How-To

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The smallest, lightest "pro" camera rig & digital darkroom ever?

large_David Cardinal mirrorless rig and digital darkroom.jpgThe drudgery of carrying lots of heavy, complex, gear is a bane for any type of photography that involves travel. Camera bodies, lenses, accessories, tripod, chargers, a laptop, and of course cables. Add the padded cases needed to safely stow all the gear and you've got anywhere from 30 to 70 pounds for just about any really serious photo travel.

So I'm always on the lookout for ways to make life simpler. This month I've assembled a new travel photo outfit that may set some records for how light and how small it is, while still allowing for "pro" grade photography. Now, I'm not recommending everyone junk what they have and go with it -- I'll talk about the shortcomings later -- but it is pretty amazing what is becoming possible. Read more »

Tails aren’t just for Mammals: Birds have them too!

_djc9056As anyone who has been on safari to Africa with me knows, I’m forever calling out “watch the tail” when we’re photographing a leopard, lion, or other long-tailed mammal. Far too often otherwise excellent mammal photographs are ruined when shooters inadvertently focus too closely on the face of an animal and chop off the tail. Read more »

In the spirit of Garry Winogrand

_DJC6949It seems appropriate that on a day when I was working on my new talk on photo composition, my friend Hy and I visited an exhibition of Garry Winogrand’s photos. Winogrand’s professed ideas about composition fly in the face of almost every piece of conventional wisdom. At least to hear him speak (in retrospect only now, as he passed away in 1984), photos did not and could not contain narrative or tell a story. For him only the grains of film within the frame mattered. Read more »

Using Infrared to improve your color photos: Cutting through fog

Russian Ridge View in Fog with IR Layer OverlayInfrared is its own special kind of photography, and can provide plenty of really great images on its own. In addition to making great images of temples and landscapes, Infrared images can also be a tool to improve your color photographs. Currently the techniques in this article are a little advanced, and require some fairly specialized camera hardware, but if they catch on then it is only a matter of time before they are embedded in popular cameras and software solutions. In the meantime, for those willing to do some extra work, the result can be seemingly impossible photographs. Read more »

Tips on photographing the upcoming Orionid meteor shower

Some of you may have already heard about, or be tracking the ongoing Orionid meteor shower, especially those of you in the Bay Area where quite a large one caused a stir earlier this week. If you're up for photographing it, I've packed a bunch of advice on gear and techniques into an article for Extremetech.com. Do remember that even in clear-sky areas like the SF Bay, fog can be a problem, so count on more than one night of attempts if you want to have a good chance of getting some images. Have fun, and if you have results or tips to share, please let us in on them, either here or on the ET site. Read more »