Kodak Aerochrome Film Reborn? A Review of the 550nm Infrared Filter

When Ilija, owner of Kolari Vision, emailed me regarding his introduction of the 550nm infrared filter this past winter and shared some of the initial images taken with it, I was intrigued. I had used various models of Nikon DSLRs converted for infrared photography since 2007, relying primarily on the 720nm filter. Over the years, however, I slowly began to develop an appreciation for those filters affording more faux colors. In April, I took the leap and had Ilija convert…

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A Simple Way to Improve Your Black and White Prints on Any Printer

The secret to a good black and white print is controlling the dynamic range. The dynamic range is the range of tones, from the blackest black to the whitest white in an image. In a black and white photograph you want to make full use of the entire dynamic range. The problem is that, when printing, the printer usually hits the limitations of its dynamic range long before our eye (and camera, and monitor) stops differentiating detail.  As the printer…

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Reverse Lens Technique for Macro Photography

There aren’t a lot of things which will still work when used the wrong way ‘round. Airplanes, cutlery, and shoes, for example, all have a preferred direction of use; turning them around, and using them in reverse seldom turns out well. Photographic lenses, or at least some of them, are an exception to this rule. For macro photography, turning some lenses around will actually improve their performance. This can have important consequences for your photos, and your wallet.

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The Art of Photographing Flowers

My favorite offshoot of landscape photography is flower photography. It is a bit easier to pursue than landscape, since you needn’t travel very far to get unique and beautiful images. All you have to do is step into your own garden or visit a public garden to find a world of beautiful flowers to photograph. But it takes skill – plus a little something extra – to be able to make really beautiful flower portraits. In this essay, I’d like…

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Using Wide Angle Lenses for Street Photography

Street photography can be one of the most accessible genres of photography – after all, you can pretty much do it anywhere, anytime. And the essence of photojournalism/street photography is the summation of emotions, reality, and a story in a single image. You can take good street photos with any lens, but personally I am a big fan of wide angles.

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Concert Photography with a 35mm Lens

From street to landscape, from portrait to travel – the 35mm is an all-around lens, and it can be used for shooting basically anything. But what about concert photography, where a zoom lens is the norm? Is it any good there as well? This article covers some practical suggestions for photographing concerts with a 35mm lens, along with broader concert photography tips in general.

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3 Top Travel Photography Tips: Telling Visual Stories

In an era when everyone has a sophisticated camera on their mobile phone, and we all share our travel experiences on social media, it is easy to start thinking, everything was photographed already, and I have nothing to contribute. The challenge for travel photographers today is to succeed in creating new and refreshing representations of our world. Is it possible? Probably so, but you will need to put in some effort. This article covers a few of the most important…

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How to Photograph Hot Air Balloons

Some of the most rewarding and relatively easy subjects to photograph are the growing number of hot air balloons floating in the skies. If you have the willingness to wake up early, you can have good luck photographing a very colorful and slow-moving subject to display for your friends and family.

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18 Surf Photography Tips

In 2017, I received an invitation to photograph on the Mentawai Islands in Indonesia. My cousin, who is a surfer and makes this trip practically every year, asked me to join them in their next trip. For those who do not know, Indonesia is a surfer’s paradise, with surfers from all over the world visiting this remarkable destination. It has been a while since I photographed surfing professionally, so without much hesitation, I accepted the invitation. In this article, I…

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20 Sports Photography Tips for Beginners

Doing sports photography of your children, friends, or teammates is a great way to capture action-packed memories while having fun at the event. With a camera, you can be in the middle of the excitement at a sporting event rather than sitting on the sidelines (figuratively, of course – you should stay off the field). This article includes several sports photography tips to improve the quality of your photos and help you take better action pictures at games and events.

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Tips for Photographing Bouldering and Climbing

Originally used as training for alpine or big wall climbing, bouldering is now well established as a sport in its own right. You climb a “problem,” typically on a free-standing boulder (hence the name) or the base of a cliff. Problems range from a single move through extended sequences. The compressed nature of the problems means the style of climbing can be much more powerful and/or gymnastic than other types of climbing. For me, it is climbing distilled, and the joy…

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How to Take Interesting Wildlife Images

At least at one point of time in our photography journey, almost all of us want to try our hands on wildlife photography. Be it an attempt to photograph a bird in our backyard or taking a jungle safari, it is pretty rare to see someone with a camera not attempting to shoot the wild side. For a person like me living in India, the land of tigers & elephants to a wide array of resident and migratory birds flocking…

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The Visual Logic of Black & White

It seemed that my university years were filled with little other than lectures, studying, term papers and exams. Having said that, I did secretly have one hobby. In my second year I had purchased a Minolta Autocord film camera. The downside of being an impoverished student was that I could only afford B&W film, B&W chemicals and B&W contact sheets. The square 2-1/4” by 2-1/4” images arranged tightly into rows and columns were my only way to later enjoy what…

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Essential Tips for Photographing Theater Performances

Theater photography involves providing images that are concise and maintain the integrity of the light and the vision of the director. Over the last several years, I’ve worked with local theater groups in our area to provide promotional images and headshots, as well as archive images of their productions. Archive images are used by the actors, set designers/builders and costume designers to represent their work. I have learned during these last few years to apply time saving-techniques such as the…

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How to Take Family Portraits on a Budget

I want to share with you some useful tips for taking family portrait photos on a budget, including how I got into the satisfying world of portraiture after years of taking random (and disappointing) snapshots. Hopefully, this post will interest family photographers who want less expensive equipment, and any beginners to photography who simply want to capture nice photographs of people. Many amateurs cannot spend lots of money on quite expensive photography gear and do not have time to travel…

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How to Photograph the Milky Way Bow

In this article, we will take a closer look at how to photograph the Milky Way bow. I wrote this guide from the point of view of a person who has largely taught himself. During the last four years, I have also had the invaluable help of a fellow night photographer. I made all the mistakes and then tried a lot of corrections while I learned and worked to inspire others to try it out, too. I will admit to…

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What is Low-Key Monochrome Photography?

With all the amazing new cameras and lenses creating outstanding color, most of us are flooded with saturated images all over social media. But, a few decades back, most of what we saw were gray worlds. Even though current day photography can bring out millions of colors to life, the gray world is calm, peaceful and fascinating on its own. In this article, we shall see how to make interesting monochrome images and bring them to life, in a nutshell.

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How to Photograph the Aurora Borealis

Capturing a stunning shot of the northern lights (or southern lights) dancing across the sky surely must be on the bucket list of many photographers out there. On a recent trip into the Arctic Circle, I was lucky enough to see the aurora borealis on several nights. What follows are some tips and recommendations on how to photograph the northern lights and come back with some stunning pictures.

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How to Focus in Landscape Photography

Focusing is one of the pillars of photography. If you don’t focus in the right place, at best, your photos won’t be as sharp as possible – and, at worst, they could be completely unusable. There’s a lot that goes into focusing correctly, even in a genre like landscape photography, where your subject tends to stay relatively still. To get the best results, you’ll want to optimize your techniques as much as possible, and that’s what this article covers. So,…

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