Matt is the full-time Director of Education for Kelby Media Group and a Tampa-based landscape and outdoor photographer. He’s lead instructor on the Lightroom seminar tour and author of several best-selling Photoshop books. Along with being featured on national television, Matt also hosts the worlds top Lightroom blog, LightroomKillerTips.com.
I was reading the Fstoppers.com website the other day and came across a cool article called “The Top 48 Photographers To Follow On 500px“. The whole list isn’t all just landscape and outdoor, but there’s a good bit of it. And the other genre’s that made the list have some beautiful work as well.
If you’re not a fan of 500px, you really need to check it out. For me, it’s one place I know I can go to to find gorgeous work just about all of the time. Sure there’s some work on there that’s not, but the way 500px works is they have a Flow section that’s made from people you follow. And there’s a Popular, Fresh, Upcoming, and Editors Choice section as well. So the combination of those areas of the site make it so you see the best of the best work that’s on there. Plus, once you work past some of the extremely corny names of some photos ;), there’s usually a nice story about the photo, along with the photo info and sometimes even the location.
Last week, I posted some thoughts about the quad copters/drones that have become really popular lately. I mostly posted about how I personally didn’t find them useful for landscape photography. This time, I wanted to post a few follow up thoughts.
1) Bill Fortney (amazing photographer, amazing guy, awesome friend of mine) also posted a comment on something he learned while writing/photographing for his America From 500 Feet books. I remember talking to Bill about this and he mentioned that when he started the project, he envisioned shooting these large sweeping landscapes. But when he got up in the air, and really got in to the project, he realized so much of it was about patterns. Patterns in nature and outdoors that you’d never seen while on the ground. And if you’v ever seen his books, you’ll know that his photos are stunning, but many of them are indeed patterns, rather than really wide sweeping landscapes from above. That brings me to another thought….
2) Mike (blog reader) posted a really cool link in the comments to a video done with a drone. I gotta say, it makes me want to rethink my initial “I don’t think I’ll use it” thoughts I posted from last week. And it goes right along with what Bill mentioned about photographing from up above.
First, watch the video if you have a few minutes. And hit the pause button every once in a while to realize the possibilities with still photos.
The video is a perfect demonstration of what I mentioned on how these drones are game changers. I never questioned that point though. The video coming from these things is amazing, and it puts camera in places that were once impossible or too expensive for most to ever consider. Last week though, I was referring to photographers who are taking landscape photos with them and posting some, well, “blah” results (in my opinion anyway). But I picked up something else from the video (at Mikes urging in the comments from Monday). I paused the video on certain scenes, and it fits right in with what Bill Fortney said about patterns. There’s some amazing ariel landscape photos in these scenes – in just the patterns alone. Views that the person on the ground would never be able to get.
Anyway, just something to think about. I supposed the only problem now is scouting locations. It’s hard to see what the patterns on the ground are like while you’re still on the ground. But hey, maybe a little Google Earth will help out. I kinda want to get one now though… see, it’s like I said at the end of my last post. I may change my mind… or not… but maybe
Last week I posted about 7 tips to help scout locations for landscape photographers. Well, one of the blog readers (All I have of their name is their profile which reads “Missingfingers”), posted a link to a cool resource to help see cloud cover. It’s called SkippySky Astro Weather forecast. It’s actually meant to help see what the cloud cover will be like for astronomers, and anyone who wants to see the sky at night. But even if you’re not shooting at night, it can still help you figure out what the clouds will be like.
The site itself isn’t flashy, and there’s a few things you could miss if you didn’t know they were there. 1) First off, after you focus in on the region you’re in, there’s links below each region that let you see various things like low, middle, or high clouds, temperature, pressure, etc…
2) Below that are links that let you jump forward a number of hours (+6, +9, +12, etc…). It looks pretty cool so I’m anxious to try it out. I’ve been pretty busy gearing up for Photoshop World next week (click here to see my classes), but I’m hoping to get out and shoot soon.
Enjoy and have a good one!
One of my friends, Brett Silverton, pointed me to a new (free) e-Magazine from Lee Filters (makers of the Big Stopper long exposure filter, among others). So I downloaded the first copy and and read it on the plane the other day. With the exception of one article that said you have to use neutral density grads ( you have to read my article here to really understand that jab), I thought the whole magazine was a great read, and very inspiring. They even showcased photos from some of their customers which I thought was cool. It’s a PDF so you can read it online, or download it to your tablet (which is what I did).
Here’s the link if you want to check it out (it’s free).