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Behind The Lens


I can't remember exactly where this was taken. I was on the way to Guadalupe Peak in Texas with my good buddy. We were searching for some ghost towns for a film he has been writing and this was off the beaten path somewhere near the Texas and New Mexico Border.


It was sometime in the middle of the day. Not necessarily the time people say you should take a photo, but when you see something this cool you gotta take a few minutes to try and grab something cool.


The lighting wasn't really a focus on this photo. It was a bit of a challenge to shoot inside the vehicle with the large amount of shadow in there versus outside. Luckily the 5D Mark III has a good bit of Dynamic Range so I had to compensate and find a middle ground between the exposure in the vehicle and outside to show the clouds.


This image was captured using a Canon 5D Mark III and a Tamron 10-24. I had the camera on a tripod so I could do a slow exposure to get the movement of the 18 Wheeler in the background.


Right when we drove by this hunk of junk I knew I needed to photograph it. I started by just focusing on the interior itself. As I was take a few shots though I noticed vehicles passing through the busted out windows. This made me think about my vision a little bit more. I loved the idea of the juxtaposition between the dead, motionless car in comparison to a vehicle flying by, full of life. I took a couple test shots with cars and trucks but it still didn't feel right. A semi headed my way and I knew that it would fill the window better. At first I took a shot that froze the truck and realized that to take this image to the next level I had to do a better job of implying motion. So I slowed it down a bit until I got this nice small amount of motion blur.


This consisted of the basics in Lightroom. I adjusted the highlights and shadows to even out the image. I threw some clarity on it to strengthen the image. That was about it.

In my camera bag

I've always got my 5D Mark III and Canon 650 Film camera with me. For lenses I'm packing a 70-200 2.8, a Rokinon 8mm fisheye, a Tamron 10-24, and some Rokinon 35, 50, and 85 1.5 lenses. The 1.5's are all manual focus and aperture which is a lot of fun for me. I'm not too big of a fan of auto-focus.


My biggest advice for any image that is still life or landscape is spend your time finding that special shot. As you start shooting start to develop an idea for the shot to really make it special. Tell a story. Then do everything you can to make that story truly come to life. Move your camera around, adjust composition, and figure out an exposure that says everything you are trying to say. Had I just taken a photo of the interior of this vehicle and stopped there I would have an image that would look cool, sure. But, that would be about it. It took thirty minutes to find this image. Had I just been happy with my first shot I probably wouldn't be writing this right now. Bring home one amazing shot that you have focused on for a good bit of time rather than just taking a bunch of okay images.

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