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 +

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

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.

READ MORE +How to Add a Sense of Scale to Your Landscape Photographs

Why You Shouldn’t Trust Your Camera LCD

When I teach online classes and review the assignment photos that students upload, I often see some pretty dark pictures.

It’s understandable, especially because many students are just getting started and learning the in’s and outs of digital photography.

And I should know because I to made the same mistake a very long time ago. Two thirds of my career was the film and Polaroid (for tests) era and when digital came out it was still years before my clients trusted digital.

When I finally dived into digital i started with an Olympus system and I was immediately hooked. I began marketing myself as a ‘full service digital photographer’ and ‘all ready to meet your photo needs’, yada, yada.

I had some clients who were ready for digital and I soon received an assignment to photograph a bunch of people.

READ MORE +Why You Shouldn’t Trust Your Camera LCD

How to Tell Stories With Light

As we document the world with our cameras, light is a crucial ingredient to successful photographs. It’s that light that tells the story we want told. It tells us the shape of the land with highlights and shadows. It can tell us the temperature outdoors with cool light or warm light. Light can tells us whether the subject is soft or rough or large or small.

Light tells the story of the subject!

It is these stories that are important to convey and if you have a photograph that does not tell the story you want told, consider the lighting as one reason.

Whether photographing outside or inside, we don’t always have the light we need so the solution to that problem is to Make Light! With a basic flash unit you can create light that tells the story you want told.

READ MORE +How to Tell Stories With Light

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.

READ MORE +Shoot Adventure Silhouettes for More Marketable Imagery

When Spectrums Collide: Selective Processing With Infra Red

by Lee Mandrell  

A Simple Infrared Selective Color Project

As they so often are, it was another perfect day in the Smoky Mountains. I’m an avid color landscape shooter, but I am always on the lookout for infrared shots as well as anything I think might separate my shots from the norm. I happened upon this scene at the end of ‘The Roaring Fork Motor Trail’, just at the edge of Gatlinburg, TN. My wife and I asked the shop owner if we could shoot the old dodge truck that resides on the property. She informed us that we could take pictures, but we had to stay on the outside of the fence, and also to let her know if we felt we got anything worthwhile. To me this meant shooting what has been shot thousands of times before me.

READ MORE +When Spectrums Collide: Selective Processing With Infra Red

Great eBook: Fine Art of Light Painting by Ben Willmore

Light painting has been around a long time and has been used in various ways since the early days of photography. Today, the technique enjoys continued popularity among photographers applying it to a diverse range of subjects.

With technology bringing us LED flashlights as one example, both cheap and expensive versions are widely available as one of many tools for photographers to not only paint their subjects but create other effects as well.

This brings me to a great eBook from photographer and Photoshop Hall of Famer; Ben Willmore. Titled The Fine Art of Light Painting, Ben has explored a variety of locations and subjects to create a pretty impressive collection of images utilizing various techniques. From old cars stuck in the ground to people, ghost towns, natural arches, and light streaks in air, this book is loaded with fun and interesting techniques.

READ MORE +Great eBook: Fine Art of Light Painting by Ben Willmore

Jacob Lucas’s Awesome Night Shot of Palouse Falls

Recently I saw this cool shot online and contacted the photographer; Jacob Lucas and asked him where the falls were and how he created a uniquely different approach to photographing a waterfall at night.  Here he describes how he did it:

“This waterfall is located in the Eastern part of Washington state in the USA. The region of the state is called Palouse, which is a large area of rural and agricultural land, but also home to Palouse Falls State Park, where this exists.

I knew that I wanted to photograph the falls at dusk and if the clouds cooperated (i.e. decided to take leave for the weekend) try to photograph the stars and the night sky, too. I left Seattle around 5pm which was a little too late for sunset by the time I got there, so I made do with the clear night sky knowing I could return the following night for sunset. I’m glad a did, because the night sky was covered by cloud on the next day. Regarding specifically how I would photograph the falls, I didn’t exactly know how before I got there.

READ MORE +Jacob Lucas’s Awesome Night Shot of Palouse Falls