When lining up a background for a subject, make sure to give it a clean background to create a more graphic image. In this example I am trying to shoot a Chinstrap penguin in Antarctica where the snowy backdrop isn’t working to make the white belly of my subject pop.
In this video shot on location in New Zealand, Art discusses the equipment used to compliment ideal overcast lighting to take photos in a forest of trees, moss, and lichens. The overcast lighting provides the perfect opportunity to capture the many layered textures of the forest without the distracting shadows and highlights of sunny direct lighting that can often hide or blow out the fine details.
Along with the overcast lighting, a longer lens to focus on areas of interest, and a shutter release with tripod to minimize movement, Art is able to capture the immense detail of the thick verdant forest.
It’s officially summer, the perfect time to enjoy the outdoors and beautiful public lands that make my home state of Washington such a remarkable place to live, work, and play.
As the Honorary Chair for an environment nonprofit working to protect wild places here in Washington State, I am delighted to give local photographers tips and info for Washington Wild’s summer photo contest.
Here are some photography tips in support of a wild & green Washington!
First – as the saying goes, the best camera is the one you have with you! Take your camera out while hiking, climbing, and exploring – to capture the beauty of Washington’s stunning landscapes. Here are a few of my favorite tips to keep in mind when shooting outside:
Learn about the place you are visiting, but don’t be wedded to preconceived notions of what to photograph.
“Think small”, because even in the worst conditions you can still photograph a macro.
Try a tripod even though it adds bulk. It forces you to slow down and be more critical about your subject. It also allows for longer exposures.
Don’t be discouraged by bad weather. Overcast days make for richer colors, and fog and weather can add depth to the atmosphere and create unique opportunities to capture that rare once in a lifetime image!
Take a lot of photos, especially while photographing animals. You can cull similar or unsuccessful shots later, but you don’t want to leave any successful ones in the field!
Ready to go?! Snap away and send your best shots of Washington’s public lands and wild places to Washington Wild by August 7th!
Many people believe that great photographic images are composed in a flash of inspiration; an epiphany that presents itself fully-formed, ready to be mined by the artist there to capture it. This can and does happen, yet most of the time we fumbled towards a great shot, refining the composition with each exposure.
Such is the case with one of my favorite images, featured in this video. For Technique Tuesday, hear me pull back the layers of the many elements I navigated through to get the final shot.
CreativeLive is having a special VIP sale through July 9th. Get 50% off any class, mine included using promo code VIPArWolfe! This exclusive sale is only available through CreativeLive instructors, so don’t miss this chance to save. Check out the vast library of topics from renowned instructors here, and get started on your next creative venture!
Harsh, direct lighting is not always the best option for shooting. However if you pick your battles, you can turn it into an advantage in creating unique imagery. Shot on location in Bolivia Art points his camera directly at the sun and uses a cactus to shield his lens, capturing effective rim lighting.
My staff and I are always striving to bring you new content whenever possible, and we are proud to present to you a new feature on our site, “Where’s Art?” hosted by Mitch Stringer. Each episode of “Where’s Art?” is brought to you on location, with insightful questions from Mitch along with images from wherever I might be at the time.
Our premier episode is from my recent trip to the Columbia River Gorge with a small group to photograph not only the iconic waterfalls of the area, but also the micro-environments and details that make this part of the world unique.
I hope you enjoy this new segment! Let me know in the comments how you like it!
It’s no secret that soft, diffuse light is often preferred for great photos unless you’re going for a specific style, look, or feel. This quick video shows one reason why soft light is preferable. not only is the location of this village in Mali complex in terms of the many rooftops and structures, the conical rooftops themselves are textured complex pattern. Add in a busy landscape of brush and trees, and there is quite a bit going on.
Shooting this scene in more direct lighting would create a high contrast graphical image that might be interesting, but you would lose the detail that informs the viewer of the context of this location. Most of the materials used to construct this village are from the landscape it’s built upon. Showing the even tones, hues and cohesive nature in which everything blends together helps capture the symbiotic relationship between the people and the land in a way that a high contrast image with dark shadows and bright highlights simply wouldn’t deliver.
Welcome to another technique Tuesday! Today we revisit creating compelling compositions focusing on wildlife that also give context to their environment. Often times just centering up your subject isn’t the most interesting way to present it, even if your focus is on an animal or person. Unless your goal is to inform the viewer about the specific detail of the subject itself, there is often more to be learned about it’s nature by including the world it lives in.
I also give some tips on how you can ‘break the ice’ with wildlife and increase their interest and comfort level, ensuring they stick around until you get that well-composed shot you’re looking for!
Tomorrow I’m heading south to the Washington-Oregon border for my Columbia River Gorge workshop – stay tuned to the blog for new photos!
Even in an environment with an abundance of interesting detail to focus on, like the Pancake Rocks of the South Island of New Zealand, sometimes stepping back with a wide angle lens to give context to those details is the best way to capture them. It can be easy to get caught up in the surreal nature of an unfamiliar landscape and focus too much on the alien details of something you won’t find anywhere else in the world, but it’s that contrast with the more familiar surroundings that can make them feel even more unique.
Here I’ve used a 16mm wide angle lens with, at the time, my Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III. A shutter speed of 1/60th froze the waves in the background while an aperture at ƒ10 ensured the subject of the pancake rocks were captured in full detail. The bright day allowed for a low ISO of 100, so very little noise infiltrates the image.