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 […]

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; […]

GoPro Hero3 Video/Stills Modes Illustrated ____ 2013/10

I’ve been a GoPro fan since they introduced their fish-eye lens—and particularly since the Hero2 intro—when I thought the quality was good enough to actually buy one. The wide-angle, distorted view of the GoPro perfectly captures the essence of the POV (point-of-view) video action cam. The Hero3 Black Edition—in many ways 2x better than the […]

Photo Tip: Microsoft ICE for panoramas ____ 2013/09

For Windows users—Vista, XP, Windows 7 or 8—Microsoft ICE (Image Composite Editor), version 1.4.4, generates single or multi-row panoramas with a speed and accuracy that leaves Photoshop eating dust. It’s a free, no-frills, stand-alone application. I downloaded it last month after having some difficulty with Elements 10’s Photomerge Panorama. Re-loading Elements 10, as well as […]