In his book Chasing the Light: Improving Your Photography with Available Light , author Ibarionex Perello of the Candid Frame podcast taught you how to create evocative images using natural light, now, in Chasing the Light: Photography and the Practice of Seeing , he will show you how to do it as he and fellow photographer, Jeffery Saddoris of the Faded and Blurred podcast take to the streets of Los Angeles to take on street photography using just natural light.
Chasing The Light takes a look into Ibarionex Perello’s approach to seeing and using the available light that is at his disposal. It will take you on a visual journey that has the instructor not only showing you his approach to creating great street photography, but teaching you how you can develop your own way of seeing the world around you. This video is divded into 11 chapters and is 1hour and 52 minutes long.
Lesson 1, “Introductions (3:58 min),” starts off with an introduction by the instructor of both himself and his shooting partner for the day and it is here where they discuss some of the basics of the general settings that he uses while walking the streets so that he is ready when there is something to shoot as well as what his goals are for this video.
Lesson 2, “Getting Warmed Up (10:29 min),” is about getting a feel for what it is that you are wanting to accomplish, getting over the initial anxieties when you first go out, and scoping out an area that you want to explore for your photography.
Lesson 3, “The Approach (10:23 min),” looks at how to approach people that you want to photograph to not only make the process less stressful, but to make sure that you get a good shot. You need to be able to read how the person will react as well as can you engage the person or will there be difficulties such as language barriers. You also have to be aware of the surroundings to make sure you get that better image.
Lesson 4, “Knowing Your Rights (13:38 min),” examines the rights that you have as a photographer when you are shooting on a public street. Here you will see when you can assert your rights and when it is time to let things be and move on. Other topics include shooting for black and white, using telephotos to compress the image, using repeating patterns, and pre-visualization for post-processing.
Lesson 5, “Seeing and Controlling Exposure (6:06 min),” is about getting the light right in the camera instead of having to deal with it in post processing. Here you will look at how to compensate for blacks and whites, what kind of lenses to use, and taking ownership of your settings.
Lesson 6, “Camping Out (12:31 min),” is where you hang out where there is a good background and waiting until someone comes along to the background to make the scene complete. This shows how you have to set up the scene and anticipate where the sweet spot is and capturing it.
Lesson 7, “Choosing to Shoot (9:28 min),” means being in control of what you capture and how to challenge yourself to grow whenever you go out. Not being satisfied with capturing the same things over and over, but rather finding different ways to see things. Sometimes this means setting up restrictions to force you to work within these restrictions.
Lesson 8, “Working Within Limitations (12:50 min),” feeds off the last lesson and here the instructor creates a challenge of photographing a park bench that sits off by itself, is surrounded by dirt and has no interesting things around it. You will see as he is guided by the light and the shadows to create something more than just a bench. By doing this kind of exercise, you can slow down and put yourself into a better frame of mind when you are ready to shoot something more entertaining.
Lesson 9, “Discovering the Light (9:33 min),” looks at how reflective light can be used to capture close-ups, portraits, as well as other types of photography. Here they work with skate-boarders doing some action shots as well as posed portraits. Then they follow some of the lighting to photograph some vegetation that is taking on the light.
Lesson 10, “Being Led by the Light (13:40 min),” will examine, how, during certain parts of the day, the light can change rapidly as can the shadows. These times of the day can cause dramatic contrasts in exposure and you will see how they compensate for these varieties in lighting. Here you will look at various situations and see what can be done with the lighting.
Lesson 11, “Keep it Simple (9:24 min),” means bringing and using less equipment. Sometimes you may not have the right lens for a specific shot, but for your physical being as well as your creativeness, less can sometimes be more. This makes you to look with one particular focal length in mind and ultimately this forces your mind to see things that you would have overlooked and may provide your next great photograph.
Chasing The Light takes you out into the field and on a tour around downtown Los Angles as Ibarionex Perello explains his philosophy on shooting in the street. It is very deliberate in its pacing and really has the feel as though you are on a walk with the author. What is nice is that Jeffery Saddoris is there to help spark the conversation and it is not just the instructor talking at you. It makes it feel more natural.
I really liked the book Chasing the Light: Improving Your Photography with Available Light and as such, I also have enjoyed watching the author as he works. The little tricks and tidbits that you find out as well as his approach to his photography really make me highly recommend Chasing The Light: Photography And The Practice Of Seeing.