Photographing Tulsa Oklahoma

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I’ve been living in Tulsa for the past 6 months and it’s been a learning experience both as a person and as a photographer. Living on the East Coast for most of my life and shooting there, to living in the Pacific Northwest for a few years and now being in Oklahoma, there are some new challenges that have presented themselves.

Midwest Summers Are Brutal

I’m not used to summers being as hot as they are in the Midwest. Driving around to photograph different things have me cranking the A/C high to keep cool, but that’s a problem for my equipment moving from cold to hot. The change from a cold car to the hot outdoors leads to lens fog, which leads to wiping down the exterior of the lens at first until I learned to store my bag in the trunk. Doing that keeps the gear away from the A/C, so when you take your gear out it’s ready to go. The other option would be letting the windows down as you get close to your destination to let your equipment adjust to the heat, but it’s not as enjoyable as staying cool and still getting the shot.

Keeping It Light

Unless shooting an event that requires the full kit of lenses, carrying only the equipment needed to get the job done has been vital, along with carrying water. For me, that looks like one body, one zoom lens, and one or two prime lenses depending on what I’m shooting that day. Over-exhaustion is real, and keeping the weight down can help avoid that.

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ND Filters Are A Must

If you have to shoot outside of Golden Hour (sunrise or sunset), it can get REALLY bright. That means in order to get correct exposure, you have to make adjustments in order to get the image you want. ND filters allow you to control the amount of light entering your lens and sensor, allowing you to use wider apertures, lower ISO settings and slower shutter speeds. Under the Midwest sun, these are always good to have on hand. BONUS TIP: Having a Polarizing filter for when the clouds come out to get dynamic sunsets, or shots by the Arkansas River, or avoiding reflections off of windows Downtown.

If you want to see what these tips look like in action…

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