Member Monday Featuring Macarena Janninck

This week’s Member Monday tells the story of learning a new skill, long exposure. It took Macarena Janninck three attempts, and then it finally clicked for her! While on a workshop with Scott Kelby and Mimo Meidany, the circumstances for this shot lined up perfectly for that magic moment.

It just goes to show—if at first you don’t succeed, try, try, again!

Just by slightly shifting a few steps to the left, the whole scene changed and she was able to execute a great photograph. Keep reading to find out what exactly happened.

About the Photo

Title:  Le Consulat (Montmartre, Paris)
This is a very famous spot in the Montmartre neighborhood close to the Sacré Coeur in Paris.  I took this image during a workshop with Scott Kelby and Mimo Meidany in Paris. 

Long exposures have always been intimidating to me.  It was this photographic mountain that I wanted to conquer.  Mimo and Scott broke down the process into a few steps and gave me new wings to fly.  This was my third attempt to doing long exposure ever.  That day in Paris, it was raining, cold, windy and miserable.  It was getting dark and most of the tourists were starting to leave due to the cold rain.  Mimo suggested that I do one more, “just try it one more time.”  He kept saying, OK you took that picture now don’t do the same thing again, try something new.  “Try it again!”  

I was about to leave and pack up my gear. There was very little light left.  But, then I thought if I walk a few steps over to the left, I’ll get the curve of the road creating a leading line, so I decided to take that one last image.  If you can see in the image, I am standing on the road, right off the sidewalk.  I was so focused on taking the photo that I did not think about traffic.  The street there was very narrow and I figured only SMART cars could make it through.  As I pushed the shutter, a big gigantic bus came by.  He stopped about three to five feet away from me and the leg of my tripod.  As he was letting off passengers right next to me, I kept praying that he would take long enough for my exposure to finish. The bus needed to leave before I was done. Given the narrow streets, there was no way for him to pass if I did not get out of the way.  I stubbornly held my ground until my exposure was done, I had about five more seconds left, which felt like an eternity as the bus inched towards me.  I kept hearing in my head . . .  “I am not throwing away my shot”  from Hamilton.  My shutter closed and I quickly darted to the sidewalk out of his way.

When I looked at my screen, it was like magic. One of those moments that you look at your image and you realize YOU’VE GOT IT!  And, I could not believe how beautiful it was. While I was busy focusing on the bus, the lights had been turned on, and that gave the image an ENTIRELY different feel. All the dozens of tourists were gone from my image, you can see the streaking lights of some cars, but the cars had disappeared from my image. Moving just a few feet to the left, allowed me to capture the curve of the street, which I felt created a nice leading line.  At that moment I fully realized and appreciated the magic of long exposures and what this technique can do. It was simply amazing to realize that now I had a tool — a new skill — in my possession that allowed me to create images like this.  It’s simply magical to me.

Gear and Software

Nikon D-810 with a Nikkor 24 – 70 mm f:2.8 lens.   This image was taken at 24mm, f:8.0 for 28 seconds with a Haida filter.  I am pretty sure I used a 10 stop ND Haida filter with the M-10 system (which I love!).  This image was edited in Lightroom.

Photography Preferences

I know I am supposed to pick a “major” but just like in college, I like it ALL.  I want to do it all!  I primarily shoot headshots, children, photojournalistic work, and my passion is travel photography.  After watching Erik Kuna’s class, I am teaching myself astrophotography.  

That is what I LOVE about photography.  I have plenty of runway.  I will never run out of things to learn and explore.  There will always be another photographic mountain to climb.

Photography Inspiration

 The vast majority of my practical photography and editing knowledge has come from KelbyOne. It’s an invaluable resource for me.  Scott Kelby has been my Sensei. I take any class that Scott teaches.  Ever since Scott has introduced Mimo Meidany to our community, I have simply loved his style and his approach to photography.  He is able to create these amazing photographs using long exposure.  That is why I signed up for their workshop in Paris.  It was like a dream come true to spend time with both of them.

Favorite KelbyOne Class

I like the class from Scott Kelby with Jay Maisel. I like it because, at the end of the day, the composition is what makes an image.  You can forgive a slightly technically imperfect image if the composition moves you.  Editing is like a garnish, it might make something look better, but if the content is not good, it won’t do a thing for you.  It’s all about composition, about seeing the world in an artistic way; it’s about creating someone that moves you and evokes a feeling. That is why I loved that class.  I felt that I was walking right along with Scott and Jay on the streets of New York.

Connect with Macarena

Macarena’s work can be found on her Facebook and Instagram pages.

She is an awesome addition to the KelbyOne community, and we appreciate the dedication and passion that she brings!

Interested in seeing your work on KelbyOne? Submit your photos for a chance to receive a Member Monday feature of your own.