Recent Location Articles

Planning and Executing Impromptu Location Portraits

I recently travelled to the local racetrack with my brother for an open track day and decided that while he was out riding, I would try to make a few portraits of the other attending riders. I spent plenty of time ahead of the trip planning lighting, gear, locations, and more. This is a step by step walkthrough of how I created this series of portraits.

Portrait Photography Tips You Can Use Today

As with any craft, there are fundamental techniques which should always be considered regardless of the job, model, or location. Even working professionals overlook general rules from time to time and occasionally need to be reminded.

Planning for a Photo and Still Shooting When Things Don't Go As Planned

The past few weeks I have been driving up the parkway here in New Jersey for work, my eye kept getting drawn towards this one specific railroad bridge between exit 136 and 137. Every time I passed by it, my eyes would follow it until I had to turn to see the road in front of me again. It was one of those things that I had to remember so I could go back and photograph it when the time came. Today was the day that I set out to photograph it, but before anything, I had to put a little bit of planning into it.

How to Plan a Successful Landscape Shoot

Landscape photography is all about patience, preparation, and planning. Here are five simple tips to help make sure your next landscape outing is a success.

Photogenic Locations You Can Rent to Add New Dimensions to Your Photography

Fashion magazines, brand-name advertisements, and catalogs of all sorts seek out interesting locations to stage their photo shoots. Some are simply looking for controllable surroundings for privacy and security, but other productions are seeking something special to enhance their photos. Many locations, however, come with a price.

Creating a More Natural Looking Light With Flash

There’s no phrase I dislike more in the photo world than "I’m a natural light photographer." Believe me, I love natural light more than anything. It’s simple and easy to work with, and you don’t need to worry about bringing a ton of gear with you. But very rarely will just unmodified natural light work. It’s the unfortunate truth of photography (unless you’re a landscape photographer, you lucky bastards). Most photographers will use a flash to do what natural light can’t. Sadly, many don’t use it to great effect. If you want your portraits, or any image with mixed lighting to look better, there are a few key things to keep in mind when you’re on location.

Dr. Ockenfels: Or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Sun

We live in a world constantly fascinated by technology. We want the TV with the greatest definition. We want the tablet with the shiniest screen. And, as photographers, we always want the most expensive gear and the most elaborate new toys. But the more you grow as an artist, you'll quickly realize it's the man that makes the equipment, not the equipment that makes the man (or woman).

'Planet Earth II' Is BBC's Most Cinematic Series Yet, Here's How

How did technology make "Planet Earth" so much more cinematic? If we go back to how it was done back in the day and compare it to the technology we have today, it's quite a leap. Back in the day 35mm was the broadcast standard. The 35mm cameras were bulky and heavy, they were perfect for studio and not for the shots that they needed. In the filming circles and the BBC insiders saw 16mm film as being for amateurs. But, thanks to David Attenborough first taking his 16mm camera out to shoot abroad and coming back with footage of animals never filmed before, it changed opinions. This made the program that later became one of the best wildlife documentaries of all time.

The Bug-Out Bag: Items You Shouldn't Go to a Shoot Without

For the majority of my life, I was a soldier in the United States Army. As a part of military life, I learned how valuable it was to be prepared for all the things that could go wrong. Many soldiers will build a bug-out bag, also known as a go-bag. A bug-out bag is essentially a bag full of items one might need when in a pinch. Now as a photographer, my bug-out bag is full of all the little items I often am asked if I have or things that can make any shoot go easier. These things have often meant the difference between success and failure on a shoot. Here is the list of stuff I put in my bag.

Tips for Scouting Locations for Your Next Interview Video Shoot

When doing a documentary-style video production, an interview or series of interviews is often at the heart of the content. Uncontrollable lighting, background noise, and the size of the space you have to work in all play a significant role in capturing a quality testimonial, so location scouting to check on these is an important facet of our production process. In this short video, Joshua Pardon and I explore two rooms at a location and discuss what we look for when making a decision on where to set up for a shoot.

Tips for Photographing In Snow

It's different in cold weather. Your clothes are different, your car tires are different, working with subjects is different. You should also handle your gear differently.

The Brand New MeFOTO Air: First Impressions

The idea of a travel tripod causes hesitation. On one hand, you have a size that makes bringing a tripod on location no longer a physical strain. On the other, these tripods tend to be thin, causing them to be less sturdy than larger, thicker tubed tripods. The key to a good travel tripod is striking a balance of size and strength. For the past few years, MeFOTO has been the leading brand in travel tripods with their wide selection of sizes. Their introductory line of tripods offered everything from tabletop height to a full size 64" tripod. With their newest release, they seem to be pushing the boundaries of how small a tripod can really be.

'Vindur' Will Inspire You to Create a Photo or Video You Will Never Forget

As work slows down for me in the off season, I wonder where I can go to create something new. For me, traveling is an awesome thing, and being able to explore our world is really amazing. After watching some of these aerial videos on Vimeo, I am really interested in flying across the country with all my gear and creating the most memorable trip I have ever had. Even though this may not happen soon, there are plenty of places that are within driving distance that I myself can go explore. I am going to make these trips a more common thing not only for the sake of creating new content, but for the sake of seeing more of the beauty in nature.

Planning for the Shot of a Lifetime - Supermoon 2016

This article is a twist on the more common behind the scenes post. Instead of writing about the thought process of the shot in retrospect, I am starting this article several days before the full moon, to showcase my process and mindset when planning for a once in a lifetime shot of the Supermoon.

Locations of Reggae Album's Vinyl Sleeve Photos Traced and Rephotographed

Alex Bartsch has done the incredible. Through a lot of research and after climbing over fences and onto roofs, he sought out 42 locations where reggae artists had photos taken for their album artwork. He even got into the living room of former Trojan label owner Marcel Rodd in Hampstead to take a photo in front of the fireplace. His work documents an era of London's reggae scene between 1967 and 1987.

Bartsch's series looks like it took a lot of hard work. Either the artists, label owners, or photographers had to be tracked down to get...

Creating a Series for Yourself, Something Every Photographer Should Consider

A photo series to me was always just another project in school; whether it was for my digital photography class or film photography class, there was always something that had to be done in a series. Being done with school and not having any projects assigned eliminated the need to think about creating a series of work, but now I realize that a series of photos can be a pretty cool personal project. So one year out of college, I challenged myself to start working on a personal aerial series. This time there was no project that needed to be done, no deadline, no rules, I was free to do whatever I wanted to do. The only hard part was actually doing it, but I do believe that this is something that can help any photographer out.

The Venture TTL 600 Strobe Competes With the Profoto B1 at Half the Cost

For anyone who appreciates the use of flash, there comes a point in photography work when you want more power than a standard speedlite can offer. Many strobe options provide more power, but require you to be tied up to power outlets. Few strobes offer a simple portable lighting option. Many would contend the Profoto B1 is currently the best self contained portable strobe on the market. That may be changing with Impact's newly released strobe, the Venture TTL 600.

How Photographing Skylines Made Me a Better Photographer

Photographing skylines and cityscapes takes a lot of technical ability, both in knowing what gear to bring and how to capture a variety of lighting conditions. Many photographers have made careers out of perfecting this genre, taking it even further by mixing in astrophotography, light painting, and even motion. Whether you're looking to explore your own backyard or get more out of traveling, shooting skylines can open your eyes to new possibilities no matter what type of photography you shoot.

15 Inspiring Places Travel Photographers Should Visit

Travel photographers seem to be going crazy for far-flung locations on Instagram. If you follow a bunch of them, you are bound to come across stunning photographs of some amazing places they’ve been making images of. It seems like everyone has caught the Scandinavian bug, seeing so many photographers flocking to Iceland or the Faroe Islands to capture those breathtaking landscapes. In this article, I will list the most popular locations for travel photographers on Instagram, but also include a few places you may not have considered.

Surreal 2016 Burning Man Photographs By Victor Habchy

Living in a world full of real problems and being a creative person is a challenge. It’s a big challenge until you step to the Black Rock Desert in Nevada for the annual Burning Man festival, where the world turns into the most surreal place you could ever imagine. This happened to photographer Victor Habchy and over 70,000 other people for the largest outdoor festival dedicated to "Da Vinci's Workshop" this year.

'Faceless, Forgotten,' A Photo Essay On The Refugee Crisis by Photographer and Storyteller Paul Choy

A photograph that does not tell a story, is a lifeless picture – it’s a failure to capture the viewer and therefore, his heart. One single photograph can inspire a person if a photographer knows how to tell a good story. Because photographer Paul Choy wanted to find out the truth for himself behind media headlines, and because he wanted to tell the individual stories of each refugee, he set out for the refugees’ camps in Calais and Greece with his camera. The result is the ‘Faceless, Forgotten’ – a photo essay and a documentary about the struggles of refugees.

david guttenfelder photographer national parks

David Guttenfelder shot for the Associated Press for 20 years, based in Nairobi, Abidjan, New Delhi, and Tokyo, but it wasn't until he helped open the AP's North Korean bureau in 2011 that he became truly famous. His Instagram account has nearly a million followers and is filled with stunning iPhone photos from around the world. He was one of the first photographers to publish images shot on his phone, which caused a bit of a stir at the time.

Roma Rosa: A Surreal Infrared View of Rome

During a two-day trip to the magnificent city that is Rome, photographer Milán Rácmolnár came up with the brilliant idea of photographing Rome in infrared. The result is a different and pink perspective on the cityscapes.

VSCO Offers Free Studio Space in New York City

Renting studio spaces can get pretty pricey, especially in big cities like New York. VSCO is now offering free studio time in their New York location for all artists. If you are in the area, and have a project that requires a studio, this could be an awesome opportunity to take advantage of. The studio includes a permanent cyc wall and even some basic lighting to get you going.

When You and Your Gear Aren't Safe: Photography and Crime

Something that happened last week really hit home for me. Everyone probably already has heard, as it has been reported by almost every single news agency in the world; Australian photographer Brett Costello was robbed of $40,000 of camera gear in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil last week while in town to cover the Olympics. However, this article isn't about him specifically.

A Time-lapse Cinemagraph Made With 12 Images

This Cinemagraph time-lapse was made using only 12 JPEG images. The software allows photographers to create motion within a static photograph. You need to upload each image to the website, and then you design the movement within each image. Once you get a moving image "flowing" you can render it out and import it into Adobe Premiere Pro to create the final time-lapse.

Thinking About Shooting Your First Short Film? This Is How I Did It

I shot and edited a narrative film in the last month. It was a first for me. I had this scene in my mind of a person burying a suitcase or bag in the woods, like it’s something he or she wanted to hide or get away from. I had a second idea about a guy walking down a long passage way and knocking on a door with no one opening for him. I decided these two contrasting visual ideas will be my story.

Watch Live Video of Bears Fishing for Salmon

The Internet and mass proliferation of capable devices has allowed almost anyone to broadcast live video. Many have taken advantage of it in the form of things like Periscope and Facebook Live, using it to broadcast behind the scenes footage and discuss trending topics, but Explore has used it for a rather neat purpose.

Tips for Managing Workflow on Location for Photo and Video Shoots

Storing and transferring data from a shoot is an important, yet often overlooked detail when it comes to on-location projects. When juggling multiple cameras, each with multiple cards, it becomes critically imperative to be 100 percent sure that all of your photos and videos are accounted for. In this video, Jay P. Morgan shares his workflow for wrangling data and making backups.

Staci Renee in Miami Retouch Challenge Results

It's been a long time coming, but today's episode of my weekly web series, The Backyard, finds my co-host Staci and myself reviewing our three favorite edits from (what I dubbed) the Dani Diamond Experiment, posted almost two months ago. I allowed you all to download a raw file I shot of Staci in Miami and let you loose on it to retouch it as you saw fit. The results? Let's take a look.

5 Tips for Shooting Environmental Portraits in Tight Spaces

One of the most exhilarating aspects of environmental portraiture, especially when out on assignment, is that you never quite know what your shooting environment is going to look like. If I had a nickel for every time I walked into an awesome location, only to be quickly shuttled off to a closet-like space to do my work... Well, I'd be able to buy a sandwich. But a really nice sandwich. Here are some tips that may save your sanity while trying to compose an interesting portrait in a postage stamp sized room.

An Often-Overlooked Yet Very Important Aspect of a Photoshoot

Shooting or being involved in a fashion or beauty shoot is a lot of fun. It’s a day where creative personalities, the photographer, stylist, hair and makeup and assistants as well as the client's creative team get together to produce a story, a body of work that they want to show the world. Everyone is focussed on bringing their best ideas to the party.

Hands-On Comparison: How to Choose Between Aquatech's Elite and Base Underwater Sport Housings

Underwater housings are infamous for being just about as expensive as the body they’re meant to house. They do an important job — that is, they keep your camera from complete ruin in the water, and they do it reliably (what other way is there when it comes to oceanic saltwater?). Nevertheless, those wanting an option that stings the wallet a bit less will be happy to hear about the Aquatech Base Underwater Sport housing. What better place to test this new, low-cost alternative than in Hawaii?

Smartphone App ‘Fripito’ Aims to be a Location Guide for Travel Photographers

Fripito is a new mobile application made for photographers, by photographers. With many travel guides catering to the casual tourist, the creators of Fripito wanted to have a resource where professional photographers could research and plan their shoots for a specific destination, while also offering information on transportation, food, lodging, and so on.

The Power of Portraits: Clay Cook's Look at Ethiopian Youth

On one side, we have advertising photography, where everything is contrived and meant to look a certain way. It might as well be a painting with how planned out each step is. On the other, we have photojournalism. As the opposite, true photojournalism should never be staged, posed or "created." The idea is to capture what is and has happened. Unlike a painting, photography has the power to show real time exactly how it is with no artistic interpretation. What captivates me is when those two worlds collide to create art with purpose, and that is exactly what Clay Cook has done with his portraits of impoverished youth in Ethiopia.

How a Los Angeles Portrait Photographer Sidesteps On-Location Photoshoot Laws

Los Angeles-based photographer Zach Sutton has spent a long time doing on-location photoshoots for his business. These kinds of shoots usually involve the typical off-camera strobes on light stands and maybe an assistant to help mule equipment or adjust lighting for the photographer. However, when Sutton moved to L.A. last July, he quickly learned that this sort of on-location shoot is not allowed in the city without a proper commercial shoot permit — even if it’s ultimately for personal use. His solution for getting by light stand free looks somewhat crazy, but the end results speak for themselves.

Mongolian Eagle Hunters' Legacy Beautifully Documented by Photographer Sasha Leahovcenco

When a commercial photographer, Sasha Leahovcenco, decides to document the touching experience and life of people he has never met before, the result is quite astonishing. You would think pre-production played a huge part and that he had to have had exceptional gear, carried by a huge team, but the truth is far from that. The experience was the heart of this series, and the pictures show it well. Combining both journalistic and commercial genres with a very personal approach yields pictures we only wish we could see more often.

street photography hong kong pen-f

Let me tell you: there’s nothing quite like a new camera and a change of scenery to recharge the old creative batteries, especially after a long British winter. I just came back last Sunday from a fantastic three-week trip to Hong Kong, Australia, and New Zealand and therefore, had plenty of time to intensively test the new Pen-F by Olympus, which I've had since mid-February.

Shooting at Sunset: How to Balance Ambient Light With Strobes

Commercial Photographer and Videographer Jay P. Morgan has spent the last 25-plus years mastering light, production, and the business end of photography. He shares most of his insights on The Slanted Lens, his site dedicated to providing step-by-step instruction on how to light for photography and video. His latest video finds him in Gettysburg, combining strobes with ambient light, featuring Honest Abe and a couple of sweet cannons, while he shows us how to light a scene during sunset.

The Pros and Cons of Wired vs. Wireless Tethering

I love to shoot tethered whenever I can. It’s the most successful way to create real collaboration on set, and clients are more engaged when they can see what’s happening on a big screen. Depending on the environment and the demands of the production, I’ll choose between a couple of tethering approaches.

Critique the Community: Submit Your Best Concert Images Now

Music concerts are often a wide mix of sensory input, and a good concert photographer must figure out a way to capture the full scope of a concert experience in a single image. How well are your images accomplishing this difficult task? Submit your best concert photos to our next episode of Critique the Community! Please follow the guidelines for submissions below to ensure eligibility for your image to be chosen. We will be accepting submissions through Sunday night, February 28th, and will be offering feedback to a total of 20 pictures.

One Strobe, Hold the Modifier: Crafting Portraits With a Single Hard Light

It's usually all about that sweet, soft light. Many of us portrait photographers probably would never even consider using a harsh, bare light without something to diffuse it, but Profoto and Pye Jirsa with SLR Lounge show you there is a time and place in this video tutorial that includes three step-by-step scenarios that teach you how to create dramatic photos with a single naked and unmodified strobe.

Portrait Photography In A Pool

Photographer Nick Saglimbeni recently shot an image of Jhené Aiko for a Humane Society campaign to save the shark population. The goal of the image was to photograph Jhené in the ocean at night (or at least make it look that way). To create this shot, Nick decided to use a pool and strobes to create a similar look.