How to Be a Storm Chasing Photographer

We see a lot great photography these days of severe storms from all around the globe and I admit I am fascinated by lightning and thunder and photographing these events from a safe place. While we can have severe storms anywhere In the United States, it’s the Midwestern states that seem to get a lot … READ MORE +

Photographing in Nevada State Parks for Many Will Likely Require a Permit

Valley of Fire is an awesome place and I love to photograph there. The Nevada State Parks has, like many state parks and the National Park Service, fees for commercial photography. The NPS fees have been around a long time, (I am not sure NSP’s) and it has been long understood that if you go to a park with crew(s) for a commercial style shoot, you buy a permit.

What will make the NSP new rules different is that anyone with the intent (or not?) of making money off their pictures, is now a commercial photographer and would be required to get a permit. At least that is how I read it. Here is part of the language:

“photography engaged in for financial gain, including, without limitation, the sale of a photographic image as a product or for use in advertising, motion pictures, television productions or portfolios and the archiving of an image by a person who uses photographic skills, equipment or resources to provide a photographic product for sale.”

READ MORE +Photographing in Nevada State Parks for Many Will Likely Require a Permit

Here’s One Photography Idea That Sells in Today’s Markets

It’s well known in the business of photography, that photographs of news worthy subjects sell and sometimes very well. I’ve written about this before and the need for outdoor photographers to create images the markets will want.

Paparazzi’s for example, have been known to make a fortune capturing images of celebrities in ‘news making’ situations. With some foresight and good ideas, so can nature photographers.

Outdoor photographers shoot just about every subject that has to do with the outdoors, nature, and how humans interact with the outdoors, but often they lack that news making ingredient. Those images often languish waiting for a buyer, if there ever is one. So what should you shoot? Here are some ideas.

READ MORE +Here’s One Photography Idea That Sells in Today’s Markets

Watch Thomas Shahans’s Simple Technique for Photographing Creepy Crawly Things

I have never been that fond of bugs but this video had me mesmerized. Thomas Shahan, obviously loves bugs and when you see the brilliant and stunning macro images he captures, you might be mesmerized as well.

He photographs all sorts of bugs, spiders, and flying insects extremely close using very simple techniques. And he knows those bugs very well as he rattles off the names of each one in this video.

Thomas also is a talented artist and musician.

This video is well done as Thomas narrates (he should do natural history films) and i believe the music soundtrack is his music as well.

If you don’t get ‘bugged out’ watch the video below.

READ MORE +Watch Thomas Shahans’s Simple Technique for Photographing Creepy Crawly Things

Are You Working Hard to Be an Average Photographer?

I am in Arizona and the sunrise this morning was quote colorful. I kept thinking that I should have been out there to shoot it. It certainly would not cost me anything other than the time to go out and shoot. And I love to photograph!

I often ask myself; just what should I photograph or create that will earn me some money? Should I rise early every day, or most days that I am here, and go capture the sunrise? It is impossible to predict what might be discovered and immortalized in a digital file from a click of the shutter.  But one thing is certain: you won’t capture any great images if you are not out there!

That’s the goal: great images! Great Images that sell! But just what is a great image for today’s market? The bulk of what you see seems average. So I ask myself again: what should I photograph that will make a great image that sells? Should I go ahead and go shoot sunrise, not for the joy, but for my business? I am often torn. My career includes many episodes of feeling guilty when I saw something and I was not out there to capture it. That fear of missing out.

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How to Find the Magic In Winter Photography

For many photographers who live in the Northern hemisphere it is winter time and with a new season comes new opportunities to photograph.

Winter conditions can be just as exciting to photograph as the spring, summer, and fall, the conditions can present some challenges.

It’s obvious that snowy or icy winter conditions mean cold and preparing for those temperatures is a given: dress warm and protect your gear from getting wet. Beyond those, there are technical and creative considerations for great winter photography.

These include Exposure, White Balance, Contrast, and Lighting.

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My Favorite Fall Color Locations in Yosemite

While Yosemite National Park is not on the radar for fall colors to the extent that, for example, New Hampshire and Vermont are, landscape photographers can still “reel in some keepers” if they know the best locations and the best times to catch the respective areas at peak color.

Of course with nature, there are seasonal variations for timing of fall color due to autumn average temperature ranges, etc. from one year to the next.  The best conditions are warm, sunny days, and crisp nights without a hard freeze.  A storm sweeping in with strong winds can strip the trees of autumn leafs overnight as well.  Probably the best conditions for dramatic fall color landscape photography, is after a light snow, which flocks the brightly colored trees and bushes in a dramatic color contrast.  The downside of this situation is that usually the light snowfall is followed with freezing temperatures that turn the gold leafs to muddy brown.  Still, to be present during that short period of time is a photographer’s delight.

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OpenSea Diary: Mora and Moynihan Film the South Pacific

In a recent post we wrote about Mora and Moynihan and the preparations to embark on a sailing adventure across the South Pacific filming nature, the environment and the cultures. Here is the first of their many (to come) field reports.

Opensea Film and Photography duo, Nia and Jon Moynihan, have set sail again across the Pacific. This time we have crossed 1,100 nautical miles of deep blue water to reach the Melanesian shores  of Vanuatu – a nation known for the happiest people in the world. Along the way we have come to more realizations about the conviction it takes to
photograph the natural world. Though the long passage was filled mostly with beautiful weather, at times the extremities of the wind strength and the wave size was overwhelming.

Sometimes we ask ourselves “what makes people do it?” What makes a person head out into the middle of nowhere? Maybe for us its to be alone, away form the world, and then to arrive in new places filled with adventure and the unknown. Perhaps its also the peace and mental tranquility that comes with being the only person around for hundreds of miles, only accompanied by the repose of nature, birds, and sea creatures. Therese a sense of connectedness that comes over a person when confronted with the strength of raw nature.

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Moynihan and Mora Set Sail to Film OpenSea: Journey Across the Pacific…and Need Your Help

Editors note: Nia Mora and Jonathan Moynihan are U.S. based photographers and filmmakers and are about to set sail to film and photograph their sailing documentary: OpenSea; Journey Across the Pacific. They will sail across the South Pacific and film the adventure, the cultures and people, and sea life for their documentary film with an end goal of raising awareness to the South Pacific’s peole and natural treasures. They have launched a Kickstarter campaign to help fund the project. The following essay describes their first sailing adventure, the inspiration for the new OpenSeas project. Stay tuned as they promise to keep us updated with videos and photographs of this unique journey and film project.

“OpenSea: Journey Across the Pacific” began in the hopes of finding footage about sailing the South Pacific Ocean. We didn’t find much, so we decided to make our own film. We spent 28 days at sea, sailing from Hawaii to French Polynesia in our 35 foot sail boat. Along the way, the project developed into something we felt we had to share with others. We learned things about the way other people lived, which changed the way we ourselves live. We saw the majesty and diversity of the Pacific islands, which taught us about the raw and enduring strength of nature. We braved the ocean, endless blue water for weeks on end, which taught us about ourselves.

We have already sailed 6,500 nautical miles. We have documented places such as The Marquesas,The Tuamotus, The Society Islands,
Niue, and New Zealand’s North Island and Hauraki Gulf. Most people haven’t heard of these places, a lot will never see these places. Our goal is to make a visual montage and a narrative sharing the experience of traveling by sail boat across the ocean and the things a person learns along the way. We’d like to post this documentary for free, online by September, 2014. This project is non-profit, as we believe everyone should be able to share with us what we have seen and where we have been on our amazing journey across the Pacific.

READ MORE +Moynihan and Mora Set Sail to Film OpenSea: Journey Across the Pacific…and Need Your Help