The Most Useful Filters for Nature Photography

When photographing nature, there are many times when a photographic filter on the end of the lens can help improve the image, or give the image a different effect. Such is the case when I captured Maroon Creek (Colorado) with a Neutral Density filter:

Maroon Creek landscape, Colorado

Maroon Creek / Photo by Jim Braswell

Kind of like “creativity in a can.” What filters are most useful for shooting nature? [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…]

4 Steps to Photographing the Milky Way

The Milky Way arcs over Bryce Canyon in this 7 frame image stitched together in Photoshop / Photo by Jeff Stamer

The Milky Way arcs over Bryce Canyon in this 7 frame image stitched together in Photoshop / Photo by Jeff Stamer

Technological progress in camera sensor sensitivity during the past decade has dramatically enhanced low-light photography. The ability to photograph the Milky Way is perhaps the most awe-inspiring result of these advances.

This post will give you the basics you need to start making your own Milky Way images. If you really get hooked and want more details, check out my more detailed post. [Read more…]

How To Research a New Photo Location

Bighorn Sheep / Photo by Jim Braswell

Bighorn Sheep / Photo by Jim Braswell

Traveling to photograph at a new location is always a fun experience for me. I love reading, or hearing about a place that I “just have to photograph.” But, to get the most out of the experience, be prepared by thoroughly researching the location before packing and heading out.

Why Should I Spend Time Researching?

Well, there are several reasons to do your research. The main reason is that travel is expensive, and conducting upfront research can save you time and money. Besides transportation, you’ll have lodging expenses, food costs, and you may have to use vacation days to get away from the day job (if you are still bound by that thing!). So, doing your research will help you to minimize any “surprises,” as well as help you stay within an affordable budget. [Read more…]

Micro Fauna for Mega Fun

Photo by Jay Ryser

Photo by Jay Ryser

My main photography interest is wildlife, especially the little guys. There’s nothing wrong with moose and elk (and given the opportunity to go on an all expenses paid trip to photograph grizzlies in Alaska, I’d jump on it), but I’ve always been drawn to the little guys.

Even though they’re small, they can have big personalities. I can witness conflict, romance, life and death struggles, intimate family moments, and get to know individual animals and their personalities without having to drive hundreds of miles or wander endless backcountry trails.

Photographing microfauna has several advantages for the photographer: [Read more…]

Tips For Shooting In Wet or Damp Conditions

Photo by Jim Braswell

Photo by Jim Braswell

Photographing in wet or damp conditions is a mixed blessing. The opportunities are often enormous; in a constantly damp area, the flora can be beautiful. A good example is the Inside Passage of Alaska, where lush, old-growth forests are common. Or a photo journey to a place like Costa Rica (I’ve never been there, but it’s on my “bucket list”).

But, working in these conditions requires some additional care so that our photography equipment will not be affected by the constant moisture.

So what are we to do? [Read more…]