Ansel Adams was born February 20, 2002. He is “the” icon of American landscape photography. Trained as a concert pianist, his love of photography and time spent in Yosemite National Park led him to a career change.
If you want to look at the metadata embedded in online photos, including GPS coordinates, this is an excellent online viewer. And it is simple. Just grab the URL for an online photo, drop it into the URL box on Jeffrey’s site, verify you aren’t a robot, and then check out the tons of metadata (check out the examples below). This is the most comprehensive metadata viewer I have found.
Thanks to atmospheric haze, aerial photos usually don’t look very good right out of the camera. The fastest, simplest, and best way to fix your aerial photos is with Adobe Camera Raw (ACR). If you don’t have ACR there are other good options in your favorite image editing software. They won’t be as fast but they will get the job done. This article shows you how.
Levels is a powerful tool and relatively simple to learn. Levels provides a quick, simple, and effective way to correct basic exposure problems. This tutorial will show you how to adjust the exposure of your images with levels.
Photos from a commercial jet don’t look very good right out of the camera because you are seven miles off the ground. You are usually shooting through seven miles of atmospheric haze, even on a relatively clear day. If you are flying on a hazy day it is going to be even worse. Fortunately, you can save many of your aerial photos with a quick fix in Adobe Camera Raw (ACR).
Originally posted Feb. 12, 2017. Updated Feb. 17, 2017.
The GPS system is increasingly important to photography. It will help you figure out where you took some of your more obscure photos and help you caption your photos. More and more photo editors want GPS information for the photos they publish. A GPS communicator could save your life. This series will help you learn the ins and outs of GPS, plus keep you and your family safe.
Originally posted Jan. 29, 2016. Updated and re-posted Feb. 11, 2017.
Your smartphone is designed to geotag the locations of your photos and store it in the photo’s “metadata”. Many other cameras do the same thing. This means if you take pictures of your family and post them online, anyone (including some very unsavory characters) can pull up a map of where the photo was taken. Is there really a danger? Yes. Are you at high risk for this happening to you? That is hard to say. Is it better to be safe than sorry? Of course. What can you do to protect your family? Keep reading.
Originally posted August 13, 2013. Revised and updated and re-posted Feb. 11, 2017.
You need help. You can barely move. You are far enough from the trail that no one can hear your voice. You have no cell phone signal. What do you do?
Every now and then you hear tragic stories about people who lose their lives simply because they didn’t have a cell phone signal and couldn’t call for help in an unexpected emergency. A $260 – $340 satellite communicator would have saved their lives.
Originally posted Nov. 10, 2014. Updated and re-posted Feb. 11, 2017.
When I am taking pictures from an airplane I am curious where I am and what I am seeing down below. Sometimes it is obvious, like the Grand Canyon, and sometimes it isn’t. GPS on a plane should help a lot. At least that’s the theory.
If you aren’t used to photographing faint objects in the night sky, this will be a challenge, but I suggest you try anyway. You have nothing to lose and a photo to gain.
Originally posted Feb. 9, 2017. Revised and expanded Feb. 10, 2017.
Your friendly magazine photo editor wants to know if you have an aerial photo of Crestone Peak. Or maybe you are just curious about the stuff you photograph out an airplane window. Looking at a map, a topographic map, or a satellite image is the usual way to identify objects in an aerial photo, but sometimes that doesn’t work very well. That’s where Google Earth in 3D “flyover” mode comes in.
Originally posted Feb. 8, 2017. Updated Feb. 11, 2017.
Everything but time was in my favor. I was able to grab a good window seat (well ahead of the engines) with a clean, un-crazed window on the correct (right) side of the plane to photograph the Sange de Cristo Mountains.
GPS Data is increasingly important to photographers. It is the link between photos and photographic locations. It can be very helpful to drop GPS coordinates into a program like Google Earth to be able to tell exactly where a photo was taken. How do you do that?
Originally Feb. 9, 2016. Updated and re-posted Feb. 5, 2017.
What is the name of this mountain? Photo editors want to know. They like caption information. If you have a distinctive mountain in your photo, “Mountain in Colorado” won’t cut it with your friendly neighborhood photo editor. Here’s how to identify that mountain in Google Earth (and how to get GPS coordinates into Google Earth).
Originally posted Jan. 26, 2016. Updated and re-posted Feb. 5, 2017.
The fastest way to check location accuracy your camera’s GPS information is to take a photo at a known location that you can pinpoint on a map.
Posted Jan. 28, 2016. Updated and re-posted Feb. 3, 2017.
In a prior article (on figuring out the name for Antora Peak) I noted the discrepancy between the GPS coordinates provided by my iPhone and the actual location where I took the photo (graphic above). They were off by about 20-30 feet. You can test the accuracy of the GPS information provided by your camera/smartphone. This article will show you how.
Originally posted Jan. 28, 2016. Updated and re-posted Feb. 3, 2017.
Should you join the growing number of photographers who “geotag” their photos (add GPS data). How do you do it? Are there times you shouldn’t?
Originally posted Jan. 28, 2016. Revised and re-posted Feb. 2, 2017.
I was on S. Hantz Road east of Rudyard, Michigan looking for Snowy Owls. According to eBird there had been several recent Snowy Owl sightings in the area, but no owl was to be found the day I was there. Another photographer I met didn’t have any luck either. I had three GPS enabled cameras with me, counting my phone, so with no owls in sight I decided to compare the accuracy of the GPS units.
Originally posted Jan. 31, 2017. Revised and expanded Feb. 19, 2017.
Today (Mar 18, 2014) I was asked by a client where I was when I took some photos in Banff National Park. I was able to provide him with the exact locations, complete with marked satellite images. It is a good idea to known where you were when you created your most important images, and the more specific the information the better. It is good info to have for your own use and sometimes it can make the difference between whether or not one of your images is published.
Originally posted Mar. 18, 2014. Updated and re-posted Jan. 30, 2017.
I had a serious problem with Adobe Bridge freezing on start up. It was totally unresponsive on my MacBook Air. The only way I could close Bridge to remove it from hiding my desktop was to hold down the power button until my laptop shut down.
Planning a trip to photograph some of our national parks? You will get better images if you visit a national park at its prime season of the year. But when is each park at its very best? And how do you figure out the best time of year for other locations that aren’t in the national parks?
We’ve been down this road before. The formula is simple. Take a cheap smart phone telephoto lens you can buy at Amazon for $15, sell it for $54.95, say it is a limited half price offer, and imply the lens will do amazing things that every well informed photographer knows the cheap lens absolutely can’t do.
I am planning a winter photography trip to some U.S. national parks, some of which I haven’t been to before. So I am narrowing down my choices to fit the time I have. My search is what led to the advice in this article. I recommend you also read The Best National Parks to Photograph in Winter.
Winter provides some wonderful photo opportunities in our national parks. So if you haven’t gone into hibernation for the winter, here are the best national parks to go photograph this winter, grouped by state from the west to the east. There are a few bonus locations thrown in too. At the end I give you my “best of the best” list.
I grew up in Colorado where strange weather can strand you in any month of the year. Even though it is rare, I’ve seen blizzards in the high country in July. So I learned to carry some safety essentials when doing winter photography in remote locations. You never know when you might be stranded for several hours, a whole day, or longer, until the blizzard abates and someone can come find you. This is what I carry in my car pretty much year around but especially in the winter. I include a few winter travel tips, too.
Some camera’s come with a highlight overexposure warning, commonly called “the blinkies”. If you have overexposed, blown out pixels, those pixels in your image will flash white and black. A quick look at the LCD image will tell you if part of your image has white, washed out, featureless pixels. If your camera has a highlight overexposure warning, I suggest you turn it on. If you see the blinkies and you don’t want washed out pixels, tone down your exposure until the blinkies go away.
The full seventeen minute speech is here.
The most important and difficult step in night photography is to focus your lens at infinity. If you have tried to focus on the stars at night you have already learned that it is an impossible task for the autofocus system and just about impossible for you to do manually. You just can’t see clearly enough through the viewfinder in the dark of night to manually focus on the stars. Fortunately, there are some ways to get the job done.
Originally posted Jan. 8, 2017. Revised and expanded Feb. 10, 2017.
It’s that time of year. I downloaded a bunch of holiday photos and it’s also time to check on my overall backup plan.
You would think a windchill of 4° Fahrenheit (-16°C) would be too cold for a photo shoot, but not with some models. We booked this January shoot weeks in advance so we knew it would be cold, but we had no idea how cold until the day arrived. Here’s the story behind this image and how to work with a model when it is so cold.