Tag Along Workshops:
MAY 25-26 LONDON, UK
JUNE 1-2 AMSTERDAM, NL
JUNE 13-18 MEDELLIN, CO
-2 day Tag Along
-LIMITED 8 PEOPLE
-how to pose models
SIGN UP HERE (LIMITED SPOTS)
In Search of Gold - Adventure Photography - Lightenupandshoot
About 3 or 4 times a year I like to travel to exotic locations to quench my thirst for adventure and photography. My trips the past couple of years have taken me to the coast of Ireland, the islands surrounding Hong Kong, the jungles of the Amazon rain forest, the streets of medieval Europe, North American city tours of LA/NYC, and the coffee region of Colombia. I enjoy traveling in both the budget style of a backpacker and the lifestyle of Robin Leach's rich and famous...but what's most important is fulfilling my vision as a photographer.
My next Tag Along, January 2013, will be a luxury excursion in the historic Caribbean city, Cartagena (beaches, models, island hoping, underwater photography, and rain forest).
If you want to see the images and read more about the gear used, the techniques to achieve certain looks, and the creative vision behind the Supia adventure click: READ MORE
Earlier this year I traveled to Medellin, Colombia and began to organize my first Tag Along in Colombia. I had done several adventure style photography trips in Asia, Europe and the US, but Colombia would be my first to invite other photographers to join me on an adventure. I was on a mission to shoot the rich cultural diversity of the coffee region south of the department of Antioquia. Troy from Fogg Odyssey was living in Medellin at the time and decided to help me organize the trip. Troy has a popular backpacking blog and is also a photographer shoots with a backpacker studio. The trip started in Medellin, Colombia and we rented an old Chevy Trooper which took as as far south as Armenia. For ten days we practically lived out of the back of the Trooper in search of adventure, photography, the unusual and the unexpected...we found all of that and more! Two other photographers, Rob and Marcello joined us on the trip.
Troy pulled over so I could get this shot. I took two shots out of the back of the Trooper and used the natural sun beaming through the trees to light this coffee farmer. I love his expression: "I wish this guy would hurry up and take the shot!"
As a side note: we rolled video of most everything and I have many hours of amazing video which needs to be edited and shared. Between my busy schedule and projects I will get it out. It's in the plan for 2012/2013 to put out a series. This video is just behind the scenes of what part of the journey looked like.
Picture of Rob Rice on stilts in Puente Iglesias.
Gear: We had that Trooper packed to the gills with gear. Troy had all his video stuff; he even had a dolly made from PVC and rollerblade wheels (which was only used once on the trip because it was buried under backpacks most of the time. Because of space most of the gear used along the trip was primarily Backpacker Studio style. But, I did bring a few strobes in case we shot in full sun. Speed lights don't do the trick most of the time and I'm all about power these days. I have grown into a bigger pack these days because my artistic vision has gone beyond the Backpacker Studio. That being said, I still love the minimalist approach to photography. I can fit a variety of modifiers into the backpack: grids, gels, neutral density filters, snoot, umbrella, softbox, scrim, reflector and but loads more of junk I just can't think of at the moment.
One of the most usd pieces of gear: the scrim! I carried a scrim around for almost two years before I realized it's potential. Shoot through it, reflect with it, diffuse natural light, sit on it so your clothes don't get dirty, use it as a frisbee...and there are probably 101 uses for the damn thing. Use your scrim! You'll see it being used in most of my videos that past year.
Shot taken by Rob. We experimented with a flag, scrim and softbox to get the shot. The scrim and flag add little hints of controlled light that really make a difference between a good shot and an awesome shot.
The creative vision: it helps to be inspired and have an awesome location. You don't need to travel to the far corners of the earth to make it happen. There are locations everywhere and in your own backyard! You just have to train your eye and develop a vision. Photographers that join me on a Tag Along learn to become a light chaser and watch my creative process. From watching and assisting other photographers you begin to see things differently and incorporate little techniques into your own unique style. I love shooting with others; from very beginners to professionals. Sharing the passion creates excitement in images and drums up possibilities.
The shot above I used two 28" softboxes with colored gels. Soft diffused light with color, what a concept! Who the hell says that rim light needs to be a bare bulb. Yellow and pink were used. Did I mention that I was in love with our model, Laura? Talking about inspiration!
While pulled into a tiny little town in the mountains outside of Armenia and pulled out all the gear. We had a studio set up right in the park. In about 10 minutes we had a group of kids hanging out and posing for us. The kids showed off with their skateboards, motorcycles and bicycles.
This was taken in Santa Rosa. Santa Rosa is famous for it's hot thermals and massive waterfall. Totally worth a visit to Colombia to witness this natural beauty! While in the park I noticed a little guy who was some sort of security guard. I asked if I could do some photos of him and he really go into it. There must have been a crowd of 30 people watching as we popped off a few shots. I wanted to send him a copy but he didn't have an email address. One of the things I love about rural Colombia is the simplicity in which they live, it's more about the family and living a fruitful life than having all the modern day toys. For this, I love Colombia. There's everything from the highly sophisticated modern city to indigenous indians, a cultural paradise. And yes, it's safe to travel to Colombia. Colombia is not all drugs and mafia. It's much much more than that...and the people are amazing.
I hope you enjoyed this post. I plan on writing more and have a lot of plans for the next several months. Shoot me a line and be sure to leave me some feedback.