Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III – EF70-200mm f/2.8L USM – 4.0 sec at f/32
What makes one subject better than another? Does one rock have more character than another? I’m not sure that anyone has a definitive answer to these questions, but I know that I’ve always enjoyed the process of selection. This is an under-emphasized skill in landscape photography: do I photograph these leaves or those; that group of mountains and clouds or the ones behind me? I look for the tree that says, “here is an amazing tree,” and I search especially for one that says, “here is a tree that symbolizes all trees.” Ultimately, as the late great photographer Minor White defines it, the most penetrating photographs reveal the essence of the subject “for what it is… and for what else it is.”
For years I have been wanting to get an image of a Bluebird on a natural tree cavity.
The chances of finding a nest cavity that is low enough to the ground for photography is slim, so I decided to take matters into my own hands.
The first step was scouting for a dead tree that had [...]
The journey to become a professional nature photographer can be as unique as each individual. As photographers we find it fascinating how each of us makes that choice. Mike Moats made the transition from painting contractor to nationally known macro photographer later in life, when circumstances dictated a change, and gave him an opportunity. During the economic turmoil that hit the Detroit area several years ago, Mike was forced to reinvent his career, and decided to follow his passion. He has never looked back.
Air travel is more difficult than ever before; it seems carry-on policy, size and weight restrictions, and additional fees imposed change daily. We need to save every ounce of weight and space possible while trying to safely transport our gear to and from location. To this end I had been placing my long lens hoods within my checked luggage, and although I stood them on end, all the hoods exhibit stress fractures from baggage handling.
Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III, EF70-200mm f/2.8L USM, 1/250 sec at f / 6.7, ISO 100
PhotoMerge in Photoshop offers many creative options for photographers!
Here are examples of recent images of mine using PhotoMerge. I’ll discuss my approach for each image, and hopefully you will get some ideas for your own photography.
Yosemite (see above)
Several years ago, I found myself in nearby Yosemite Valley after a snowstorm. The fresh snow and low-angled light made a spectacular scene! I decided that this was a perfect time to create a panoramic image. Using my favorite 70-200mm lens, I composed vertically and exposed three images across the breadth of the Valley. I didn’t bother to level the tripod and camera since the light was changing quickly. However, I did frame more widely since I knew I would have to crop later in post-processing. PhotoMerge won’t align perfectly if each image isn’t linear to each other, but as long as you overlap the frames by about 30%, and you can visualize the final crop without sacrificing the composition, you’ll be OK.
I was recently given the opportunity test and review the Jobu BWG-Pro gimbal head. Outdoor Photo Gear arranged to have Jobu Design send a BWG-Pro my way so that I could test it out, write a review for OPG and provide feedback to Jobu Design. All-in-all, I was very impressed with the BWG-Pro’s design, construction and operation.
I am a Juneau, Alaska based photographer who shoots everything from still life to landscapes to wildlife. I use Canon DSLRs and own a host of lenses, including a Canon 500mm f/4 IS. To date, when using my 500mm, I’ve been using a Wimberley Sidekick mounted on a ballhead (currently the RRS BH-55) all atop an old but sturdy Gitzo 1345. I should note that until spending time with the BWG-Pro, I hadn’t really tested any other full gimbal head to any great degree. I had always felt the ballhead/Sidekick combination was adequate for my needs and hadn’t been convinced otherwise when given the occasional opportunity to briefly borrow or try full gimbal heads. My tests of the BWG-Pro were my first chance to really put a full gimbal head through its paces and get comfortable with the "full gimbal way of life".
I have an old Samsonite roll-aboard suitcase that I put a padded divider set in to hold camera gear. The wheels are terrible, the handle is rickety and it tips over when it’s loaded. I was preparing to lead a workshop in Costa Rica recently and I…
This is the time of year I get tired of winter up north here in Michigan and have to get creative to shoot. The University of Michigan runs a Botanical garden so I will go there some days, or I shoot some stuff indoors at home like feathers, agate slab stones, flowers, sea shells, butterfly mounts, leaves I've dried from the fall, etc.
Jekyll Island, GA. 3-shot HDR processed in Photomatix Pro, Color effects Pro and Silver Effects Pro.
Using Stacks in Lightroom is a convenient way to group similar photos together in grid view and the filmstrip. This is especially helpful if you regularly end up with multiple images of the same subject. You may have multiple shots of the same pose from a portrait session, a string of images from shooting wildlife, or you can even group your bracketed shots together for your HDR work. Stacks are also a good way to manage virtual copies, or different treatments of the same image.