Subject Placement in the Frame

April 12th, 2010 by Mike Moats
Subject placement can be very subjective. It can range from placing a main subject in the center, thirds, corners, and two of the thirds. Positioning the subject will depend on what is around it.
Centering the subject is what is called bulls-eyed, and in some cases this works, but you don’t want every one of your images in the center. Having a portfolio of images with varying positions from centered, thirds, and corners will keep your compositions from looking repetitive. 

In the image above I placed the yellow contrasting leaf in the bottom third of the frame. Offsetting the main subject in the thirds tends to be most popular way of positioning a single subject.

The dark center of this frosted Black-Eyed Susan flower is the main focal point of the flower, so I placed it in the left third of the frame. When using the thirds rule it has a less composed look and more natural.

Check back tomorrow for more info on placement.
You can check out Mike's eBook on Macro Composition in the Store here.

Five Reasons the iPad is a Great Tool for Photographers

April 8th, 2010 by Juan A. Pons

ipad-pictureWhen the iPad was announced, I immediately started thinking about how this device would work into my photography.  After a lot of thought, I boiled down the iPad's photography advantages to the five below.  Where they enough to make me purchase an iPad?  Yes, they were!

1. The Screen

The iPad screen uses a technology called IPS, the same display technology that is used by the coveted Apple Cinema Displays. The Cinema Displays' clarity and color reproduction are top notch. How does this help you as a photographer? Load up your best images on the iPad and use it as the most versatile and beautiful portable portfolio presenter ever made. When showing your images to prospective clients they'll be amazed!

Dreaming of Spring

April 7th, 2010 by Juan Pons

I don’t know about you, but I am very much looking for spring to arrive for sure. Even though March 21 has come and gone, I'm ready for full-time spring.

As I start thinking of the images I want make come spring time, I start by looking at some of my previous work, this helps me focus my efforts and allows me to revisit some of the subjects I shot to try to come up with even better images.

Recently I spent some time going through some of the videos that I shot this past year and I decided to put together this short clip of some of my favorite footage from spring and early summer of 2009 for your enjoyment.

I hope you enjoy it and helps you find some inspiration for what to shoot this coming spring.


Make sure and visit the entertaining and informative site and blog by Rick Sammon and Juan Pons, the Digital Photo Experience.

The Importance of Personal Photography Projects

April 6th, 2010 by Jerry Monkman

Editors note:  Welcome to Jerry and Marcy Monkman!  They will be posting on our blog from time to time, and we are pleased and honored to have them.


Jerry and Marcy Monkman are "EcoPhotographers" featuring distinctive adventure, nature, and travel photography.  Known for their conservation work in New England's wild places, the Monkmans have spent the last fifteen years artfully documenting the mountains, forests, and coastlines that define the region.


Onion seedlings in a greenhouse in South Hampton, New Hampshire.

Onion seedlings in a greenhouse in South Hampton, New Hampshire.

This is the first time in eleven years that I am not working on one or more book projects (I tortured myself with three last year.) I love working on books most of the time, but add in the usual bunch of commissioned photo projects that I do every year, and it’s rare for me to have the time to shoot just because I feel like it.  I think this is a problem. Always working under deadlines makes it hard to grow as a photographer. You are less likely to experiment with new techniques, explore new subject matter in depth, or just have fun being a photographer.

Treat Nature How You Want Nature To Treat You!

April 3rd, 2010 by Scott Wyden

_SWI3406Pardon me, after my last nature walk along a public trail, I have a little rant!

As photographers we might tend to look, shoot and keep moving. It is very common for many people to do so.  However, sometimes we need to step back and look at nature's situation.  We need to think about what is happening.  What we see in front of us.  Be proactive.

The plastic garbage bag on the ground or in the tree.  Can you grab it and throw it away?  If you can then please take the effort.  A simple plastic bag to us can be deadly to a tiny animal.

Maybe you're walking through the trail and see a tree that carved with names and shapes.  That can be a great photograph!  But don't carve in it yourself.  I don't care if I sound like a "tree hugger".  I am one! Some things we just shouldn't do.


There are many ways to phrase our relationship with nature:

Quagmire – Behind the Scenes With Photographer Scott Holstein

April 1st, 2010 by Matt Dennison

No this is not an April Fool's post!  But it is cool enough to be.

When we ran across this video on how Scott Holstein set up a great shot, we just had to post it!
Talk about creative flash placement!–you'll have to watch to see what we mean.

Here's the final shot:


Check out Scott's cool website at

Video produced by Stormspeed Entertainment

The Space Between

March 31st, 2010 by William Neill

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.”

Fun With a Home Made Nest Box

March 27th, 2010 by Alan Murphy

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 [...]

Photographer Spotlight: Mike Moats

March 26th, 2010 by Chris Klapheke


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.


Aquatech Soft Hood Mini Review

March 25th, 2010 by Charles Glatzer


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.