Landscape Photography Ask Me Anything 2: Replies to Comments (Ep #068)


Hello, and it’s time for yet another ask
me anything. My answers to your questions and comments. Now, first off let me say
thank you ever so much for all the questions I really didn’t expect I’d be
needing to do another one of these videos quite so soon so thank you very
much for that if you have asked me a question what I’ll always do is leave a
note in the comments to let you know that I’ll be answering it in this series
so you don’t think I’m ignoring you so with that said a lot to get through
don’t want to keep you too long so let’s crack on so the very first question I’m
going to cover is from David Williams excuse me while I read the questions I
have a fixed 24 millimeter lens could I find a use for it in landscape
photography short answer absolutely 100% definitely yes
first off any prime lens is a good lens it will usually be sharper than most
telephoto lenses unless you’re paying stupid money and by that I mean you know
1,500 to 2,000 pounds for top-end glass because prime lenses have fewer elements
and just by the very nature of their manufacture tend to be sharper at 24
millimeters that’s a really useful wide-angle focal length and you’ll be
able to find all sorts of applications for that in landscape photography so
stick it on your camera get out there and have some fun with it and I’d really
like to see ya what you’re able to do with it
thanks ever so much for that question the next question
Colin Adams thank you have so much Colin Colin says at the lone tree you were
using some kind of lighting as seen reflected in your glasses funnily enough
the fill lighting that I’m using for this I’ve tried to be careful that it
doesn’t reflect in my glasses can I ask what you were using yes you can one
moment this is the rig that I use when I want to be mobile I don’t use it all the
time when I’ve got the stills camera set up I’m usually using a couple of these
cheap action cameras I’ll come on to that a little bit more in a moment but
this little lights that I’ve got fitted on this bracket we
is an aftermarket bracket you you buy it separately to the smooth for gimbal that
I use for my smartphone this little bracket has a hot shoe on one side so I
can attach a shotgun mic I actually don’t use this shotgun mic very often
because even though it’s not a cheap Chinese knockoff and usually for me it
is the real thing it’s a rode videomicro the problem is it is really sensitive to
wind noise and given that most of my landscape photography involves a lot of
wind in more ways than one it doesn’t get much of an outing I do tend to use
it a much better clip-on mic and record my sound onto my phone but this little
15 quid unit 49 LEDs is really good because it’s it’s dimmable as you can
see so what I’ll do is if the lights a bit gray I’ll just use it as a fill
light but because landscape photography does entail quite a lot of being out in
Goa sorry in blue hours so I’m either before
sunrise or after sunset in the past I’ve struggled and actually I’ve noticed
other vloggers wear their pictures of themselves are very dark so for 15 quid
little lamp like that this is fitted on with a little quarter
inch screw bracket if I’m not using the video mic this swaps around straight
onto the hot shoe really good very very highly recommended now I had a dialogue
earlier this week with a vlogger called Rob Elton from Essex I think Rob was
asking me about the cameras I use I did give him quite a lengthy reply in
writing but it was on his vlog so I thought it might be useful because I
have had questions about the cameras that I use for filming so in addition to
the iPhone 7 which is what I’m filming this on which I use on the smooth for
gimbal and what I tend to do with that is even if I’m not wanting to be mobile
I’ll use it with the selfie camera on the iPhone where it allows me to frame
myself up so for example I want a lone tree or a mountain to be visible be
find me without me blocking it I can frame myself for up really easily as
long as I got some decent light the selfie camera as far as I’m concerned is
good enough it’s more important to me that my audio is good so that works fine
but when I use the back camera on my iPhone with filmic Pro filming in log
profile at 60 frames per second that gives me great b-roll and I use the
gimbal when I want the camera to move if I don’t want the camera to move then
I’ll simply Park it somewhere and I’ve either use a cheap tripod this little
amazonbasics tripod weighs next to nothing it’s disposable they cost about
15 quid each and in the last 18 months I’m on my third so when they break I
just throw more and buy another one and the reason for that is it’s absolutely
featherweight but it’s full height what that allows me to do is to put it in
position somewhere around where I’m using my stills camera and I’ve got two
of these little 90-degree hawk-eyed Firefly 8’s is on these little got them
both on these little mini ball heads and that allows me to park one on the tripod
saying one on the hot shoe of my stills camera so I can have it facing me so
what that allows is I’ve got all sorts of camera angles available to me when
I’m doing a piece about taking a still shot it hopefully makes it a little bit
more interesting one of my favorite shots isn’t over the shoulder one
another thing that I always do and again this was in answer to rub out is I
always take some footage with the actual DSLR because then when I’m describing my
setup my composition the light that I’m seeing you as a viewer can also see it
and I can cut that into the vlog so that either I’ll just cut it in full frame or
if I’m if I’ve got a camera in vertical orientation then I’ll just do a
picture-in-picture but it means that when I’m describing
something as a viewer you can see what I’m up to and hopefully that’s helpful
next question is from here we go Hot Chip one no idea what your real name
hizmet thank you ever so much for watching and thanks ever so much for a
question he asks he’s looking to get into landscape photography he’s after a
small camera system to pop into his backpack and he’s thinking about micro
four-thirds and he goes on to ask any advice you could give me on starting my
photography journey would be appreciated I’m gonna preface my answer to here Hot
Chip by saying that I’m by no means a definitive person to answer technical
questions about equipment so Micra 4/3 the short answer as per the the short
answer for David about the 24 millions it’s absolutely yes I’ve read and heard
and it’s pretty widely accepted that a micro four-thirds image with something
like a 16 or 20 megapixel sensor will allow you to create prints up to about
sixteen by twelve without any loss of definition whatsoever now the bottom
line is that with a micro four-thirds system you’re getting a small
lightweight system that not only is easy and portable to get out to where you’re
going to want to be to make the most of landscape photography but also it’s
going to be it’s going to allow you to get into the pastime without spending
stupid amounts of money now I sort of did the same thing that you’re planning
except I went one slightly step higher up with this which is my Nick on D 5500
workhorse camera it’s got a 24 megapixel aps-c sensor so it’s a slightly bigger
sensor than micro 4/3 but the key thing is I don’t do any printing or at least
negligible printing and when I have done some knowing that I was going to print
what I’ve done is I’ve used a panoramic technique so it gives me a much bigger
image which then allows me to print – you know a meter or even four foot
wide which I’ve done quite successfully so even with a micro four-thirds there’s
nothing to stop you utilizing other techniques if you know you’re going to
want to print definitely a micro four-thirds you’d struggle more with
astrophotography because of the amount of noise on the small sensor but if
you’re planning to go out and shoot landscapes at the lowest possible ISO
which is what most of us do then yes definitely micro four-thirds would be a
great way to get into it and quite frankly there are some excellent Micro
Four Thirds cameras out there which you wouldn’t even think oh well I need to
trade up if I get more interested in it so I hope that answers your question
sorry I walled on a bit there and I meant to keep this as short as possible
it’s not working out at all well right the final question comes from Simon
Harding and he asks I have a question regarding inspiration and motivation are
you entirely self motivated and inspired or do you draw another resources for
inspiration really good question Simon actually something I haven’t been asked
before and it really made me stop and think about it so I appreciate that I’m
gonna wonder it by quickly giving you a bit of background information because
otherwise my answer won’t make much sense I started with landscape
photography in 1980 with an SLR camera and I couldn’t afford darkroom
facilities because I was only 18 I couldn’t afford to get film developed so
I did my own developing of 35 mil transparencies because you can do that
quite easily so for about five years I was really into landscape photography
and sort of learned my trade back then I took a break from it because I had
family and career and all sorts of other things going on in my life for about 25
years and I came back to it about three or four years ago and so when I came
back to eat I wasn’t coming at it as a new hobby yes
the equipment had moved on dramatically and what I was doing in fact was waiting
for the right equipment to be available at the right price point because I
wasn’t going to invest in something that wasn’t going to produce the quality that
I require so when I came back to it there were one or two people whose work
I looked at and thought that’s great I would really like to be able to emulate
that because they really know what they’re doing I’m talking about people
like Carl Holtby and a local lady called Cheryl Hema these guys really understand
their craft and that was something that I aspired to coming back into it and
being rusty and that was that was something that made me think well if
that’s what can be produced with modern digital cameras then the time is right
for me to get back into it so that was my initial thing two or three years ago
nowadays the people whose photography I look at regularly are my colleagues and
friends on the Facebook groups landscape photography on YouTube UK you togs the
people whose vlogs that I follow I look at their images on their websites their
Instagram their flickers and wherever else and those are the people there the
peer group that I aspire to come up to their level so it’s a whole host of
names and if I can do stuff that they look at and say hey that’s not bad
frankly I’m happy with that that for me is as good an accolade as as I’m ever
gonna get with regards to motivation because that’s inspiration I’ve just
covered I’ve always been an outdoorsy sort of
person you can’t help it living where I live in North Wales so when I’m out and
about I have three things that I’m looking to get out of it firstly and by
far the most important is to get out and have a walk and get some fresh air and
get some exercise and enjoy some stunning scenery
so going for a walk and I was doing that long before I took photography up again
secondly then was to take some stills and thirdly after a year or so was to
start vlogging so if I go out and I don’t vlog but I take stills then that’s
fine if I don’t take any stills that doesn’t matter because I went out for a
walk so the priorities are in that order so I don’t actually struggle with
motivation it was interesting I had a very brief dialogue with somebody
oh I remember who it was now it was Owen Clark he said he struggled to get out of
bed and I commented on his vlog when I’m going out for an early morning shoot I
struggle to sleep because I’m like a kiddy on new Christmas Eve if I know I’m
going out for a fabulous walk to take photographs I have no trouble getting up
none whatsoever so I guess the argument is that I don’t have any trouble with
motivation whatsoever I am at an advantage in that respect because living
on anglesey with the coastline on my doorstep and the mountains only 20
minutes away I’m spoiled for choice to be honest but what can I say right so
that’s about it for today thank you very much indeed for the question sorry I’ve
drowned on a bit if you’ve tuned out I don’t blame you if you’re still here
thank you very much so I’m gonna leave it there for this one thank you ever so
much for all your questions if you’ve got any more questions leave them in
comments I’ll leave you a note to say I’ll be answering them on and ask me
anything thank you ever so much this weekend I’m out with Molly and I
think Tim day and Joseph Seeger are coming along those are all vloggers that
I strongly recommend you check out if you haven’t already and a whole bunch of
other top class photographers and right there it’s a great big slab of
inspiration for landscape photography so thanks ever so much for watching I
really appreciate it and guess what if you haven’t done a year why not
subscribe now and join me next time Cheers

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