How to Make Contact With Photo Editors: Four Tell Us How

In today’s markets, photographers have to be proactive more than ever.  Stiff competition, an over-abundance of stock imagery, and diminished markets are challenging outdoor and nature photographers. To stay competitive, photographers need to study their markets and fully understand how they work.

Since editorial publishers are a target market for many outdoor photographers, we decided to contact some photo editors of leading magazines and ask for their advice on how best to approach and market to them.

These editors included Scott Kirkwood, editor of National Parks Magazine; Amy Feitelberg, Photography Director at Outside Magazine; John Nuhn, Photography Director of National Wildlife Magazine; and Rob Haggart, former Director of Photography at Men’s Journal Magazine and publisher of weblog; Here is what they had to say on contacting them:

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The Magic of Discovery: Joye Arden Durham’s Bear Cub Encounter

by Joye Arden Durham

Living in Western North Carolina brings many photographic opportunities. Our homes are built in the forests and on the mountains where wildlife lives. We are in the heart of the Blue Ridge Mountains surrounded by protected national lands. In my opinion, it is one of the most beautiful places on earth. And every day I am grateful to call Western North Carolina home.

One night in June my friend Lib and I went to a friend’s house for a visit in great hopes of seeing the bears that march through her yard frequently. I had my camera on the tripod ready for any opportunity and then the wait began. We waited and waited. Nothing. We waited more. Nothing. Since nothing was happening outside we decided to eat dinner and try again in a few minutes. After dinner we waited. Still nothing. For about an hour and a half we waited and it was getting darker so we decided it was time to leave and try again another day.

I have a safe set up for shooting wildlife. In my Honda Element the sunroof is in the back of the car and is a perfect place to set up the tripod and wait for the animals. I can stand comfortably in the same position and shoot with the Nikon 100-400 lens and have the car as a safety net. After waiting until almost dusk, and knowing I had to get home, we decided the bears weren’t coming out so I took down the tripod, put the lenses away, closed the sunroof and got ready to leave. 

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Remaining Open to Possibilities

by Drake Fleege

Sometimes, something that I find to photograph provides an even better opportunity than what I had initially intended, for a completely different reason. This happened to me a few times while out in Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado recently this summer.

This lone dead pine is just one such example, others included waterfalls and boulders, wildflowers and landscapes. On this particular morning, around 11am, the bright sun was now high in the sky. I just finished shooting distant mountain scenes of the mountain pine beetle infestation in the Upper Beaver Meadows area of the park.

Driving out of the area, I noticed this lone dead Ponderosa pine along the hillside. Being that it succumbed to the mountain pine beetle, I thought it somewhat represented the case for all pines within the park. While shooting the scene, a small wren kept singing from its branches.

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Australian Denis Smith’s Amazing ‘Balls of Light’ Project

It is nice to see another photographer doing something unique and different. Denis Smith is from Australia and has a unique project underway: the Balls of Light.

Denis does not use Photoshop or any other program to create these spheres of streaking light, instead relying on what we could call ‘the old fashion way’ of something akin to light-painting.

He uses nothing other than lights on a string and long exposures. and shoots in a variety of unique locations. This project is nothing short of brilliant and Denis has blasted onto the scene and garnered international attention with his project and a documentary film. We got in touch with Denis to ask him about Balls of Light.

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Quick Tip: Dream Glow Effects With The Clarity Slider

If you are into fine art photography where creativity has no limits, you might have fun playing with the Clarity slider in Lightroom or Adobe Camera RAW.

Described as the tool for adding ‘localized contrast’ and especially in the mid tones, the Clarity slider has been likened to the Unsharp Mask in some ways, yet acts differently in other ways by appearing to not sharpen areas equally.

This post however is not about sharpening but rather using the Clarity slider to unsharpen and it is simple. 

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