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September 2008


How-To

  • Breaking The Sound Barrier


    Try multimedia to add more life to your images



    Among the great leaps and advances with which digital photography has provided us is a whole new way of sharing our work with others. In the past, you could make prints, or if you were a professional, maybe illustrate a magazine article or a book project—pretty slim pickings.
  • Dust & Snow: Shooting In Extreme Conditions


    From the Arctic to the Serengeti, global nature photographer Daniel J. Cox shares his tips for taking images in extreme weather conditions


    The wind is howling—not sure of the speed exactly, but the weather report suggested gusts of 30 mph or more with a wind chill in the area of -50º F. Wind chill is an understatement when the ambient temperature is already -30º F. The word “chill” seems a little underhyped. It has been two hours, and I’m still kneeling in the icy snow, my kneecaps starting to feel like frozen saucers.
  • Long-Lens Landscapes


    Get a different perspective on your favorite scenic vistas by experimenting with telephoto lens compositions


    Say the words “landscape photography,” and most people immediately think of wide-open spaces, majestic mountains, big skies, long views and extreme perspectives. And yet, some landscape images don’t necessarily need impressive land features or dramatic skies. In fact, they may not need sky at all. Successful compositions can be found not only on a grand scale, but also in intimate, graceful detail.
  • Photoshop Lightroom 2: For Nature Photographers


    The new version of the popular Adobe software melds traditional darkroom controls with the digital world


    Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 2 is an amazing program. I’ve been working with it throughout its development process, and I feel like I’m back in the world of the traditional darkroom, now for color images. Lightroom was designed to help the photographer gain more control over his or her images while maintaining an efficient and effective workflow. It’s about organizing digital images to make them more accessible, processing them quickly and then getting them to an audience through slideshows, prints or web galleries (and, of course, image files).

Gear

  • An Underwater Shooting Primer


    With prices dropping and capabilities on the rise, underwater photography is within the grasp of just about anyone who has an interest in giving it a try



    While increased access to underwater photography makes it easy for almost anyone to compose images in water and underwater, capturing a quality image requires skills and techniques unique to the liquid environment. 
  • Does Your Camera Have An Evil Twin?


    What’s in a camera’s DNA? We’ll show you the features and technologies that have trickled down from the top-end models to the popular sweet-spot cameras.


    Many camera manufacturers talk about their upper-mid-range models, those most used by nature photographers, as being inspired by the same technology as their uber-pro models. For most nature photographers, the top-end cameras aren’t practical options, however.
  • Gadget Bag: Portable Hard Drives


    External hard drives serve as entire image libraries in the palm of your hand



    What fits in your jacket pocket and holds 75,000 digital images or more? The answer: a portable external hard drive. Built using the same high-quality storage components you’ll find inside most notebook or laptop computers, these external hard drives typically consist of a 2.5-inch drive mechanism, a controller card and a high-speed interface connection—all housed in a durable and transportable shell.
  • In Focus: September 2008


    Go from wide-angle to telephoto range with a constant ƒ/4 maximum aperture using the smc Pentax DA 17-70mm ƒ/4 AL [IF] SDM. The 17.1-ounce lens covers a 4.1x focal range of 26-107mm (35mm equivalent) on Pentax D-SLRs. Some of the standout features include a 0.31x maximum magnification, an 11-inch close-focus distance and a QuickShift Focus System for instant switching from auto to manual focus.
  • Nikon D700


    The newest member of Nikon’s FX-format (full-frame) lineup looks to be a serious contender for nature shooters


    For the outdoor photographer who loves the full-frame capability and superb performance of Nikon’s top-of-the-line D3, but would prefer a smaller, lighter camera (and a lighter price), Nikon has introduced the D700. The camera shares many of the D3’s fine features, but is much more compact (albeit still quite rugged) and costs $2,000 less. The D700 even adds a few features not present in the D3, like a pop-up Speedlight flash unit and a sensor-dust reduction system.

Locations

  • Coral Reefs In Peril


    For all of their natural beauty and rich biological diversity, the Earth's coral reefs face an uncertain future



    Healthy coral reefs are disappearing. In the fall of 2006, the U.S. Coral Reef Task Force met in the Virgin Islands, where researchers issued a warning that 30 percent of the world’s coral reef population had died in the last 50 years. Another 30 percent has suffered severe damage, and 60 percent could die in less than 25 years because of pollution and global warming.
  • The Timeless Nature Of New England


    The rolling forest-covered hills and dramatic coastline keep a local photographer energized and shooting in this iconic region of North America



    New Hampshire professional photographer William H. Johnson has photographed rural and coastal New England during all four seasons for more than 25 years. Johnson uses natural lighting and weather to capture the mood and spirit of New England, from mountains, lakes and beaches to villages, covered bridges and lighthouses. “In New England, there’s a stunning picture somewhere all the time,” says Johnson. “It’s my job to go find it.”

Columns

  • BetterPhoto For Better Photos


    With top-level instructors and a variety of classes, BetterPhoto.com’s online learning environment is hitting the mark for many nature photographers



    The Internet has made it easier than ever to find information on almost any subject, and photography is no exception. While reading up on how to use your camera or the basics of exposure, many people learn faster and better with feedback. But workshops can be expensive and difficult to work into many schedules. This is where BetterPhoto.com fills a void by giving students feedback and flexibility in how they learn.
  • Good Luck Happens


    Six of my top reasons for photographic success



    Over Memorial Day weekend, I was visiting Carmel for a family gathering. I brought my camera along, of course, although I wasn’t planning extended photo sessions. I went out for a few sunrise and sunset photo sessions, visiting some favorite locations in nearby Big Sur, and trying out a new one, Carmel Beach. I’m so pleased with the results; I got to thinking about why I had good luck on this trip. Here are my top six reasons for successful photographs. These reasons assume that the obvious technical concerns such as sharpness, exposure and composition are in good order.
  • Thanks For The Memory


    Be sure your memory cards are working their best for you



    Memory cards are critical for digital photography. We can’t do without them. Losing a memory card can be worse than losing a roll of film because so many more images fit on a memory card. So most photographers are careful about where they store their cards; usually they’re placed in a memory card holder that keeps them in order and stored in the same location.
  • The Morton Arboretum Lisle, Illinois


    The Morton Arboretum is an outdoor museum of woody plants established in 1922 by Morton Salt magnate, Joy Morton. Situated on the rolling Valparaiso Moraine in northern Illinois and bisected by the DuPage River, the grounds encompass 1,700 acres of magnificent natural systems. There’s a restored 100-acre prairie, oak and black walnut woodlands, savannas, winding streams, lakes and marshes—and all of it is accessible on nine miles of paved one-way roads and 14 miles of hiking trails.
  • Time For A New Printer


    Best B&W Inkjet Prints  •  Resolving Resolution • Light Outdoor Photography  •  How Long Will It Last?



    My present printer is getting old and not giving me decent black-and-white prints. What should I look for in a new printer to maximize the black-and-white area without losing any color capabilities?

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