Creating Starbursts ____ 2015/07

Starbursts are light rays emanating from point light sources — from the sun, moon, streetlights, sunlit waterdrops or reflective surfaces. They are creative photographic elements that can enhance an image — adding drama to a dull sky, a focal point to a silhouette or waterdrop, a twinkle to street lights. Starbursts are created where light […]

Lightroom 6 Panoramas ____ 2015/06

I enjoy creating panoramas, but I wasn’t excited about the new Adobe Lightroom 6 (and CC) Merge Panorama feature. I get great results from Microsoft ICE (Image Composite Editor), which creates pans from TIFs or JPGs at a quality better than I generally need. So why change? The case for Lightroom’s Panorama Merge are speed, […]

Lightroom 6 HDR ____ 2015/05

I upgraded to Adobe Lightroom 6 with some trepidation, after reading about and not being impressed by the new features. Adobe touted HDR and Panorama Merge especially, and my thought was “so what?” I’m no HDR fan, and for panoramas I get great results with Microsoft ICE. What I wish for in Lightroom is more […]

Backpacking Tripod: Oben CT-2331 ____ 2014/08

After a long, long wait, I finally found a tripod that matched my spec for light-weight backpacking. I shoot while backpacking with a full-frame, Canon 5D Mark III, with lenses that range from a 14mm f/2.8 to a 70-200mm f/4 zoom. Body and lens, this is demanding stuff for a light-weight tripod. My criteria list […]

Bird Photography Audio Advantage ___ 2014/06

I started using audio to attract birds for photography three years ago, after participating in shoots with other photographers and experiencing the productive advantage audio reveals. By playing a recording of a target bird’s song, a shy bird can often be quickly drawn to within useful photographic range. It’s a powerful tool, a tool that […]

Chickadee Flight Shot Challenge _____ 2014/05

It’s prime bird photography time, and my backyard chestnut-backed chickadees had eggs that hatched in a homemade nesthole May 9th. It’s a good photo-op, sunlit in the late afternoon, and with birds that tolerate my nearby presence. I shot a few “portrait-type” shots of the birds landing at the hole with bugs or grubs in […]

Photographer Kayak: Necky Elias ____ 2014/04

I’ve been paddling a fiberglass Necky Elias for a year now and I’m constantly reminded of its suitability for photographers. Our needs are a bit different from other paddlers; those needs include ample stowage, ample hatch and cockpit openings, and maneuverability. Speed is rarely an issue. Open ocean suitability is a plus. The Necky Elias […]

Ultralight Camera Bag—Reconsidered ____ 2014/03

In recent years while backpacking, I stowed my Canon 5D in a Tamrac 3330 Aero Zoom30 (7½W x 5D x 8H external). The 7 oz. bag is the lightest I’ve found that meets the need of housing a full-frame camera with zoom lens attached. It’s cheap at $20 (Amazon). In the field, I use the […]

A Most Important Thing ____ 2014/02

Early on, nature photographers are taught the necessity of using a tripod. The great teacher John Shaw calls the tripod a crucial, best single accessory. Pros use tripods. With a tripod you slow down, take control and become a better photographer. You can better fine tune compositions, pick and choose elements like line and shape, […]

2013 Favorite Images Critique ____ 2014/01

I wasn’t thinking I had many favorites when I created a 2013_best_images Collection in Lightroom from the filtered three-star-or-better images of 2013. But I found many I was quite fond of, and in a couple short sessions whittled those to ten. Often it’s the field experience as much as the composition that yields a favorite, […]