This Photographer Hiked 14 Hours for Epic Wedding Photos at Trolltunga
Trolltunga, or “Troll Tongue,” is a famous rock formation in Norway that’s used often for breathtaking photos. Photographer Priscila Valentina was recently asked by a couple to shoot wedding photos at the cliff. After the ridiculous challenge of hauling her photo gear to the spot, Valentina managed to capture a series of epic wedding photos of a lifetime.
Given how long the hike to Trolltunga takes, the group had to head out early in the morning well before sunrise. By 5:30 am, they were already on the road.
Next came the work of getting to the rock, and Valentina hiked the entire route while carrying 35 pounds of camera gear in the rain.
It was “an incredibly gruesome 14-hour hike [to and from the rock] but arguably the most epic view on earth,” Valentina tells PetaPixel.
Once they reached the rock, the couple pitched a tent to change and get themselves ready for the photo shoot.
All that remained was posing and capturing stunning shots of the couple high above the lake and valley.
Tip: Use a Mannequin Head to Practice Portrait Lighting Without a Model
Want to learn portrait lighting but don’t have a model you can spend hours and hours with? Here’s a 4-minute video in which photographer Ed Verosky offers a simple suggestion: Buy a cheap mannequin head to practice your skills.
Using a real model to fine-tune your skills can be uncomfortable and boring for the subject. By using a mannequin, you’ll have a simple test subject that won’t mind getting blasted by studio lights all day.
You don’t even need a full-body mannequin. A Styrofoam mannequin head is cheap and can serve you well. Just stick it on a spike in your studio and you’re good to go.
You can practice all sorts of lighting, whether that be butterfly light:
Or even contrasty split lighting:
Verosky even tries out a few variations of the Rembrandt pattern:
A simple Styrofoam mannequin head like this should set you back about $5, according to Verosky. Check out the full video above to see it in action. You can also find more of his videos on his YouTube channel.
Nighttime Photos of Tokyo Under the Glow of Neon Lights
German-French graphic designer Matthieu Bühler has been shooting gorgeous nighttime photos of Tokyo, Japan, focusing his attention on the illumination created by all the different neon lights found across the city. His series is titled “Neon Dreams.”
Behind The Lens: New Exhibition Explores The Female Body In The Fashion Image
The body and its service to, and disruption of clothing is the focus of a new fashion photography exhibition, featuring the likes of Brianna Capozzi, Marton Perlaki, Coco Capitan, Charlie Engman and Johnny Dufort.
Spanning fashion editorial from 2010 to 2017, not chronologically but through themes such as styling and casting, it is the first installment in a three-part creative collaboration between Curator Shonagh Marshall, formerly Curator at Somerset House, and Holly Hay – an image directo…
This Website Tracks the Market Value of Used Camera Gear
Want to quickly find out the current market value of a used camera or lens? Bokeh Market is a new website that can tell you the real-time value of used equipment. It’s like the Kelley Blue Book of camera gear.
The front page features a search bar. Type in whatever piece of equipment you’d like to look up to bring up its product page. The product page features the products specs, a daily price chart that spans about a year, average prices for individual sellers and trusted sellers, and ongoing listings for the product through various marketplaces (e.g. eBay, Adorama, Amazon, KEH, Fred Miranda).
What’s more, registering for an account opens up additional functionality. If you’re hunting for a good deal on a particular camera or lens, you can set alerts with a price ceiling to be notified when a listing appears that you may want to jump on.
You can also input all the items in your gear collection to see its current value at a glance:
If you’re eyeing a bundle of gear and would like to know what the total market price is, you can quickly build any bundle to look up its value:
Bokeh Market is a free service that’s monetized with affiliate links (the service earns money when you click through to marketplaces and make purchases).
A few days ago, my girlfriend, Victoria was trying to take some photos of a bridesmaid gift she received the night before. She was trying to take these images on her phone and was not having any success. After a few unsuccessful attempts, she gave into my suggestion of taking these photos on her X-T10.
She then ran into the issue of having a couple of photos that were poorly framed and somewhat noisy. After some more convincing we had her camera mounted on a tripod. We spent the next few minutes rearranging the objects in the photo and adjusting the tripod to get the composition just right.
She remarked about how so much effort was going into a single photo. I told her that for me a lot of the joy that comes from photography is all of the problem-solving that you have to do on occasion.
This can mean a few different things. For example, you might have to climb a fence to get closer to your subject. You might have to use a reflector to modify the available light in a scene. In the most extreme cases, you might have to fabricate an entire set or some props for your images.
Why You Should Build Your Own Stuff…
You should build your own stuff because it gives you the opportunity to add a unique and personal touch to your photos. Creating something such as this surface, from scratch allows you to add an extra element of control to your photos.
For example, in product photography, it’s important to have complete control over the technical aspects of a photo. So why not take things a step further and be in control of the surroundings as well. Imagine being able to custom build a prop for your clients on an individual basis. In a competitive marketplace, everyone wants something that will help them stand out.
How I Built This Surface
The individual boards are a part of our fence that was damaged in a storm back in August. They had been sitting in the garage for the last few months, waiting for someone to put them to good use. Some of the pieces were longer than others so I started by cutting them all down to the same length, 20 Inches.
I decided to give all the edges a rough look by taking a utility knife to them. I then took some sandpaper and smoothed out the cuts that I had made. You can see in the photos that the edges have much more character than when I started out. In some areas I took a hammer and dented some of the flat surfaces, adding in little nicks and chips.
The boards now have the appearance of some old floorboards or an old table. The idea is to simulate something that has many years of wear and tear on it. After giving the wood some character, I took a piece of sandpaper on a flat block and smoothed out the entire board. A trick here is to cheat the edge a bit with the block. You want the board to be slightly higher in the center than it is on the edge.
After I was happy with the shape of the wood I moved on to staining. I used two colors of which we had laying around to achieve the look you see here. The basecoat is a color called English Chestnut. The second color is a darker stain that I applied to accent some of the flaws in the wood. I wanted to give the wood a dirty look as if stuff had been spilled on it over the years.
Both stains were applied with rags. I dipped a little piece of the rag in and would use that to go over the entire board. I like to stretch out as much stain as I can on as much surface area as possible. You don’t want to lay to stuff on too thick, you want to see the character in the wood. After the stain was applied I let the boards dry overnight, and just like that they were finished.
In total it took me about two hours to do all of the cutting, sanding, and staining. I was lucky enough to have all of the materials laying around in the garage so the total cost for this project was a big fat zero. If you had to buy the materials for this they all tend to be fairly cheap. In most cases, you could probably build something just like this for around $50. It’s also a project that doesn’t require much space so you could even do it in an apartment as long as you don’t mind a little mess from the sanding!
The Joys of Building
One of the most satisfying parts of this little project is that I was able to create something useful with my own two hands. Now I know not everyone is mechanically inclined, and that I have a predisposition to building things. I tend to think “I can build that” before “I can buy that” most of the time.
I see a great benefit to having something custom made, by myself, for my own little photo projects. I didn’t have to read reviews or wait for Amazon to ship me something that is going to improve my photography, and that is a great feeling. For me, it’s satisfying to work on something for a couple of hours and just zone out. The joy that comes from the absence of a phone, a computer, and a camera is overlooked from time to time.
So the next time you’re feeling a little uninspired, just go out into the garage, (or Home Depot) grab a beer, and build something. You’ll be surprised at how it can bring out other bits of creativity you did not know you were capable of.
Here’s what the final surface looks like:
Here are a couple of photos showing how it can be used:
About the author: Michael Mroczek is Photographer & Designer from Williamstown, New Jersey. He lives on a lake with his lovely girlfriend Victoria, and their two pups, Scarlett and Jefferson. He likes old cars, specifically Corvettes, a good story, and Arsenal F.C. You can find more of his work on his website, Facebook, and Instagram. This article was also published here.
Which Filters to Use in Landscape Photography and Why
Filters are the bread and butter of landscape photographers. Here’s a 12-minute video from Nature TTL that will teach you what filters every landscape photographer should have in their bag, as well as why to use them in the first place.
The video is presented by official Nikon Ambassador Ross Hoddinott, who’s an incredibly experienced landscape photographer. While out shooting on the coast, Ross talks through his choices of filters and what real situations are making him apply them.
A crucial piece of takeaway information is to not use a filter just because you have it. So many photographers fall into this trap, using unnecessary filters to “get their money’s worth.”
By the end of this video, you should have a good understanding of what to look out for as a cue to tell you that you need a particular filter.
Using an impressive 10-stop solid ND filter, Hoddinott looks to transform this rather dull scene:
But after a drastically increased exposure time, the scene looks far more attractive:
Check out the full video for Hoddinott full lesson on landscape photo filters, and you can subscribe to the Nature TTL channel for more tutorials like this one each week.
Thursday Tip: Start Professional Relationships with “Thank you”
Thank-you notes can be a good way to initiate professional relationships with curators, photo editors, and others who review your work. Hannah Frieser, the Executive Director of the Center for Photography at Woodstock, advises artists who have entered juried shows or contests to follow up with jurors by sending a note, even if they aren’t chosen for an exhibition or award.
“If they selected you, then it’s, ‘Thank you for selecting my portfolio…If you would like an extended selection of the series, here’s my website.’ And if they didn’t select you, then: ‘Thank you so much for taking the time to consider my portfolio,’” and offer to stay in touch about new work you’ll produce in the future.
She advises photographers to plan their follow-up strategy even before entering the competition. “You can’t expect the curator [or any other reviewer] to follow up,” she says. If you’re waiting for a response, it might never come. “If you have a strategy, you can say [to yourself]: ‘OK, this was my first thank-you note. In three months or so, I’ll send something else,’ if you have permission [to keep emailing the person].”
Pete Souza Looks Back on 1.9 Million Photos of Obama
NPR‘s Fresh Air just aired this fantastic 30-minute interview (here’s a transcript) with Pete Souza, the Chief Official White House Photographer for U.S. Presidents Ronald Reagan and Barack Obama. In it, Souza reflects on 8 years of capturing Obama’s presidency, creating an archive of over 1.9 million photos during that time.
Souza was a silent observer and a fly on the wall, present at virtually every meeting and moment during Obama’s tenure. Here’s what NPR writes about his silent documenting:
Souza sought to minimize his presence at the White House by working with what he calls a “small footprint” — not using a noisy camera, not using flash and moving around gingerly. “I’m not sure if ‘invisible’ is the right word,” he says. “But I was certainly trying to be a piece of the woodwork.”
Souza has just published a new book this week titled Obama: An Intimate Portrait. It’s a 352-page hardcover book containing a collection of Souza’s favorite photos during his latest stint in the White House.