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

Outdoor Flash Photography – Understanding the Basics

Flash is a very powerful tool for outdoor photographers. While ‘sweet light’ is often available naturally, the midday sun or less than flattering outdoor light may be all that is available and this often presents the need for additional light sources. 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

Photo Critique – Hudson River at two times, by Bill Bogle Jr.

Hudson River in Mid-day light by Bill Bogle Jr.

A big thanks to all of you who submitted photos for this week’s assignment! I think it was very interesting to see the dramatic difference in photos shot of the same subjects at different times of day – I’m happy to see that my message got across! Continue Reading

Photo Critique – Fog in Yellowstone by Chris Lascell

Fog and Trees by Chris Lascell

Fog and Trees by Chris Lascell

This week, I’ve chosen to critique Chris Lascell’s photo of fog and trees. Chris shot this on a recent trip to Yellowstone National Park and says that “The photo was taken near Old Faithful. It’s an area of the park with lots of geothermal activity, so remains covered in fog until late in the morning. The fog lifted and almost immediately switched to bright mid-day sun.” Many of my favorite nature photos involve dramatic atmospheric conditions, and fog is something I seek out whenever I can in order to add a bit of mystery and mood to a photo. Being in the right place at the right time is half the battle in outdoor photography, and Chris did a great job of finding a scene with beautiful subject matter and light. Continue Reading

Week 1 – Maximize the Light.

It’s time to kick off my new photo course with tip number 1: Maximize the Light. I hope you’ll follow this course through to the end ten weeks from now, but if you take one thing away from my tips, it’s that you need to shoot your subject in the right light. If you do everything else right when taking a photo, but the light isn’t right for your subject, the best you’ll end up with is an average photo (and it will probably be worse than average!) In the video, I describe the differences between “golden hour” light, mid-day light, and diffuse, overcast light. If you’re new to outdoor photography, you might not necessarily notice the difference when you’re out shooting, but now that I’m explaining the differences to you, it’s your job to take the time to learn to see subtle differences in light and then apply what you learn to making photos. Continue Reading