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...]

How To Photograph the Upcoming Lunar Eclipse

Lunar Eclipse (2011) / Photo by Steve Berardi

Lunar Eclipse (2011) / Photo by Steve Berardi

On April 14/15, there will be a total lunar eclipse. It’ll be visible from most of the US, Canada, and Central America, and parts of South America (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...]

Write For PhotoNaturalist and Earn $40!

When I first started PhotoNaturalist over five years ago, my original vision was to have lots of different photographers writing about their experiences and sharing their knowledge with other nature photographers.

My father and I have done most of the writing here on PN up until now, but now that PhotoNaturalist is generating a stable income every month, I’d like to start featuring more guest writers on the blog. We can offer $40 per post. [Read more...]

What Is Tripod Load Capacity?

When you’re shopping for a tripod, one of the more confusing numbers you’ll run into is the tripod’s “load capacity.” It sounds pretty simple: shouldn’t that just be the maximum weight the tripod can handle?

Well, it’s a little more complicated than that, and unfortunately there’s no universal standard for determining the load capacity. So, one manufacturer might say their tripod can handle 20 lbs, while another manufacturer’s standards would rate that exact same tripod at 30 lbs. [Read more...]

How to Reduce Noise in Your Photos

Noise is that ugly discoloration that makes your photos look “grainy” (like in the image on the right, where the noise has been exaggerated to make it more clear). It’s one of the most annoying things you’ll have to deal with in digital images.

Although you’ll never get rid of noise completely, there are a few things you can do to reduce it so it’s barely noticeable by the viewer: [Read more...]

Introduction to Insect Macro Photography (Part III) – Composition and Focusing

Photo by Huub de Waard / Male marmalade hover fly: Magnification 5, f/14, ISO 100 and 1/250 sec

Photo by Huub de Waard / Male marmalade hover fly: Magnification 5, f/14, ISO 100 and 1/250 sec

This is the final part (III) of a guest post by Huub de Waard, an exceptional photographer who specializes in close-up shots of insects. After reading his post, be sure to check out more of his awesome photos at his website. And, if you’re also interested in writing a guest post here on PhotoNaturalist, please contact me, thanks! –Steve

Composition is more difficult for microphotography than for other types of nature photography.

Your subject might be an insect or a spider sitting on a difficult-to-reach place. Add the fact that you need to approach very carefully to not disturb your subject and you have a bit of a tricky situation. There are no golden rules to help you solve this one. Play around with composition until you get something that works.

In microphotography, you want to simplify your image as much as you possibly can. Fill up as much of your frame as possible with the subject. Have your focus as sharp as possible and don’t be afraid to experiment with different angles to find the one with the most aesthetic appeal. Photos at high magnification have a corresponding shallow depth of field, so precise control over the location of focus is critical. This requires not only artistic decisions about what part of the subject should be tack sharp, but also technical decisions about how to make the most of this sharpness. [Read more...]