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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.

Beyond the Golden Circle…an Iceland Photo Expedition

Iceland is an impressive and beyond beautiful country. It’s nestled far out in the North Atlantic, 700 miles east of Greenland. It’s located directly where the North American and European tectonic plates collide, boasting one of the most active volcanic regions anywhere. Paired with the nutrient rich Gulf Stream, as it skirts it’s dramatic shorelines. This also provides a haven for sea life for Iceland’s traditional commercial fishing industry, and now ecotourism. Its rare combination of elements make it an amazing geological and natural paradise.

It’s a place every serious landscape photographer should put on his or hers to go list at least once in their lifetime.
Iceland’s remote backcountry is at the heart of a truly magical photographic experience there. Amazing landscapes vistas abound at every turn.

Preparing for a photo expedition in Iceland can take some planning to get it right. That is, if you want to get past the “selfi- stick” tour bus crowds headed to  heavily promoted and heavily visited Golden Circle tourist routes. This route is tailored to provide a quick glimpse to what this country really has to offer within.
To explore the magic within, you first need a qualified guide service. One that’s not only skilled in some rather specialized photographic techniques, but also one that is familiar with working in Iceland’s ever-changing environment.

A good Icelandic photo tour outfit uses local Icelandic guides exclusively. One that knows every local person in every location on any chosen route, from the smallest back country villages and beyond. Family connections run deep and venture far in Iceland. This is key to a safe and fruitfull photograpic expedition.

No matter what time you plan your visit to Iceland, summer fall or winter, expect to experience sun, rain, snow and ice. Proper clothing is the key! All three seasons can be accompanied by extremely high winds. All these conditions can occur within a short period of time. Weather systems arrive and move through quickly, as with any island environment. This very fact provides the most amazing photographic opportunities not found anywhere else on earth when combined with amazing geology!

This is not meant to put you off, as expeditions to Iceland is our business. But it’s only a reminder, if you decide to explore beyond the Golden Circle tourist routes. Please make sure you do it with a qualified guide service that users native Icelandic guides, one that’s versed in what the landscape photographer is looking for and not on your own.

join our upcoming February 2017 Iceland Photo Expedition as we explore Iceland’s south and West coast, ice caves and Arora Borealis. This trip is not to be missed!

All the best,
Mark Jansen

San Francisco’s Chinatown: Frozen In Time.

San Francisco’s Chinatown is an amazing place to explore and photograph. Chinatown is nestled on Grant Street and Stockton Street in San Francisco. As as you explore the streets of San Francisco and approach this area, you’re instantly transported into another time and space.

Chinatown is just another reason I enjoy walking through and photographing San Francisco. It has a variety of culture and architecture simply accessed. From the echoes of the 60s in the Haight -Ashbury district, to one of my favorites, Chinatown.

You’ll find many trades being practiced throughout Chinatown’s narrow and intimate streets and alleys. It’s fairly reminiscent of the way many turn of the century American cities operated. From it’s colorful open farmers markets dotted along the sidewalks, to traditional food restaurants and curious Chinese goods shops. There’s something or someone intriguing photograph around every corner.

Barbershops and beauty shops are located in odd subterranean locations. It’s a street photographers paradise where black and white captures excel in expressing a classic, frozen in time feel. There are many festivals that can occur anytime, along with many open air family, musical and cultural events as you wander through its interesting streets.

Exploring Chinatown with minimal photographic equipment is the way to go. Remember, if you’re thinking about exploration, you’re going to be in close on many of its narrow streets.  I find a fixed 50mm and 35mm with smart phone near by is the way to go, with your favorite photo app loaded and ready to go. Enjoy your next trip to San Fransico!

Want to know where to go and how to shoot it?  Join us on our next San Francisco Street and City workshop, December 3 and 4, 2016.

 

All the best,

Mark Jansen

 

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