Scenics

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Wind? Don’t Let It Spoil Your Macro Fun!

pl_oregano_0003All macro photographers know wind as their number one enemy. While poor light can be coddled and shaped with flash and reflectors wind is more recalcitrant. Sure you can freeze a stem or two with a Plamp or line your friends up as a wind break but if there is enough of a breeze there is no way to get both the depth of field (small aperture) and frozen motion (high shutter speed) at the same time. That’s what happened to me when I was out in our relatives’ vegetable garden attempting to test out my review Olympus E-P3 PEN camera (aka Olympus PEN 3) and avoiding the work of berry picking. But that didn’t mean the fun had to stop…

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Alaska Brown Bear Safari Trip Report & 2012 Announcement

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Each year I think our Alaska safaris can’t get any better. But this year, our twelfth of visiting with the Bears and Puffins alongside the spectacular volcanoes and the mountains lining the Cook Inlet was the best yet. We had two fun groups (kept small as always so we can move around with the bears and provide lots of personal instruction) and our daughter Annie helping with lessons on Photo Books and with the gear hauling…

July is a special time for the bears of the Cook Inlet. Just about all the moms have brought their cubs out into the open along the water to graze, to learn to clam and to start thinking about fishing. It is still early enough that the bears are fairly relaxed and haven’t starting panicking in their fall rush to put on weight for winter. We were treated to many scenes of cubs and moms playing and mothers nursing both spring cubs (born this winter in the den and first out in the world only a couple months ago) and “yearling” cubs—last years spring cubs in their final year before being kicked out by their moms.

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Southeast Asia–Cambodia Trip Report and December Photo Tour Announcement

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Image by David Cardinal via Flickr

We’ve never had a disappointing photo trip to Cambodia or Myanmar (Burma) and once again both destinations delivered for us on our recent photo tour. Whether it was sunrise from a balloon over the plain of temples in Bagan or sunset on the Irrawaddy River while we visited with fishermen and their families at their seasonal camp on the river bank the trip was chock full of great experiences and unique photo opportunities. And even though tourism is rebounding throughout the region there were still plenty of chances to get early morning vistas of ancient Khmer temples all to ourselves…

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Create Better Panoramas using HDR (High Dynamic Range) Photography

pl_bantaysrei_hdrpano-trim2One of the first steps I teach when we work on panoramas at a workshop is that you need to put your camera in manual to ensure that you get an even exposure from one side to the other. Setting that exposure requires panning across the scene and choosing a setting that is a good compromise from the lightest to darkest areas. Obviously this requires soft and even light and makes it difficult to photograph panoramas where part of the scene is brightly lit and part is in shadow.

Hacking on the merged image later using somewhat crude tools like the Shadow/Highlight adjustment in Photoshop is the most common workaround to try to address the problem of unevenly lit panoramas. But thanks to some goading by my friend Jim Ludemann I’ve started experimenting with using HDR when shooting tricky panoramas to allow me to create successful images even of scenes which have difficult lighting conditions. In this post we’ll take you through the process, step by step…

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Every Cloud Has A Silver Lining

djc_7562When the unthinkable happened and we got not just clouds but drizzle today in Mandalay during our Myanmar (Burma) photo safari it threw us for a bit of a loop.