Pro Techniques

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George Schaub Posted: Feb 24, 2014 0 comments
Tonality does not exist in a vacuum; the tones form a visual impression in terms of both their intrinsic value and their relationship to one another. The context in which they relate is called contrast, simply the difference and relationship between the light and dark values in the scene. Contrast determines the “look” of the image, and has a profound effect upon visual effects.
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James Patrick Posted: Feb 21, 2014 Published: Jan 01, 2014 0 comments
There I was, 20 years old behind the sideline barricade of an arena football game clutching to my now outdated Canon EOS 20D with a 200mm lens slapped on it. I raced back and forth behind the separating wall with a cluster of other photographers—feverishly snapping off images as the players sprinted up and down the field and crashed into one another and off the barriers. It was my first sporting photo assignment.
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Josh Miller Posted: Feb 11, 2014 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.
Jon Sienkiewicz Posted: Feb 07, 2014 Published: Jan 01, 2014 0 comments
It all began back in 1990 with a shareware program called Paint Shop. Debuting the same year as Adobe PhotoShop 1.0, comparison to that legendary product has been inescapable. Paint Shop, known as PaintShop Pro X6 Ultimate in its current incarnation, has always been associated with three characteristics: extreme affordability, sufficient power for most photo enthusiasts, and Windows-only compatibility. PaintShop Pro has continued to evolve and improve, and today offers many significant enhancements, including the ability to run smoothly on Macs using a Windows emulation program.
Lorin R. Robinson Posted: Feb 04, 2014 Published: Dec 01, 2013 0 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.
Stan Trzoniec Posted: Jan 28, 2014 Published: Dec 01, 2013 0 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.
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Jeff Wignall Posted: Jan 24, 2014 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 Posted: Jan 17, 2014 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.
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Jack Neubart Posted: Jan 14, 2014 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 Posted: Jan 03, 2014 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.
David C. Schultz Posted: Dec 31, 2013 Published: Nov 01, 2013 0 comments
Seeing what was about to hit us I quickly grabbed for a table I knew was anchored to the floor, but it was too little, too late. Along with a number of other staff and passengers I was thrown to the floor and found myself rolling from starboard to port, bouncing off chairs and tables along the way. I knew the ship would very quickly start to roll in the opposite direction, so no attempt was made to stand. Instead I waited on the floor, arms wrapped around a table leg, for a moment of relative calm. Good morning, and welcome to the Drake Passage.
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Blaine Harrington Posted: Dec 27, 2013 Published: Nov 01, 2013 0 comments
Early on I lived in Paris, shooting fashion photography. I saw all the iconic places and landmarks, of course, and observed hundreds of people shooting them. When I became a travel photographer, my initial thought was to shoot lots of subjects other than the icons; to make untypical, evocative images of marketplaces, shop fronts, and unexpected details. Pretty quickly I found out the icons defined a place, and even more important, the icons made the money.
Joe Farace Posted: Dec 24, 2013 Published: Nov 01, 2013 0 comments
Leaves haven’t started falling on Daisy Hill, but soon will be, and just as quickly the number of leaves needing to be raked reminds me of the thousands, maybe tens of thousands, of websites I’ve looked at and written about for Web Profiles over the years. The best are presented here but there are almost as many—maybe more—near misses that fail to make the grade because they lack focus. Not the pictures, mind you, but the purpose of having a site in the first place. While it may seem obvious to you it may not be to the person who lands on your homepage. Fall is a good time to reappraise and perhaps redesign your site for the New Year, giving it not just a new look but also a new purpose. Set a goal for your site and make sure that everything from the colors used to the words and images that appear go toward achieving that goal.
Staff Posted: Dec 10, 2013 Published: Nov 01, 2013 0 comments
The New Art of Photographing Nature: An Updated Guide to Composing Stunning Images of Animals, Nature, and Landscapes (Amphoto Books, $29.99) is from world-renowned photographer Art Wolfe and writer and photo editor Martha Hill, with Tim Grey. In this revised edition, the text has been updated throughout to reflect the dramatic changes in photography since this classic was first released in 1993. More than 50% of the beautiful images are all new, and a new contributor, digital imaging expert Tim Grey, shares sidebars throughout offering tips on digital imaging and processing.
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Barry Tanenbaum Posted: Dec 06, 2013 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.

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