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.
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 Prints have been replaced by "output."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?
Carlton Ward uses photography to share Gabon's biodiversity with the world
Imagine having the opportunity to photograph in wildlife-rich Gabon in Central Africa. You’ll be in the company of scientists, specialists in areas including entomology, botany and ornithology. Then, add the chance to create your images using high-end digital SLRs, an assortment of quality lenses and lighting gear. It sounds ideal.
One of the reasons I’ve been photographing since I was a kid is because it’s fun. I’m guessing that’s why you enjoy the medium, too, and why you read a photo magazine. Digital photography, especially, has reinvigorated the craft, restoring the fun I had when I first started taking pictures. Anyone who has known me for a while knows that when I’m excited about something, I like to share it with everyone. With that in mind, I’d like to help you use the new technology for digital photography without the fear of doing it right or wrong, but just to have fun with the process. You really can’t screw it up. If you take a poor picture, you can see it immediately in the LCD. No harm done; just delete the shot and try again. Not sure how to use a histogram? Try some different exposures of the same scene and compare the histograms and see what happens. Photography is a visual medium; the LCD makes digital technology visual, too.
Think beyond local camera club contests and consider some of the premier nature photography competitions in the world
Photo contests can be a successful way to get your images published, and some of the premier nature photography contests are monitored by publications, making them ideal for working your images into print as well.
Now you can get more out of all lenses, even making low-priced optics perform like the best
When I first started photographing seriously years ago, I wanted to expand my lens choices for my SLR, but I couldn’t afford it. So I did the best I could, buying budget lenses that weren’t sharp wide-open (but were useable stopped down), inexpensive "preset" lenses and so on—maybe not the best lenses in the world, but they worked and I got by.
Discover how a tripod produces sharper pictures and better, bigger prints
Beyond stability and sharper pictures, the greatest benefit I’ve found in using a tripod is that it makes me slow down. It forces me to evaluate a scene more carefully. Rather than snapping a shot and walking away, I observe a scene with much greater care. The slowing down of the picture-taking process has resulted in consistently better photographs. Before I commit to positioning my tripod, I look at varying aspects of a scene—lighting, contrast, tones and composition—without feeling as if I’m rushing.
Different head designs offer advantages for the way you work
There’s a wide range of tripod head designs available today, including traditional pan-tilt (three-way) heads, ballheads, offset ballheads, gimbal heads and fluid heads. Do you need to upgrade? Would a different design work better for you? That depends. Each head suits a different way of working, with advantages and disadvantages for each type of photography and equipment.
The dos and dont's of safely and responsibly taking your vehicle into the outdoors
New country has always been the inspiration for photographers to venture beyond where others have stopped, and the vehicles to get them there are as old as Henry Jackson’s mule or Ansel Adams’ "Woody" station wagon and as modern as Kennan Ward’s Sportsmobile 4x4 home-on-wheels. In more recent years, the most popular-selling vehicles in this country have been SUVs to the extent that our own demographic studies indicate that approximately half of Outdoor Photographer readers have one in the family.
George Lepp completes a 15-year project to document the poppies of California
When Adelbert von Chamisso, naturalist and member of the Prussian Academy of Sciences, sailed into San Francisco Bay in 1816 aboard the Russian expeditionary ship Rurik, he was greeted with hills of golden poppies. He gave them its botanical name, Eschscholzia californica, in honor of Johann Friedrich Eschscholtz, the expedition’s physician and von Chamisso’s close friend.
Improve your photography in the classroom and in the field
Photography is always a work in progress. Whether you’re a serious hobbyist or a working professional, you’re learning new things, from discovering the features of the latest camera to finding another way of looking at light. There’s so much to learn that it seems impossible to absorb all the information out there.
A photographer reveals the world through its most precious resource
Water and photography bear many similarities. While each adheres to specific rules and laws, both can be malleable, beautiful and unpredictable. Rather than being fixed and rigid, water and photography achieve their greatest power when the smallest change or gesture results in a moment of beauty. For photographer Richard Hamilton Smith, water is more than just a static element in his pictures. Instead, it’s part of his photographic palette of light, motion, texture and tones.