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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.




Sunday, January 1, 2006

Do Away With Gray

Reveal the color and contrast in your murky digital images


Thursday, December 1, 2005

16-Bit Challenges

When do you really need the 16-bit capabilities of RAW files?

More isn’t always better, but sometimes it helps. More strokes in a golf game is a bad thing, while more runs is good for baseball (unless you’re on the losing side). More heat is great for baking bread, but awful for storing eggs.

Tuesday, November 1, 2005

60 Minutes With Chris Johns

A conversation with National Geographic's first field photographer editor

The National Geographic Society and its magazine have long been a patron and showcase for some of the world’s most respected photographers, particularly in the categories of geographic exploration and world cultural and natural history. The magazine embarked on a significant overhaul this year, engineered in large part by its new editor. Chris Johns not only holds the distinction of being the current editor-in-chief, but in being the first field photographer to be named to this position of responsibility in the history of the magazine with its characteristic yellow border. This is a point that Johns seems quick to dismiss in modest fashion, but it’s apparent that his agenda involves a take-charge, can-do approach to revamp the magazine for the 21st century. For obvious reasons, we at Outdoor Photographer find the photographer-turned-editor story line to be particularly noteworthy and timely.

Saturday, October 1, 2005

It's Showtime!

Share your images the 21st-century way

The night my father pulled out the slide projector was always a special event for me as a young boy. As the eldest, I had the responsibility of retrieving the carousel from the closet and setting it up on the dining room table while he hung a white sheet on the wall. The whir of the fan and the sharp click of the projector were accompanied by my brothers’ voices as they jostled for a good position on the couch. With the lights turned off, I’d hold the remote control, counting out the seconds in my head, as each image was projected on the makeshift screen. The photographs, large and vibrant with color, made the power of photography seem all the more magical.

Saturday, October 1, 2005

Out With The New, In With The Old

Why reports of the death of film may have been exaggerated in this digital age

It's time to face facts. Everybody who's anybody is shooting digitally these days. Nobody is talking about film anymore. Do they even still sell film? It's all about the digital workflow. What was once called "taking pictures" is now known as "digital capture." Prints have been replaced by "output." Apertures and shutter speeds are passe‚—practically unnecessary. Fix it in post! A $10,000 camera? No problem; everybody has one. If you don't, you're behind the times. You must be a geezer. Must be afraid of change. If you want to be successful, you must shoot digital. Right?

Saturday, October 1, 2005

Projection Revolution...

Digital technology claims the throne

Big sweeping landscapes can be an astonishing sight. That first break of sun in the morning that stretches long shadows in valleys and welcomes your eyes with golden calm is a memorable moment. Photographs allow us to revisit the aesthetic spirit of such scenes. Image quality is everything in this medium and being able to see your work, with vibrant color, in large form, can be as astounding as the moment itself.

Monday, August 1, 2005

Stretching The Landscape

Where is landscape photography going today? How might we as photographers find new inspiration and approaches to this classic subject?

stretching the landscapeWhen it comes to tradition, landscape photography ranks up there with mom and apple pie. Photography got its start with landscapes as subjects since they remained motionless during the long exposures needed. As exploration of places like the American West began, landscape photography showed the world what these regions looked like. It was landscape photography that helped stimulate the formation of our national park system. Talk about traditional values!

Monday, August 1, 2005

Hue & Saturation

Change and enhance color with precision using this adjustment tool

The Hue/Saturation adjustment is found in most image-editing applications, and offers one of the best ways to change colors both globally and selectively. This easy-to-use tool creates remarkably different looks to your color images.

Friday, July 1, 2005

Beauty & The Beast

Tame the large files produced by a high-resolution digital SLR

They’re beautiful—one look and I’m captivated. I stare and find myself absorbed by every detail. If this isn’t love, it’ll do. As a card-carrying photo geek, I admit that looking at digital files produced by the new 12- and 16-megapixel SLRs leads to a rush that normally means a trip to the confessional. Okay, maybe I exaggerate, but not by much.

Wednesday, June 1, 2005

20 Top Landscape Tips

Learn to capture what moves you in the landscape with the insights of veteran scenic masters

Inspired by the vast vistas of the West and the intimate settings of the East, photographers from across the Americas and beyond have given us remarkable photographs that capture the natural world in its seemingly endless variations. Landscape photography is the bedrock of Outdoor Photographer. We’ve asked some of those photographers whose work has stood apart from the crowd to share with us the techniques that have helped them distill the complexities of the wild outdoors into the iconic images that have graced our pages these last 20 years. With these tips and a stroke of luck, perhaps it will be your images and insights that we share with readers in the years to come.

Wednesday, June 1, 2005

20 Top Travel Tips

Make the most of your next photographic vacation

Summer offers many of us a prime opportunity to practice our love of photography. But along with a destination and a working camera, there are other factors involved in returning home with wonderful photographs. We asked several professional photographers whose work often takes them throughout the world for advice on making the most of those photographic opportunities, and the OP staff included a few tips of our own. Whether a short road trip or an excursion to the other side of the globe, we hope these 20 tips help make your travels the best that they can be.

Wednesday, June 1, 2005

20 Top Action/Wildlife Tips

Be ready to shoot the fast action of wildlife and adventure sports

Sports-action and wildlife photography are connected because of their mutual reliance on spur-of-the-moment, lightning-fast activity. The photographic techniques required for each are similar as is the mindset of those who specialize in either endeavor. The pros who spend their lives seeking out the best in wildlife or sports photography have valuable insight into how they're able to capture their images—and how you can, too.

Friday, April 1, 2005

From Sharp To Blur

Art Wolfe shares his insights for the creative use of motion

Sharpness is important to Art Wolfe, so much so that he shoots virtually all of his images using a tripod. You might even find him navigating through the crowds of a bazaar, carefully examining the scene, working on visualizing the next shot with his camera firmly mounted on a ballhead.

Friday, April 1, 2005

What Is Sharpness?

A Deeper Understanding Of Sharpness Can Help Better Control It

Sharpness is a critical issue for photographers. While we sometimes experiment with blurs, we mostly want our subjects to be as sharp as possible. The standard, reliable approach is to use a good lens and tripod.

Friday, April 1, 2005

Stop Dreaded Camera Jitters

A steady support or image stabilization will help you capture sharper images

Even if you spend a fortune for the finest, sharpest lenses available, you still can find that your images are soft. Camera shake from shooting handheld usually is the cause.

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