New eBook – 53 Tips For Nature Photography

53 Tips For Nature PhotographyIn the last six years, we’ve published over 240 posts here on PhotoNaturalist. With each new post, it gets harder to dig through the older posts and find the ones you might be interested in. It’s one of the most common comments I get from new readers.

So, I thought now was a good time to create a “best of PhotoNaturalist” eBook that contains all of our most popular posts (but only including posts written by me, because I do not have permission to resell other writers’ posts).

The eBook is 108 pages, and has 53 of my top posts. I determined the “top posts” by looking at traffic, and how much each post was shared on social media. I also tried to include a nice balance of subjects, so I separated the posts into four sections: general, landscape, wildlife, and close-up. [Read more...]

How To Photograph The Lunar Eclipse

Lunar Eclipse (2011) / Photo by Steve Berardi

Lunar Eclipse (2011) / Photo by Steve Berardi

On October 8th (this Wednesday), there will be a total lunar eclipse. It’ll be visible from much of North and South America, Australia, and much of Asia (see map).

In a total eclipse, the moon turns red (due to the way the light from the Sun is scattered as it passes through our atmosphere), and it’s truly a beautiful sight!

Here are some tips for photographing the eclipse: [Read more...]

How To Guide Your Viewer Through An Image

Photo by Steve Berardi

Photo by Steve Berardi


When you look at a photograph, you don’t view it as a whole. Instead, you first focus on one key area that grabs your attention and then you move your eyes throughout the rest of the frame to see what else is there.

Where your eye travels from that first spot depends on the image, and how that spot guides you to another spot in the frame. In an image that has good “flow,” your eye will always know where to go next (elements of the image will guide you). But, if an image doesn’t have a natural direction of flow, then it’s harder for the viewer to move through the image (they don’t know where to start and then they don’t know where to go from there). [Read more...]

Use PhotoPills To Plan Your Next Milky Way Shot

PhotoPills

PhotoPills

One of the great things about being a photographer in this day and age is that we have a ton of awesome tools available for planning our landscape shots. I’ve talked about many of them already, including The Photographer’s Ephemeris, PhotoPills, Google Earth, and Stellarium. Together, these four tools can help you answer just about any question you have about a potential landscape shot.

Well, one of these tools (PhotoPills) just added an awesome new feature to their app: a 2D Milky Way Planner. And, the creators just published an excellent tutorial on their website on how to use this new feature.

So, if you’re interested in photographing the Milky Way in one of your nighttime landscape images, be sure to check this out! [Read more...]

Take Only Pictures, Leave Only Footprints

Chocolate Lily / Photo by Steve Berardi

Chocolate Lily / Photo by Steve Berardi

Now that we’re well into spring here in the northern hemisphere (and getting ready for summer), there’s lots of wildflowers in bloom. This is one of the best times of year for photography because the wildflowers also bring a lot of other cool stuff to photograph (such as butterflies and other insects).

With so many exciting subjects, sometimes it’s easy to forget that this is also one of the most fragile times of year for the natural world. So, it’s important to “leave no trace” when you’re out on the trail.

Leaving no trace means you leave the wilderness just as you found it (or maybe a little better by picking up any trash you find). It means the only thing you take away is photographs, and the only thing you leave behind is footprints. But, you should also be careful just where you leave those footprints.

To ensure you leave no trace, here are a few guidelines to follow when you’re out on a trail: [Read more...]

How To Add Contrast To Landscape Photos

Sunrise in the Mojave / Photo by Steve Berardi

Sunrise in the Mojave / Photo by Steve Berardi

Adding contrast to a landscape photo is one way to make it a more compelling image. When we think of the word “contrast” we usually think about contrasting colors or brightness. But, there’s also another type of contrast that you can capture in your images: subjective contrast.

Here’s a quick look at the different types of contrast and how you can capture them in your images:

Color Contrast

The most common way of adding more contrast to your images is photographing a scene with strong contrasting colors. With landscape photography, this is usually pretty easy to do around the “golden hours” — where you’ll likely have some of your scene in the shade while the rest of the scene is extra saturated with that warm light of sunrise or sunset. [Read more...]