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Author Archive | Jim

Why Not Use Shutter Priority Mode?

When it comes to choosing the mode to use on your camera, the two choices that virtually everyone (myself included) recommends are either Manual mode (M on the mode dial) or Aperture Priority mode (A or Av). The rationale for Manual mode is that, while it is surely the slowest one to set and use, […]

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My Take: 5 Mistakes of Beginning Landscape Photographers

Whenever I see an article on the “top mistakes” of photographers, try as I might I cannot avoid reading it. Something in me just wants to make sure I’m not committing some grievous error.  I never am, but at the same time they do offer some opportunities for learning what other photographers think is important and […]

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My New Top 8 Travel Planning Tips for Photographers

I previously wrote an article with some overall travel planning tips for photographers.  These were primarily tools to help you find the best locations and shots.  As I have taken more and more trips in recent years, however, I have discovered a few more.  Some of these relate to the finding of photographs, and some […]

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The #1 New Tool for Outdoor Photography

I just returned from Ireland, where I spent two weeks photographing the countryside and coastline. While I was there, I had something of a revelation. I realized that, if I was forced to choose between bringing only my trusty DSLR or my drone, I’d choose the drone. That surprised me. I never planned on getting […]

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Video: Getting Started Using Curves

Curves adjustment layers in Photoshop are super-powerful. When it comes to adjusting brightness, contrast, and color, there is no more powerful tool. But they can appear complicated and somewhat intimidating.  Let me walk you though a few ways to dip your toe into the waters of Curves through this video: If you’d rather read about […]

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The Color of the Sky

We all know the sky during the day is blue. We know that clouds are white (or grey). And we know that the sky can turn different shades of yellow and orange at night. But why? When you are photographing in the outdoors, the sky is such a huge part of your pictures that it […]

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A Little Cleanup Can Go a Long Way

About eight or nine months ago, I took this picture of a sheep in Ireland: I really liked the picture for a lot of reasons. First of all, it isn’t that often that you can catch a relatively close-up, frontal view of a sheep like that. It certainly isn’t unheard of, but I’ve been to […]

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How to Photograph the Moon

Almost everyone’s first attempt at photographing the moon results in disappointment. When you look at your pictures after that first try, the moon inevitably appears like a small white blob in the sky. The question quickly becomes how to avoid that and get a really sharp picture of the moon. Is there a trick to […]

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The Tools for Creating Sharp Images

Everyone wants a create tack sharp pictures. We spend a lot of money in the pursuit of sharp photos. We also spend a lot of time and effort in the field to make them sharp. We fuss over stabilization, exposure, and focus. If you aren’t familiar with the things you might do to make your […]

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Goal Setting in Photography

As I write this, we are in the final few days of 2016. As with the end of every year, we are all being bombarded with calls to set new goals for the coming year. Everybody talks about New Year’s resolutions, for example. If you follow any productivity or self-help resources, this is the time […]

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Banding: How to Avoid It, How to Get Rid of It.

When you have ugly bands of color in your picture, it is referred to as “banding.” It occurs where you have large portions of a single color in your picture, usually a dark color. For the outdoor photographer, that almost always means it occurs in the skies. Since we frequently have skies in our pictures, […]

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Do I Need to Learn Exposure?

You already know I’m going to say “yes”; but I think there is a little more to it than you might expect. I approach questions like this with a degree of caution. The reason is that I’ve seen answers from experts in other contexts go horribly wrong. For example, I’ve always been interested in sailing. […]

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