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December 2006


How-To

  • 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.
  • 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.

Gear

  • 2006 Holiday Book Guide


    OP's annual collection of photography books make long-lasting and memorable gifts for you and the outdoor photo enthusiasts in your life



    Satisfying your holiday wish list with photo books shouldn’t be too difficult this year. With so many books hitting the shelves on such a broad range of topics, it’s paring down your list that won’t be easy. You’ll find career retrospectives from legendary photographers; how-to guides on software, equipment and techniques; and colorful pictorials showing landscapes from the mountainous terrain of the American Pacific Northwest to the sand dunes of Namibia. And there are, of course, plenty of pages devoted to wildlife.
  • Canon EOS Digital Rebel XTi


    An effective anti-dust system and 10.1 megapixels come to this D-SLR



    I do almost all of my photography outdoors. That means lots of lens changes in the field, and that means dust on my D-SLRs’ image sensors (and my photos). Blower brushes don’t completely remove it, and though I’ve bought a clean-it-yourself kit, I haven’t quite worked up the nerve to try it yet. So one of my favorite D-SLR features is an anti-dust system.
  • Gadget Bag: Stocking Stuffers


    Discover how some affordable accessories can fill a holiday niche



    While holiday dreams of the latest D-SLRs rather than sugar plums dance around most photographers’ heads, there’s no shortage of more affordable fair to satisfy passionate shutterbugs. Though a large wrapped box with our name on it is always appealing, we decided to suggest a variety of stocking stuffers for yourself or the photographer in your life. While some of these items might not fit snugly in a stocking, each one fits a special niche that will help keep your favorite photographer happy and perhaps more eager to produce memorable photographs.
  • Sigma APO 70-200mm f/2.8 EX DG Macro HSM


    A new lens with macro capability and high image quality



    Sigma APO 70-200mm f/2.8 EX DG Macro HSMA telephoto zoom is an important part of most outdoor photographers’ gear. But unlike the casual shooter, for a pro or serious amateur, a fast maximum aperture becomes essential because we often find ourselves shooting in relatively low light, such as at dusk or dawn. Yet such fast lenses can often be expensive and out of reach for some photographers. With the Sigma APO 70-200mm ƒ/2.8 EX DG Macro HSM, a fast telephoto zoom for less than $1,200, I was curious to see how well this affordable zoom would perform.
  • The Story Behind The Bag


    Camera bag designs are based on very real photographers' needs. Here are some of their stories.



    No piece of camera equipment says more about its owner than the ubiquitous gadget bag. They come in all sizes and colors, every shape and configuration, and they have been constructed from just about every material under the sun. The best gadget bag designs are born from photographers’ needs. Every major bag company has cultivated a network of users who provide real-world input and help refine product development.

Locations

  • The Seven Sisters


    Northeastern India is home to a rich palette of culture, wildlife and color



    the seven sistersIndia’s enduring cultures, ancient architecture and stunning landscapes have drawn photographers since the infancy of photography more than 150 years ago. The vibrancy of color, the diversity of wildlife and the beauty of its people have held a special allure to those who not only enjoy traveling to distant locales, but who also hope to experience and make photographs of places whose history is measured not in hundreds, but thousands of years.

Columns

  • Gifts For Globetrotting Photographers


    Start dropping those hints for these cool traveler's photo toys



    Gifts For Globetrotting PhotographersIt’s the time of year when someone in your household may be looking for a good but reasonable gift idea for you, the family’s "visual artist" (as I insist on being called). Assuming you’ve been good (you’ve been good, right?) and not naughty, the following nifty items for traveling photographers are really cool, but won’t break the bank.
  • Home Field Training


    Mentally prepare yourself to think like a pro adventure photographer



    home field trainingAt first glance, it would seem that unless you’re a full-time adventure athlete, photographing action and adventure photography is something to which you’ll have little opportunity to apply yourself. I believe that nothing could be farther from the truth. When considering the steps to shooting action photos, there are many ways you can use these ideas when practicing and honing your photographic skills far from the mountains or wild rivers.
  • Infrared Photography


    IR Possibilities • Flying With Photo Gear • LCD Viewing • Image Compatibility • Brightness/Contrast Methodology • Sensors & Wide-Angles



    I have a Fuji FinePix S20 Pro, which I read a few months ago is supposedly capable of making infrared digitals. Any idea how I would do that?
    Rick Matukonis
    Via the Internet

  • Mount Shuksan, Washington




    Mount Shuksan, WASHINGTONMount Shuksan rises in the North Cascades just south of the Canadian border. It’s easily accessible by paved road 55 miles east of Bellingham, Wash., on State Route 542, the Mount Baker Highway. The last 24 miles, from the town of Glacier, has a National Forest Scenic Byway designation. The road winds along the North Fork Nooksack River and climbs to a 5,000-foot elevation at Heather Meadows. This subalpine setting includes several small lakes, a picnic area, visitors center and well-maintained hiking trails. In the winter, it’s a popular developed ski area. From these meadows and Artist Point, a few miles farther, there are excellent views of the surrounding mountains and valleys, including Mount Baker (10,778 feet) and Mount Shuksan (9,131 feet).
  • Spot Be Gone


    Cloning is an important tool for nature photographers. Here are some tips for using it.



    spot be goneThis past summer, I saw the late-afternoon landscape reproduced here. I loved the light, the contrast of the river and its green trees with the dry landscape around it. Unfortunately, no matter what I did, I couldn’t get rid of some spots of flare that appeared when I used a graduated filter (split ND). Without the filter, no spots. With the filter, spots.
  • What The Road Passes By


    There's more to a landscape than an iconic vantage point



    what the road passes byWhen I first started making photographs, I was an avid backpacker. I was energized by my explorations and the beauty I saw and wanted to share my treks with friends and family. As with anyone starting out, my photographs were beginning efforts. My subjects were the mountains of Glacier National Park, which are full of photographic potential, but my enthusiasm for my subject matter far outweighed my ability to convey the emotions of my experiences in the images.

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