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Separation and Gesture

Culling through an amazing amount of imagery after a long day of shooting can be a daunting task.

Whether on a long weekend or on an extended trip, we all go through this in one form or another. You may have one image that you remember on a shoot, that was particularly eventful that sticks in your mind.

You quickly go to that one shot as soon as you upload your images. You look at it and you’re not quite sure why it sings louder than the rest.

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Iceland’s Warming Visual Ecstasy Will End Someday.

For the last 20 years, our planet’s environment has been going through some amazing and highly noticeable changes. Some will argue of the semantics of global warming. But inserting one’s self into the midst of it will truly make you reflect. What does this mean? After a few trips to Iceland in the last couple years as a landscape photographer, I’ve reflected quite a bit about the future of Iceland’s Diamond Beach.

Being a creative, the camera is my brush and canvas, and it’s my most successful tool of expression. I’ve been able to capture the results of our warming planet in intriguing ways.

Many of the images seen of ice melting globally, from the Jakobshavn Glacier in Greenland, to the Pine Island Glacier in West Antarctica to the largest glacier in Europe Vatnajökull, (the one in Iceland I am most familiar with) show this global warming phenomenon. I’ve photographed this by product many times. By this, I’m referring to the many ice chunks washed up on Iceland’s black sand beaches as a direct result of climate change.


The beach ice is only found at this location, as Vatnajökull melts into the newly formed glacier lagoon. The phenomenon of a fresh water bay, formed only in recent years pushing chunks of ice into the ocean through an ever decreasing channel river. Its future as a river is finite, as well as the glacial chunks it pushes out onto a black sand beach through a narrow channel for eager photographers to capture through the lens.  Continue reading

The Human Flow of Life and Street Photography

When using a DSLR on the streets and your subjects are human (not architecture), leave those multi focus long telephoto lenses at home. Prime, single focus lenses 35 to 50 mm, 1.2, 1.4 or 1.8’s rule on the streets! They’re small and unobtrusive and focus fast when you don’t want to make a fuss in some tight urban situations.

Remember, fast aperture lenses provide great background blur and isolation, making your subjects pop when those amazing street moments with mankind happen!

Get your camera ready for the action before it happens. I always like to take a few quick  test shots at a random object to get my exposure and focus right, a light post or street sign will do at about the same height or distance I expect my subjects to be. The odds are good I’m walking the same street where building shadows and sunlight will be in the same place for at least a city block, and something interersting in the human flow of life might happen!

Having your exposure set in advance really helps. This simple preparation will go a long way in helping you nail that epic street capture. Many magic moments are lost, while fumbling around with camera settings, not observing the streets, and not being aware how the light might affect your potential subjects.

Prepare a little in advance and have a great time!

All the best,
Mark Jansen

 

Iceland: Land of Contrasts for the Landscape Photographer

Every time we go to Iceland it’s different. The weather is very changeable in the late winter, and you can experience the whole range of the Icelandic climate.

That’s what makes our travel and photography workshops interesting and unique.

One of my favorite places on our Iceland workshop is the area outside of Vik where we are overlooking an amazing scene of sea stacks and shoreline. I have been there twice now in completely different conditions. One time it was snowy and grey creating a unique black and white image, even though it was shot in color. The second time, it was sunny with interesting afternoon light and beautiful cloud formations. Both times I was completely enthralled with the experience and created some interesting images as a result of the dramatic weather.

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Mark’s Photography Tips: Landscapes


Great landscape photos are captured when light is optimum. This could be early morning or just as the sun sets and a bit after. Captures are also great on the edge of storms or immersed in them. Dramatic skies rule and will provide great outcomes for the most part. Don’t fear stormy condition. Venture into them and explore.

Mark’s Photography Tips: Pre-visualize Your Image


Pre-Visualize your photo. Build an image in your mind, much like a fine art painter would do before putting paint to canvas. Then, think about the time of day, light, and composition for your image. Attempt to match it  as closely as possible to what you see in your minds eye before your photograph. Work your canvas before committing to your final capture.

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