June 25th, 2010
by Paul Burwell
Paul’s post earlier this month–his list of the Top Ten Annoying Things to Say to a Wildlife Photographer was quite popular and it generated a lot of great comments.
With that same sharp wit, Paul has produced another Top Ten list:
This list compiles the top ten things that other photographers have said to him that I’ve found to be annoying. And, the more often I’ve heard something the more annoying it tends to be. That’s just the way I am.
If you’re a photographer who is easily offended or you can’t take a little bit of sarcasm, please don’t read any further. I don’t want your delicate sensibilities to be offended!
With that out of the way, presented in traditional count-down order, here are today’s Top Ten Annoying Things that Photographers Say to Each Other.
June 24th, 2010
by Bret Edge
There are two types of outdoor photographers: those who need help getting to the right place at the right time and those who don’t. If you are of the latter persuasion, you can stop reading now. Really, I mean it…stop reading. Okay, that’s better. For the rest of you, let’s spend some time discussing just what to expect when you hire a photography guide.
The business of guiding outdoor photographers isn’t new. However, in the past few years guiding has experienced significant growth. I blame it on the digital revolution – everyone has a camera and almost everyone is a photographer. I have seen guides advertised in Outdoor Photographer and all over the internet who are available to lead you on a private photo tour in just about every state. But what can they do for you?
What Do Photo Guides Do and How Much Do They Charge?
What a guide does and how much they charge for their services varies tremendously. One thing almost all of them have in common is that you can usually depend on them to lead you to the right place at the right time. Some guides service only iconic locations while others will spend several days backpacking with you in remote and forbidding territory. Some guides offer personal instruction, image critiques, portfolio reviews, digital darkroom tutorials, and more. Guide fees are all over the board and may range from $150/day to more than $2,500/day with a prominent photographer. Surely the more you pay the better the guide, right? Nope. Not even close. In my research it seems that $300 to $500/day is the average going rate. Generally speaking, paying more than that buys you the opportunity to rub shoulders with a heavy hitter.
June 21st, 2010
Reposted with permission from the Induro blog.
Professionally, one of my most important pieces of equipment is my tripod. It took me several years before I started using a tripod for all my photography and it was one of the biggest ‘ah-ha’ moments I’ve had since becoming a photographer nearly twenty years ago. In those twenty years I’ve had more than my share of tripods. Early on, I never fully appreciated the importance of quality when it came to tripods, and subsequently went through more than my share of tripods. I tell a story of a tripod I broke before I ever got it out of the car to use. Over time, my trials have taught me the importance of a quality tripod. It is literally the foundation for all good landscape photography.
I recently conducted a workshop and shoot in the Columbia River Gorge of Oregon. This type of environment throws everything at you, and there is no better way to test the durability of a tripod. Water, mud, rugged terrain—this area has it all. I’m using an Induro Carbon Fiber 213 and BHD2 Ballhead. The first thing I appreciate when photographing in an environment like this is the weight. My whole tripod weighs less than 5 pounds. When you’re walking mile upon mile up steep trails, and down slippery mossy rock slopes, the last thing you want is extra weight. Most new cameras weigh enough as it is.
June 18th, 2010
by Mike Moats
When I exhibit at my art shows each weekend, I have one image that I place in an area of the booth toward the front, so customers passing by with not miss it. This image of dew drops with a flower inside of them always draws a crowd of people in amazement, and the big question is, “did you Photoshop the flower into the drops?“.
No, I did not. In fact, this image is a very easy shot to produce–just find some tall grass in an open field on a dewy morning. Once you locate a nice blade of tall grass with some dew drops, carefully position your tripod and camera close-in to fill the frame, so the dew drops are easy to see. Use a Plamp with one end clamped on your tripod and the other end clamped onto the stem of your choice of flower, and position it directly behind the dewdrops. The closer the flower is to the dew drops, the larger the flower will appear, and the father away, the smaller it will be in the dew.
Once you get the right position of the flower, set your f/stop in the lower range, from f/3.5 to f/5.6. You want to place your point of focus on the flower in the dew drops, and the shallow depth of field will soften or blur the flower. You don’t want to much details in the flower because you want the dewdrops to stand out from the flower and not get lost.
Not so hard, is it?
Have fun and experiment. When you get a good shot, show it off. You'll enjoy answering that Photoshop question!
You can visit Mike's blog here: Tiny Landscapes
Mike's eBooks are available in the OPG store here: Mike Moats
June 16th, 2010
by Chris Klapheke
We've all been aware of the convergence of video and still photography over the past few years. There's a lot of information and a lot of noise out there on the subject. Sorting through it all can be tedious, and every article has its own opinion of how things should be done.
Think Tank Photo has done the "Multimedia DSLR" community a great service today by publishing a Buyers Guide. This guide of course features Think Tank Multimedia Bags, but goes much, much into a broader spectrum of products that the Multimedia DSLR user needs to consider: Camera features, what lenses are best, audio recorders and microphones, and other accessories. Links to those product manufacturer pages are included.
Kudos to Think Tank for doing quite a bit of research that will help us all!
Here's the link to this great information: Think Tank Multimedia DSLR Buyers Guide
June 10th, 2010
by Scott Flaherty
A couple of weeks ago, my wife and I traveled to a location that I've always wanted to photograph . . . Yosemite. I must tell you, it did not disappoint. We stayed in a little B&B called "Yosemite Blue Butterfly Inn
". It's located in El Portal, just a few minutes outside the west entrance of the park. The proprietors, Liz and Ron, are a wonderful couple that really go out of their way to make you feel at home. I highly recommend this B&B if you're traveling without kids and want a nice, relaxing place to stay.
Our first full day there was on a Saturday. My wife and I decided to use that day to drive around (our rental car and the shuttle) and get a feel for the layout of the park. I wanted to know how long it took to get from certain locations to another. Later, this would help me get to where I wanted to be, when I wanted to be there. We're always chasing that light you know.
Here is a sample set of the shots I brought back from Yosemite:
June 8th, 2010
by Mike Moats
Here's a quick macro tip:
For a unique look in your macro images use the sun to backlight your subject. Low angle early morning or late evening sun works best. Use it to highlight edges of a flower or highlighting the flower petals.
June 7th, 2010
by Jerry Monkman
Near the Appalachian Trail in Maine.
I spent two days backpacking on the Appalachian Trail in May. It was my first time spending a night in the backcountry this year, and it felt great to be out. The smell of balsam fir was intense along this section of trail, conjuring all kinds of great memories of hikes past. I was working on a project that has great potential.
June 4th, 2010
by Bret Edge
There was a time, many years ago, when my world revolved around being an outdoor athlete. I was a rock climber, trail runner, backpacker, mountain biker, long distance hiker, canyoneer, and kayaker. Sometimes I would combine them all when doing adventure races. I spent most of my free time training. I was obsessed with going far and getting there fast. I spent a lot of time in the outdoors, but it went by so quickly that I rarely had a moment to enjoy a sunset or notice the coyote yipping in the distance.
And then it happened. I fell in love with nature photography. I gave up adventure racing. I spent more time photographing and less time training. I stopped counting miles traveled each week and started counting rolls of film exposed. Everything just sort of slowed down.
Looking back I realize that photography has taught me some valuable lessons. I’ve learned that when you don’t train on a daily basis the size of your waistband increases. Actually, I’ll blame that on age. More importantly, I’ve learned a few things that are helpful to me as a member of the human race and I think they’ve made me a better husband, brother, friend and an all-around better person.
June 3rd, 2010
by Rick Sammon
Photograph © Rick Sammon. All rights reserved.
Here are some quick tips for portrait shooters. Enjoy
- Make a photograph — don’t simply take one. Work with the subject, props, posing and lighting to create a unique image.
- The name of the game is to fill the frame. In other words, crop out the boring stuff in a scene so that the viewer’s attention is drawn to the main subject — immediately.
- Crop creatively. More often than not, a picture can be enhanced with basic cropping in the digital darkroom. Experiment with different crops. Also try to see pictures within a picture.
- Remember that light illuminates; shadows define. That is the first step to lighting a portrait.
- Carefully light the scene. In this case, I used a combination of available light and the light from a flash to create a well-lit portrait.
- Choose your lens wisely. Think about how the focal length and f-stop will affect the end result. Use at least a medium telephoto lens (85mm) for head and shoulder shot. Wider-angle lenses are okay for environmental portraits (like this one).
- Carefully pose your subject. Pay special attention to where the subject is looking (toward or away from the camera). Also pay attention to the hands.
- Shoot RAW files because they are more forgiving than JPEG files – and because you can rescue more from overexposed highlight areas than you can from JPEG files.
- Use the lowest possible ISO for the cleanest (little or no noise) possible shot.
- Don’t over saturate an image in Photoshop (or Aperture or Lightroom or anywhere.) When areas of an image are oversaturated, details can be softened and lost. If the reds here had been over saturated, the detail and the folds in the dress could have been lost.
- Think selectively. Apply adjustments (especially sharpening) to select areas of an image rather than applying them globally (to the entire image).
- Always sharpen an image as the final step – before you save your file as a TIFF file or PSD files with all those adjustment layers (just in case you change your mind about how you enhanced your image.)
Explore the light,
Keep up with Rick at the Digital Photo Experience.