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June 2006


How-To

  • Craft & Control In Photoshop


    Interpret a scene optimally to match your vision of the subject



    One of the great challenges for any nature photographer is to use photographic tools, such as lens, filter, film, flash and digital camera choices, to control the photographic process so that you can interpret the world true to how you saw the scene. Perhaps an even greater challenge, though, is to use tools with discretion and craft—in other words, use that lens choice in a way that enhances the subject, the filter so that its use doesn’t overpower the subject, the film so colors aren’t garish and the flash so it doesn’t look alien.

Gear

  • Closer And Closer Macro


    The OP Guide to close-up gear



    Close-up photography lets you explore a whole new world of outdoor photo possibilities. You can fill the frame with tiny subjects or colorfully abstract small portions of larger subjects. While there are several definitions of close-up photography, we’ll go with the simplest one here: photographing subjects at closer range than the minimum focusing distances of standard lenses allow. Today, camera equipment manufacturers offer lots of ways to "get close."
  • Gadget Bag: Batteries


    What you need to know for reliable power in the field



    If you’ve ever wondered how the flashlight got its name, here’s the secret. When flashlights were first invented more than 100 years ago, the batteries that powered them were weak and the light lasted for very short periods of time. When turned off, the chemistry in the cells rejuvenated, and the batteries recovered a portion of their power. Then they were ready to flash again. Sounds puny, but considering that the height of portable lighting technology up to that point was a flaming torch, this was a real technological breakthrough. Thankfully, mobile power has come a long way since then.
  • Samsung GX-1S


    Samsung introduces its first digital SLR


    Designed in conjunction with Pentax, the camera allows use of the Pentax KAF mount for a wide selection of fully compatible lenses.
  • Tamron AF55-200mm f/4-5.6 Di II LD Macro Zoom


    A fine hiking companion



    I like to travel light on hikes. This means a light D-SLR body and a light but versatile zoom lens. The wide-range zooms (28-200mm or 28-300mm, or digital equivalent) provide the versatility but weigh enough to notice on a lengthy hike. A good solution is to decide whether I’m in a wide-angle mood or a telephoto mood, and "lens" accordingly.

Columns

  • Where The Spot Meets The Pixel


    Use a spot meter to achieve the best exposure possible



    Although you may hear the phrase "I’ll fix it in Photoshop" come from the lips of a digital photographer, correcting mistakes is more time-consuming than getting it right in-camera. This is no truer when it comes to exposure, where poor metering results in the loss of crucial detail in shadows and highlights.
  • Digital Security


    How do you protect your gear when traveling?



    Recently, I met the superb underwater photographer Bill Curtsinger for breakfast (his book Extreme Nature is stunning). He wanted to meet at a place where his car would be in plain view because of his expensive gear inside.
  • Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife And Fish Refuge, Mississippi


    The Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife and Fish Refuge protects more than 240,000 acres in four states and is the longest wildlife refuge in the contiguous 48 states, stretching 261 miles along the Mississippi River from the Chippewa River in Wisconsin almost to Rock Island, Ill. Steep bluffs, interesting islands, ancient burial mounds, unusual flowers and migrating birds are just some of the photographic subjects waiting to be discovered. The Great River Road, a National Scenic Byway, runs along both sides of the refuge, providing easy access to the refuge and adjacent public lands. Many public boat landings offer photographers with watercraft more options for exploring the area.

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