In our last post, we discussed the where and when of being in a place to see the Northern Lights. If you missed it, find it here: https://photofocus.com/2017/12/07/lovely-lofoten-a-photographers-dream-destination-part-1/ We were in Lofoten, Norway, north of the Arctic Circle, but far enough south that the nights are dark enough to see this amazing display. It was September, within the optimal Northern Hemisphere fall and winter time frame of September to March. September also offered fall color and warmer temperatures than full on … [Read more...] about Shooting the Northern Lights in Lofoten: Lessons learned (Part 2)
Nature is extraordinarily complex and beautiful. It is easy to forget in our modern world just how powerful its forces are. Being a nature photographer presents constant, humbling reminders of this fact! A large part of what drives me is wanting to experience every facet of nature, then create and share images of these forces at work. In doing so, I am often going into potentially dangerous situations for me and my gear. In my part of the world, wildfires are a necessity to the health of our ecosystems. But, they are, to put it bluntly, … [Read more...] about Photographing a Dangerous and Extreme Force of Nature, Wildfires!
A few of the Photofocus authors will be together in Tampa, Florida next week, and we're photowalking, and we thought you might like to join us. Come on down before you go to work and we'll have a fun time making pictures and exploring the University of Tampa with our cameras, and maybe grab a bite to eat afterword. Jason Hahn, Vanelli, and Levi Sim will all be there. We're going to be on campus for sunrise, so this is an early meetup. We'll get together at 6:40am (who's idea was that???). Let's meet at the Glazer Children's Museum, and we'll … [Read more...] about Photofocus Photowalk: Tampa 12/6
A few of the Photofocus authors will be together in Tampa, Florida next week, and we're photowalking, and we thought you might like to join us. Come on down before you go to work and we'll have a fun time making pictures and exploring the University of Tampa with our cameras, and maybe grab a bite to eat afterword. Jason Hahn, Vanelli, and Levi Sim will all be there. We're going to be on campus for sunrise, so this is an early meetup. We'll get together at 6:40am (who's idea was that???). Let's meet at the Glazer Children's Museum, and we'll … [Read more...] about Photofocus Photowalk: Tampa, 12/6/17
Group pictures can be intimidating. All the skills you've mastered to make a person look great in a picture now have to be applied to a bunch of folks all at once, and that's not easy. Let me share a simple idea about posing groups that will help you arrange your subjects in a pleasing composition. This is a principle that you can apply to any size group. Go for Pyramids When you group people together, try to group them so that three faces make a triangle, and you can use the same face in multiple triangles. So you'll have little groups … [Read more...] about Portrait Tips: Pyramid Posing For Groups
There are places that can be too difficult to stay with a camera and shoot, there are events that are too dangerous to be around when they occur, and there are animals that are too shy of humans to ever get near to photograph. This is when photographers turn to using Photo or Camera Traps, a way to capture these types of images or video from a distance by remote control. In part 1 of this series, I covered the fundamentals of creating a simple remote camera trap. Now that you have that skill in your proverbial photography toolbox, let's … [Read more...] about Get Ready to Remote, Part 2: Advanced Camera Traps
Whether it’s of a bird or a person, eye contact in a photo engages and draws the viewer into the photo, creating a connection between them and the subject. As easy as it sounds to just shoot when the critter is looking at you, rarely in the great outdoors are we lucky enough to just walk up to our subject and grab an instant masterpiece image of it. Getting eye level and capturing the right type of eye contact for your composition requires thought, a careful approach, and attention not just to the subject, but everything going on around … [Read more...] about Get Eye Level to Make More Powerful Animal Photos
For the past several years, our Thanksgivings have been pretty low-key as a family. We sleep in, watch football and eat turkey. Needless to say, there's not much activity...unless you're in the kitchen. And while we've all seen tons of cooked turkey photos, I challenge you this Thanksgiving to go beyond the "arm's length" typical turkey feast photograph. Instead, focus on the details. Get Creative While capturing the turkey, stuffing and pumpkin pie is great, it can get a little boring. Muted tan and brown colors don't exactly scream … [Read more...] about A Low-Key Thanksgiving: Focus on the Details
Go out into the great outdoors. Find a place that animals like to hang out when people aren't around. Set up your camera to automatically take a photo of them when they do show up. Leave it there. Come back tomorrow to see if you got any shots. Repeat it all over again until you get the awesome shots you want of those shy, hard to photograph animals. Welcome to Remote Camera Traps! In previous articles, I've shared the different ways I've used Platypods in my photography. Possibly one of the best uses I have found is in helping set up a … [Read more...] about Get Ready to Remote, Part 1: Simple Camera Traps For Wildlife
Let's be clear on one important fact. I. Don't. Shoot. Weddings. Period. Back when film was photography's medium, I did my share of weddings. For the most part, it was fun. I took great satisfaction in recording a happy time for the couples and their families. Early on I noticed that the women of the bridal party were outwardly happy while, at the same time, wondering how they and been convinced or was it coerced into wearing hideous (their description not mine) eggplant or fuschia colored dresses that would never leave their closets until … [Read more...] about Bridesmaids and The Bride
Zoos are a great place to practice shooting (not a good word to use but this is a photography site) animals. The thing is, we all have great images of the lions, tigers, and bears (oh my). What about finding the less popular or, even better, the less seen shots? Capturing Details I recently had a couple of hours to wander the Gladys Porter Zoo in Brownsville, TX. It’s a very manageable zoo to walk in a short afternoon. Before I even got there I had an idea in my mind to only shoot details using my Canon 70-300mm lens. Yes, mine is an older … [Read more...] about Seeing Differently at the Zoo
Editor's Note: This is a guest post by Chris Anson. Check out his work right here. Here’s the challenge: Your drone can be flying along and all of a sudden you lose GPS signal or some other reason and your drone app tells you that it has changed to ATTI mode or it tells you that GPS mode is no longer working and tells you to switch to ATTI mode. What do you do? When this happens in an emergency situation and the pilot doesn’t have any experience in flying in ATTI mode, it often leads to crashes. What is ATTI Mode & Why is it … [Read more...] about Knowing How To Fly In ATTI Mode Might Save Your Drone
Autumn and Spring are great seasons for making cityscapes. The weather is cool but not cold, and the sun sets early so you can make nighttime pictures at a reasonable hour and there will still be plenty of traffic on the roads for making light trails. Shooting long exposure cityscapes is enjoyable and it's a great way to see your own city with fresh eyes. Let me share a few ideas that will help you have a better experience as you practice nighttime cityscapes. 1. Don't Get Hangry Not surprisingly, long exposures take a lot of time. Bring … [Read more...] about 4 Tips For Long Exposure Cityscapes
If you're like me, you get calls all the time to make portraits at your client's favorite park. The trouble is that your client doesn't think about the park as a place for pictures, they just think about them as a fun place with pretty things. Rose gardens are also highly requested spots. Let's look at the problems with parks and rose gardens and how to get around it. It's Just a Backdrop When it comes down to it, any location for portraiture is just a backdrop for your subject and its job is to be simple and not detract from the subject, … [Read more...] about Portrait Tips: Beware Of Parks
Recently I came across a thread on social media proclaiming all cemetery shoots were disrespectful and should be prohibited. Being a.) an artist and b.) someone who likes to debate everything, I was surprised by this stance. I'm endlessly fascinated by the stories in these places, the history, and the artistry of the headstones and statues. So, personally, it had never occurred to me that photography in a cemetery would be a bad thing. But, I understand how others might object, and I do have a personal set of guidelines to follow to make sure I … [Read more...] about Do’s and Don’ts of Photographing Cemeteries and Other Sacred Places
Photographing Venice during Carnival with Fuji-X cameras I recently had the opportunity to attend Chromasia's Venice Carnival photo tour led by my wife Bobbi Lane and our friend David Nightingale. All three of us are part of the Fuji-X team, and we're very passionate about our Fuji cameras! The 2016 tour was a perfect opportunity to put the Fuji-X system to the test! Venice is an amazing city—evermore so during the period of time, just before Lent, known the world over as Carnival. This magical time, in a magical environment, offers splendid … [Read more...] about The Magic of Venice with Fuji-X
Tens of thousands of photographers are descending on New York City from around the world to attend Photo Plus Expo, the largest photography conference, and trade show in the Western Hemisphere. Several of our authors and editors will be there and we’d love to see you for a photowalk Friday evening and maybe a little refreshment afterward. (Register Now! The photo walk is Limited to 50 walkers) This year we’ve got a special opportunity to learn new skills. We’ll learn how to maximize any shooting opportunity by recording video footage along … [Read more...] about Photowalk Tonight @8pm In NYC
Being an outdoor/adventure/"hike all over the place" type of photographer, I love any gear that can do more than one job, without weighing a ton. When you have to backpack everything in, you learn to simplify and use as much multipurpose, lightweight gear as possible. One trick I have learned is to turn my Oben travel tripod into a light stand for flashes or continuous lights. At just a few pounds, it's light enough to hike with, and serves double duty as either a camera or flash support. This versatility means it gets a place in my pack, … [Read more...] about How to Transform Your Travel Tripod into a Light Stand for Flashes
A classic pose you can use to add variety to every shoot is a profile. This is done with the person's face looking 90 degrees to the side of the camera so that you see only the outline of the face. It's a striking picture, and you'll see that some of the best are of people who feel less confident about their nose size--big noses make beautiful profiles and you can help people feel good about it by practicing this kind of photograph. Really Practice It I wouldn't be surprised if the first time you make a profile picture you don't like the way … [Read more...] about Portrait Tips: Make Clean Profiles
Tens of thousands of photographers are descending on New York City from around the world to attend Photo Plus Expo, the largest photography conference, and trade show in the Western Hemisphere. Several of our authors and editors will be there and we’d love to see you for a photowalk Friday evening and maybe a little refreshment afterward. (Register Now! The photo walk is Limited to 50 walkers) This year we’ve got a special opportunity to learn new skills. We’ll learn how to maximize any shooting opportunity by recording video footage along … [Read more...] about NYC Photowalk With Photofocus, Macphun, & Adobe Stock This Friday @8pm
I started photography with a K1000 camera which required manual focus and had a cat's eye style focusing screen. It was very apparent when I was focused at the wrong distance because the top and bottom halves of the image were misaligned and fuzzy looking. Digital SLR's, however, don't have this kind of screen and manually focusing them is difficult. Mirrorless cameras have something better: Focus Peaking. I love using Lensbaby lenses, which are all manual focus, and I love that focus peaking lets me get super sharp images even when manually … [Read more...] about Mirrorless Camera Maniac: Focus Peaking
The thing is, there are stellar celestial events every month and wherever you live you're sure to be able to make a great picture. I've just moved to Nampa, Idaho, and I'm invigorated by a new place and new things to photograph. However, I bet there are plenty of interesting things to see right where you live, too. Most Importantly: Just Do It I know how it is: you're rushing to get your work done on Friday so you can go out and make a picture in the evening or head out on a trip with your family for the weekend, but no matter how focused you … [Read more...] about Learn To Love Lemonade
Most photographers will tell you that a good tripod is one of the most important equipment investments you can make for your photography. But, just owning one isn't enough to give you better pictures. You have to have the right one to fit your photography, as well as know how to use it properly. For as much time as we spend discussing and dissecting our settings, we often don't think about the physical mechanics of how we take pictures. Over the years of running photo workshops and pursuing my own photos, I have seen many mistakes and … [Read more...] about Avoid These Tripod Trip Ups!
Anytime you turn your subject's face away from the camera, you run the risk of emphasizing the size of her nose, and in all the pictures I've ever made, no one has ever said, "I wish you'd made my nose look bigger." The most important thing in a portrait is usually the eyes but placing your camera in the wrong position will make the nose distract from the eyes. Beware the Nose Lobe The trouble is that a person's nose may stick out past the profile of the cheek. When it does, it sticks out a little bit, kind of like the way the lobe of the ear … [Read more...] about Portrait Tips: Pose The Nose To Contain The Lobe
Editor's Note: This is a guest post by Leanne Cole, an incredible photographer from Melbourne, Australia. See more of her work here, and we hope to see more education from her in the future. Please welcome Leanne to Photofocus. If you look on social media you will find hundreds, thousands of images that are classed as long exposures. Instagram alone has almost 3.5 million images that use the hashtag #longexposure which helps to show how popular it is. There are many reasons why it is as well. What is a Long Exposure? In simple terms, it … [Read more...] about Why Long Exposure Photography?
I suspect that you need to shoot more pictures. I was recently teaching at a dude ranch in Montana (it was a marvelous week--I hope to see you next year) and the one thing each of my students needed to do was to shoot more pictures. People often notice that when I'm talking about the act of recording images with a camera I always say "Let's make a picture." This is 100% intentional. I do my best not to take pictures, but to make them together with the people I'm photographing, or to be intentional and contemplative when photographing … [Read more...] about Mirrorless Camera Maniac: Take–Make–Shoot
Photographing the Milky Way is remarkable because what you see on your camera is magnitudes more intricate than what you can visualize with your eyes. I was teaching a workshop in Montana the other day, and we took advantage of the big, clear, dark skies and it was so much fun to see people ooh and ahh over the images appearing on their cameras. With Autumn around the corner, it's a terrific time to take advantage of earlier sunsets and cool clear skies before the winter makes it a lot more difficult to stay out at nighttime. Here are some tips … [Read more...] about Mirrorless Camera Maniac: Tips For Shooting The Milky Way
Image credit – Jag_cz on Adobe Stock. These two videos are from my new class over at LinkedIn Learning... I'll share with you in a six-part article the entire part of the course about aerial panoramic images. You can see the series here as it's released on Photofocus or watch the whole class here. Configuring your drone for panoramic images and essential apps from Learning Aerial Photography with Drones by Richard Harrington and Francis Torres Note: If the video doesn’t show up at first, please reload the page. Shooting strategies … [Read more...] about Shooting Panoramic Images from a Drone
Using a fog machine indoors—especially in a small, unvented room—can be challenging. The fog can sometimes linger too long or move in front of your subject, causing a hazy image. Here’s how to control fog using a neat little product called Atmosphere Aerosol, a.k.a Fog in a Can. What is Atmosphere Aerosol? Atmosphere Aerosol looks like hairspray, but without the choking fumes. It enables photographers to add fog or haze during a shoot. It’s a safe, non-toxic, clear spray that won’t stain gowns, suits, uniforms or garments. How it … [Read more...] about Fog… in a can?
You've got to try this technique for your portraits and you'll find a great impact on your compositions. Zooming-in makes stuff appear closer, and so we usually use it for things that are far away that we can't get closer to, like football players playing a game, or far-off wildlife. But in this case, you should put your subjects far away on purpose and then zoom in. Zooming-In Makes the Background Smaller and Closer Not only does zooming-in make your subject appear closer, it also makes the background appear larger. That means that a small … [Read more...] about Portrait Tips: Run Away & Zoom-In