Why Leveling the Horizon Isn’t Easy

It might seem like one of the simplest parts of photography: leveling your horizon. Most photographers want their horizons to be straight, of course, but this isn’t an area of photography that gets too much attention. And why would it? Leveling the horizon is a very easy task — right? In practice, though, it requires more care than many people think. You can’t just rely on your camera’s “virtual horizon,” or your post-processing software’s “auto straighten” tool. Our perception of a level horizon is more complicated than that.

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How to Photograph a Solar Eclipse

When photographing a solar eclipse, there are a few very important considerations you have to keep in mind to avoid damage to your camera equipment or to your eyes. In this article, we will take a closer look at where you should physically be at the time of totality, what equipment you should have on hand, what safety precautions to take before, during and after the solar eclipse, and what framing and composition aspects to consider. Keep in mind that totality might only last a couple of minutes, so if you are not fully prepared, you might miss the opportunity to photograph this rare phenomenon.

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How to Photograph Sunrises and Sunsets

There are no times of day more famous for photography than “Golden Hour” — sunrise and sunset. Although great light can happen at any time, the edges of the day are perhaps the most consistent sources of inspiration you can find. Still, just because they’re beautiful doesn’t mean they’re easy to photograph. In this article, I’ll cover some suggestions for capturing sunrise and sunset as well as possible, including tips for exposure, creativity, and post-processing.

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Recommended Nikon D850 Settings

The Nikon D850 is perhaps one of the most advanced DSLRs made by Nikon to date. As a result, it comes with a lot of controls and menu settings that might be confusing for many photographers out there. In this article, I will provide information on what settings I personally use and shortly explain what some of the camera buttons and controls do. Please do keep in mind that while these work for me, it does not mean that everyone else should be shooting with exactly the same settings. The below information is provided as a guide for those who struggle with the camera and just want to get started with an understanding of the camera and its many features.

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Fall Foliage Photography Tips

It is no secret that the fall / autumn season attracts many photographers to the most scenic locations of the world. Photographing fall foliage is a rewarding experience, as it presents very unique opportunities when capturing the transformation of otherwise boring locations into stunning displays of color. I have been photographing fall colors for many years now and I have been fortunate to acquire some knowledge on what specific tools and photography techniques work best in the field. Having just come back from a fall photography workshop in southwest Colorado, where I had a chance to spend time with some amazing photographers from all over the US, I wanted to share a few tips with our readers on how to best capture fall foliage.

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Why Hyperfocal Distance Charts Are Wrong

One of the most misunderstood parts about landscape photography is the correct way to fit your entire scene within a photo’s depth of field. Where do you focus? What aperture should you use? You might think that these questions are easy to answer with a hyperfocal distance chart, where you provide your focal length and aperture, and the chart tells you exactly where to focus. There’s only one hiccup — if you want the sharpest possible results, these charts are spectacularly wrong. For most landscape and architectural photographers, that’s a big deal. This article explains everything about hyperfocal distance charts: what they are, why they fail, and where to focus instead.

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How to Focus in Macro Photography

If you’re trying to photograph the small world of plants and bugs, you’ll face plenty of challenges along the way. Macro photography is a difficult genre — you’re pushing up against the physical limits of depth of field, diffraction, and motion blur. Naturally, focusing in macro photography isn’t an easy task, but it’s a crucial one. How do you optimize your focusing technique for capturing small subjects? The answer depends upon exactly what you’re photographing.

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Semi-Automatic Camera Modes Explained

It’s common to think that most professional photographers, or all professional photographers, shoot in manual mode, for the simple reason that it offers the greatest possible control over a photo. Why would you leave your camera to make important decisions without your input? However, as valuable as manual mode is, you may not need to use it 100% of the time — even as an advanced photographer. In this article, I’ll explain semi-automatic modes and cover some cases where they can be the quickest option available, without sacrificing any control over your settings.

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How to Photograph Fireworks

Wondering about photographing fireworks on 4th of July, New Year or some other event / occasion? In this article, I will provide some basic tips on how to best capture fireworks, what type of equipment to use and what camera settings to use during the process. Although the process is relatively simple, there are some things that might be worth considering, as outlined below.

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What is the Second Sunset?

In the second of a series of follow-up articles to The Quality of Light, I have posted this article to share a series of photographs (along with the thought processes behind them) that captures the quintessence of a well-known and spectacular light display, often referred to as the ‘Second Sunset’. As with many of my previous articles, my goal with this post is to encourage my fellow photographers to be inspired by light, composition, and mood, to spur them to explore their creative potential, and to get out and make beautiful photographs.

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