Our Loweprofessionals are hard working professional photographers who travel to and explore many different corners of the world. We thought it would be fun to take a peek at their adventures, show you some of the amazing images they capture and how they achieved them.
Loweprofessional Chris McLennan is a travel, wildlife and adventure photographer based out of New Zealand. When we think of travel photography at Lowepro we are reminded of the amazing countries Chris has traveled to. From remote locations in Namibia to the blue waters of the South Pacific and many places in between.
This image was taken of a beautiful proud Himba woman in remote Namibia. She had been gathering firewood for the evening and is heading back to the village.
How do you get your subjects in other countries who don’t speak the same language to feel comfortable in front of the camera?
I usually have a local guide who speaks the language and I find the best way to communicate is by showing my genuine interest in their culture and day to day life. This is followed up, with a light-hearted casual approach and laughter. Showing the subject the images on the back of the camera is always nice for them and gets them excited – and again, often leads to humble laughter.
For this image, I used a Nikon D5 with an AF-S Nikkor 70-200 f/2.8 lens. I shot in manual mode exposing for the backdrop. I then used two wireless off-camera Nikon SB-5000 Speedlites with soft boxes set manually to expose for the subject.
Why did you decide to use off-camera lighting?
I used off-camera lighting a lot in this village, this allowed me to do several things. During the day when the light is harsh and not so pleasant, I could set my camera manually to underexpose the background and then use my off camera speedlights to create my own soft directional light source. In this particular image, I set my camera to expose for the sunset in the background – if I didn’t use my speedlights the subject would have been a full silhouette. I placed the two speedlights with small softboxes to camera left and used this to create my own light source allowing me to capture her traditional costume and beauty.
My gear was carried in the Lowepro Pro Trekker 450 AW.
This image was shot at Rainbow Reef, this incredible reef system is renowned for being home to the best soft corals on the planet. The reef is out in the middle of the Somosomo Straight far from land between Taveuni and Vanua Levu in the Fiji Islands. I was shooting my subject snorkeling around the stunning coral reef but on one of my free dives I looked up to see the spectacular light rays beaming down through the crystal clear waters. That immediately gave me the idea for this shot. I talked to my subject, worked out the angle then dived down and swam along on my back to position the sun behind her. The first shot I took worked out even better than I had imagined! I guess the lesson from this shot is to always look around and watch the light. Whilst snorkeling and shooting the reef you spend most of your time looking down – here by diving down and looking back up to the surface the light was spectacular!
Any advice on how to shoot under water photography?
Know you gear, be vigilant with your housing and always check your o-rings for damage, that they are lined up correctly and that there is no sand anywhere on them! Experiment with light and angles to see the different effects you get. As a general rule, get close to your subject, the closer you are the clearer your images will look! When it comes to editing keep in mind that you will most likely need to tweak your color balance to suit the underwater scene.
My equipment was carried to the location in the Lowepro ProTactic 450 AW.
To join Chris on one of his amazing photo expeditions follow the link below.