Composition and Art Category Archive

Taking Better Pictures Isn’t Always About Photography

Three years ago, near the start of the pandemic, my photography ground to a halt. There’s still a gap in my Lightroom catalog where May and June 2020 should be. I’m glad that my break was temporary, but it crystalized to me that there’s more to being a good photographer than just pressing the shutter button at the right time.

Bad Weather Makes Good Photos!

Last week, there was rain in the desert. I was so surprised to visit some of the driest places in America – Death Valley, Joshua Tree, Canyonlands, and more – and see them under storms and fog rather than the blue sky. It’s not “good weather” by most definitions, but it was perfect for landscape photography.

From Idea to Print: The Darkroom Process

Last week, I talked about the process of visualizing and composing with large format film during my trip to Yosemite in the fall. I’ve been working in the darkroom to print those photos, and today I finally have some results to publish and discuss!

From Idea to Print: 12×20 Film in the Field

It’s a snowy day here in Colorado, which puts a damper on my plans to visit our studio and test more lenses in the lab. (I do, however, have the Nikon Z 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 and both teleconverters in hand for testing once the roads clear.) Instead, I’ve spent the day developing film.

Working with the Landscape in Front of You

I just returned from a long trip to Yosemite, partly to test some lenses for upcoming reviews, and partly to unwind. Although I had a great time out there, the conditions for “classic” landscape photography left something to be desired: very few clouds or fall colors anywhere.

Understanding Chiaroscuro in Photography

I think that photographers can learn a lot from classic works of art – not only by early photographers, but also from painters, sculptors, and other artists who lived before photography was even a twinkle in Nicéphore Niépce’s eye. One technique that is especially applicable to photography is called chiaroscuro.