Photo of the Month March 2020

Tom and I want to celebrate the great images being created on our workshops by posting a photograph each month from one of our workshops that best captures the environment or people of that location. We decided to return to one of our three February workshops since we postponed our March workshop . We hope you enjoy Greg’s images as much as we do. 

Congratulations to March’s photographer – Greg Ness 

Japan

The Story:

Every trip I go on, there are a few iconic photos I want to get. We’ve all seen snow monkeys with snow on their head…..that was what I had in my mind for this shoot.

The day before, we went up to the monkey pool and I got a good idea of what I needed to do for the shot. Tom and Cree took great efforts to make sure we were the first ones up at the pool. I knew I wanted a water-level photo….one were I was staring right into the monkey’s eyes.

I squeezed myself into the corner right on the lower platform near the pool. It was very uncomfortable. I stayed right there for two hours in the snow.

I used my 70-200 f/2.8 to blur the background. The shot settings worked great because the monkey was a little further away. I am used to shooting people’s faces with the 70-200 at f/2.8. There is a lot more depth to a monkey’s face with their deep-set eyes, and for some of the closer monkey photos, I wish I had shot more images at f/4 or f/5.6.

I got a lot of nice photos. This one spoke to me the most. It was the picture I had in my head.

Snow Monkey Photo
 Photo of the Month – March 2020

The Location: 

My goal a few years ago was to visit all 7 continents and I have done that now. On this workshop, the combination of wildlife, people, landscapes, with cranes, monkeys and people photos peaked my interest. I knew I would get bored with just one or the other the whole time. I thought, “I’m going to stay engaged the whole time.”

It was end to end fun. It was so enjoyable. Japan impresses me more than any other country I have visited…..the locations and the efficiency. It is a big, beautiful world out there.

The Data: 1/500 sec, f/2.8, 200 mm, ISO 500

The Gear: Sony A7R IV, Sony FE 70-200mm f/2.8 GM OSS;

Photo Tip from the Photographer: 

Photography is such a personal thing. I never criticize other people’s work. I do not know what they want because I am not inside their head.

My tip is to know what you want to accomplish before you walk out the door. Your best chance of shooting good photos is to minimize the time you spend taking ordinary photos.

A recent example of this came up one morning in Torres del Paine in Chile. We were with a ranger looking for pumas and the weather was perfect for wildlife. Along the way we passed some wildflowers and two members of the group wanted to stop and take macro photos. That was the ordinary photo. To get the really good photo, we needed to stick with the plan we started with. We saw the pumas from far away, but were not able to get good photos. After you pursue the image you have in your head, there is plenty of time to shoot whatever you want.

 

Imperial Palace
Imperial Palace in Tokyo by Greg Ness: 1/400 sec, f/7.1, 70mm, ISO 200
 Greg at the Imperial Palace:
This is a gorgeous scene, but I really wanted to emphasize the Imperial Palace in the photo. This is facing west. I had tried morning images, but because the sun was lighting up Nijubashi Bridge in the foreground, it really emphasized the bridge instead of the palace. I went to this location several times this day to check the lighting conditions. When I went at 3 PM, the light was perfect. The bridge was still beautiful, but the face of it wasn’t directly lit up by the sun.
After I took this photo, I decided to walk around the whole palace complex. It is about three miles around it from outside the moat. About halfway around, I noticed another bridge going over the moat with police and security people there. I saw that they were putting on formal white gloves, so I figured something was up. It was just a couple other people and me standing there, as this was not a typical tourist location. A short time late, ex-emperor, Akihito, was driven out of the palace complex with his rear window rolled down. I smiled at him and waved, and he waved back at me as I took his picture.

 

To see Greg’s photo on FB of former Emperor Akihito   click here

On Greg’s Horizon:

  • Africa – Morocco
  • South America – coastal Brazil, Bolivia
  • Asia – Tibet

To see upcoming international photography workshops with TBPW  click here

Olympic Rings Tokyo Harbor Night
Tokyo Bay with Olympic Rings by Greg Ness: 1/100 sec, f/2.8, 58mm, ISO 400

 

 

 

 

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