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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, July 1, 2006

Selective Focus Made Easy

Lensbabies create a distinctive look with your digital SLR.

Photographers love accessories that help them create unique-looking images. With many photographers owning the same cameras and lenses, it’s exciting to find a product that provides us with the ability to create a distinctive photograph. The Lensbaby 2.0 gives photographers the flexibility to explore our individual creativity.

Thursday, June 1, 2006

Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife And Fish Refuge, Mississippi

The Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife and Fish Refuge protects more than 240,000 acres in four states and is the longest wildlife refuge in the contiguous 48 states, stretching 261 miles along the Mississippi River from the Chippewa River in Wisconsin almost to Rock Island, Ill. Steep bluffs, interesting islands, ancient burial mounds, unusual flowers and migrating birds are just some of the photographic subjects waiting to be discovered. The Great River Road, a National Scenic Byway, runs along both sides of the refuge, providing easy access to the refuge and adjacent public lands. Many public boat landings offer photographers with watercraft more options for exploring the area.

Thursday, June 1, 2006

Digital Security

How do you protect your gear when traveling?

Recently, I met the superb underwater photographer Bill Curtsinger for breakfast (his book Extreme Nature is stunning). He wanted to meet at a place where his car would be in plain view because of his expensive gear inside.

Thursday, June 1, 2006

Where The Spot Meets The Pixel

Use a spot meter to achieve the best exposure possible

Although you may hear the phrase "I’ll fix it in Photoshop" come from the lips of a digital photographer, correcting mistakes is more time-consuming than getting it right in-camera. This is no truer when it comes to exposure, where poor metering results in the loss of crucial detail in shadows and highlights.

Monday, May 1, 2006

El Yunque Tropical Rain Forest, Puerto Rico

The Caribbean National Forest, locally known as El Yunque (the anvil), is located about an hour’s drive east of San Juan, Puerto Rico’s capital. Established in 1903 as the Luquillo Forest Reserve, El Yunque is the only tropical rain forest in the National Forest System. Relatively small at 28,000 acres, the forest’s highest elevations (about 3,500 feet above sea level) can receive more than 250 inches of rain per year.

Monday, May 1, 2006

Is Photoshop About Photography?

Is there such a thing as "pure" nature photography? And how does Photoshop fit into that idea?

Photography has never been able to mimic nature in any "pure" way. Any image, whether film or digital, is an interpretation of nature from the moment of capture. It’s our job as photographers, I believe, to interpret nature honestly and accurately, and sometimes that means Photoshop is a necessity in order to get the image right.

Monday, May 1, 2006

Functionality Meets Style

Novoflex offers camera supports that are both reliable and attractively designed

When it comes to most photographic accessories, the emphasis is often on functionality, yet not far behind that is the matter of style. So while we photographers want tools that help us to create great images, we also appreciate having products that make us look good while we’re doing it. Novoflex definitely knows how to put style into common photographic gear.

Saturday, April 1, 2006

Merrymeeting Marsh, New Hampshire

Among the many rivers, ponds and swamps in southern New Hampshire, the Merrymeeting Marsh in New Durham is a standout for photographers who have discovered the fun of shooting from a kayak. The Merrymeeting River flows out of Merrymeeting Lake and into Lake Winnipesaukee, opening up into a marshy expanse on the west side of Route 11, about 90 miles north of Boston. The parking lot and the easy put-in are just past the junction of Route 11 West and Ridge Road.

Saturday, April 1, 2006

Software For Sharper Photos

You can't make a sharp image out of a fuzzy one...can you?

Image sharpness is important in landscape photos and wildlife close-ups, where fine detail makes or breaks the shot. And though we try to get our images as sharp as possible in-camera by focusing carefully and keeping the camera steady during exposure, limitations in lenses and digital technologies can keep us from getting the most out of our technique.

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