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How-To

Outdoor Photography Techniques


Master the skills you need with photography techniques from the experts. Whether you're a novice seeking advice on landscape, wildlife or nature photography or a pro looking for more advanced techniques, you'll find all the information you need, here.




Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Create The Old Masters Look With Modern Gear

Using the latest in software, techniques and hardware can provide you with imagery that will rival the masterpieces of nature photography

The literal trailblazers of nature photography—Ansel Adams, Edward Weston, Eliot Porter, Carleton Watkins, Edward Muybridge and others—carried heavy and sensitive equipment through miles of unpaved wilderness in order to bring back photographs of the world that they saw.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Get The Most From A Workshop

What to look for and what to expect from a photography workshop

Photo workshops can be a productive way to learn more about photography. They offer an opportunity to try new things, gain the expertise of an experienced instructor and share ideas with students who have similar backgrounds and interests. There’s a wide variety of workshops available, and it can be challenging to know exactly which workshop to take and what you can expect from the workshop. So it’s important to take a look at what you need from the experience and how you can get the most from it.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Be A Photography Rebel

10 tips to create unique and powerful images

In the age of inexpensive, high-quality digital cameras, suddenly everyone is a photographer. The digital revolution has unleashed a horde of shooters, all vying to become the next Ansel Adams. As a result, it gets tougher and tougher to stand out from the crowd. How can you break free from the pack with truly unique images?

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Web Optimization Part II

Working with sharpness, watermarks and metadata

In the January/February issue, we addressed the concepts of examining your target audience and choosing the appropriate file size and image size for the intended display. Here, we’ll look at the important steps of applying sharpness and applying watermarks and using metadata. Watermarks are an essential tool for protecting your images when you make them available on the web, and metadata is extremely useful for both image protection and for making your images searchable so people can find you on the web.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Power Cloning

Instead of wrestling with tools that only can do part of the job, try this technique to clone color while maintaining the all-important texture in your image

Photoshop provides many tools for cloning, the process of cleaning up small imperfections before printing. Dust on the sensor, contrails in the sky, twigs protruding into the frame or a cigarette butt in the scene are examples of things a photographer might choose to clone out. Several tools are provided in Photoshop to make easy work of these situations. The Rubber Stamp tool, the Patch tool, the Healing Brush and the Spot Healing Brush are the usual choices.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Geotagging

How to use technology to stay organized and track your photography

Like many photographers, I take a lot of photos and struggle with the organizational aspects of my imaging workflow. While I do my best to tag images when importing them to my PC, I typically rely on the date and my memory to find the photos I’m looking for. That was before I started using geotagging.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Southwestern Safaris

Extraordinary wildlife photo opportunities exist on the expansive ranches of Texas and northeastern Mexico

So a wildlife photo safari to Africa or the Pantanal isn’t in your budget. Don’t put away your camera! Several ranches with spectacular wildlife diversity and facilities for photographers await in the Texas Hill Country, the Rio Grande Valley and the state of Tamaulipas in Mexico, with many animals that are almost impossible to photograph anywhere else. Don’t like crowded national parks? Besides staff, you may be the only person on the ranch. Imagine a thousand acres of wildlife habitat all to yourself!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Legacy: Think Like Ansel Adams Today

Tools and aesthetics have changed, but the techniques of the great American landscape master still apply

The legacy of Ansel Adams is a driving creative force that motivates every outdoor photographer. Through his treks to Yosemite Valley and other American landscapes, Adams almost single-handedly created modern nature photography. We know many readers will be ready to list all of the other great early American nature photographers and, to be sure, there were many, but none has the same legacy, the same enduring visual magnetism, as the work of Ansel Adams.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Shoot More, Process Less

Try these simple rules, and you’ll be able to spend less time in front of your computer screen and more time in the field making photographs

In this age of digital cameras, super-computers and image-editing software that requires a PhD to master, it’s all too easy to spend hours under the soft glow of a computer screen endlessly fine-tuning your images. I call it the “postproduction suction.” You spend two hours behind the camera and four hours behind the keyboard editing, correcting and tweaking your shots. This phenomenon can creep into your photographic life, slowly embezzling your time away from the shutter release and into the return key until it dawns on you that you haven’t hit the trail for weeks, maybe even months. This sinking feeling is the realization that you’ve become the dreaded “desk chair photographer.”

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Be The King In The Rookery

Photographing one of nature’s greatest spectacles

Walking past the very alive and very smelly alligators I can hear what sounds like a million voices all talking in the distance. As I round the corner in the predawn light, I can make out, at first, some dark shapes. Walking further, it appears as if the mangrove swamp has been decorated for Halloween with thousands of miniature ghosts.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Sharp Is King

Strategies for waging the war between higher ISOs, sharpness and noise

In the quest for high-quality digital capture in the uncontrolled setting of the outdoors, we’re always seeking ways to overcome ambient conditions that pose obstacles to our photographic vision.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Photoshop CS4 And The Nature Photographer

The gold standard in imaging software has been updated. OP takes you through the new features most useful to nature photographers.

Many photographers anticipate the arrival of a new version of Photoshop. Should I upgrade or not? Photoshop CS4 offers outstanding tools, naturally, but that doesn’t mean it’s necessarily for everyone.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

10 Tips For Better Autofocus

It’s easy to take autofocus for granted. I know, I do. This technology is amazing—your camera has to figure out what should be sharp in a scene, focus the lens and take the picture, all in a fraction of a second.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Pro Tips For Better Photography

There are no commandments in photography, but these simple tips will make an immediate difference in your shots

Who among us isn’t hoping for a secret formula or a magic spell we can use to conjure up great images anywhere, anytime, at our beck and call? A switch we can flip to reveal unique compositions, beautiful light, rare moments and deep insight—a “silver bullet.”

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Sound Practices III: Putting It All Together

Assembling your multimedia into a cohesive, finished project

In my previous two columns, I talked about the techniques and gear for gathering sound, and some of the software for editing sound.

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