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Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Better Photography Is A Journey, Not A Destination

A compendium of resources to inspire and teach, and get you on the path of making better pictures

Labels: How-ToColumnTech Tips

I entered this image of a pika in the BBC Photographer of the Year contest (now known as the Veolia Environment Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition), and it won second place in Animal Behavior—Mammals. It sold a number of times after being seen in the contest. Canon EOS-1v with EF 500mm ƒ/4L lens

This column is dedicated to all of you who have asked me where you can access the information you need to improve your outdoor photography. Fact is, these days you need to keep learning to improve your digital photography skills and do your research to stay current on the latest and greatest in techniques, equipment, locations and subjects. Outdoor photography is a dynamic, fast-moving field, and you can find both technical instruction and creative inspiration by keeping up with others' work and ideas, and by putting your own work out there to be viewed and discussed by your fellow photographers.

Here's a set of resources I'd like to share with you. It's by no means a complete list of everything good in the field of photography, but I've had positive experiences with all of them. I feel that, overall, these sources are worth exploring if you're looking for ways to take your outdoor photography, post-capture production and output to the next level.

Expand Your Reference Section
You're already started down the right road in this department, since you're reading Outdoor Photographer at this very moment (www.outdoorphotographer.com). Not every article in every magazine will address issues of direct concern to your work, but I guarantee you'll find at least something that rings your bells in each issue of the following publications. These days, I'm partial to magazines I can receive and store on my iPad (including OP) rather than bulky, paper-wasting copies, so those I've listed below are downloadable publications (with the exception of PhotoLife). Most of these digital publications can be ordered at www.zinio.com.

Nature Photographer—A how-to magazine published three times a year, now in its 21st year. www.naturephotographermag.com

Digital Photo
—Keying on information and techniques for all kinds of digital photography. www.dpmag.com

Digital Photo Pro—Oriented toward pro commercial photographers, but with many digital techniques important to outdoor photographers. www.digitalphotopro.com

Photoshop User—The official publication of the National Association of Photoshop Professionals focuses on Photoshop and Lightroom. This magazine can make you crazy with its technical, nerdy, quirky ideas, but for all those reasons, I love it. www.photoshopuser.com

Currents—The magazine of the North American Nature Photography Association (NANPA), with content specific to nature photographers. www.nanpa.org

PhotoLife—A Canadian photographic magazine with numerous outdoor photography articles written by excellent Canadian photographers and a clean design. The magazine isn't available online, but they run a blog. www.photolife.com

Photograph America Newsletter—Published by Robert Hitchman, with knowledgeable information about rich photographic locations, and how and when to photograph them. An archive of all 117 issues (22 years) is available on CD. www.photographamerica.com


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