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Learn from a Pro Action Photographer – JOBY Burnout – Action GoPro Clamp

By | Learn from a Pro | No Comments

The making of the JOBY Action Clamp Ad “The Burnout”.

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By: JOBY Photographer Zach Settewongse

I’m often asked how did you shoot that from people who are into photography. I also get comments like “Oh which Instagram filter did you use?” from those not into photography . . .  🙁

This is a behind the scenes look at what it took to create this action photography product image. You might be surprised at the work that goes into it?

The GOAL: Create an ad about the JOBY Action Clamp for GoPro, Sony, Contour, Drift or other action cameras that show the product used as intended, and do it awesomely.

Saturday 2pm

Step 1 – CONCEPT: This is the easy part as I use both GoPro and Contour action cameras daily during my work and could have kissed the designers when I saw the JOBY Action Series. Upon seeing the product I immediately thought this would be great for when I have to set up a GoPro quickly (in seconds), get my shot, and get out of dodge. I’m often frustrated with the GoPro mounting parts bits, the number of them I need to carry, and the time it takes to frame a shot with them. So while riding my bike I thought of the idea of a rider filming himself doing a burnout. At first I was thinking in the middle of a busy big city intersection but that changed as you’ll see below.

 

Step 2 – LOCATION SCOUT: This is seriously where almost all shoots start as the location can influence the final piece a lot. So I always begin by riding around on my bike and looking, going in alleys, by railroad tracks, industrial sites, new modern buildings, etc. I’m just getting ideas as I go and not dismissing anything; remember I said I already was thinking a busy intersection, but so many times before I’ve found something great is a just around the next block.

Down to two locations: Main intersection in old downtown Petaluma, CA or the parking garage close by. Why Petaluma, CA? Well because it is only 34 degrees outside and as much as I wanted to ride an hour into San Francisco at 2am to get my shot it was just too cold.

Saturday 7pm

 

Step 3 – TEST SHOTS – Time to head back out at night.

Now this sounds like I should take a test of the real planned shot but no. This is just to get a feel for how the elements will look on a bigger screen. Remember it’s a product shot so the product has to be placed right and there has to be plenty of room for the text that is sure to be placed on top of it later. An awesome shot with no clean area for copy will always get rejected; it’s sad but true 🙁

TIPS: Take notes:

  • Make notes of your camera placement.
  • Measure how far your product is from a fixed point
  • Measure all the elements in the shot’s placement to the camera.
  • Have a bag of fixed lenses. I always test with a 24,mm, 50mm, 85mm for this type of shot. Why? Two reasons. One because it’s a night shot and I want lenses with the lowest f-stop as possible. Two I’m not a huge fan of zoom lenses for ad shots. There is just a extra little bokeh (look it up) magic certain fixed lenses have. The Canon 24mm f1.4 has very little edge distortion if any. The Canon 50mm f1.2 is a staple of perfection giving you exactly what you see and low light magic. The Canon 85mm f1.2 can make a a subject absolutely pop; it’s a tricky lens to use but it can produce amazing results.
  • Move around and look at the subject from all angles. Take more shots.
  • Plan your get away 🙂

The Intersection: I had my mind set on this and found a nice architectural background. Idea one had it shot from the side of road with the JOBY Action Clamp clipped onto a mirror of another motorcycle. It wasn’t looking right, so how about a shot from the center of the road? That could work, maybe?

Location-Scouting

Parking Garage: Not digging it in testing but lets shoot a few shots anyways.

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Saturday 9pm

Step 4 – REVIEW TEST SHOTS:

Hmm time to make a decision, I only have one rear tire for the shot and time to take one. I really struggle on this for all of five minutes and then go for the parking garage.

So what am I looking for? I want a cool background but it can not be distracting. The background is so, so important in any shot. When I look at the images on a big screen the intersection is out and the parking garage looks promising but could be too boring. When all the element of the shot come together it might work; we’ll see!

 

Saturday 12:30 am It’s getting late!

Step 5: THE SHOOT – it’s about time.

Place the elements: I positioned the motorcycle and the JOBY action Clamp with GoPro first. Easy since I took notes earlier and then made adjustments after looking at test shots. Check, double check looks good.

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Camera & Lens: So I chose the Canon 50mm f-1.2 on a Canon 5D mk II body from testing. This combination is great for low light and the framing and focus DOF between the two subjects was best with the 50mm in this case. I wanted to use the 85mm but 50mm won out.

Place the Camera: I have a good idea of where I want the tripod. Exact placement of the tripod is important as it cannot be moved; you’re thinking “What?” I can’t give everything away but I almost always take multiple shots to create one image and no not like HDR.

START SHOOTING: I bet you’re thinking I should set up the lighting first? Well lets break down the shots:

Shot ONE

  • Move all subjects shoot empty background. You might need this later and will kick yourself if you don’t have it.
  • Put subjects back, remember I have measurements or marks. Check, double check! Is the product perfectly square ?. .  if someones paying you it better be.

 

Shot TWO

  • I use a JOBY Flare 125 to highlight the product and get sharp focus on product. Take a shot.

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Shot THREE

  • Elements: I need a shadow on that wall in front of the bike, so I use the headlight from my Mini Cooper (one light covered by a floor mat) to create it exactly where I want it. Take a shot.

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Shot FOUR

  • Additional elements: There is one more that is a lighting and focus trick combined. It is a subtle additional element layer that is right there in the photo. I’m keeping this one to me. Sorry 🙁 Take Photo.

 

Shot FIVE the cool one!

  • I then place additional lights behind the bike. Two more JOBY Flare 125’s at max to backlight this shot.
  • This is an action manly photo so it should be sharp. I’m shooting RAW, I always do and it’s a must for this photo for the sharpening effect I want. I’m thinking of the final product and not the photo I’m going to take next. OK time to get on the bike and do the burnout, it’s now 1:30am and Petaluma is about to wake up.
  • . . . . Oops security just showed up and are watching, Pretend to do pre-shots for 10min until they get bored and leave.
  • 1:45am their gone. I get on the bike and my assistant double checks focus. My assistant is my fiancee which is the only type of assistant you can find without pay, who will spend a whole day doing this, and stand there for an hour when it’s 34 degrees. She really is awesome! As I start the 30sec+ burnout which echoes intensely through the garage located adjacent the fire station I try to steady the bike as best as I can. The shutter speed on the camera is slow at 60 so if I’m not holding the bike still while the back tire is spinning it will be blurry. Shots are taken with remote rapid fire as fast as possible. She’s smiling so I know it looks good!

Holy Smokey! The final frame I end up using as the base is about 70% of the way through the burn out.

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Step 6: GAG tire smoke is not pleasant to breathe and at this point I start dry heaving in my helmet. Thankfully I didn’t puke!

 

Saturday 2am

Step 7: PHOTOSHOP

  • This is where I put all the shots together, all the elements. It’s all these small touches that make the image. I’m adding a few elements to the base final shot (step 5) and being subtle, really, really small adjustments.
  • Change the bike color from green to white.
  • Add a bit of gradient to the bottom. Those cables are a bit distracting.
  • Add a bit of text.
  • It’s 5am

It’s now 5am and I need to order a new tire before going to bed. I bet you never thought all of that went into that one image! Or maybe you did?

FINAL NOTE: Realize you will FAIL repeatedly. I FAIL miserably with shots from time to time. I can’t tell you how many times I thought I was going to have an epic shot and it didn’t pan out. But who cares just move on to the next idea YOU CAN create something awesome! Just believe in yourself and try, try again. After a few years I’ll admit I have much fewer fails but I think it’s only because I can see them coming sooner and move on to the next idea faster.

Hopefully you learned something from my long winded post. Onto the next shot.

Zach Settewongse – JOBY Photographer.

 

 

 

 

 

JOBY Instameet TORONTO #GorillaPod # GripTight

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Instameet-Toronto

TORONTO –  You guys nailed it and this means I’m having a very tough time choosing a Top 3. You can really tell when an Instameet is full of creative types having fun. All of us at JOBY really enjoyed the images you Instagramers  took at the JOBY sponsored Toronto Instameet.

1hr later . . .  hmm which three, so many good pics

and 3hrs later . . . OK I picked a TOP 3 + added a few other ones I liked below.

 

TOP 3 Pics TORONTO #jobytoronto

 

1. hagow First tell me where this is I’m tempted to fly there to shoot this; seriously! Back to you 🙂 Maybe the best pic of the Intsameets I have seen yet.  Would I normally shoot this dead center? No and I would have missed this because it works, it works damn well. Why? The color and the contrasting greys. Seriously nice work 🙂

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2. daromantictech I hope you know how difficult it is to capture a shot like this when you are trying to. If it’s a mistake it’s a great one. The steam 🙂 What do they see? The street sign placement, is it a clue? A photograph that makes you think, ponder, is a hard to accomplish great thing.

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3. crispaza Creative, structured, and just nice to look at. Maybe the most well thought out compositions of the Instameets. I could see this in Dwell magazine easily.

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Seriously I had a really tough time on this one as there we’re so many awesome photos to choose from. The Toronto Instameet group really stepped up on this one. Makes me want to hop on a plane and join you for the next one 🙂 – Zach @ JOBY

and a few more I LIKED TOO!

romanac epic in black and white, on a different day I might have placed this on top.

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madvillian I hope this is your social media cover photo. It rocks!!!! If you have higher res version send it to us. community@joby.com attn: Zach.  Maybe this will be the new Instameet cover image 😉

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stanislav359 You nailed the lighting . . .  Perfectly!

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shellche I debated on this for a top 3 ohh so close. Love it! I really love that you looked up. Hmm maybe it should be a top 3. Dang you guys made it hard!

Instameets-shellche

 

notwithoutmypassport – DOF sweetness. Did you just snap a pic of someone else’s postcard? LOL –  Seriously great eye, good work.

Instameets-notwithoutmypassport

 

snap2see You know this is awesome, it’s Pottery Barn window display perfect and because it’s so perfectly delicious, I decided you really didn’t need the kudos of Top 3. Our praise is your prize.  . .

Instameets-snap2see

 

_beautifiedrealisim_ It beautiful and mysterious. That sky is the real subject, it looks like it might be this all encompassing vast storm I could stare into.  (Suggestion – let me see more of what makes this what it is, pull back a bit and make the storm the subject)

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Nice . .  a little more light, but such good composition 🙂

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jeffpsamuel . . . um I’m diggin how I keep looking back at this. Amazing what the right perspective can do to something so ordinary.

Instameets-jeffpsamuel

 

nikkopa If I was only more of a dog and not a cat person I would have called this a masterpiece.

Instameets-nickkopa

 

Instameets-notwithoutmypassport2

 

YOU GUYS NAILED IT!

Really impressed with this Instameet group. Thank you guys for participating.

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Instameets-Group1

 

Wants us to sponsor your Instameet? Tell us about your Instameet.

 

comments by: Zach @ JOBY – I really don’t know what I’m talking about, or do I ?   nah  🙂

Hello ;) by “me” Zach Settewongse New JOBY Team Member

By | Office | No Comments

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Zach Settewongse – JOBY Community and Content Manager aka Social Butterfly with a Camera and outgoing Personality

HELLO – I thought I would take a quick minute and introduce myself to the JOBY community of awesome peeps.

BACKGROUND

I call myself a professional Photographer/ Cinematographer/ Adventure and so far people agree 😉 I have been working with a camera in my hands full time for five years and love it. If there is one thing I’ve learned it’s to follow your passion, not money. Even when not “working” I find myself creating projects everyday; anything to be creative and use my camera.  More on the” Adventurer” below.

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How did I come to JOBY?

I’ve been a JOBY user and advocate for a few years. I originally found the JOBY brand online and won the JOBY X-Frame stop motion video contest. This landed me a Canon DSLR as the grand prize and I have forever been grateful. I was using a camera DSLR and Pro Video Camera everyday for work and began using the GorillaPod Focus and Ballhead X. I instantly fell in love with them and it would be no exaggeration for me to say they have since been a staple in my pro kit. A lot of my work requires I travel light and the GorillaPod Focus solved so many of my pro needs.

What is that and where can I get one? I was asked this repeated, almost daily while working with the GorrillaPod. Nobody ever asked me about any of my gear before but I soon found myself recommending and going on and on about JOBY products. I became a brand advocate because I was so grateful to have these awesome tools.

They Have Personality – I’ll admit in downtime I have pretended my GorrilaPods were the alien robots from War of the Worlds and they decimated everything on my desktop. Argg!

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I Am An ADVENTURER

Life is the collection experiences and I don’t want to waste a minute. I’ve rode motorcycles since I was 3 and am a speed junkie. 185 is the fastest I’ve ridden; I need a faster bike. I’ve worked as a stunt performer rappelling and jumping of buildings. Skydiving, rock climbing, skiing, skateboarding. Those really just make me a adrenaline nut but when I stepped out onto the wing of a plane to film a motorcycle race something changed and not just the shocked look on the pilots face.

Last summer I stopped everything and set off on my motorcycle for 85 days, 11,980 miles through 27 states and on the way back conquered the Trans American Trail which is an off road trail from TN to OR. I lived out of a tent on my bike and had multiple adventures along the way. I also filmed the whole adventure using Gorillapods for a documentary Pursuit Horizion (in final production).

 

ZACH FACTS:

  • I consume 60lbs of chocolate a year. More than the average person in the top ten consumption countries combined. I have a serious chocolate addiction. You know when I’ve had too much when I can’t stop talking.
  • I’m 50% Thai (Thailand) and 50% French
  • I was a pageant child –  Winner Cutest Little Boy in Reno 1980 – I know you’re jealous 🙂
  • I’m engaged to the perfect woman for me. She’s beautiful, loves motorcycles & Moto-GP, and is an adventurer.

MY GEAR – What I use the most.

  • Canon 5D Mark II
  • Canon 7D
  • Panasonic HVX200
  • Canon 24mm/f1.4L
  • Canon 50mm/f1.2L
  • Canon 85mm/f1.2L
  • GoPro Hero3 Black x2
  • Go Pro Accessories – Everything they sell + multiple suction mounts.
  • Contour+2 Pro x4
  • Contour Accessories – Everything they sell + multiple suction mounts.
  • Rode DSLR Mics x2
  • Zoom H4N
  • Sennheiser Boom Mic
  • Steadicam HD 4000
  • DSLR Slide – homemade
  • DSLR Skater Dolly – homemade
  • IKEA – Kitchen Timer
  • JOBY GorillPod Focus with Ballhead X x2
  • JOBY UltraPlate x2
  • JOBY Flare 125 x10 (I always bring as many as I can fit in my pack)
  • JOBY Action Clamp x4
  • JOBY Micro 250 x2
  • JOBY Micro 800 x4
  • JOBY Magnetic x4
  • JOBY Switchback x2
  • JOBY 3-Way Camera Strap
  • JOBY UltraFit Hand Strap
  • JOBY UltraFit Sling Strap

 

HOW DO I CARRY IT ALL?

I have more but this is the stuff I find myself using the most. Normally I carry one very large backpack, one small backpack, and two medium size hard cases.

 

Let’s Create Something Together 

I can’t wait to work with the JOBY community and create pure awesomeness!

Zach Settewongse (se te wong)

 

I’ll let the photos say the rest 🙂

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“GorillaQuad” Quadcopter Creates Awesome Aerial Photography

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Petr Jan Juračka is a professional science photographer, based at Faculty of Science, Charles University in Prague in the Czech Republic. Every day, he takes on the challenge of taking shots of various objects, from really small microorganisms to aerial shots of large areas. In the latter case, he decided to build an amazing tool—a quadcopter. Petr is much more  a photographer than engineer, so he improvised in the creation of his quadcopter. Still, he’s been really satisfied with his unique “GorillaQuad”. Using his invention he can capture very professional (and strikingly beautiful!) aerial images on very low budget. Check it out and get inspired!

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Quadcopters are becoming really popular these days. Their prices are falling strongly down and you can see them flying over almost every big sports events. The bird’s eye view is an attractive perspective, showing simply more. Although it looks easy, flying with these drones for shooting is very demanding activity and requires a lot of training.

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“I decided to buy a quad and supposed it will be another accessory, just easy way how take shots from above…” Petr says. “However, it was much more challenging than I ever thought. I got injured during the first fly, the quad fall down and broke many times. Moreover, I was disappointed with the image I got from the small sport camera on the board. For the stills, I wanted to rebuild my quad into something bigger holding advanced compact camera shooting in RAW. Gorillapods were my choice, as I was used to using them for other types of photography before. GorillaPods make really easy to rotate my camera as I wish, and it is easy  to fold up my quad for traveling. Other professional photographers might might make fun of how it looks, but they have to admit it works.”

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Petr’s GorrilaQuad consists of the quad (Czech DIY frame, cheap Chinese electronics, propellers from US) and two gorillapods – one serves as quad foots, second holds a camera. Their weight is 270 & 30 grams, what is just acceptable for flying – GorillaQuad can still fly about 5 minutes per battery, which is enough time to take breathtaking stills from the air.

“It is quite new solution for me, we constructed that in my favorite camera shop last week. So these images are really first shots I took using gorillas on my quad, but hopefully not last. I really, really like it!”, Petr adds.

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Do not forget to visit Petr website, or follow him on Facebook or Twitter to see more amazing photography! Thanks Petr for taking the time to chat with us today!

 

New JOBY Camera Straps! UltraFit Hand Strap with UltraPlate & DSLR Wrist Strap

By | Camera Straps, New Product Launch | 2 Comments

Our camera strap family is growing! We’re happy to announce our newest camera straps, the UltraFit Hand Strap with UltraPlate and the DSLR Wrist Strap!

Streamlined, versatile and super cool, you’ll have to take one of these puppies home!

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Introducing the JOBY UltraFit Hand Strap with UltraPlate

The UltraFit Hand Strap with UltraPlate combines a streamlined hand strap with our super rad UltraPlate baseplate. Because the hand strap is paired with a universal quick-release plate, you can keep the hand strap attached to your camera while mounting it to a tripod or even using another camera strap. The UltraFit Hand Strap with UltraPlate is compatible with standard and pro DSLRs with or without a battery grip.

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The hand strap features JOBY’s UltraFit Layered-Pad Technology™, which provides lightweight support without the bulk. The thin strap pad conforms to the shape of your hand and won’t interfere with use of the camera’s controls. The UltraPlate’s practical design also provides easy access to a camera’s battery door for changes on the fly.

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Comfortable for handheld shooting, the UltraFit Hand Strap with UltraPlate is also ideal for shooting with a tripod. The UltraPlate features a universal tripod quick-release plate with built-in Arca-Swiss compatibility. Unlike most baseplates on the market, the UltraPlate has two additional 1/4″-20 screw mounts so you can attach all types of accessories (like camera straps or flash brackets) to the UltraPlate without removing the hand strap, unlike most other hand straps on the market. This innovative hand strap + baseplate design makes the JOBY UltraFit Hand Strap with UltraPlate compatible with all camera tripods and camera straps! No more strap-tripod hassle!

Get yours here!

Introducing the JOBY DSLR Wrist Strap

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The DSLR Wrist Strap is a simple cinching wrist strap designed for DSLRs or mirrorless/CSCs. Lightweight and comfortable – weighing less than a half ounce – it is our minimalist solution to keeping your camera safe and secure. Featuring a strongly braided cord with a smooth, soft-to-touch finish, the strap is designed to automatically tighten around the wrist if the camera is dropped. The DSLR Wrist Strap was designed for photographers who don’t want a camera strap that gets in their way but do crave the security a camera strap provides.

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The DSLR Wrist Strap connects to a DSLR or mirrorless/CSC via universal shoulder lug attachment. The DSLR Wrist Strap comes in one adjustable size to fit most wrists and in two colors: charcoal and neon green.

Get yours here!

 

GripTight Winners from #HauteAsEver13 in San Diego!

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Last weekend, our friends @igerssandiego hosted the world’s largest instameet in San Diego, CA. Over 450(!!!) Instagrammers showed up to hang out, meet new friends and make awesome photos. We chose three of our favorite photos taken during the Instameet to win a GripTight tripod for their phone. Now, without further ado, our winners from #HauteAsEver13!

By @johntorres

By @johntorres

By @chucka95

By @chucka95

By @pixelmama

By @pixelmama

 

Hosting an Instameet in your area? We want to be a part of it! Sign up here!

GripTight Winners from #Instameet_PGH!

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Last weekend, our friend @caulingrant hosted an Instameet in Pittsburg, PA.  Instagrammers showed up to hang out, meet new friends and make awesome photos. We chose three of our favorite photos taken during the Instameet to win a GripTight tripod for their phone. Now, without further ado, our winners from #Instameet_PGH!

By @kevinswx

By @kevinswx

By @genericpieces

By @genericpieces

By @rmacoustic

By @rmacoustic

 

Hosting an Instameet in your area? We want to be a part of it! Sign up here!

How to Take Slow Shutter Photos of Water with Chris Burkard

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Chris Burkard is a California-based travel and surf photographer. As a staff  photographer for Surfer Magazine, he spends a lot of time taking photos in and around the water. After just a few minutes of looking at Chris’ work, you can tell that his love for the ocean runs deep. Today, Chris shares one of his favorite ways to take photos of water. Be sure to follow him on Instagram to see some incredible shots from all over the world! Thanks for sharing Chris! 

Exposing Water by Chris Burkard

Tripods can be cumbersome and tough to lug on trips.  Or they can be small and awesome like Joby.  I have attached my Joby tripods onto boats in Alaska, atop a military vehicle in Russia, at the base of the waterfalls in Iceland, and used in many places in between.  The tripod is great for run and gun shooting when you want to stay light and mobile. One of my favorite applications of the Joby tripods are around water when I am looking to shoot slow shutter speeds.

Shooting around water gives you a lot of creative options.  You can freeze the action of the water with a high shutter speed resulting in great detail making every water droplet sharp.  Aiming for the opposite, using a shutter speed 1/25 or lower, results in an image that has a milky blurred water trail. To me it’s a bit more dreamlike.  It’s also a great way to convey the movement involved in a setting like a waterfall.  I’d recommend placing the GorillaPod at a low angle to convey the magnitude of the waterfalls and landscape.  I’d also recommend shooting either early in the morning or around sunset for light that isn’t as harsh.  This image is taken about a half hour after sunset. I used a wide lens and an exposure of 6 seconds.  I also used a lamp to cast some interesting light on the subject.

2013, ICELAND, LAND ROVER, ERIC SODERQUIST, MIKEY DETEMPLE,

You can apply this same technique to rivers and the ocean.  In this river shot, the long exposure showcases the flow of the water.  The river is true to its mood with the mossy rocks still as the water moves around them.  I shot this with a wide lens and an aperture of f13 to keep the background in focus as well.  This helps to showcase the entire scene rather than just the river.  The exposure was 2 seconds.

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This image of the shoreline looking out across the ocean is shot at a lower angle, giving a dramatic sense of scale bringing you closer to the water.  With long exposures you often can shoot well after the sun goes down.  Often times water moving around objects will make for a more interesting image.  The exposure was 30 seconds.

2013, ICELAND, LAND ROVER, ERIC SODERQUIST, MIKEY DETEMPLE,

On all the shots I try to keep my ISO low, under 200 and adjust my exposure depending on the water movement.  Have fun trying your hand at photographing water in your area and on your travels.

2013, ICELAND, LAND ROVER, ERIC SODERQUIST, MIKEY DETEMPLE,