As with many photographers, being able to manipulate natural light is essential for the images I produce. Whether I’m close to home, walking through the Parisian boulevards, or exploring entirely new places, my favorite activity is chasing and framing the ‘perfect’ light. My obsession with light goes back to my very first interaction with photography as a student of Art History in Granada. I spent hours looking at images – not only photographs but also building plans, façades, engravings and, especially, paintings. I became fascinated by the power of a static image – not just in its ability to tell a story, but in how light can be used within it to convey a message or feeling.
How is it that two photographers can visit the same landscape at the same time, but one of them manages to take a better photo? It’s not about equipment, or camera settings, or sharpness. Instead, it’s all about composition. Composition is how you arrange the elements of your photograph to guide a viewer’s eye. How do you pick a good composition for your landscape photos? There are two elements that matter more than anything else: simplicity and visual weight. In this article, I’ll share some tips for using them correctly.
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.
There are only so many locations around me that I have deemed worthy of visiting, of spending time to find a composition. With this in mind, I am left with a choice: travel multiple hours away, or simply revisit locations multiple times a year. Quitting is never an option. Even though I do travel hours away at times – such as when I went camping in Western Pennsylvania or when I went out to Wyoming – I am more often inclined to travel short distances, spending the entire day exploring the same location. Why would a person do this, besides saving for gas?
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.
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.
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.
One of the most frequently asked questions from our readers and friends is related to picking a good monitor for photography needs. It seems like the market is over-saturated with all kinds of choices, whether you visit a local store or browse through an online catalog. There are so many monitors for different budgets, and some models might leave you wondering why they are so expensive compared to others. Since there is no simple answer to this question, I decided to write a detailed article with my personal recommendations.
Many beginner photographers often wonder what camera settings they should use to get the best possible results with their current camera gear. While there is no set rule for camera settings that work well in every shooting environment, I noticed that there are some settings that I personally set on every camera I use, which are universal across all brands of cameras on the market. These are the “base” settings I set initially – once they are done, I rarely ever revisit them. In addition, there are particular camera modes that make the process of capturing images easier or quicker, especially for someone who is just starting out. Let’s go through these common camera settings in more detail!
Color calibration should definitely be an essential part of every photographer’s workflow. Otherwise, it is impossible to tell whether the colors that are displayed by your monitor are truly accurate and whether what you see will match the print. There are many ways to do it and the process can be fairly simple or complex, depending on how accurate you want to reproduce the colors and whether you are also printing your work in-house. The simple method involves a hardware colorimeter for color profiling your monitor for everyday photo editing and image viewing, and there is also an end-to-end professional-grade color profiling that requires very concise calibration of all display and output devices, such as printers. In this article, I will only focus on simple methods to make your monitor show more or less accurate colors, so that you could rely on it for everyday photography needs.