Winter is coming. Actually, for some of us, it has well and truly arrived already, depending on where you live in the world. Even Valencia experienced a light flurry or two at the weekend which is very unusual. With the snow comes photographic opportunities to capture those beautiful winter landscapes. There’s no such thing as bad weather, the saying goes, just inappropriate clothing. Luckily Austrian brand The Heat Company is here to save the day and keep our hands warm and toasty with their gloves and mittens made specifically for outdoor photographers.
For many photographers, hitting the road and just spending all your time shooting photos is just living the dream. For photographers like Andy Best, it’s reality. In Living in Long Shadows from SmugMug Films, we take a peek into Andy’s work and some of the struggles he’s had to face living life on the road shooting photos with a family.
It’s been a while since we last saw a new film from SmugMug, but they’ve more than made up for it with this one. They’ve also switched from their usual relatively short format to something a little more long-form. This one lasts for 25 minutes and it’s fascinating all the way through.
So before my regulars start to suspect that I’ve been kidnapped and forced to write this against my will, yes this is indeed a lighting setup article that involves natural light! But don’t worry, we’ll quickly skip over the easy, beginner daylight setup and move on to the adult version that combines gels and strobes later on. So, if you’re suspiciously U.V. averse to the point where you could star in an Anne Rice novel, don’t worry, stick around to the end and I’ll have something a little more visually engaging for you there.
This Summer has seen record numbers of people ‘getting away from it all’ in the outdoors and visiting National Parks. Yellowstone saw its all-time maximum of 1 million visitors in July, and Zion National Park had a bizarre situation where people waited in queues for up to 4 hours for a basic hike! Some of these places are implementing innovative measures to combat the strain on nature, including designated selfie stations.
Taking portraits in bright sunlight has been a bit of a no-no for a long time but the truth is that you can actually get stunning results if you use a fill flash. The results look awesome and give a high-end feel to any outdoor portrait and the best thing is that it’s really not too difficult. You just need to understand how to use a fill flash.
This past summer I was camping with my family and one of the lakes we visited had a perfect jumping rock.
I knew this would be a great photo opportunity, so I brought my camera to snap a few photos of us jumping off of the rock and into the lake.
What I ended up capturing was a perfect lesson on why you need to look for atmosphere and light to improve your outdoor photography.
When I began posting my photos online, I started getting comments like ‘wow, you must have a great camera’ or ‘anybody can take photos like these with expensive gear’ or ‘I can’t take photos like these because I can’t afford an expensive camera like yours’. It breaks my heart when I hear people say things like this. Or when they feel like they can’t get any better or they don’t have a chance because they have a cheap camera.
So I had enough of these comments and decided to prove them wrong by finding the cheapest camera and lens I could find and take some photos with them!
Normally, if you’re using a tripod, camera shake isn’t something you’ll have to worry very much about. However, there are some obvious exceptions. If you’ve ever found yourself taking pictures in heavy winds, you’ll know the difficulties of capturing sharp photos — particularly if you’re using a telephoto lens. This seems like an impossible situation; what do you do when a tripod isn’t enough to stop your camera from shaking? Luckily, there are ways to improve sharpness even in windy conditions and come away with photos that are completely usable. I’ll cover some of the most important here.
Without a doubt, Instagram is one of the most exciting social media platforms anywhere. It is now ranked the number two most active social media platform (by number of users), just behind Facebook, with over 600 million participants. As a photographer, who has been slowing building a following on Instagram over the last three years, I have a love-hate relationship with the app. “Hate” might be a bit of a strong word choice in that last statement but you get the point. Trust me, I spend way too much time on Instagram. They have me hooked. On the one hand, it is inspiring to see an incredible number of amazing images on my Instagram feed each day. I tend to follow a lot of my fellow pro photographers, who post some top-notch images. In addition, there are a large number of amateur photographers creating incredible work, and in some cases their images are better than a lot of pro photographers.
The Day Before An Outdoor Session
Let me check the weather report
The weather guy said chance of rain and wind tomorrow
I’m not going to panic
He said, “chance” of rain and wind
This means there is a chance there might NOT be rain and wind
I mean, really, how often are they right?
I’m going to think happy thoughts