oh, I got something" It's like I know what I got because I was usually watching or I was trying to shoot for that type of photograph. Now, I'm going back through here and going to grab a couple of the surfer walk into the pier because I really liked those moments. Those are probably my favorite. What I tend to do is I kind of tend to grab the best one and then like two surrounding it or something along those lines. Just to give myself some variation maybe there's some simple things, "Oh, I like this one because he's walking, I can see that the separation of his legs" and "I like this one because his legs aren't moving" Just like a little variances in each that you kind of end up leaning towards. I see here. So, this is honestly, this is the most challenging part. Any photographer will tell you is trying to select the photos they like and you end up usually with way, way, way, too many, you end up kind of with a big batch of photos and when you look at it, you're like, "Man, I spend way too much time doing that" So, I'll try to speed it up here. But I think the biggest thing that comes down to is just really personal preference. This is one of those things where nobody is ever going to be able to be the best critique or critique of your work beside yourself. So, just kind of going through picking the ones that speak to you, picking the ones that maybe are the most unique or meaningful. In a lot of ways too, I'd like to pick images that I know have some story attached or something to say about them. So, when I'm thinking about the idea of digital storytelling, I want to usually pick a photo that has a story to tell. Typically those are the most important ones that we find not just the ones that have the most beautiful light or the most beautiful this or that but the ones that have kind of a story. I think this is. I don't know what that red screen is but that happens from time to time. So, yeah I'm going to add those 22 photos I clicked add then it's going to take a second and it starts loading them in. So, I just imported 22 photos successfully. 7. Editing in Adobe Lightroom Mobile I: To start editing the photo, you click on the Image, and then at this little bottom row, you can see a bunch of little settings it says, "Crop, Presets, Edit, local adjust'' and there's a bunch of stuff up here. I usually first go down into my edit and what this does, it brings up a whole slider bar of black and white balance, tint, auto-tone, exposure, highlights, contrast. Now, this is like a different language. It's really overwhelming to be honest but, I'm just going to simplify it and break it down for you. What I try to do is two things. I try to bring my photograph back to the most neutral place I can. What does that mean? Well, I want my photo to be kind of flat, I want to crush the highlights, open up the shadows so that the images even exposure. When I do that, I can actually look at the photo for what it is. I can see how much raw materials there and how I can either push it one way or push another another way. The worst thing you can do is just take this and go straight to the saturation and go bood. That doesn't do any good for anybody. In fact, what it does is it really gives you a bad perception of what you shot. Rather, I want to go through and I want to look at the shadows. I want to open up the shadows a little bit, see how much light I have in here. Usually, what I do is I do this process of sliding back and forth back and forth and what that does it allows me to really see, how much I have to work with there? If I slided all the way to the right and I see there's a lot of noise, a lot of grain, I bring it back because I obviously that's going to be too extreme. So, I usually open up a little bit. The highlights, I usually like to crush those and crush those I mean bring them down. The highlights are all the light parts of your image, the sky, I release that. I bring those down. I pull them back, right? Why do I do that? It gives me a more even exposure. So right now, already I can see basically a more even out version. If I want to zoom in on the frame, you can just simply pull in, look around, is it sharp? Yes it's sharp. Cool is walking out to the ocean. Awesome I can see like all that stuff. It looks great so far. Now, just a little a little thing to keep in mind. There's little top button up here, there's Little back here if you want to undo something, you just push that button. If you want to redo it, you can redo it. So, from there, I might go to my contrast and typically, I don't really like to add contrast, I want to take it back a little bit. Just a tiny bit and what that does is just once again allows me to even out my exposure. Now, that I'm in a place where I can see, okay cool. I can see the even exposure of my image. I like where it's at. This is where I go into here and I might start to mess with some other things like the clarity. I want to just slide this around see how it look's. I'm going to add just a tiny bit of clarity. You can see like my little bars just over the line, barely in it because it just, it's all it needs. Vibrance, I'm much more apt to use vibrance than saturation. Why? Because saturations taking the overall color your image and moving it and adjusting it. Vibrance is a bit more of an intelligence saturation. I mean it sets out that's how to describe to me and that's usually what I like to lean towards. Now, I am and no way an editing guru. I just edit to the variation of that I feel the scene looked like when I shot it and that's what I'm really trying to bring to you. So, from here, I would just scroll back and forth, scroll back and forth way way way too much, not enough. I'm just going to bring it right over the line. And then what I'd like to do is, I'd like to go in here and I'd like to look at my- where's my whites? Okay, my white is just another version of my highlight. So, bringing it all the way this way, it's going to blot your image bringing it left is going to bring some of that detail back. Perfect. So, I brought some of the detail back, I crush the whites the blacks. Once again, this is where I prefer to use blacks instead of contrast because it actually moves the individual blacks of the image. So, as in all the dark parts. So, if I'm going to pull this back, I'm going to give myself a little more contrast as I bring this below the line. There's obviously not like real numbers there besides right by the actual where it says the features, so, I've brought blacks down to negative 14%. Now, I'm basically at a point where I really like where my image is. I like it and I don't really think I need to add any saturation. In fact, I try to avoid adding saturation at all costs. What I think I'm going to do though, is I'm going to add a little bit of temperature shift. Now, shifting the temperature is really interesting. When you shift the temperature, you basically take your whole image and you either add more warmth or more coolness. You're not actually adding saturation, you're simply adding a different temperature to the overall scene. So, from here, I like to work with this and look at how this looks and usually it's a very subtle change, right now I'm in the center. I want this to be a little cooler, so, I'm going to pull it to negative four. Really really minimal. I like the cooler effect of that. So, let me pull up my phone here and go back to edit. I'm to turn my image sideways, because it allows me to get a little bit larger scene. Someone to zoom in and then look at my photograph. I want to just take a second look at this. I love how this looks. I really dig it but I'd like to go back to step one. I want to show you another way to do that. Now, if I want to, let's see. If I want to say go into some of the presets, there are some cool presets where you can do some black and white, some color, some effects. If you want to add sharpness, you can go into here, and you can add sharpness in or shadows or high contrast detail, you can add detail which is essentially sharpness, noise reduction clarity. These are not things I'm going to mess with now but I just want to show you that they are there and it's an opportunity for you to basically go through it if you want. So, I'm going to go back through here and first what I'm going to do, is I'm going to copy my settings. Okay. Copy settings. So, now let's look at this photo for a second. This has no saturation, has really minimal vibrance, has made it really minimal blocks, has the contrast backed off, the highlights backed off, the whites backed off. But I was still able to manage to get a lot of color here. Now, I'd like to reset it. I want to look at where this started. So, this is where it started right here and then I'm going to go back and re-add my settings and so that's where it was and what you can see here, is that, they are actually- although it does is more saturated, it's not blown out and really contrast. It's a more mellow gradual saturation and this is really what I look for. Now, I want to just go in here and I want to basically reset this again. Let's reset this to import. So, this is exactly what it came off the camera. Right? Now, let's go over and click this little button, this little kind of whiny button over here on the side. This allows you to have a more detailed menu. So, right now, we're just editing and basic. Just the basic slider bars but typically, when I'm using a computer, editing photos from my camera, I like to use the tone curve. Now, why the tone curve? The tone curve, is let's just say it's for the ease of this workshop, it's smart contrasts. It allows me to go in and adjust my individual whites, highlights, blacks, and allows me to use them as in a more sophisticated way by individually going in and adjusting them. So, right now, the image has no saturation. Nothing. I'm going to go in and I'm going to look at my lights. This is just my lights. So, as I back the lights off, what happens? You get more saturation. Okay. Backing those off. The highlights, as I back these off, I get a little more saturation too. Sometimes what I do, is back off the lights a lot. Bump the highlights just a tiny, tiny bit plus seven. The dark's I'm going in here and you can do whatever you want but I personally would like to open up one of them and then darken the other one. So, there's these darks. This is basically my darkest parts of my frame. I am going to going in here and I'm going to darken those up still a little bit 10%. Then I'm going to go to my shadows and open up my shadows, why? Because I like the shadows, I like the the sand and some of the other details they get right there. But I do want to appear in the other darker parts to actually be more blacked out, true black. So, here's what I've done, I haven't added any vibrance anything. I've reset the image to a bit more sophisticated editing program. Now, what I'm going to do is go back to basic and I want you to look at this image. Check it out. See how it looks. Cool. Beautiful. Okay. Now, I want to go to reset again. Oops, to Import. This is how it started. Okay. And this is where we are now. So, just keep in mind that's without saturation. That's with nothing and then what I would do at this point, is I basically save the camera roll, image size maximum available. I'm going to save it because I'd like to share it. 8. Editing in Adobe Lightroom Mobile II: Cool. Let's edit one more photograph. Let's say at a different scenes since I kind of showed you the way that I would edit that one. Let's edit something a little more. It's so incredible. So, I like this one right here for some reason. Every photo you pick, usually, there's some sort of thematic thing you're looking for, and usually, I can tell right away, "Oh, I like this photo. It's a bit more monochromatic or it's a bit more cool or it's a bit whatever." If you go to saturation and you move that bar right away, you're just basically going to take everything beautiful about the image and you're going to take it away because the ability for you to go in and set a mood to it, set a tone is lost when you do that. So for me, I'd go through this one. I'm just going to get to it really quickly. I'm going to kind of crush the highlights here. I'm going to open up the shadows a little bit. I'm going to go into here. I'm going to take the temperature, make it a little cooler because I like that cool effect. Okay? Go to the blacks. I might crush the blacks a little bit. Clarity, just the tiniest bit of clarity here. Vibrance, the tiniest bit of vibrance. I'm going to look at this bar. This one can actually handle a little more vibrance because it's kind of a simple or color plane so go in here at 10 percent vibrant something like that. Then I like how this looks but I feel it needs a little more contrast, so I'm going to go to the highlights and I'm going to bump those up. What's happening here is you can see this little slider bar. I can also set points here and I can adjust this as well. Right? So, what I'm doing is I'm getting my photograph a little more lightness in that brighter part of the sky. What's that doing? It's making the bird contrast against the sky a little more. I'm going to lighten up my darks here, and then I'm going to probably darken up my shadows a little bit. Cool. I'm going to go back to basic. I'm going to look at how this photo looks and I'm going to look at my whites here, open up my whites a little bit. One of the things to keep in mind is that photographs, I mean especially editing, this is subjective, you can blow out your sky. You don't need a sky. You can have your darks totally dark. I mean these are totally subjective things to how you want it to look. So, with this photo, if I wanted to, I could go in here and totally make my blacks black. I tend to be a bit more of a purist meaning I like uneven exposure but it doesn't mean I don't like colorful and contrast images, I just like to start at a place where I know and can look for. So, this is kind of maybe where I would sit with my photo, and I actually like what I'm seeing here. I like the way this looks and I think what I'd probably do is I'd probably end up cropping this when I share it or when I post it to something what I'm usually trying to do is take out anything out of the image that feels like it's drawing my attention away. So where's my attention? Well, it's on the bird, it's on the moon. It's usually on these words. So this light pole over here, it's not doing anything for me. It's actually drawing my attention away. It's actually competing for my attention and so that is what I want to remove. You're always looking to remove whatever that might be. Maybe there's a piece of grass or a tree or whatever just anything that competes for your attention. I want to make this photo very simple to recognize. I also want to make the bird a little more pronounced, the moon a little more pronounced, so I'm going to just crop this in here a little more like that. That's my new crop. Now, I've got this kind of nice center line down the center here of the two birds, and it's evenly weighted here and evenly weighted on the other side over here, and I kind of like it. I'd save that to camera roll. 9. Closing: Well, thanks, you guys, for joining me today. It was fun to cruise around Pismo Beach and surrounding towns and seeing the place that I grew up. I'm really excited to see what you get out of this class and I would love to see some examples of your work. Please reach out to me. Follow me online. If anything, swing by the studio some time. See you. 10. Explore Photography on Skillshare: