My photography essentials, part 2

A couple of weeks ago the editors at “Outdoor Photographer” magazine asked me (and a few other pros) to contribute to an upcoming article on photography essentials, and it occurs to me that my blog readers might be interested to read my answers.Here’s my answer to the second of their three questions: What are your three most important non-photo pieces of gear that you rely…

A rite of spring

Today it’s gray and wet in Sacramento, a refreshing break from our ridiculously warm and dry winter (sorry, pretty-much-everywhere-else-in-the-U.S.). Usually by the end of February my thoughts have turned to spring, but this year I find myself feeling a cheated of winter (and wishing the rest of you would have shared). As miserable as it can be, I’ve always loved winter photography—not just snow…

Adobe plays Monopoly with your photos (required reading for all Photoshop users, present and future)

Storm brewing Adobe recently announced the new Adobe Creative Cloud paradigm for its Creative Suite software (Photoshop, Illustrator, Dreamweaver, et al). While Photoshop is an essential part of my workflow, I’m not a power user and earn no income from Photoshop training, so I hadn’t really given this change a lot of thought. My plan has always been to simply stick with my current Photoshop…

Fire at will

Maximize your investment I clicked 54 versions of this scene (I just counted). I’m usually a pretty low volume shooter, sometimes not taking 54 pictures on an entire trip. And I have to admit, after years as a film shooter, the whole digital “fire at will” paradigm took some getting used to. But I’ve finally reached a place where I have no problem firing…

A background check we can all agree on

*    *    *    * Distractions We photographers often concentrate our attention so closely on our primary subject that we’re oblivious to the subject’s surroundings, forgetting that everything in our frame potentially competes for attention with our subject. Eye-pulling distractions frequently skulk about the frame’s edges, but for most photographers a more insidious problems is the stuff lurking in the background. Regardless of…

Closer than the eye can see

*    *    *    * Photography’s gift isn’t its ability to show the world we already know, photography’s gift is its ability to reveal a world we haven’t imagined. I found this poppy on a visit to Point Reyes about nine years ago, just one of thousands sprinkled among a collage of swaying wildflowers. Before this day I’d aborted any attempt to…

Poppies!

I love photographing poppies. Just sayin’….. What is macro photography? The generally accepted definition of a macro image is one in which the subject is at least as large on the sensor as it is in reality. When we photograph an expansive landscape, we’re cramming the entire scene (with the help of a carefully crafted lens) onto a 24mm x 36mm sensor (that’s 35mm full…

Chomping at the bit

It’s been over a week since my last post. I have 350 Maui images on my hard disk, calling my name, but I’ve been so busy since coming home that I haven’t touched them. To give you an idea how busy I’ve been, last Tuesday my new 5D MarkIII arrived and I haven’t clicked the shutter once. That will change in a few days…

My very own Everest

Highway 49 is a meandering, two-lane road connecting the historical dots in California’s Gold Country. Each spring the route is framed by countless scenes like this, scenes that seem to grab your steering wheel and force you to the side of the road for a closer look. Often it’s difficult to find a place to park safely, especially on weekends, when drivers’ attention is more…

My camera can beat up your camera (and other photography myths)

The difference between a pro and an amateur photographer Want to know how to tell a pro landscape photographer from an amateur? Here are a few telltale indicators: The pro photographer has no emotional attachment to her camera and refuses to invest any energy in the “My camera can beat up your camera” debate The pro photographer is the one with duct tape on…