10 Creative Winter Jump Starts
Keep your photographic eye sharp by exploring the winter world
The old saying in Minnesota is that we have nine months of winter and three months of tough sledding. While this is a bit of an exaggeration, it often starts to seem that way to photographers waiting for spring wildflowers and lush green scenics.
Common Digital Problems & Their Solutions
Make digital work for you with these easy-to-use tips that solve typical challenges faced in the digital darkroom
Isn’t it about time you make digital work for you? Let’s face it, there are so many pressures to consider today, from buying the "perfect" camera to using Photoshop the "right" way. There are a number of common digital challenges that I’ve seen in magazine submissions, contests and workshops—challenges that affect nearly everyone, from pro to amateur, working digitally. Get a handle on them and make digital work for you with the solutions outlined here.
The Complete Guide To Working With A Lab
Photo labs aren't just for film shooters, by a long shot
How things have changed. As a new photographer many multitudes of moons ago, I developed my own film and made my own prints, in large part because I couldn’t afford to have a good lab do it. Today, in the digital age, it actually costs less to use a good lab—and the quality is excellent.
The Myth Of Protective Underexposure
Hamlet's new D-SLR dilemma: to underexpose or not to underexpose?
I know you’ve heard this or something like it: "I always underexpose my digital files. I want to be sure my highlights are protected, so underexposure, for me, is like insurance for the highlights. Anyway, I shoot RAW, so it really doesn’t matter if my image is underexposed."
Gadget Bag: Weather Tamers
Dramatic weather makes for dramatic photos, but you need to protect your camera for the conditions
Raindrops on roses—no problem. But rain, snow or condensation on camera equipment can mean disaster. Likewise, low temperatures can impede battery performance, and very low temperatures can impair human performance as well. High temps are hazardous, too—direct sunlight can make black lenses excessively warm and prevent proper operation. It’s safer to stay indoors when the climate becomes extreme.
Sigma's latest D-SLR delivers better color and performance
For outdoor photographers, the accuracy of the color captured by a digital SLR is crucial. So a camera that promises higher color accuracy and great performance definitely piques our interest. The Sigma SD14 is a camera that delivers on those counts with the help of its innovative Foveon technology. Improved image quality with a selection of new features should prove attractive to enthusiasts and professionals alike.
For intrepid photographers, Alaska is still the gold standard for untamed landscape and wildlife photography
Alaska is often referred to as the last great wilderness for nature photographers who want to see the big game of North America. Africa’s Serengeti and the Alaskan frontier are in the same class when it comes to the diversity of wildlife and the vast regions of unspoiled habitat that support these animals. Like Africa, it’s not easy to reach North America’s ultimate wilderness, but if you want to see the splendid flora and fauna this special place has to offer, the trek is well worth it. From bald eagles to caribou to whales, every aspect of the landscape offers its own treasure trove of wildlife.
Planning For Spring
Discover the diverse photo opportunities in the southern Appalachians
Ranging from northern West Virginia to northern Georgia, the southern Appalachian Mountains have a biodiversity without rival. Combine this with rugged beauty and easy accessibility, and exploring the gifts of spring in these ancient mountains can become a consuming passion. Most areas set aside for recreational use are smaller than those found in the Southwest, but this just means it’s easier to explore more than one area. You won’t be too far from civilization but far enough to feel like Daniel Boone is looking over your shoulder.
Air Travel And Carrying On Gear
A few things to help deal with the current clear and present carry-on hassles
WHACK! The bear's huge paw connected squarely with my face. Even though I saw it coming, there was nothing I could do because my seat belt was already fastened. Seat belts in the wild? Not on your life, I was in a jet plane. But do they really let live bears on board a jet? Well, once you let snakes on a plane, what do you expect?
Digital Basics For Outdoor Photography
Image Capture • Optimize • LCD Viewing • Share
In this column, I'll address questions concerning critical digital photographic equipment and skills. These are the kinds of questions often asked by students at my workshops and seminars, especially by photographers still considering whether they want to change from film to digital or those just making that change. But even advanced digital photographers find they lack essential equipment–in the camera bag or at the desktop–and the knowledge keeping them from achieving their photographic vision in the digital realm.
Glen Helen Nature Preserve, Ohio
Situated in the village of Yellow Springs about 20 miles east of Dayton in southwestern Ohio, Glen Helen Nature Preserve is an uncommonly beautiful and pristine parcel of land that’s safeguarded as a laboratory for the observation, study and enjoyment of natural ecological processes. Within it, all wildlife, vegetation and rock formations are protected. The preserve consists of approximately 1,000 acres—more than 20 miles of often challenging hiking trails through hills and valleys, two scenic creeks, an attractive waterfall known as the Cascades, several springs (including Yellow Spring, after which the village is named), an enchanting pine forest, and many limestone rock formations and ledges. This spectacular landscape was created by glacial meltwaters around 10,000 years ago.
New Life For Older Images
Don't let digital technology overshadow your film archive
Sometimes it seems that the world moves too fast. When did all my photographs become an underused reference library? It wasn’t that long ago that my 4x5 chromes and 35mm slides, mostly in repro dupe form, were actively being sent out to clients. I’ve spent hundreds of hours cataloging my images, with captions and keywords and bar coding, to make them easily accessible and ready to submit.
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