Outdoor Photography How To

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Josh Miller  |  Feb 11, 2014  |  First Published: Jan 01, 2014  |  0 comments

Sunstars are a great way to fill an otherwise boring, cloudless blue sky with a feeling of drama and excitement. They are often a way to add a compositional element that helps draw a viewer into a scene. Technically, any light source can create a “sunstar” as long as it is a tiny point of light and the camera is set correctly. We often see the star effect in shots of buildings with their lights twinkling at dusk, or the moon in the night sky. Most commonly we see star patterns when the sun is setting on the horizon, but in this case we only see half of the sunstar because the other half is being blocked by the horizon.

Lorin R. Robinson  |  Feb 04, 2014  |  First Published: Dec 01, 2013  |  1 comments

Photographers who also love to travel are probably most prone to this collecting imperative. High on my list was Peru. For those who have traveled there, Machu Picchu was probably a primary destination. And why not? Machu Picchu is one of the few Incan sites to remain essentially intact following the 16th century Spanish conquest of the Kingdom of the Incas—for the simple reason that the invaders never found it.

George Schaub  |  Jan 28, 2014  |  0 comments

This photo was made in Raw file format, then enhanced using a Raw processor. Doing so allowed me to get exactly the color, contrast, and richness I wanted. Shooting in Raw is what allowed me to get the most quality out of the image file later.

Stan Trzoniec  |  Jan 28, 2014  |  First Published: Dec 01, 2013  |  1 comments

When photographing animals on an African safari, sharp photos are a gift to bring home and it all centers on proper technique. Use the “sweet spot” on the lens; with both of my shorter lenses it was around f/5.6 or f/8. On the longer zoom, I found f/5 or f/5.6 gave me needle-sharp and distortion-free images. With the animal at rest, always put that focusing spot on the eye. On longer distances or perhaps with the animal moving, place that spot on the shoulder or flank to keep a decent depth of field throughout their length.

Jeff Wignall  |  Jan 24, 2014  |  First Published: Dec 01, 2013  |  0 comments

One of the primary differences between a photograph and the real world is that reality has three dimensions: height, width, and depth. Your photos, of course, only have two—height and width. Any depth that exists in a photograph is purely an optical illusion. Even if you were able to create a print that was the exact same size as the scene (and wouldn’t that be fun) it would still pale beside the real thing because of the lack of that third dimension.

Rich Sheremeta  |  Jan 17, 2014  |  First Published: Feb 01, 2014  |  0 comments

Wildlife photographers with any interest in photographing big Alaskan brown bears should certainly consider the McNeil River State Game Sanctuary, professed to have the highest concentration of large adult brown bears in the world with over 70 bears having been seen at any one time. The sanctuary is located on the Alaskan Peninsula about 100 air miles west of Homer and is only reachable by floatplane.

Jack Neubart  |  Jan 14, 2014  |  First Published: Dec 01, 2013  |  0 comments

“The first questions I ask myself, after receiving the layouts from the art director, are: how can I make this my own, what can I add to it?” Active lifestyle photographer Rod McLean continues: “When we select the final locations and talent, the ideas become clearer. During a tech scout, we’ll shoot various views of the location, create rough comps, and talk about the possible scenarios: the best time to shoot, the props and wardrobe, etc. We all have to have a clear idea what we’ll be shooting and how the final images are going to look because we’ll be setting up the first shot in the dark, waiting for the morning light.”

Rick Sheremeta  |  Jan 03, 2014  |  First Published: Nov 01, 2013  |  0 comments

Winter is an extraordinary time in Yellowstone. Temperatures often plummet well below zero. Moisture ejected into the icy air from myriad thermal features creates a microclimate that turns into a wintry fairyland. The colder it becomes, the more pronounced these effects, and the more beautiful the surroundings become. Whether it’s wildlife, geothermal features, extraordinary scenery, or any combination thereof, Yellowstone National Park (YNP) is, hands down, one of the best places in the world to view and photograph these treasures.

Barry Tanenbaum  |  Dec 06, 2013  |  First Published: Nov 01, 2013  |  0 comments

Chances are you won’t be photographing in the negative numbers of extreme cold that Layne Kennedy often encounters—we’re talking -15 to -30 degrees Fahrenheit—but his experience with and guidelines for cold-weather shooting can provide you with a considerable degree of comfort no matter what the temperature.

Lorin R. Robinson  |  Oct 25, 2013  |  First Published: Sep 01, 2013  |  0 comments

He stands in about 3 feet of roiling surf, wetsuit jersey glistening from repeated dunkings. The sky above Oahu’s North Shore is deep blue. Undertow currents grasp his legs—eroding sand beneath his swim fins—as water rushes seaward to build the next huge wave. He holds his bulky waterproof camera housing tightly, faces west toward the setting sun and checks the long tether attached to his wrist. He turns his head to watch the wave rise ever higher—a towering blue-green monster that’s starting to curl, white spume blowing off its top. He braces himself as best he can against the forces raging around him, points the camera toward the golden Hawaiian sunset, and waits as tons of water begins to curl over him, forming a tube. At what he hopes is the right instant, he fires off several shots and prepares to be pounded and rag-dolled by the massive wave.

Blaine Harrington  |  Oct 15, 2013  |  First Published: Sep 01, 2013  |  1 comments

I learned photography in the film days, and when the huge change to digital came along, I changed not only my gear but the way I see. I used to have to see in terms of very specific criteria of what would work within the ISO range of my film and what the film could record in terms of light and shadow. Low ISOs meant I couldn’t get enough depth of field, or a tripod was needed, or I had to light something because there wasn’t enough information in pictures that had incredible shadow detail. High ISOs often meant an unacceptable level of grain and bad color rendition. As a result I passed up a lot of situations that got my attention but were beyond the capability of my film to capture.

Josh Miller  |  Aug 23, 2013  |  First Published: Jul 01, 2013  |  0 comments

In these days of HDR, Lightroom, and Photoshop, is there still any point in carrying around Graduated Neutral Density (GND) filters? Often at photographic overlooks I hear photographers banging away with their cameras, shooting multiple exposures for future HDR images, while I nail the same scene in a single shot. More than once I have had one of these photographers scoff at me for using my “old school” GND filter, asking, “Ever heard of HDR?” While I am a firm believer in using all the tools available to me, including HDR, I feel that HDR is either unnecessary or won’t work in situations where multiple images are not possible, such as an action shot.

Jack Neubart  |  Jul 09, 2013  |  First Published: Jun 01, 2013  |  0 comments

“Whether the client is advertising a travel destination or a product, such as clothing or sports apparel, I strive to set up the shoot with talent that’s the best fit for the ad,” lifestyle photographer Dennis Welsh proclaims. “That’s what makes the shot and the client’s message believable. That’s what sells it to potential customers. For instance, if I’m shooting for a ski company or a ski resort, I want to find skiers who can easily do what I want them to do. That conveys a sense of truth and honesty. If you start with skiers who are not convincing, you start with a deficit. In that case, you have to do the best you can with what you’ve got. If I’ve got great talent and a great location, a lot of things are already working in my favor.”

Jeff Howe  |  Jul 02, 2013  |  First Published: May 01, 2013  |  0 comments

Several years ago I decided to take on a challenge of focusing on macro photography right in my own backyard. No, I do not reside in the Sierra mountains or adjacent to a national wildlife refuge or conservation area. I live in a typical South Florida suburban subdivision surrounded by homes and asphalt. South Florida doesn’t even offer much in the way of seasons. Yet, I am amazed at how many unique images I have captured over the past several years.

Chris Murray  |  Jun 25, 2013  |  First Published: May 01, 2013  |  9 comments

Straddling a beautiful stretch of the Blue Ridge Mountains of northern Virginia, Shenandoah National Park is a hiker’s and photographer’s delight. Located only 70 miles from the nation’s capital, Shenandoah provides an oasis of nature surrounded by ever-encroaching civilization. Long and narrow, the park runs north/south along a ridge crest characterized by rolling hills and mountains, quiet hollows, rushing streams and waterfalls, and verdant forests. Running through the park is Skyline Drive, a 105-mile scenic roadway that meanders along the crest of the Blue Ridge. Along this roadway are 75 overlooks offering unparalleled views of the piedmont to the east and the valley and mountains to the west. The park is also host to a 101-mile segment of the venerable Appalachian Trail as it winds its way from Georgia to Maine.

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