Pro Techniques

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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.
Stan Trzoniec Posted: Jan 28, 2014 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.
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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.”
Lorin R. Robinson Posted: Feb 04, 2014 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.
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.
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.
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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.
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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.
David C. Schultz Posted: Dec 31, 2013 Published: Nov 01, 2013 1 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.
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.
Susan K. Johnston Posted: Dec 04, 2013 Published: Oct 01, 2013 0 comments
A few years ago I was reorganizing a closet and discovered cardboard boxes tucked into a dark corner. Much to my surprise, I found dress boxes and shoeboxes filled with photographs from the 1940s and early ’50s. I had forgotten that when my father died I inherited his personal photographs. That afternoon and long into the night, I sat on the hallway floor looking at the pictures and reliving some of those moments. It was like discovering buried treasure, a forgotten family heirloom.
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Lorin R. Robinson Posted: Nov 19, 2013 Published: Oct 01, 2013 0 comments
“In 1938, aided by widespread publicity from Hine’s photographs, Congress passed the Fair Labor Standards Act that, in part, established more stringent child labor regulations.”
The slight 56-year-old man who appeared at the Empire State Building construction site in New York on a spring day in 1930 probably failed to impress the workers he’d been hired to photograph. The 4x5 Graflex Lewis Wickes Hine carried seemed outsized in his hands. His thick, owlish glasses and demeanor contributed to the accurate impression that he was or had been a schoolteacher.
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Jack Neubart Posted: Nov 05, 2013 Published: Oct 01, 2013 0 comments
When it comes to portraiture, celebrities are like everyone else, except that for editorial shoots your time with them is very limited. “I’ve literally had as little as 3 minutes and as much as 20 minutes with an individual,” Los Angeles-based photographer Michael Becker observes.
Maria Piscopo Posted: Nov 22, 2013 Published: Oct 01, 2013 6 comments
There’s a long tradition of photographers doing pro bono work for charities. Now, with social media and the Internet in general, the marriage of photography and doing good for others has grown even more. NGOs (Non-Governmental Organizations) have been around since the mid-1940s, but in the last few years some amazing photography has further helped communicate their mission.
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Steve Bedell Posted: Nov 12, 2013 Published: Oct 01, 2013 0 comments
Photographing families and large groups can strike fear into the hearts of many photographers. As for me, there’s nothing I’d rather do. I not only get to meet a lot of great people, but family groups are the most profitable portraits that I take. Everyone wants a copy of a good shot, and many of my family group photos result in the sale of a wall portrait or grouping with frames, plus several smaller prints.

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