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Photography Workshops by Canon Northern Explorer of Light Christopher Dodds

 

Christopher Dodds Nature Photographer | Promote Your Page Too

Entries in Uria lomvia (2)

Wednesday
Jul252012

Design Images with Visual Impact

Thick-billed Murre or  Brünnich's Guillemot VERTICAL PORTRAIT (Uria lomvia, Guillemot de Brünnich, TBMU) Saint Paul Island, The Pribilof Islands in the Bering Sea, Alaska. Image Copyright ©Christopher Dodds. Canon 1D MK IV, 500mm F4 L IS , 2X Teleconverter III & , Tripod & Jobu Jr. 3 ISO 800 f/16 @ 1/320s Manual Mode. Fill flash Canon Speedlite 580EX II with Better Beamer @ -1/3. PURCHASE A PRINT or LICENSE IMAGE FOR PUBLICATION HERE.

Here's a couple of images from my recent Saint Paul Island Photo Safari / Workshop. We arrived there as spring was late emerging from the worst winter anyone can remember and there were shaded areas at the bottom of cliffs where the snow had not melted yet. Although I generally don't like bright white backgrounds in images, I decided to make an exercise of designing some images with white backgrounds; there is a certain quality to the white out-of-focus snow that's much more appealing to me than that of a bright & backlit white sky.

I really like getting close and designing intimate portraits with big glass, so I installed my 500mm f/4 and a 2X extender and moved so close that I had to back away to the lens' minimum focusing distance. Once set-up on my tripod and Jobu Jr. 3 gimbal tripod head, I installed my Jobu off-camera flash bracket and my Canon 580 EXII flash.

Designing these tight, almost high-key portraits can be challenging, but careful attention to balancing all of the images' elements can be quite rewarding. Be sure to spend time studying the colours, tones and textures, (or, perhaps, the lack of colours tones and textures), the positive and negative space and the lines, shapes and where they lead the eye. Look for angles and perspective, and try to visualize how changing them by moving your angle of view will impact, help or hinder your image's design.

Black-legged Kittiwake PORTRAIT CALLING (Rissa tridactyla, Mouette tridactyle, BLKI) Saint Paul Island, The Pribilof Islands in the Bering Sea, Alaska. Image Copyright ©Christopher Dodds. Canon 1D MK IV, 500mm F4 L IS , 2X Teleconverter III & , Tripod & Jobu Jr. 3 ISO 800 f/16 @ 1/500s Manual Mode. Fill flash Canon Speedlite 580EX II with Better Beamer @ 0. PURCHASE A PRINT or LICENSE IMAGE FOR PUBLICATION HERE.

Be sure not to overlook the creative element of your exposure values; should you use an equivalent exposure with slower shutter speed and larger depth-of-field?, or will a shallow depth-of-field with higher shutter speed blurr the background (or foreground) and draw the viewer in for a closer look at the subject?

No matter where you are, what your subject; stop and think a little about designing the image and not taking the picture.

Saturday
Oct152011

FirstPass mini review and Thick-billed Murre

Thick-billed Murre PORTRAIT (Brünnich's Guillemot, Uria lomvia, Guillemot de Brunnich, TBMU) Saint Paul Island, The Pribilof Islands in the Bering Sea, Alaska. Image Copyright ©Christopher Dodds All Rights Reserved. Canon 1D MK IV, 500mm F4 L IS & Canon Extension Tube EF 25 II, Tripod & Jobu Jr. 3 Full Frame. ISO 1,600 f/9 @ 1/400s Manual Mode. PURCHASE A PRINT or LICENSE IMAGE FOR PUBLICATION HERE.

FirstPass Mini Review

One of the most important things I do each night, after a day in the field, is download and edit (or cull) the images I shot that day. If you think of how much time I spend in the field, I’m sure that you appreciate how important it is for me to deal with that day’s shoot without delay; it’s my way of preventing a massive overload of editing between trips, and returning to my studio with Terabytes of images to deal with.

A friend recently released new software called FirstPass in the Apple App Store. FirstPass is built, from the ground up, by a photographer for Mac OS and is available from the App Store for only $9.99. It is designed to download multiple cards automatically (you can even download to a second destination like a back-up drive simultaneously), motor through your images and make that critical First Pass edit; view each image and delete the obvious rejects and rate the obvious prizes. Re-naming files has never been easier and I love the large screen previews, accurate color space and ease of use. There are other solutions out there, but they are all much more expensive. This is a refreshing new tool that I see myself becoming dependent upon to get my job done!

I often see folks on my workshops importing every image they shoot into Aperture or Lightroom at a painfully slow pace – FirstPass is the perfect companion to quickly speed through their day’s shoot, delete the obvious misses and rate the obvious winners before import. It’s brilliant in it’s simplicity and the value at $9.99 is extraordinary.

The next version will remember recently downloaded cards, to ensure that you don’t accidentally download duplicate images if you forgot to format a card.

Check out Firstpass in the CANADIAN APPLE STORE HERE

Check out Firstpass in the US APPLE STORE HERE