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Location Recce

Lesson 20 from: The Ultimate Photo Storytelling Workshop

Finn Beales

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Lesson Info

20. Location Recce

Follow Finn and the rest of the crew as they conduct a location scout ahead of sunset.
Next Lesson: The Roadtrip

Lesson Info

Location Recce

So the reason I stopped Dan here was the scene behind me. You can see it's a great photograph, the road leading down to the coast. These are all transitional scenes we're trying to shoot now, but this is a location recce. I wanna check this out on foot while the sun is high in the sky. I can see which angle's gonna work better later on. The dust kicked up behind the truck is perfect. It's the sort of atmosphere that I wanna generate from this scene. It's a movement shot, remember. We're transitioning from the workshop to the coast, so we need to generate that feeling of movement. Okay. Yeah, it's perfect. Looks good. This is only gonna really work for a tracking shot. If I'm in the front car and the Land Rover is coming towards me, the sun as it sets into the ocean, we're on the west coast of Portugal now, it's gonna be shining this way. If I'm shooting down the road, the sun's gonna be straight at me, which is gonna backlit the car. It might work really nicely through the dust, but it...

's gonna be tricky exposing for the back of the car. Even though this is a location recce, Dan's jumped outta the car, off the cuff, rearranging his boards. This is kind of what you want. It's a real moment. It's worth capturing. (camera clicking) Nice. So we're gonna head down this road see what's at the end of it. (engine revving) From the map, it looks like a cliff, which will be a perfect place to shoot a truck at sunset. And then we can see the beach below. This is the dust we want. This is what I saw when we were coming down this road. And throwing up, later on, as the sun sets behind it, shining through it, it's gonna look amazing. (engine revving) So we expected to find a cliff dropping into the ocean, that we could park the truck on. There's a fence. Expectation versus reality. These are things we have to overcome. These are our obstacles. But there's a place close by, like five minutes, that we can get closer to the cliffs. Okay. Probably, it's gonna still have some cars. Okay. That's okay. I mean, this is a recce. You got a bit of time. How far? Like five, 10 minutes maximum. Oh, that's fine. You can see it from the cliffs over there. What, walk around? Yeah, yeah. Let's do that, yeah? So we'll take a walk. There's another location that we can go to where there's no fence and we can put the truck on the top of the cliff. Check it out? Yeah. (people chuckling) (gentle string music) You're lucky to live here, man. It's amazing. So I just spoke to Dan. There is another location further up the cliff where we can get the car right onto the cliff edge. This is amazing, but there's a big fence over there and we can't get the car any closer. So this is good. This is the purpose of a location recce. If we turned up when the sun was perfect, we'd be in trouble right now. By doing it a little bit earlier, there's some problems here, but move up the cliff a little bit and we get the location that we actually need. (rising music) This is quite a nice scene. (engine revving) What does it look like? The waves look pretty good, we're still far. Where are we now, though? Not too far. He just said on the other side we go to this van, see here. So we're just moving further up the coast and I'm checking locations using trusty Google Maps, satellite option, obviously. It looks like there's some open cliff up here, no fences. Fingers crossed it's what we want. (car horn honks) Yeah. I love this haze. Portuguese version of Welsh fog. The haze of- (music drowns out speaker) (rising music) Dan, we have found our location. Happy with it. Check this out. (rising music)

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Ratings and Reviews

Brent Morris

Fantastic My thoughts on the storytelling workshop. The short is; it’s fantastic. The long is I loved all the details covered, from shot types and the ideas behind them to the call sheets and shot lists, and the whole process. I felt like I had a better understanding of how to schedule a professional shoot and I really felt like I had a much better grasp on many ideas and concepts, and I believe I’ve been able to improve my photography with them, so thank you and Finn. It really is fantastic.

Oswaldo Martinez

A path to better stories Very happy I got this workshop. Finn and Alex do a great job at teaching highly useful methods and specific advice to help you improve your own work, and more importantly, tell better stories that are meaningful to you.

Tommaso Selleri

Simply the best This is simply the best workshop out there on photography and storytelling. Finn is awe inspiring and so real and authentic. A pleasure to watch, a joy to learn from such master. I really hope a volume 2 is coming soon! Thank you for this one!

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