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The Magic of Digital Landscape Photography

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Rob Sheppard—naturalist, photographer and former editor of Outdoor Photographer—has just published his newest book. The Magic of Digital Landscape Photography is the latest in Rob’s 30-some-title library, and like all of them it contains useful technical information for photographers who want to improve their pictures. This book also showcases Rob’s favorite landscape photographs from the most popular and iconic American landscape locations, as well as those less traveled spots that are equally capable of providing tremendous landscape photographs. Read more at Rob’s blog, or buy this as well as Rob’s other books from Amazon.com.


amazon.com: Rob Sheppard

Adobe Is Listening

Monday, April 19, 2010

A friend of mine recently sent a thoughtful and well-written letter to a major camera maker with some suggestions for improvement. He believed a model with a particular feature set and a specific price point would be the ideal compliment to its lineup. He received, in short order, a friendly form letter thanking him for his suggestion. And who knows, perhaps the company will listen and my friend will get his wish. It turns out there’s definitely one photography company that is actively listening to its customers. As Photoshop blogger Dave Cross recently pointed out Adobe, maker of brand-spanking -new Photoshop CS5, has a whole web page devoted to photographers’ wishes. The web form is for users to request features they'd like to see in future versions of the program, as well as to report bugs and glitches in the software as it currently exists. Much more than good PR, it’s a great way to tap into the power of the crowd to improve a product. Maybe more manufacturers will utilize this sort of feedback forum in the future.



Learn About Photography On Twitter

Friday, April 16, 2010

There’s an old saying about what the name of sportswear manufacturer Adidas actually stands for. (It is in fact short for Adi Dassler, the name of the shoemaker who founded the company.) This urban legend seems to have inspired a photography blog called All Day I Dream About Photography, and said blog has recently compiled a nice little list of 33 ways you can learn photography via social networking site Twitter. If you’re not yet a Twitterite, I can’t say that you should rush to join just because you’ll learn about photography. But if you’re already there, why not try to learn something useful while you’re at it? The list is in fact a mere drop in the bucket of great photo Tweets about photography equipment, news and techniques, but it’s a great place to start. Notably missing from the list are some personal favorites: The OP Twitter feed (@outdoorphotomag), as well as those from sister publications Digital Photo and Digital Photo Pro (@dpmagazine and @digitalphotopro, respectively), and OP faves like Rick Sammon, Art Wolfe, Rob Sheppard and Steve Berardi (@ricksammon, @artwolfe, @robsheppardfoto and @photonaturalist).


Learn Lighting From A Master

Thursday, April 15, 2010

The Strobist revolution has reached all aspects of photography, including outdoor image making. Even though strobes aren’t used as much in nature photography as they are for, say, studio portraits, there’s plenty to be gained from an understanding of successful strobe lighting. Not the least of which is a comprehensive skill with light in general. To that end I recommend watching a recent short video post on the Strobist blog in which master studio photographer Gregory Heisler explains how he lit his dramatic Time cover portrait of Bruce Springsteen. You see, I'm a big believer in knowing all sorts of things about all sorts of photography—even if they aren’t your specialty. For instance, I believe understanding how a master portrait photographer uses a studio strobe light can have a direct and positive impact on your approach to photographing a flower or a building or a cup of tea. Getting a glimpse of Gregory Heisler's lighting technique should be required viewing—must-see Internet TV—for all photographers who work with light. (And just in case you didn’t catch it, that means all of us.) http://strobist.blogspot.com/2010/04/gregory-heisler-whiteboards-bruce.html

Minor Investment, Major Return

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Five dollars doesn’t buy what it used to. These days it’s a fast food value meal, maybe almost two gallons of gas, or even a fancy cup of coffee. But five dollars can make you a better photographer thanks to a new eBook from publisher Craft & Vision. The Magic of Black and White by Andrew S. Gibson is a downloadable 58-page PDF lesson in learning to see black and white possibiliities, as well as crafting monochrome images. The book is tantalizingly tagged as Volume 1, as there is planned a second volume follow-up to delve deeper into the technical aspects of creating black & white photographs. At five dollars it’s as sound an investment as you’ll ever put into your photographic education, and it’s sure to provide a lot of bang for those few bucks.


Polar Bears on D-SLR Video

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Wildshots blogger Paul Burwell is back at it with an interesting post involving his upcoming polar bear workshop in Manitoba. While there on a scouting mission last November, Mr. Burwell made lots and lots of bear photographs with his Canon EOS 5D Mark II. But he also decided to use the camera to make a video showcasing the bears as they waited for winter’s arrival. Check out the video on his web site. It might even inspire you to sign up for his October workshop.


Nikon Workshops

Monday, April 12, 2010

Nikon has long sponsored a slew of workshops to help make you a better photographer, and this year is no different. There’s plenty to choose from no matter where you live and what you want to learn. First is the Nik Summit next month, a four-day San Diego event built around Nik’s photo editing software but with plenty of shooting time in the Southern California sun. Moving eastward, photographers can attend the Santa Fe workshops throughout the summer to learn about working with Nikon cameras and Capture NX2 software, as well as utilizing various colors and qualities of light. Then there’s the Great American Photography workshops which take place all year long and all across the country from Alaska to Cape Cod—the latter of which is a workshop led by former OP editor Rob Sheppard. For a complete list of the many seminars and workshops sponsored by Nikon, as well as links for more information and to register, visit the Nikon web site.


Lightroom Tips and Tricks

Friday, April 9, 2010

As a recent convert to the world of the RAW workflow in Adobe Lightroom, I’ve found myself becoming increasingly keen on learning every new tweak to make the program work just the way I want it to. In just a few months I’ve fully integrated the software and made it the centerpiece of my workflow, but I’m still no expert. That’s why posts such as DPS’s recent listing of five tips to help you work more efficiently with Lightroom’s panels is such a pleasant surprise. I’m a big believer in efficiency, especially when it comes to digital imaging and computer time; I’d rather be out shooting than sitting at my desk. So speedkeys and other tips to help the program feel more intuitive are eagerly appreciated. If you’re like me in that regard, or if you’d just like to keep tabs on what’s going on with this popular software, check out the list and see if it improves your Lightroom workflow too.


Image Stabilization in the real world

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Photographer Ctein recently wrote at The Online Photographer about the “oddities of image stabilization.” Many folks, for instance, have long known that it’s imperative to turn off your lens’ internal stabilization when you mount your camera to a tripod; it’s trying desperately to correct for vibration that isn’t there, so it’s actually introducing movement into the scene and can produce blurrier results than with IS turned off. Well Ctein did some testing with a new stabilized lens of his own, and he was amazed at what he found—namely, the stabilization didn’t work well at faster shutter speeds. In fact, he thinks it hindered his lens’ performance. The best part is that he’s shared his testing methods and results, hypothesized about what he thinks is going on, and opened up the discussion for techies around the globe to tell him exactly how and why image stabilization works, what its drawbacks are, and how best to make use of the technology. All in all it makes for an interesting read if you’re trying to get a bead on image stabilization technology and how you can put it to better use in your own real world shooting situations.


Use your speedlight for wildlife

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

The Tamron blog has done it again, posting another informative write-up full of practical advice for photographers looking to gain a better understanding of how to effectively use their equipment for outdoor photography. This time, Rick Sheremeta offers simple and useful advice for wildlife photographers who may not normally consider using their flash to improve their wildlife pictures. Rick shows how the subtle kick of a catchlight in the eyes of a big cat can add just the pop that his image needs to go from kind of drab to more dramatic without a major overall change to the image exposure. The subtle fill and increase in shadow detail never hurt either. See for yourself, and read more tips at the Angle of View blog.


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