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April 2009


How-To

  • 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?
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.

Gear

  • Full-Frame D-SLRs


    Nature photographers now have six models from which to choose at widely varying prices. These cameras are about more than just a larger image sensor.



    When we last looked at full-frame D-SLRs, there were four models. In the ensuing months, one of those was replaced, and two new ones were added, giving us six of these high-tech super-cameras today. As long as there have been D-SLRs, OP readers have been keenly interested in full-frame models. The early models were priced out of reach for the vast majority of us, but as technology marches forward, the costs of that technology consistently come down. Instead of two models listing at more than $6,000, prices today begin comfortably at less than half that amount.
  • Gadget Bag: Publish or Perish


    New options are making it easier and more fun for you to create your own photo book



    Few things in life are more gratifying than seeing a photo that you’ve taken published in a book. Books have a sense of permanency that suggests that your pictures will last forever. Thanks to today’s modern online picture-book publishers, you can begin this process without leaving your desk. It’s easy and affordable, and the production quality is astounding.
  • In Focus: April 2009



    Pentax is releasing its K2000 in a unique white version as a double-zoom kit. The entry-level model is aimed at those looking to move up from a compact camera to a D-SLR. The smc Pentax DA L 18-55mm ƒ/3.5-5.6 AL and 50-200mm ƒ/4-5.6 AL lenses that come in the kit also are white.

Locations

  • Boyer Chute National Wildlife Refuge, Fort Calhoun, Nebraska


    Boyer Chute National Wildlife Refuge offers visitors a quiet habitat with a variety of wildlife and scenery. Located in Fort Calhoun on the eastern edge of Nebraska, a short 15-mile drive from Omaha on U.S. Highway 75, the area was once a collection of deposits from the Missouri River braided with eroded channels, the major one being Boyer Chute. In 1937, the chute was blocked to improve navigation along the Missouri River, which resulted in thousands of acres of destroyed natural habitat. In 1992, the refuge was founded in an effort to restore more than 4,000 acres of riparian woodland, tallgrass prairies and wetlands.
  • Favorite Places: From Readers & Pros


    For real estate and nature photography, there’s nothing as important as location. Check out this selection of diverse places around the country so you can be in the right place to get your shots.



    This photo was taken of Mt. Rainier at dusk. Mt. Rainier National Park is located in the Cascade Mountain Range in Washington, about 50 miles southeast of Seattle. Mt. Rainier can be accessed from numerous entrances, including U.S. Highway 410, which runs through the northeastern side of the park, as well as U.S. Highway 165, which takes you to the lesser-visited northwestern corner of the park.
  • Rocky Mountain High


    With an analytical approach and a love for dramatic peaks and roaring rivers, Glenn Randall lives where he gets plenty of photographic opportunities every day of the year


    Okay, I admit it: I get tears in my eyes when I hear John Denver’s song “Rocky Mountain High.” My incurable romanticism, however, is balanced by my analytical approach to every image I photograph. The former urges me out of bed at 1 a.m. and up a 14,000-foot peak in the dark to shoot sunrise from the summit; the latter gives me the knowledge of map-reading, atmospheric optics, sunrise angles and digital capture necessary to pick the right fourteener, navigate in the dark and make compelling images once I get there. From the tallest fourteener to the tiniest wildflower, that combination of passion and analysis defines my approach to photographing Colorado.

Columns

  • Adventure, Kiwi Style


    A photography journey Down Under documenting the masters of sport



    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 the mecca for adventure photography. The island’s roads and airports make it a cinch to get around, yet New Zealand offers a rugged landscape on par with some of the wildest places on earth.
  • Just A Little Background Information


    Blurry Backgrounds • A New-Sized Sensor? • Brighter Nights • Sharing CF Cards • Wishing On A Starburst


    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 need a faster ƒ/2.8 telephoto to accomplish this technique?
  • Lights, Locomotive, Action!


    Getting the sun, the earth and a train to align for a perfect shot



    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.

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