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January/February 2009


How-To

  • Be The King In The Rookery


    Photographing one of nature’s greatest spectacles


    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 the mangrove swamp has been decorated for Halloween with thousands of miniature ghosts.
  • Photoshop CS4 And The Nature Photographer


    The gold standard in imaging software has been updated. OP takes you through the new features most useful to nature photographers.



    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.
  • Sharp Is King


    Strategies for waging the war between higher ISOs, sharpness and noise


    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.

Gear

  • Best D-SLRs For B&W


    There’s more to getting a good black-and-white image than just shooting in color and doing a conversion. In the field, take advantage of your camera’s settings and you can unleash its inner TRI-X!



    There are two basic ways to produce black-and-white images digitally: Shoot them that way in-camera or shoot them in color and convert them to black-and-white using imaging software. Both offer advantages. Most of today’s D-SLRs provide a monochrome mode.
  • Gadget Bag: Special-Effects Camera Filters


    Craft the image in-camera instead of wrestling with Photoshop



    Mention the word “filter” to a young shooter, and he or she probably will think you’re talking about a Photoshop plug-in.
  • In Focus: January/February 2009


    Named for Ono no Komachi, a famous Japanese poet, Olympus delivers the limited-edition E-420 Komachi Kit, which includes the compact D-SLR and the ED 25mm ƒ/2.8 Zuiko Digital lens in a vintage-looking, handmade brown leather case.
  • Nikon D90


    A new D-SLR that shoots HD video offers users more ways to depict the outdoor world



    The first D-SLR to offer HD video capability, the Nikon D90 joins the D80, and in doing so, has elevated the performance potential of the “hard-core photo-enthusiast” model in Nikon’s D-SLR lineup.

Locations

  • Alaska By Sea


    Tremendous photo opportunities await in America’s Great White North


    Analogous to the snowbirds who flock to my Arizona desert home for sun in the depths of winter, I seek cool and inviting climes every summer when our annual round of 100 days over 100 degrees begins. And every summer I’m drawn again to Alaska, not just to chill, but to revel in and explore and photograph the wonders of our 49th state.
  • On The Edge


    Art Wolfe’s Travels to the Edge series on public television has brought the intrepid nature photographer to some of the most rare and exotic places and cultures in the world


    I began exploring the world as a kid in West Seattle, mounting expeditions into the woods behind my parents’ house.
  • Polar Bears Under Pressure


    A firsthand account documents how rising temperatures in the Arctic are depleting food sources and putting the animals at risk


    Fireweed drapes a purple blanket over the disturbed soils of the coastal lowlands. Just a few days earlier, the flowers stood tall. Now, many are beaten down by a major storm that passed through, battering the exposed shores for a full day.
  • The Ocean & The Desert


    There are some surprising similarities for photographers who shoot in these disparate environments



    At first glance, there appears to be little in common between the open sea and the desert—wet, salty and always in motion versus dry, dusty and slow to change.

Columns

  • Close And Personal


    Close-Up Sharpness • Water, Sky And Time • Blue Sky Blues • Fine-Art Prints



    Is there a fundamental problem with using close-up filters on zoom lenses?
  • HDR


    “Surrealizing” The Landscape



    Last fall, I visited nearby Yosemite Valley to deliver a print and posters to The Ansel Adams Gallery. While heading home, I stopped at the Gates of the Valley turnout just in time for some sunset photography.
  • Making Better Nature Photos


    Honoring nature by creating new visions of the world



    Photographers are always interested in the latest gear, how a new lens might help, in taking workshops and reading magazines like Outdoor Photographer, all in the effort to become a better photographer.
  • McWay Falls, Big Sur, California


    McWay Falls is located in Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park along California’s spectacular Big Sur coast.
  • Once Is Not Enough


    The pluses and pleasures of backtracking



    The pitfalls of modern mass tourism are nothing new. Way back in the ’60s, satirists were already beginning to decry the “been there, done that” mentality of the dedicated sightseer.
  • Web Optimization, Part I


    Determine your audience and size your photos correctly for the Internet



    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.

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