Working With White Balance

January 5th, 2012 by Mike Moats

A nice feature to our digital cameras is the ability to change the white balance and adjust the colors depending on the light source hitting the subject. A color will actually change under various types of lighting, and the camera will make color corrections according to light source. So if you’re shooting in sun light, then you use the sunny mode, and cloudy days, use the cloudy mode, and inside under florescent lighting, use that mode, and so on. I find that my camera’s auto mode works great, and I use it most of the time.

If you shot a subject using the different white balances that your camera offers, you will see a difference in the colors of the subjects. Sometimes I will play with these different modes to see what kind of unusual color I will come up with.

Here is a rose that I shot using three different white balances, and as you will see each one has a different color.

So try this next time and see what different colors you come up with!

Same exact flower, same lighting, three different white balances and three different colors.

Same exact flower, same lighting, three different white balances and three different colors.

You can visit Mike’s blog and learn about his workshops here: Tiny Landscapes

Mike’s eBooks are available in the OPG store here: Mike Moats

How Failure Leads to Success in Landscape Photography

January 4th, 2012 by Robert Rodriguez Jr.

Inspired once again by Seth Godin and a recent blog post titled “the difference between a failure and a mistake,” I wondered how I might apply it to nature photography and the issues we all struggle with in our attempt to make successful images. Of course this applies to life in general, as Seth so clearly explains, but I think it provides many paths of exploration for those of us trying to be more creative with our photography.

Casscade Mtn, Adirondacks

Cascade Mtn fails on several levels, but mostly for me it lacks a clear path for the viewers eye to travel, which translates to a weak story. A lack of textural contrast makes the image rather busy, and the light in the background competes with the details in the foreground. I was experimenting with trying to omit the sky and horizon in order to create a lack of perspective, but it didn’t quite work out as envisioned.

As a workshop instructor, I work hard on trying to help students get beyond whatever is limiting their potential. Unfortunately the majority of reasons are due to mistakes and less often to failures. My goal is to reverse this and promote failure as a way to learning. Certainly I don’t want students strictly to fail as that would be rather frustrating and demoralizing in the long run. Who wants to come away from a workshop having only failed at their attempts?

Happy Holidays from all of us at OPG!

December 24th, 2011 by Chris Klapheke

NEOS Overshoes Review by Jim Caldwell of Fotobug

December 21st, 2011 by Chris Klapheke

Make sure and check out Jim’s great Elusive Image podcasts at Fotobug!

Take Chances – Sometimes It Works Out

December 19th, 2011 by Mike Moats

How many times have you photographed a cool looking subject, and thought that it would turn out really great, only to be disappointed when you get home and viewed the image on your computer. It happens to me quite often.

What we see in 3D with our eyes doesn’t always translate well on a flat screen or flat photo paper.

Sometimes I shoot a subject that I really don’t think will turn out well, and it turns out awesome.

You just never know, so shoot everything, pixels are free!

You can visit Mike’s blog and learn about his workshops here: Tiny Landscapes

Mike’s eBooks are available in the OPG store here: Mike Moats

Winter Photo Tips

December 15th, 2011 by Jerry Monkman
An October snowfall in Portsmouth, New Hampshire.


An October snowfall in Portsmouth, New Hampshire.

With the snow coming in (here in the Northeast U.S. anyway), it seems like a good time to review some winter photography tips.

1) Stay powered. Cold temperatures reduce the length of time your camera’s batteries will function. Always bring a spare or two, and use power-sapping features like auto focus, live view, and LCD playback sparingly.

2) Stay dry. Keep snow away from your camera and lenses as much as possible. While dry, fluffy snow isn’t as bad as rain on your equipment, you should still blow or wipe it from your gear whenever necessary. Also, never bring a camera and lenses directly into a warm environment after it has been out in the cold. Pack them in your camera bag or plastic bags before heading inside and let them warm up to room temperature before taking them out. Otherwise, moisture will condense on the glass and metal surfaces, potentially damaging your gear.

3) Expose for your highlights – the snow. A snowy landscape will often throw off a camera’s meter, sometimes to the point of underexposing your photo as much as two stops. When shooting in winter, take a test shot and check your histogram. You should have pixels stretching almost to the right side of the graph in order to ensure properly exposed snow. If you don’t, add light to your exposures by using a slower shutter speed. However, if your histogram spikes on the right side (you’ll probably have the blinkies too), then your photo is overexposed and you need to use a faster shutter speed.

Outdoor Photo Gear – Open House 2011

December 12th, 2011 by Matt Dennison

Come join us for some Holiday Cheer!

This year we’re pairing with SmugMug for a
Happy Holidays Open House

Forget the shopping crowds for a while and stop in to mingle with your fellow photographers. See our showroom and enjoy refreshments, killer door prizes (see below) and unadvertised specials!


WHEN: Tuesday December 13th, from 4 pm to 8 pm

440 Commercial Drive Suite 101 Louisville, KY 40223

RSVP: Please take a moment to RSVP by clicking on the registration link so we don’t run short of refreshments.

REFRESHMENTS: Light snacks, holiday cookies, soft drinks, beer and wine.

DOOR PRIZES: Come by and drop your name in the hat for some great prizes from our best vendors!

  • Think Tank Photo Streetwalker Hard Drive Backpack
  • Black Rapid RS-Sport Camera Strap
  • “3D in Photoshop” book from Focal Press
  • Westcott 40″ 5-in-1 Reflector
  • Black Rapid RS-W1 Camera Strap for Women
  • Dust-Aid Sensor Cleaner Kits
  • Black Rapid SnapR 10 Bag/Strap for compact cameras
  • “Digital Collage and Painting in Photoshop” book from Focal Press
  • More to come!

Come join us and mingle!
See you there!

Holiday Gift Guide 2011

December 8th, 2011 by Chris Klapheke

Season’s Greetings! Here’s a guide to getting gear for that favorite photographer in your life–including you!

Outdoor Photo Gear's Holiday Gear Guide

Kata Digital Pouch

Kata DP-407 Digital Pouch

Think Tank Cable Management

Think Tank Photo
Cable Management

Tenba Messenger Wraps

Tenba Messenger Wraps

Powerpax Battery Management Systems

Powerpax Battery
Management Systems

Vanguard 3 in 1 Cleaning Kit

Vanguard 3-in-1 Cleaning Kit

Acratech Laptop Viewing Angle Gauge

Acratech Laptop
Viewing Angle Gauge

Outdoor Photo Gear Cap

Outdoor Photo Gear Cap

Think Tank Photo Pixel Pocket Rocket

Think Tank Photo
Pixel Pocket Rocket

Polar Fleece Camera and Lens Cover

Polar Fleece Camera and
Lens Cover

OpTech Rainsleeves

OpTech Rainsleeves

Giottos Microfiber Lens Pouch

WhiBal G7 Key Chain White
Balance Reference Gray Card

PowerEx 2700mAh Batteries

PowerEx 2700mAh Batteries

Spider Camera Holsters Review

December 5th, 2011 by Denise Ippolito






The SpiderPro Single Camera System is a great way to have your camera at your finger tips without the fuss of a strap. I like the quick release and the locking system that they have used to make this holster. This sturdy well made system uses a pin to connect to your camera (I recommend that you tighten it down with a wrench to make sure it is secure). It fits comfortably on my hip and lets me be “hands free”.  I like that I don’t have a strap over my shoulder. When carrying my 500mm lens on a tripod, having the holster for my second body is much more comfortable then having it strapped to my neck.

The company also offers a smaller Black Widow Holster for carrying your smaller lenses, and a dual holster for carrying two cameras at the same time. Visit Spider Camera Holster’s website to see a quick video clip and to learn more about these great holsters.

The SpiderPro Single Camera System is the one I chose because it handles my Canon 100-400mm lens safely and easily.

As a nature photographer, having quick easy access to your camera makes a world of difference. Outdoor Photo Gear has the SpiderPro and the Black Widow available.  I just love this holster and I have added it to my gear list so I thought that I would pass on the info.


You can see Denise’s website at

Beech Leaves and a Light Table

December 2nd, 2011 by Mike Moats

Beech leaves during the cold northern winters have a transparent look, and seem to stay on the trees till spring. I picked these off the tree the other day with this shot in mind. I used my light table that’s for viewing slides (which has no use any more) for the light provided under this arrangement. You can do all kinds of different setups and it makes for some pretty cool images. The leaves are curled when they come off the tree so place them in a book with a lot of weight on top to dry and flatten them, then you’re ready to go. You can use other leaves that will work just as well with the light table. Have Fun!

You can visit Mike’s blog and learn about his workshops here: Tiny Landscapes

Mike’s eBooks are available in the OPG store here: Mike Moats