Geophotography Webinar Series 2013
March 19, 2013
Beyond the snapshot: making the excellent Geo-photograph in the field - Steve Weaver, Dept. of Geology, Colorado College
This event has already taken place
Duration - 1 hour.
Format - Online web presentation via phone and Blackboard Collaborate web conference software with questions and answers following.
About the Author:
Steve Weaver is an award-winning professional landscape and nature photographer as well as an academic geologist working as the Technical Director of Geology at Colorado College in Colorado Springs, Colorado. He has been practicing the art of nature photography for over 40 years and travels throughout North America pursuing his creative passion of capturing the beauty and wonders of the natural world. His work can viewed at his website: Stephen G. Weaver Earth Systems Imaging
Most geologists working in the field today include a camera among their important pieces of field equipment. Whether their intent is solely to take photographs of the beautiful scenery they work in or to record specific geologic features important to their work, many return with images that frankly are mediocre at best and downright terrible at worst. Issues may include poorly exposed images, focus problems, problems stemming from a lack of understanding good composition, and harsh light and the inability to control the high dynamic range of light particularly in the middle of the day.
So the question is: How can the geologist/photographer bring home better photographs? The answer lies in following a few basic guidelines that all experienced professional photographers utilize to make excellent photographs. Excellent photographs are made, not taken and generally have three basic requirements: A good subject, photographed in good conditions, with the technical knowledge/capability to capture the image with the equipment available. As geologists we are trained to observe and see things in the field. Making an excellent photograph in the field should use those same observational skills to extract an image that communicates the details of a geologic feature or process to the viewer. To best achieve this goal the photograph should be made with a logical and pleasing arrangement of its elements (good composition) as well as using the best possible light that is impacting the scene to best emphasize the features in the scene (good light). Good light and good composition are essential components of any excellent photograph and without them the photograph will fail and probably be put into the category of "snapshots." These creative "right brain" aspects of photography then need to be applied to the image with the "left brain" technical knowledge of controlling the camera to capture a properly exposed and focused image that the photographer has "seen" and wishes to capture. This talk will introduce and discuss the basic elements of composition and using light, as well as some of the important technical aspects of using a camera that all geoscientists should know to properly make an excellent geo-photograph in the field. We hope you will join us!
Participants will gain practical advice about how to take great photographs in the field, based on technical and aesthetic principles.
References and Resources
Beyond the Snapshot: making the excellent Geo-photograph in the field.
Slides of Beyond the snapshot: making the excellent Geo-photograph in the field (PowerPoint 2007 (.pptx) 26.5MB Mar19 13).
Recommended on-line resources:
- Stephen G. Weaver Earth Systems Imaging
- HeliconSoft focus stacking software
- Guy Tal books on Photography
- Adobe Lightroom