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May 2009


How-To

  • Get The Most From A Workshop


    What to look for and what to expect from a photography workshop



    Photo workshops can be a productive way to learn more about photography. They offer an opportunity to try new things, gain the expertise of an experienced instructor and share ideas with students who have similar backgrounds and interests. There’s a wide variety of workshops available, and it can be challenging to know exactly which workshop to take and what you can expect from the workshop. So it’s important to take a look at what you need from the experience and how you can get the most from it.
  • Landscape Icons From Above


    The vistas we all seek as nature photographers get a different spin put on them when shot from 500 feet up in the air


    As a nature photographer, you’re always trying to find a way to make images that will capture the attention of editors, clients and your audience. We’ve all shot many of the same subjects over and over, so how do we see the world differently? For me, it all started a number of years ago when I was privileged to teach workshops alongside Art Wolfe, John Shaw, Brian Peterson and Rod Planck. More than once I heard each of them teach how you should vary your angle by getting down low to the ground or taking a higher angle to vary your approach to the subject.

Gear

  • Gadget Bag: Keeping Track


    Use the right software to get a handle on your ever-growing image library



    For nature photographers, once we come back home with cards full of inspiring images, it can be quite a challenge to get all of those images sorted out and organized. Big memory cards have made it easy to shoot digital images by the hundreds, and keeping track of so many files requires some help.
  • In Focus: May 2009



    Every year, the photo industry assembles for the annual PMA Trade Show. This past March, the Las Vegas Convention Center was buzzing with manufacturers, distributors and photographers, all assembled to see the latest innovations and equipment to help photographers take better pictures and do more with them. There was a lot to see and learn about, and this special edition of In Focus offers a sampling of some of the impressive products from the show.
  • Lenses For Landscapes


    Looking for the perfect lens for your scenics? Check out the options and see what some top OP pros have to say about their favorite choices.


    At heart, the choice of lens for any photo is based on the photographer’s vision, on how he or she “sees” the subject and the final image. Wide-angle lenses take in a vast angle of view, and individual elements of the scene are relatively tiny. Telephotos zero in on a small, distant portion of the scene, compressing the elements, and individual elements are much larger in the image.

Locations

  • Between The Ocean & The Bay


    The narrow strip of land known to locals as the Delmarva Peninsula is an unpolished gem for nature shooters


    If only one word could be used to describe the Eastern Shore, “magic” would be the one I would choose. Flanked by the Chesapeake Bay on the west and the Atlantic Ocean on the east, the Eastern Shore formed through the forces of wind, water and sand. This land between ocean and bay possesses a magical quality that’s much more than its scenery; rather, it’s a sum of all its parts—imposing coastal wetlands and seashores, diverse assemblages of wildlife, and seasons that bring personality to a land of golden salt marshes and shallow bays, fragrant piney woodlands and sandy beaches.
  • Dalls Of Turnagain


    A unique springtime wildlife opportunity lies close to the Alaskan gateway of Anchorage


    It’s really not a secret; I’ve seen plenty of soccer moms stop to take sheep photos on the way back from Girdwood. The secret is the time of year and time of day you head to the spot. Driving south out of Anchorage, Alaska, you’ll come to the Turnagain Arm branch of the Cook Inlet on the west side of the Kenai Peninsula.
  • Landscape Masters Through Time


    Photography’s greats must find philosophical constants while embracing change


    The history of landscape photography is closely tied to the history of exploration in the American West. Photographers since the birth of the medium have explored wild lands for art as well as science. Much has changed in a century and a half, yet surprising similarities remain between the first landscape masters and those working today.
  • Landscapes Exposed!


    How to handle tricky lighting situations in the field


    How often do you have your camera standing by for that elusive shot, only to realize it may take you a few extra moments to get that exposure properly recorded? This is one of the key reasons why it’s imperative to know your camera as well as possible. Some moments last only a fraction of a second—and you have to be ready.
  • Schwabacher’s Landing, Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming


    Schwabacher’s Landing is one of America’s most spectacular viewpoints, a location that truly showcases the immense beauty of Grand Teton National Park. Just south of Yellowstone National Park, the north-south Teton Range stretches about 40 miles across Wyoming.

Columns

  • Local Knowledge


    Knowing a location well can get you into the right place at the right time



    I’ve said it before, and I’m here to say it again. Get to know a landscape! Get to know your landscape, a favorite location where you can return often in all kinds of light and weather and season. Hopefully, this will be a place nearby where, by looking out the window and checking the weather, you can best anticipate the chances of good conditions. If you want to become a better landscape photographer, study a favorite location.
  • Primal Perception



    The way we see color today is shaped by events from 35 million years ago, when some nocturnal primates shifted to a diurnal lifestyle, and began to seek out leaves and fruits by day instead of insects and other prey by night.
  • The Lowdown On Zooms


    Digital And Optical Zooms • How Many Clicks Do You Get? • The Color Of sRGB And Adobe RGB (1998) • Film Vs. Digital Vs. Sensor Size...Again



    My son has a digital point-and-shoot camera with an 18x zoom, but when you zoom to the extreme end, the viewfinder displays a message that it’s a digital zoom, and the resulting quality isn’t very good. Is it also true that zoom lenses on D-SLRs don’t work well at their maximum ends? My 200mm zoom telephoto has a 1.6x factor. How does this relate to the digital vs. optical zoom on my son’s point-and-shoot?
  • The Poor Man’s Super-Telephoto


    Using a tele-extender can give your long lenses even more punch for wildlife and landscape photos



    The lens of choice among the serious pro wildlife photographers I know seems to be the 600mm ƒ/4 super-telephoto. It’s great for subjects that won’t let you get close, is incredibly sharp, and autofocuses quickly and accurately. However, it costs over $7,000. That being just a bit beyond my budget, when I really need “reach,” I turn my $1,200 300mm ƒ/4 lens into a 600mm ƒ/8 by attaching a $300 2x teleconverter between the lens and camera body.

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