Well, well, turns out there IS a sun, (we haven’t seen it much this spring) and it was out the other day. I got out early to beat the wind. Once that sun gets up and heats up the air, it starts the wind moving.
Depending on what I’m shooting, I may use the sun for some backlit images. Not a lot of plants up yet, but have enough Skunk Cabbage and May Apple plants to work with.
Here is the patch of Skunk Cabbage that I’m working. In another few weeks when these plants are full grown you won’t be able to see the ground. They grow in swampy and river bottom areas, and you can see a little bit of the swamps water in the background of this image. You can see the low angle sun touching some of the plants.
I usually walk towards the sun studying the leaves to find the best looking backlighting.
The sun needs to be at a low angle to get good backlighting on the leaves. Below, processing was done first with the Solarization filter in Nik Color Efex Pro, and then some fine tuning in Nik Viveza 2.
The more deeply furrowed the leaf is the more highlights and shadows you get. I shot this at f/32 for full depth of field.
In this video, Juan takes you through the cool features of the Think Tank Retrospective line, and compares the Retrospective 10, 20 and 30. Think Tank has just released the Retrospective 5 with the same features in a size smaller than the 10.
After a busy break, Chris from OPG is back on the DPE podcast as the "Gear Guru". He'll be featuring a group of gear each podcast, and discussing that gear with Juan.
Both Rick and Juan love answering your questions. No question is too basic or too advanced, so if you have questions you would like answered, please send them on in and they’ll get to it pretty soon. You can send your questions via email to or click on the “Contact us” button on the top of the http://dpexperience.com website.
The DPE podcast is sponsored by the amazing folks at SmugMug. Make sure to check them out and if you sign up by following this link, you get an awesome 20% off your first year! How cool is that!
This is Episode number 34 of the Digital Photo Experience Podcast with Rick Sammon & Juan Pons.
Our friend and contributor Guy Tal has been rather busy of late. In addition to publishing a new ebook, Guy is running a ten week creative photo contest, with new themes and prizes every week. Here's the lowdown on Guy's new projects:
First, Guy's new ebook. Having previously brought us Creative Landscape Photography, Guy has now turned his attention to image processing, and has published Creative Processing Techniques for Nature Photography. Both of Guy's books are great reads, and are rather unique in the ebook field. Guy not only brings us technical tips and know-how on his subject matter, but also discusses the mental side of things–the vision and the thought processes behind creative images. My favorite feature of Guy's books is that he includes thought-provoking exercises for the reader to perform, creating ebooks that are not only informative, but interactive.
In Creative Processing Techniques for Nature Photography, Guy covers subjects such as: Comfort Zones, Dynamic Visualization, Workflow & Analysis, RAW Processing, Global & Local Adjustments, Output and more.
Check out both of Guy's books in the OPG Store here.
Editors note: Since it has been raining, ahem, just a little bit around the country, we thought we'd repost an entry dealing with different rain covers for your gear.
Rain Covers can protect your gear from the elements—not just rain. Mother nature throws all kinds of corrosive at your gear: sand, salt spray, snow and dust to name a few. Think of washing your clothes the last time you shot near the water or in a dusty field. That same stuff that made your clothes dirty is on your gear!
Your choice of rain covers is all over the board, both in price and in sizes. From $5 plastic disposable covers to high tech solutions running several hundred dollars, it might be overwhelming as to which one to choose.
The answer to your rain cover can reveal itself with a little analysis of two things: the lenses in your collection, and why you’ll need a rain cover. Keep in mind that one size rain cover probably won’t fit all your lenses, and you may find a different rain cover need for different lenses. Just as you need different lenses for different situations, you may need different rain covers as well.
Take your lenses out of storage and line them up on a table. A quick look will (maybe painfully) remind you of the amount of investment you have to protect. Grab a tape measure—yes, you’ll need to measure your lenses, both length and diameter. If you want your rain gear to cover your hood, include that in your measurements. Keep in mind teleconverters, and add a few inches for them if you use them. Also, some rain cover manufacturers include the measurements for your camera body, so measure those as well. It only take a few minutes to measure, and you’ll want to save this information.
Pick up most any coffee table book featuring landscape photography and you’ll likely be confronted with image after image of sweeping vistas and vast panoramas. Most of the images are probably photographed using a wide angle to moderate focal length lens. What you won’t see are a bunch of photos created with a telephoto lens.
Long lens landscape photography isn’t as easy nor is it as natural as using a wide angle lens to compose a landscape photograph. Our eyes don’t see at 200, 300 or even 400mm. Normal human vision is similar to the field of view of a 50mm lens. The most challenging aspect of using a telephoto lens to photograph landscapes is learning to see like a telephoto lens. Your goal is to extract small, interesting sections from a much larger landscape. As if that isn’t difficult enough to do with the naked eye, a telephoto lens will also dramatically compress the distance between foreground and background elements. Factor in the technical challenges of working with a long lens and you might be tempted to just throw in the towel. Don’t do it! Here’s why.
I spent a while chatting it up with this charming guy with the help of an interpreter.
If there’s one thing I was reminded of while in Africa it was my need to “connect in order to create.” That connection may be as simple as an exchange of smiles between me and a young man stacking charcoal or as intricate as an interpreter explaining my every word. As a photographer, my curious nature places me in situations that can be hard to navigate and at times difficult to explain. I found throughout the years that being sincere, respectful and giving a big smile are key ingredients to successfully navigating language barriers.
Here are a few guidelines to try to follow when traveling abroad:
1. Be polite and respectful. Don’t be the ugly tourist with camera.
2. Consider a local guide when traveling abroad. S/he can really help break down the communication barrier.
3. Spend some time getting to know your subject before getting the camera out.
4. If you’re in a town for a few days consider going for a walk without your camera. Scouting an area and connecting with people/shopkeepers can pay dividends when you come back with your camera in tow.
5. Telling a story — Try to tell a story with your images. I avoid shots that simply portray poverty. Taking a keen interest in what a person does for a living or how he or she supports their family is what I’m interested in photographing.
6. Lastly, remember safety is key. I love street photography but it’s very easy to get caught up in a “moment.” Having a travel partner that can watch your back is just common sense.
Editor's note: Welcome Andy Biggs to the blog! Andy has been a long time supporter of OPG, and is the designer and manufacturer of the wildly popular Gura Gear Kiboko bag. In addition to running Gura Gear, providing commercial stock images and teaching workshops, Andy conducts incredible photo safaris to Africa. Andy heads overseas six or more times a year, covering nearly every accessible part of the African continent. Having traveled with Andy myself to several stops in southern Africa, I can tell you that Andy's safaris are first class, and that you'll have the photographic experience of a lifetime. You can find out more about Andy, see his images and learn about his safaris at his websitewww.andybiggs.com. We look forward to more articles and videos from Andy in the future! –Chris
There are many different types of safari vehicles in Africa, and this is the first in a series of videos to try and explain what the vehicles are like. This video specifically describes what the pop-top, or open-roof vehicles are like in east Africa. There are other vehicle types in east Africa (Tanzania and Kenya), however this video specifically addresses the open roof type. I'll shoot similar videos in Botswana and in Kenya later on this year, and my goal is to use these videos to visually explain what the vehicles are like before travelers get to Africa.
You can find the Kinesis Safari Sack described in this video in the OPG Store here.