When the Camera Man Takes Over

When we’re on location, we work really hard – but we also have a whole lot of fun. Today, I want to introduce you to one of our amazing film crews. We first worked with Matthew and Cori in Morocco, where they were living and working with the Peace Corps. We filmed our Histograms Exposed course there – and later traveled with them to Hawaii to film Spot On Exposure. Most recently, in June they joined me in Iceland to film our Composition course.


When we are traveling, Matthew and Cori work hard every single day. They get up when we do – well before dawn most days – they make sure all the audio and video gear is charged and ready, and they are constantly on the lookout for opportunities to shoot the next lesson. They help carry our gear. They help scout locations. They deal with crazy weather conditions, and they never complain. They listen to us as we are recording – keeping a lookout for errors, watching our transitions, and offering suggestions. While we were filming in Iceland, Matthew and Cori kept track of the schedule. They drove long distances. They reminded me to eat. They kept me motivated. In short, they kept things running smoothly day after day – and they kept me laughing, too.dsc02464-copy

One evening, Matthew decided he’d take on yet another responsibility… he offered to teach a lesson, using only the notes I’d prepared for myself. This short video is the result. None of us could stop laughing… but who knows! Maybe you’ll learn something!


Composition isn’t just about following the “Rule of Thirds”, and getting in close to your subject. Matthew takes us through the basics of understanding how contrast can help you draw attention to your subject and create impact in your photos… or at least that’s what this section was meant to do. It seems that my notes should be much more detailed if anyone else is going to have to teach from them! 😉

*Don’t worry – in the actual course, I teach this lesson myself! (Sorry Matthew – your lesson didn’t quite make the cut!)


About Author Varina Patel

There is nothing more remarkable to me than the power of nature. It is both cataclysmic and subtle. Slow and continuous erosion by water and wind can create landscapes every bit as astonishing as those shaped by catastrophic events – and minuscule details can be as breathtaking as grand vistas that stretch from one horizon to the other. Nature is incredibly diverse. Burning desert sands and mossy riverbanks… Brilliant sunbeams and fading alpenglow… Silent snowfall and raging summer storms… Each offers a unique opportunity. I am irresistibly drawn to the challenge of finding my next photograph, and mastering the skills required to capture it effectively.