Glenn Charles


Photographer/Videographer specializing in Life Style, Travel, and Aerial Imagery.  FAA 107 Certified for sUAS flight operations throughout the US.  Fully insured.  Videography work is limited to Aerial productions.

Based in Maine (May-December) and SWFL (Jan - April). Available for travel year round.

Filtering by Category: Street Photography

Portland Photo Walk - 2/08/14

I am planning a photo walk, this coming Saturday, 2/08 in downtown Portland Maine.  The goal is to simply walk the city, sample some of the local beers, and have fun taking pictures.  Any and all are welcome to join in.  Start time will be 6:00 and we will meet at Eventide.  Please email me or comment here if you are planning on attending. 

Below are some images captured on my last Portland Photo Walk.  A beautiful city to photograph at night.

Fargo Love

Time for my weekly Fargo love image.  Here we have my original, Fun Guy Green Fargo taking a much deserved break as we get set to hop on a train in Europe last year.  Along for the ride was Mr. Bill #2 who had been my traveling companion since the demise of Mr. Bill #1.  Mr. Bill #1 was my companion as I kayaked up the Inside Passage but unfortunately succumbed to not wearing his PFD :-)

Technical Artistry

If you have been following this weeks posts, they have been all about ways to improve your travel photography.  My last post of the week is focused on using your camera to improve your image making abilities.  I know that when show my images, one of the first things most people ask is 'What camera do you use".  The implication is clear, they believe it is the camera that produces the great images and not the photographer.

In the year of 2012, nothing could be farther from the truth.  Cell phones represent the largest single source of images on the internet.  Now, I am not saying that a cell phone is capable of producing what we would call 'Fine Art' images, but none the less, technology has made image capture much easier than it used to be.  The problem here is that because technology has advanced so rapidly, almost anyone can stick there camera or cell phone on 'P' (program) mode and fire away.  The resulting images will most likely be properly exposed images with a reasonable level of quality.  This is especially true when looking the cameras being offered in the low to mid tier by Canon, Nikon, Sony, Olypus, Fuji, etc. 

The fact of the matter is these cameras all produce nice images.  However, it is still the photographer that must make the image and it is still the photographer that must have a vision.  Earlier this week I talked about seeing and angles, but lets look briefly at the camera and how you can use this amazing piece of technology to help make your images stand out from the masses.

I believe that the single biggest change that the average person can make to their photography is learning how to shoot in 'A' - Aperture Priority mode instead of P mode.  In making this switch, it is critical that you take the time to learn  what an aperture is and how changes in aperture affect your image making skills.  The best way to do this is to go take a workshop that immerses you in shooting and reviewing your images.  While their are great resources online that can help you out, nothing beats hands on instruction in the field.

The use of high quality lenses, especially those found in the fast growing m 4/3's community, the Fuji community, and even the more limited Sony E mount community, coupled with  an understanding of A mode can help you to create images that isolate your subject and create a level of uniqueness that is missing from the vast array of images shot in P mode.

This image was taken in early morning light, something that I have not yet talked about, and with a high quality lens at a very large aperture.  The resulting shallow depth of field takes what is nothing more than an ordinary beer coaster and creates  a more dynamic image that helps to tell a story.  If you were traveling through Ireland and Guinness was a big part of your trip, you could take pictures of beer glasses full of Guinness like everyone else, or you could use some vision, a change of angle, and a larger aperture and create something unique to help differentiate your story.

Different Angles

Since the theme of this week is photography, I thought I would continue to add another image to the discussion.  While traveling and documenting a location, I feel it is critical to capture both the subtle and the not so subtle elements that visually define that location. After all, most places that we visit have key elements that must be included in any visual story.  Since these are key elements in a location, they will have been photographed quite extensively by the see of humanity that now has a camera in tow.

The challenge then becomes how do we capture the essence of a location, see it in a different way, and put our own unique style stamp on the resulting image.  I think that this is where the two previous posts all come into play.  First, finding beauty in what might not otherwise be considered beautiful.  Second, learning to see in a way that is not readily apparent to the masses.  Third, looking for angles that are unique, thus blending the first two into an image that has your own personal style written all over it.

For me, I know that I prefer to shoot a good number of my images from a perspective that is not often seen by others.  I do this in two unique ways.  First is by putting myself physically into different locations, e.g., climbing up things or crawling over things, both give me a perspective not often seen by others.  The other way that I change angle is through the use of wide angle lenses.  I love shooting wide because when done correctly it can take an average subject and give you something very special.

Combining all three elements will help you not only document a scene in a completely new and unique way, but also will help you to expand and grow your own personal style.  This particular image is of a channel marker that sits at the end of a well worn and oft photographed jetty.  I personally have tons of images that show this marker as a distant object when photographed from land, the perspective that most people shoot from.  In this case I walked out on the jetty, and using a 21mm lens, was able to get right up and close to the marker, making it the dominant portion of my image frame. 

As I took several shots, I noticed that the gulls were disturbed by my presence and they began circling overhead.  Carefully framing and waiting, I was able to grab a capture of an object that in and of itself is not very exciting and yet the resulting image is dynamic and dramatic.

The use of a wide angle lens not only added drama, but done correctly, I was able to bring in multiple elements into a single image.  In this case, the international border marker, the international bridge, the local wildlife, and a bit of the town, all come into a single image that works.

This image is definitely one for the books and a great keeper as I continue to document life in Down East Maine and the Canadian Maritimes.

Seeing v. Capture

I wrote a bit about this yesterday and thought I would continue the theme today.  The act of seeing what is around us can often be a challenge -- our mind constantly puts its own spin on what the eyes take in.  Finding a way to capture the mental aspect of what is physically seen could be viewed as photography at its core.  Anyone can take a good picture now, cameras are just way too good.  However, taking an image that represents more that what is readily apparent, well that might be called Art?

Last night I went in search of a way to 'See' the street in a different way. In this image, I was able to put my own spin, albeit in a very different way, to a scene that otherwise is quite ordinary.  Thoughts?