7 Tips for Photographing the Sky at Night

The night sky over Eagle Lake in Maine's Acadia National Park. Winter.

The night sky over Eagle Lake in Maine’s Acadia National Park. Winter.

I am more of a morning person than a night owl, so I’ve never been very motivated to get out and shoot the night sky, despite the beauty that can be found in night images. But I’ve been seeing so many stunning night sky images from other photographers the last few years, that I’ve been inspired to stay up late every once in a while recently to see what I can do. It’s actually not that hard technically to get some nice images of a star-filled sky, but there are a few things you need to know before heading out and filling up your memory card in the dark. Continue Reading

Seascape Photos – Quick Tips

Dawn on the New Hampshire Seacoast. Wallis Sands State Park, Rye, New Hampshire.

Dawn on the New Hampshire Seacoast. Wallis Sands State Park, Rye, New Hampshire.

Living on the New Hampshire Seacoast, I’m blessed with the opportunity to shoot seascapes pretty much anytime I feel like getting out of bed in the morning. With the weather warming up, I realize many of you will begin making trips to the coast for photography, so I thought I’d give you some quick tips to keep in mind while shooting our shorelines. Continue Reading

Finding Inspiration – Six Months of 0630

Monkman_0630_Portsmouth_NH_078

Ascension, South Street Cemetery, Portsmouth, New Hampshire

There comes a point in a photographer’s career when he or she understands enough of the technical aspects of the craft, that making pictures changes. It is no longer about understanding the concepts of things like depth of field or exposure, but instead it becomes about finding the inspiration that allows one to make interesting, important, and/or beautiful photos. Continue Reading

Using Lines in the Landscape to Improve Your Photo Compositions.

Monument Cove and Otter Cliffs in Maine's Acadia National Park.

Monument Cove and Otter Cliffs in Maine's Acadia National Park. The curve of the shoreline in this photo adds a peaceful line that leads the viewer's eye to the cliffs.

Lines, real and implied are an important component in any photo’s composition. Lines can be straight (horizontal, vertical, or at an oblique angle,) or curved. All lines work to divide your image into distinct parts, so you need to study your compositions carefully to see how these divisions work. Do they cut an image in half, creating a static feel, or do they divide the image into unequal parts which can provide an asymmetrical balance and more dynamic feel? Continue Reading

How to Paint with Light at Night.

Joshua Trees at Night by Bill Campbell.

Photography derives its name from the “painting with light”. But the term light painting has come to mean using external sources of light (flashlight, candle, etc) to paint in light on a subject at night. The method I use in Light Painting requires a flashlight and some way to color the light. Continue Reading

Week 10 – Series Wrap-Up.

Kennebunk, Maine. Kayaking the Mousam River.

Well, we’ve made it through ten weeks of outdoor photography tips together. I really appreciate all of you who have taken the time to watch this series, submit photos, and send me e-mails. I have had a lot of fun and even learned a few things myself! This week’s video encourages you to “participate in the landscape” to make better pictures, and hopefully it will give you another dose of inspiration to get you out there and have fun with your camera. Continue Reading

Spring Flower Tips – Lenses and composition

When we talk about composition, we usually talk about “Rule of Thirds” and foreground/ background, diagonal lines, leading lines, repeating elements and so forth. Have you ever considered the composition effect that changing lenses would have on how your subject relates to its surroundings? Continue Reading

Spring Flower shooting tips- Multiple Exposure

Spring has come to the Smokies extremely early this year. I am hearing from friends around the country that they are experiencing an early spring also. Some teaching tips for spring wildflowers from today’s shoot.

Consider using multiple exposure to achieve a dreamy look to go along with your images. Flowers images look good when using this technique. Ok, here’s the How to for Multiple Exposure ( Canon people, don’t feel left out, the new Canon EOS- 1D X now does in camera ME). These instructions are for the Nikon D4 but are similar to other Nikon dSLRs. Continue Reading

Five Tips for Improving Your Adventure Photography

Hiker Racing Storm by Bret Edge

My interest in landscape photography evolved as a natural extension of my love for the outdoors.  I hike and backpack to gain access to high alpine lakes surrounded by jagged mountain peaks and deep desert canyons carved by raging rivers.  Why not use the time in between sunrise and sunset to expand your photographic horizons by shooting adventure images? Continue Reading

Week 7 – Capturing Motion.

Use a fast shutter speed to stop action.

Last week I talked about varying your aperture to create different effects through depth of field. In a static landscape scene where nothing is moving, you can set your aperture, then use whatever shutter speed gives you a proper exposure (assuming you are using a tripod if your shutter speed is less than around 1/125 second.) However, when part of the scene is moving, your shutter speed becomes just as important as your aperture in determining the final look of your image. Do you stop the action, or let it blur? Continue Reading