- 5 Tips for Shooting Breathtaking Landscape Photos
- On Assignment for National Geographic: Photographing Sharks and Sea Turtles (Video)
- Interesting Photo of the Day: Abraham Lake Winterscape
- Welcome to Doha: A Gorgeous Timelapse of a City in Qatar (Video)
- How to Use Artificial Lighting for Sunset Photography (Video)
Posted: 09 May 2014 10:18 PM PDT
Discover the secrets to harnessing natural light all day long for your best landscape photos yet with five tips from award-winning photographer Rick Sammon. Plus, one fortunate photographer will be given Rick’s online Craftsy class Landscape Photography: Shooting From Dusk to Dawn.
1. Let someone know your plan and pack appropriately.
Often times remote landscape shoots aren’t great places for cell phone reception. So consider a map and let someone (a friend, a family member or a park ranger) know where you’re going to shoot and when you plan on being finished. That way, in case something happens, they know where to look for you. Also, don’t take a bunch of different lenses, as you may be walking far, and they get heavy fast! Plus, adding this constraint can really force you to see the scene in new ways.
2. Arrive in time to catch blue light and golden light.
Make the most of the bluish lighting during twilight and the twenty minutes right before sunrise and just after sunset for capturing scenes in a vibrant, stunning fashion. To get the best photos during this time of day you’ll want to: shoot in manual mode for better control over exposure, use a longer exposure than normal daytime photos, and be sure your camera is stabilized to prevent shake. The golden hour shortly after sunrise or before sunset produces soft, diffused light, allowing more dynamic colors to show. When shooting during the magic hour, use a wide aperture, and set your white balance to cloudy.
3. Set your depth of field for the best results.
Use a wide-angle lens, a relatively small aperture, like f/16 or f/22, and focus one third of the way into the scene (imagine standing at the end of a football field and focusing on the 33 yard line). This will allow you to keep everything, from around three feet away from your camera to the far distance, in focus.
4. Don’t use a polarizing filter for panoramas.
When shooting a panorama do not use a polarizing filter, because it will cause an uneven banding effect as you move through your range of shots. This might make your sky look strange or create flares from the sun if it’s in front of you.
5. Create the most intriguing composition.
Don’t forget, cropping is your final chance to edit your composition. Make sure your subject isn’t in the exact center of your composition, as the viewer’s eye will get stuck on it; off-center works much better. Once you’ve cropped your piece, draw attention to your main subject by darkening the edges of your scene just a bit to create a vignette.
Now that you have a few ideas for improving your landscape photography, take the next step when you see here for a chance to take Rick Sammon’s online Craftsy class. Join an adventure through stunning vistas (in the convenience of your home!) as Rick reveals essential lens, filter, and framing strategies for capturing superior landscape photos during sunrise, midday, and sundown. You’ll even get HDR, panorama, and black-and-white style tips to elevate your shots. Rick will be there every step of the way to answer any questions you have and provide helpful critiques of your photos.
What are some of your favorite tips for shooting landscapes during sunset?
One photographer will be randomly selected on May 19, 2014 at midnight MT.
This has been a sponsored post kindly brought to us by Craftsy.
Posted: 09 May 2014 05:10 PM PDT
As a child, photographer Thomas P. Peschak used to dream about the ocean—about sharks and sea turtles and reefs teeming with colorful fish and other interesting aquatic creatures. As he grew older and became a marine biologist, however, Peschak learned a terrible truth: as a result of overfishing and pollution, the ocean is no longer teeming with life except in small, isolated pockets.
The following video documents Peschak’s amazing experiences as he photographs two of these remote ocean ecosystems on assignment for National Geographic:
An atoll is a ring-shaped island that surrounds an inner lagoon; atolls are composed almost entirely of coral reef and house huge numbers of sea creatures in their private ecosystems. Located in the middle of the Indian Ocean’s Mozambique Channel, the two atolls featured in the video are called Bassas da India and Europa. Peschak calls them “holy grail” atolls because they have been protected from human destruction and may well represent some of the only examples of how life was hundreds of years ago in the ocean’s prime.
The Europa atoll is a sort of “mangrove paradise” where the trees’ tangled roots shelter a wide variety of sea creatures within its lagoon, including sharks, fish, and most importantly, green sea turtles. Since Europa is probably the most important mating and nursery area for green sea turtles in the Indian Ocean, Peschak’s assignment was to photograph them. However, he found them to be particularly elusive.
Photographing the Bassas Da India atoll, which is younger than Europa, boasts no beaches or mangroves, and disappears almost entirely at high tide, was a remarkably different experience for Peschak. He describes Bassas as an “intimidating” place for its “isolated vastness and lack of dry land.” However, most visitors would consider Bassas intimidating because of the sheer number of sharks that patrol its waters.
Using only a studio light rigged to his boat near the water’s surface, Peschak swam among at least thirty mature sharks in the darkness, with sharks “following” him and “waltzing in and out of the light” all around him.
Undaunted by the unknowns of the black, open sea and the sharks brushing past him, Peschak captured a number of stunning images during his nighttime dive at Bassas, and his images were published alongside National Geographic’s April 2014 article about the expedition, which is ironically titled, “A Tale of Two Atolls.”
Go to full article: On Assignment for National Geographic: Photographing Sharks and Sea Turtles (Video)
Posted: 09 May 2014 02:36 PM PDT
In the stunning photograph below, photographer Chip Phillips has captured the beauty of a wintry Lake Abraham in Alberta, Canada. The perfectly composed image is just a sampling of Phillips’ portfolio, the contents of which quickly reveal Phillips’ distinct eye for natural beauty and an immense understanding of landscape photography:
With the geometric patterns of the icy lake adding interest to the image, and the colorfully interesting clouds acting as leading lines, alluring the viewers eye to the mountain in the background, “Abraham Lake Winterscape” is a truly enchanting capture.
Go to full article: Interesting Photo of the Day: Abraham Lake Winterscape
Posted: 09 May 2014 12:53 PM PDT
Timelapse makers are getting better and better at their craft, as evidenced in this latest work, Welcome To Doha, by Michael Shainblum and Brian Hawkins. The timelapse, which goes on a journey through the stunning city of Doha, located in Qatar, is comprised of tens–if not hundreds–of thousands of still photographs which were painstakingly edited together to create the visual masterpiece you see below:
What sets this particular timelapse apart from many others is some of the advanced techniques used throughout film such as the inclusion of hyperlapse footage, which means the tripod had to be repositioned and recomposed in between every single frame.
Another noteworthy highlight from Welcome To Doha is the shots where the brightly lit daytime sky fades to night, an accomplishment that requires constant supervision and adjustments to exposure time to ensure all the photos turn out. A lot of the pan and fade shots were either added in post production using software such as Adobe Premier and After Effects or done in camera with devices like the Dynamic Perception Dollies and eMotimo Motion Control Robots.
Go to full article: Welcome to Doha: A Gorgeous Timelapse of a City in Qatar (Video)
Posted: 09 May 2014 10:41 AM PDT
Sometimes you want to shoot a sunset. Other times you want to use the sunset light on your subjects. It’s hard to get both—you need an artificial rig facing the sunset, and you need to balance your levels so the artificial light doesn’t drown out the beautiful sunset colors behind. That’s where the RFi Speedlight Speedring can make things easy, according to this video:
It’s undoubtedly easier to work with a single light stand instead of several. Going for a broad softbox can often make your life simpler. You can manipulate whether it’s close or far and adjust the level of your flash, depending on the sun’s strength and the frame you’re shooting for, as Ning Wong demonstrates in the video.
Go to full article: How to Use Artificial Lighting for Sunset Photography (Video)
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