landscape photographers

...now browsing by tag

 
 

Moon Watch: February 2013

Sunday, February 24th, 2013

February will have many opportunities to shoot the moon. On February 25, the moon will rise at the beginning of the blue hour and it will rise at the end of the blue hour on February 26.

Location: Miami, FL (All Times EST)
Sun Moon
Date/Phase Rise Set Rise Set
Feb 24/99% 6:48 AM 6:20 PM 5:29 PM 5:43 AM
Feb 25/Full 6:47 AM 6:20 PM 6:25 PM 6:21 AM
Feb 26/99% 6:46 AM 6:21 PM 7:22 PM 6:58 AM

View my posts How to Shoot the Moon, Night Photography, Night Photography Tricks Revealed, and Video: How to Shoot the Moon.

Review: Digital Landscape Photography

Saturday, June 30th, 2012

Summary: I highly recommend Digital Landscape Photography by John and Barbara Gerlach. If you are at all interested in landscape photography, get this book! Digital Landscape Photography covers cameras, lenses, exposure, composition, HDR, and panoramas.

Table of Contents

  • Chapter 1. Landscapes are Everywhere
  • Chapter 2. Cameras and Accessories
  • Chapter 3. Choosing and Using Lenses
  • Chapter 4. Mastering Exposure
  • Chapter 5. Techniques for Sharp Images
  • Chapter 6. Light on the Landscape
  • Chapter 7. Composing Pleasing Images
  • Chapter 8. Special Subjects
  • Chapter 9. High Dynamic Range Images
  • Chapter 10. Panoramas

Review: The chapter on cameras and accessories emphasizes investing in a camera system not just the camera. The authors recommend Canon and Nikon cameras because both brands have an excellent selection of lenses and accessories. This is the same advice that I give my students. The book is filled with excellent tips such as how to use a back button to auto-focus rather than having the shutter button initiate the auto-focus function. 34 out of 36 customer reviews on Amazon, give Digital Landscape Photography 4 stars and above with 26 5 star reviews. This is an outstanding book that is clearly written and informative. Click to continue »

Moon Watch: May 2012

Friday, April 20th, 2012

There will be four opportunities to shoot the moon in May. On May 5 the moon will rise before the beginning of the blue hour and on May 6 the moon will rise at the end. The blue hour is the time immediately after the sun sets and the sky turns a deep blue. The moon will officially become full Saturday (May 5) at 11:35 p.m. EDT. Because this month’s full moon coincides with the moon’s perigee, its closest approach to Earth, it will also be the year’s biggest.

Location: Miami, FL (All Times EST)
Sun Moon
Date/Phase Rise Set Rise Set
May 4/97% 6:41 AM 7:54 PM 6:33 PM 5:13 AM
May 5/Full 6:40 AM 7:55 PM 7:42 PM 6:00 AM
May 6/100% 6:39 AM 7:56 PM 8:51 PM 6:53 AM
May 7/97% 6:39 AM 7:56 PM 9:57 PM 7:52 AM

Read my posts How to Shoot the Moon, Night Photography, and Night Photography Tricks Revealed.

Night Photography

Saturday, March 31st, 2012

Nighttime is one of my favorite times to take photographs. There is always the element of surprise! Long exposures make it possible for your camera to record something that you can’t even see. Click on the thumbnails to see the larger versions in a lightbox.

17th Street Causeway BridgeThe only caveat for shooting at night is that most of the automated features of your camera will not work and you really need to use your camera in Manual mode and understand the relationship between ISO, speed, and aperture. When I’m taking photos at night, I try to take two of the three settings out of the equation. Since it is difficult to focus at night, the first thing I do is to stop down my lens to a small aperture such as f/8, f/11, or f/16. This increases the depth of field so that focus is not so critical, i.e. the greater the depth of field, the more of the subject will be in focus. Next I set the ISO at the optimum of my camera. Since I have a Canon camera, I set the ISO to 100. If you have a Nikon, set the ISO to 200 instead. The reason for using the camera’s optimum ISO is to reduce noise. Long exposures are inherently noisy so it is important to do as much as possible to reduce noise. Sometimes you will have to increase the ISO to get the shot. The duration of the shot is the main thing that you will use to get the exposure. Increase or decrease the shutter speed until you get the correct exposure. Click to continue »

Video: HDR & IR Photographs

Sunday, March 11th, 2012

I uploaded an HD video compilation of some of my high dynamic range (HDR) and infrared (IR) photographs. I created the music using Sony Acid. Hope you enjoy.


Use the following links to find out more about HDR and IR:

Review: The Digital Photography Book, Part 4

Friday, March 9th, 2012

The Digital Photography Book, Part 4Summary: The Digital Photography Book, Part 4 by Scott Kelby is a worthy addition to his series of digital photography books. It picks up where volume 3 left off and, like the other books in the series, contains many useful tips written in a non-technical, conversational style.

Scott Kelby, author of The Digital Photography Book(the best-selling digital photography book of all time), is back with another follow-up to his smash best-seller, with an entirely new book that picks up right where volume 3 left off. It’s even more of that “Ah ha, so that’ s how they do it,” straight-to-the-point, skip-the-techno-jargon stuff people can really use today, and that made volume 1 the world’s best-selling book on digital photography.

Click to continue »

Moon Watch: March 2012

Monday, February 13th, 2012

There will be many opportunities to shoot the moon in March. The moonrise/sunrise and moonset/sunset will be close to each other on the horizon. According to the Photographer’s Ephemeris, the optimum days will be on March 8 and 9. The timing could be better but it may be possible to photograph both the moonset and sun in the same area of the sky. Unfortunately, moonrise will not be during the blue hour but you might want to try to catch it when it rises.

Location: Miami, FL (All Times EST)
Sun Moon
Date/Phase Rise Set Rise Set
Mar 6/98% 6:39 AM 6:26 PM 4:54 PM 5:05 AM
Mar 7/Full 6:38 AM 6:26 PM 5:57 PM 5:46 AM
Mar 8/99% 6:37 AM 6:27 PM 7:01 PM 6:26 AM
Mar 9/96% 6:36 AM 6:27 PM 8:05 PM 7:08 PM
Mar 10/90% 6:43 AM 6:28 PM 9:11 PM 7:51 PM

Read my post “How to Shoot the Moon.”

Review: Manfrotto 460MG Magnesium Camera Head

Monday, January 16th, 2012

Manfrotto 460MG Magnesium Camera HeadSummary: I can’t recommend this head unless you have lightweight equipment. I really like the compact style but it droops too much with a long lens.

Review: I have used the Manfrotto 460MG Magnesium Camera Head with a variety of lenses and the head doesn’t tighten enough to prevent droop with a long lens. I really wanted to like this head because it is light and compact. I intended to use it for landscape and architectural work. On a positive note, it does use the same quick release plate as my other Manfrotto heads and works well with a wide angle lens. This head can also be twisted into some unusual positions.

Manufacturer’s Description: An innovative 3D Head unlike any other! Cast from lightweight magnesium, the head can be positioned in virtually any position to get the exact framing of the image. The lock-system using spring-loaded conical joints allows greater flexibility than any other 3D head whether mounted on a tripod centre column or lateral arm. The rubber grip knobs provide finger tip control and won’t poke you in the eye like conventional handles do. The 460Mg is the ideal head in combination with the Carbon Number One line for 35mm SLRs and medium format cameras. This replaces the Bogen Manfrotto 3437.

I am still searching for the best head to use for landscape and architectural work. If you have any suggestions, feel free to leave a comment.

Searching the web for the best product deals...

Product prices and availability are are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on amazon.com at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product.

Photography Tip: Levels

Friday, November 11th, 2011

You may have noticed the bubble levels on your tripod and tripod head. Use them! Each serves a different important function. The following is a list of level and tripod related tips:

  • The level on your tripod itself is used to ensure that your tripod doesn’t fall over. If you are using your tripod on uneven ground and the legs are different lengths, the level can be used to center the center column of the tripod over the legs which centers the weight of your camera over the legs so that the tripod will be less likely to tip over. If the tripod is level, the center column will be perpendicular to the ground.
  • Another important tip for your tripod is to always have one leg toward the lowest ground. Let’s say that you have positioned your tripod on a hill with the camera pointed up the hill. One tripod leg should be toward you rather than two legs. The single leg toward you will be more stable and the tripod less likely to tip over. The tendancy is to always have two legs toward yourself so that it is easier to approach the camera. This is the time to not do that.
  • Add weight to your tripod. I know, you bought a carbon fiber tripod so that it would be light and easy to carry but, while shooting, you may need some extra weight to keep it from moving. Tripods often have a hook on or near the center column of the tripod. I have a backpack camera case that I hang under my tripod.
  • The bubble level on your tripod head is used to ensure that your camera itself is level.
  • If you shoot a lot of landscapes, you will want to invest in one more kind of level. It fits in the hotshoe of your camera and can be more accurate than the round levels attached to your tripod head. I use a hot shoe level to make sure that the horizon is level. There are times when I am taking long exposures at night and I can’t even see the horizon. I use the level to make sure the camera is level and I know the horizon will also be level in the photograph. I only need to illuminate the level to see it, not the subject. Works great and I highly recommend that you get one.
  • For panoramas, you can use the hotshoe level to ensure that your lens is parallel to the gound. That is what I do when I am using my Rokinon Fisheye Lens to take a 360×180 degree panorama. I mount the camera on a Panosaurus panoramic head and make sure the tripod is level, the head is level, and finally that the camera is level and the lens is parallel to the ground. If everything isn’t level, software such as Hugin will have difficulties stitching the shots together. Click here to read my article about using a Panosaurus panoramic head to shoot a 360×180 degree panorama.

Landscape Photography Tips and Tricks to Achieve Professional Results!

Friday, October 28th, 2011
My Take: This is a good article that starts with 10 tips for beginners and ends with 10 tips for the more advanced. The suggestion of focusing 1/3 of the way into a scene may or may not work — the aperture that you select and the length of your lens will determine depth of field. The desktop app for The Photographer’s Ephemeris is free but the iOS app for iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch is $8.99. Unlike PhotoBuddy, The Photographer’s Ephemeris includes the direction the sun and moon will be from your current location and even corrects the times for sunrise, sunset, moonrise, and moonset according to your elevation.  To give a greater sense of depth, include something in the foreground, middle ground and background. For the advanced suggestions, I agree with exposing to the right but you should also turn on the “blinkies” so that you can easily see which areas are blown out. The author doesn’t mention the tip that I think is most important — experience everything. For instance, if you are going to take photos of the sunset, get there at least an hour before sunset and plan on staying about an hour after. Take photographs throughout the event. It is amazing the different colors that fleetingly appear. Amateurs say, “Oh, pretty.” Snap and they’re off to shoot something else. Professionals linger, enjoy the show, and capture everything.

10 Tips and Tricks for the Beginner

1. Shoot close to sunrise and sunset to achieve more balanced exposures. Shooting during the harsh daylight produces very contrasty light and is difficult to capture details in both the shadow and highlight areas. If it’s one thing you take away from this guide it should be this!

2. Compose an image to exclude more and include less; remove any element that does not add to the image. Simplicity is often the key!

3. Shoot in RAW format for maximum quality if any post production editing will be performed later. This is really a big deal! Click to continue »

Article source: http://ezinearticles.com/6627432