Wildlife

Regarded as the most challenging and amazingly adventurous type of photography, wildlife photography requires telephoto lens to capture insanely beautiful moments in the forests. With both risks and thrills, wildlife capturing also comes under one of the highest paid jobs in the world. Adventurous trips and treks throughout several enchanting landscapes, this photographic genre has endless scopes and opportunities. Wildlife photography requires a lot of practice at using different macro, focal length and underwater lenses to capture insects, birds, animals and marine life.

5 Uncomfortable Truths About Photography

Posted by on Mar 28, 2016 in Featured, Food, lightroom, Photography Tips, photoshop, Wildlife

5 Uncomfortable Truths About Photography

There is a lot of hype about photography, it’s a booming hobby practiced by huge numbers of people around the world. With the prevalence of high quality images from our phones, and widely available, inexpensive dedicated cameras, it’s no wonder the art is so popular. But it isn’t all roses, and there are some uncomfortable things it’s best just to understand from the beginning. Here are five truths about photography: 1. More gear won’t make you a better photographer Don’t get me wrong, I love camera gear. New bodies, lenses, and accessories are fun and exciting, but they won’t magically make you better at photography. To be a better photographer you need to learn how to find images. The gear can help you capture them, but the finding part is up to you. Whenever I’m thinking of buying a new piece of gear, I ask myself, “Is my current gear holding me back?” Sometimes the answer is yes. It could be that the lens I’ve been using for night photography is too slow to get the detail I need, or the limitations of my current body are preventing me from blowing up the final shot to the size and detail required by a client. In such cases, I almost always have a specific image that I want to make, but can’t, due to my equipment. More often though, the answer to whether my gear is holding me back is no. The actual reason I want a new piece of gear is that it is shiny. I may lust over new camera stuff, but if that gear won’t improve my photography in a very tangible way, I don’t buy it. Some images require certain equipment. Without a big telephoto, this shot of the full moon over the Andes would have been impossible. Remember that good photography comes from your heart and your mind, not your wallet. 2. There is no “knack” Some people take to photography quickly, others more slowly, but everyone has to learn. Photography is an art, not a gift. A few times, I’ve been told by people looking at one of my images, “You have such a gift.” I know they are being kind, that they are offering a compliment, but I can’t help feeling insulted. I want to say, “It’s not a gift! I worked my ass off to make that image! That shot is the result of years of effort, of early mornings, and hours of travel, of study and practice, tens of thousands of failed and deleted shots, and thousands of dollars in equipment. Nothing about that image was given to me, I earned it.” Of course, I don’t say that. Instead, I smile as though they’ve just said the nicest thing, and say thanks. Photography can be learned. With practice you can see the way lines and light interact to create a pleasing...

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11 Stages That Every Photographer Goes Through

Posted by on Mar 25, 2016 in Fashion, Featured, landscape, lightroom, macro, Photography Tips, photoshop, portrait, Wildlife

11 Stages That Every Photographer Goes Through

Get 25% OFF James’ ebooks: Essentials of Street Photography & Street Photography Conversations eBook Bundle now for a limited time only at Snapndeals. How the $*#$ do I use this thing!!?! While I hope you take this article as tongue and cheek, and realize that a decent amount of this is talking to my early self – the reality is that there is a pretty consistent learning curve that many photographers go through. While hopefully your learning curve will not be this extreme, I think that understanding it will help you to have as much fun as possible progressing through the photography learning process. Here is my belief about the typical progression, or the 11 stages a photographer goes through: 1. Auto mode and how the $@&# do I use this thing!? The camera sits like a brick for a couple months, except for when you switch it to auto mode to photograph your cat, or patio furniture in the snow. You take 12 self portraits with a hat on one day, staring at yourself in the bathroom. 12 years later, you still use this self portrait. The reality is that you have heard about 5000 photography terms that you think you need to know, and it’s overwhelming. You just don’t know where to start. While there are only five or six things that you really need to learn at this point to get started, nobody tells you that. We will cover these things in a bit. 2. GEARRRRRR Do you SEE how sharp those nose hairs are??! When you think about your camera, your heart starts racing, your blood pressure rises, your hands get clammy, and you start sweating. Your camera system begins to morph into this awesomeness of sheer technology and power, that it was always destined to become. Four lenses, five filters, a tripod that you tell everyone about that doesn’t actually work that well, a remote shutter release, a new camera strap, a flash unit, Lightroom, Photoshop, Silver Efex, a new monitor, a hard drive, a Wacom tablet, an ugly camera backpack where your gear can survive under water for 10 minutes, a light painting kit, 5,000 forum views, an HDR tutorial, and photo collages, oh my! Occasionally, you just take your camera out to stare at it for awhile before your wife catches you, then you get on the internet to read fondly about its dynamic range, yet you have only taken your camera out into the world a couple of times. Bonus points if you gave your wife a black eye due to your tripod hanging off your huge ugly backpack, on the way to catch a flight to an extended family vacation. 3. OMG, everything looks so awesome! Bikes! Macro, landscape, street photography, portraits, travel, wildlife, architecture, live music, sports, fashion, medical imagery and dental photography – it’s all so awesome! Turn...

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New iPad Pro | With Astropad & Camranger, Is It The New Must-Have Tool?

Posted by on Mar 23, 2016 in Featured, lightroom, Photography Tips, photoshop, portrait, Wildlife

New iPad Pro | With Astropad & Camranger, Is It The New Must-Have Tool?

Since the first iPad was introduced, oh so many years ago now, its application as a tool for photographers was immediately assessed, but over the course of its young life, its relevance has been continually addressed and called into question. One can draw rather obvious conclusions about the utility of an iPad for someone in the photographic industry, as a brilliant screen that allows for ease of transportation, pinching and zooming of images and so on, it quickly became a portfolio display, but as for daily use in the field, there were issues. Its compatibility with other software, its initial inability to directly take data from SD cards, its inability to store RAW or be tethered to, and the lack of proper editing software seemed to dampen its allure. Then, of course, there’s the price, seeing as though it’s not insignificant. But then things began to change, as EyeFi released an app that would allow JPEGs to be sent directly to the iPad wirelessly, and it became a decent in-field reviewing tool, if slow. Then, of course, iPads got more powerful, so more software was able to be used, and developers started making better photo-centric applications; we now have a suite of Adobe applications that are coming truly into their own and allow for a decent level of control. And if that wasn’t enough for you, there’s Astropad. So is now the time you should seriously consider getting one? It just may be. iPad As A Wacom Intuos Pen Tablet For Retouching Astropad rather effectively turned your iPad into a retouching pen tablet the likes of which often draw comparisons to Wacom’s Cintiq line, and those start at higher price points than the iPads begin. Astropad allowed you to use Photoshop and Lightroom or whatever, very similarly to a Cintiq, where you could use your iPad screen to look directly at while retouching – it works as a connected workspace, and having used it myself I can tell you, it works. Many, including myself, will still prefer to use the Wacom tablet but there’s no denying the experience of using the iPad as a retouching tool is getting better and better and with the new iPad Pro, it becomes true competition. Astropad even updated their app just for the Pro. The iPad Pro was building strengths in the areas photographers always wanted culminating currently in the new iPad Pro. Photographers are becoming more color aware, and with prints making a comeback, it matters even more. The new iPad Pro has a color gamut that equals the current 5k iMac display, with better color saturation that the iPad Air 2, is brighter, and significantly less reflective. Apple’s also adjusted the touch-sensitivity of the iPad to disregard input from your palm and fingers when using the Apple Pencil, meaning you can really begin to use this as a Cintiq-like device. Check...

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My Top Ten Must Have Pieces of Photography Equipment

Posted by on Mar 10, 2016 in canon, Featured, macro, nikon, Photography Tips, portrait, Wildlife

My Top Ten Must Have Pieces of Photography Equipment

I used to buy so much rubbish! I think many of us do (at least, I hope many of us do). Thankfully, my habit was broken many years ago, but being a photographer, the temptation is always there. Oooooh, look at this shiny new thing. Is it prohibitively expensive? I must have it! To assist you in avoiding the “ooooh it’s shiny and new” mentality, here’s a list of my ten favorite photographic buys of all time (so far). Some are shiny and prohibitively expensive, but most are not. You can thank me later for lightening your wallets. The Nikon D750 Let’s start off with a bang, shall we? I jumped ship to Nikon not too long ago. That’s right, not mirrorless. I like to go against the grain as often as possible – I previously had a Canon 5D Mark II so, in all honesty, any camera made in the last few years was going to be a drastic improvement, but the D750 blows most things clear out of the water. If it were a whale, it would be a massive white one with angry, borderline psychotic, tendencies which was the master of the seas. (Can anyone guess what film I saw recently)? [REWIND: THE CURE FOR GEAR ACQUISITION SYNDROME (G.A.S.)] My only issue with the D750 so far is that its Live View video output (in photography mode) is far worse than Canon. This won’t be an issue for 99% of people out there, but it is quite annoying for me. I shoot products a lot and often use the Live View function in Capture One to focus and light. It can be worked around, but it is a little annoying. Other than that, this camera is perfection. I love it. You can purchase one for yourself here. A 70-200mm Lens I’m going to get the expensive ones out of the way early. Trust me, most are below $100. After all, the majority of us don’t have bank balances comparable to Rupert Murdoch. A 70-200mm lens was one of my first purchases, and I don’t ever foresee a time when I would be without one. I began using the cheaper f/4 version of this lens (both Canon and Nikon have one) but soon my gear envy took over and I ran head first toward the f/2.8 version. I have never regretted it. A 70-200 is such a versatile lens. I use it for wildlife photography, it’s a little short but perfectly capable; take a look at my Deer Hunter articles if you don’t believe me. For portraits, it is just outstanding. At 200mm, f/2.8 and headshot distance, the depth of field is razor thin. Couple that with an ability to quickly go from 70mm to 200mm and you can drastically change your whole image in a couple of seconds. That ability is invaluable, especially if you’re shooting...

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PowerSync 16-80 Digital Transceiver Review | Impact Does Good On Their Name

Posted by on Mar 8, 2016 in Featured, landscape, nikon, Photography Tips, portrait, Wildlife

PowerSync 16-80 Digital Transceiver Review | Impact Does Good On Their Name

How tied and loyal are you to keystone photography brands? The Nikons, Profotos, Elinchroms, Broncolors, Pocket Wizards, and so on? I’d wager the spread of answers to this are divided not particularly by desire, but by necessity, and level of commitment. I’m sure I could make a further assessment, that as the pieces of equipment trickle down in terms of perceived importance (the camera being the most important since it’s what takes the image), so trickles down the self-brand identity. Here’s what I mean. If you’re new to the game, you’ll look in the usual corners for the big names of cameras, though likely most people will go with the big brands since they still hold the power. But if you’re new and inexperienced and on a budget, you begin to divert, and you’ll likely start looking for ‘comparables’ when it comes to lenses, tripods, cables, and most typically In my experience, in lighting equipment. This does, of course, make sense, because lighting equipment from the small to the enormous can get obscenely expensive, and very quickly. As a new photographer or one not committed to it as a career, it seems hard to justify premiums on this stuff, even if you want the best. A working pro knows what a pro’s environment demands, and purchases accordingly, but that luxury isn’t everyone’s. But there is good news. Over the past three years especially, we’ve seen an evolution of the ‘discount’ third party companies, with brands like Sigma and Tamron leading the way. Sigma, it’s fair to say now, is no longer even viewed as a third party brand to consider when what you have to consider is your wallet; they’ve managed to transform from something you merely appreciate into something you want, while still besting the bigger brands in price. We see the similar sort of thing beginning to happen elsewhere, and Impact seems to be getting in the groove. There are mixed reviews galore about Impact equipment, and years ago many would’ve gone without, in many instances, rather than use any of their stuff. For others, the appeal of their price point was so significant that it was irresistible. It is their price point that has been really their attention getter, but looking at the PowerSync 16-80 wireless transceivers, one begins to think that there may be something more to Impact than dollars: sense… Well, this is what it all comes down to doesn’t it? When we speak of certain types of equipment in photography, there is usually a specific set of verbiage associated with it. That verbiage tends to be intrinsically linked to the characteristics associated with that genre of equipment, which is why even the companies that manufacture them include something about those characteristics in the name of the product. When you search light modifiers, it is the size and shape of the modifier that’s often...

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Wildlife Photography: High-Key Mountain Hare in the Snow [How I Shot It]

Posted by on Mar 5, 2016 in Featured, lightroom, Photography Tips, photoshop, Wildlife

Wildlife Photography: High-Key Mountain Hare in the Snow [How I Shot It]

One of my favorite times to be out with my camera is in the snow. Everything is just so magical, and it adds something extra special to your photos. In the north of England, we only occasionally have snow (thanks, climate change!), but when we do, I’m straight out with the camera. Snow also makes it easy to try out a high-key style. High-key images lack shadows and have blown out backgrounds. It isolates the subject perfectly, and when combined with wildlife, it looks like the animal was photographed in a studio. How Do You Take a High-key Wildlife Photo? High-key is something usually reserved for studios with models, where you can artificially light the scene and use a white backdrop to get exactly what you want. If you’re trying this with animals though, it becomes challenging in different ways. Snow or white clouds make for great white backdrops – although the latter rarely results in good photos because of the angle of view. Positioning yourself so the backdrop is all white, focus on the subject and expose the image as you usually would. The difference is that you want to make the background as light as possible, without blowing any highlights on the animal. If your camera has the option to allow highlight warnings during playback, then enable this – you’ll see flashing red or black coloring over areas of the image that are pure white. This is great for showing when you’re overexposing too much and affecting the subject. The following image is an example of what isn’t a high-key image; you really want to completely remove any detail in the backdrop. This isn’t a proper high-key image because the background isn’t blown out. Shooting in raw is an absolute must for this. It retains so much more information in the file, allowing you to make adjustments later. The key thing for this is that you can adjust the white balance during post processing with no degrading of the photo – this isn’t the case for JPEGs, and snow often looks too blue out of the camera. As long as you get the basic principles right here, that’s fine. You’ll rarely create a perfect high-key image of wildlife in camera; you just can’t adjust the white balance finely enough on the back of the camera nor can you do it quick enough with an animal. So, the rest of the high-key style is tied together during post production. Processing the File This bit is simple really, and it can be done in either Photoshop or Lightroom (as well as other editing softwares, but I will only be looking at the two Adobe programs here). Firstly, if you’re using Photoshop, open the raw file and make the initial adjustments. Watch your histograms and expose the photo as much as you can to what kind of result you want....

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