Have Camera—Will Travel

This month’s issue delves into the art and craft of outdoor and nature photography, as well as covers some of the kit that could help you on your way. And given that we are heading into the colder seasons, we thought it would be apt to include a sled full of articles on dealing with working and traveling in the cooler regions. We also have some gear reviews and roundups that are apt, including Jack Neubart’s look at custom straps and harnesses that allow for hands-free and freely accessible carrying solutions. And to top it off, we are very happy to offer an excerpt from Art Wolfe’s latest book, The New Art of Photographing Nature. It always pleases us to have a master on board.

There’s no question that travel and photography are inextricably bound. It’s woven into our nature to want to capture the beauty of the natural world around us and to make a record of the wonderful places we’ve been. Of course, now that everyone carries a picture-making device (camera phone) it might seem that all you need to do is snap and run to make those images. I do have a short tale to tell in that regard.

I was walking across the Taos Gorge Bridge recently, taking some shots of the amazing light and view with a new tilt/shift lens I was testing. A person close by was leaning over the railing with an iPhone, and kept looking at the screen after the shot and shaking their head. She finally looked up and, seeing the camera and lens I was working with, said, “I wish I had a real camera! This placeis amazing!”

So yes, the camera phone is great for the grab shot of the elaborate dish at a fancy restaurant you want to show off to friends, or a fast shot of some roadside curiosity as you go flying by, but when it comes to capturing the depth and majesty of nature, and being able to express that wonder in a print or even on your web page, nothing beats a real live camera and a quality lens and yes, even a tripod, to make it happen.

Finally, I want to point out one more item in this issue that you might find of particular interest. David Brooks’s Digital Help column fields letters from readers concerned about Adobe’s switch to a subscription service. In it he addresses some of the concerns and clears up some of the misconceptions about this controversial move. In a recent poll we conducted in our monthly newsletter (which you can sign up for at www.shutterbug.com) 75 percent of respondents said they would be seeking new software when it was time to upgrade! Clearly this is an issue of contention and its success and the reaction of users may well show the way of how all software might be accessed in the future.

And a quick edit note—we are fast approaching the major show season in the photo industry, when new products and innovations emerge. We will be covering these items as they are revealed and, as important, will keep you up to date on new changes in technology that might have an effect on how you capture, store, and process images.