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Recommended Reading: Guy Tal’s New eBook: More Than a Rock.

March 27, 2014 Books, Creativity, Nature No Comments
Recommended Reading: Guy Tal’s New eBook: More Than a Rock.

For me this is a masterful piece of work. First, I will be upfront and admit that I have only had a chance to read about half of it? But what made it so easy to write about it now and before I had finished is because I have been greatly inspired by what I have read so far. There is little doubt I will I be moved by the second half. So I feel compelled to tell you right now!

Like many photographers, I too continually seek inspiration with new ideas and thought processes and this book is very refreshing. It is not a how-to, it’s about finding inspiration, motivation, vision and purpose driven life around art.

I have followed Guy for a few years and I have made two conclusions about him: if Guy never took another picture he would still be known as a master of literary excellence. His writing is brilliant, deeply meaningful, and very inspirational.

Second, if he never wrote another word, just photographed like many of the great photographic masters, his imagery would say all that needs saying. Guys photography is both simple, complex, and quite powerful, and this book is laced with extraordinary examples.

… Continue Reading

Here’s One Key Ingredient to Creating Great Landscape Photographs

March 21, 2014 Creativity 3 Comments
Here’s One Key Ingredient to Creating Great Landscape Photographs

Are you consistently happy with your landscape photographs or are you always feeling you could have done better?

Most photographers can usually find an image to be proud of from every photo session but it’s those times when you have more images to be unhappy about that are cause for concern.

It’s natural to wonder what you might be doing wrong that spurs a search for answers. Careful examination of how you work when in the field might point to a number of different things but one that is quite consistent with bad images is how time is spent with the subjects.

Since we all want to make photographs that are masterpieces, here’s one thing that you can change today about how you create your images.   … Continue Reading

Why Do We Love Our Photographs?

Why Do We Love Our Photographs?

Do you ever wonder why you might love a particular photograph you captured? I do from time to time and this is one of them. Why do I love this image? Is it a great shot or not? I think it is! Others will not.

I have images that are obviously great images. I have images that have made me a lot of money. I have images from a recent landscape shoot that are garbage. And then I have images like this one that make me smile every time I look at it.

Certainly I love the photograph enough to post it here. I like the vertical lines on the right and the curving lines sweeping left. I think the B&W conversion gave the image more impact by darkening the background and lightening the Aspen bark. … Continue Reading

How to Add a Sense of Scale to Your Landscape Photographs

How to Add a Sense of Scale to Your Landscape Photographs

When the landscape before us is wide and far reaching and stretches to the horizon, it is natural to want to frame our image to ‘take it all in.’ Many grand landscapes are captured just like this.

Sometimes to add a sense of visual depth we bring a foreground object up close in the frame to provide a better sense of how deep the scene is. However, on some occasions, your camera position may not lend itself to framing something close to the camera and it is these scenes that might require a new approach to providing that sense of grandeur.

Placing a subject close to the camera generally requires a wide angle lens and while that helps bring that foreground subject into the frame, it also can visually ‘push’ the grand scene in the background further away. But if you are zooming out to capture a segment of the grand scene, you leave out most foreground details and this can leave your image lacking that sense of immensity. … Continue Reading

Why Concept Photography is King?

November 11, 2013 Business, Creativity No Comments
Why Concept Photography is King?

Years ago a client showed me a corporate annual report produced for a financial investment company. The cover photo on the annual report was a stand of giant Sequoia trees shot vertically. The camera angle was from ground level and the lower half of the picture was the forest floor. Centered in the frame and close to the camera was a Sequoia seedling sprouting up through the forest floor with the ancient monarchs in the background. It was a beautiful shot!

The theme for the annual report was ‘Planting The Seeds For Long Term Growth’ and the client no doubt chose this image because it fit the concept they were looking for. The seedling in the foreground represented ‘planted seeds’ while the old growth trees in the rear of the photo represented ‘long term growth.’  Clients often search for stock images that speak visually and convey a specific message related to a theme and in this example it was a photo combining the old trees and the new tree. … Continue Reading

5 Tips for Creating Worthless Photography

5 Tips for Creating Worthless Photography

Not every photographer is in the business to license their imagery and earn an income and profit, but for those photographers who are working hard to make a decent living, a strategy for success is crucial.

As we know creating great photography is only one small part of success as a professional nature photographer.  You also need a strategy for successfully marketing and meeting the needs of image buyers.  Images that created with more than the ‘pretty picture’ mindset can and often do perform better in the markets. But maybe that is not important.

Bottom line is if the imagery is not selling it could be that you are creating worthless photography and why it is worthless could be for many reasons and maybe these: … Continue Reading

The Future Professional Outdoor Photographer is………

The Future Professional Outdoor Photographer is………

…a storyteller!

You have certainly heard, maybe even said it yourself; anybody can take a picture! While that has always been true even before digital, the level of high quality photography is more prevalent today and easier to achieve. Why is that?

It is a combo of many things. Digital technology has made the ability to capture and process an image very easy. Software has brought many tools for interpreting a RAW file into a unique personal vision for the photographer. The web has brought us the greatest learning tools ever known. It simply is not that hard to learn how to create wonderful photography.

Yet one thing has always been there challenging professional photographers. It has been there from the early days of film to the today’s digital world. It is the biggest roadblock to success in photography.

Maintaining a current business model! … Continue Reading

Watch This Stunning Kayaking Video

If you are an avid, or not, photographer looking to make movies with your video capable dSLR, then you probably spend time looking at the work of others. I do because I want to learn how great adventure and nature filmmakers create their moving images. Simply to learn.

I look at camera angles, lighting, movements, high speed motion vs. slow speed motion, audio, music, and most importantly; the story. I spotted this video  on Chase Jarvis site that brilliantly shows all those ingredients I mentioned, masterfully molded into a 7 minute film on kayaking in Mexico. The A-team is Anson Fogel and Skip Armstrong of NRS and Forge Films, collaborating on this project; Cascada. Take a minute and be inspired.

CASCADA from NRS Films on Vimeo. … Continue Reading

Shoot Adventure Silhouettes for More Marketable Imagery

Shoot Adventure Silhouettes for More Marketable Imagery

Often when we photograph we are concerned about good light throughout our subjects and light that provides enough detail to tell the story we want told. We might use reflectors, flash, or HDR techniques to maintain important detail with strongly lit subjects.

But there are also times when we can create simpler photographs that tell a strong story and silhouettes are easy way to do that. They can tell just as effective of a story, set a mood, or create mystery and it’s those storytelling images that buyers of imagery look for when licensing images.

Last year we ran a post on creating nature images using the silhouette technique. These images included Sajuaro cactus,  lighthouses, forests, and windmills. What’s different is these images are adventure images and add the human element, a proven ingredient of top selling images. If you are an adventure photographer then silhouettes are one more approach to telling the adventure story and create more marketable images. … Continue Reading

One Camera and One Microphone: Filming a Conservation Project

May 15, 2013 Creativity, Video 1 Comment

by Jerry Monkman

When Canon introduced the 5D Mark II a few years ago, I decided to give shooting video a try. I
had long been shooting still photos for land conservation projects and it seemed to me that
turning some of those projects into short videos could be a great way to tell the story of the land
being protected. I had no experience shooting video or recording sound, but what the heck – I
now had a camera that shot video, so I was all set.

As usual, I may have overestimated what I was getting myself into, but after six months of
practice, I was able to pull of this video for a client who helped foster an easement that will keep
the Anderson Farm in agricultural use for future generations. … Continue Reading


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