Have you ever seen a spectacular image and been flabbergasted when you saw that the photographer was an amateur – and they used their phone? Or looked at the website of a pro only to be disappointed by a slew of boring photos? Maybe you know someone who knows everything about photography has has perfect technique, yet still takes lacklustre images. Counterintuitively, being good at photography does not guarantee good photos.
I am an amateur photographer and have had a DSLR for approximately 10 years. It is only in the last 2 years that I have started to get seriously interested in wildlife photography. I feel like I am in the early days of building a portfolio of images. Living in the middle of a small UK town, like most urban locations, there is a surprising amount of wildlife around. Unfortunately, with a full time job and a small baby I found I had limited time to get to know the animals in my neighbourhood let alone the local nature spots. So when we moved house 3 years ago and were discussing what to do with the derelict patch of land out front and the idea of turning it into a wild flower garden was discussed, I thought it might be a great way to learn some macro techniques.
Hi, my name is Giovanni Ruffinengo and I am a student who likes photography. I currently study mathematics in Italy and for me photography is the constant construction of the relationship between the photographer and the images. Anyway, I would love to own an Owl.
Being married to a university professor has its advantages (and disadvantages, but this is not the time or place…), the most important being the international conferences and research trips. After-all, if one airline ticket and hotel is already paid for, it makes sense to buy another ticket and make a holiday of it, right? So when my wife announced a research visit to Chile in 2013, I didn’t need much encouragement to join her once most of her work was done. The only condition was that she would still need to spend several days of our time together working, and during that time I would be her “official photographer”. Since these “work days” would be at abandoned nitrate mines in the middle of the Atacama desert, you might wonder what the attraction was – but the prospect of “leisure” days looking at volcanoes, salt lakes and mountains soon persuaded me.
Recently I returned to one of my enduring passions: shooting film. I’m Italian and I recently moved to California. In Italy, it’s really hard to find a good lab to develop film and it’s even more difficult to find rolls of film of the brands I like. Here in the US, I felt reborn with new joy: everything is so much easier when it comes to shooting film. All over the world shooting film is getting more popular, it’s in fashion again, and it’s even possible to find photographers returning to analog, ditching digital for paid jobs. In Italy, the business of photography completely revolves around shooting digital: almost no one thinks about film anymore. So for me, it was amazing to take my four 120 rolls to the lab to discover they could be processed only after the order for the previous customer was finished… the lab told me a well-known company with a blue logo based in the Bay area had just delivered a big batch of 70 rolls for processing! I was kind of sad when I discovered my batch was delayed by 48 hours (beyond the usual 24 hours needed for developing, printing the contact sheet and scanning everything in high resolution), but I finally received my processed rolls and you can see some results in the images of this article.
Hi. My name is Elliot Madriss and I teach a successful class at the continuing education facility as part of the University of New Mexico called “Stop Taking Crappy Pictures!”. This class was created as a direct result of my reaction to the very poor quality of images being posted on the Internet and on many professional sites – in my opinion, collectively we are losing our ability to take great photographs. With the advent of incredible cell phone technologies as well as the great sensors that now populate most DSLRs, taking snapshots has been made much easier. However as always, photographs (which are great works of art) are still difficult to take. But don’t blame yourselves, its in your DNA not to see photographically!
Lens distortion is a common issue we photographers deal with on a daily basis. It can be split into two groups – distortion by perspective and distortion by optics. Be it one or the other, it often causes unnatural-looking deformation of photos we take. As a result, we end up searching for ways to address distortion issues in the field, or afterwards in post-production. Usually lenses with longer focal lengths produce less distorted results than wide-angle lenses. And as you might already know, distortion is much more noticeable closer to the edges of the frame than in the middle. If you shoot landscapes or cityscapes at wider focal lengths and you have straight vertical elements near the corners of the frame, distortion might significantly bend and skew those elements, making them look very strange. There are several ways you can address such problems, so let’s talk about those now.
Photographing the humpback whales of Tonga has been on my personal bucket list for a number of years and finally in 2015 I got to spend nearly three weeks in Neiafu, the main town in the Vavu’a island group in the north of the archipelago, where the majority of the whale watching takes place. The 170+ islands that make up the nation of Tonga are stretched out over a 800km long archipelago, located about 1600 km north-east of New Zealand in the western Pacific Ocean and are basically a long way from everywhere – even for Australians like me!
In today’s digital photography age, most novice bird photographers are happy just capturing a bird portrait with their cameras. After a while, the natural progression is to try and capture some action shots of birds in flight, but that is where most avian photographers struggle. Why? The answer is quite simple; they don’t have enough shutter speed!
For those of us living in the US or Europe it can be a daunting challenge to search for a nearby destination in which we may truly immerse ourselves in nature, specifically without enduring months of near bankruptcy directly afterwards. There are still plenty of hotspots left, especially in Northern Europe, but the signs of civilization can leave one feeling placed in an artificial bubble, albeit a beautiful one. Like it or not, this often is translated into the images we take.