TIPS, TRICKS, RECOMMENDATIONS AND REVIEWS
Questions and Answers … or Questions Answered!
Looking at “photo stuff” online is only one option for you to try and answer questions about gear, find new tips or tricks, understand DIY hacks or generally find solid recommendations. Getting those recommendations from someone you trust is a much better option. Here you’ll find links to gear I use and recommend, tips that I’ve used in the field, resources I’ve found helpful, vendors I support and what amounts to a look into my photo backpack. There is a LOT of information on this page, so take a look at the current tip then keep scrolling down to read more about the tools I use to create the images you see here. You can ask questions or get more info from me through the Contact page, or just find me in the field with Jay Goodrich and take a look for yourself!
Tip of the Month
TECH TIP OK … this isn’t about Hazel or Mr. Clean from television fame. But when you consider your camera gear, know that maintenance and regular cleaning is a requirement each time your camera gets used, abused, or any treatment in between. Every time you head out into the field, there’s a chance that something
Filters are of critical importance to photographers when in the field. From evening out your composition, to taking the sheen off of water, removing unwanted reflections or slowing down your shutter speed, they are an indispensable tool. Here are the two primary brands of filters you’ll find in my camera bag right now.
Let’s be honest — camera gear is expensive, and we’re all looking for the best deal we can find on the gear we need. I’ve found that Gary Farber and my good friends at Hunt’s Photo & Video consistently provide the best prices and the best service. From the stuff you need to the stuff you just want, Hunt’s has it and will get it to you in short order. Give them a call, ask for Gary, and tell him I sent you.
If you’ve spent any time in the field creating landscape images, you’ve learned (and possibly learned the hard way) that the portion of the image above the horizon can be 1 to 2 to perhaps 4 or 5 stops brighter than the portion of the image below. Skies are often brighter than their foreground counterparts. When I need to even out my composition and create an image that is even from top to bottom, I reach for one of my LEE Graduated Neutral Density Filters. LEE Filters have been a trusted source for me for almost 30 years; before I used their gear as a photographer, I used their theatrical gels as a lighting technician on Broadway shows and rock concerts all over the world. Available in four gradients from Soft to Very Hard, they’ve got the right tool for the job. Their color neutral filters allow me the flexibility to even my compositions without shifting the natural colors of the settings, and allowing me to recreate on my computer or in print the image I saw in person. You can purchase individual filters or a complete system to compliment your landscape style and gear needs. Click on the logo, and check out some of the finest photographic accessories on the market today.
Getting a photo as close as possible to the finished product in camera is critical to my workflow. When I need to control the amount of light reaching the sensor, or manage reflections when shooting through water, or when enhancing clouds and darkening a sky is key to the image I’m trying to create, I reach for my selection of Breakthrough Photography polarizers and neutral density filters. They are free of any annoying color casts that can affect my image, while evenly controlling the light reaching the sensor. This combination provides me with the utmost control under just about every imaginable circumstance. Additionally they are the most ergonomic filters ever designed, as easy to install and remove with gloves as they are with your bare hands. They are an indispensable part of my kit in the field. Head over to the Breakthrough Photography website by clicking on the logo, check out their extensive product line, and if you order tell Graham I sent you!
MORE ABOUT GEAR — RENTING
As I’ve mentioned before, camera gear is expensive. And the more esoteric your needs, the higher the price for the gear you want. There is good news for the budget minded photographer who still wants to be prepared to capture the images he wants: Borrow Lenses has the equipment you need for that special project or once-in-a-lifetime trip. In fact, I’ve rented from Borrow Lenses before and found the process to be quick and painless, and it put the gear I wanted into my hands for my trip to Patagonia. Use the link to the right to rent cameras, lenses and just about anything you’ll need in the field. The rental process is streamlined and simple, and the gear you want shows up as if by magic. Round trip shipping is included in the price, so once you return home just rebox the gear, slap a label on it and send it away. This leaves you with plenty of time to process those images you just captured!
NOTE: Click the image to the right and you’ll be transported right to Borrow Lenses and you’ll appear as my customer! I promise they’ll take care of you …
If you’re a digital shooter like me, you use some kind of software in order to process your images. Along with Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Lightroom seems to be the number one processing software in use today. And they are often used in conjunction by a number of photographers. And while there are a lot of experts out there, I subscribe to Tim Grey’s daily “Ask Tim Grey” email. Invaluable tips, tricks and answers to everyday questions about Photoshop and Lightroom as well as digital work flow and more are posted daily along with access to training videos and classes at Grey Learning. Sign up, take note of Tim’s tips and watch your images get better and better.
Naturscapes.net is a fantastic online resource for photographers of all levels and backgrounds. If you’re looking for a comfortable place where you can talk to, learn from and even teach other photographers, you’ve found your home. I purchased a lifetime membership years ago. From their About page:
We offer more content in one place than any other website targeted to nature and outdoor photo enthusiasts. For over ten years, we’ve earned the respect of tens of thousands of photographers worldwide as one of the most comprehensive, friendly, and respected websites of its kind. See more at: https://www.naturescapes.net/information-center/about-us
Founded more than a decade ago by Greg Downing, E.J. Peiker and Heather Forcier, creating your own gallery and posting in forums along with other photographers the world over is just the start of what you can do. Naturescapes.net is a unique resource to the nature photographer.