"Imagine a world without clouds - nothing but clear blue sky from horizon to horizon, 365 days a year. What a monotonous world it would be, bereft of the imagery of billowing castles, dragons, and winged steeds, deprived of the drama of motion and shadow, innocent of the expectancy and foreboding that cloud changes arouse in the human spirit."
-Bette Roda Anderson, Weather in the West
I've mentioned this before, but clouds have a lot ot do with the composition and feel of landscape photography. When there's a cloudy day, I get excited about photography. I look at the sky and appreciate the shapes and the types of clouds that are going to affect the finished product. I guess the cool thing about clouds in photography is they become a compostional element. You have to balance the shape and size of the clouds with the rest of the image.
This is called the "Sierra Wave". Pretty cool, huh?
Holly Higbee-Jansen excels in photography as an art and business with an emphasis on landscape and glamour photography. She has a life long passion for photography and loves to share her art and knowledge . Holly honed her photographic skills through years of traveling the world and photographing natural landscapes. She teaches DSLR photographic workshops, iPhone Workshops and online classes in photography and Photoshop with Jansen Photo Expeditions and runs a successful portrait business, Natural Light Photography.
There are so many different types of photography and it's really best to pick one and get really good at it. Actually all types of photography relate to each other because the skill sets are the same or very similar. You still need to have a strong knowledge of composition, light and shutter speed and know what kind of depth of field you would like to have in your image. Every image is like that, right, and we want to make those decisions for ourselves, not let the camera make it for you, right? Right!
A really good street photographer will be able to create a story from a picture, not just present a static image. The other essential tool you need to be good on the street is to not be afraid to go up to people and ask to take their picture. What's the worst they can say, no? So you move on and find someone else to photograph.
This girl, I'll call Wanda (for some reason), clearly is not a wall flower. She obviously wants people to notice her, and she was very agreeable to have me take her picture. I was able to get her backlit with the sun behind her, giving her interesting locks a glow.
This story was a father and son out together at a local pizzeria. They were sitting behind a screen, so I got this sort of haziness to the picture. They were quite agreeable as well, the father looked so proud of his little boy. Street photography is about connecting with people and showing a little slice of their life. (Get the pizza reference, slice of life?)
Check out these images from my friend Nancy Lehrer, a talented street photographer. These are images she took in Cuba and every picture tells a story. She waits until the story unfolds before she takes the picture, and time after time, she gets these amazing images. Enjoy!
Holly Higbee-Jansen has been exploring her fascination with light through photography since she was a young child. Holly teaches digital photography, is a personal guide for Jansen Photo Expeditions, and runs a successful glamour photography business, Natural Light Photography.
We frequent the Eastern Sierra Nevada mountains to hold our photography workshops. It tends to be quite clear and blue in the winter (if there's not a snowstorm). In the summer, there are monsoons and frequent thunder storms which give it this drama and interest. If you are patient, you will be rewarded. We have sat in places for hours waiting for the light and clouds to be in the right place. Basically what I'm saying is, if you are serious about photography, you will not get the shot from your car window. Just don't do it!!! Get out there and experience the moment, you won't be sorry.
One thing for sure, it will never look the same. We come back to the same places year after year and we are constantly amazed at the “range of light” of the Sierra Nevada mountains.
I am one of those people who see photographic compositions everywhere. I have been composing pictures all my life and it just comes as second nature to me. I know not everyone is like that. I have students that wait for me to point out a composition, but I try not to do that because then they aren't learning to compose their own images right?
Sometimes I see repetitive compositions in nature like faces or certain shapes. One trip in particular to the Sierras I kept seeing hearts. I would see them in trees or in roots, rocks or leaves. Then it became a game to me. I starred looking for them and they jumped out of everywhere!
I guess my question to you is have you taken the time to see the hearts, or the flowers or some beautiful shape or composition right before your eyes? Take a moment and look around. You'll be surprised at what nature will give to you.
Holly Higbee-Jansen has been exploring her fascination with light throughphotography since she was a young child. Holly teaches digital photography, is a personal guide for Jansen Photo Expeditions, and runs a successful glamour photography business, Natural Light Photography.
Have you seen the new mirrorless cameras out on the market? I have the Olympus OMD EM5. What does it mean that it's mirrorless?
After years of caring around about 20 pounds of camera equipment, number one it means carrying around a much lighter weight camera bag! I love that about my Oly, as well as the quality and consistency of the pictures. Look at the difference in size between the Cannon DSLR and the Olympus OMD EM5.
The Mirrorless interchangeable-lens camera (MILC) is a fairly new class of digital system cameras. It has an interchangeable lens mount unlike a compact digital camera, and unlike a digital single-lens reflex camera, a MILC does not have a mirror-based optical viewfinder. This means that the camera itself and the lens attachments are able to be much smaller and lighter weight without sacrificing quality. I switched from a standard size pro DSLR to this Olympus mirrorless and am blown away by the quality of the images.
If you want to move up from a point-and-shoot to a more powerful camera, but you're not interested in the size and price point of a DSLR, a mirrorless camera may be just the thing for price, features, and portability.
If you need some help and advice with your camera purchase, I'm here for you. Just drop me a line with some of your questions, I'm happy to help. Just don't get wooed by the advertising of XX megapixel this, and XX Zoom that, there's a lot more to a camera than megapixels and zoom distance!