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November 2007


How-To

  • Using Graduated Neutral-Density Filters


    From polarizers to graduated NDs, filters are part of every outdoor photographer‚’s life. Try these techniques to help you enhance or correct your images in the camera.


    Since so many scenes in nature contain a greater range of light than our cameras (film or digital) can record, graduated neutral-density (ND) filters are a staple in the landscape photographer’s bag.
  • Magic Buttons


    The Targeted Adjustment Tool—a geeky name for a wonderful part of Lightroom



    Wouldn’t you like a magic button that would allow you to get the most from your photography, make digital easier to work with and shorten your time in front of the computer? Of course, you would! Any nature photographer would, especially if it means less time inside and more time outside.
  • Make It Just Right


    Turn your good images into your best images by using Photoshop to bring out those details that are too bright or too dark



    Do you have that potentially great shot sitting on your hard drive, ready to be made into a beautiful print or sold to some publication that could really use such a brilliant image? Except for one little problem. The photo is too dark or too light to be used in those ways. Maybe it’s not even the whole photo, but just a part of it; but that part is too important and serves as a distraction to the overall image.
  • Nikon School Of Photography


    What lens to buy next?


    What lens should I buy next?" must be one of the five questions I’m asked most frequently at the Nikon School and the various other photographic seminars, tours and workshops I teach. That’s a little like going to a physician and asking, "What pill should I take?" Before giving you any kind of answer, the doctor will qualify it by getting your family medical history, examining you and asking about your symptoms, allergies, current medications, etc. To answer the lens question, we ask similar questions.

Gear

  • Canon EOS 40D


    This mid-range D-SLR seems more like a pro-level D-SLR, but it‚’s still only $1,299


    The 40D can shoot up to 6.5 images per second, for up to 75 Large/Fine JPEG or 17 RAW images—a big improvement over the 30D’s admirable 5 fps for up to 30 JPEG or 11 RAW. The 40D also provides 3 fps, silent and single-frame advance modes. The camera retains the 30D’s superquick 0.15-second start-up time.
  • Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III


    The world's highest-resolution 35mm-based D-SLR hits 21.1 megapixels, can shoot 5 fps, features Live View and sensor-dust removal and a whole lot more


    The new 63-zone evaluative metering system (shared with the EOS-1D Mark III) is linked to the AF points for optimum accuracy in a wide range of situations. There’s also 8.5% partial, 2.4% spot, AF-point-linked spot, multi-spot and center-weighted average metering.
  • Gadget Bag: HD Video Camcorders


    Quality and portability have made high-definition camcorders important for more than just home videos



    They say that a picture is worth a thousand words, so you can only imagine how many words a thousand pictures are worth. Video has long been a natural extension of photography. It’s a visual medium with many of the same principles: focus, aperture, shutter speed, etc. But with video you can capture more than just a still. You can record the full motion and behavior of wildlife, and a camcorder can show an entire fluid landscape, from top to bottom in 360 degrees. And while some D-SLRs offer memos and notes, it’s just not the same as having the fully recorded audio of nature to accompany your images.
  • In Focus: November 2007


    Dust problems are reduced when shooting with the new Panasonic LUMIX DMC-L10 because the camera features an integrated dust-prevention system that uses supersonic vibrations to shake unwanted particles off the sensor. The 10.1-megapixel DMC-L10 offers an advanced 2.5-inch LCD, which rotates 270 degrees, making it easier to shoot from high or low angles. Other key features include a film mode for mimicking the effects of various film types and the Venus Engine III processor, which helps reproduce images with high resolution, precise color and detailed gradation.
  • Nikon D3


    Photographers asked and Nikon answered—its full-frame D-SLR is finally here. But that's not all the new 12.1-megapixel flagship has to offer. The D3 is a force to be reckoned with.


    The broad ISO range, from 200 to 6400, allows capture of low-noise exposures in a wider variety of scene conditions. This range can be expanded even further using the built-in settings of Lo-1 and Hi-2 for the equivalent of ISO 100 and ISO 25,600, respectively.
  • Olympus EVOLT E-510


    A live-view LCD, image stabilization with all lenses and lots more



    I do almost all of my shooting handheld, so I’m delighted to see more and more D-SLRs incorporate anti-shake systems. These detect camera shake and shift the image sensor to counter it. Image-stabilizer lenses are terrific and offer the advantage of letting you see the stabilizer’s effect in the viewfinder, but you get stabilization only with those specific lenses. Because it’s in the camera body, sensor-shift stabilization works with all lenses you can attach to the camera. The drawback is that you can’t see the effect in the viewfinder.
  • OP Editors' Picks '07



    Every year, the OP editors get to check out a variety of cool, new photo products, from feature-packed digital SLRs to must-have shooting accessories. With so many items to choose from, coming up with a short list is tough. We’ve chosen more than 25 of the year’s most noteworthy products to highlight on the following pages. This collection of gear should serve you well in pursuing, capturing and sharing beautiful outdoor photography. Note: The initials show which editor has made that pick.


Locations

  • Telling A Story With Pictures


    Montana-based photographer Gordon Wiltsie is one of the world‚’s foremost expedition photographers, having recorded the exploits of many great explorers, including Alex Lowe, Conrad Anker, Will Steger, Jon Krakauer, David Breashears and Norman Vaugh



    After four decades of work on assignments that have ranged from climbs in the Himalayas to treks across the frozen Arctic Ocean, Gordon Wiltsie has released To the Ends of the Earth: Adventures of an Expedition Photographer (W.W. Norton). The book is an amazing page-turner of adventure stories and images taken on many great assignments.

Columns

  • Best Polarizer Techniques


    A Polarizing Topic • Digital Duping Vs. Scanning Standards? • Cheaper Presentations



    Most of the time, I leave my polarizer on the lens. I’ve been told that isn’t a good idea. When should I have it on and when should it be stored away?
  • Daily Lessons


    When you have a camera with you, photographic opportunities just seem to arise



    Last summer, I had to make a quick trip to the San Francisco Bay area. I didn’t take my camera since I was picking up family at the airport and thought I might not have enough space for my camera bag. We headed home at sunset and watched the most amazing rainbow, with great clouds, strong colors and a full 180 degrees for most of the 20 minutes it lasted! It was thrilling enough at the time that I didn’t dwell on not having my camera, but later, as I replayed visions of the scene in my mind, a bit of frustration surfaced.
  • Moving Fast And Going Slow


    Technology lets us go through life at breakneck speed, but not always in the correct direction



    It’s surprising how often we curse the complexity and expense of the new cameras and computers, but at the same time, demand more speed and efficiency. And this isn’t just limited to cameras and computers, but extends into every facet of our lives, including cell phones, handheld GPS, satellite phones, MP3 players, compact, high-power strobe lighting and an endless array of other electronics we now depend on when we go outdoors to shoot photos. Ten years ago, most of these devices had no part in our lives, yet today we couldn’t see doing without them. I’m not reminiscing about the good old days because I absolutely love all the new electronics. I’m not a tech wizard, but I still probably spend too much time exploring the photography applications of the newest and fastest technology. I figure I only need to know enough to operate the device—I don’t have to understand the design of its inner workings.
  • My Conversion!


    Seeing the infrared light can take your photography to entirely new places



    Brothers and sisters, my conversion came on the road to Pienza in the beautiful Tuscany region of Italy. I was strolling with Elizabeth Opalenik, a well-known art photographer and a fellow instructor at a weeklong workshop, when she pulled out what appeared to be a Nikon D70 and photographed the beautiful countryside. It was when she showed me the LCD on the back of her camera that I saw the light, and it was black-and-white infrared—and it was good.
  • The Mendenhall Glacier, Alaska


    The Mendenhall Glacier is one of the many glaciers flowing off of the majestic Juneau Ice Field—a dramatic, 1,500-square-mile expanse of glaciated ice and rugged mountain peaks located in the southeastern panhandle of Alaska. A well-established visitor’s center is just 13 road miles from downtown Juneau, and it shouldn’t be missed. Built in 1962 on a prominent rock outcropping, it’s an outstanding interpretation center for glacier dynamics and history, and it provides excellent photo opportunities of the terminus of the glacier.

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