Shooting Film for the First Time

Even though my first camera was the digital Nikon D5100, I always have felt a sort of secondhand nostalgia for the days of film photography. The vast majority of history’s great photographs were taken on film; masters like Ansel Adams and Galen Rowell defined the medium of landscape photography in my mind, and both were entirely film photographers. Personally, by using a digital camera so early, I felt that I was missing a more hands-on appreciation for photography’s complex history. Perhaps this…

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Walking Among the Bristlecone Pines

At this time when many of us are excited by the new camera announcements, I thought it will be intriguing to do a write up describing my first time shooting 35 mm black and white film. Last summer, I found some time to swing by the Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest in White Mountains near Bishop, California. I knew that the timing of my trip will not coincide with the best lighting for photography, especially in color. So, I decided to…

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Photographing Close to Home

A winter storm hit the Boston area sometime in February and when various weather channels called for a clear evening/night, I got thinking. I live close to Merrimack River and have tried photographing it several times before but so far not have not been satisfied with the resulting images. Sometime it is either an out of place tree limb that destroys visual harmony or distant apartments, houses or other man-made structures that compete for attention. I realized that if the…

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Looking Through Your Archives

As a photographer, it is easy to feel excited about the newest images that you take. After returning from an amazing shoot, there is nothing more fun than loading your photos and sorting through them for the first time. This initial thrill, though, doesn’t always last. If you took hundreds – or even thousands – of photos at a time, sorting through your work can become a tedious task. Sometimes, too, you just aren’t in the right frame of mind…

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The Last Nomadic Hunters-Gatherers of the Himalayas

The nomadic Rautes are the last hunters-gatherers of the Himalayas. The Rautes, who call themselves Kings of Forests, subsist on langur and macaque monkeys, wild yams, rice and a few kinds of vegetables traded from local farmers. Their main occupation is to trade and exchange of wooden items in nearby villages and bazaars. They migrate from river valleys up to middle hills in the Western parts of Nepal living in temporary camps hidden away from the villages in remote parts…

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Zabriskie Point – My Old Enemy

I love Death Valley. Despite its name, it is one of the most stunning places on this planet to visit, enjoy and photograph. While I have been to many areas of the park, every time I visit, I find something new to explore. Since my first visit to Death Valley back in 2009, one place that really got me hooked was Zabriskie Point. Thanks to its vivid colors, delicate shapes and beautiful contours, it is truly a magical place to…

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Making The Familiar Unfamiliar

So while new gear is released and debated and salivated over this month I humbly submit that it may be worth a reminder as to why it means anything to us at all. Something to do with taking photos, I think, I’m not really sure. But while a newer sensor or greater ISO range or more AF points gets your hearts racing again as when the world was new, at some point we’ll need to remember to take some photos.…

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Still Experimenting, Learning and Having Fun After 100,000 Images

I recently checked the shot count on my three Nikon 1 V2 bodies. Then I added up the number of photographs I’ve taken with Nikon 1 bodies like the V3 and J5 that I borrowed from Nikon Canada in order to write some reviews. I discovered that I’ve taken over 100,000 images with Nikon 1 gear since the late summer of 2013 when I bought my first V2. Hmmm…no wonder my shutter finger is sore from time to time.

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End Of Year Thoughts

As yet another new year beckons (entirely too quickly for my liking; I still vividly remember 1986!) we may be reflecting on the photography we have made this year but also on what we aspire to in the coming year. I’m sure most of us want to improve our skills and produce better images. Perhaps some of us simply want a newer camera and more pixels. Maybe those of you who do it for a living want more clients and…

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The Fallacy Of Talent

I’m not sure if the premise of this article will incur the Wrath of Khan and perhaps it doesn’t belong on a site like this. But it made me think, which in turn made me write, about how easily the word ‘talent’ is bandied about in the photographic community. It has often given me pause when the word ‘talent’ is used in reference to a photographer, one who is undoubtedly skilled and capable at producing beautiful images. The idea that…

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Autumn Encouragement

Sincere apologies that this isn’t a gear review or announcement; undoubtedly one of those will be along shortly. In fact, in keeping with most of my articles, this probably won’t educate or inform you. But I’m hoping it will do something far more important than that. I’m hoping it will encourage you to take leave of your daily toil and do some actual photography.

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Photographing Cars

This may not help anyone’s photography much but I recently had the opportunity to enjoy a childhood fantasy by driving the car from the 80s TV show Knight Rider (yes, I really am that sad). Obviously I took my camera with me to get some shots and I thought I might share some ideas about photographing cars.

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Travel Photography in Myanmar – a Photo Essay

What is most striking for a visiting photographer to Myanmar, beyond the legions of magnificent pagodas and monasteries, is its people. The 135 ethnic groups offer an extraordinary diversity of subjects to be sure, but it’s their welcoming nature and willingness to open their lives to the camera toting foreigner that never ceases to amaze. As a photography director for a travel company based in Myanmar, I have been fortunate enough to work all over this very photogenic land with…

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Wildlife Photography with a Short Telephoto Lens

If it isn’t obvious from the photos I share on Photography Life, the camera equipment I use makes it quite clear: I am not a wildlife photographer. In fact, my longest lens weighs in at 105mm — nowhere near the super-telephotos used by most wildlife pros. However, although I rarely seek out wildlife opportunities, animals do not avoid me. I have been fortunate enough to see everything from whales to reindeer while taking pictures, and I’ve learned some tips for photographing wildlife…

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Taking Good Photos in Bad Light

Landscape photographers work primarily in natural light, which presents a few problems – for starters, the most beautiful lighting conditions each day last for no more than a few hours. Other times, sunsets will be lost behind cloudy skies, making it impossible to see a landscape at its best. When the sky is gray or the sun is directly overhead, it can be tough to find inspiration for high-quality photography. My hope with this article is to share some tips that…

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Drone Photography in Iceland

A few weeks before visiting Iceland, I made a last-minute, semi-impulsive decision that changed the dynamic of my entire trip — I bought a drone for landscape photography. My reasoning was simple: I had one, specific photograph in mind, but I could only take it from above.

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Photographing in Iceland

I still have Iceland on my mind. Over the past two weeks, I saw the greatest sunset and the strongest winds of my life; I walked through a pathless desert to the edge of a canyon, and I climbed a glacier lit by the midnight sun. Iceland is stark and surreal — reminding me of an alien planet more than any landscape I have seen before. It is nearly impossible to write a faithful article about such a country, and no photo…

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