It has never been easier for a nature photographer to create an image that they imagined in their head. No Photoshop required.
Wednesday, July 31, 2013
Sunday, June 30, 2013
When you're a wildlife photographer working in a public park, the equipment you use undoubtedly draws attention. This summer, I've been documenting the development of a pair of young bald eagles. To get the images I need without disturbing the birds, I've been using a 600mm lens – a 13-pound monster of a lens that has a front element only slightly smaller than a dinner plate.
A small number of people come up and ask me questions about the birds. Many, many more grill me about my equipment. The vast majority say something like, "I bet you can see every nose hair with that." I cannot. In terms of magnification, the lens falls in between a pair of binoculars and a birder's spotting scope. The lens is physically big because it lets a lot of light in allowing me to capture action images at high resolution.
It's the second most common question that I'm going to address in this blog post. It comes from amateur photographers who want to know about my use of a teleconverter with this lens.
Friday, May 31, 2013
Saturday, May 11, 2013
Adobe and I go way back. I don't remember the first copy of Photoshop I bought, but it was in the early `90s. I want to say it was version 4.0. And I've been buying its design program, InDesign, since way back when it was known as Aldus Pagemaker. For the past three upgrade cycles, I've bought licenses to Adobe's Master Collection, essentially licenses to every design application it makes. Before that, I often upgraded to its Design Collection.
So, like most everyone else on the Internet it seems, I was furious when Adobe announced this week that it will no longer let you buy its products. Now, with the Adobe Creative Cloud, you can only rent them.
Tuesday, April 30, 2013
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.
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.