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The Full Story Behind The Eagle huntress Image

Pro Photography Tip & Tricks

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  • About two weeks ago, I asked you guys on social media to vote for your favorite image so I could make a full video showing you the entire creative process behind one of my most powerful images... yeah. Enjoy.

    I received many questions through social media regarding the Eagle Huntress image but since I wanted to keep the video as concise as possible, I was not able to cover all of them in the video. So I added this little Q&A section for the most common asked questions.

    What camera equipment did you use in the Eagle Hunters project? Also, how do you charge your batteries?

    At the moment I am using a Canon 1D Mark IV with a few different lenses. I love this camera because it is extremely durable. I bought it 5 years ago, since then it’s been through extreme weather conditions, some really bumpy rides and luckily it still manages to do the job. When I am working on photography projects, it is very important to have a camera you can rely on.

    The lens I used most during the Eagle Hunters project was the Canon 70-200 mm IS USM F2.8. As I explain in the video, the choice of lens came from its ability to bring the background closer to the subject, as I wanted the Altai Mountains to be more dominant in the Eagle Hunters images.

    Regarding the batteries - most places we traveled to had no electricity, which presented a challenge. We had two options. Either drive to a nearby town for an overnight charging session or we would actually connect to the driver’s car battery. While the second option was easier, it had a big downfall, as the car sometimes failed to start, leaving us in the middle of nowhere.

    Looking back at it, the responsible solution would have been to rent a generator but that would not have been possible considering my backpacking budget.

    Would love to know how you light your images? Do you use any artificial lighting?

    I usually don’t use artificial lights, as I really think that a bright light source or a flash tends to interrupt the natural flow of the shoot.The lighting you see in the Eagle Hunters images is actually all natural. Most of the shots up in the mountains were taken during the sunset/sunrise as it provided the best lighting conditions.

    If you’re interested, I wrote a quick tip about how to take advantage of unique and natural lighting conditions. Check it out LINK

    Let me point out that in the last year or so, I found myself using a small LED light in specific photo shoots where I felt it wasn’t too distracting to others around me.

    When photographing the Eagle Hunters, did they have any say in the kind of images you were taking of them?

    Certainly yes, it wouldn’t have worked otherwise. Before photographing any hunter, I would spend as much time as I could, both sharing my photography with them and asking what kind of images THEY think would best represent their culture and their story.

    As I say in the video, it is important that you keep everyone involved in your project, especially the person you are photographing, as he or she know their culture best.

    For example, while photographing Aisholpan, it was her dad, who set the tone of all the activities we documented. It was through this help and guidance, I was able to find the best images to represent their culture.

    I would love to do a photography project of my own. How should I get started?

    Oh boy. I know what I’m going to write next will sound like a totally shameless self-marketing tactic BUT…. I actually wrote a Free E-Book on that very topic.
    No. Seriously. Here is the link:

    7 Tips For Making Better Photography Projects

    In this E-book, you will find seven simple and useful tips that will improve your ability to produce these photo stories and make your work even more relevant in today’s highly competitive documentary photography market.

    I hope you enjoyed the video. I want to thank everyone who participated in the voting process. If you have any other questions, please feel free to drop me a message or leave a comment on the video.

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    1 comment

    • Ruth


      Comment Link Monday, 20 February 2017 04:50

      I may never make a photo documentary but it was wonderful seeing you video. Thank you for sharing.
      What a trip that must have been.

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