Monday, January 13, 2014

Photographers, master your craft...There’s more to pointing a camera and pushing a button in our iPhone world...

We live in the days of constantly evolving technology. New techniques of photo enrichment, manipulation and photographic stylings are flowing like water, with every software and application developer screaming for our attention. When something new hits the net or social media outlets, it’s immediately consumed copied and reproduced with slight variations by many!  The new and the different stand apart for a time, but the magic soon fades, remember HDR?  This happens more quickly than ever in our rapidly evolving, social media and technologically entrenched world. 

 Most of the public inherently doesn't have the physical ability to draw or paint. So they grab a camera with presets or smart phone that magically produces what they might desire.  They fail to realize that cameras, whether DSLR or Smartphones are nothing more than tools to create with. They don’t create art by themselves. One must have that inherent flame of creativity inside and understand the ability to tell a story when using them. Photographic styles must be cultivated and honed over many years. 
Fine art photography for your home or office www.markjansenphotography.com
Baggage Claim Area ©markJansen

Art can’t be consistently produced by an algorithm and have any depth, and the same goes for a particular camera, lens or photoshop action.These are nothing more than enhancements to photographic story and composition.  If you don’t have a clear vision of what you’re seeking beforehand, you can’t expect the magic and staying power as a creative. One should master pre-vision, concept and techniques of execution first.  The untrained will never achieve this consistently with any device. It’s a very long process of ever-changing discovery, and time must be spent to achieve ones vision and master ones craft.                        ©Mark Jansen 2014    

Photography Workshops and Creative Instruction available at:

Thursday, January 2, 2014

The Happy Pandoras Box of Photography...


Commercial Lifestyle session with Mark Jansen
As I move forward on various projects, seeking that perfect image that expresses my photographic vision, I often recall a thought I had from a few years back.  The thought that modern photography can be positive Pandora’s box of sorts. Not in a negative sense releasing evil, but in a positive sense of infinite creative possibilities once you embrace the camera as a creative tool. Once the craft is mastered technically, finding that subject matter might take some time. I meet many people on this journey of self-discovery.  it might be in landscapes, portraiture, architectural, street or fashion or lifestyle, the list is endless.

  
High Contrast for publication
©Mark Jansen
Some come to it instinctually. Others struggle, dipping their fingers into many   subjects and really not focusing on one strongly, or long enough to become proficient. This can be distressing for some, or a happy journey for others. Hence my Pandora’s box reference.

 The wonderful thing about modern photography, is it allows you to explore subjects simply and effectively. Take some chances and take your time. Once you lock into something, you’re instantly drawn towards it, as if magnetized. This locking in on a particular expression or subject this is very important for developing your vision as a creative, and you'll just know it,  it’s wonderful. You will explore your chosen subject deeply, as if in a conscious visual mediation, with no distractions. This is passion, this is photography.     By Mark Jansen ©2014

#lifestyle photography #photography workshops #commercial photography #the art of photography# passion for photography understanding photography# modern photography #photographic education 

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Don't let control of printing your photographs fly out the door!

www.markjansenphotography.com
                                          "Heroic"                          ©MarkJansen
I know many of you out there have been photographing for sometime. I see many wonderful images scattered throughout the internet begging to be printed. I'm sure you've heard the saying, "It's really not a photograph unless it's actually printed".  There is a plethora of online services seeking your business. I myself took advantage of a few of them early on in my career. The results would be questionable, but acceptable from these online services at the time. My eyes became adjusted to imperfections and slight variations in color tone once I received my prints. I would notice that the color would not quite be right. The greens slightly off, or some other color off balance. Definitely not the file I sent. This is a common occurrence with many of these services.  I'm sure photographers, through trial and error have nailed perfection with some of these online color houses are quite happy with results. I myself have never really been satisfied with these products.

In a world that is trying to separate us from people and services, it can be difficult to bring your images to reality in the true light and color that you conceived them in. This blog posting is not about monitor calibration, which we can talk about at a latter time. Not to get off track, but if you're  printing regularly, I suggest calibrating once a month.

This brings me to how I print all my images these days. Whether I'm offering anything from a 5" x 10" print to 15' x 20' wall mural, I insist on working with local vendors that are in my area. This is a wonderful way of connecting people personally and having complete creative control over your photography. I'm constantly blown away by how many fine photographers leave this process up to perfect strangers they never meet.  Especially surprising is when they have big commercial clients or a private party trusting them to produce a quality product. This might work for some, but there's nothing like shaking hands and working with a local printer that you have trusted for years to produce the goods and place it directly in your hands.  It's great to work with them personally and have your visions produced accurately. In addition, you'll have hands-on contact with materials from photographic papers to canvas.

After spending thousands of dollars on cameras, lenses, computers and software and long hours in the digital darkroom massaging your images to perfection, why would you send it off to some faceless company to interpret your vision to have it come back just passable?

work with them. There are thousands of them out there eager to work with you.  Its also great having a perI know many of you out there have been photographing for sometime. I see many wonderful images scattered throughout the internet begging to be printed. I'm sure you've heard the saying, "It's really not a photograph unless it's actually printed".  There is a plethora of online services seeking your business. I myself took advantage of a few of them early on in my career. The results would be questionable, but acceptable from these online services at the time. My eyes became adjusted to imperfections and slight variations in color tone once I received my prints. I would notice that the color would not quite be right. The greens slightly off, or some other color off balance. Definitely not the file I sent. This is a common occurrence with many of these services.  I'm sure photographers, through trial and error have nailed perfection with some of these online color houses are quite happy with results. I myself have never really been satisfied with these products.

In a world that is trying to separate us from people and services, it can be difficult to bring your images to reality in the true light and color that you conceived them in. This blog posting is not about monitor calibration, which we can talk about at a latter time. Not to get off track, but if you're  printing regularly, I suggest calibrating once a month.

This brings me to how I print all my images these days. Whether I'm offering anything from a 5" x 10" print to 15' x 20' wall mural, I insist on working with local vendors that are in my area. This is a wonderful way of connecting people personally and having complete creative control over your photography. I'm constantly blown away by how many fine photographers leave this process up to perfect strangers they never meet.  Especially surprising is when they have big commercial clients or a private party trusting them to produce a quality product. This might work for some, but there's nothing like shaking hands and working with a local printer that you have trusted for years to produce the goods and place it directly in your hands.  It's great to work with them personally and have your visions produced accurately. In addition, you'll have hands-on contact with materials from photographic papers to canvas.

After spending thousands of dollars on cameras, lenses, computers and software and long hours in the digital darkroom massaging your images to perfection, why would you send it off to some faceless company to interpret your vision to have it come back just passable?

I strongly suggest doing a little research in your local area. Contact some local printers and see if you can work with them. There are thousands of them out there eager to work with you.  Its also great having a personal relationship with your printer who will allow you complete control of your art from conception to completion.


Photography workshops and tours available at:



                                                                                                                      ©Mark Jansen

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Your Photo's Copyright... Use it or lose it!

More than ever, there are thousands of digital photographers out there who spend much time, money and immersive creative effort on their art. They spend this time massaging their captured pixels to perfection. Once completed, many are eager to show their works through social media and other sources.  
Photographers copyright issues www.markjansenphotography.com
                                                                               ©MarkJansen

Photographers, in our recent accelerated times, are provided many means to do this through free and paid hosting sites. Most prefer this method exclusively as opposed to the cost, time and effort needed to produce, package and display their art in a public place. 

This need to show their work by digital means is simple and easy to do, and with the instant response from global audiences is quite exhilarating and seductive. One can reach thousands in a click of button.  All can now reach a global market audience online, to sell or draw creative attention to their commercial endeavors.

Having all the social media resources available to us is wonderful. It’s great to have your artwork displayed online simply and without stewardship of it, except for the creative process alone. Don’t be fooled, there’s more to taking a photograph than just pushing the button and adding a Photoshop action, and throwing it up on your favorite social media, or website site.

Please understand, I'm not a lawyer but this is where it gets confusing. When you take the photograph, you are the intellectual property rights owner automatically. This is what throws people. If you ever need to defend your copyright, though, you need to have the legal paperwork stating you own if it.

This is a trap many digital photographers fall into. They fail to secure a proper copyright before they publish their images online. They failed to understand, that once you release your images online in any form without proper copyright procedure, that push the camera button copyright is compromised unless you have secured the proper copyright documentation from the Library of Congress here in the United States. Here you can copyright thousands of images for an administration fee of $35 each time. http://www.copyright.gov/eco/ 
This gives the photographer complete control over his photograph and affords the photographer complete power to defend his copyright when stolen off-line or in any other form or manipulation of that photograph. That said, one should carefully scan each of the social media sites you choose to post images just in case you’re not surrendering any of your rights by doing so. 

Owning the copyright documentation and its registered number gives your photograph many protective powers. Let’s say for instance, you have a popular image in one of your social media outlets. There is a slight chance you may have that photo being used somewhere else without your permission or licensing right now. Someone might be using it commercially for some retail purpose. Perhaps it’s being used on someone’s blog, or in a story of literary content for illustrative purposes. These are clearly a violation of copyright. 

 But It's most likely being used on other social networks and non-commercially on a persons profile page. An example would be: The pretty pictures I like, sharing etc. These images would be be showing your watermarks and contact information, that’s not the problem. The problem arises when an individual is using that image commercially to promote a product or service without your knowledge, and/or without properly licensing that image through you.

This is where gets interesting, I’ve been researching this matter for quite a bit and I’ve personally pursued copyright infringement simply and effectively. It seems you run into ignorance mostly by infringers other than out right fraud. You don’t need to pay lawyers big fees to do this. If you suspect your photograph it’s being used elsewhere without your permission, the best way is to locate it through a Google image search. http://www.google.com/imghp 
You simply upload a JPEG to their search engines. It will show you anywhere on the Internet where your images being used. Once you locate your suspected photograph on a website, you need to pursue what is known as a DMCA Takedown Notice.  This is simple to do yourself, you don’t need a lawyer. There are plenty of free how to resources online. All you need to do is state that you own the copyright, and you need to submit this notice to the website host. They will usually remove it almost immediately, because they know the implications if they don’t. 

Now the legal stuff. You will need an attorney to generate a letter demanding payment for damages and, or a fee for the usage of that image. You’d be surprised what damages can be collected by copyright infringement damages. Damages up to $150,000 per occurrence. That is only if you go through the above sated process. Being a professional, you should have legal representation of some kind. There are monthly legal services that provide legal letter generation with their packages at no additional charge. At this point, once the offender is notified, they can respond to the notice, or you can open the door to legal action if they choose not to. Remember, having the documentation from the Library of Congress makes all the difference.

The main point of all this is not to scare photographers from sharing their work. But as good stewards of your photography, and being truly serious about your photographs,  you should protect them when you send them out into the world. Thats just my point of view. 

                                                                                                                                                                                               ©Mark Jansen
#photographerscopyright #copyrightingyourphotographs #dmcatakedownnotice #howtocopyrightmyphotos #photographersrights #socialmediaandcopyright #copyrightsforphotographers 

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Camera Tripods... Who Needs Them!



Wondering what type of camera tripod to purchase can be confusing.  Many newcomers are often lost on the subject of tripods altogether.  They know they need one, but don't know exactly what kind or why.  Some fail to realize that with landscapes and commercial applications, the tripod is the single most important piece of equipment they will need for sharp well-composed photographs. 

                                 4 section Tripods                ©MarkJansen
One of the seldom-realized reasons you need one for landscapes is that they help you slow down your process as you're setting it up.  This act alone, let's you think about your compositions a little bit longer before taking the shot.  Another one is that if you ever plan on printing your photographs large, a tripod will help with increased sharpness, especially during longer and multiple exposures used in HDR photography.


This brings me to the vast array of tripods available to us.  They come priced for every budget. Make sure yours is solid and steady regardless of price, this is the most important factor.  They come in all types and materials, from aluminum to carbon fiber. What type of Head to use?  The Head is the device that let's you adjust your cameras position. 
I suggest a Ball Head for landscapes and most other types of still photography.  One with as few adjusting knobs as possible. Stay away from Panning types with fluid heads; they are designed for video.

All tripods basically do the same thing.  They keep your camera body steady. It should do this at any conceivable angle and position you can think of, high or low, simply and quickly.  Take time to learn how your tripod works before heading out on any shooting event. Play with it in all positions. Don't be the person the breaks open the new box on location. You don't want to spend your valuable time trying to figure it out.


 
 I’ve been slugging around one tripod or another for years.  I started with some heavy models and then moved to the lighter ones made with more modern materials. They are expensive, but worth it when it spends a lot of its life on your back.  I basically have a few requirements for my tripods.  I always opt for the 4 legs section models.  They are great for easy packing in carry on baggage with the head removed. 


Twist lock or clamps on the legs. I have both types and they do a fine job. Some swear by twist locks. They work great for packing tight and when bushwhacking, they don't get hung up in as much as lever lock models. I also like the levers for quick deployment. They're slightly faster than twist locks.  You can also see visually if the legs are secured. The levers will be flipped open slightly if they're not. Twist types have no visual reference.  When a great landscape develops before your eyes fast, fusing around with twist locks may take critical seconds than lever lock types do to deploy. 


Getting low, down and dirty with your tripod.  Keep it simple. I stick to a simple medium sized Ball head. Most I see people with are overkill. The top smaller size brands will hold all the weight of most Digital SLRS with a lens. I also suggest a simple plate for your camera body.  I prefer the universal Dove Tail Arca Swiss Plate with optional L bracket options for quick vertical and horizontal positioning.  Also, try to loose that long and useless center Column. Some tripods have a way to do this without cutting it, some don’t. It seemed like a shame, but I cut mine and never looked back.  The shorter column will get low to the ground and open your wide-angle lenses to a whole new world!   It will limit your tripods height a bit. But if your not getting low, you’re missing a lot of composition options. Hope this helps, now get out there and start shooting. More here>  http://goo.gl/kF5CZZ
                                                                                                                   By Mark Jansen  
                

www.jansenphptphotoexpedtions.com                                           ©MarkJansenPhotograpy.com             

#howtobuyacameratripod #thebestcameratripod #choosingatripod #carbonfibertripods #tripods #californiaphotoworkshops #photographyworkshops  #carbonfibertripods #leverlocktripods #Ballheads #choosingaballhead #twistlegtripods #thebestcarbonfibertripods #photographyworkshops #mirrorlesscamera #dslrcamera

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Big Sur Photography Workshop January 16th-19th 2014 (8 participants only)


Big Sur brings nothing but smiles to anyone who has paid a visit. This rugged coastline and its open spaces are astounding. Its leading edge cliffs plunge deep into the blue pacific.
Big Sur photography workshops ©markjansen www.jansenphotoexpeditions.com
               "Big Sur or Bust"  ©MarkJansen
Rocky sea stacks and waterscapes abound. Majestic redwood forests flourish near its coast with cascading waterways flowing deep within. Incredible skies and thin misty fog roll over this coastal mountain range. The redwood forests are carpeted with clover wild flowers this time of year.


This workshop is geared towards all photographic enthusiasts. Our team of two highly experienced professional landscape photographers will show you how to get that amazing landscape shot from the perfect location, when the light is optimal in this region.  There's nothing like that feeling of knowing you've got that trophy shot!  Topics covered will include camera positioning, set up, tripod techniques, exposure, composition, and everything you need to take your landscape photography to a higher level.  Post processing techniques will also be discussed.  Link here for special details: http://goo.gl/VcLbRz


#bigsurphotographyworkshop  #phototours #bigsurworkshops #bigsurphototours #bigsurphotographyworkshops #bigsurphototours #privatebigsurphotoworkshops #californiaphotographyworkshops #Californiasurfingphotographyworkshops #bigsurworkshopshttp

Yosemite In Winter Photography Workshop Jan 30th - Feb 2nd 2014 (8 participants only)

Yosemite Valley photography workshop http://www.jansenphotoexpeditions.com/Pages/YosemiteInWinter.aspx
Yosemite Valley Winter inWinter       ©MarkJansen
www.jansenphotoexpeditions.com 
Yosemite Valley is a mystical place in winter. Very few photographers brave the cold to capture it's essence. We find it the most interesting time to visit. You'll be amazed by the crystalline ice forms on Bridalveil and Yosemite Falls as they take on winter's beauty in their own special way.

Orientation will include a general overview of the workshop and portfolio review before starting out on our adventure.  The portfolio review will give you a chance to set goals on how to specifically improve your photographic skills and get the best results during your time with us.

Click here for more details: http://goo.gl/mg0UyE    
#yosemitewinterworkshops   #yosemitenationalpark   #yosemitephotography  #yosemiteworkshops   #yosemitevalley   #yosemiteinwinter   #yosemitetours #yosemitephototours  

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Iceland Photography Workshop July 15th-25th, 2014 (6 participants only)

Join us as we explore and photograph Iceland. The land of geologic wonders. Strong landscape images abound in this timeless landscape. You'll be guided through this amazing part of our planet on this all inclusive journey of self discovery. Our guide is one of the premier local landscape photographers in Iceland. With three professional instructors close by to assist you in all aspects of landscape photography, you'll be sure to capture Iceland’s magic moments...Join as you explore this land of geologic wonders. Strong landscape images abound in this timeless landscape. You'll be guided through this amazing part of our planet on this all inclusive instructional journey of discovery! Joined by 3 professional landscape photographers, thats 3 pros working with 6 clients only.  With 3 instructors close by to assist you in all aspects of landscape photography you'll not miss any of the magic moments. I've started my 2014 list of interested parties. If you you would like join us, the top 6 will have priority. As of 11/9/13 we have only 4 spots left! Click this link for details: http://goo.gl/qXFfNK        Best Alway, Mark Jansen 
www.jansenphotoexpeditions.com 


#icelandphotoworkshop #icelandtours #icelandphotography#jansenphotoexpeditions #icelandphototours #icelandscapes #icelandsecret#icelandworkshops  

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Exploring our photographic past...


It always gives me this distant feeling of isolation when I come across an old photograph.  Especially made around the turn of the century. I was always left with a feeling of somber mood and separation when seeing them.  Something mysterious seemed to be projecting from them in a way that's difficult to describe. As small child when I first noticed them, I’d imagined that the past was void of true color and happy expression. I never understood the photographic process until many later years.
Bodie ghost town photography workshop
Eastern Sierra Photography workshops

I soon discovered that the early portraits, with frozen expressionless faces were the result of long the exposures needed for an image to appear on the photographic glass plates. I also discovered they used metal and wood braces to steady the subjects body and head. This discomfort must of enhanced this effect of isolation of many of them.

This distant feeling is also translated across in early landscape photographs as well.  Modern photography today offers a completely different expression altogether. We are pounded daily with a flood of digital images from many sources. Each trying capture our attention.  This brings me to my attraction to processing some of my images in this old style way,  using the vast array of software available to create these old photographic effects, much like the one posted here. Compounded by antique subject matter with the broken down car and buildings. All this adding to the effect and translating a mood of mysterious separation that I experienced in many of older photographs I came across early on. Join us on one of our workshops as we explore many of these ideas.  More details here: http://goo.gl/Dc0wef


Best Always,

Mark


Monday, November 4, 2013

Man, Wind, Steel & Time...


Iron Wave
While on a wildflower search in California’s Central Valley a while back, I ran across these amazing collapsing structures. As I approached them from a distant hill, they seemed to be old water storage tanks supplying water to cattle throughout the area. They looked very organic to me. Not finding many new blooms or natural features that day, I focused my attention on these structures. I envisioned them as a naturally occurring part of the environment, not man made. This helped me in my thought process and how I was going to photograph them. 

I found the sweeping converging lines and oxidizing metals. Reminiscent of High Sierra granite walls. Crashing and whipping around like a breaking tubular ocean swells. I've spent a long time looking for compositions in nature. It’s interesting sometimes to find a composition to visualize this way. One that man, not nature created along with wind and time.  www.jansenphotoexpeditions.com www.markjansenphotography.com

Best Always,

Mark

#fineartphotography #markjansen #artphotography 

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Photographing Venice Italy...



"Ah Venice!"It's simply the only phrase that comes to mind when this amazing part of Italy comes up in conversation. Being fortunate enough to visit, and photograph this part of Italy a couple of times now.  It's truly one of the few places in the world that will never disappoint you when it comes to your expectations. Venice Italy it is one of those few places left  that matches the pictures in your mind of it.

My visits here were by cruise ships,the best way I feel. Much like the early Venetians did coming in from their trades across the known world. My first trip was for enjoyment,  and a quick overview of the region for serious photographic opportunities some day. Photography was second this time to actually enjoying the sites, sounds, and people without the distraction of seeking the best photographs.   We enjoyed Gondola rides, guided cultural tours throughout in addition to the obligatory trip to Morano Island to witness the beautiful glass being made there. Don't get me wrong, I did capture photos,  but not any of the pre-visualized obsessive ones I'm  to in my 
accustomed landscape photographic world. I'm sure you know what I mean.

It would have been great to seriously photograph more evocative images. But lack of time and local knowledge did not allow this.  I made more mental photographs than real ones, along with quick tourist photo's. I was a great trip and really changed my vision in many ways.

A few years went by when another  opportunity came again to visit Venice again and I was excited that had had a backlog of ideas on how I would approached it and how to best spend our time.  We arrive by ship once again. I went back to those mental photographs from my first visit. This helped me break down how we would spend our second time in this city suspended in time.
 Our first visit was in full force tourist confusion, what many experience I'm certain.  The streets were flooded with tourists. Saint Mark Square was awash with pigeons in the midday sun. Not the best time for image capture as I recall.

This second visit would be a more dedicated photographic mission, but we needed a plan. All of our ideas pointed towards a to venturing into town in pre dawn hours. We needed to avoid the mass of humanity you run into when the vaporettos water taxis pour thousands of tourists into its ancient streets.

Since many on board cruise ship passengers choose to spend their time enjoying the late nightlife this place offers, many taxis run into the early morning hours, thus providing us a way off ship in the pre-dawn darkness. After arriving on shore at 4:30am, we managed to find our way to a local water bus station that would take locals to work in the predawn hours.

We traveled alongside dories making deliveries of fruits and vegetables. Workman, painters, carpenters and merchants going to work in their seaworthy pickup trucks and water taxies. All preparing for the daily ritual called Venice!  It reminded me of a backstage look to an amazing spectacle about to unfold. The gondolas shrouded in blue tarpaulins, streets empty of life, save for a few stray pigeons fluttering about waiting for the first act.

A magic quietness radiated from its ancient canals. The warm glow of the sunrise casting dusky light on its buildings. Gaslights flickered in the early hour darkness, waterway entrances to hotels illuminated from within. I’ve seldom experienced this sensation in any man made city ever. "Ah Venice!" 

www.jansenphotoexpeditions.com www.markjansenphotography.com



Best Always

Mark Jansen



#venicephototours #veniceitaly #photoworkshops #photographyworkshops #jansenphotoexpeditions

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Winter landscape photography doesn't stop just because the temperatures drop. Be prepared!


The time is near for winter photography! Image capture doesn't stop,  just because the temperature drops!
I’ve been thinking of our upcoming Yosemite Valley winter photo expeditions lately. The following tips will save you from some unpleasant surprises next time you venture into the cold. It’s always good to pack a few plastic sandwich bags of various sizes in your kit. If you bring along a few of those clear disposable shower caps, they work great along with bags for covering your cameras body as sits on your tripod in the wet. Additionally, as small multi folding pocket size umbrella really comes in handy and is simple to store.
Winter Photography tips www.jansenphotoexpeditions.comBatteries: As the temperatures drop, so does the life of your batteries. Granted, with the new lithium ion batteries the lifespan has been extended greatly. But I suggest when the temperatures drop, is placing a backup battery or 2 under your layers to keep he warm and ready to go. Warmer camera batteries function more efficiently than cold ones.

Tripods: I’ve always wrap the legs of my tripods with inexpensive plumbers insulation foam. You can pick this up in any hardware store. It comes in round long sections and can be simply adapted and wrap with black or camouflaged tape. This keeps the cold off your hands and makes for a more comfortable experience when handing your tripod when the temps drop.

Another thing that you can do that provides a little insurance against camera damage is to place your camera in a larger trash bag before heading in from colder than average temps. This prevents condensation from forming on the body of your camera. The condensation will gather on the bag instead. Once the room temperature warms you can remove your camera from the bag not risking damage to the delicate electronics in your cameras body.              
                                                                                                                         ©MarkJansen







#winterphotographygear #protectingyourcameragearincoldweather #winterphotography #winterphotographytips #thebestwinterphotographygear #rainproofingyourcamera #protectingyourcamerainthecold #cameraraincover #wetcameragear #snowphotography #coldweatherphotography   

Monday, October 21, 2013

Big Sur or Bust!


This rugged coastline and its open spaces are astounding. Its leading edge cliffs plunge deep into the blue pacific. Rocky sea stacks and waterscapes abound. Majestic redwood forests flourish near its coast with cascading waterways flowing deep within. Incredible skies and thin misty fog roll over this coastal mountain range. The redwood forests are carpeted with clover wild flowers this time of year. 

 "Big Sur or Bust" was captured at the conclusion of one of our Big Sur workshops.  We have a location we like to roost up high on a ridge for some time before heading back home in . The sun was all but set as we arrived here. I noticed the traffic was coming down the highway at a well-paced flow. This was helped by a temporary installed traffic light on a holiday weekend. The coastal 1 route traffic in normally light. Capturing a steady stream of traffic can be difficult to impossible. I selected my Nikon 24-70 2.8 for capture. I used my bulb setting on manual at f-22. The darkness made focus next to impossible. So I flashed a headlamp on some lower foreground branches. The smaller aperture allowed for a longer exposure and enough time for the headlight s the passing cars to fill my composition. About 34 seconds of exposure using my cable release.  Being prepared really pays off sometimes. I will be heading a small group workshop to the California Big Sur Coast in a couple of weeks. 
www.jansenphotoexpeditions.com www.markjansenphotography.com
#bigsur #phototours #bigsurworkshops #bigsurphototours #bigsurphotographyworkshops

Sunday, October 20, 2013

The photographer creates the photograph.


We all have the ability to reflect our world at our fingertips. From a vast array of smart phones, on to the latest and most advanced digital SLR cameras available to all who are willing to pay the price of admission. Long gone are the days of film for most. The "wait and see what came out" days have all but ended for masses.

In the touch button digital age with its instant results, we are endlessly fixated on the next, not thinking about the why. Why is one digital image more attractive than the other just captured? Why isn’t it what we envisioned? Most seldom ponder or study that "lucky shot". Some dip a toe or two into the realm of serious photography, seeking the why. Most fail to realize a camera merely reflects what it’s pointed at. They don't create art by doing this alone. They are only digital image processing machines that create bright colorful sharp images without much input from the person pushing the button. Much like owning a paintbrush, canvas and paint. Owning these items alone without study and creative inspiration and technical knowledge doesn't make one an artist. In the same way, does using a Smart Phone or Digital SLR with all the latest technology built in for perfect exposure make one a Photographer?
www.jansenphotoexpeditions.com                                                By Mark Jansen