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March 2005


How-To

  • Australian Light


    Light is everything. Recognizing the gift and knowing how to react makes extraordinary pictures of ordinary subjects.



    The quality of light on the continent of Australia is a real and worthy subject. The land mass is the size of the continental United States, but populated by only 20 million people, mostly settled in five main cities around the coast. That leaves vast areas of Australia without industry or pollution. The nearest continent is pristine Antarctica. The sunset image on the opening pages of this article is taken from a vantage point looking out on the Indian Ocean and the next land that the sun will touch is East Africa thousands of miles away. The result is a clarity of light that’s extraordinary, perhaps something that Americans experienced years ago.
  • It's Not Just Megapixels


    Image quality in a digital camera is affected by much more than how many pixels fit its sensor



  • Saving Wildlife & Land With A Digital Camera


    Carlton Ward uses photography to share Gabon's biodiversity with the world



    Imagine having the opportunity to photograph in wildlife-rich Gabon in Central Africa. You’ll be in the company of scientists, specialists in areas including entomology, botany and ornithology. Then, add the chance to create your images using high-end digital SLRs, an assortment of quality lenses and lighting gear. It sounds ideal.

Gear

  • Canon EF 70-300mm ƒ/4.5-5.6


    Great quality in a small package



    A perfect test of the new Canon EF 70-300mm ƒ/4.5-5.6 DO IS USM lens came while photographing seabirds on a foggy morning in Morro Bay, California. Bobbing around in a small kayak, I used the lens with its Image Stabilizer technology and composed dozens of sharp images during those early-morning hours. A kayak is no place for a tripod, and with the lens mounted on a handheld Canon EOS 20D, the resulting photos were remarkably crisp. The 70-300mm was easy to handle since it’s a mere 3.9 inches long and weighs just 25.4 ounces. Despite its performing at an equivalent 35mm focal length of nearly 500mm (112-480mm), the lens compensated for both body vibration and the unpredictable movement of the boat.
  • Canon PowerShot G6


    A rotating, live LCD and 7.1 megapixels make this an ideal field camera



    The talk of digital for outdoor photographers is heavily oriented toward D-SLRs. Yet when I teach classes around the country, I hear many photographers admitting to loving the little advanced compact cameras for their size and capabilities. Canon‚’s latest model in this group is another G-series camera, the PowerShot G6. It offers a smart design with an SLR-style grip, a 7.1-megapixel sensor and all the photographic controls you’d expect in a digital SLR, but in a far more compact package.
  • Gadget Bag: New Lenses In A Digital Age


    The latest designs bring true wide-angle capability and more to the digital format



    You've no doubt seen or heard about new "designed for digital" lenses that are optimized for better performance with digital image sensors. If you’re like most people, though, you’re not quite sure what that means—just what makes a lens that’s "designed for digital"? We’ll cover the details and show you how the new lenses have helped overcome some of the challenges once posed by a switch to digital, and how these advanced optics can improve your images.

Columns

  • Hill Country, Southern Texas


    Southern Texas is situated in an optimal region for wildflowers. Field after field of bluebonnets, Indian paintbrush and other wildflowers are found hugging the rolling hills between Fredericksburg, Lampasas and Brenham. Austin, the state capital, sits in the middle of the triangle formed by these three towns.
  • Twilight Flash


    Use a flash after sunset to add sparkle to your image



    Twilight is a wonderful time for making pictures. With a solid tripod and a long exposure, you can compose outstanding images in the soft light. For even better results, consider adding a flash to the mix. A flash illuminates the silhouetted shapes and the dark areas that you’d get when shooting toward the sunset’s afterglow. With multiple flash bursts, you can light up a wider area or create pools of light to emphasize particular parts of your composition.

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