Well, Postcards From The Woods just didn’t seem appropriate. It’s not all foreign travel for Alpha Whiskey, though (well, mostly it is). Sometimes I’m happy to amble through the forest on a bright and breezy weekend afternoon. And while it was more about the walk than the photography I thought I would try to demonstrate how even the most ordinary of environments can provide interesting photographic opportunities. We can all marvel at stunning vistas captured from a mountaintop at sunrise but that’s been done to death. Real creativity comes from challenging yourself to reveal something different from the places and subjects you see everyday. I’m not claiming to have that creativity myself but I’m willing to give it a try.
Cityscape photography has become increasingly popular in recent years as downtown revival and walkability have been prioritized by city governments. Humans are intrinsically attracted to the patterns, lines, and vivacity of urban landscape images. Additionally, photographing cityscapes requires only a modest investment in camera gear, with a sturdy tripod and a decent wide-to-normal zoom lens being the most critical. Having spent the past five years living close to bustling city centers I have come to love photographing cityscapes. Research and trial-and-error are my teachers. In this article, I will share some common mistakes made by cityscape photographers, including several tips on how to take better cityscape photos yourself.
This post is the second in a three-part series dedicated to teaching sports photography at all levels of competency. In part one I covered the basics for photographers who are just getting started. This article will focus on intermediate amateurs who have masted the basics, and want to gain additional competency to bring their images to the next level. The final part will be geared towards advanced amateurs looking to build a portfolio.
Did you know that most modern digital cameras have the ability to set ISO automatically? Back in the film days, you would drop a roll of film into your camera and your ISO, or ASA as it was known back then, would be fixed for the entire roll. With digital, not only can you change your ISO on the fly, but you can also set your camera to adjust it automatically. In this article, we will explore ISO Auto in detail and learn how to you use it with different shooting modes of your camera. In addition, we will discuss scenarios where Auto ISO is advantageous and situations when setting ISO manually is more appropriate.
Along with normal how-to articles and essays, I’ve always liked reading and writing very technical, nitty-gritty articles about photography — sometimes, articles on topics that rarely come up while actually taking pictures. In fact, I usually don’t even use my own sharpest aperture charts in the field, as useful as they are, since I don’t like carrying around charts. So, then, does all that technical stuff matter? Is it even worth talking about in the first place? These questions are very important to ask, since most people don’t want waste their time on topics that are unnecessary for their photography — do these articles actually help? There are no easy answers, but a recent trip I took to Death Valley makes a compelling argument for why some of this highly-technical information really does matter.
One of the areas within the camera that rarely ever gets touched, is the camera software, also known as “firmware”. Most modern electronic gadgets provide the ability to update their firmware by downloading fixes and updates through manufacturers’ websites and applying those updates on the devices. The firmware updates not only provide important fixes for identified bugs, but also provide brand new features that were absent when the device was shipped from the manufacturer. This ability to be able to update and run the latest version of firmware has become a standard among DLSR manufacturers, allowing end users to run the latest and greatest firmware on their cameras.
Four seasons is a marvelous gift of our planet to landscape photographers, at least in certain parts of the world. In the past, I preferred anything but winter. I always impatiently awaited fall colors, peaking around late October and beginning of November, or the lush green tones of mid-April. But in the past few years, I learned to love winter too. Well at least when there is snow and frost. Here are my tips on how to photograph snow in cold weather.
This post is the first of a three-part series dedicated to teaching sports photography at all levels of competency. In part one I will cover the basics for photographers who are just getting started. Part two will focus on gaining competency for those who have mastered the basics. The final part will be geared towards serious amateurs looking to build a portfolio.
When taking pictures, one of the biggest frustrations one can experience is camera shake, which often happens as a result of the way the camera is held at lower shutter speeds. Properly hand-holding a camera can drastically reduce human-induced camera shake and result in many more sharp images and keepers. In this article, we will discuss a few different ways to hold a camera, which will hopefully reduce and potentially even eliminate unwanted blurry images when you are shooting in the field.
In the past, bird photography was reserved for those with very deep pockets. With long prime lenses costing more than $8000, their high prices excluded those of us with more modest budgets from the party. However, with the advent of relatively inexpensive super-zoom lenses from Sigma and Tamron, and even some from the mirrorless camera makers, it is much easier to get into bird photography these days. In this article, I want to give you some bird photography tips for creating compelling images of these beautiful creatures. I will talk briefly about gear but will focus more on the techniques for capturing great images of birds.