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PHOTOGRAPHY

The Rise of the Mobile Creator

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Today, we’re all part of an incredible global movement:

?  ‘The Rise of the Mobile Creator’

The moments of our lives are happening right in front of us and you may already have hundreds (or thousands) of photos on your smartphone. YOU are the mobile creator.

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Question: How many photos do you currently have on your smartphone?

Earlier this season I was presenting my Smartphone Pro Mobile-Photo Workshop to a group of people in Calgary, Alberta and I ran a poll asking them how many photos they had on their phones. My poll went up to 3,000 photos because as a photographer I have around 3,000 photos and didn’t expect people who weren’t photographers to have that many. THE MOST COMMON ANSWER WAS 5,000+ and this proved to me instantly that the ‘Rise of the Mobile Creator’ is happening faster than we realize. These are the moments of our lives and this I value very highly.

For the first time in history, the lines are being blurred between Digital SLR Cameras and Mobile Phones. 

Today our smartphones are now readily-equipped with camera functions that enable us to capture professional photos as if you were using an expensive camera setup. Your smartphone is your new professional camera.

The best camera is the one you ALWAYS have with you and that camera is now our phones.

Your phone will be with you mostly all the time, your other camera’s won’t. It makes sense to know how to properly capture and express the vitality and essence of a moment while you’re in it.

Reduce your photographic workflow.

Since I began shooting on a smartphone more seriously, I’ve been able to reduce the tedious photo workflow between his cameras, laptop and hard drives. I can just SHOOT – EDIT – SHARE with my fingertips right from in the field. This has allowed me to spend more time capturing + sharing the vitality of the moment while it’s happening. Game-changer.

Why take the best photos possible on a mobile phone?

Accessibility: You will almost always have your phone on you and knowing how to properly capture that fleeting moment can be the difference between a blurry photo and an award-winning photo.

Technique: Maybe you LOVE photos, and even have a Digital SLR Camera – but don’t exactly know how to use it. In the workshop you’ll learn basic photography fundamentals and will gain confidence through shooting on something you’re already familiar with: your phone.

Barrier to Entry: Maybe you have a smartphone and don’t feel like spending another $5,000 or $8,000 for a legit camera setup.

Or maybe this: You want to take amazing photos on your next trip or vacation. You want to become more serious about photography. You’ve taken photos on your phone but they didn’t turn out how they expected. You want to take the best photos of your child when they’re born, or graduating, or getting married, or anything. Your maybe your moments just mean something more to you, like they do for me.

 “Your photos deserve more than a ‘filter’ or ‘preset’.” — Dax Justin

Why did we all started using ‘filters’ or applying ‘presets’ — is it because we all want our pictures to look better?

OF COURSE IT IS! These days we all want to share the best photos we possibly can. But why filters? Because they’re easy. You don’t need to think, you just tap a button and all of a sudden you have a photo with a generic set of values applied to it. Can we stop this? Lighting in your photo is NEVER the same, so why would you want to edit every photo the same way?

Instead, learn how to shoot and edit your smartphone photos like a pro photographer!

Over the last few months I have been creating an online workshop that will take your mobile photography skills to the next level…

Today, I’m proud to introduce:

The Smartphone Pro Mobile-Photo Workshop

An online course that gives you the tools and teaches you step-by-step how to capture, edit and produce professional-level photos from your smartphone with your fingertips, all while in the field or on the go. Regardless of what phone you take photos right now, you are capable of capturing and producing professional-level photographs directly from your smartphone. This is an empowering photography course for anyone!

You’ll learn how to shoot jaw-dropping photos from your smartphone and will show you how to bring the life and vitality out of your photos from wherever you are, regardless of what device you’re shooting on.

I can’t wait to have you in the workshop, you future mobile-creator, you! ? 

Dax

As always, drop me a line and follow my adventures on:
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How to Take the Best Photos in Low/No-Light Conditions: The Rat’s Nest Cave

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I began my photography journey 4 years ago and I can’t say this enough: “It’s all about the light.” In this post I want to show you what I learned about shooting in EXTREMELY LOW-LIGHT conditions in a place that hasn’t seen sunlight in 750,000 years. Here are some techniques to capture the best photo you can in dark scenarios…

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This is the final installment in my series into the depths of Rat’s Nest Cave in Canmore, AB, Canada. You can read about my initial descent into the cave and the experiences here: Into Earth’s Womb, Adam Walker: A Man UndergroundExploring the Unnatural with Christian Stenner, The Rat’s Nest Cave Will Change You, I Promise.

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Since photography is all about lighting, when it comes to taking photos in low-light conditions it opens up a entirely new level of technical challenges. After descending into the Rat’s Nest Cave a couple times in 2017 I’ve learned (the hard way) what to expect and how to shoot awesome photographs in extremely dark places. I’ve put together a few technical tips to help you know your way around shooting in the dark, on both your DSLR Camera and your Smartphone:

1. Identify the light you can see.

First things first – our eyes need time to adjust to light. Give your eyes a few moments to adjust themselves to the type of light you’ll be working with. Once adjusted, look around and identify the light you do have. Sometimes it will be just moonlight, other times like in the Rat’s Nest Cave, you have ZERO natural light. As in, if you turn off all the headlamps and move your hands in front of your face, you will NOT see your hands whatsoever. Headlamps and small lights you have with you will be the main source of light.

2. Use light to make shapes appear stronger.

Once you’ve scanned and identified the light you can work with, it’s all about shapes. I think shapes are much more evident in a photo when they are contrasted by a strong burst of light. By moving light sources, you also change every shape the eye sees in the photo. I’ve found great results in brightening the light areas of a photo and darkening the dark’s. It helps bring people into the specifics of a scene.

3. Depth and layers are your advantage.

When you rappel into the lower areas of the Rat’s Nest Cave you’ll find layer upon layer of sediment that is hundreds-of-thousands of years old. Shadows of dust and moist drippings from the cave are awe-intriguing photos alone but by adjusting the ambiance of a photo, you can “place” someone there, as if they can reach out and touch what’s in the photo.

4. Think abstract.

When we reduce the elements in an image to simple forms, we sometimes start noticing art. Look for light streaks, patterns in shapes, where do all the lines intersect? When processing, I’ve often added a Vignette to my photos, making the edges/outsides of the photo darker, thus keeping the viewer’s attention in the middle of the image.

5. Try saturating (or de-saturating) the color you CAN see.

Since the dominant color in low-light scenarios is black, color can be an effective tool to catch the eye. Try different photographic treatments to your photos. Meaning, try processing or editing photos in just black-and-white, or try de-saturating colors and enhancing others to lead the eye. In the photo below, I’ve de-saturated the entire image expect what I WANT you to see (the caver and his tools). Your eye sees the caver (Adam Walker) and your sight is led up the rope (where the caver is looking).

6. Shoot using manual settings and use a tripod to stabilize your images.

While the options to use Auto or Flash are always available, I suggest taking things a step further and shooting on ‘Manual’ Mode. Taking photos in low light means choosing between noise from a high ISO setting, or the blur from a slower shutter speed. The idea is to make adjustments so you can let more light into the camera, while reducing blur and noise. Shoot at high shutter speeds to avoid blurry images, and decrease your aperture to the lowest number (your f/stop). For example, some of my cave images were at Aperture F1.7 | ISO 3200 | Exposure 1/2s. For longer exposure shots, you can experiment with anywhere from 5 seconds to even 30 seconds (30 seconds is where I have shot photos of the Northern Lights). You’ll also want to bring a tripod if you plan on shooting photos that are completely free of blur. Using a tripod and timer for your images also helps to prevent any camera shake while taking the photo.

ON A SMARTPHONE: Use Pro / Manual Camera Mode.

Let’s face it – a great challenge for smartphone camera manufacturers is capturing the best photo in low-light conditions. Sometimes (most of the time) you may notice your photo looks “grainy” when you zoom in, or an image will be blurry. This is a personal nightmare of mine and I have just about figured out every trick in the book to reduce and eliminate noise! However, there’s a game-changer, and it’s called “Pro” or “Manual” Mode. This camera mode on your smartphone allows you to capture better photos in low light by changing the aperture of the lens. (You can set your camera to let more light into the lens for a longer period of time, thus capturing your scene in focus). The smartphone I shoot with is a Samsung Galaxy Note8, which (for the first time in history) allows for a 10-second Exposure, and this is by far the most advantageous feature to shooting in dark conditions.

ON A SMARTPHONE: Keep your hand steady! Or better yet – use a Mobile Tripod.

Much like shoooting on a DSLR camera, you’ll want to setup your mobile device on a tripod to help stabilize the photo to eliminate camera shake. The less light, the more crucial this is. If you go down into the Rat’s Nest Cave without a way to stabilize your photos, you may end up with a few blurry photos and you’ll wish you carried a small handheld tripod in your pack.

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I photographed the Rat’s Nest Cave while on Canmore Cave Tour’s new Private Caving Experience – SOLITUDE. Without being with a group of people, you’ll have time to enjoy every inch of the cave while exploring at your own pace.

 

What: A Signature Canadian Experience as designated by Destination Canada.

Where: Rat’s Nest Cave, designated a Provincial Historic Site in 1987, situated on the south-facing slope of Grotto Mountain near Canmore, AB, Canada. Access to the cave is restricted in order to protect the environment inside and entry is facilitated by Canmore Cave Tours.

How: Connect with the Team at Canmore Cave Tours:

Facebook: www.facebook.com/canmorecavetours
Twitter: www.twitter.com/canmorecavetour
Instagram: www.instagram.com/canmorecavetours

Web: canmorecavetours.com

Toll Free: 1877.317.1178

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Dax

As always, drop me a line and follow my adventures on:
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