Peru, located in South America, is one of those countries that is truly a photographers paradise. Between the indigenous Incan culture, gorgeous landscapes and amazing ruins of Machu Picchu, its hard not to fall in love with this country. For eight days I have been leading a photography workshop though my company The Giving Lens with a phenomenal group of photographers from all over the globe. While the workshop offered these participants the chance to experience Peruvian culture and capture the beauty of Peru, the true focus was working with an organization called Picaflor House (supported by UK based Globalteer) that focuses on providing child education to those in need. In 2013 I will be offering another photography workshop here in Peru that will not only allow you to hike the Inca trail to reach Machu Picchu, but help us establish a photography program through the Picaflor House to help teach these under privileged kids how to use a camera and creatively express themselves.
The following behind the scenes images were taken with my Android Galaxy Nexus cell phone. To view more behind the scenes images of my adventures around the globe, you can follow my Tumbrl page HERE.
On our first day in Cusco, we had to celebrate with a round of Pisco Sours!
There are many vantage points to get great views of the city of Cusco.
We spent a morning exploring the Ruins of Tipon, just outside Cusco
You can’t come to Peru and not try the local delicacy…Cuy!
The kids at Picaflor House performed a tradition song and dance for us on our first day with Picaflor
An old school camera found in the lobby of our Hostal
A protest of a gold mine in Northern Peru in the downtown square of Cusco
The workshop group on the train heading for Aguas Calientes, home of Machu Picchu
Panorama of Machu Picchu with amazing side light in the afternoon
Joe Azure and Vince McMillen looking down the backside of Machu Picchu
Religious Festival in Aguas Calientes
Michael Bonocore showing a Peruvian child how to take a photo
Over the last 6 months I have been working non stop with various web and graphic designers to create the new look of the Colby Brown Photography website. After being dissatisfied with many of the proposals, I finally settled on Andy Lee, an amazing designer from the UK and Casey McCallister to implement Andy’s design. As you can see, we have gone with a much cleaner, sleeker and user friendly website this time around. The first thing you will notice is the white background, giving my images and the content I share plenty of breathing room to stand out on their own. Late last year, SmugMug became a new sponsor of Colby Brown Photography and within this new website design, SmugMug powers the galleries in both the Portfolio and Online Store sections. While I am very happy with the new look and feel, my team is constantly working on new features and tweaking the interface. I hope you enjoy!
Home Page for Colby Brown Photography
The Bio page gives you more insight into who Colby Brown is
The Portfolio section showcases some of my best photography work
The Get Involved page shows how you can make a difference for those in need
The new Photography Workshop page showcases all of my workshops throughout the globe for 2012
The new Blog showcases tons of content and information about photography, travel, business and marketing and much more…
The Online Store gives you the opportunity to purchase a variety of prints from the website. Powered by SmugMug
The Contact Page gives you the ability to easily email me as well as find links to all relevant websites
There is absolutely no doubt in my mind that Iceland is now one of my favorite countries to photograph. Early this month (May 2012), I was fortunate to have the pleasure of spending 10 days shooting in this beautiful country with two other very talented photographers, Ken Kaminesky and Patrick di Fruscia. During our time in Iceland, we had tremendous support and help via Happy Campers (affordable 4×4 van rentals), Iceland is Hot (Logistical Planner Súsanna Rós Westlund), Iceland Naturally (The Icelandic Tourism Board) and Iceland Air. I highly recommend all four companies to anyone thinking of venturing into Iceland as there is so much to see and not everything is easily accesible.
While I am currently backed up nearly 14 months in post processing images (+ I leave for Peru and Bolivia tomorrow), I wanted to share with you a series of images that I like to call “Behind the Lens”. It is a behind the scenes look at my adventures around the world, taken with my Google Android mobile devices, the Galaxy Nexus cell phone in this case. I hope you enjoy!
Map of destinations for Iceland Air from a wall in the Reykjavik airport
The visa stamp on my passport for entering Iceland
The Hekla Volcano seen from the road in Southern Iceland
Random waterfall just off the road near Vik, Iceland
70 mph winds create a massive Sand Storm in Southern Iceland
Svartifoss Waterfall in Southern Iceland
Mountains are everywhere in the south part of Iceland
Jökulsárlón glacial lagoon with high winds
Icelandic Church near the ocean in west Iceland
Kirkjufell Waterfall near sunset in west Iceland
Random Ice waterfall in west Iceland
Green Algae on the west coast of Iceland
Icelandic Horses on my Nikon D4
Barnafoss Waterfall in Iceland
The mighty Gullfoss Waterfall in Iceland
If you want to see more “Behind the Lens” images from Iceland or other countries, I highly recommended following my Behind the Lens Tumblr Streamwhere I share the vast majority of my behind the scenes shots while on the road.
Iceland is becoming one of the most sought after locations to shoot photography in the world. Every year I have seen more and more of my professional colleagues visit the island nation of Iceland, only to return with amazing stories and photography work that has only made me jealous…that is until today
This morning I am jumping on a plane and heading for Iceland with two good friends and fellow professional photographers, Ken Kaminesky and Patrick di Fruscia. I will be spending 10 Days exploring the Island while these lucky guys get 14 (I am a keynote speaker at the Google+ Photographers Conference, which has forced me to cut this trip short by a few day). As a group we will have Internet connect throughout most of our time in Iceland, so be prepared for a ton of behind the scenes reports and images.
If you haven’t heard by now, Scott Kelby and his production team have been working with Google together the first annual “Google+ Photographers Conference” being held on May 22-23rd at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco California. The idea behind the conference is to bring together some of the top photo instructors and social media gurus into one place to share their knowledge and experience to help you improve your photography skills and better understand social networking as a photographer. There will be photo walks, live photo shoots, one-on-one portfolio reviews, panel discussions, photography workshops and more. HERE is a break down of the schedule for the conference.
The introduction to the G+ Photographers Conference
I am stoked to be one of the featured speakers, panelist and photography instructors presenting at the conference. Here is a list of all the speakers…
Registration for the Google+ Photographers Conference costs $349 which gives you access to all of the events of the conference + the ability to join one of the many photo walks happening around the Bay Area on the day before. I will be leading one around Union Station on May 21st at 3pm PST. Click HERE to register as well as to see the other photo walk opportunities that are tied to attending the conference. On top of this, if you happen to be a student with a valid Student ID Card, it will only cost $99 to register. So for less then $100 you will have the ability to connect, engage, network and learn from some of the top photographers in the photo industry for two full days. The value kind of speaks for itself.
The Google+ Photographers Conference also has an amazing list of sponsors that will no doubt be giving away a ton of free goodies.
When I first started my career as a photographer I ended up purchasing a one way ticket to South East Asia and traveling around the region for nearly 8 months, building up a portfolio and taking every photography/writing job I could find. By far one of my favorite countries in the region is Cambodia, home to Angkor Wat, one of the best ancient temple complexes in the world. It is for that reason that I am stoked to publicly announce my 2012 Cambodia workshop that I am hosting with the insanely talented +Elia Locardi this October (12th – 19th). More info can be found here: http://bit.ly/M08KRk
“Walking to Nirvana” – Angkot Wat, Cambodia
Canon Rebel Xti
Tamron 28-75 Lens
Exposure: 1/200 sec at f / 9.0
The was purely processed in Lightroom 2.0. I increased the sharpness and adjusted the WB slightly, but being my first true trip as a photographer, all my images were shot in JPG, not RAW. Needless to say things have changed
*It is not always about the gear. This image is still one of my favorites and hangs in my office to this day…
Throughout my travels as a humanitarian photographer, it is occasionally difficult not to get attached to the subjects I document. After the 2010 earthquake that devastated the island nation of Haiti, I co-founded an organization called “Lespwa Haiti” thats purpose was to provide support services to small NGO’s on the ground in the struggling country in an effort to make sure their stories were being told. This photo was taken on one of my multiple trips to the country in 2010. I meet this teenage boy on the streets or Port au Prince. He and his family was living in a tent in one of the many “tent cities” that now occupy the capital. It is estimated that nearly 1.5 million people live these IDP camps to this day. There was something about the look in this boy’s eyes that captured my soul and it is the same look that has me going back to countries like Haiti, year after year.
“Lost Innocence” Port au Prince, Haiti
Canon 5D Mark II
Canon 24-70 2.8 Lens
EXPOSURE: f / 8.0 at 1/400 sec
I cropped this image in slightly to get the composition what I was looking for. The black and white conversion was done by Nik Software ‘s Silver Efex Pro 2, by far the best B&W processor available. I used the localized adjustment brush in LR to bring out some shadow detail in the eye, allowing you to more easily see my reflection while capturing this image.
One aspect of traveling to “exotic” locations around the globe that is rarely touched upon is preparation. This morning I was injected with a live yellow fever virus. Why? It certainly wasn’t for fun, I can tell you that. It turns out that entering the country of Bolivia requires documentation of having received the Yellow Fever vaccination. Over the years I have had my fair share of both injections and stomach bugs /parasites from all my travels. While I wouldn’t trade my life for any other, there are times then I have been keeled over on the floor of a hostal, dreaming of a profession that didn’t involve things entering my blood stream. Such is life my friends
Exploring Torres del Paine National Park in southern Chile and not catching sunrise over the Cuernos del Paine is like visiting Agra in India and not going to see the Taj Mahal. Even though there are hundreds of thousands of images of these peaks, you still can’t help but want to bring home a keeper. Much like the rest of my time in Patagonia, I was fortunate to get pretty amazing weather while shooting this location. While some intense storm clouds wouldn’t of hurt this scene, I was very happy with the end result. I used two stacked soft GND filters to help balance the contrast of light between the sun lit mountains and emerald green Lago Pehoe while also using a 6 stop ND B+W filter to help slow down my shutter speed to give the lake a glass like feel. What are your thoughts on the final results?
“Cuernos del Paine Sunrise” – Torres del Paine National Park, Chile – 2010
CAMERA: Canon 1D Mark IV
LENS: Canon 24-70 2.8L at 38mm
FILTERS: .9 Hitech soft GND Filter + .6 LEE soft GND filter + 6 stop B+W ND filter
EXPOSURE: 6.0 sec at f / 11
Because I utilized my set of Lee filters while taking the shot, I was not forced to manually blend two photos together to create this image. In Adobe Lightroom I slightly darkened the mountains while pulling out some sharpness utilizing the brush tool (localized adjustments). I then pulled some of the green color of Lago Pehoe back out as well as brought some shadow detail out of the mountains using the same technique. I wrapped up the image using Adobe Photoshop to do some selective sharpening on the rock in the foreground and clean out a few dust spots.
Growing up in California, I was very fortunate to have a family house in Tahoe. As a child I remember building forts in the woods behind our house and jumping in the beautiful yet chilly water that makes up Lake Tahoe. As a photographer, this area of California is amazing. One of my favorite locations is Emerald Bay, located near the south end of the lake. While extremely popular for visitors and photographers alike, there are still plenty of opportunities for unique compositions if you look hard enough. While I usually prefer dramatic skies, the clean feel of this image is what I enjoy the most.
“Leaving Emerald Bay” – Lake Tahoe, California 2009
CAMERA: Canon 5D Mark II
LENS: Canon 24-70 2.8L
EXPOSURE: f / 9.0 at 1/125 Sec
I balanced the light reflecting off the water with the sky by using Lightroom’s local adjustments (brush) as well as the split toning feature. I cleaned up a few ripples in the lake via content aware in Photoshop and then slightly enhanced the color of the image using +Nik Software‘s Viveza 2.