Using a Tilt-Shift Lens to Maximize Depth of Field

A Canon tilt-shift lens. Note the tilting controls.

You want to maximize the depth of field of your images. You understand, however, that shooting at very small apertures can negatively affect image quality because of diffraction. You also know that the “sweet spot” for most lenses is somewhere in the range of f/5.6 – 8.0. Wouldn’t it be nice if you could use… Continue reading Using a Tilt-Shift Lens to Maximize Depth of Field

Buying a Graduated Neutral Density Filter

Elsewhere, we have covered how to deal with extreme dynamic range problems in outdoor photography. We have looked at solutions involving post-processing and even spent some time on HDR techniques. But what if there was a way to deal with the problem of dynamic range in-camera? Turns out, there is. It is called the graduated neutral density filter… Continue reading Buying a Graduated Neutral Density Filter

Should I Buy a Monopod?

This photo was taken from the top of Rockefeller Center in New York, where they DO NOT allow tripods, but they DO allow monopods.

A question I receive from time to time is whether it is worth it to buy a monopod. Many serious photographers use them, and they do provide support and stabilization while you are shooting. On the other hand, monopods limit your movements and do not provide anywhere near the stabilization of a tripod. So, should you… Continue reading Should I Buy a Monopod?

Is Full-Frame Worth It?

Back in the days of film cameras, 35 mm film was pretty well ubiquitous. We all used it. It was called 35 mm film because each strip took exposures that were 35 mm wide. It was actually considered small film in its time, and most professional photographers used larger format film. When digital came along,… Continue reading Is Full-Frame Worth It?

All About Polarizing Filters

These pictures were taken a few seconds apart. The photo on the left was taken with a polarizing filter; the photo on the right without.

You need very few filters in modern digital photography. One you should get, however, is a polarizing filter. Why? They just make your photos look a lot better coming out of the camera in many situations. They are a simple way to: make the skies in your pictures a deeper, richer blue make certain colors in… Continue reading All About Polarizing Filters

8 Tips for Purchasing a Tripod

My top two items in use at Acadia National Park: a tripod and a remote shutter release.

“When it comes to tripods, you want one that is stable, light-weight, and inexpensive. You can have any two of these characteristics you want, but never all three.” Besides the camera and lens, the tripod is probably the most significant expenditure you will face in photography. Because of the different ways that people shoot, and… Continue reading 8 Tips for Purchasing a Tripod

Categorized as Gear, Tripods