How To Get Critical Focus in “Live View” Mode with a Magnified Image

Tripod mpounted camera in live view mode.

Tripod mounted camera in live view mode. The image is visible on the LCD along with the RGB histogram.

“Live View” mode is a huge boon to digital photographers and magnified focus is one of the reasons why. Focusing this way is more accurate than the camera’s autofocus modes, at least with non-moving subjects, and you will have sharper images. Landscape photography is the usual time to use this technique but sometimes it works for wildlife.

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Two Photographers and Eleven Outdoor/Travel Writers Pick the Best National Parks for Fall

Long’s Peak and Bear Lake, Rocky Mountain National Park

Fall is a fabulous time of year to visit the national parks. Crowds are usually smaller than in the summer, temperatures are cooler, and some of our national parks have glorious fall colors. With so many to choose from, where should you go? Which national parks will provide the best photographic opportunities in the fall?

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The Best National Parks for Fall Photography

Hallett Peak and Flattop Mountain, Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado

What are the best national parks to photograph in the fall? Here are my choices, grouped by state and province from west to east. This list includes the favorites I have been to, plus the ones I most want to see based on the recommendations of the photographers I trust, like Tim Fitzharris and QT Luong. More about them later.

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Colorado Fall Color Photography and Travel Guide

Maroon Bells and Maroon Lake. Mid-morning. September 24, 2015.

Maroon Bells and Maroon Lake. Mid-morning. September 24, 2015.

Headed for Colorado this fall? Welcome to my Colorado fall color photography and travel guide with 120 photos, 17 maps, and over 100 pages of information (if you print it all out). I cover some of the best known fall color locations in Colorado, and one real gem of a road that is mostly unknown to photographers and leaf peepers. Spend anywhere from a few days to two weeks (or more) exploring the beautiful Colorado Rockies at a gorgeous time of year.

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Favorite Photo, July 31

Ava, Worthington Ohio. July 31, 2016.

This was another spontaneous Sunday afternoon photo shoot. The light was perfect and I picked a large tree trunk as the background. The braids help make the picture. And look at those eyes! If you have been following this series you have seen Ava before. I have been taking pictures of her and her two sisters since each of them were two or three years old. This is one of my all time favorite portraits and my most favorite image for July 31.

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Favorite Photo, July 30

"Second Sunset", Colorado
“Second Sunset”, Brainard Lake, Indian Peaks Wilderness, Colorado. July 30, 2007.

Bob (my brother-on-law and photo buddy) and I were at Brainard Lake in hopes of capturing some nice landscape images. But it was cloudy and drizzly, and occasionally raining. We retreated to the car to eat a late snack/supper. We ate and talked and watched the rain drops on the windshield.

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Favorite Photo, July 20

Pika, Rocky Mountain National Park
Pika, Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado. July 20, 2005

I was up on Trail Ridge Road at Rock Cut. Pika were everywhere, gathering grass to stash away for the long winter. They have about about 3 or 4 months to gather enough food to last through an 8 or 9 month long winter. This was the only pika gathering flowers.

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Favorite Photo, July 15

Doris and Family, Fremont California. July 15, 2012.

The big day arrived, the celebration for Doris’ 90th birthday. Doris in the middle of the seated row, along with her four daughters. Gathered around are her sons-in-law, all of her grandchildren and some of her great-grand grandchildren. This is a favorite family portrait and one of my two most favorite images for this date.

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Favorite Photo, July 14

Janae and Doris, Fremont California. July 14, 2012.

It was a very busy week in Fremont California. Doris, my mother-in-law, turned 90 years old and birthday preparations were in full swing. At the end of a long day we were headed back to the house. Our daughter Janae walked her grandmother Doris up to the front door. I grabbed my camera and snapped this image. It is one of my all time favorite images, and one of my two most favorite photos for this date.

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Favorite Photo, July 10

Samantha, Worthington Ohio. July 10, 2011

Samantha is an Ohio model and we were in a local park creating images for our respective portfolios. It was a beautiful, soft light kind of day that is perfect for portraits. This is my favorite image from our photo shoot, and one of my two most favorite images for July 10.

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Favorite Photo, July 7

Kirtland Temple at Dusk, Kirtland Ohio. July 7, 2003.

The Kirtland Temple is a fascinating 1830s era building on the National Register of Historic Places. The walls of the Temple are white, but you wouldn’t know from this photo. The late evening light, combined with a nearby street light created this unusual color mix. This is my favorite photo for July 7.

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Colorado Fall Color Travel and Photography Guide

Maroon Bells and Maroon Lake. Mid-morning. September 24, 2015.

Maroon Bells and Maroon Lake. Mid-morning. September 24, 2015.

Welcome to my Colorado fall color travel and photography guide with over 100 pages of information (if you print it all out), 120 photos, and 17 maps. I cover some of the best known fall color locations in Colorado, and one real gem of a road that is mostly unknown to photographers and leaf peepers. Spend anywhere from a few days to three weeks exploring the beautiful Colorado Rockies at a gorgeous time of year.

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Favorite Photo, July 1

Showy Ladyslipper in sunlight
Sunlit Showy Ladyslipper, Northern Michigan. July 1, 2004.

I have quite a few favorite images for July 1 in my “favorite photos” folder. When I spotted this orchid at Thorne Swift Nature Preserve, the sunlight coming through the white petals was perfect. This is one of my two most favorite images for this date. Thorne Swift near Harbor Springs is a great place to do nature photography.

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Favorite Photo, June 30

Eastern Ribbon Snake, Portage Michigan. June 30, 1995.

This is another hard date to pick a favorite photo. If you have been following this series you know there are about 3400 images in my “favorite photos” folder, which would average out to about 9 photos for each date of the year. But some dates have a lot less, or none at all. The folder for June 30 has 38 favorite images to pick from.

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Favorite Photo, June 22

Metaphid Jumping Spider
Metaphid Jumping Spider, Columbus Ohio. June 22, 2014.

My wife spotted this metaphid jumping spider at a garden center. It kept jumping on to her whenever she got close to look at it. I tried to photograph it but it kept jumping onto my iPhone, or my hand. Besides, my phone minus a closeup adapter could not handle the task at hand.

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Favorite Photo, June 21

Old Gas Pump, Pulaska Iowa. June 21, 2017.

I was driving through the tiny town of Pulaski Iowa (population 260) on Iowa Highway 2 when I spotted this old gas pump, so I stopped to take a picture. I wanted exaggerated colors so I tone mapped the image using Photomatix software. This is my favorite image for June 21.

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Favorite Photo, June 11

Saibaba Dance Drama, Columbus Ohio. June 11, 2011.

It was so hard to pick a favorite photo for this date. I had so many to choose from. There are about 3400 images in my “favorite photos” folder. Evenly distributed throughout the year would mean an average of 9 photos per date. But some dates have a lot more and some a lot less (or none). June 11 has 25 photos.

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Favorite Photo, June 9

Venus and the stars over Lake Michigan. June 9, 2018.

I was leading my annual June photography workshop in Northern Michigan and we were on a night photography field trip. It was a gorgeous night. At just the right time we were able to catch the edge between twilight and night with the planet Venus and stars over Lake Michigan. This is one of my two most favorite photos for this date.

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Favorite Photo, June 8

Great Egrets, territorial dispute. SFBNWR.
Great Egrets, Territorial Dispute, Don Edwards San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge, Fremont California. June 8, 2015.

Two great egrets got into a territorial fight over a favorite feeding area. The upper egret is coming down at the face of the lower egret with his feet. The lower egret barely got out of the way in time. This is one of my two most favorite photos for this date.

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Favorite Photo, June 7

Janae, Portage Michigan. June 7, 2002.

A friend decided I might like digital photography and loaned me a point and shoot digital camera. This is one of my first digital photos. My daughter and I were at LoDo’s in Portage Michigan, a restaurant that is named for the LoDo area (lower downtown) in Denver Colorado. This is my favorite photo for June 7.

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