Discover the professional secrets of National Geographic photographer Jad Davenport and start taking captivating photos that tell the story of your travels! Set yourself up for success with Jad’s tips for travel gear, planning a shot list and overcoming bad weather. Learn to create high-quality images anywhere with four key elements of design, and discover the most magical time of day to take your shots. Jad shares composition techniques for everything from iconic landscapes to small details, and reveals his tips for approaching and photographing locals with ease. Plus, you’ll learn to how to curate your images, creating a memorable narrative you can’t wait to show off!
Meet your instructor, National Geographic Creative photographer Jad Davenport, and discover what goes into planning and preparing for a successful travel shoot. Jad shares how he makes the switch from tourist to photographer as he creates his own travel assignments: researching his destination, creating a theme and making a shot list and schedule. Then, take a peek into his pared-down gear bag as he shows you what lenses and equipment are must-haves and which pieces you can leave at home.
Discover the difference between taking and making pictures. Jad will show you how to recognize the four elements that create dramatic images: composition, light, color and moments. He'll preview each element and show you how to incorporate each one to build up a photograph.
Delve deeper into composition as you see how Jad implements the rule of thirds to create artful and impactful images. Learn to utilize leading lines and color to create entry and exit points in your photographs and discover how to separate your subjects from their background as you adjust focal lengths. Play around with repeating patterns and learn the best way to capture cities and buildings. Also, learn how to “crop with your feet” to refine your focus and edit out compositional noise.
Discover the art of the “CAT scan” as Jad shows you how to take portraits quickly, and from every angle. Break from the mindset that every photo needs to be a keeper as you learn how to take multiple shots of the same thing from a variety of perspectives and with a variety of compositions. Learn how to use panning to create vibrant and active images and discover the creative shots that showcase your personal point of view.
Learn how to assess light and how to play with it throughout the day. Forget about fumbling around with flash photography and make the most out of available light in any locale. Garner advice for scheduling your shot list based on the available light and discover the best options for shooting during harsh midday light. Finally, Jad offers a master course on the best techniques for capturing dramatic photos during the magical blue hour, just after sunset.
Turn a beautiful scene into an poignant image by making sure you also capture the moment. Whether it’s a hummingbird looking for nectar or a couple holding hands as they walk down the beach, including subjects in your photos will add intimacy and impact. First, discover how to find and compose interesting backgrounds. Then, learn how to anticipate action and how to find target-rich environments as Jad offers tips for approaching people and creating instant relationships.
Now that you’ve returned from your trip, it’s time to edit and organize your photos. Explore what makes one photograph compositionally stronger than another as you edit for variety and range. Once you’ve decided what stays and what goes, learn to create a slide show that will engage and inspire its viewers. Jad’s design perspective from the magazine world will help you to pick an opening and closing shot as he offers tips on how to pace your presentation as you flow from one photo from the next, adding action and quiet moments along the way.
"I like the fact that the first lessons give you an idea of what to do before embarking on your travel. The instructor gives you ideas on how to build a photograph without making it look like a typical snapshot. The whole setting of the class is in a relaxed state giving you a chance to reflect on what's being presented."