Moynihan and Mora Set Sail to Film OpenSea: Journey Across the Pacific…and Need Your Help

Editors note: Nia Mora and Jonathan Moynihan are U.S. based photographers and filmmakers and are about to set sail to film and photograph their sailing documentary: OpenSea; Journey Across the Pacific. They will sail across the South Pacific and film the adventure, the cultures and people, and sea life for their documentary film with an end goal of raising awareness to the South Pacific’s peole and natural treasures. They have launched a Kickstarter campaign to help fund the project. The following essay describes their first sailing adventure, the inspiration for the new OpenSeas project. Stay tuned as they promise to keep us updated with videos and photographs of this unique journey and film project.

“OpenSea: Journey Across the Pacific” began in the hopes of finding footage about sailing the South Pacific Ocean. We didn’t find much, so we decided to make our own film. We spent 28 days at sea, sailing from Hawaii to French Polynesia in our 35 foot sail boat. Along the way, the project developed into something we felt we had to share with others. We learned things about the way other people lived, which changed the way we ourselves live. We saw the majesty and diversity of the Pacific islands, which taught us about the raw and enduring strength of nature. We braved the ocean, endless blue water for weeks on end, which taught us about ourselves.

We have already sailed 6,500 nautical miles. We have documented places such as The Marquesas,The Tuamotus, The Society Islands,
Niue, and New Zealand’s North Island and Hauraki Gulf. Most people haven’t heard of these places, a lot will never see these places. Our goal is to make a visual montage and a narrative sharing the experience of traveling by sail boat across the ocean and the things a person learns along the way. We’d like to post this documentary for free, online by September, 2014. This project is non-profit, as we believe everyone should be able to share with us what we have seen and where we have been on our amazing journey across the Pacific.

READ MORE +Moynihan and Mora Set Sail to Film OpenSea: Journey Across the Pacific…and Need Your Help

Why You Shouldn’t Trust Your Camera LCD

When I teach online classes and review the assignment photos that students upload, I often see some pretty dark pictures.

It’s understandable, especially because many students are just getting started and learning the in’s and outs of digital photography.

And I should know because I to made the same mistake a very long time ago. Two thirds of my career was the film and Polaroid (for tests) era and when digital came out it was still years before my clients trusted digital.

When I finally dived into digital i started with an Olympus system and I was immediately hooked. I began marketing myself as a ‘full service digital photographer’ and ‘all ready to meet your photo needs’, yada, yada.

I had some clients who were ready for digital and I soon received an assignment to photograph a bunch of people.

READ MORE +Why You Shouldn’t Trust Your Camera LCD

How to Tell Stories With Light

As we document the world with our cameras, light is a crucial ingredient to successful photographs. It’s that light that tells the story we want told. It tells us the shape of the land with highlights and shadows. It can tell us the temperature outdoors with cool light or warm light. Light can tells us whether the subject is soft or rough or large or small.

Light tells the story of the subject!

It is these stories that are important to convey and if you have a photograph that does not tell the story you want told, consider the lighting as one reason.

Whether photographing outside or inside, we don’t always have the light we need so the solution to that problem is to Make Light! With a basic flash unit you can create light that tells the story you want told.

READ MORE +How to Tell Stories With Light

How I Created a Top Selling Stock Photo

As outdoor photographers working to make a living, what we shoot, how we shoot it, and how we market it is the very foundation to how we make it in the business.

Sales equal income and that income fills the gas tank for the next trip (and more) and today we need a lot of sales to keep things moving.

It is always challenging for many photographers to differentiate between where they want to go photograph and where they should go photograph. In other words: creating photography the market wants. How do you know what the market wants? Well its research and a lot of it and still you just might not be able to find all the dots to connect.

There are many places I want to photograph where I just don’t know what markets might want them, beyond calendars and other ‘pretty picture’ print markets, but I go anyway. To make sure I create imagery that some market will want I broaden the scope of what I shoot to not only landscapes but adventure scenes when possible.

While I have licensed volumes of nature photography over the years, I have made more money on a per sale basis with adventure images strong on concept. So when i head off for a region where I want to photograph the landscape, I prep and plan to shoot adventure style images as well.

READ MORE +How I Created a Top Selling Stock Photo