aerial, photography

white rock | aerials + lifestyle

White Rock Lake in Dallas is a very fun, active area, so it’s no wonder there is a good bit of development happening in and around the nearby neighborhoods.

The private and public sectors have invested massive amounts of money, and the result is a beautiful, hip, fun, and affordable location.

I’ve been getting more and more calls for aerials and lifestyle shots of the area… and luckily, it’s right in our backyard!  Love these jobs!!

ARS_RACR_20131008_8245

ARS_RACR_20131008_8321

ARS_RACR_20131007_7953

ARS_RACR_20131007_8065

ARS_RACR_20131007_8075

ARS_RACR_20131007_8143

ARS_RACR_20131005_6595FF

ARS_RACR_20131007_0469

ARS_RACR_20131007_0503

ARS_RACR_20131007_0523

ARS_RACR_20131008_8329F

ARS_RACR_20131007_8049

ARS_RACR_20131007_8161

ARS_RACR_20131008_8200

ARS_RACR_20131008_8288

ARS_RACR_20131008_8373

ARS_RACR_20131008_8391

ARS_RACR_20131005_6429

_________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

If you are interested in learning more about photography, taking your art to a new level please check out my new workshop dates:

Big Bend Photographic Tour/ Workshops 2013-2014

More Destination Photo Tours/ Workshops 2013-2014

If you are interested in licensing any of the images/ video from this post, please visit my stock agency:

Tandem Stills + Motion // andrew r. slaton

If you are interested in purchasing prints from this post, please check my prints for sale, or email me directly for a custom request:

andrew r. slaton // photographer // prints

For assignment work requests, please email me: andrew@andrewslatonphoto.com

Thanks for visiting AndrewSlatonBlog.com!

all images and content © andrew r. slaton | photographer 2013

Standard
landscape, nature, photography, travel, wildlife

PINS selects

Elle and I traveled to Padre Island National Seashore this weekend to enjoy the ocean.

Beach camping proved a bit more difficult than our usual locations… but it was great prep for the Everglades.

Too much sun, sand, and wind were the low points, for sure.  However, the good certainly outweighed the bad.

And as I prepare to leave today for my trip, I am very glad we had the time together.

Here are a few of my favorites from the long weekend….

ARS_PINS_20130830_9720

ARS_PINS_20130830_0013

ARS_PINS_20130831_0028-2

ARS_PINS_20130831_0036-2

ARS_PINS_20130831_0066

ARS_PINS_20130831_0072-2

ARS_PINS_20130901_0334

ARS_PINS_20130901_0354

ARS_PINS_20130901_0406

ARS_PINS_20130901_0755

ARS_PINS_20130901_1106

ARS_PINS_20130902_1147

ARS_PINS_20130902_1154

–andrew

________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

If you are interested in learning more about photography, taking your art to a new level, and/ or Big Bend photography tours and workshops, please check out my new workshop dates:

Big Bend Photographic Tour/ Workshops 2013-2014

More Destination Photo Tours/ Workshops 2013-2014

If you are interested in licensing any of the images/ video from this post, please visit my stock agency:

Tandem Stills + Motion // andrew r. slaton

If you are interested in purchasing prints from this post, please check my prints for sale, or email me directly for a custom request:

andrew r. slaton // photographer // prints

For assignment work requests, please email me: andrew@andrewslatonphoto.com

Thanks for visiting AndrewSlatonBlog.com!

all images and content © andrew r. slaton | photographer 2013

Standard
equipment review, instructional, photography, travel, writing

planning an epic road trip // equipped

“The single most important component of a camera is the twelve inches behind it.”
Ansel Adams
 

ARS_AMI_0512_0012

ARS_AMI_0512_0017

Equipment

It cannot be said enough… the equipment is only as good as the photographer using it.  With that said, I am a lover of gadgetry and get really excited when I have the opportunity to learn a new tool that will help me achieve better, more consistent results with my imagery.

So for this trip, Canon is sending me the 5D MK III, TS-E 17mm, and the new Speedlite 600EX-RT to evaluate and review here on the blog…

I know the MK III is not very new anymore, but I’m excited to put it to the test in one of North America’s most extreme environments.  And I am really looking forward to spending some quality time  with Canon’s widest and highest rated tilt-shift lens, and the newest Speedlite technology.  

24460_1_xl

24460_2_xl

24462_1_xl

24462_4_xl

tse17_4l_1_xl

But regarding other equipment, and being prepared for a trip such as this, I have had to plan accordingly, with weather as the biggest “x” factor.

From dry bags and applying scotch guard to as much as possible, to purchasing mosquito netting for my head, I have tried my best to think it all through.  I will be bringing multiple rain covers no doubt.

Check out this video that explains a bit more, and see some of the gear that will (hopefully) get me through the extreme conditions…

“Never forget that all the great photographs in history were made with more primitive camera equipment than you currently own.”
Brooks Jensen

ARS_AMI_0512_0019

ARS_AMI_0512_0023

ARS_AMI_0910_0106

ARS_AMI_0910_0151

ARS_AMI_0910_0175

To know what equipment to bring and what to leave behind, I think carefully through my shot list.  What tools will I need to give myself the best chance to achieve each image?  Only experience helps me determine that with any accuracy.  And the more you shoot, the more confident you’ll be when practicing this.

It’s a very obvious, yet important part of the planning process.  There’s nothing worse than arriving on location after days of driving, only to realize you so wish you had brought that second tripod, or the 2x extender.

Don’t rush through this step, or chances are, you’ll be frustrated later…

— andrew

“There is nothing worse than a sharp image of a fuzzy concept.”
Ansel Adams

__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

If you are interested in learning more about photography, taking your art to a new level, and/ or Big Bend photography tours and workshops, please check out my new workshop dates:

Big Bend Photographic Tour/ Workshops 2013-2014

More Destination Photo Tours/ Workshops 2013-2014

If you are interested in licensing any of the images/ video from this post, please visit my stock agency:

Tandem Stills + Motion // andrew r. slaton

If you are interested in purchasing prints from this post, please check my prints for sale, or email me directly for a custom request:

andrew r. slaton // photographer // prints

For assignment work requests, please email me: andrew@andrewslatonphoto.com

Thanks for visiting AndrewSlatonBlog.com!

all images and content © andrew r. slaton | photographer 2013

Standard
landscape, nature, photography, random thought, travel, wildlife, writing

flashback | everglades

It was thirteen years ago…. I sat at a crappy, college-student computer, playing around on a new website called “Priceline”.

Back then, all you could do was bid on flights.

And so it was, a 19 year old aspiring photographer and travel junkie, bidding (really low) on random flights.

Well, I didn’t realize that if they accepted my bid, that I would have actually purchased my first solo trip.

And they did.

I think the winning bid of Austin, TX to West Palm Beach, FL, round trip was around $120.

I was going to the Everglades.

The next few months were marked with frustrating phone calls, trial and error planning, and no luck finding a reputable rental car company to rent an out-of-state nineteen year old a car.

But eventually I found a shady car company, and I was on my way.

With only a hand-me-down Canon AE-1, two lenses, and about 35 rolls of film (Fujichrome Provia 100F and hand-rolled Kodak T-max 100/ 400 b+w), I set off on my first solo photo adventure.

I know that I have already attached several of these Everglades images to earlier posts, but I thought it would be fun to see them again in light of the flashback…

Everglades1

Everglades2

Everglades5

Everglades6

Everglades7

Everglades8

Everglades9

I have SO many more images from this trip, tucked away in dark closets, nested within box after box, like Russian dolls.

Perhaps someday I’ll dig them back up and share them. But until then, these will suffice, as will the new ones I bring home in just a few weeks…

I’m getting really excited!

— andrew

__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

If you are interested in learning more about photography, taking your art to a new level, and/ or Big Bend photography tours and workshops, please check out my new workshop dates:

Big Bend Photographic Tour/ Workshops 2013-2014

More Destination Photo Tours/ Workshops 2013-2014

If you are interested in licensing any of the images/ video from this post, please visit my stock agency:

Tandem Stills + Motion // andrew r. slaton

If you are interested in purchasing prints from this post, please check my prints for sale, or email me directly for a custom request:

andrew r. slaton // photographer // prints

For assignment work requests, please email me: andrew@andrewslatonphoto.com

Thanks for visiting AndrewSlatonBlog.com!

all images and content © andrew r. slaton | photographer 2013

Standard
instructional, landscape, nature, photography, travel, writing

planning an epic road trip // the plan

“To achieve great things, two things are needed; a plan, and not quite enough time.”
Leonard Bernstein

Once I’ve made a decision on the destination, the real planning begins…

I chose my route to maximize productivity, making sure I touch all the spots along the way that can yield the images I need.  Below is a visual example of the route I charted for my Everglades trip.

It’s important to note, however, that this initial route often changes and flexes as I move into the next phase of planning… research.

EVR_MAP_09-2013F

Research

The first three items it’s typical for me to purchase are: a good map (I like the Nat Geo Trails Illustrated maps), a Falcon trail guide, and lately (though it looks cheesy), I’ve found “The Photographer’s Guide To…” series to be very helpful.  Though I do not use much of the photography advice in the last book, it has very specific location tips and times of day/ year information that can prove valuable to you,especially if it’s your first time in an area.  Think of it as the “Dummies Guide” to a place specifically for photography.

243   732508  9780881508659_p0_v1_s260x420

Another great (and free) resource is the good ol’ internet.  In this case, it was a no-brainer to go to the National Parks Service official website for the Everglades.  I found it especially useful for answering many common questions.  But it also linked me to informational videos and outside resources that began to change the course of my trip.

Despite the poor acting and shooting (sorry NPS, no offense), I was really impressed with the amount of information I could take in from these short webisodes created by the Park Rangers at the Everglades… http://www.youtube.com/user/EvergladesNPS.  It provided me the info I needed to begin to plan in more detail.  It also led me to decide to venture into the backcountry via canoe, which I hadn’t considered before.

Everglades5

Everglades8

All this research can lead you to several helpful conclusions in the planning phase:  it will keep raising your excitement level (as if it could get any higher!), the information will better equip and prepare you for success on your trip, and it will begin in your mind’s eye the visualization process.  By this, I mean, the concept of previsualization that Ansel Adams defined as “the ability to anticipate a finished image before making the exposure”.  And to help myself along in the exercise of previsualization, creating a proper “shot list” is my next step after research.  In general, Adams was referring to previsualizing a final image while in the field, with the elements of the shot right in front of you, but I strongly believe the creative process starts when planning.

The Art of the Shot List

After all that reading and online researching, so many images will already be swirling around my head.  The infinite possibilities of perfect images.  Those creative juices are fantastic and often drive my plan, but we also need to be realistic.  You cannot be omnipresent nor can you control the elements, so a certain degree of planning and preparation should be considered.  As a fellow photographer/ blogger, Michael J. Flaherty stated recently, “Do not try to be strict about your plan.  You either chase the light, adjusting meal times, losing sleep, etc. or you miss the light.  It’s that simple.”

First things first; choose your locations, illustrations, and desired flora/ fauna.

What do I mean by all of that?  Well, since you’ve done your research, the books you’ve read and websites visited, you should have a great idea of what specific locations and important plants and animals you want to photograph.  And by illustrations, I simply mean, what’s your creative vision?  What images do you want to capture that might be outside of the normal realm of stock footage?

For example, I knew that I would be reviewing some gear on my RMNP trip, so I added a few self portraits using that gear in the field to my shot list.  I also added “art landscapes” to the list.  My style is more artistic typically than the traditional “postcard” images.  So although my stock agency prefers the traditional images (because they sell consistently), I wanted to be sure to exercise my creativity too and be true to my style.

So all that to say, be thorough with your shot list.  On that same trip, I added “iconic summer elk silhouette”.  Kind of specific, huh?  Well, I knew exactly what I wanted, and because of that, when the opportunity presented itself…. I was ready.

_MG_9734F_1

Don’t be afraid to set the bar high.  Just be realistic with your expectations.

Your shot list will be somewhat general to start.  But it will gather momentum and specificity as you go…

photo

If I come away with 70% of the photographs on this shot list, I will be very happy.

The fact is, the more planning and research you do, the more prepared you’ll be.  But just as the weather changes at a moment’s notice, so too will your well made plans.

–andrew

“Expect the best, plan for the worst, and prepare to be surprised.”
Denis Waitley

“You must plan to be spontaneous.”
David Hockney

__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

If you are interested in learning more about photography, taking your art to a new level, and/ or Big Bend photography tours and workshops, please check out my new workshop dates:

Big Bend Photographic Tour/ Workshops 2013-2014

More Destination Photo Tours/ Workshops 2013-2014

If you are interested in licensing any of the images/ video from this post, please visit my stock agency:

Tandem Stills + Motion // andrew r. slaton

If you are interested in purchasing prints from this post, please check my prints for sale, or email me directly for a custom request:

andrew r. slaton // photographer // prints

For assignment work requests, please email me: andrew@andrewslatonphoto.com

Thanks for visiting AndrewSlatonBlog.com!

all images and content © andrew r. slaton | photographer 2013

Standard