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The Rembrandt Solution


The Rembrandt Solution

Landscape photographers face a fundamental challenge: how to compress the broad range of light intensities typically found in the real world into the much narrower range of tones that can be reproduced in a print.

Get 4x5 Quality With A DSLR


Get 4x5 Quality With A DSLR

For almost 20 years as a professional photographer, I’ve shot with large- and medium-format film cameras. Then, five years ago, I purchased my first digital camera, a Canon EOS-1Ds, and gave up film altogether.

The Zone System Revisited


The Zone System Revisited

Ansel Adams is credited with developing the Zone System in the 1940s. In the ensuing time, photography has undergone a series of monumental changes, but even today when digital dominates the photography landscape, the Zone System remains relevant,...

HD D-SLRs For Nature Photographers


HD D-SLRs For Nature Photographers

In fall 2008, Nikon announced the D90, the first D-SLR with HD video capability. A few weeks later, Canon announced the EOS 5D Mark II, the first “pro” D-SLR with video capability.

The Perfect Solar Storm


The Perfect Solar Storm

I saw your photograph of the looping aurora borealis as one of the wallpapers within Microsoft Vista OS. Where did you take that photograph, and what’s the best time of year to try to capture the aurora?

Set Up Your Camera For Best Field Use


Set Up Your Camera For Best Field Use

Have you set up your camera to make it work optimally for you? Have you changed the camera from its default settings? Most photographers make the RAW or JPEG (or both) choice, but since they’re used to film cameras, many don’t realize that there are...

Capturing Wildlife With An Infrared Trigger


Capturing Wildlife With An Infrared Trigger

In the neotropics, nocturnal bats fill many of the niches occupied by birds by day. But where birds use their superb sense of sight, bats exploit their specialized sense of hearing to find prey. They produce high-frequency clicking sounds and listen...

Create The Old Masters Look With Modern Gear


Create The Old Masters Look With  Modern  Gear

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...

Primal Perception


Primal Perception

The way we see color today is shaped by events from 35 million years ago, when some nocturnal primates shifted to a diurnal lifestyle, and began to seek out leaves and fruits by day instead of insects and other prey by night.

Also labeled: Column

Local Knowledge


Local Knowledge

I’ve said it before, and I’m here to say it again. Get to know a landscape! Get to know your landscape, a favorite location where you can return often in all kinds of light and weather and season. Hopefully, this will be a place nearby where, by loo...

Also labeled: Column, On Landscape

The Lowdown On Zooms


The Lowdown On Zooms

My son has a digital point-and-shoot camera with an 18x zoom, but when you zoom to the extreme end, the viewfinder displays a message that it’s a digital zoom, and the resulting quality isn’t very good. Is it also true that zoom lenses on D-SLRs don’t...

Also labeled: Column, Tech Tips

Web Optimization Part II


Web Optimization Part II

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...

Also labeled: Sharing & Websites

Be A Photography Rebel


Be A  Photography Rebel

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...

Also labeled: Camera Technique

Adventure, Kiwi Style


Adventure, Kiwi Style

As I write this, I’ve relocated and have been living for less than a week in my new home base on the South Island of New Zealand. The coastal town of Dunedin will be base camp for the next six months. From my experience, New Zealand could very well be...

Also labeled: Column, Photo Adventure

Lights, Locomotive, Action!


Lights, Locomotive, Action!

One of my favorite things to do in between trips is to find photographic projects that are close to home. If I don’t have to lug my stuff through airports, on and off airplanes and in and out of taxis, I have that much more energy to make pictures. ...

Also labeled: Column, Photo Traveler

Just A Little Background Information


Just A Little Background Information

I want to take wildflower images with the background thrown completely out of focus. The problem is that my telephoto lens (75-300mm) is an ƒ/5.6 lens, and I fear that it won’t do an acceptable job of making the background nothing more than color. Do I...

Also labeled: Column, Tech Tips

Geotagging


Geotagging

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 l...

Southwestern Safaris


Southwestern Safaris

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...

Also labeled: Camera Technique

Legacy: Think Like Ansel Adams Today


Legacy: Think Like Ansel Adams Today

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...

Also labeled: Camera Technique

Don’t Take My Kodachrome Away


Don’t Take My Kodachrome Away

Q I’m using a Nikon Coolscan V to digitize some of my film images into versions I can display or market online. I choose good, technically correct slides to convert. Typically, E-6 images (Velvia, Ektachrome VS, Ektachrome G...

Also labeled: Column, Tech Tips

Shoot More, Process Less


Shoot More, Process Less

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 suc...

Be The King In The Rookery


Be The King In The Rookery

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...

Also labeled: Camera Technique

Sharp Is King


Sharp Is King

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.

Also labeled: Camera Technique

Photoshop CS4 And The Nature Photographer


Photoshop CS4 And The Nature Photographer

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.

Also labeled: Software

Web Optimization, Part I


Web Optimization, Part I

Optimizing photographs for display on the web is as essential as ever. While many photographers focus attention on optimizing photographs for print, it’s important to recognize how powerful first impressions can be with web-based photographs.

Also labeled: Sharing & Websites

10 Tips For Better Autofocus


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.

Also labeled: Camera Technique

Holiday Book Guide


Holiday Book Guide

Lining the bookshelf with new large-format photography hardcovers this holiday season shouldn’t be too difficult.

Also labeled: Books

Photoshop Secrets Of The Pros


Photoshop Secrets Of The Pros

There’s no shortage of options when it comes to using Adobe Photoshop to improve the quality of your nature photography. Photoshop is, after all, the standard by which all other image-editing software programs are measured.

Digiscoping


Digiscoping

One of the biggest challenges photographing wildlife is having enough magnification. You want to fill the frame and utilize all of the resolution of your digital SLR, but for most of us that means having an extreme telephoto lens, which can be...

Also labeled: Column

Quality Of Light


Quality Of Light

Family and friends have to get used to a photographer’s definition of good shooting conditions. They’ll ask, “How’s the weather out?”, whereas a photographer will ask, “How’s the light?” One of the key components of any photograph—whether you’re working...

Also labeled: Camera Technique

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