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Gear Q & A

Lesson 6 from: The Outdoor Photography Experience

Chris Burkard

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Lesson Info

6. Gear Q & A

Lesson Info

Gear Q & A

chris I'm just gonna dive in there is actual silly let's do it um hi chris you ever find your camera a burden while you travel sometimes I feel like I forget to enjoy my traveling when I'm constantly looking very good photo so do you ever leave your camera behind to take a break from the profession while you're on holiday I think that's a that's such a good question honestly always I mean this is exactly what I'm talking about why I started migrating toward smaller cameras um conflict my screen to just uh I've got it um I think one of that one of the key things is that I was going to these places the very first part of my career as traveling these places that were really amazing super unique incredible locations but I was leaving feeling like oh my gosh that was that was such a cool thing I've got these photographs but it's like I wasn't it wasn't like resonating with me what actually happened it wasn't it was like I was kind of leaving there without having the full experience I think ...

that I realized pretty quickly that as a storyteller you know any person that picks up a camera's essentially telling a story that I was missing out on on the story and what made an important made it unique right so I was a very big you know advocate of this idea of like taking less pain smaller cameras less is more sort of scenario on because I knew that my experience is going to become richer if I had less stuff you know physically last stuff between me my subject but also just less things to worry about you know I mean you see people making full careers out of shooting with iphones nowadays and there's a lot to be said for that because they are so lightweight and nimble and you're able to you know so in a lot of ways it's funny cause as a professional you kind of look at people who are just like pop up and shoot a photo with an iphone but you know they might be having a much richer experience than you are because they're just pulling something out and snapping a picture with it you know as opposed to getting all this stuff set up in these things I feel like sometimes what you find is people kind of miss that in the image they missed that in the idea of going out taking pictures that they're just out there capturing photos when it really should be composing like you would a symphony you know artfully thoughtfully composing images rather than just out there kind of shooting wildly you no closing your eyes and your finger on the trigger so I definitely become a massive advocate of this idea of you know less is more andi I found even tio there is nothing that you know cam like this can't do that you know um I can do that you know you shouldn't that be three hundred bastard or a seventy or something like that that's much larger and the lenses they're bigger that you you couldn't get so I've I've been you know massively fond of that idea but it's a great question awesome um if you could travel with only one lens what would you take him why and I like this question because for people starting out too that aren't sponsored by sony yet yeah you know uh well I mean it's easy I take you know I said before I take this camera probably find one camera one lens to be this cameron a sixteen to seventy as ice which is like a twenty four to one in five easy it's like not even a no brainer at all like it's nimble shoots fast and the beauty is that ninety percent of this gear nobody gives me for free despues your response based on me doesn't mean you get you get free gear at all so don't don't have this idea that they gets handed down all this stuff I bought and I actually used tony for three years before I ever communicated with them so I've been a proponent of their systems or you know uh for a long time because it made sense he could fit underneath my jackets when I was in norway and in the arctic and stuff and that's why I needed actually did a editorial assignment teo northern norway for surfer magazine and I couldn't use my nikon stuff was too bulky to big was flopping around I needed something I could literally you know I need this exact setup something I could you know twenty four millimeter they could fit like this that shoots a psc sensor which is the same size of the three hundred astra seventy um and I could put my eye to the viewfinder because when you're shooting like this is something you need something you can just you know take photos of right and so I realized pretty quickly I'm like well that is this is exactly what I needed now the problem is that most of time these little guys people don't think the qualities is good but in fact the quality of this is I would say much better because it has fourteen stops dynamic range and there's not a single other camera on the market that has this size sensor they can shoot eleven frames a second so when you're shooting surfing or you're shooting some like that I can't I can't express enough how valuable these are and you can buy a kit like this with that lens for under a hundred bucks or something like that or under a thousand bucks so yeah that's that's what I would bring for sure it's ah it's what I've used on a lot of bigger assignments just when I have to be out nimble somewhere really light me I love great on the cost is make people are shocked when they hear like how chief there you know but every every brand has their own version of that you know and every camera works there just for me it was more like size accessibility you know tio and when we get in the water housings you'll understand why a light camera and a small set up is the difference between getting the shot and not know because when you're swimming in an intense surf zone over your head you're gonna be like sure glad to have this twelve pound thing that I'm waving around between me and a bunch of fiberglass you know so lighter systems tend to help with with a lot of stuff but that's that's a sub sixteen seventy it's like everything I need on the wide and on the tight end too awesome we're going a lot of questions about filters could you talk a little bit more about the filters you use and why you have chosen them how often do you use him yeah we have assholes video section here about filters but I believe yes oh my I am the film might go to itch to polarizer right I love these little circular flow rises I use them a ton the only two filters you'll really ever see me uses polarizer and a graduated andy graduate andy is are amazing you know when you want to get that even exposure of the sky and the land you know you put it on so you darken up one of the other I use them I use them quite a bit with a machine landscapes when I'm shooting action no way this photograph right here it was just shot at the polarizer now one thing only to consider is people always think polarizer it's only good for white puffy clouds you know getting the whites really white and the blues really blue well not exactly true a lot of times you know you're getting reflection from blades of grass from leaves from all kinds of things in your image is giving you reflection now what does a polarized or do it does two things that cuts reflection right and it also kind of can enhance your your whites and you know make them a little more vibrant contrast I love using them for a lot of scenes when the clout with when it's almost cloudy too you know I I shoot with him all the time try it try it you know with it all with it often just to just to give myself a sample both because a lot of times like here you have reflection on these icebergs right well iceberg beach while using a polaroid is gonna cut that reflection and give you a deeper shade of blue inside those icebergs right also a surfboard where you might have reflection on the white parts service of surfboard it's gonna cut the reflection off that think of a kayak a bright yellow kayak it's going to require the reflection off that there's a lot of instances where these things were great and give us more saturation out of the natural image that not um yeah those are the two graduate neutral density and a polarizer I used the hoyas hoi hd two they're actually they just come out the hd three which is there the thinnest polarized you can use and they actually let in they cause most polarizes after stop down a stop of light to use them right those ones only make you stop down like a third of a stop or something it's really cool yeah they're the best and I've just found that after using every brand like these the ones that ten toe make the least amount of impact in the front of the camera so you kind of get what you pay for when it comes to filters you guys that's the biggest bummers I've used them all even in emergencies situations had to go buy some and they just saw you get bad ones and they're pretty bad yeah um you mentioned this a little bit earlier but do you find yourself carrying more backup batteries due to shooting mira list yeah I do and that's one thing that's tough is that the battery life is not is good there's a lot of doubt a false every system you know but that is one of the crux is of that is that the cameras were small batters your small they don't last what I do especially when I'm place like this it's pretty simple where's my battery so um I've got these batteries in here and uh the beauty is that they are tiny they're micro so I have a bag of these things and if I'm in cold weather that's something we'll talk about it later but from in cold weather I will just have a bag of these and I'll put them in my jacket pocket right next to like my heart warm surface to keep them warm right they get cold the zapped of energy I can't tell you how many times I put one of these into a cold camera and it's one hundred percent all the sudden it's like twenty percent life that just that'll happen with any camera but probably most specifically these you have metal cameras getting cold they're just going to get zapped so there's even been times when I've attached a not recommend you do this it also have attached like a hand warmer the foot hand warmers and the sticky bottoms I've attached those to the battery department of my camera right here keep it warm I've also attached hand warmers to my battery bag on the outside to keep them warm I'll keep them in here by my my chest pocket isn't like that and the nice thing is I can have you know twenties on a trip and using but definitely the crux is that they do um go out pretty fast now I love the fact that I can use something like this a simple is this to charge them as where with any other battery you're going to need a full on you know full on adapter you know inverter type of thing you can't just charge it via usb right cause they need more amperage to charge so yeah that's kind of the downfalls I've kind of figured out feel like I figure out some ways around it but yeah could you mention again that go to camera what model that is oh right now I'm using in a seven two okay um ta seven are too is probably out in the next couple weeks and I'm sure that's going to be absolutely incredible for me the reason I like this is because the internal stabilization when I'm on the go running around I don't like to shoot off a tripod very much unless I'm shooting long exposure or like night scapes and stuff so when it's low light I love being able to shoot you know fifteenth of a second you know tenth of a second whatever just handheld if I can or using movement in this camera lets you do that because it has you know sensor stabilization which is really awesome for my nighttime stuff I'm using a seven s almost exclusively because it's really built for that I tried to use it for anything else uh just high I s so in general I guess and then this is like kind of my go to I always bring on a trip action camera um yeah this's the six thousand ok so you guys know do we have any questions here do you guys have a weird questions so what prison is like a seven day trip what is like the solution for you so going a lot of after batteries we'll pretend you don't have thirty batteries so I pretend you only have four seven inch of what do you think they can do I wouldn't go I wouldn't go with any camera with four batteries in the seven day trip that would be you know kind of not worth it you know regardless of if you're shooting you know a massive you know you know dslr with you're going to want to bring more than four batteries but I think the solution is probably going to be you know no matter where I go especially if it's more I'll bring a gold zero charger they can charge me a solar energy ideally if I have son you have to prepare for you know you're going somewhere like norway in the middle of winter the chances of you seeing son are about that big so you're not community use something like that so I'd probably bring a couple of these guys you know as well as hopefully up car adapter um anything else so that I can charge anywhere him from driving around if it depends on your story if you're going to the back country it's totally different scenario that if you're going you know in uh you know you're gonna be a car camp you're going to driving around you can always charge stuff driving around um yeah just depends that's kind of a pretty open ended question I think in terms of like how you how you where you go and what your what your activity uses you know if you'd be using your camera a lot long exposures at night that'll just kill your batteries right if you're shooting just kind of you shooting lots of sequences you know that's going to kill your batteries but if you're shooting like you know every evening stopping taking a picture every couple you know twenty thirty forty minutes an hour it's not gonna eat it up that much any other questions thoughts yes you're not into daytime long exposure I didn't see man you'll find I don't do that as much I occasionally I never like me like daytime I guess I'll be like early morning and late in the afternoon quite a bit I'll do that but um I'm really not doing that like a lot finding like myself stacking a bunch of grads on there and shooting long exposure in the daytime I guess what I'm finding is it's middle of the morning or you know midday or mid afternoon the light that I'm searching for is not that dynamic right it's not going to be a cz unique I want mourning mean daytime I mean still early in the morning or leader that I stay with you all the time that I'll do a ton of that I mean like usually I'm limiting that stuffed a couple seconds you know you starve a little bit of detail but it's still there still some of it just depends on personal preference you know and what what your subject is and what you want to shoot you know sometimes you go somewhere and you're shooting a waterfall and yet you want the blurry waterfall or that you know the sochi smooth waterfall whatever and you're gonna stack couple grads on there and shoot you know but I tend to find myself trying to see that stuff like right at the crack of light were evening sunset or ah or a night you know so how often do you use a tripod I mean ahs much as I can I think it just depends on the scenario you know I've kind of gotten used to my cameras to know when and where I could get away without using one on dh when I need to you know any time using any time I'm shooting a waterfall long exposure I'm using a tripod and each time I'm shooting a night exposure and using a tripod um my bags don't make it from iceland I arrived you know this last night so sadly I don't have my really write stuff tripod with me but it's the one I use carbon fibre it's really small come backpack with it they make really amazing ball heads s o I'm just borrowing one right now but I love the one of the coolest things about these systems lighter cameras in general you can use lighter tripods write really small lightweight tripods ones you can throw in your bag they could just extend out so it's really nice to bill to shove this entire kit and a tripod in your backpack and have room for everything else right it just makes you be able to go farther um and I think that in addition to that having a solar system that you can use um it adds to that idea of going further being able to kind of get off the grady and more because that's that's the goal right is toe you know create images that air you know out deeper in nature in places that you know you aren't relying on coming back to hotel in charging your cameras at night or something like that yeah yeah with the fourteen stocks of dynamic range should you find yourself like shooting even this with a tarp but also because you won't have to shoot as much age d'or I find that with fourteen stops dynamic range it really helps me to know what my limits are like what I could do and that's the beauty is that yes so it's everybody else knows like um like a hundred nikon d a hundred a lot of those cameras you know he's uh seventies they have a massive amount of dynamic range dynamic range basically means that you can pull back detail out of your highlights of your shadows when you're shooting a really high dynamic range scenario you know if you're shooting somewhere like this or somewhere where there's really bright sky and crazy you know crazy dark features below obviously using and graduated filters the first thing you should do but sometimes we aren't given those opportunities and I'm a big proponent of you know I love to talk about realistic photography situation because you are always there with everything you need and the perfect set up the perfect lens and you know you might have it but you just sometimes you find yourself at the beach or you're in the mountains and you're just in a place where you need to shoot an amazing image because it's right in front of you and you so I love you know being able to utilize that fourteen stops dynamic range teo in post work on it a little bit you know pull some detail out or take down some highlights I found that with digital sensors you're always better to slightly over exposed then you are too underexposed writes always you're always gonna have a better cleaner image if you're um and this goes for I s o two guys don't be afraid to use a little higher so you're you're so much better off this is like old thing that I used think oh man you know I've got this amazing camera and this and that I'm just gonna it's got twenty four maybe I'm just going to shoot a low rise so my image will be a little dark and I'll all brightened up later don't do that you're better off using a little higher I so having the perfect exposure and then darkening it a little bit then you are the opposite okay and just in general too it's so much better for the post processing because any time you open up those shadows you're going to open it up to a world of noise and grady and you know you're never really gonna drop down the exposure and get add more noise too so just keep in mind that something important but the fourteen stops really helps one thing that I've heard two I'm not sure this is actual fact maybe there's some tacky guru can confirm or deny but I've heard that every hundred every um eso you every like native I s so you go out like every hundred s so whatever you actually lose us stopping dynamic range so I think the fourteen stops anaemic range only works if the camera's native eso meaning like two hundred or one hundred of whatever it is so just that might be true might be not I don't know just spreading rumors here created but yeah I don't I don't know exactly so but I've found that their situations where these cameras have really helped and worked really great you know and every camera nowadays isn't raising I s arranged so all right start dynamic range

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Ratings and Reviews


I've been staying up all night to watch the live broadcast. As somebody else here mentioned (latsok), it's emphasizes on the non-technical aspects (emotion, engagement, colour and composition) rather than the technical stuff like shutter speeds, iso and f-stop. Although I can use some help in both, the technical aspects are not only camera specific but fairly objective as well. The non-technical aspects however are something much harder to grasp. Getting help in this by no-one less than Chris Burkard is just amazing. I bought this class so I can re-watch certain parts of the broadcast again whenever I need it. But also to show my appreciation for Chris Burkard and Creative Live for providing this great online course!

Matt Redfern

This class was packed full of amazing knowledge. I really enjoyed the topics covered and have found it super helpful for my work. I have had so many takeaways ranging anywhere from how to put myself out there, finding my style that stands out, practical applications, etc. I would highly recommend this class to everyone interested in photography! Big thanks to Chris and CreativeLive for putting this together.


This was a phenomenal class. I highly recommend it to anyone. Chris is not only a sensational photographer, he is a wonderful teacher. He provides such detailed information and freely gives same to his students. He is really really available and eager to answer questions and so easy to understand. I learned so much and I was thrilled. I am very very grateful I found this particular class.

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