Photo Tip: Create Pop and Mystery in Lightroom 4 ____ 2012/09

A partly-cloudy western sky made me anxious as I approached the famed Mirror Lake at Indian Henry’s Hunting Ground, Mt. Rainier National Park. Could a mackerel-like sky develop? A lenticular cloud above the peak?  Would there even be sunset light on the mountain? This was my 10th or 11th trip to Indian Henry’s over many […]

Canon 5D Mark III: Autofocus (AI Servo) for Birds in Flight ____ 2012/05

Edited 5/16/2012 Re: Case 5 On a recent shoot with the Canon 5D Mark III, I was photographing a Yellow-rumped Warbler, hand-holding a 500mm f/4 from a kayak. Routine for me—and should be routine with the new 5D III—but the camera failed to pick up the bird. I was on the bird with a focus […]

Photo Tip: Shoot the Moon ____ 2012/03

The Photographers’s Ephemeris (TPE), moon and sun locations and more . . . Back in January I was very much impressed by a Lee Rentz photo of a perched Snowy Owl backed by a round red moon. Of many Snowy Owl images from this irruption year, this one struck me as unique. It also struck […]

Photo Tip: Milky Way Photography 101 ____ 2012/02

Last April in Baja I didn’t get it right photographing the heart of the Milky Way, located near the constellation Sagittarius. Baja is great dark sky country—dry and clear, with little light pollution. Through research I discovered Sagittarius would be in the SSE night sky in the morning just before dawn.  I rose in darkness […]

Photo Tip: Ligthroom 3 Black and White ____ 2011/11

If Ansel Adams had had the darkroom power of Lightroom 3 to manipulate black and white imaging, he’d do a leaping victory dance like Jack Black in The Big Year. Ansel artfully dodged and burned his negatives, and controlled light in the field with filters, one filter per shot. Today, digital age tools boost control […]

Photo Tip: Composition for Panoramas ____ 2011/09

I had some fun shooting panoramas in August. Some worked out well and some didn’t; there were a few pleasing surprises. A successful pano requires not so much mastery of the technical aspects, easily done, but thought and imagination with composition that is especially demanding with rapidly changing light or with people on the move. […]

Photo Tip: Reverse Stacked Lens Macro ____ 2011/08

With the prolonged gray-sky (Seattle) weather stretching into July, I started looking for subjects and techniques to get some sort of advantage: subjects I could pursue regardless of the gloom; techniques that eliminate a gray sky. Shooting under a gray sky is like photography in a studio moved outdoors—you just don’t want to point your […]

Clipped Bird Wing Repair in Photoshop Elememts 8 ____ 2011/07

A throw-away image rises to four-stars. I was in Eastern Washington last week at a Williamson’s Sapsucker nest site. They’re interesting birds, and unlike other woodpeckers, the male and female look completely different. The male is a black and white typical of woodpeckers, but the female is brown with spectacular white barring on the wings. […]

Photo Tip: Focus Stacking ____ 2011/06

Focus stacking is a relatively new digital imaging technique, especially useful for macro and scientific photography, and an occasional aid for landscapes and small portraits as well. It’s a clever digital answer to lens optic limits that conspire to demolish resolution and depth-of-field (DOF). Image resolution falls precipitously at high f-stops (f/22 and smaller). Depth-of-field […]

Photo Tip: Hot Spots and Spotlighting ___ 2010/12

Shortly after a late October rainstorm, I visited the Columbia Gorge for some weekday waterfall shooting. Our first stop was Elowah Falls, a .8-mile hike up a boot-worn trail. After a half-hour of scouting, we got down to shooting at this photogenic spot. To my knowledge, the first photographer to get the “shot” from this […]