Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Zika and Lyme Disease are a problem for millions who spend this summer outdoors in the U.S.

2016 Map of U.S.A. of Range of Mosquitoes Transmitting Zika Virus and Ticks transmitting Lyme Disease
This summer, millions of Americans, and travelers in the U.S. will encounter the Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus mosquitoes potentially carrying the Zika virus, along with varieties of the North American black-legged tick carrying Lyme Disease.

How wide-spread the transmission of Zika will become is unknown. This is the first summer since some cases of Zika have been reported in the U.S. On the other hand, the black-legged tick, otherwise known as the Deer Tick, has been transmitting Lyme Disease in the U.S. for many years.

Travelers, wildlife and travel photographers, hikers, campers, and others enjoying parks, wildlife refuges, forests, and other outdoor venues in the range of these disease transmitting insects in the U.S., as shown on the map above, will need to take precautions to avoid their bites to prevent contracting Zika and Lyme Disease.

Thursday, April 7, 2016

The Twelve P's of Wildlife Photography™

Harlequin Duck (Breeding Male)
Travel to see and and photograph wildlife is becoming one of the most desirable types of travel in the 21st century. Spotting an animal in the wild, then capturing it can be rewarding and exhilarating.

Wildlife photography is a genre many photographers aspire to do well. Unfortunately, many photographers out in the wild for the first time don't have great success. While they may have experience photographing animals in zoos, photographing animals in the wild is different and far more challenging.

To help achieve success in making great wildlife images, I've developed the “Twelve P's of Wildlife Photography™.

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Google's Nik Collection of plug-ins now free

Nik Collection Logo, courtesy Google Inc.If you're an Adobe Photoshop or Lightroom user, or use another compatible photo editor, you might have know about Nik Software's plug-ins which enhance the capability of these powerful photo editors.
Nik plug-ins help photo editors turn digital color images into spectacular black-and-white photographs, combine photos into a magnificent HDR images, correct color and retouch images with ease, and sharpen images perfectly.

Beginning on March 24, 2016, Google made the full Nik Collection available as a free download for both Windows and Mac based computers.

Monday, March 21, 2016

Secrets of photographing birds in flight: Part II

Adult bald eagle at the Conowingo Dam Travel to destinations to view wildlife in their native habitats is getting more and more popular. Images of flying birds are among the most coveted photos for “wildlife travelers,” because making photographs of flying birds is both challenging and satisfying.

In Part I, I discussed my secrets for shooting birds in flight covering such issues as: location, lighting, exposure, photographer's clothing, best lenses, RAW vs. JPG and more. In Part II below, I discuss my secrets about composition, focus, handholding, and using tripods and monopods.

Monday, March 14, 2016

Secrets of photographing birds in flight: Part I

Adult bald eagle at the Conowingo DamTravel to destinations to view wildlife in their native habitats is getting more and more popular. Images of flying birds are among the most coveted photos for “wildlife travelers,” because making photographs of flying birds is both challenging and satisfying.

Over the years, I've learned a few secrets about wildlife photography, and how to make great images of birds in flight. I'd like to share what I've learned, which may help you make wonderful photos of flying birds for yourself.

Friday, March 11, 2016

Don't forget to reset your camera's clock if you change to Daylight time

Clock in Musee d'Orsay in Paris, FranceOn Sunday, March 13, 2015, most of the U.S. will switch to “Daylight Time” from “Standard Time.” That's “most,” but definitely not “all” of the U.S. Arizona, except for the Navajo Nation, Hawaii, American Samoa, Guam, Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands, don't switch between “Daylight Time” in the spring, and “Standard Time” in the fall. They stick to “Standard Time” year-round.

The switch between “Daylight” and “Standard” time doesn't universally occur across the globe. More than 100 countries never change to “Daylight Time”, and more than a few countries switch between the two on different dates than other countries.

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Should you or shouldn't you use lens filters to protect lenses

Nikkor AF-S VR Micro-Nikkor 105mm f/2.8G with Nikon Clear NC Glass Filter for lens protectionIt's a question that's been around almost since the first truly portable camera. Should you or shouldn't use lens filters to protect your lenses. Generally, the question is viewed in black and white, but I think it's more complicated, more nuanced than most photographers care to admit.

The argument against using lens filters for lens protection is that when you put any extra optical glass between your lens and film or digital sensor, it's likely to degrade your camera/lens IQ (image quality). Yet photographers compromise image quality regularly for all sorts of reasons. For example, to increase the reach of a lens many photographers regularly use teleconverters that most definitely diminish lens IQ.

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Google Picasa Soon to be Sent to the Freeware Graveyard

Google Picasa LogoIt's not often the death of software used by countless people is announced this far in advance, but Google is giving Picasa users plenty of warning that they are finally putting the dated, outmoded software into the freeware graveyard.
On the official Google Picasa Blog, Google announced yesterday,
“As of March 15, 2016, we will no longer be supporting the Picasa desktop application. For those who have already downloaded this—or choose to do so before this date—it will continue to work as it does today, but we will not be developing it further, and there will be no future updates.”

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Getting it sharp from a telephoto

Nikon D4 with Nikkor 500mm lens on tripod with ball head and long lens supportTelephoto prime and zoom lenses are among the most useful lenses for a wide variety of genres. They are used for sports, wildlife, travel, and street photography. Many photographers use them for portraits and close-up shots as well.

Technically, telephoto lenses have a focal length or 60mm or more for a standard 35mm or full sensor size camera, though most people think of telephoto lenses having a focal length of 85mm or more. Lenses with a focal length greater than 300mm are considered to be super-telephoto lenses.

Telephoto lenses help us bring distant subjects closer, fill our frame with the subject, show detail difficult to see, capture action, and produce a shallow depth of field.