Use PhotoPills To Plan Your Next Milky Way Shot



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...]

How To Photograph Wildlife in Low Light

Have you ever tried to capture that great wildlife shot in low light? It’s often not easy, is it? Such is the case of capturing this rare and endangered Barn Owl in a Missouri barn:

Barn Owl / Photo by Jim Braswell

Barn Owl / Photo by Jim Braswell

In Missouri, loss of habitat and farms, including barns where the Barn Owl prefers to live, have caused the Barn Owl to be placed on the state’s endangered list. In fact, the above owl is only the second Barn Owl I’ve heard of in the state over the past few years. Photographing it was a high priority on my list. And I certainly didn’t want to cause it undue stress by using flash photography. In cases like this, shooting in very low light may be the only alternative you have.

Let’s explore some of the factors of shooting in low light and look at some things we can do to help us capture a great image in low light: [Read more...]

How To Shoot In The Fog

Photo by Eric Pohl

Foggy morning at Bastrop State Park, Texas (1/30 sec, f/8, ISO 100) / Photo by Eric Pohl

Shooting in fog has always intrigued me. From golden rays lighting wavy mist rising from a placid lake to an atmospheric scene of a craggy coast line and silhouetted tree — fog can be a truly amazing gift in photography. It can add a moody and mysterious ambiance to any scene. It has the ability to take the most mundane places and turn them into mystical worlds where anything is possible.

On the downside, without taking a few things into consideration, it can also make a photo dull and washed out. So, here are a few strategies for taking photos in the fog: [Read more...]

How To Photograph Wildlife Action Shots

If you enjoy wildlife photography, then you’ll surely love to capture action shots:

Photo by Jim Braswell

Photo by Jim Braswell

Capturing action or behavior gives impact to your images. Sure, an image of a bear just standing in a creek can be a nice image, and it certainly has its place. But, an action shot of that bear can bring your photography to the next level.

To increase your chances of capturing action shots, here are a few techniques you can use: [Read more...]

5 Tips For Aerial Photography

Photo by Jeff Stamer / Kauai's Kahili Falls

Photo by Jeff Stamer / Kauai’s Kahili Falls

Many of us were first attracted to photography because it allowed us to see the world anew. Your camera challenges you not only to explore new places but also see familiar ones differently. One of the most dramatic ways to do this is with aerial photography.

Have you ever taken two shots a few yards apart and been amazed at how different they looked? That slight difference in perspective is multiplied exponentially in aerial photography. [Read more...]

How To Take Photos From a Kayak

Photo by Jim Braswell

Photo by Jim Braswell

Note from Steve: Today I’m excited to introduce another new contributor to PhotoNaturalist: Jim Braswell. Jim is a great wildlife/landscape photographer from Missouri, and his first post is all about taking photos from a kayak! Enjoy!

Want to have some real fun? I was turned on to photographing wildlife from a kayak by a friend of mine a few years ago. After a lot of convincing (yes, I had a lot of concerns about taking my expensive camera equipment in a small vessel, over open water), we loaded up two kayaks and headed out to photograph at a Conservation Area. After a day of photographing American white pelicans at pretty close range, I fell in love with the thrill of kayaking the backwaters, where human intervention is rare and the wildlife abundant.

So, then I purchased my own kayak and have since been out hundreds of times, capturing some pretty unique wildlife encounters. [Read more...]