Travel Photography: Seeing, Shooting, and Editing | Dan Rubin | Skillshare

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Travel Photography: Seeing, Shooting, and Editing

teacher avatar Dan Rubin, Designer + Travel & Lifestyle Photographer

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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.

      Project: Capture 5 Iconic Shots


    • 3.

      Equipment Overview


    • 4.

      Using A Smartphone


    • 5.

      Using A Digital SLR/Mirrorless


    • 6.

      Using A Film Camera


    • 7.

      Introduction To The 5 Shots


    • 8.

      Shot 1: Birdseye


    • 9.

      Shot 2: Off The Beaten Path


    • 10.

      Shot 3: Middle Of The Road


    • 11.

      Shot 4: Signs Of Life


    • 12.

      Shot 5: Postcard


    • 13.

      Introduction To Editing


    • 14.

      Editing The Birdseye Shot


    • 15.

      Editing The Off The Beaten Path Shot


    • 16.

      Editing The Middle of the Road Shot


    • 17.

      Editing The Signs of Life Shot


    • 18.

      Editing The Postcard Shot


    • 19.

      Wrap Up


    • 20.

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About This Class

Use your camera for discovery! This new one-hour class with photographer Dan Rubin takes you on an exciting scavenger hunt through NYC as he reveals 5 favorite photo styles and editing tips — plus hints for iPhone, DSLR, and film cameras alike. Whether you capture your city, hometown, or an upcoming exotic vacation, photograph a place with fresh eyes.

The camera is a tool for capturing memories, and when used thoughtfully, it can also be a way to connect with places and people on a deeper level. This class is a scavenger hunt to capture the 5 essential, iconic photo styles that Dan uses on assignment:

  • Bird’s Eye View
  • Off the Beaten Path
  • Middle of the Road
  • Signs of Life
  • Iconic Postcard

You’ll see examples of Dan’s work in all of these styles for inspiration, learn some light editing tips for that final polish, and then you'll capture your own shots using the prompts as a guide.

This class is perfect for amateur photographers looking for camera tips, intermediate photographers looking for creative prompts, and even pros seeking inspiration.


What You'll Learn

  • How to think like a travel photographer. Travel photography is not just about taking pictures of a place; it’s about seeing the story of a place and then telling that story through images. Dan’s unique approach to this philosophy will help guide you when planning your next project. He will give you useful tips to keep in mind while on location to help you find, compose, and take professional photos no matter where you might be traveling.
  • Choosing the right camera for the job. Travel photographers need to travel light. This means packing your camera bag with ONLY the essentials, but what are they? Depending on the project, the best camera may be the one you have in your pocket. Dan will teach you the advantages and drawbacks of the most commonly-used camera types to help you choose which one best fits your adventure. You no longer need to spend thousands on a camera to get a great picture; you just need to know how to use the ones you already have.
  • Must-Have Accessories. Small, lightweight, and utterly indispensable, Dan shows you the accessories he never leaves behind. Want a shallow depth of field but only have enough room for your camera phone? An add-on lens can turn a point and shoot iPhone into a versatile tool for perfectly capturing an image. Ever wondered how to take long exposures without expensive equipment? Dan’s shares his thoughts on a few indispensable tripods that fit in a pack and go anywhere.
  • Basic Editing Apps. Once you’ve got your pictures, you might want to enhance them with a little photo editing. Photo editing software can be costly or just confusing. Dan shows you how to achieve professional-looking photos with just a few taps using nothing more than a few apps from the App Store. Also compatible with Android, these easy-to-use apps allow you to change the white balance, adjust the colors, and more without having to learn Photoshop.
  • Telling Your Story. Craft a compelling photo series that conveys the personality of the places you’ve traveled to by using all of these techniques to find the thematic relationship between your photos. Learn how to evoke the tone and feel of a place by using composition, lighting, and basic editing to create images that transport the viewer and transcend the typical tourist snapshot. Take photos that do more than remind you where you’ve been. Tell a story about how that place felt.

Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Dan Rubin

Designer + Travel & Lifestyle Photographer


Born in Miami Beach and now living in London, Dan is a designer, photographer, and teacher.

One of Instagram’s earliest beta testers and a speaker at the world’s first mobile photography conference, 1197, his work was featured in iTunes upon Instagram’s launch and he has become one of the most-followed, non-celebrity mobile photographers, with more than half a million followers on Instagram alone. In addition to co-founding The Photographic Journal and a boutique consultancy, webgraph, Dan travels the world on photographic commissions for select clientele including Barbour, O2, RedBull, Starwood Hotels, Williams Martini, and more.


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1. Introduction: Hi, my name is Dan Rubin, and I'm a photographer. I'm really lucky that I get to travel a lot for photography and because of photography. Just this year alone, I've been to Australia, Tuscany, Naples, Barcelona, Doha. This is a result of my love of using the camera to discover places that I travel before people ever hired me to do this, and you can get so much more out of the places you visit through the lens of the camera, and I want to share this with you. This course is going to be about discovering places and experiencing in a much deeper way through the use of the camera and taking better pictures while you do it. Whether you take a DSLR or film camera or all you have in your pocket is an iPhone, I'm going to share with you my techniques and tips on how to use photography to discover a place and see things that you wouldn't see otherwise. We're going to talk about my technique and my approach in that way. We'll also look at some of my previous work from the last few years, whether it's travel I've done for myself or for commisions. You'll get to see exactly what I mean about discovering places through specific types of shots and searching these things out, and how that leads to a better travel experience. Then, we'll go out into New York, because I haven't been here in two years and we're going to explore some areas where I haven't been at all. So, you'll get to see me discovering a place the same way as I discover any city around the world. Then, we'll wrap it all up by reviewing our shots, taking the best ones that explain how it felt to discover a place, and do some quick edits so that your images are ready to share. 2. Project: Capture 5 Iconic Shots: The project for this course is a scavenger hunt. My challenge to you is to discover a place, whether it's the next place you go to travel or your hometown and discover it in a way that you wouldn't normally see it. The goal of the scavenger hunt, is to capture five distinct shots. And there are five categories of shots that I try to find whenever I'm traveling and these are, a bird's-eye view, some elevated view of wherever you are, off the beaten path, going places that people wouldn't normally go when they travel, a middle of the road shot, which there are a couple of different ways of interpreting, signs of life which are really just a way to discover how the locals live. Whether, it's the people or the animals, everything that revolves around the things that happen for the people who live there. Then finally, the iconic postcard shot, which is the shot that everyone tries to get but it always turns out like a snapshot and we'll look at ways to actually turn that into something that, even though, everyone's taken that shot, yours will be something people are really impressed with. Once you've capture all of these shots and done your quick edits, I want you to upload all five to the project gallery on 3. Equipment Overview: Before we talk in depth about the types of shots you're going to get, let's go over equipment for a little bit. It's really important to understand your camera, whatever that is. Whether it's your iPhone, or a Digital SLR, or a film camera. Knowing your equipment, what it's good at, what it's not good at, and when it's beneficial to use them, will help you get even more out of your travel experience. Instead of worrying about the equipment and focusing on the settings, you can actually be looking around you, and shooting, and capturing, and experiencing. We're going to look at three distinct categories of cameras that I travel with a lot, and a lot of you are likely to have at least one of them. Smartphones, Digital SLR or mirrorless cameras, and then, film cameras. We'll take each of them, one by one, and then you'll see how to apply them out in the real world. 4. Using A Smartphone: So the first piece of equipment we're going to talk about is the camera you always have with you and that's the smartphone. And whether that's an iPhone or an Android or Windows phone doesn't really matter what as long as it's got a decent camera that you'll be happy with. The things I love about having a smartphone with me is that sometimes when I travel even though I have a whole bunch of cameras with me I might just want to go out for a quick walk and wander and explore and as long as I've got this in my pocket, I've got a camera with me and I can still be looking for those shots. You can use that and nothing else and be completely happy when you travel, use that as your lens. You can also go a little bit further which is what I like to do and I like to have a couple of accessories when I travel with a smartphone because these make it more fun and also allows me to shoot different types of things so that if I want to go out for an afternoon and not take any of my heavier cameras with me I don't feel like I'm missing out on anything. One of the things I love having are these external add-on lenses. These are for a moment and this is a wide-angle lens and a telephoto lens and these allow me to capture things that I wouldn't be able to capture with the iPhone on its own. And it gives me a lot of extra flexibility having these and they don't weigh anything. The other piece of equipment that I always have in my bag is a tripod, mini tripod like this really small tabletop tripod from Joby and this tripod adapter for smartphones called the glyph and this one's great because it's adjustable to any size smartphone so it doesn't matter what you have you can get this and a little tripod and it'll fit what you have. This allows me to get long exposures depending on which app I'm using to kind of mimic along exposure and the light trails and everything else. It also helps when shooting in low light or at night with other apps that do kind of the same thing allow me to capture better night shots but in all those cases you really need the camera, the phone to be still. So having this kind of equipment again doesn't weigh anything but it allows you to take even more types of shots. Now the specific shots that I like capturing with a smartphone are street photography where you can be really kind of subtle about the fact that you're taking a picture in the first place and motion shots whether that's you in motion shooting out a car window or out the window of a train or if you're capturing just life as it happens and you're not exactly sure what the right moment is and you can do that with things like burst mode on the iPhone and Android and Windows Phone have similar functions but what they allow you to do is not worry about the particular frame but just kind of hold down the button and capture a bunch of frames and then later go back and pick which one was the exact one you wanted or tells the story in the right way. I'll show you examples later of some of the shots that I've got in this way that I wouldn't have been able to get with any other type of camera and it really changes the way that you see a place and can discover a place because you can take these photos without feeling like you're imposing on the people that you're taking the picture of. So for street photography especially that combination of a camera that doesn't look like a camera and features like burst mode make it really, really great to get these kind of shots. 5. Using A Digital SLR/Mirrorless: Now, for those of you who have a bigger camera with you, it's probably a digital SLR or a mirrorless camera, Fuji or Olympus or a Sony. It doesn't really matter what it is, but it's a step up from having a smartphone and it allows you to get shots you can't get with a smartphone. It also requires that you shoot and think in a different way. My current camera of choice in this way when I travel is a Sony A7. I love this because, as a mirrorless camera, I get to use manual lenses. What I like about that is that it slows me down. The focus is manual, the aperture is manual, and just having those two things not be automatic means that I take my time a little bit more. I'm more purposeful with what I shoot, and this affects all of my photography. But especially when I travel, I want to be experiencing what I'm seeing. That's part of the joy of discovery through a camera. It's really important to get to know the equipment so that you're not thinking about each dial, each setting. Even if that's just understanding which controls to ignore, it's super, super important because what you want to be able to do is go out with this on your wrist and have it just hang in there until you know you need to use it. When you know you need to use it, you can pick it up, turn it on, dial in your settings and shoot. You're not having to switch through menus and furl your brow and go, "Which one was this again?" and, "What was ISO doing?" You don't want to be thinking any of that. So, the most important thing, the more complicated your equipment gets is to spend time before you travel, before you go out shooting, understanding what every single button and dial and switch does, and the only way to do that is to really spend the time and to practice. So if you haven't done that yet, if you're not familiar with your digital SLR or your mirrorless, do that now before you start to explore with your camera. The other thing about a bigger camera is that its sensor is bigger and its lenses are bigger, so you can do more things with light and with depth of field that you can't do with a smartphone. I tend to travel on my own when I'm not traveling on commissions with a single lens. I like using a 50-millimeter lens. I like it to be fast. This one's a 51/4, which means I can get a really shallow depth of field, lots of separation between the subject and the background if I want to, but it also means I don't have to think about zooming. It's a fixed lens, a prime lens, I can get used to the framing, and without bringing the camera up to my eye, I know what's going to be in my frame because I shoot with this focal length so much. That's a really, really useful thing because again you want to be experiencing the place that you're traveling to, not looking at it through the lens the whole time. But you can also get really great night exposures. So if you're in a place that has no cloud cover and the Milky Way or tons of stars in the sky, all you need is your digital SLR and again a lightweight tripod. This is also a JOBY. It's really, really easy to just clip onto your backpack or throw in your bag. Doesn't weigh anything. It can be strapped to anything, which is amazing too, and it allows you to firmly plant your camera somewhere and do some long exposures. If you're going to do long exposures, it's important to also be able to have a remote trigger and a remote timer. The way I like to do this is with this little piece of hardware called the triggertrap. Now, they have an iPhone app and an Android app, and what you do is you get the right adapter for your camera and you plug one into your camera, the other end in your phone, you pull up the app, and you dial in the settings that you want, and you can do any type of remote work with it, whether it's triggering by sound or a movement or long exposures, way more than we can cover in this course. But just by having that and the phone that's in your pocket already and a tripod, it expands the range of shots that you're able to get when you travel. 6. Using A Film Camera: The third category of camera that I love taking with me when I travel is film. I've been shooting film longer than anything else. What got me into photography? So, it's very closely tied to the way I shoot in the way I see. My first camera was folding Polaroid, much like this, and I'm still very connected to that pace of manual photography. In a lot of cases, not seeing the result until much later, which means that you're not worried about the result in the moment. You're just setting up the shot, thinking about it, taking your time, and then you take it, and then you move on. There's something really nice about that balance. So, I tend to have at least one film camera with me when I'm traveling for myself or for a commission. A lot of the time, I'll have more than one. In this case, I've got a medium format film camera which has all manual controls, no light meter, manually set the aperture and the shutter speed and the focus, and it requires you to think. I like it for a couple of reasons. Medium format is really, really, really detailed. So, the images that I get from this are much higher quality than they'd be from a full-frame 35-millimeter digital camera. But it also means that I'm limited. I have a constraint. I get eight exposures per roll. So, I'll carry a handful rolls around with me of medium format film. But knowing that I only have eight exposures means that I'm not going to take any picture. I'm just going to take a photo that feels like it'll be appropriate to whatever film stock I have, whether it's black and white or color, if the light is just perfect for it, and if I have the time to make sure that I set up the shot and take it carefully. It almost always results in a shot I'm happy with, which is what I'm trying to do with all of my photography. Now, because this doesn't have a light meter, some film cameras do, if yours does, that's great, but a lot of my favorites don't, they're completely manual, they have no batteries, means they are really reliable, and I like that. But I still need to get my reading, I need to understand what the light is doing. So, I set the right exposure. For that, I've got this little adapter that works, again, with my iPhone called Aurum. It's just a light meter app. This piece of hardware plugs into the headphone port, and I can take a reading wherever I am. Most importantly, it's a tiny piece of additional hardware to carry. Means I don't have to have a lot of extra room in my bag. I can actually put it in my pocket or ware it around my neck, and it means that I can get an exact exposure no matter what. Now, my Polaroid camera, I shoot with in a different way than I do with any kind of other film. Because I know I'm going to see the result instantly, this allows me to take portraits of strangers, and I can approach them. They love the camera. Also the fact that it folds like this attracts people to it, and it's an icebreaker. So, this serves a purpose beyond just taking a picture and having it developed instantly. That's the other benefit, is that I can take a picture of a stranger's or someone's portrait, and I can take two and leave one of them with them. It's a really, really nice way to interact with people. So, I find that with each different type of film camera, my pace is different. The way I use it is different. The type of pictures that I tried to get with it are different. Each of them makes my travel experience that much deeper. Of course, the results themselves don't have to be edited. You just have to either get them developed or wait for the instant image to develop, and you're done. There's a different kind of joy and excitement in that process as well. 7. Introduction To The 5 Shots: Now, let's talk about the categories of shots, we're going to use for our scavenger hunt project. Again, these are the kinds of shots that I find myself drawn to when I travel. Whether I'm traveling for a commission or just on my own. These types of shots are the way that I get to discover a place and really get to know it in a way that not every tourist would and I also get some really great shots as a result. So, the way we're going to go through each of these distinct categories, is by looking at some of my previous work and following me out in New York, as I tried to find each of these shots, the same way that you'll try to find them on your scavenger hunt. 8. Shot 1: Birdseye: So the first category of shots I want to talk about are bird's eye or from above. Not aerial photography, but finding some sort of elevated point of view where you can show a perspective on a town, a city, an alleyway, whatever it happens to be that you're seeing that people wouldn't normally see. It's one of these unique points of view that everyone sees when they travel but not a lot of people will stop and think about what part of the story of the place that they're seeing that photo will tell. So, some of the work that I've done recently uses these shots to great effect. In Naples, I was able to go to one of the highest points and take this great shot that shows a monastery and the port, and it shows Vesuvius in the distance. It doesn't show the whole thing, but it shows so much detail because it's taken from a distance and from above, that the more you look at it, the more things people are likely to discover. A lot of it is also in the composition of these shots. So, sometimes, it's going to be a city shot. If it's a city shot, you're going to have a lot of angles that you want to balance in your composition. This was very intentionally centered, and all of my lines converge in a way that will draw the eye to all of these details. It doesn't take long to do that, but it does take thought at the moment that you're taking the image. Other images like this shot from Tuscany don't really have that architectural requirement of alignment. So, it's more about just showing the feeling of this particular view, and this felt like Tuscany to me. This was my first experience of Tuscany, and this was shot from a little town called San Gimignano. It's a view that a lot of people are likely to see. It doesn't have any identifiable landmarks. It's just this overview that happened to be from a high point. That's the essence of this type of shot. It isn't one particular shot that you're trying to get. What you're trying to do is use this idea of a bird's-eye view to find places where you can have that view. That's part of the experience, is that it'll lead you to places that you might not otherwise have discovered. Like this shot from Paris, it's not a typical elevated view. It's taken from a rooftop bar on top of a mall that unless you know that it exists, you would never discover it by accident. You might discover it by being in a mall, in a shopping center and seeing how high you can go and stumbling upon this kind of view, which is exactly how it happened. Other times, like this shot from London of a sunset, this is from a building called Centerpoint. At the top of that building is a bar with a 360 degree view. It's a place that most Londoners don't even know exists and certainly, tourists don't know about it, but it's freely accessible. As long as you call ahead, you can get access to it. By knowing that, I wanted to try and get a shot from that point of view and seeing that there was this one tall building and asking a few people if there was a way I could access it, I found out there was a bar. This is the way that you discover these things, by wanting to get that kind of shot. The shot leads to the experience. It's important to understand that it's not just about getting this sweeping expansive landscape or cityscape. Sometimes, the idea, the concept of shooting subjects from above, getting that bird's-eye view can be very close and very intimate. This shot is a perfect example of that. This was from Old Delhi in India, and there was this woman making necklaces out of flowers. I noticed there was just a little ladder to a lookout point right next to her. Instead of trying to get a shot at ground level, I just climbed up the ladder, looked behind myself, pointed the camera down, and took the shot. It tells the story of what she's doing, but it lays everything out in a completely different way and makes the photo that much more interesting. The important thing to remember about this type of shot is that it's all about finding a different experience through trying to get this kind of point of view. It's less about the shot itself and more about what you'll learn about wherever you're traveling. Again, even if this is your hometown, you can still find some amazing places and amazing views by trying to get above everything. A great example of this is the shot over the rooftops of London, which shows Big Ben, some of the iconic towers, and even Westminster. It includes some lovely old buildings in the foreground. This is just out a hotel room window. But this is a really great way to get, even if it's just for one shot or to be able to get that view in the morning, thinking about all those little opportunities leads to that kind of discovery. When you're walking through a city, it's so easy to discover the high points. If it's a flat city, you look for buildings and see if you might be able to get rooftop access. If you're staying at a hotel, ask the concierge about getting rooftop access, looking up rooftop bars in wherever city you're traveling to. If there are natural hilly areas as you're driving through a place on your way to a city or away from it, look for places along the side of the road that you can pullover and stop and look back on where you've just come from. These are all ways of processing your environment, looking for a particular idea, a particular point of view, not a particular shot, but it's basically just exploring elevated places. What you'll find is that they're almost everywhere if you make the effort to look. 9. Shot 2: Off The Beaten Path: The next category we're going to look at is off the beaten path. The idea here is to explore streets, alleyways, any view that you can find where people normally wouldn't go. Whether that's in your own hometown or somewhere you're traveling, there are so many things around us that we ignore, that doesn't mean that they're not full of beauty and opportunity. The things you can discover when you just wander and get lost, are pretty amazing. Some of my favorite examples of this include a trip to Iceland last year. Iceland is full of amazing everything. Whether it's the landscape or the man-made huts and the mixture of life and nature is incredible and the light is incredible. Yet, it's also full of places to explore that somehow no one has been or most people would never see. A great example of this is this little side trip that the group I was with decided to take. We noticed off the side of the road this little path that lead to a structure that looked like nothing else we'd seen anywhere in Iceland, it looked like it was something off the moon. Combined with the rocky landscape and the fact that there was snow everywhere, it just felt completely out of this world. We wouldn't have discovered that if we were solely focused on going to our actual destination. Whether you're driving in the middle of a big landscape like Iceland or just walking down the streets of your own city, these opportunities are all over the place as long as you're willing to take a left when you would've normally gone right, or let your eye wander and discover. The way you do that is by being open to that possibility and by not rushing from place to place, giving yourself the time to literally explore and discover. This is one of my most favorite pastimes when I travel for myself or when I travel for a commission, because I'm always getting shots of things that most people never see, and if they do pass by them they completely ignore them. This one example from London, is one of my favorites in that way because this is the city that I spend most of my time in. This little view of the building that I call the Gherkin, this modern building coming out of this group of old buildings with these white tiles on them, this is a view that you'd only see if you walk into this tiny little courtyard and just look up. That's the thing, you get this beautiful snapshot. This beautiful moment hiding in the middle of everyone's daily routine. Even traveling through somewhere like, Western Turkey, where I captured this shot. This is just in one of the many little old towns that I stopped in along the way and it's not a place where a tour operator would ever take you. It might not even be a city that you would stop at, it's not even a city it's a town, right. But, by being curious and by just wandering up and down all these little back alleys and back streets, I was able to discover this little patch of light, this wonderful textures and this is just one shot of tons that I actually got from that little town. It's the thing that even the people that I was on this trip with didn't see and didn't discover because they stayed near the market at the front of the town where all the other tourists were. That's the idea behind this type of shot, is that you get to experience places in a way that only people who live in those little corners tend to experience. I love using this approach as a way to discover places that I'm familiar with. I end up finding little corners of interesting Light and texture in the city where I live, in London, that people who have lived in London their entire lives have never seen because they're not looking for them. So you can do this at home, you can do this when you travel and it's just a way to bring a lot more depth to the way that you experience the place. 10. Shot 3: Middle Of The Road: The next category is something I'm calling middle of the road. Now, this doesn't have to be taken literally. But one of the things that I like to do is when I find an actual nice stretch of open road, I like to capture that because it tells a particular story. It's a metaphor in an image. It relates directly to the journey, and these I find resonate with people really really deeply. But it's not just about stopping your car, and standing in the middle of the road, and getting a nice shot with all the vanishing points. It doesn't actually have to be a road. Sometimes, the same concept works in the middle of a crowded street, especially pedestrian streets. So, on a trip to Lisbon, I used the same idea, shooting on an iPhone so I could hold the phone over my head, and get a view that included the crowd, included all of the lines of the architecture, and of the street, and the tiles. In this shot, you've got sailors, and people, and tourists, and it's this wonderful mixture of just what that street feels like. A couple of streets over, the same kind of thing except here, you've got extra layers, not just the people shopping, but it's also one of the streets that leads to the higher more hilly parts of Lisbon. So, you've got this pedestrian walkway very very high up at the top of the frame, and then you've got this hill where everyone's walking either up or down leading up, and you've got this extra crazy combination of lines leading to a different horizon, a different vanishing point. So, it feels a little bit off balance. Getting these kind of shots, I find the easiest with a smartphone. So, is really easy to hold up over your head, and you get a little bit of an elevated view which is nice. So, it gives a little bit extra perspective. But it also tells again a story of a journey in progress. People going from A to B. The concept of the shot works equally well if it's traffic instead of people, or if there's nothing in sight, and just a bare road and landscape. This shot from Iceland, which is one of my film shots, shot on the big Fuji's six by nine, is that other kind of category where the lack of people, the lack of animals, this barren landscape with just one road running through the middle. This is what most of Iceland feels like. So, it's telling not only the journey about driving through Iceland, where it's just endless roads, and mountains, and hills, and lava fields, but it's also that the landscape of Iceland is barren, is very untouched. The contrast of the man-made road and these natural volcanic features of the landscape, that tells all those stories in one image. It's also one very nice balanced image, and they're also very much about looking ahead rather than looking behind. So, that's why these kind of shots have so much power. Again, they work equally well when you're not on a road. That includes places like this, I mean the bow of a canoe in Wales on the river Kwai, but the concept is still the same. The river in this case is the road. The landscape reflecting in the water, and the clouds reflecting in the water is representative of exactly what it felt like to be there. This shot wouldn't feel the same if you cropped out the canoe. That's part of the story. It's allowing someone to place themselves in that moment. That's what's great about it is that it's a very first person point of view. One of the other tricks that I like to use, that you can only really use if you're travelling with other people, but if you are this is really useful, is to incorporate the human element into that perspective. So, instead of it being first person, you're taking it one step back, like with this shot from Australia with my friend Simone. By having him stand in the same perspective that I would've, and lifting the camera above his head, you get all of these leading lines working the exact same way. All of the elements are coming together to draw the eye into the centre in the same way. But by placing a human right in the middle of it, you get a little bit more mystery. It's not just what you see, what the photographer sees. It's more about what this person is seeing and what they're thinking. It's a very strong metaphor or combination of metaphors for a journey for looking ahead. When you're telling a story about a place, this is a really really important element because it can tie in all the other elements that you're getting, all the street photography, all of the discoveries, and it ties those discoveries into the story of a journey. So, when you're out looking for these shots, whether it's a field of grain, or you're on the river, or you're on a crowded street in the median with traffic passing you, or you're on a pedestrianized street with people walking around you, the idea is just to create this balanced combination of all these elements that are pulling the viewer forward. 11. Shot 4: Signs Of Life: Our next category is signs of life. This is pretty much exactly what it sounds like. I want you to purposefully look for moments of real life around you, things just happening, the people that live in the place where you're traveling or just the people who live around you, if you're doing this in your hometown, doing your best to capture them in the moment. This is either people or nature, whatever you happen to have at your disposal, where you happened to be when you're working on this. This is a great way of connecting with the living elements of your environment rather than just the static ones. I think it's a great way of seeing how people live in a place, especially, if it's a place that's very, very foreign to you. One of my favorite examples of this, in my own work, is my first trip to India. The pace of life, the colors and the sounds and the noise, all of this contributes so much to the environment in Delhi, especially, the life, the way it feels is the people and what they're doing. That's what I was trying to capture. The best way to do this for me was using burst mode on the iPhone, that kind of feature to be able to just capture things as they're happening and go back afterwards and actually pick out the moments that stand out to you. It's really easy to do this from a car. It's a mixture of maybe street photography for this category, but also just things that you pass, things you pass along the way. Those moments that most people would ignore but if you're paying attention to them, you can capture some amazing things. This one image is one of my favorites from that entire trip to Delhi because this is shot out the car window by having the camera at the ready and taking these pictures. I was able to get gems like this, where I've got this amazing amount of eye contact with the girl in the subject, and sitting behind them, as we're all stuck in traffic and with that unhappy look on her face, is this sign saying, "Happy school". This is my favorite type of little incidental moment that you only capture when you're looking for it, you're ready for it, and you're actively trying to capture it. Other examples might be the nature that exists in a particular environment, and this really sums up what's unique about this category is that it really depends on where you are, where you're traveling and even things like time of day. If you're in a city but you're out at sunrise very early in the morning, when no one's around, you're not going to have any life and activity to capture. When you're trying to capture this category of image, it's very important to think about where you are and when and where the activity is going to be. When I was in Iceland, most of Iceland is unpopulated, it's very barren, and that's one of the beautiful things about it is that you get to see and experience the landscape. But if you want to show signs of life, you have to hunt them out, you have to look for them in particular. In Iceland, the best type of life for me to show are the Icelandic horses. They are these wonderful beautiful gentle creatures and they're so easy to photograph. They're photogenic but they're just very, very friendly and very playful. That's the great thing here is that it's not just about the photo opportunity, it's about experiencing these moments that, otherwise, you might just let pass you by. The opposite end of the spectrum is doing this but in a more street photography way. This is one of my favorite shots in this category from my trip to Naples, recently, where I was looking for these opportunities, there were loads of these fruit and vegetable stands on this one the street that I was walking down, and I got to this one stand where this big guy sitting down and just monitoring his den. So, I just stood there and the bonus from standing there and purposely aligning this particular shot was that I got this wonderful eye contact from him and this amazing look on his face, where he just knows I'm taking a picture. That contributes to the story, that contributes to the moment. I took the picture, I put the phone down, and I smiled at him and then just walked away. When you're traveling in a place, I think you have two different ways of interacting with that location, with the people who are there. You can either travel through an area and not acknowledge their existence and just see the things you want to see and ignore everything else or you can try to interact with them. You can walk up to the stalls. You can talk to people. You can take street portraits. You can do that from a distance. You can do that very intimately, but the more you interact with that, with the nature or with the people, the more of a connection you form with that place, the more you get to understand what the people are like and what their life is like. Sometimes, these moments are very active, sometimes, they're very passive. The passive moments that I talk about are things like this old gentleman sitting slightly in the shade, again, on a side street in Naples. I just snapped this from the hip as I was walking by and I was wondering what he was thinking, what he was waiting for, what that story was. That sort of explains the kinds of images that I try to record in this category. If it catches my eye and it makes me question something, it makes me curious, that's the sign to me that it's something I need to capture, and it's amazing how many of these opportunities you find when you're just open to them as you're walking around, when you're very observant rather than just being locked on your destination. The other thing to keep in mind with this category is that there is no right or wrong. There is no one type of shot in this category to get. It's really about telling a story that relates to how you are experiencing a place. That's the most important part of this category, is feeling and understanding what it is about the place you're traveling to that you love. So, for me it ends up being street photography and capturing life in progress, and as much as possible, not being noticed. Sometimes, I like that eye contact but most of the time, I tried to get shots where people don't know that I'm getting their photo, things like this shot from Agra, where there's just a little interaction between a shopkeeper and a girl who's buying something. That moment existed whether or not my camera was there. They didn't know I was taking the picture and that tells a very different story. Find what's important to you about wherever you are. Wonder. Give yourself that time as you're exploring and capturing some of the images in these other categories and the signs of life will start to become apparent to you. The signs of life that are important to you will become apparent as well. 12. Shot 5: Postcard: Our last category is the iconic image, the postcard shot. This is the hardest category in a way because it requires the most planning and forethought, and it's also the kind of shot that everyone takes. It's the image that you associate most with a particular place, and that's a tough image to photograph because everyone's done it. You can't find an iconic photograph of a place that hasn't been shot before. So, the trick here is to figure out how to make that image your own, how to take that iconic shot, and make it actually feel iconic, feel like it belongs on a postcard, but take it in such a way that it makes it yours. They'll look at it, and they'll wonder how you managed to get a shot of the place that everyone was pointing their cameras at that looks nothing like what anyone else captured. This requires a combination of patience, planning, and in a lot of cases, luck, for every element to come together. But when it does, it's completely worthwhile. Couple of examples that I love from the last few years, this shot from Iceland. This is Dettifoss, the largest and most powerful waterfall in Europe. The most impressive thing about Dettifoss is its scale, so getting the iconic shot of this requires communicating that scale. So, as I was approaching this, and I was on this trip with a few friends, I decided that I would hang back, higher up above the waterfall and above some of the rocks that led up to it, and I would wait and see if any of the people I was with would walk down closer to the water. Lucky for me, she was also wearing this bright red rain jacket, so it stood out against the gray blue landscape and the white rushing water of the waterfall. Because I'd already composed the shot, because I'd already thought through what elements I needed, and that I needed a human element in there to give it scale, so that you could actually understand the power behind this. When that moment happened, I was ready for it. In one great sense, this ties into one of the concepts by my favorite photographer, Henri Cartier-Bresson, this idea of the decisive moment that you have to understand your equipment, the environment, and what's about to happen, what's potentially going to happen in order to be ready to capture that moment when it happens. This is one of my favorite examples of that because everything came together in just the right combination, at just the right time, but it wouldn't have happened without that patience, and the planning, and a lot of luck. This is also an applicable combination of elements to commercial shoots. It's a type of shot that I've been able to use on some product-related work very effectively. So, a shoot that I did last year for Ducati in Paris when they unveiled their new Scrambler was perfect for this kind of opportunity. It meant shooting at sunrise and sunset in the most commonly photographed areas, which is a tough thing to do. But if you're prepared, magical things can happen. So this shot, it's one of my favorites from the entire shoot. We had the bike setup, and in and of itself, the bike under this brilliant bridge with the Eiffel Tower in the background, and the light just coming in at a wonderful angle from the side, this would have worked pretty well on its own and the shots were coming together all right. We were just about ready to pack up and head to our next location when this young boy and the friend of his showed up a little bit outside of our frame, and his friend had a video camera, and he was just doing stunts on a skateboard. We thought it would be amazing if this kid says yes to being in our pictures, so we may as well ask. We're here, all the other elements are right because we planned to be there. We asked, he said yes and he just started doing these jumps and tricks. I got tons of great ones, but this one in particular was this perfect combination of the client's product, the environment of Paris, this iconic postcard shot, and this random element that we couldn't possibly have planned for. But if we hadn't planned all of the other elements, I wouldn't have been able to get this shot and take advantage of the serendipity of that particular moment. Now, this is something that as you're planning your iconic shot, it'll be obvious what potential shots are available to you in a particular place. The things to look for are commonly photograph architectural elements, buildings, views, and that's really something that's important with this concept, is research, is planning. Whereas all of the other categories are very much incidental, very much things that you will discover and find along the way, the iconic postcard shot requires you to plan. It requires you to think ahead before you visit a place to check the time for sunrise and sunset, if that's the time that you want to shoot, to check the angle of the sun and the length of the shadows, to look at the weather, to research what angles are the best angles, what angles are the most popular angles, and maybe then you can also discover some of the less popular and well-known angles on a place. Through that, you can discover some amazing ways to represent an iconic place but in your own way. One of my favorite examples of my own work that falls into that category is a shoot that I did on this trip to India, and I wanted to shoot the Taj Mahal at sunrise. It was very important to me that I got to fit that in. It was the right time of the year. I knew the atmosphere was going to be just pretty clear and a little bit of haze. It would be the right elements that I needed to get a good shot, but I didn't want to get the same shot everyone gets from the front of the Taj Mahal, from the entrance way where it's just full of people even at sunrise. I wanted to get a shot that focused on the building itself. Very quickly, it became apparent that I could shoot it from the other side of the river from these gardens that are located on the opposite side of the building, and you still get the wonderful light coming from the side. You can line up all of the architectural elements of the Taj Mahal. I discovered this wonderful glassy pond in the middle of these gardens with the pathway of trees that were leading right up to the Taj Mahal. The elements were all perfectly formed and as if they were waiting for me. Not only was I able to get a different point of view, but I was able to capture a location that's normally full of people and make it appear that it wasn't full of people, and this is one of the things I love doing in my photography. I will get up early or be incredibly patient at a location to try and get that one fraction of a second where it seems like a normally crowded place is completely empty. Things can happen when you've planned around the shot that lead to great shots that you didn't expect. So, as I was leaving this iconic place, and I'd taken my shot of the Taj Mahal, I turned around and noticed this guy just walking out of the fields with his water bottle and holding his sandals. Again, there was no one else around, no tourists or anything else, and the sun had just crested over the top of the trees, and it was only because I was there to take this other shot that I'd planned ahead, but I was still aware of what was happening, that I was able to get this one shot off. It's again, one of my favorite images that no one else would have captured. It's not the exact iconic shot, but it's one of my personal iconic shots from this trip that represents so much about what I felt in that time, and it only happened because I was planning ahead for all of these other elements. This is the kind of thing to keep in mind as you're evaluating a trip ahead of time, where you're thinking about the place you live and about the things that everyone talks about, or everyone recognizes about your city or your town. Figure out what that element is, find out how people normally represent it, and then think hard about how you can put your own twist on it, whether that's time of day, type of lighting environment, or the type of shot you take. Another great example of this for me is this waterfall shot in Western Turkey, and now this is fun for me on a number of different levels because this was taken on an iPhone 4S as well. This is not the best and greatest piece of hardware to capture an image on. It's what I had in my hand at that particular moment on this trip. I was standing here looking at this shot, I knew what my framing was going to be. I knew I wanted the water rushing, but I'd left my tripod even in the coach, and I didn't want to go back and get it. So, I'm standing here, playing around with my apps. I was looking at slow shutter cam and a couple of different apps, and thinking about how I could maybe prop the phone up, and make a makeshift tripod to get the water moving. Through that thought process, that patience, I discovered a setting in Cortex Cam which allows you to capture movement handheld, and that's what I used to capture this shot. I only discovered it because I was waiting, because I had that time, and I was trying to figure out the solution to the problem. I knew the shot that I wanted to get. I planned this in that moment, and I had that time, and I made use of my time to figure out that if you turn off, remove motion blur on Cortex Cam, you can get rushing water. So this is a combination of chance, patience, experimentation, and in this case, it was far less about planning ahead. This is probably the shot that most people would get. I was able to make the equipment that I had, achieve the shot I wanted by a little bit of creativity and a little bit of experimentation. So, even when you're in a position where you might not think you can get an iconic shot, you might not think that you have what you need, by playing around a little bit by experimenting. Just because you've gone through that process, you will end up getting something that anyone else in that space, in that moment, with that same equipment might not be able to get, and that will elevate the shot beyond just a snapshot, beyond the same thing everyone else has taken, and it will allow you to capture something that is yours, and that stands out from the crowd. 13. Introduction To Editing: So now I've done my shoot out in New York. I've shot with iPhone, digital camera, and two film cameras and the next stage is to review everything you've shot and not only pull out the images that fit into each of the categories for the project, but to find some sort of connection between those images that you select that tells a story. What that story is, is up to you, but it should be something that you relate to that tells a story of how you felt about wherever this place is. Again, whether it's your hometown, or a city or town, or area that you visited. So for me, the story I'm going to tell about my time in New York City, is going to be related to how I'm seeing it after a two-year gap. This is a place I've been before, but it feels different in certain ways and I want to find the parts that stand out to me now that wouldn't have stood out to me on any of my previous visits and that's going to be the fuzzy logic that I use to pick each of my images. Now, we're gonna go through each category and I'm going to show you some of my selections that fit each category of image. I'm going to do quick edits both in light room, on the desktop, and in VSCO Cam on iOS, to just give you a little bit of an idea of how I would approach connecting the feel of the images through the edit style as well. Now, this won't be an editing tutorial. There are plenty of other fantastic editing tutorials on Skillshare and I encourage you to go and look up those courses and take them, but it's more an overview of how to get a feel that also tells this story from shot to shot across each of these categories. 14. Editing The Birdseye Shot: Our first category of shot is the bird's-eye view. Now, the idea behind this is to get above ground level, whether that's out your hotel room, on a hill, on a rooftop, fire escape. Whatever allows you to look down on the rest of the world around you. This perspective is really unique and allows you to tell the story of wherever you've been in an interesting way through one shot. Now, out in New York, my initial thought was rooftops and fire escapes, but then I thought the High Line which is publicly accessible would be a great opportunity for this. It allows a lot of different perspectives on different aspects of the city. Even though those are shots that probably a lot of people take, it gives me the opportunity just because of being up in the air to take some different shots. So, the ones I decided where my favorite we're looking straight down from above, by capturing people walking by or cars. In this case, the shot that we're going to look at in particular is an image of a taxi, a lovely iconic yellow taxi going underneath my point of view. Now, before I've brought it into VSCO cam here, I've done a couple of quick edits in Snapseed to correct perspective and do a little bit of retouching, just really minor stuff that you can see in my other course here on skill share. Starting with this image, I want to establish a tone and a feel for the rest of the images ideally. Now, if I end up changing my mind as I go and deciding that a different look would be more appropriate, the nice thing about VSCO cam is I can come back in and change the edits. Everything's non-destructive. I like the natural colors that exist here. The image almost doesn't need an edit, but I like applying a preset and tweaking things a little bit, so I can get a look that's my own. The nice thing is I've got a good amount of contrast, good lines, good color, good detail, and so all I have to do is pick a style of look that I can be consistent with. So the way I'm gonna do this is by using one of the ranges of looks and preset styles that VSCO cam offers. This is the E range, E1 through E8. They they all have fairly natural tones, which is nice. Some are cooler, some warmer, some are a little bit more faded, some are a little bit more contrasty, but they all are related to each others. I know that if I pick one of these that works for this image, even if I pick another E for a later image, it's alright because they'll connect in some way. There will be some thematic relationship between them. Now, looking at the presets here, I like the way E7 is looking out of these. It's a little on the cool side, but I still get this punchy yellow and almost highlights that, but it also makes the street look a little bit more gritty, and it pulls out some some blue tones that makes these cars, the black cars on either side a little bit more mysterious that fade kicks in. I might dial it down a little bit, but I really like the fade to it, so I'm not going to pull that out too much. Again, the goal here is not to do tons to the image, just to do enough that it's got a unique feel to it, because I can play for hours if I wanted to. What I'm going to do is just make a couple of quick changes. I'll check the exposures, see if it feels better a little higher or lower. I think if I make it a little darker there, it feels nice. I might add a little bit of contrast, so it makes it punchier. Just these handful of changes, and I've make the image take on a couple of different characteristics that are a little bit more unique than the base image that comes out of the iPhone in this case. So, those changes made I'm just going to check the saturation a little bit, sometimes I like punching up the saturation or by one or two or punching it down a little bit, just because it can shift a lot of other elements of the image. In this case, it's pretty punchy that yellow stands out without even changing it. So, I've checked it. I'm happy with it, and that resulting image will pretty much stay as is. I don't even feel like I need to crop it in this case. It tells a particular story of New York, the iconic New York cab, but it tells it from a perspective that most people won't think to capture an image and aren't used to even seeing when they're in the city. 15. Editing The Off The Beaten Path Shot: Our next category is off the beaten path. The idea here is to let yourself wonder and explore and also let your eye wonder. I love getting to a point where as I'm walking through an area things just catch my attention and I'm drawn to them and I capture them. It's not so much about what you capture, it's more that what you're getting to discover through this category are little things to the side, stuff that people wouldn't normally notice. In this case, I tend to take pictures of anything that catches my attention and it leads me to some really nice discoveries. Little quiet moments, corners of wherever it is that I'm traveling. So, for this category, I'm going to use this image of this lovely yellow chair. For most people this would be an object for them to use and probably ignore, but the way the light was hitting it, the way the pattern of the shadow just kind of interacted with the white background, there was a lot of depth here. It was a perfect image to also take advantage of a shallow depth of field shot on the Sony a7. I'm not going do much to the image again. It doesn't need much. I really like the image as it comes out of the camera. It's one of the reasons I like the Sony as well. It does need a little bit of adjustment to the white balance, so I'll tweak that a little bit here. I'm not going to do too much to it. To keep it kind of in a similar feeling to the images I'm going to be editing on the iPhone and VSCO Cam, I'm going to use one of VSCO's film packs for Lightroom. In this case, I'm going to use one of the free presets they offer in the VSCO film zero zero pack. This is a pack of two presets one for black and white, one for color. Looking at how each of these adjust the image, I think I like the ones that are a little bit more subtle but a little warmer rather than cool, because the light was on the warm side and that's what drew me to the image. Not too much of a fade because that feels a little too much in this context. Over here, this Kodak Gold 100 Plus, this has the best feel to it, if we do a quick before and after including the white balance change. I really like where this is sitting. Now I might make some slight adjustments to the exposure, just to kind of see how that feels. Might pull the exposure down just slightly so the highlights aren't too bright. I'll play around a little bit with the shadows, just to see if adding some contrast or removing contrast from where that preset is makes me feel better about it. I'm going to pull the shadows up just slightly so some of that background detail comes back in. Doing another check here before and after. I think for now that's a really good place to leave this image. In general, I like editing as little as possible especially in my early edit. I try to go more for a feel across the set and you can always tweak later but, the faster you get to an end result that you're happy with, the more productive you'll be, and the faster you'll get to move on to the next image. 16. Editing The Middle of the Road Shot: Our third category of image is the middle of the road. This doesn't have to be taken literally as being shot in the middle of the road but that's the kind of shot I like, whether it's in the middle of a crowded city or pedestrian area or an empty road through a barren landscape. There's a story that's connected to it it's a really good strong metaphor, but of course you can use anything that has those kind of converging lines, I think draws the viewer in and tells some sort of story that leads people into the future. That it's leading somewhere and that's overall the thing we're trying to convey here. So, even if you don't have a particular road to take the shot in, the idea of that is, that it's a journey. It's part of the journey it's the start of a journey it's the middle of it, whatever the case is it's ongoing and that's what we're trying to communicate. The image that I've decided to use here, because I've been in New York and New York is about the roads, and the buildings, and the light, and the interplay of the traffic, pedestrians, buildings, light, new, old, all these things are represented in a single image that you can capture. Actually crossing the street kind of looking straight down one of these long roads. This shot is actually looking down Broadway which has even more meaning for New York and for me since I used to be a musician and Broadway is one of these themes that keeps coming up in a lot of the music that I used to sing. So, for me this image carries some extra meaning and that's what we're looking for. I'm going to go back to the E series here in Viscocam, because I want it to feel similar to the other shot that I've already edited. Now looking through these we've got a pretty wide range and what they do to this image, because it's got a broad dynamic range between shadows and highlights. It actually changes at quite drastically for some of these. I don't want a ton of fade to it. I think from all of these E2 feels the best, because it's the warmest here. So, I'm going to leave it on E2 for a minute, I feel like I need more contrast. So, you can see if I pull the contrast down here we lose a lot of that effect of the lights in the distance and the gap between the buildings and the other horizon pulling us in. By adding a little bit of contrast here, we also punch up some of the brake lights and the traffic lights. Those red little dots in the center I love that. I'm going to pull a little bit of fade back in which isn't so much for a fade but it lifts some of the shadow detail a little bit. Now that I've done that I can add a little bit more contrast. Notice is feeling pretty punchy, I like that. I'll check out the exposure a little bit just to see if brighter or darker pulls anything out. It doesn't in this case, so we'll just leave that as it is. The temperature again I'm drawn to the fact that E2 is warmer, so there's the possibility that pulling the temperature even warmer we'll make it feel good. I think it does, I think we'll leave that at plus one. So, again we're not doing much to the image, but the difference before and after is actually quite striking and it leads us into this story in a nice way. I'm going to check saturation again just to give it either a little bit more punch or a little bit more personality. In this case bumping that saturation up by one pulls out just the things I want to in a nice way and I'm just going to check the tint here to make sure there isn't any kind of weird color cast. It feels a little bit green to me, so I'll make it a little bit more magenta just to balance that and maybe play a little bit more with crunching those shadows with some fade, just to make it a little bit more gritty and finally a little bit of sharpening to make it crisp. There we go, and now if you look very carefully at the sides, you'll notice some weird elements here from my straightening and snap seeds. So, I'm going to do one final thing and that's to crop it. Make sure that those weird little artifacts aren't present but also that my image is perfectly centered because that's part of the effect that I'm going for here. That's my finished image for middle of the road. 17. Editing The Signs of Life Shot: Our next category is signs of life. The type of image we're trying to get here is anything that represents the people, the animals, just the living creatures that inhabit a particular area. If that's in the city or a town, it's most likely going to be the people. If it's out in the countryside, it's most likely going to be animals of one sort or another. But whatever it is, the idea is just to convey personality of a place through the people and what they're doing. In this case, in New York, there's tons of every different type of creature, human and animal, especially dogs. As I was walking around the Meat Packing District, I saw this perfect moment with this we love them but no pets allowed sign right over this gorgeous dog that was tied up. I snapped a couple of pictures as I was walking by, and I wasn't happy with them. So, I stood still, line the shut up, and just took it. As I did that, the dog look toward me. This is the kind of moment that because you're interacting with your environment, these things will happen rather than just passing them passively. I've managed to have a moment with a dog and whether it's a dog, a horse, other people on the street, that sort of connection makes your experience. Again, I'm going to go to my E presets in Visco cam for consistency. I'm going to walk through each of them just to see if any jump out at me at feeling better for this. I actually kind of like where E7 sits because it pushes the elements in the left of the frame into the background. I liked the people there, but I don't want them to be the attention here. Some of these are a little too bright. The E1s, E4, and E5 are a little too faded. So I think, I'm going to go to E7. But I'm going to pull the intensity down just a little bit so that it's not so faded. Then, make a couple of tweaks to the exposure and the contrast, maybe, just to make some of the elements balance a little bit better. Maybe make it a little bit warmer. Don't want to do too much to this because it feels so good on its own. I think I might increase the detail in the shadows a little bit, just to make the dog stand out a little bit more. In turn, maybe pull down the brightness just a tad. These little tiny adjustments back and forth tend to be what really makes an image work for me. So as you can see, at this point, I'm kind of liking where this is setting. We really pay a lot of attention to the dog. The people are in the background, which is really what's important here is that people are going about their business, someone's tied up their dog, and it's not being mistreated. It's got some water there but it's next to this sign that just tells a story. Again, to reiterate, the goal of all of this is to get more out of your travel, and to get more stories out of your experience, wherever you are. This little moment, because it happened, and because I'm spending time refining the image, it's going to stand out in my memory as one of the experiences of this trip. 18. Editing The Postcard Shot: Our final category is the iconic image, the postcard shot. This is the image that everyone snaps when they travel somewhere with some sort of feature that's familiar. It's often the picture that people want to get, they want to take home, they want to show their friends where they've been. The trick is either figuring out how to get your own spin on that image or just making something that feels so impressive that your friends won't believe that you took it. That's a good feeling, but it's also a nice anchor image to represent whatever the iconic element or elements of the place you're visiting happened to be. Now in New York, are too many to list. So, what I wanted to do was, take what for me are, some of the more iconic images that are in my head. They represent the elements of New York that stand out to me when I think about the city and those are the buildings of Manhattan. Especially the buildings of Lower Manhattan and the bridges and the water. Those shots are always the ones that resonate to me. I figured the best time of day to shoot this was going to be at sunrise. I woke up early to get the shot, that's one of the ways that you can make the shot a little bit more unique because not everyone who travels somewhere will go to that effort to get up early just to get some unique light. I went down to Brooklyn, so I could look back at the city. I took a number of different shots trying to find something that either felt unique or just felt right to me. Sometimes the iconic shots, there's only one way to take them, you can't find your your own unique angle on it and that's okay. It took me a couple of different shots walking along the river to find something that felt right. This shot incorporates The Brooklyn Bridge, The Freedom Tower and everything is lit perfectly from the side. So, you get a lot of contrast as well, a lot of depth, but you also get a lot of warm. So, those elements were all in place, thanks to nature in the time of day. The next trick was to try and get these reflections that are again, iconic in that particular way. Now, with the cameras I had with me, I didn't have any special equipment, I didn't have any neutral density filters to put on the front of my mirrorless camera to do any long exposures. So, what I did was use an application called Average Cam-Pro on the iPhone. Use my little JOBY flexible iPhone tripod to wrap the tripod onto a railing, and line up this shot in a way that feels like it's floating over the water. So, that was number one. Average Cam-Pro allows me to simulate a long exposure. So, in this case, there are 32 images that help make the water nice and glassy. That's the base exposure. I'm gonna go back to the E's for my edit. Although, this could easily be a black and white shot. You could do loads of things to that iconic shot, that make it stand out from your other edits. It's worth playing around with this as well because, the idea of that iconic shot, if you get it nailed, you can do all sorts of things that make it more iconic by playing around with the edit. In this case, I'm okay with the elements as they are, I'm going to let the warmth that exists in the image because of it being sunrise stay put. I'm using E3 which is a cooler preset. Dial it down a little bit. That allows me to pull out some more of the blues in the sky and in the water. Make them a little bit more contrasty compared to the bright warm colors that are hitting the buildings in the bridge. I'm going to add a little bit more contrast to emphasize the reflections, add a little bit of sharpness, maybe play around with the exposure a little bit. You see if I increase the exposure, I just lose a lot of detail. But with a lot of low light like either sunset or sunrise images where light and contrast plays a big part, underexposing just by a little bit can actually bring out a lot of the extra highlight detail in a nice way. Because of this, I'm going to pull the shadows up just a tad, and maybe put a little bit more of a fade in there and a little bit more contrast still. The idea here is that, the contrast for me plays a big part in making those reflections work. I'll get rid of the little tiny bit of a green tint in the water. I'll take care of that and just check the saturation a little bit. If we oversaturated this too much, it's going to feel I think a little too extreme for my taste. Maybe one little notch will help just that little bit, I'll leave it nice and punchy. One final setting I think, is going to be to make the crop a little bit wider because the composition is nice and wide. By cutting off a little bit of the sky there not too much, actually give further emphasis this horizon and the width of this composition. Now, switching to Lightroom quickly. You can also make the shot your own by emphasizing or de-emphasizing certain elements. So, this is an alternate take using a shallow depth of field on the same city skyline. But, instead of focusing on the skyline itself, by knocking that into the background and focusing instead on the foreground element, we've got another iconic image that doesn't require much for the edit. I'm going to do a quick tweak to the white balance and a little adjustment to the preset. Let's use Kodak Gold-100. Maybe I'm going to warm up the temperature just slightly, so it feels like that warm sunrise. With just a couple of quick tweaks, we've got ourselves a shot that most people probably wouldn't think of taking and it will feel much more involved than just a snapshot where everything was in focus. 19. Wrap Up: Now that you've edited your five shots, remember to upload them to the project gallery. I can't wait to see the stories you have to share. 20. Explore Photo Classes on Skillshare: