How to Photograph the Perfect Campfire Scene

As an outdoor and nature photographer you may also be a camper, pulling off the road somewhere at the end of the day and setting up camp. If you are camping when out photographing your nature or adventure subjects, you may want to look at your camp as another set for photographing marketable images including the campfire scene.

However, building a fire and sitting some people around it and then shooting, may get some great shots, but I have found more success creating marketable images by waiting for the peak window of outdoor light and adding additional light from a flash. Here is the problem: if you build the campfire and use it as the light source to light the peoples face, the fire often blows out and becomes white, rather than the orange of dancing campfire flames. Here are a couple considerations for getting the best shots.

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More on Working with Non-Profits and Getting Paid

In this post a while back I mentioned the increase in requests for free photography and my increasing reluctance to agree to provide anything free in this economy.

A couple weeks ago I received an email from a publishing client who prints note cards. They had forwarded an inquiry from a graphic designer looking for the photographer of one of their cards in their card line; me.

When I called her and asked how I can help, she said she wanted to see about using my image of a dome tent with Christmas lights on it. Despite being a non-profit, I made the sale and earned some money. Here are the steps I used.

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Your Domain Name Might Just Make or Break Your Business

How much effort did you put into determining your domain name? Did you decide on using your name or a portion of it, or did you choose something more creative?

Whether you put a tremendous effort into a creative domain name or simply using your name, you should not underestimate how important they are.

In 2007 33 million domain names were registered. In 2009 an estimated 180 million domain names were registered or renewed.

And just as interesting is the value that many see in certain domain names. sold for $14 million while and both for $7.5 million each.

You may have no intention of ever selling your domain name, but these domain buyers recognize how important a domain name is for their business. Do you?

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Some Good Selling Images are Found in Your Own Backyard, or Close.

There is that old saying the some of the best selling images come from your own back yard and it is often true.

A few years back my wife and I stopped at a local farm that had a large produce stand and market. Even though it was not literally my own backyard, it was not far from home.

This farm grew a large variety of everything and had lots of fresh produce, fruit, flowers, antiques, and shrubs spread amongst an old barn, some antique farm wagons, and the property.

As my wife and I wandered about and selected some fresh fruits and vegetables, I gazed at the colorfulness of the harvests bounty and thought how this would make some great stock photography. I went looking for the farmer himself.

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Raise Your Hand if You Are the Worlds Greatest Photographer

Really, raise your hand if you are the best nature, adventure, or travel photographer in the world.

Did you raise your arm high or merely twitch your pinkie finger? If you raised your hand high then you have an ego and if you only twitched a finger then you may suffer from a lack of confidence about your work and your ego needs a boost.

We all wonder, maybe whine, when sales aren’t happening and no one is requesting our work. We want and need our work to receive praise but even more, sell! We need the praise for the ego and we need the license fees to pay the bills.

Egos are fragile for some, rock solid for others, and out of this world for a few. Wherever you are in here, your ego can be your best business asset or your worst.

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Photographing Nature by Ralph Clevenger

Ralph Clevenger has just published a new book: Photographing Nature: A Photo Workshop from Brooks Institutes Top Nature Photography Instructor.

A photographer for close to 30 years, Ralph has trotted across the globe on-assignment for a wide variety of clientele. He has also been an instructor at Brooks Institute for over 20 years where he leads the nature photography program.

His new book is illustrated beautifully with a stunning collection of his photography captured over many years. He starts the book right off with an insightful perspective on how we as nature photographers should act and treat the environment with respect to plants and animals. He follows by encouraging nature photographers to give back to nature by using their photography in anyway they can.

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How to Get the Fisheye Lens Look in Photoshop

Photoshop is the most powerful tool for photographers ever conceived, next to film and digital technologies. And with each version and the new features included we have amazing opportunities for creating marketable images. One of the features that came out in the last couple versions was Photomerge, a tool to make panoramas.

Last fall, after teaching a workshop, I stopped at Mesa Arch in Canyonlands NP, Utah for the sunrise. Fortunately I was there early enough to grab a fairly decent spot amongst those who had arrived in what had to be the middle of the night, as if waiting for concert tickets to go on sale.

I settled on a spot that was available and set up my tripod and attached my 17mm lens to the 5D. This picture shows how much I could capture with this lens. As you can see it is not the whole arch.

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The Models You Choose Can Make or Break Marketable Images

The right models make all the difference in successful selling stock photos!

In a previous post I discussed the reality that outdoor images with people have a larger market than outdoor images without people.

But they cannot just be any person. They need to be people suited for the role you are placing them in. I no longer refer to the people in my shoots as models. Instead I call them actors because I am giving them a role to play.

It is too easy to get your spouse or friend to model for you, but are they suited for the activity you plan to use them in? Can they play the role believably? Do they do the activity you plan to shoot?

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14 New Locations for Marketable Outdoor Images

The challenge these days for outdoor and nature photographers is to photograph locations the markets demand. Determining how to anticipate where and what locations are in demand requires some research.

Fortunately the Obama administration has made it a little easier in 2010. A recently leaked memo shows the administration is considering naming 14 new national monuments. If these designations go through and the areas are designated as national monuments, that adds more locations for the outdoor photographer to add to the ‘to do’ list.

The designation of these sites will create demand for imagery one way or another and probably sooner than later. Here is the list of designated sites:

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