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October 2007


How-To

  • E-Books: New Directions In Photo Publishing


    The photographer's new market is your own computer. Expand your work into the world of profitable self-publishing



    What photographer hasn’t dreamed of publishing a book of his or her work—or, more exactly, having a book published, because both the technology and the expense of do-it-yourself publishing is daunting? Publishers, alas, aren’t usually so eager to bring your best photos to the public, understandably, because fine printing is devilishly expensive, so much so that publishers can’t charge their usual markup on a photo book, and most photo books just don’t make money.

  • Best Techniques For Digital Exposures


    Setting everything on full auto isn't always the ideal solution. Try these tips to get your best shots every time.



    Film photographers have known for years the importance of correct exposure. If you overexpose a slide, the highlights are gone irretrievably. If you underexpose a slide, the image will be murky, with no true black tone in the darkest areas. Negative films have a little more leeway, in that you can make some adjustments when printing the negative, but again, the image quality won’t be great if the image is over- or underexposed.

  • Daylight Fill-Flash


    Sometimes changing the exposure just isn't enough to get the shot



    An accessory flash may not come to mind initially as an important tool for wildlife photography, but I never go out on a shoot without one. I recommend that you pack a flash in your gear bag before you next venture into the field.
  • Power To The Background


    The background can be just as important as the foreground.



    For the past 20 years or more, there has been a trend among wildlife photographers, myself included, to minimize the contribution of the background in their photographs by rendering it as low key as possible. By doing so, the subject can be freed from visual competition and stand out clearly.
  • The Value Of Brightness/Contrast


    How a much maligned adjustment tool can help you work images like a darkroom master



    As soon as I mention the Brightness/Contrast adjustment control, I know some Photoshop sophisticates will turn up their noses and figure that I’ve lost it. Brightness/Contrast is the adjustment control that the experts love to hate and denigrate. Yet it has powers that are perfect for anyone interested in going beyond basic Photoshop adjustments.

  • Tilt & Shift To Boost Your Megapixels


    While tilt-shift lenses can be used for both practical and extreme purposes, they also can be utilized to increase your image file size and creativity in unexpected ways



    Why not create your own focal length? This concept rattled around in my head for some time after going digital. Then again, many things rattled around in my head after I went digital. But one concept that rattled louder than others was how to utilize a moving lens mounted on a camera body to achieve multiple formats and compositions. With this in mind, I started using a Canon tilt-shift lens and began combining two offset digital files of the same scene. I began creating new compositions and aspect ratios and also increased the file size of my images—all without the use of panoramic equipment.

Gear

  • Canon EOS-1D Mark III


    Canon’s pro-level D-SLR ups speed, resolution and image quality



    The Canon EOS-1D Mark III is a solid camera for the outdoor photographer. For starters, image quality is superb. The new 10.1-megapixel sensor provides 23% more resolution than the EOS-1D Mark II N, and in my opinion, the images are even better than those of the 16.7-megapixel EOS-1Ds Mark II, especially in dim light and at higher ISO settings. Handling of high-contrast subjects and scenes is excellent.
  • Gadget Bag: Reaching New Lows!


    Underwater photography is entering a golden age, thanks to excellent compact digital cameras and inexpensive housings that enable anyone to get the shots



    Thanks to digital photography, more and more people are experiencing and sharing the color and beauty of exotic places all over the world. Whether it’s through online image sharing, printed images, magazine articles or simply through the LCD playback screens of our digital cameras, we’re seeing more of the world through the eyes of photographers of all levels, all ages and from all walks of life. This is even more the case when considering the spectacular world that so many people have never seen—the world beneath the waves.
  • HP Photosmart Pro B9180


    This fast inkjet turns out excellent 13x19-inch color and B&W prints



    Being impatient by both nature and design, I’ve tended not to make many large inkjet prints of my photos. Waiting 15 minutes or longer for a print to finish isn’t my idea of fun. I mean, shoot, I can just about make a print in the darkroom in that amount of time, and digital imaging is supposed to be now. But today’s large-format inkjets are a lot faster than my old ones. Enter the HP Photosmart Pro B9180.
  • In Focus: October 2007


    If you’re just getting into shooting with a D-SLR, the affordable Pentax K100D Super is packed with features and easy to use. The camera has a 6.1-megapixel sensor, advanced systems for shake reduction and dust removal, a user-friendly Mode Dial with Auto Picture, various Scene Modes and a 2.5-inch LCD with zoom capability. A compact, lightweight body makes the camera easy to carry around on backpacking trips and other outdoor adventures. The camera is fully compatible with Pentax SDMS lenses and can be purchased with an 18-55mm lens.

Locations

  • Jungle Photography


    The rain forests of Central America are so close, yet so exotic



    According to Webster’s, a jungle is "an impenetrable thicket or tangled mass of tropical vegetation." Many of the rain forests of Central America fit this definition, and unless you possess superhuman strength, you won’t be able to hack through such vegetation with a machete like they did in those old "B" movies. (It looked good, though, didn’t it?)
  • The Wild Life


    Heather Angel got her start as a biologist photographing whales and has become one of the leading nature photographers of the past quarter-century, communicating her enthusiasm for the natural world through her writing, workshops and lectures



    British photographer Heather Angel has been one of the most influential nature photographers for the past 25 years. Known throughout the world for her ability to supply world-class wildlife photography of almost any animal one can think of, Angel also has taught generations about her craft through writing, lectures and workshops, including the annual Nikon and Kew Gardens photo workshops, plus many books about photography. She holds an honorary doctorate from Bath University and a special professorship position at Nottingham University. Yet rather than rest on her long list of laurels, Angel, now in her 60s, roams the world with state-of-the-art digital equipment. OP was able to catch up with her as she was wrapping up an assignment in China.

Columns

  • Hanging With Mr. Greene


    Planning and a healthy dose of luck can save the day



    As someone who has labored in the vineyards of editorial assignment photography for more years than I care to recall, the one definite truism I’ve observed over time is that the operative law of assignment photography is the one written by Murphy ("Anything that can go wrong, will go wrong"). To that nugget, I’d like to add Krist’s Corollary: The simpler the job sounds at first, the more difficult it will become.
  • Harriman State Park, New York


    Established in 1900, Harriman State Park is the second-largest state park in New York, spanning over 46,000 acres of forested mountainous terrain, with meadows, numerous lakes, bogs and streams in the scenic Hudson Highlands region of Rockland and Orange counties. It’s an easy 30-mile drive north of New York City via the Palisades Interstate Parkway, N.Y. Thruway or U.S. Route 17, or it can be accessed by Metro-North trains to Tuxedo Park. The park adjoins the popular Bear Mountain State Park and is near the West Point Military Academy.
  • ISO & Digital Image Quality


    Lowest ISOs • Blowin' In The Wind • Stacking Tele-Extenders • Performance In Cold Environments



    I’ve noticed that many of the Nikon cameras, such as the D100, have a starting ISO of 200, while Canon digital cameras start at ISO 100. Is there a difference?
    Sal
    via the Internet
  • Versatility


    Take your basic visual style and adapt it to fit different subjects



    I’ve often admired photographers who are versatile, those who have the creativity to develop a personal style within diverse types of photography. For those interested in a career in photography, developing the skills to deal with many types of subjects is especially useful.

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