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Photography Explorations
Monday, July 29, 2013 9:37PM
By Holly Higbee-Jansen
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"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.

 
Thursday, July 25, 2013 9:44PM
By Holly Higbee-Jansen
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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. 

 
Wednesday, July 24, 2013 3:19PM
By Holly Higbee-Jansen
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When you love landscape photography like I do, you get excited about days where there are beautiful puffy clouds or dark menacing thunderheads or even ribbons of clouds across the sunset. We just love clouds. Why is that?

Imagine this picture with just a blue sky and no clouds. It would lose all if its drama and its depth. When you take pictures with the elements in mind you can determine with some accuracy what time of day it was taken and what time of year. The clouds tell the story if you are familiar enough with an area.


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.

 

 

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. 

 
Friday, July 19, 2013 3:33PM
By Holly Higbee-Jansen
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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.  

 
Thursday, July 18, 2013 7:11PM
By Holly Higbee-Jansen
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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!

 

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. 

 
Monday, July 15, 2013 9:53PM
By Holly Higbee-Jansen
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Venice, Italy is one of my favorite place in the world and the last time we were there we were fortuneate enough to escape from the traditional tourist route and do some photographic exploring on our own.  Here's what I wrote about that early morning setting out into Venice with just our cameras, a map and a sense of the adventure ahead of us.

The sun is not even thinking about coming up as we slip off the giant cruise ship at 5:00am in the morning at the Stazione Marittima.  We leave early to avoid the crowds from the 3000 other passengers traveling with us.  Our goal is to photograph the new morning light in the spectacular city of Venice, Italy.   

The ancient city sleeps as we wander in a sleepy haze, not sure where we are or where we are going.  At last we find the Piazzale Roma, the nearest water taxi station open at this hour of the morning.  Local workers are noisily stacking boxes of fruits and vegetables on to the barges to take up the Grand Canal for the local restaurants.  

We squeeze on to one of the barges between the lettuce and the melons, and watch in awe as the water bus passes the centuries old buildings adorned with multiple columns, mosaics and murals.  As we arrive at the Ponte di Rialto, the location of the famous Rialto Bridge, the city is barely starting to stir. The gondolas covered in blue tarps bob in the water as the few commuter boats roll by, giving life to the still quiet city.  As we set up our tripods, the warm morning light begins to descend on the creamy white and brown tones of one of Venice’s most famous monuments, the Rialto Bridge.  

 

I would highly recommend anyone to see the city this way, without the crowds and the noise.  All we could hear was the peaceful rippling of the water and the boats bobbing at the docks.  


Holly Higbee-Jansen has been exploring her fascination with light through photography since she was a young child.  Holly teaches photography, is a personal guide for 
Jansen Photo Expeditions, and runs a successful glamour photography business, Natural Light Photography.  Sign up to receive our free newsletter at hhjphoto@gmail.com. 


 


Tags: Venice
 
Friday, July 12, 2013 7:14PM
By Holly Higbee-Jansen
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In our photography workshops, I teach both Iphoneography and Digital Photography, so have a lot to say about both.

I look at iPhoneography and digital photography as to different photography genres.  I don't pretend that I can get the same quality of photograph out of my iPhone as I do out of my digital SLR.  All that saying, I Love my iphone!  

I have been talking a lot about the "happy accidents" people get from photography.  I believe you can have lots of "happy accidents" with your iPhone because you don't really have the ability to control every aspect of your image the way you do with a digital camera.  That's what makes it so fun.  

One of my favorite apps for taking and editing pictures with the iphone is Snapseed.  Snapseed allows you to adjust contrast, saturate color, crop, and sharpen your pictures among a multitude of other filters and frames.  

These two pictures I took with my iPhone and edited and framed in Snapseed.  So easy, quick and a lot of fun.

Just because it's a smart phone, doesn't mean you ignore your compostion and lighting rules.  Just stick to the never changing recipe for good photography: careful composing, good light, balanced post processing, interesting subject matter and let lucky accidents happen. That sudden sun flare, water drop or bad weather could change your photo for better or worse. 

Phone photography is not without its limitations, especially when it comes to printing. But, you don’t need to miss an opportunity of a great shot either. Just take out your phone, adjust composition and click. Because it's that camera that you always have with you, you can practice, practice, practice. You will start to see what it good composition and what is not.  Watch for unwanted items in the frame of your picture, and go for fun and unusual subjects.  

Morro Bay iPhone

I encourage you to get out and try it, do something creative every day.  Now you have the tools to do it, So get out there!  Look at this infographic regarding the number of pictures that are taken every day with a smart phones.  Amazing!

 

 

Holly Higbee-Jansen

 Holly Higbee-Jansen has been exploring her fascination with light through photography since she was a young child.  Holly teaches photography, is a personal guide for Jansen Photo Expeditions, and runs a successful glamour photography business, Natural Light Photography.  Sign up to receive our free newsletter at hhjphoto@gmail.com. 

 
Tuesday, July 09, 2013 8:31PM
By Holly Higbee-Jansen
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A great photograph is a full expression of what one feels about what is being photographed in the deepest sense, and is, thereby, a true expression of what one feels about life in its entirety. 

~Ansel Adams

 

 

Landscape photography


Some of my favorite pictures came at the moment when I was there and the stars and the sun aligned and I was prepared.  I heard a great quote the other day and I will paraphrase - life is about being prepared for life events and  how you react to the events, not about controling the event.  That's how I feel about photography.

 If you know your equipment, know when the light is right, you can get some amazing shots every time, not just by accident.

These are a few of my favorite shots and I took them with my iPhone.  I won't be able to blow them up to 11' x 14' and they probably won't be hanging in a gallery any time soon, but I love them just the same.  (Sounds like I'm talking about children here doesn't it?.)  I put a lot of effort into getting these shots, so I guess they are the fruits of my labor.

 Both of these pictures are about being at the right place at the right time and knowing exactly how to control the light, even with my iPhone.  The one on the left particularly was not an accident.  I knew exactly when the sun was going to come over that hill and illuminate these grasses.  That's my job with Jansen Photo Expeditions, to bring my clients to the right place at the right time so they can get these shots too.


           

 

Just for fun, here's the video of our workshop in the exact spot the sea oats picture was taken in Big Sur.  What do you think?   

 

Have you given any thought to what

it take to make a great photograph? 
 

 
Monday, July 08, 2013 6:55PM
By Holly Higbee-Jansen
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The contempory glamour photography experience...how to feel like a movie star for a day.

Glamour photography was a genre that was popular in the late 80's.  You know the kind... soft focus, fluffy hair, feather boas, and don't forget to pose while you hold on to your collar.  Check it out.  So, I'm not talking about this kind of photography.


Glamour PhotographyContemporary glamour photography is a much more serious genre these days.  

It's been modernized and improved and is more of a fashion style of shooting than anything else without the implications of boudoir photography.  It's about lengthening and flattering the average body and face.  It's about creating an image of yourself or your family that you can keep for a long time, something you can refer back to and be proud of.  It's also about the connection between the photographer and the subject, it's about the posing of the client and the ultimate experience.

 

 

Natural Light Photography

It’s the photographer’s responsibility to bring out the ultimate beauty in their client and to give them a beautiful image to live with for all time.

To make the shoot even more special, we partner with other professionals in the beauty industry to put together the perfect image.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

glamour photography

 

This weekend, we will be having the ultimate glamour shoot in Ventura, CA on Saturday, July 10, from 9am - 3pm.  

Here is the Facebook invitation if you would like more information.  Please let us know if you would like to schedule your sitting.


 

This shoot is particularly special, as three pros will be working together to provide the best possible image.  We are providing a before picture, and our special clients will be pampered with a professional hair and makeup and then the final photo shoot.  

How fun!  Can't wait!

How do you want to be photographed?

 

 

 

 

 

 


Holly Higbee-JansenHolly Higbee-Jansen has been exploring her fascination with light through photography since she was a young child.  Holly teaches landscape photography, is a personal guide for Jansen Photo Expeditions, and runs a successful glamour photography business, Natural Light Photography.  Sign up to receive our free newsletter at hhjphoto@gmail.com.