2017 Favorite Images              2018/01

No kayak trips, a couple of backpack overnights, bird photography in May and June and bird photography by kayak in the Fall. A thin year, but one that yielded keepers none-the-less. Oh, and every image here was shot with the tiny Sony a6300, using Canon, Sony or Rokinon lenses. Light in the Forest. I called […]

2016 Favorite Images              2017/01

Significantly for 2016, I purchased the cropped-frame Sony a6300 for backpacking, video and added reach in bird photography. I then discovered the image IQ was as good as my Canon 5D III at moderate ISO’s, so I used it preferentially for landscapes. The proof is below, where seven of eleven favorite images came from the […]

Lightning at Palouse Falls               2016/05

The flash of lightning greeted us as we emerged at dusk from a steep climb out of upper Palouse Canyon. My heart raced. Lightning isn’t unusual here, but this was a photo op not to be missed! I sped to the cliff overlooking Palouse Falls, a perfect ringside perch for the ensuing show. A lone […]

Patterns in Nature ___ 2015/08

Photographs of patterns in nature compel, soothe and mystify. Well-executed, they capture our attention. They trap our gaze, like Escher does, in endless loops. Examples are everywhere: bird flocks, butterfly wings, fish scales, animal hides, beach pebbles, snowflakes, bubbles in ice, gnarled wood, smoky hills, lichen close-ups. Armed with a telephoto or a macro lens, […]

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 […]

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, […]

Lightroom 5 HSL Panel: More Pop and Mystery ____ 2013/12

Last year (2012/09 Photo Tip), I wrote about using Lightroom Development tools to create Pop and Mystery in a photo. The gist: darken skies, selectively increase color saturation and increase contrast. Ansel Adams famously said the negative is the score, the print the performance. The RAW file you create in camera is a digital negative; […]

Background in Wildlife Photography ____ 2013/11

Photographing elk is much like other wildlife photography, in that background is often key. Early in October I was in Jasper National Park, Alberta, waiting for the weather to break for a planned kayak paddle of Maligne Lake. While I waited I met a friend, Norm Dougan, by coincidence, and for two days he graciously […]

Photo Tip: Foreground Elements _____ 2013/03

In the field, I often stalk through a potential photo op with the viewfinder glued to my eye, seeking just the right composition or perspective. If I plan well, I’m scouting before the light gets good—in the afternoon for a sunset shot, or the day before for the sunrise. What I’m scouting for is foreground. […]