In this age of digital photo editing, it’s tempting to get lazy when you’re taking a photo out in the field and just say to yourself, “well, if I don’t like how I framed this, I could always crop it later.” But, there are a few disadvantages to relying on that crop tool too much: [Read more…] about Three Reasons to Avoid Relying on the Crop Tool
depth of field
In close-up nature photography, there’s a constant battle of trying to find that perfect balance between a sharp subject and an out-of-focus background.
An out-of-focus background is essential to a good close-up photo, because it helps draw attention to your main subject.
But, it’s not always easy to get that nice background. Sometimes the background is just too close, or your subject has a lot of depth (forcing you to try a smaller aperture, which then puts more of the background in focus).
So, how do you deal with this constant battle? Well, here are a few ways: [Read more…] about How to Win the Battle of Close-up Photography
As nature photographers, we tend to have an obsession with tack sharp photos and will do almost anything to increase the sharpness just a tiny bit. After all, looking up close at a sharp photo of a dragonfly is one of the greatest rewards of photographing the natural world 🙂
But, sometimes it’s necessary to sacrifice a little sharpness for a better composition.
As an example, consider the photo above of a Desert Sunflower in front of a patch of Desert Sand Verbena (see original size photo too). There are three reasons why the sunflower isn’t as sharp as it could have been:
- The wind was blowing pretty hard, and constantly swaying the flower
- The camera’s sensor was not parallel to the most important plane of the flower
- A pretty large aperture was used (f/5.6), which limited depth of field
Of course, the wind was out of my control, so all I could do for that was wait for the calmest moment possible. But, the other two were in my control. Why didn’t I address these problems? [Read more…] about Why the Sharpest Photo Isn’t Always the Best Photo
Although wildflowers are best photographed with an SLR camera, it’s still possible to take some pretty good shots with a plain old point and shoot camera. And, sometimes this may be the only camera you have with you at the time, either because you’re backpacking far into the wilderness and want to travel light, or maybe you haven’t made the jump to an SLR just yet.
The biggest problem you’ll run into with the point and shoot camera is the large depth of field you get from the super small sensor. This limits some of your options, but there’s a few ways to get around it, and as always, light also plays a huge role in the success of a photo.
So, here are a few tips for photographing wildflowers when you’re limited to a point and shoot camera: [Read more…] about 9 tips for photographing wildflowers with a point and shoot camera
I was planning to write about the three things that affect depth of field this week, but by pure coincidence (seriously!), I discovered this great blog post that Brian Auer wrote a few days ago:
I’d highly recommend checking it out. Brian did a nice job of explaining the three things that affect depth of field (aperture, camera to subject distance, and focal length), including some sample images too.
There’s a few things I’d like to add though: [Read more…] about 3 Things That Affect Depth of Field
In Bob Dylan’s great song, “Love Minus Zero/No Limit,” he proclaims,
“There’s no success like failure, and failure’s no success at all.”
It’s one of my favorite lines. I don’t always think failure is such a bad thing, because we learn so much more from failure, than we do success.
So, I’d like to try a new type of post here at PhotoNaturalist. I’ll start by sharing a recent photo I took that I don’t think came out very well. Then, I’ll explain why I don’t like it and why it “failed.” [Read more…] about What went wrong with this dragonfly photo?