VertiZonical – A Simple Photo Composition Memory Aid

Posted March 11th, 2017 by   |  Photography, Travel  |  Permalink

Vertizonical

I received a phone call the other day from a previous workshop attendee named Craig Quartz. He called to tell me a quick story about his last Meetup Group in Portland, Oregon where he was asked to share his top-ten tips for photography. While presenting to the group, he listed off a number of tips on exposure, exposing for the highlights, focus, and composition.

After finishing his tips, everyone in the room room yelled out, “What about Vertizonical!?” For the last number of years, he’s been sharing his favorite tip called Vertizonical to anyone in the club who would listen, but he neglected to mention it to the Portland Meetup group that night, so they all yelled it out in unison! Craig first learned this made-up term from me a few years ago at one of my workshops and now he shares it with anyone who will listen. I was talking about photographic composition and I made up the term vertizonical on the spot during the class. Obviously, the term stuck around!

 

Galapagos Sunset

Galapagos sunset in horizontal composition. Nikon D800, 200-400mm f/4, handheld.

Galapagos sunset

Galapagos sunset in vertical composition. Nikon D800, 200-400mm f/4, handheld.

Vertizonical is simply an approach to help you remember to always take both vertical and horizontal images of each scene you photograph. This discipline of shooting vertical and horizontal allows you the most options when you are editing your images back home after your photo shoot. It is much easier to take another 30 seconds in the field to shoot a different orientation than it is to try and do some industrial Photoshop work on your computer to create a composition that you never produced.

Galapagos lava field vertical

Galapagos lava field in vertical orientation. Nikon D800, 14-24mm f/2.8, Gitzo CF tripod.

Galapagos lava horizontal

Galapagos lava field in horizontal orientation. Nikon D800, 14-24mm f/2.8, Gitzo CF tripod.

Look at these photo examples from Galapagos in this blog post. Many of the images from this volcanic landscape are austere and dramatic. I love the challenge of creating compelling landscapes in difficult locations. While on the location, I work hard to compose my imagery in the best way possible. Even so, I’ve found over the years that I’m hardly ever the best judge of my compositions while I’m on location because my emotion takes over and due to the thrill of just being there.

Years ago, I was so confident, that I just “knew” that a specific composition was perfect as soon as I saw it. Unfortunately, I’d get home from my shoot and wish I had more options to choose from. Now that I’m older and wiser and more disciplined, I take the time in the field to shoot almost all my scenes vertically and horizontally.

hermit crab horizontal

Galapagos hermit crab in horizontal composition. Nikon D7000, Nikon 200-400mm f/4, Gitzo CF tripod.

Galapagos hermit crab

Galapagos hermit crab in vertical composition. Nikon D7000, Nikon 200-400mm f/4, Gitzo CF tripod.

Since I’m a professional photographer, this approach pays off financially for me in various ways.

– My book publishers often need images in a specific orientation for layouts.

– A commercial client needs a specific orientation for their brochures.

– A portrait customer needs a specific orientation for a wall display.

Shooting both verticals and horizontals of all my subjects helps me make more sales and reduces the amount of work I have to do in post-processing.

So, the simple summary is to shoot vertical then shoot horizontal. Vertizonical!

Galapagos beach

Galapagos beach in vertical orientation. Nikon D800, 14-24mm f/2.8, Gitzo CF tripod.

Galapagos beach

Galapagos beach in horizontal orientation. Nikon D800, 14-24mm f/2.8, Gitzo CF tripod.

We are headed to the Galapagos again this year and we’d love to have you along on the adventure. Check out our workshop page for more details at Visual Adventures Workshops.





March 2016 Newsletter Posted

Posted March 2nd, 2016 by   |  Photography, Software  |  Permalink

GH Panos

Our March 2016 newsletter is posted here: https://visadventures.com/newsletters/2016-03-newsletter/

Articles this month include:

CreativeLive Partnership

New Instructor and Author – Rick Hulbert

New Workshops in The Wooldands, Texas

Stuff I Like This Month

Book Review: Picture Perfect Lighting

Book Review: Studio Anywhere

Digital Tidbits: A Custom Approach to Panoramas Using Lightroom CC and Photoshop CC

Business Updates

 

Check out all of our previous newsletters here: https://visadventures.com/newsletters/





2016 Photography Workshops

Posted August 18th, 2015 by   |  Travel, Workshops  |  Permalink

Four of our 2016 photo workshops are posted and ready for signups. We’ll be going to Tanzania, Galapagos, Iceland, and Prague. I’m looking forward to seeing you and I know you are going to love these photo adventures and workshops. Great photography. Great food. Great people. I take great pride in putting together incredible journeys to the most incredible locations on earth. Join me in 2016!

NewWorkshopComp2

Our Czech Republic and Prague workshop is a new destination for us in 2016. We’ll be traveling to  during the second week of October, 2016 and our goal is to take advantage of the fall colors . Imagine photographing the Czech Republic’s castles, forests and cities with the backdrop of vibrant colors. It will be beautiful.

2016 Workshop Information Pages

Iceland: July 17-24, 2016

Galapagos: September 17-25, 2016

Czech Republic/Prague: October 8-16, 2016

Tanzania: November 4-15, 2016

Email me at [email protected] if you have any questions. I’ll get right back to you!





Join Us On A Photo Adventure Trip

Posted May 12th, 2014 by   |  Photography, Travel, Wildlife, Workshops  |  Permalink

world travel with Mike

We have a full schedule of adventure photo trips planned for 2014/2015 and would love to have you along. Photography adventure trips with Mike Hagen and Visual Adventures are great fun and very educational. We’ve taken care of all the trip details so you can focus solely on getting the best shot in the best light.

Our Iceland and Galapagos trips for August/September 2014 are already sold out, but we have space available for Cuba in October, Tanzania in November, Iceland in February and India next April. Stay tuned for more 2015 trips to be announced soon!

Tanzania photo safari

Photographing birds on safari with Mike Hagen in Tanzania.

All of our workshops can be found at this link:
http://visadventures.com/workshops/

Here are our upcoming international trips for the remainder of 2014 and early 2015:

Aug. 12-20, 2014
Iceland Photo and Bird Adventure (SOLD OUT)

Sep. 5-14, 2014
Galapagos Photo Adventure (SOLD OUT)

Oct. 4-12, 2014
Cuba Photography and Cultural Tour

Nov. 4-15, 2014
Tanzania Photo Safari

Feb. 9-15, 2015
Iceland Winter Photo Adventure

Apr. 29 – May 11, 2015
Northern India Tea, Landscape and Wildlife Photo Adventure

Iceland group

Iceland Photo and Bird Adventure.

Galapagos travel group

Galapagos Islands Photo adventure group.

galapagos sea lion

Up close and personal with wildlife in the Galapagos

long lenses

Long lenses and sun hats in Galapagos.

 

 

 





Galapagos Iguana Week – Thursday

Posted February 13th, 2014 by   |  Photography, Travel  |  Permalink

It’s Iguana Week here at Visual Adventures where we celebrate the odd, yet somehow beautiful Galapagos iguanas. Check back each day for cool facts about these creatures along with photographs of the iguana in their native environment.

The marine iguana's claws help it grasp rocks while sunning or while eating seaweed on the ocean floor. Nikon D800, Nikon 200-400mm f/4.

The marine iguana’s claws help it grasp rocks while sunning or while eating seaweed on the ocean floor. Nikon D800, Nikon 200-400mm f/4.

Marine iguanas have laterally flattened tails that help propel them through the water similarly to a crocodile or alligator. Their claws are long and sharp for clinging to rocks while above ground and are also used for hanging onto underwater rocks while eating algae in heavy currents. The largest marine iguanas can dive up to 100 feet deep and hold their breath for up to 45 minutes in their search of seaweed.

The marine iguanas have special glands that purify their blood of surplus sea salt, which they ingest while eating seaweed. You’ll often see and hear iguanas expelling the salt while they are sunning themselves on the rocky shores and sandy beaches next to the ocean. It looks and sounds exactly like a human sneeze.

Iguana on shoreline

Iguana walking along the shoreline. Nikon D7000, Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8.

Our next photo adventure to the Galapagos is set for September 5-14, 2014 and this time we’re running it in conjunction with renowned photographer Tim Vollmer of Iceland. We’ve chartered our own private expedition yacht specifically for our own use during the adventure. More info and sign up here: Galapagos Islands Photo Adventure

Iguana colony.

Here’s a group (slaughter) of iguanas sunning themselves on the shore next to our expedition yacht. Nikon D800, Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8.





September 2013 Newsletter Posted

Posted September 18th, 2013 by   |  Photography, Software, Workshops  |  Permalink

Our September 2013 newsletter is posted with lots of tips, new workshops, and one or two new photos. In this month’s newsletter:

– Stuff I Like This Month
– August GOAL Assignment: In-Camera Processing
– Digital Tidbits: Four Things (Almost) Every Photo Needs in Lightroom 5
– Photo Techniques: Autofocus Tracking with a Cluttered Background
– Photo Techniques: Vertical Panoramas
– Digital Tidbits: Quick Tip On File Renaming
– Workshop and Business Updates

http://visadventures.com/newsletters/2013-09-newsletter/

Summer 2013 photos

Photos from summer 2013





New Mike Hagen Workshops Added

Posted April 13th, 2013 by   |  Photography, Workshops  |  Permalink

We’ve just posted new Nikonians Academy workshops for Seattle and San Diego this September and December as well as a brand-new trip to Tanzania scheduled for November 4 – 11, 2014. Our classroom topics in Seattle and San Diego will include Mastering the Nikon D600/D7100/D7000, Mastering Lightroom 4, and Masering the Nikon iTTL Wireless Flash, CLS.

For the existing trips in 2013, we have two seats remaining for our July 2013 photo adventure to Iceland, and four seats remaining for our November 2013 photo safari to Tanzania.

Be sure to check back soon as we’ll be adding 2014 excursions to Iceland and Galapagos in the coming weeks.

Follow this link to sign up: www.nikoniansacademy.com.

Mike Hagen Nikonians Academy Workshops

 

 





March 2012 Newsletter is Posted

Posted March 14th, 2012 by   |  Photography, Software, Workshops  |  Permalink

The March 2012 Out There Images newsletter is posted!
http://www.outthereimages.com/12_03_newsletter.html

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News this month:

– D800 or D4?
– Two openings for Galapagos
– Two New Books Shipping This Month
– Book Giveaway
– Stuff I Like This Month
– February GOAL Assignment: Purposeful Distortion
– March GOAL Assignment: Walking Zoom
– Digital Tidbits: What Camera Settings Affect RAW?
– Book Review: Ten Photo Assignments to develop your photographic skills
– Workshop and Business Updates

http://www.outthereimages.com/12_03_newsletter.html

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