Dec 18, 2010
Besides cameras and lenses, a solid tripod is one of the most important investments for a nature photographer. High quality nature photography is rarely achieved when hand holding your camera. A tripod is essential for low light photography during the morning, evening and twilight, for shooting wildlife, for macro photography and for experimenting with impressionistic or abstract photography. It not only steadies your shooting equipment for maximum image quality, it also will help you discover the world of photography. You are more likely to step back, think and compose the photograph. You will ask yourself: do I have a straight horizon, do I have sufficient depth of field or shall I open up the aperture setting to minimize depth of field, are there distracting elements in the foreground or background of my composition, do I even have a composition?
I personally prefer a ball-and-socket head with quick release for easy and fast adjustments. My camera tripod has no center column and the legs spread independently for setup on uneven terrain. The tripod collapses to almost ground level allowing me to explore ground level objects and photograph from different angles and perspectives. It is not too heavy for the longer photo excursions and trips I often pursue in the national and state parks of New England.
Dec 12, 2010
In this landscape photograph of a blue dinghy on Cape Cod, I was challenged by difficult lighting conditions due to the high contrast of the sunset sky and the darker landscape scenery of the marsh, blue boat and surrounding woods. Metering on the boat and landscape scenery provided detail and good exposure in that area but blew out the beautiful sky colors because of the longer exposure time. On the other hand, metering on the sunset sky provided nice sky and cloud colors but little to no detail in the landscape and blue boat because of the shorter exposure time. As a solution I used the exposure time from focusing and metering on the blue boat, that provided a correct exposure setting for the marsh landscape and dinghy in the foreground. I then hand-held a 1 stop graduated neutral density filter in front of my lens, placing it near the edge where sky and landscape met. Applying the 1 stop split neutral density filter reduced the incoming light on the sky and clouds above the horizon, maintaining its colors while the blue fishing boat, marshland, wooden area, and sky reflection in the river were correctly exposed for best landscape photography impact with strong foreground composition.
Dec 11, 2010
In the past decade I considered the peaking fall foliage in October pretty much the end of my yearly photography efforts. Usually I used November and December to catch up on my digital photography files until the first snow arrived. This year was different and in early November I discovered tree leaf photography for myself. It all started on my front porch when I was pleasantly surprised to find a decaying gray leaf on a pile of brown leaves. It made a fantastic post autumn foliage photograph and inspired me to head out into the field looking for more. I figured the Boston Arnold Arboretum would suit my nature photography quest well. Once again the arboretum did not let me down! I found beautiful colored leaves at the edge of the ponds and in the carpeted wooden areas. Leaves in all colors and forms made this photographic discovery truly exhilarating. Best of all, it extended my nature photography journey further into the year making the cold weather more bearable.
Dec 4, 2010
Dec 1, 2010
Tips for Great Pictures, Digital photography tips and techniques that help you take better pictures. Top10 plus photo tips for taking great photos of wildlife at your hand for stunning wildlife photography.