There is something that strikes fear straight into the heart of most photographers and it's not a close encounter with a wild bear or a dangerous cliff. It's the manual exposure mode of their cameras.
Tuesday, April 30, 2013
Sunday, March 31, 2013
I've always been a little envious of painters. If you're trying to capture a scene and the clouds aren't quite right, a painter can just make them right. Photographers have to make do with what nature provides — at least at that moment. As one grows as a nature photographer, however, the act of creating an image becomes more like creating a painting. And I'm not talking about the use of Photoshop.
Photography does involve being in the right place at the right time, but that doesn't mean it's always entirely left up to chance.
Thursday, February 28, 2013
I was standing at Tunnel View in Yosemite National Park recently, sharing the popular overlook with a couple dozen photographers. It's one of the most popular viewpoints in any national park. From this one point you can see several iconic granite peaks as well as Bridalveil Fall. If there's any one scene that says, "Yosemite," this is it.
But the sky was clear. The lighting was not dramatic.
"Let's go," a photo tour leader barked to his students, wanting to retreat to the lodge for hot coffee. "I have many pictures from this spot that are much better. You could get this picture any day." He ambled to his car and honked the horn at his students who were still snapping pictures.
He was right. But he's also wrong.
Thursday, January 31, 2013
Tuesday, January 1, 2013
While it is a new year, I do want to take a moment to reflect back on 2012. Compiling a few of my favorite images from the past year has become an annual affair. This task isn’t easy. Artists generally aren’t all that good at editing their own work. Boiling an entire year down to 10 images can seem like an impossible task.
But it can also help you look at your work in new ways. The passage of time has helped me evaluate some of my images with new eyes, freeing me from some of the emotional attachment to the image at the time of capture. That, in turn, helps me figure out what I like — and don’t like — about the work I’ve been producing, helping me to grow and set a direction for the new year.
In no particular order, here are a few of my favorite images from 2012:
Monday, December 31, 2012
For the second year in a row, there are fairly large numbers of snowy owls that are wintering nearby. Near Seattle, snow geese are a regular winter feature, but snowy owls are a rare treat. Reckless photographers, though, are in danger of driving our infrequent visitors well back north — or even worse.
Friday, November 30, 2012
One factor that can have a significant impact on the quality of your images is how sharp they are. Sometimes I like being able to stand up close to a large print and enjoy the clear definition around the smallest details. Sharpness helps the images look more lifelike.
While there's also something to be said for the art of blurring away the fine details, producing sharp images is something that most nature photographers want to accomplish, at least some of the time. The quality of your equipment plays a big role in how sharp your images are, but so does your technique.
Here are some tips for getting the sharpest images out of the equipment you already own: