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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.


Tuesday, August 1, 2006

Color Secrets

Exploring with the wide end of the focal spectrum opens up a world of creative compositional possibilities

Nature photography has a long tradition of use of strong color. Kodachrome, then Velvia, were chosen for their high-quality sharpness and tonality—and for their color. Both boosted natural colors, intensifying and typically warming them up.

Saturday, July 1, 2006

Red Rock Canyon State Park, California

A mere two hours north of Los Angeles in the Mojave Desert is the 25,000-acre Red Rock Canyon State Park. The exposed geology is stunning where the Sierra Nevadas link up with the El Paso Mountains. Shades of pink, red, brown and white eroded volcanic and sedimentary layers provide a fascinating vista. Softer sediments have been worn away into a variety of cuts and channels capped by harder volcanic material. For thousands of years, native peoples used the unique tributaries as trade routes and as part-time homes. Later, prospectors and emigrants seeking a new life plied through on the way west.

Saturday, July 1, 2006

Digital Images Dominate Competition

The latest Wildlife Photographer of the Year contest brought home how much nature photography is going digital

This spring I had an amazing experience as part of the judging for the Shell Wildlife Photographer of the Year contest at the Natural History Museum in London. This prestigious contest attracts some of the finest nature photography in the world. Co-owned by the Natural History Museum and BBC Wildlife Magazine, the competition is currently sponsored by Shell and Microsoft, and the winners are published by the BBC Wildlife Magazine in a special BBC book; additionally, a large-scale exhibition will be held at the Natural History Museum in October and an exhibition will tour globally.

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.

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