Archive for ‘Technique’

Photoshop Technique: Cloning in Darken Mode

August 08, 2017 04:26 PM
by / Topics: Art of Photography, Charles Cramer, Resources, Technique

By Charles Cramer Photoshop Technique – Cloning in Darken Mode This is a technique that I’ve used for years, but I’ve just learned a new wrinkle!  Above is a  photograph I made of some trees in Yosemite. In the upper part of image, you can see a slight problem—the sky peeking through the leaves is […]

The Normal Lens

What is your “normal” lens? Have you ever determined if there is a single lens focal length that you naturally use more than others? It can be an enlightening exercise. A 50mm lens on the 35mm film format is often referred to as “normal” because it renders a magnification and angle of view (about 40 […]

Nikon D5 Adds Automatic Focus Fine Tuning

June 06, 2016 06:51 PM
by / Topics: Equipment, Gear, John, Technique

by John Shaw Yes, I bought a D5 to use as my action/fast AF/high ISO camera.  My D810 bodies will continue as my landscape/lower ISO cameras.  I’ve had the new D5 all of two days now, but I’m already getting emails about one feature: how to use the automatic AF fine-tune.  OK, so here goes…and […]

“Hidden” Auto-Exposure

December 12, 2015 08:55 PM
by / Topics: John, Technique

  By John Shaw Many current cameras have a “hidden” autoexposure feature, an option I use quite often when working wildlife.  If your camera has ”auto ISO” buried someplace in the menus, you probably can use this feature. Three choices control exposure:  shutter speed, aperture, and ISO.  We generally lock in two of these, and vary the third.  […]


July 07, 2015 12:39 PM
by / Topics: Essay, John, Resources, Technique, Travel

by John Shaw How does one coordinate Lightroom used on a laptop when traveling, with a master Lightroom catalog back in the office?  I’ve written about this before, but the topic keeps coming up at workshops and on tours, so…. I have one main master Lightroom catalog for all my images, which resides on my desktop […]

Using Manual Exposure

July 07, 2015 12:36 PM
by / Topics: Essay, Philosophy of Photography, Resources, Technique

By John Shaw In my photography I use Aperture Priority metering most of the time.  I take a shot, look at the histogram, and use Exposure Compensation (EC) to add or subtract light as needed.  Yes, this works great most of the time…but most of the time does not mean all of the time.  There are shooting situations […]

Getting Lucky on Safari

By Justin Black For Outdoor Photographer, October 2014 One of my most important photographic mentors, Galen Rowell, grew accustomed to being told how lucky he was to capture the stunning natural events that he photographed. He would chuckle politely, and respond that he tried to be prepared to receive luck. In other words, he went […]

HDR (A Different Way)

September 09, 2014 04:11 PM
by / Topics: Technique

By John Shaw I’m not a fan of HDR images.  Well, let me clarify that statement.  I’m not a fan of the all-too-typical HDR images I see.  Over-saturated cartoonish colors, with halos around edges, and lots of noise.  No thanks. But there is a quick and easy way to create naturalistic looking extended dynamic range […]

Choosing a Tilt-Shift Lens

July 07, 2013 01:15 AM
by / Topics: Equipment, Gear, Resources, Technique / Comments Off on Choosing a Tilt-Shift Lens

By Justin Black There is a good chance that the gear question I hear more than any other is, “If I were to buy just one tilt-shift lens, which one should I get?” Unfortunately, the question begs another: “What do you want to do with it?”  There is no “best” tilt-shift lens, and no dominant […]

Blending Exposures – Lightroom to Photoshop and Back Again

May 05, 2013 03:43 PM
by / Topics: Technique, Uncategorized / Comments Off on Blending Exposures – Lightroom to Photoshop and Back Again

By Justin Black Today’s digital cameras have the ability to capture a tremendous tonal range, which in the case of the Nikon D800 is 14-stops, an incredible 1:16,000 brightness ratio. Even so, from time to time we find that we wish to optimize the exposure for different parts of an image, much the way we used […]

Ten Photoshop Tips

April 04, 2013 12:42 PM
by / Topics: Resources, Technique / Comments Off on Ten Photoshop Tips

by John Shaw 1.  To tone down the whites in an image, select them using Color Range.  Add any adjustment layer, and change the layer blending mode to either Multiply or the slightly stronger Linear Burn.  Then drop the layer opacity to taste. 2.  When shooting frames for a panoramic, manually setting camera exposure is more precise than using an […]

Tools and Techniques for Creating Fine Prints

March 03, 2013 11:58 PM
by / Topics: Art of Photography, Media, Multimedia, Resources, Technique, Uncategorized, Video / Comments Off on Tools and Techniques for Creating Fine Prints

Our friends at Hunt’s Photo Video and Ilford are sponsoring a free webinar on fine print making, Join the Live Video Broadcast on March 29, 2013 at 1:00pm EDT What are the aspects and qualities that make for a Gallery-Quality Fine Art Print? Exacting color, smooth tonal transitions, a well-balanced contrast range and the best […]

Eleven False Statements

March 03, 2013 06:19 PM
by / Topics: Instructor News, Philosophy of Photography, Resources, Technique / Comments Off on Eleven False Statements

by John Shaw Editor’s note: There’s a lot of photo-mythology floating around out there. Visionary Wild instructor John Shaw puts a few of his favorite myths to rest. 1.  Images for the web should be sized at 72 dpi.  First of all, “dpi” refers to dots per inch, and computer screens have pixels, not “dots.”  But “72 […]

Photographing with Purpose

October 10, 2011 04:50 PM
by / Topics: Art of Photography, Essay, Media, Philosophy of Photography, Resources, Technique, Uncategorized / Comments Off on Photographing with Purpose

The November 2011 issue of Outdoor Photographer magazine features an article by Justin Black about ways to add greater meaning and purpose to your photography. You can read the full text and see the accompanying photos here: Photographing with Purpose by Justin Black

Exposure Modes: Is Program OK?

September 09, 2011 03:47 PM
by / Topics: Technique

A question recently came in asking if it is ok to use the camera’s program mode, as opposed to manual, aperture priority, or shutter priority. Other than being bound by the laws of physics, there is little or nothing in photography that requires orthodoxy, “right” or “wrong,” “ok” or “not ok.” Shooting in Program mode […]

Jack Dykinga Interview Slideshow

September 09, 2011 06:45 PM
by / Topics: Art of Photography, Media, Philosophy of Photography, Technique, Travel / Comments Off on Jack Dykinga Interview Slideshow

Jack Dykinga on Mark Godfrey Selects Nature Conservancy Director of Photography Mark Godfrey recently interviewed Visionary Wild instructor Jack Dykinga for this multimedia slideshow featuring some of Jack’s best work.

Pro Tip from Jeff Foott: “Shooting the Scene”

August 08, 2011 04:48 PM
by / Topics: Technique, Uncategorized, Workshops / Comments Off on Pro Tip from Jeff Foott: “Shooting the Scene”

There’s a story behind every image. A combination of visual cognition, emotional response, thoughtful investigation, composition, technical judgments, and timing (among other factors) play into the creation of the best photographs. It’s a process of purpose. Visionary Wild instructor Jeff Foott recently shared with us a series of teaching images that he uses to as […]

Bioluminescence on the Sonoma Coast, by Jerry Dodrill

Bioluminescence For years I’ve heard unbelievable stories about people’s surreal night time experiences in the ocean with glowing plankton blooms, but until recently I’d never seen it myself. The tip off came from Ellen Cruz, a friend from Bodega Bay who sent a note about an experience she’d just had on the Sonoma County coast: […]

On Assignment: The Dragon Run

July 07, 2011 08:44 PM
by / Topics: Essay, Media, Philosophy of Photography, Resources, Technique, Travel / Comments Off on On Assignment: The Dragon Run

by Justin Black   The Dragon rippled as I slid the kayak out into the swamp’s caramel-brown water. The still quiet of pre-dawn was broken only by the song of a prothonotary warbler, a croaking bullfrog, the sudden splash of a jumping sunfish. Gliding along on the glassy surface past lush swamp plants – arrow […]

Scouting the Olympic Peninsula

June 06, 2011 04:00 AM
by / Topics: Technique, Workshops / Comments Off on Scouting the Olympic Peninsula

Last week, I joined my good friend, photographer Pat O’Hara, to scout locations in Olympic National Park in preparation for our Advanced Workshop in Port Angeles, Washington in July 2012. With 200% of normal snowpack for this time of year, the Olympic mountains were positively stunning. Though Mt. Olympus, the tallest, is under 8,000 ft. in […]