Need Help Identifying a Bird In Your Photo? Check out this website!

Photo by Steve Berardi

Photo by Steve Berardi

Have you ever photographed a bird and had no idea what kind it was? Sometimes it’s easy to identify it later by looking through a bird book, and sometimes not so much. And, even when you do identify it, it’s nice to get some confirmation from other people.

Well, we’re in luck, because a team of ornithologists and computer scientists at Cornell have developed a web app called Merlin that helps you identify the bird in your photo. And, it works surprisingly well! [Read more…]

Using Your Smartphone As a Post-Processing Playground

Photo by Steve Berardi

Photo by Steve Berardi

Post-processing is one of the most important steps of creating a powerful image (as my dad wrote about in a previous post). Ansel Adams once said, “The negative is the equivalent of the composer’s score, and the print the performance.” In modern day digital photography, post-processing leads to the “performance” part that Adams refers to. A RAW file from your camera can go in so many different directions.

In the past year or so, I’ve been really trying to improve my post-processing skills (especially with landscape images), and I discovered that one of the best ways to practice is using your smartphone.

The great thing about the smartphone is that it’s a camera and a little computer built into one small device that’s always with you. There’s tons of excellent photo editing apps that have professional editing abilities—my personal favorite is Snapseed (available for iPhone and Android), but I’ll get more into specific apps in a future post. [Read more…]

How To Prepare Your Images For the Web

Photo by Steve Berardi

Photo by Steve Berardi

These days, most photographers share their images on the web (for many good reasons). But, before posting images online, there’s a few things you should do to prepare them:

#1 – Convert color space to sRGB

Color spaces are a complex topic, but to ensure the colors in your images look consistently across a wide range of screens, it’s important to convert your images to the sRGB color space before posting them online. This is the most compatible color space across all devices.

Your images may already be in the sRGB color space, but many cameras export images in Adobe RGB 1998 or some cameras have their own unique color space. Be sure to check! [Read more…]

Free eBook on Landscape Photography From Anne McKinnell!

Landscape photography is one of the most difficult types of nature photography. Since there’s so much going on in a landscape image, it’s hard to always be aware of everything and this leads to a lot of common mistakes.

Well, we’re in luck, because Anne McKinnell released an excellent eBook this week: 22 Landscape Photography Mistakes (And How To Avoid Them). It’s an extremely straight-forward guide to improving your landscape photos. And, best of all, it’s completely free!

Get the eBook here!

The eBook covers a bunch of common mistakes, such as crooked horizons, cluttered backgrounds, lack of depth, blown out highlights, and much more.

If you’re not already familiar with Anne McKinnell, she’s a great photographer, and an excellent writer and teacher. She’s written multiple books on photography, all with a ton of great reviews on Amazon. She writes in a very friendly tone that makes it easy and fun to learn. She also has a wonderful blog, where she shares more great photography tips. [Read more…]

Remember To Update Your Camera’s Clock

Yesterday (March 8) was the start of Daylight Saving Time (DST) here in the US, so I thought it’d be a good time to remind everyone to update your camera’s clock.

It’s helpful to keep the clock very accurate (down to the second!), so you can better review your photos later. Sometimes the best way to learn is to constantly review old photos and revisit your thought process of creating those images. So, knowing the exact time the image was shot can help you check other things (like where was the sun at that time?).

Having an accurate clock also helps you stitch two scenes together if you’re using multiple cameras to photograph the same scene. [Read more…]

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…]