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June 2007


How-To

  • 10 Tips For The Lowdown On Nature


    Journey into a world of nature that isn't often seen at this level



    Are you part of nature or simply an outside observer? That’s an interesting question for a nature photographer to consider, and the answer affects how one approaches outdoor photography.
  • Improve Your Artistic Eye


    Two professional photographers offer advice on how to expand your sense of style



    Design in photography is basically a combination of the functional with the aesthetic. What does that mean? It means that it’s hard to define. The slightest variation in light, tone, colors, patterns, shapes, focus, motion, shading or viewpoint can lead to a drastic difference in the overall feel of a photograph. By manipulation of shutter speed, aperture and lens choice—the functional aspects of a camera—you can vary these elements of design in endless ways.

Gear

  • Behind The Design


    A look at the art and science of creating the digital cameras we use today, from tiny pocket models to pro D-SLR systems



    There’s more to designing a camera than just figuring out how to fit all the stuff the marketing and engineering people want into a light-tight box. A camera must meet the required feature and performance specs, of course, but these days, it also must be user-friendly and attractive.
  • Gadget Bag: Get Plugged In!


    Ten must-have Photoshop add-ons for nature photographers



    Adobe Photoshop is the best thing that has happened to photography since the discovery of glass. And the plug-in is the best thing that has happened to Photoshop. Since Adobe opened its architecture by defining the plug-in format, more than 1,000 useful plug-ins have appeared on the market. Some extend Photoshop’s power, others make routine tasks easier, and still others provide new options and tools. No matter what level you’ve reached as a photographer, Photoshop plug-ins are an integral part of your post-processing life—or should be.
  • In Focus: June 2007


    In Focus


    Every winter, the major manufacturers and distributors of photographic gear gather at the huge PMA trade show to announce and present their latest equipment. Put on by the Photo Marketing Association International, the event allows photo dealers and retailers to see all the gear in one place, which helps magazines like ours, too. This special edition of In Focus offers a sampling of the products we saw at the show in Las Vegas.
  • Nikon D40


    The most compact and lowest-priced Nikon D-SLR ever is a good one



    Long renowned for its high-end pro film and digital cameras, Nikon has now introduced one of the lowest-priced D-SLRs ever. The new D40 is an entry-level model with simple operation, very good performance, lots of features and a list price less than $600, including an 18-55mm Nikkor zoom lens. It’s also light and compact, so you can carry the D40 on just about any outdoor photography outing.
  • Sigma APO 50-150mm f/2.8 EX DC HSM


    This fast, versatile tele-zoom lens adds to your shooting options



    Transitioning quickly from one shot to the next using a variety of focal lengths—it’s one of the features I appreciate most in the new APO 50-150mm ƒ/2.8 EX DC HSM telephoto zoom lens from Sigma. One moment you can get down low to compose a close-up of a lizard and the next you can zoom in tight on a bird about to burst into flight 50 feet away. In addition to its quick response time, the Hyper Sonic Motor (HSM) autofocus is remarkably silent. And the manual focus override switch makes changing from one mode to the other simple, even while shooting.

Locations

  • Off The Beaten Path


    With a passion for adventure and exploration, this photographer shows off the wild parts of the world to document the relationship between people and wildlife and the environment



    There’s off the beaten path, and then there’s really off the beaten path. That’s where you’ll often find Colorado-based photographer Beth Wald. The winner of the 2006 Rowell Award for the Art of Adventure and numerous other accolades brings back images of remote areas of the globe, ranging from Afghanistan to the Arctic. Conservation of our resources—both human and geophysical—is at the heart of her work. While she began her career shooting mostly sports-adventure photography, especially climbing, now she focuses on people and places that are outside of the traditional news media’s vision.

Columns

  • Close-Up Sharpness


    The Truth Is In The Details • Make It A Hard Drive • Times Two • When To Use IS • Airports And Cameras • Res It Up



    I’m using a high-resolution digital camera and just started photographing trees, bark, leaves, etc. Many of my photos don’t show good resolution in the small details, such as bark texture, the small veins in leaves or the edges of paint peels. I shot images today using a tripod, mirror lock and cable release, and I used an f/11 aperture on a 100mm f/2.8 macro lens. The image looks soft in several places. Is what I’m seeing a problem with digital capture?
  • Backing Up Images In The Field


    You can keep your images secure without carrying two laptops on every trip



    Since the dawn of the digital era, I’ve sometimes wondered whatever became of the "travel lighter" promise of filmless photography. Finally, it was said, we wouldn’t be required to lug around hundreds of rolls of film on extended trips. While it’s true that a laptop alone is lighter and less bulky than a couple of hundred rolls of 35mm film, what I didn’t realize early on was that the laptop was only one of several components I felt compelled to carry to do digital photography on the road.
  • Candlewood Lake, Connecticut




    Candlewood Lake is Connecticut’s largest lake and one of the country’s largest man-made bodies of water. Nestled in the state’s western highlands and bordered by the towns of Brookfield, Danbury, New Fairfield, New Milford and Sherman, the lake was created in 1928 when valleys were flooded to fuel a hydroelectric plant at the northeastern tip of the lake.
  • Finding Passion (In Nature Photography)


    What does it take to create images that go beyond what everyone else has?



    Outdoor Photographer readers are passionate about nature and photography. A large number of them are also passionate about protecting the environment.So you might rightfully wonder what the heck a column about digital photography today is doing talking about passion and nature photography.
  • My Vacation


    Take a break from "serious photography" and you might get a serious photograph



    From inside our tent, the incessant flapping of the tent fly told me that the spring winds were coming up today. It was still dark outside, and I was glad that we were going home and would miss out on the pending sandstorm. My family still slept and dawn was about to come. For the past three mornings, I arose to photograph the Death Valley sunrise. The trip had been fun for the family, plus I was very pleased with some new work I had made.

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