There really is something about photography that brings people together in a way no other artistic medium can. While scrolling through Instagram on any given day, it's hard not to find a photo that motivates me to capture a similar moment myself. More and more of my friends are keeping their iPhone cameras in their pocket and putting a DSLR around their neck in the pursuit of getting that perfect shot. Not only am I inspired by more people discovering their blossoming love of photography, but I'm also inspired by this open community that's always willing to collaborate, share and bond because of that love.
Canon challenged me, and plenty of other Portland creatives, to "Bring It in Portland" by taking photos with their incredible new line of cameras at the Doug Fir. In the company of celebrity photographers, local bloggers and even a photogenic pug, I was beyond excited to learn how to take my own photography to the next level.
Canon brought a wide range of their newest cameras for me to use, from the portable Powershot G7X to the intuitive EOS 70D. Since I already own a Canon Rebel T3i, I decided to go one step up and check out the new Canon Rebel T6i complete with WiFi/NFC capabilities. From there, I was able to visit four different Portland-themed stations throughout the lounge, each with a celebrity photographer there to share their tips and tricks. The photographs below were all taken with their Rebel T6i (with the exception of a few great shots by the event photographer) and then wirelessly transferred to my phone via the Canon Camera Connect app.
Portland's food scene is second-to-none. Whether it's a food-cart or a farm-to-table restaurant, there's never a bad dining experience to be had in this city. At the "Portland Eats" station, I met Jade Melissa, a local artist, blogger and trendsetting founder of the hashtag #PortlandCafeVibes. One look at her Instagram and hunger will immediately ensue. After adding a macro lens to the Rebel T6i at this station, I took photos of the gorgeous hors d'oeuvres. Here are some tips I learned when it comes photographing food:
- Get up close and personal. Use a macro lens to capture the detail of the dish.
- Make the food the focal point. Keep the background simple by creating negative space or removing any objects that might clutter the picture.
New York City may be the city that never sleeps, but Portland is a city that can party with the best of them and then wake up the next day to spend three hours eating an organic brunch. With plenty of nightclubs, concert venues and bars, capturing low light scenes in Portland can be somewhat of a challenge. At the "Night Light" station, photographer Scott Borrero showed me how to use long exposures to create surreal scenes. Here's how to create this electric effect that I'm completely obsessed with:
- Use a slow shutter speed (I turned mine down to half a second) and turn on the flash. Turn up the ISO if pictures taken are coming out dark.
- As the camera is flashing, move the camera in a swift motion (in any direction) before the shutter closes. Experiment by moving the camera in multiple directions until the desired effect is attained.
movers & SHAKERS
A city with such great food only deserves to be washed down with great drinks. With innumerable breweries scattered throughout the area and craft cocktails served at the best Portland restaurants, choosing a happy hour venue can be quite an intimidating experience. Doug Fir's quirky collection of cocktails were served up to be photographed at the "Movers & Shakers" station. From colorful "Ginger Ninjas" to decadent Turkish Coffee concoctions, that brave bartender was stirring up a storm. Here's how to get an action shot without missing the moment:
- Take a video and select the best frame as the final photo.
- Turn the camera shutter speed up because faster speeds will freeze moving subjects. Remember to turn up the ISO to bring in more light as needed.
- Turn on continuous shooting so that multiple pictures are taken while a subject is moving.
I'm living proof that Portland is home to an eclectic group of stylish people. Visitors will see everything from slick young professionals in The Pearl District, to tattooed creatives on the East Side. There's a captivating cast of characters each with their own individual style that gives Portland its charismatic charm. At the "Portland Style" station, I met Jeremy Veach, a Seattle-based photographer known for both capturing adventurers and his equally adventurous pug in beautiful settings. Here's how to get the perfect profile picture (whether it's of a pug or a person):
- Turn the camera's F-stop setting lower so that the subjects are in focus while the background is blurry. This will make the subject being photographed stand out even more.
- Try multiple angles and work with the light in the environment so the subject is captured at their most flattering position.
After experiencing the perspectives of other photographers firsthand at this event, I realized just how much I really love this art form. I love that Canon is making it accessible for the next generation of creators to develop their passion for photography with innovative products. Whether it's transferring photos via WiFi to a phone for instant Instagramming or blazing fast autofocus abilities while taking video, Canon cameras are making it fun and easy for people to express themselves through photography.
Now that you've learned a little from Canon and I, it's your turn to bring it! Share your own photos captured with a Canon camera via the hashtag #CanonBringIt and submit them to Canon's site for the opportunity to be featured.