We Simplify The Technical!

Peggy Farren interviews wildlife photographer and workshop leader Lisa Langell.  Lisa gives us tips and ideas about shooting wildlife with an artistic spin to be used in interior design rather than magazines.  Thanks for tuning into episode #80 of The Understand Photography Show!


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Understand Photography General Notes


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“An image in a magazine is around for a few months and then archived.  A canvas on someone’s wall may be there for 10 years.”

What is “Classic” wildlife photography?
National Geographic style images found in magazines, calendars, and online
So many wildlife photographers that this style has become saturated and overdone
Difficult to get your work noticed 

“Artistic” wildlife photography
Doesn’t follow all the rules
Seen as large prints or canvases in homes or hotels

“Social media is so fast paced.  You scroll through images and glance at them for a few seconds, click like, and move on.  A wall canvas is bigger than your phone or computer screen.  You get to see more details, stare at it longer.  It takes a different life to it. “

“Start with the end in mind.”
Look at magazines and images online of interior designs.
Browse Pinterest or google images for different styles of home interiors (farmhouse, contemporary, modern…)
What’s the latest in decorating trends?  What color schemes are in style?
Check out the home decor sections of department stores – what are people buying?
Design your images around these ideas.
The typical person wants something unique, something creative, but will still go in their home.

“Imagine what kind of image would look good on those walls and go shoot for it.”

Shoot with a purpose
Give yourself little assignments
This helps give you direction and inspiration.
While you’re out there, think about what the environment is saying to you – what feeling you get from it.
Shoot with that feeling in mind and think about where it could go.
Think about it as an interior decorating piece rather than classic magazine photography.
Try to shoot in a series – pieces that could go together in a collage format on a wall or as a gallery arrangement down a hallway or staircase – all framed similarly with a similar color palette

“Going out with this in mind actually gives you MORE opportunities to photograph – instead of waiting around for 6 hours for that heron to do something unique, you can be out shooting other things that will tie pieces together.”

How can a landscape photo be used in a series?
Landscapes as home decor are usually focal points – large pieces over the sofa or mantle… “Main Actors

“Photographers tend to always shoot the ‘main actor’ photos”

Too many main actors in the room compete for attention
Need to find “Supporting Actors
Take smaller bits from the grand landscape – zoom in

Look at the scenes in your environment in a different way to evaluate the scene for a creative shot vs. a more classic style.
Use the light differently.
Shoot mid-day – make the sky white

Recommend using a variety of lenses – or a good zoom.
Give people a variety of focal distances for a good collage or gallery composition.
Lisa loves slow-motion blurs and panning to keep a more ethereal feeling to her images

Post Processing
Give yourself a little permission to play
Work on color matching
Change textures with clarity
Create something a little more abstracted from the classic style
Preserve enough of the original integrity of the photo, but put an artistic spin on it
Lightly pull up highlights or deepen shadows using a transparent layer to guide the viewer’s eye (tutorial on Lisa’s YouTube channel)

Photoshop alternative:  Luminar
huge volume of great filters and basic tools
very inexpensive
use discount code “LISA” for more savings!

Next for Lisa
Gallery opening at Boyce-Thompson Arboretum outside Phoenix, AZ
St. Augustine, FL  Birding and Photography Conference 
Hummingbird workshop, Southern, AZ
Birding Festivals

Finding Lisa
YouTube Channel

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