Mark Wallace is a commercial fashion photographer based in Phoenix, Arizona. The founder of Snapfactory studios, Wallace continuously shares his knowledge of camerawork with aspiring artists, leading workshops and classes around the world. In 2013, Mark left the United States to embark on a 2 year-long journey during which he visited 25 countries and captured thousands of unique photographs across the globe. We met up with Mark at Adorama last night to chat about his journey and to gain some insight about practical photography on the go. Here’s what he shared:
1. Be vigilant– Often times when visiting other places and absorbing new cultures, you will be exposed to social and political differences. Although it is exciting and meaningful to encapsulate this diversity within your images in an effort to explain and share with others back at home, in doing so, it’s important to be mindful of your role as a photojournalist. Capture what’s true, and make sure to send viewers an accurate, unbiased message of what’s going on.
2. Pack practically– “On any kind of trip you take, I suggest packing a tripod,” Mark advised. “You’ll be able to capture better low light and time lapse shots that way, and get more experimental. It just really opens compositional doors,” he continued. “But when it comes to capturing the memories of travel- things like a friend falling asleep in the car, a meal you ate and loved, something funny that happened- honestly the best camera gear I think you can bring along is your cell phone. I don’t pack a ton of elaborate gear with me anymore, quite frankly because it’s heavy. You can capture those memories with something simple and small.”
Sunsets are likely one of the most common subjects shot by photographers of all skill levels worldwide. As aspiring professionals, it’s therefore important to make strides towards standing out when capturing an image of something so standard. Although it can be difficult to create compositions more noticeable than the countless rest, here are 5 adjustments you could try next time you’re working at sundown. You don’t have to (and likely can’t) simultaneously employ every rule to each shot you take at sundown. But try experimenting with one or two in an effort to step up your sunset game:
1. Underexpose– People are usually drawn to sunset photos with rich, striking colors. If you somewhat underexpose your shot, you will be more likely to capture shades that look more remarkable and defined.
2. Establish a Foreground– If you’re looking to set your shot apart from others in a noticeable way, don’t overlook the promise of the foreground. In an excited effort to capture the colors of the brilliant sunset, some photographers make the mistake of thinking that impressive hues will be enough to make for a substantial shot. Try to include a subject up front- a body of water, a pier, get creative.
Have you ever wondered why some landscape photos are able to capture that characteristically magnificent, bold look of nature while others look completely mundane and flat?
Said well-composed scenery shots are likely the product of expertly executed long exposures. Whether the artist adjusted the shutter speed to capture a soft, cloudlike appearance of moving water or the gentle drift of clouds across a morning sky, implementation of long exposure photography is likely the most effective method in spurring this visual upgrade. If you ever want to give this look a try, consider these tips:
1. Shoot in manual mode– This is because you need to have fixed control of the exposure in order to successfully achieve this look. If you’re planning an exposure of more than 30 seconds, switch over to bulb mode instead.
You can’t pose undomesticated animals per say, but you can capture the moment―even if it looks like you posed them.
Much of the same principles apply towards photographing animals as it does towards humans. Keep these basic principles in mind as you photograph animals:
1) Eye contact is important, but not always necessary. In some instances, a pose with eye contact from an animal works. In my opinion, this type of pose is equivalent to a traditional, formal portraiture. When the pose works, the body position is natural and shows the full-body.
2) The surrounding setting is important too. If there are a couple of background textures and tones which complement the animal and setting, this would be perfect! In this way, the animal and setting (the background) contain visual unity.