The Sunny f16 rule is really useful on bright sunny days in the spring, summer, and fall, but you can’t rely on it for accurate exposures on bright, snowy winter days. It will often lead you astray and you will have seriously blown out highlights. There are much more accurate ways to meter in the winter.
With a nice coating of ice on trees and bushes, my plan was to go out in the country and photograph late afternoon sunlight glinting off the ice. Instead, I ended up with this image of a Short-eared Owl.
Most wildlife are medium to dark in tone, making them a challenge to meter properly in the bright, white tones of winter. If you trust one of your camera’s automatic exposure modes, the odds are good you won’t get the best exposure. If you switch over to manual exposure and make the right decisions, you can get great exposures and better quality photos (more about that later).
In addition to all of the usual photographic challenges, winter provides some extra complications, especially in terms of metering. So I began this series of articles on winter photography. Check out the links below. The articles will help you meet the unique challenges of winter photography. So get out there, have fun, and create some great winter images!
Winter provides some wonderful photo opportunities in our national parks. But some national parks look much better in the winter than others. 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.
Posted January 17, 2017. Updated and re-posted December 18, 2019.
Marshall Pass is a beautiful fall color drive in southern Colorado, and still pretty much a secret. It does not turn up on most lists of the most beautiful fall color drives in Colorado. It is a beautiful drive with a lot of fall color photo opportunities.
There is still plenty of fall color to be found across the country if you know where to go and when. Here are a few great options with links at the end to a lot more options.
You are on a road you have never been on before. You to stop to take a picture which includes a prominent mountain. How do you find out its name?
It was the end of a glorious day in Colorado. The sun was going in and out behind some clouds in the western sky. Before the sun dropped behind a mountain range, it came out of the clouds and lit up this row of aspen. Perfect!
“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.
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 re-posted Sep. 5, 2019.
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?
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.
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.
Sometimes things work out just great. Sometimes not so much. I saw two Perseid meteors this morning, neither of which made it on to film. One happened at Location 1 while I was setting up. The other happened in between frames at Location 2.
The night of August 12-13 is the predicted peak night of the Peresid Meteor Shower. But you can look for the next few nights after the peak night. This article will tell you what you need to know to see and photograph the most popular meteor shower of the year.
Thirteen years ago I was looking through some of my images and decided my portrait photography was lacking. That is when I got the bright idea of working with a professional model.
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.
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.
Our grandson Finn at one month old. This is my favorite photo for this date.
If you have been following this series, you have probably guessed this is another photo from SPECTACULAR, the annual July event at Graceland University. This is my favorite image for July 27. I love the expression on her face. You might be wondering how she got splattered with grass.
This is far and away one of my most favorite images and my most favorite photo for this date. Melissa and I and our three children were hiking up the trail from Bear Lake to Flattop Mountain. Not only is that a special memory, Melissa and I and my brother John were hiking the same trail August 13, 1969. Melissa and I were engaged at the time. I have a photo of Melissa and my brother at the same exact spot.
You shouldn’t be able to photograph stars from a plane. At least that is the conventional wisdom and the conventional wisdom, and in this case it almost always right. I have tried to photograph stars from a plane in flight numerous times but without success. But this flight was different.
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.