10 Lessons For Your Best Landscape Photographs

Follow these tips and techniques for more creative compositions of the natural world
Landscape Photo 4
“Landscape photography is the supreme test of the photographer—and often the supreme disappointment.” —ANSEL ADAMS Landscape photography can be great fun, but when we get back home and look at our images on our computers, we sometimes ask ourselves, “What was I thinking?” or, “How did I make that mistake?” It’s difficult to capture... Read more

Night Light

Create stunning landscape astrophotography images
Astrophotography 3
The Tablelands Sky Exposure: Star-stacked blend of 10 exposures, each at 14mm, ISO 12800, ƒ/2.8, 10 seconds Foreground Exposure: Foreground Exposure: Blend of two exposures, each at ƒ/2.8, ISO 1600, 8 minutes. Nikon D810A, Nikkor 14-24mm ƒ/2.8 Get ready to stay up all night taking in the wonder of the stars. Astrophotography, which is technique of... Read more

Seven Tips For Awesome Road-Trip Pictures

Everywhere is within walking distance if you have the time.
Comedian Steven Wright once said, “Everywhere is within walking distance if you have the time.” Substitute the word “driving” for “walking” and you’ll see why road trips are a great way to see, experience, enjoy—and of course—photograph roadside America (or whatever country in which you are driving). Road trips offer photographers... Read more

Seeing In Black-And-White

How to identify the elements that make for better black-and-white photographs
Seeing Black-and-White 2
“Learn to see in black-and-white.” Hang around with photographers long enough, and it’s a phrase you’re sure to hear repeated. It’s supposed to be a truism about how to make good black-and-white images. First, they say, you have to learn to see in black-and-white. But how, exactly, does a person with color vision living in... Read more

Harnessing The Power Of HDR

Rescue detail in high-contrast scenes with this simple technique
HDR Basics 1
There’s a common misunderstanding about what HDR (High Dynamic Range) photography actually means, and what it was designed to do. HDR is often confused with tone mapping, a technique that simulates an extended dynamic range by reducing contrast in an image while brightening and saturating colors. Tone mapping is a way to tackle overly high contrast... Read more

For The Ultimate Polarization Effect, Polarize Your Lights!

For eliminating reflections and maximizing color and detail, nothing beats cross polarizing the light and the lens.
For The Ultimate Polarization Effect, Polarize Your Lights!
When I mention the use of a polarizing filter, what’s the first thing you think of? Chances are, it’s probably a circular polarizer—a glass filter that attaches to the front of your lens and can be rotated to modulate the filter’s effect—which is usually to eliminate strong glare from scenes, or to make blue skies darker in outdoor pictures. But... Read more

Keep Your Image Files From Being Corrupted In Camera

A few simple steps can protect your data and prevent the loss of a one-in-a-million shot
Keep Your Image Files From Being Corrupted In Camera
If you’re anything like me, you’ve got stacks of old media cards lying around. Be they SD or CompactFlash, these cards in my camera cabinet range in size from 1GB to 256GB, with vintages from 2006 to just last week. The smaller the card, generally speaking, the older it is. Every once in a while, depending on what I’m shooting, I might grab one... Read more

Better Portraits Through Overexposure

Overexpose ambient light or on-camera flash for beautiful skin and better high-key portraits
Better Portraits Through Overexposure
I’ve found that in a lot of portrait situations—particularly in natural light, or naturally high-key situations, or when I’m using a light source such as a flash on or very close to the camera—I’m happiest with the results if I subtly overexpose the images. The camera meter might suggest, for instance, that the correct exposure is 1/125th... Read more

High-Speed Portraits

Using fast shutter speeds with flash for creative images
High-Speed Portraits
The use of a large diffuser and fast shutter speed allows for balanced light in what otherwise would have been a very harsh, backlit image. ƒ/1.4, 1/1600 sec., ISO 125 © Tom Bol You never stop learning in this business. As photographers, we spend years mastering our craft, and just when we think we get it, new technology is introduced, and we’re... Read more

How To Be A Second Shooter

Mastering wedding photography usually starts by apprenticing as a second shooter, a position that can sometimes make or break a wedding shoot
How To Be A Second Shooter
Capturing a wedding is one of the most important photographic assignments, because it is impossible to re-create a wedding and the images are cherished not only by the bride and groom, but by their families and offspring, often for generations to come. While most people book a photographer for their portfolio, skills and personality, they don’t realize... Read more

Which TTL Metering Mode Should I Use?

Understanding how a DSLR’s light meter works is the first step toward more accurate exposures
Which TTL Metering Mode Should I Use?
Whether you’re shooting a fully programmed automatic exposure or using modes such as Aperture Priority and Shutter Priority, or even if you’re setting exposures manually, in all cases you’re relying on your camera’s through-the-lens light metering capabilities to determine the correct exposure. A DSLR’s TTL meter measures the amount of light... Read more

Telling A Story With Portraits

An editorial approach to portrait work can yield amazing results
Telling A Story With Portraits
The most meaningful portraits tell a story; they not only memorialize a person at a specific time and place, they give us insight into that person as well. Really great portraits tell us as much about the photographer as the person they photographed. The significance of the portrait you take today may not reveal itself for years and the portraits we... Read more