5 Tips for Jaw-Dropping Landscapes

To get great landscapes, you need more than just a pretty world. You might be in a scenic location, but that doesn't mean it'll always translate well to a 2D image. Landscape photography advice can be contradictory, at times. Sometimes landscapes will look great at a certain time of day or year, but drab at others. Sometimes it'll look better with a long lens, and other times, it's better to use a wide lens. Take this article -- and any…

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How to photograph hummingbirds

Hummingbirds are predictable. Hummingbirds will hover in place, leisurely sipping nectar from flowers. Their hunger for sugary ambrosia drives them. In contrast, the other wee birds like sparrows, chickadees, and nuthatches never seem to sit still. They flit and flap and zig and zag. They're always moving, and it's hard to anticipate where they'll jump to next. What you need to photograph hummingbirds Knowledge Is Power Cheesy after-school-special title aside, start by learning about the local hummingbirds. What kinds do…

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A Reminder: Photography Is Imperfect

Perfect photographs do not exist. Art is subjective. People have different tastes. Tastes evolve. Skills improve. Whether you're a beginner or an old fart that's been around the block, it's hard to avoid comparing yourselves to other people's photographs. I've been thinking about this a lot lately. I know I have room for improvement. Like many photographers and artists, I look at other people's pictures and think: "I'll never be that good." I frequently start to doubt myself and back…

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3 Simple Tips for Awesome Pet Pictures

Dogs are the best, right? They don't talk back. They don't complain (as much). And play! All the playing! And snuggles. They're like nonverbal toddlers that shed a lot more. At least they don't draw on walls in permanent markers. Of course we all want to take great pictures of our loved ones. Taking pictures of pets is an exercise in patience. It's more challenging than photographing kids because you can't as easily direct them to turn their head or…

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Transform Your Dog into a Trail Dog (part 1)

Your dog keeps pace at your side as you mount rugged mountaintops. He ambles alongside, exploring the gentle rolling hills. He keeps a wary eye out as you both dodge invisible orcs in the murky, damp woods. A stalwart dog, faithful and stout of heart. It's a fantasy that most dog-loving hikers have. And bonus, they make a great photography model when the landscapes are drab or weather isn't cooperating (had to tie in with photography!) . Aside: while I…

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Flying with your Camera Gear

Summer is just a few weeks away, which means vacations. Which means traveling with your camera gear. Last year, 2.9 million American flew somewhere for the Memorial Day weekend. Here are a few tips for you to consider before hitting the Wild Blue Yonder. I'll cover tips for auto travel later; it's a topic I'm more familiar with. Carryon vs Check I'm not going to even debate the pros of cons. If you plan to check your suitcase into the…

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Seek Weather for Better Landscapes

A well-lit landscape doesn’t necessarily mean it’s interesting to look at. I remember going on hikes, taking a bunch of pictures, coming home and tossing most out because they were so bland and boring. I couldn’t figure out why and how other people were taking fantastic pictures at similar locations when my stuff was so blah. Was it the camera? Was it me?

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Tips on Optimizing Your Photography Hike

Going on a hike? You're taking your camera, right? Of course you are! The trouble is: you have to consider weight. After loading up your backpack or fanny pack with water, food, a first aid kit, a knife, a sweatshirt and a couple other essentials, that 20-lbs pack will feel like hundreds of pounds after you've covered 10 miles in rough terrain. A camera, extra lens, and all the accessories add to that load (obviously). After you've hiked 10 miles,…

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7 Tips to Become a Better Photographer

Whether you shoot with a film slr camera, a smartphone, or digital, it's good to develop foundation skills. Otherwise you'll always produce meh photographs that people pretend to like. Get it as perfect as you can in-camera. Don't rely on photoshopping / post-processing to save your picture. For one, it'll make the editing step faster and be less of a headache to fix. If your image is overexposed or underexposed, figure out how to remedy that while you're shooting, rather…

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