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Gain insights from professional photographers. No matter what the topic, these outdoor photography columns offer plenty of food for thought. Get tips and inspiration from the experts here.


Saturday, December 1, 2007

Getting Vertical

Vertically Challenged • Maximum Quality Formula? • A Little Night Action • Filtering The Sky • Park Photo Permits

I understand how to properly expose horizontal panoramas using a leveled tripod and leveled camera, but how do I get precise vertical panoramas when working from a tripod?
J. Forest
Cedar City, Utah

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Digital Exposure

What does good exposure give you? And can you trust the histogram?

Auto-exposure systems built into cameras today are very good. Camera manufacturers have done an outstanding job in creating complete systems that give excellent results. The computing power inside a camera equals powerful stand-alone computers of not that long ago. Multiple metering points are measured at the instant of exposure, evaluated, compared to a database of what a good exposure should be for the conditions and an exposure is computed and sent to the camera controls to execute in terms of ƒ-stop and shutter speed—all within that same instant.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

A Time For Giving

'Tis the season when Photo Traveler offers some gift advice for photographers

It’s the time of year when the avid traveling photographer should be thinking of dropping the necessary hints to loved ones of what might be the appropriate gift for the family shutterbug. Yes, dropping not-so-subtle suggestions about what you’d like could be seen as being somewhat uncouth or overtly self-serving. But who else knows the technical subtleties of digital gear and gadgets as well as you, and geez, who needs another tie or scarf with cameras imprinted on it or a cute statuette of a photographer sitting in a sports car with a couple of cameras around his neck and a bumper sticker that reads, "Warning:
I Brake For Pictures"?


Monday, November 19, 2007

When You Need Three

The airline restrictions on carry-ons (one piece, plus a personal item) make it difficult to fly to a photo destination, especially when traveling with a photo backpack, a long lens and a computer. What do you recommend?

Monday, November 12, 2007

Ready In A Flash

When I’m photographing with a macro flash system, I find that the flash recycle times are too long. The critter has stopped doing what it was doing or left the flower. How do you deal with this problem?

Monday, November 5, 2007

More Duping

I’m still shooting film, though the switch to digital seems inevitable. I’ve been considering purchasing a Nikon Coolscan film scanner to convert slides to digital files and start learning Photoshop. Some of my older slides are Kodachrome; I read recently that Kodachrome doesn’t scan well because of the high silver content, and that Digital ICE doesn’t handle it well. Is the problem with the scan or the ICE process? Can ICE be switched off when scanning?

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Moving Fast And Going Slow

Technology lets us go through life at breakneck speed, but not always in the correct direction

It’s surprising how often we curse the complexity and expense of the new cameras and computers, but at the same time, demand more speed and efficiency. And this isn’t just limited to cameras and computers, but extends into every facet of our lives, including cell phones, handheld GPS, satellite phones, MP3 players, compact, high-power strobe lighting and an endless array of other electronics we now depend on when we go outdoors to shoot photos. Ten years ago, most of these devices had no part in our lives, yet today we couldn’t see doing without them. I’m not reminiscing about the good old days because I absolutely love all the new electronics. I’m not a tech wizard, but I still probably spend too much time exploring the photography applications of the newest and fastest technology. I figure I only need to know enough to operate the device—I don’t have to understand the design of its inner workings.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Daily Lessons

When you have a camera with you, photographic opportunities just seem to arise

Last summer, I had to make a quick trip to the San Francisco Bay area. I didn’t take my camera since I was picking up family at the airport and thought I might not have enough space for my camera bag. We headed home at sunset and watched the most amazing rainbow, with great clouds, strong colors and a full 180 degrees for most of the 20 minutes it lasted! It was thrilling enough at the time that I didn’t dwell on not having my camera, but later, as I replayed visions of the scene in my mind, a bit of frustration surfaced.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

The Mendenhall Glacier, Alaska

The Mendenhall Glacier is one of the many glaciers flowing off of the majestic Juneau Ice Field—a dramatic, 1,500-square-mile expanse of glaciated ice and rugged mountain peaks located in the southeastern panhandle of Alaska. A well-established visitor’s center is just 13 road miles from downtown Juneau, and it shouldn’t be missed. Built in 1962 on a prominent rock outcropping, it’s an outstanding interpretation center for glacier dynamics and history, and it provides excellent photo opportunities of the terminus of the glacier.


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