No matter if you’re shooting photos or videos out of the studio, location scouting is one of the essential steps. Ted Sim from Aputure meets Jeff Shepherd, a veteran location manager and a great professional at his work. Jeff has worked on the shows like Shameless, Parks and Rec, Straight Outta Compton and many others. In this video, he shares his top eight tips for location scouting like a pro.
For many of us in the northern hemisphere, we’re getting to that time of year when the weather isn’t so great. Sure, autumn (or “fall”, if you prefer) is here now, the leaves are changing colour, and we’re getting a great array of colour. But, we’re also getting the occasional day of rain. Or far more than just the occasional day if, like me, you’re in the UK.
Landscape photographer Simon Baxter uses days like these for location scouting. In this video, he explains how he finds new locations to explore, and the things he’s thinking about while surveying the scene. Simon also explains why does this during those bad weather days.
Sometimes even in the crappiest conditions you can make great photos. Although, I thought this was impossible in the part of the city where I live. However, this video from Jordan Matter helped me change my point of view. It shows you how to choose great locations for your headshots even when you’re limited to a very ugly neighborhood.
Jordan wanders around the neighborhood he says to be the ugliest in New York City (I don’t know which one it is, though). Only one block around his studio, he and his model Juliette Garrett managed to find five locations to make excellent portraits.
For me, finding portrait locations is fairly easy. But most of my shoots are in rural locations and I am able to pick locations well in advance. But sometimes you don’t have that luxury. I’ve experienced that, too. You find yourself in a town or city with a subject, and no particular location planned.
So, you have to use your wits to find somewhere on the spot, even in what might initially appear to be the least photogenic of places. This video from the folks at Mango Street offers up three tips to help you find locations while you’re out and about.
For anybody who shoots outside of a set or the studio, location scouting is almost a necessity. Whether you’re shooting video or stills, if you have a specific look in mind for the final result, you need to have a suitable location. Sure, you can skip the whole planning thing, and just drive around while shooting in the hopes that you’ll eventually find a spot. For some run & gun styles of shooting that might actually work, but for a lot of things, it doesn’t.
Location scouting allows you sort out shooting spots in advance. It lets you plan ahead and account for things that would otherwise be impossible to foresee had you just stumbled across it while out shooting. This free checklist from StudioBinder, helps make your location scouting life a little easier by reminding you of the things that you may need to check when at a location.
Panoramio has been one of my go-to location scouting tools for quite a while now. It’s an invaluable resource which combines Google Maps with user contributed imagery. Each of these images are GPS tagged, showing the exact spot at which they were made. Its design makes it fantastic for finding hidden gem locations nearby, or for checking out areas you’re visiting before you go.
In recent years, Google have been adding similar functionality into the main Google Maps service. Indeed, whenever you do a search for a location, there’s an “Explore” button at the bottom, and when you click it, a strip of images comes up. But for photographers, or others scouting locations, it doesn’t offer the most efficient workflow.
A question I get asked often is, ‘where do you find the great locations to shoot at?’ Or ‘how do you find the cool looking location images you use in your composites?’
Well the answer is easy. I get out of the studio and I explore!!!! I recently purchased a compact Sony A5000 camera especially for my little adventures. My main shooting camera, I felt is too heavy and cumbersome for my location scouts. I needed something small, easy to carry and something that still shoots in RAW.
This weekend I went to visit my Grandparents in the coastal town of Scarborough in the UK. Scarborough is a town on the North sea, in North Yorkshire. It was founded in the Viking times, and has had a colourful history. With its castle sat proudly on the limestone cliff, it was the UK’s first seaside destination. I’ve been coming to (my Grandparents) Scarborough for over 25 years, it holds many precious memories. Tales I like to tell my son as we walk along the beachfront. I would claim to know every street in Scarborough or so I thought.
One crucial element with Landscape photography is well…. the landscape. And while the photographer and the gear both come into play when shooting landscape, the primary star of the shoot is the land.
While jumping into a car, parking and starting to hike, while looking for a good location has some chances of succeeding, going to a location that you KNOW for a fact that has potential can drastically increase your hit/miss ratio.
So how do you go about finding good locations to shoot at? Landscape photographer Craig McCormick of Destructive Pixels has a neat workflow for doing online research and finding good locations to shoot at. (Or course, using online research tools is a almost a certain guarantee that you will be taking a photo where such photo was already taken, but this is an inherent trait with landscape photography in general)
Every photographer will eventually develop their own method when it comes to scouting locations and deciding which model to work with. For Los Angeles based photographer, Van Styles, that means choosing a model first, then finding a location he feels works best with the model’s look and is appropriate to they type of shoot he’s doing.
In the quick clip below, Styles shares more details on his approach to location scouting and what he looks for in a model (hint: it’s not all about how they look). Additionally, the photographer also shares a handful of tips on working with models, selecting wardrobe, and posing techniques.[Read More…]