Indie Spotlight: Cho Tang

Each Monday, we’ll highlight one indie photographer whose body of work deserves special recognition. Please enjoy their photography here, and make it a point to enjoy the rest of their work on their website.

Rorschach_by_Chopen

This week the Indie Spotlight shines on Cho Tang from Den Haag in The Netherlands.  While Cho does not gravitate towards a single style of photography he finds himself photographing landscapes most of the time.

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Kit:

Cho has a raft of cameras, he owns a Canon EOS 450D, a Canon EOS 7D and a Canon EOS 5D mark III.  He started with the 450D about 4 years ago and then progressed to the 7D 2 years ago, he recently purchased the veritable 5D mkIII which is now the body he reaches for first.  As a complement to his 5D mkIII, Cho’s favorite lens is the Canon 17-40 f4 L. The lens enables him to shoot with a wide angle and create depth in the image.  In Cho’s opinion, you can pull the viewer into the image using a wide angle lens better than any other type of lens.

Railway_to_Heaven_by_Chopen

Workflow:

Cho makes a concious choice to not have too much of an influence on the subjects he shoots.  He doesn’t stage anything and just appreciates and captures the scenery in it’s natural state.  He usually starts by surveying his location and then decides which lens he should use first.  Once he has his game plan set he shoots landscapes with as small an aperture as possible, low ISO and his shutter speed is determined on whether or not he intends to capture a long exposure.

Lost_in_Paradise_by_Chopen

After capturing his images he opens each one in Digital Photo Professional, the native software from Canon; while there, he makes some minor adjustments in the RAW file and then exports 5 different exposures of  each image.  He then opens each of the 5 exposures in Photomatix Pro 4 to create a varying HDR outputs. Once he has created his varied HDR images he then transfers them to Adobe Lightroom 4 where he adjusts them to his liking.  The final step is to open the images he has adjusted in Lightroom in Adobe Photoshop CS6 where he then blends them together to complete his process.

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“Yes” he claims, “it’s devious!.”  While there are probably easier ways to get desired results, Cho likes this workflow and doesn’t plan make major diversions in the near future.   For a details of his workflow, please visit his tutorial at http://www.chopen.nl/tutorials.html

Tips, Tricks and Techniques:

Cho is a self taught photographer, he had no prior photographic schooling and just trusted his instincts when he decided to try his hand at photography. Along the way he joined a few photo communities and got to know a some very skilled photographers who were willing to share some knowledge.  He credits interaction with others photographers as the best way to learn photography.

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Cho opines that it is also important to experiment, even when you think you know it all.  While Cho has a set workflow for processing images from from time to time he will still experiment with techniques he hasn’t done before.  He guarantees that when all the circumstances are in your favor you will have an eye opener.

Dont_Mess_With_the_Warrior_by_Chopen

On one occasion when Cho was on a beach shoot he pointed his camera to the sky to capture a passing seagull. In the haste to photograph the fleeting creature he had forgotten to change his settings from those used on the previous captures and the results were an overexposed image.  However, despite being overexposed, the resulting image was an impressive high key image.  As a result of this experience Cho sometimes now intentionally overexposes his images for artistic value.

Inspiration:

Cho’s photographic hero is Mike Shaw, when Cho was still relatively new to photography Mike extended a helping hand and bolstered Cho’s photographic knowledge.  Mike’s images inspire Cho to this day, Cho considers Mike and his body of work as his visual mentor.

Death_to_Romance_by_Chopen

Another source of inspiration for Cho is John G Moore who specializes in landscapes and portraits.  John’s expert use of tones is something that Cho admires and studies each time he views one of John’s images.

What’s Next:

While Cho gravitates towards landscape photography, he has a desire to shoot more portraits where he has a model to direct.  He claims “I’m not very good at it at the moment, so I want to improve in that area.”

The_Queen_of_Dark_by_Chopen

Cho also wants to visit the photographic nirvana – Iceland and as he put it “ just go crazy there.”  During Cho’s research of Iceland he discovered that it is a unique volcanic island with an array of stunning landscapes.  As if that wasn’t enough “you can see the Aurora Borealis there during certain months”  says an excited Cho.  It is clear that Cho thinks Iceland is a must for most landscape photographers.

Realm_of_Shades_by_Chopen

Links:

You can see more of Cho’s work thorough a variety of web presences:

His personal website: http://www.chopen.nl/

His Google+ account: https://plus.google.com/u/0/116422773158129145495/posts

His facebook account: https://www.facebook.com/chopen.nl

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Jeremy is a consultant, educator and photographer based in the Caribbean. He shoots an eclectic range of material but his favorite subjects are urban and seacapes, people and aircraft. He mixes his love of technology, and travel with his photography. After a brief post college hiatus he picked up his camera again in 2003 and has been shooting non-stop. You may view his work at http://www.island-foto.com or you may follow him on Google+ http://gplus.to/JADG

 

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