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.
On The Cover
In this issue we bring you a range of camera, lighting, and even pro-graphics-level monitor tests as well as an insider’s look at eBooks for photographers. And in keeping with our respect for and legacy coverage of camera classics, a look at a collector’s camera “bookshelf” and an exclusive report from Tokyo on prices garnered at one of the biggest user/collectible shows in Japan.
This month’s Picture This! assignment was Color Play, where we asked readers to include as many colors as possible within the frame. Interestingly, the large majority of images we received were of subjects of man-made origin, perhaps showing that as humans we are so taken with color that we see it as an essential element in all the things we make. All in all, this assignment was a colorful one indeed.
In this issue we look at travel and nature photography with an emphasis on ops and issues in the colder regions. Covered gear this month includes a clever tripod kit, a new EOS Rebel, a fast Tamron zoom, and software for retouch and black-and-white magic.
August, 8:45pm. The sun just set and the mercury is still hovering above 95. Not even a whisper of a breeze. It’s hot. It’s too hot to sleep, too hot to work—too hot to think. My only hope sits out back, parked on a pad covered with pavers. I simply need to turn the key, press the start button, and my ride will roar to life with only a single thought—escape the heat! I head west on State Route 412, a lonely deserted road that goes nowhere but has lovely sweeping curves and hard level straightaways where my baby can cut loose. With my feet on the pegs, the wind blows my hair back and sweat evaporates from my skin. Blessed relief!
When this old pebble balanced there by the Ice Age thousands of years ago in the Garden of the Gods Park near Colorado Springs, Colorado, tumbles from its perch, it could be the end of the world. I used a slow shutter speed to get this shot as the old boulder wasn’t shaking at the time. But who knows?
Our Picture This! assignment this month dealt with the entirely photographic and visually arresting technique built around the idea that foreground/background sharpness differentials can create both a painterly effect and a more prominent foreground subject, thereby adding a sense of dimensionality in what is essentially a 2D medium. This approach considers more than just what is sharp and unsharp, but also has a profound effect on compositional decisions, where the placement of the unsharp portion of the image can be used to juxtapose or, more likely, reinforce the color and design of the subject that sits at the main point of sharpness. Readers sent in a wide variety of images, with the preponderance being natural subjects, which for many seemed to be a perfect way to express this technique.
On The Cover
In this issue we share the work of a number of photographers with a unique point of view on the world, as well as the exciting and challenging work of “pro bono” photographers. We also have some lighting tests, a report on an exciting new medium format scanner, and Image Tech reports on unique cameras from Canon and Nikon.
As frequent visitors to the Gettysburg National Military Park researching the participation of my wife’s family in many different regiments during the battle, my wife and I had a strange occurrence one morning. We always arrive at our chosen point on the battlefield well before sunrise each visit. This particular morning we were set up on Cemetery Hill facing Culp’s Hill and the soon to be arriving sunrise. The morning had good promise as there was some ground fog in place already. Suddenly, from the lower part of the valley, a thick fog began rolling in. It didn’t appear from the ground up as normally happens, but was a dense mass pushing into the valley. It covered the ground up to a knoll to our right and just left parts of the treetops visible. From then on it was just scrambling around with the camera on the tripod, hitting the infrared remote and then moving again.
Our Picture This! assignment this month was “Construction Compositions” and we requested images that incorporated the color, design, and abstractions that building and industrial sites offer. Readers sent in images that showed the complexity of potential for rich images these places afford through the use of an intermix of angles and textures, the hubbub of human activity that goes into building, and in some cases ironic images that show the effect of all that effort on nature and within the cities we live. We also received photos that were almost lyrical in nature, with plays of light and color that an abstract painter could admire.