OP Home > How-To > More How-To

More How-To

More Photo How-To Articles


Discover the wide range of photography techniques and how-tos in this varied selection of articles. You'll find tips on photography gear and travel, plus shooting techniques and solutions to common problems.


Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Indecent Exposures (And How To Avoid Them)

Don't let a bright or dark background sneak in and ruin your exposure!

While the multi-segment metering systems built into today’s D-SLR cameras provide excellent exposures in an amazingly wide range of situations, there are some scenes that can fool them. Learning to recognize and compensate for those situations will make you a better photographer.

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Live View, Hype Or Benefit?

D-SLRs now can see what the lens sees directly at the sensor rather than only through the viewfinder

When digital cameras entered the market, Sony had one of the first cameras with a rotating lens assembly, so you could see the LCD at different angles compared to the way the lens could see the world. I shot with it up high, down low, and I loved not being restricted to shooting right at my eye level. I could actually see what the lens was seeing when the camera was on the ground without lying on the ground myself.

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Spring Trail Tips

Don't forget the basics!

As spring arrives, so do fresh photo ops, and some of the best are in places you can’t reach by vehicle. Hiking in wild places can lead you to lots of terrific wildlife and landscapes, but also to some hazards.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

The Art Of Exhibition

Putting your work on display, whether in a gallery, museum, local coffeehouse or your living room, is a rewarding opportunity to tell a visual story

You’ve been shooting for awhile and have perfected your printing, so now it’s time to step back and really look at what you’ve created. When you have a body of work that you feel good about, it’s time to think about presenting your photographs to outside eyes. Whether you decide to present your work as an exhibition or a portfolio, there are a number of choices to be made. What to display? Should the exhibition be an overview of work you’ve shot or should it tell a single story?

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Stock Options

An estimated 80,000 images are licensed for publication each day, with the stock-photo industry making sales of about $2 billion per year. Here‚’s a primer on how to market your images as stock.

More than 29 years ago, I received my first check in the mail for the use of one of my images. It was an indescribable thrill for a beginning nature photographer—the ultimate affirmation of my work. I now have more than 10,000 published images, and I firmly believe you also can have the same success.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Nikon School Of Photography

What lens to buy next?

What lens should I buy next?" must be one of the five questions I’m asked most frequently at the Nikon School and the various other photographic seminars, tours and workshops I teach. That’s a little like going to a physician and asking, "What pill should I take?" Before giving you any kind of answer, the doctor will qualify it by getting your family medical history, examining you and asking about your symptoms, allergies, current medications, etc. To answer the lens question, we ask similar questions.

Monday, October 1, 2007

E-Books: New Directions In Photo Publishing

The photographer's new market is your own computer. Expand your work into the world of profitable self-publishing

What photographer hasn’t dreamed of publishing a book of his or her work—or, more exactly, having a book published, because both the technology and the expense of do-it-yourself publishing is daunting? Publishers, alas, aren’t usually so eager to bring your best photos to the public, understandably, because fine printing is devilishly expensive, so much so that publishers can’t charge their usual markup on a photo book, and most photo books just don’t make money.


Wednesday, August 1, 2007

When Does Digital Match Film?

Film and digital can't be simply compared by using math. There's much more to the images than numbers.

About 15 years ago, digital imaging started to capture the attention of the press, including photography magazines. At that time, a lot of this was gee-whiz stuff, and most photographers saw it mainly as a curiosity or something that might work for scientists or other specialized use. Many pundits at the time made rash pronouncements of the technology, using all sorts of techniques to compare film and digital, but mainly they all came to the conclusion that it would be a very long time, if ever, before digital image capture could match film. And they all said that film would be around for a very long time. Obviously, that has turned out to be wrong.

Friday, June 1, 2007

Improve Your Artistic Eye

Two professional photographers offer advice on how to expand your sense of style

Design in photography is basically a combination of the functional with the aesthetic. What does that mean? It means that it’s hard to define. The slightest variation in light, tone, colors, patterns, shapes, focus, motion, shading or viewpoint can lead to a drastic difference in the overall feel of a photograph. By manipulation of shutter speed, aperture and lens choice—the functional aspects of a camera—you can vary these elements of design in endless ways.

Sunday, April 1, 2007

Essentials

Think about the core elements that make up all landscape photographs

What are the essential ingredients for a great landscape photograph? While in the process of developing an online landscape course, I’ve been asking myself this question in order to help photographers improve their work. There’s an obvious list of elements that make up any strong photograph:


Sunday, April 1, 2007

Get A Move On

Use these techniques to add a feeling of motion to your images

As a visual storyteller, I sometimes look at my video-shooting colleagues with more than a little envy. They carry only one camera (albeit a big one) with one zoom lens of incredible range and speed; they not only capture sound, but seem to be able to shoot in pitch-dark conditions as well; and most enviable of all, they can record movement and the passage of time.

Thursday, March 1, 2007

Finding Nirvana In The Mountains

Your best images come when you see the photograph as a whole

Why do people climb dangerous mountains, and why are people so obsessed with the quest for adventure? These are common questions among people who don’t climb mountains. And for that matter, I’m also asked about what pushes me to pursue adventure photography. Couldn’t I have opted for any number of less dangerous photo careers?

Friday, December 1, 2006

Form & Function

A retrospective exhibit explores the influence of Eliot Porter on Robert Ketchum's work—and Ketchum's departure from it.

When Eliot Porter set aside his microscope and picked up a view camera, leaving behind his biochemical research at Harvard University to pursue photography full time, he couldn’t possibly have known the impact his work as a photographer would make. Porter not only inspired generations of color photographers, but also helped fuel an environmental movement responding to a growing awareness of the effects of industrialization on the landscape.

Friday, December 1, 2006

Travel And The Photographer

Use preparation and common sense to negotiate today's heightened security concerns

Today’s environment of heightened security and stretched tensions can make travel with photo gear more challenging. Since the regulations of various countries, airlines and border crossings are diverse and dynamic, my recommendations are guidelines only. That being said, two things will put you in good standing no matter where you travel: use a combination of common sense and courtesy, and do your homework.

Monday, May 1, 2006

Bare Essentials

Four professional photographers share how they travel light in the field

Getting the image sometimes involves leaving equipment back home. When you’re hiking six miles into the wilderness or climbing up to a higher elevation, the weight of the gear you carry makes a big difference. All the best equipment in the world means little if you’re too physically spent to hold the camera steady. Some of these items weigh only a few ounces individually, but all this gear combined can result in photographers carrying pounds of gear on their backs or over their shoulders.

Popular OP Articles