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Photography & Field Guides

The single most important component of a camera
is the twelve inches behind it.

Discover something new with me...

You can go a long way in photography blindly fumbling in the dark with increasingly complicated cameras. You can go a lot further when you understand more about the tools you use and the behaviors of the things you shoot.

The articles in this section are my deep dives into the whole myriad of aspects of photography. I've got a little of everything here, from camera settings, to the behavior of light, to the engineering and history of cameras, to how to pack and prepare for a photographic adventure, to the behavior of wildlife you might be going to photograph.

On this page, I've highlighted some of the most read and most interesting articles for each section. Or jump to the category index and dive into the archive from there.

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Field, Travel, and Wildlife

If you're out there shooting, things will happen for you.
If you're not out there, you'll only hear about it.

Traveling with a camera can be a stressful affair. Between worrying about theft and damage, airport security, weather, having the right gear, and having the right conditions when you get there, there's a lot that can go wrong. On the other hand, there's also a lot that can go right.

Camera Gear for an Alaskan Cruise

Alaska is a big place, but you don’t need a big bag of gear to photograph it. This article covers what gear and accessories are essential to getting reasonable pictures from a cruise ship and on cruise style shore excursions.

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Camera's, Lenses, and Light

Pictures, not pixels, are the stock-in-trade of photographers.

Modern cameras and lenses are fantastically capable devices, and with that comes complexity. While it's certainly not necessary to have a degree in engineering and physics to be a photographer, it's Perhaps more importantly, photography is the art of capturing and manipulating light. To be truly effective at that, you have to understand some of the science of light.

Digital Darkroom / Processing

You don’t take a photograph, you make it.

For most of us the chemical darkroom is an artifact of the past. Gone is the developer, fixer, and stop bath, and in it's place is the develop module, the clone tool, the computer.

DiY

I learned at an early age that I could make the things that I wanted.
That's a very powerful thing to realize as a kid.

It goes without saying that camera gear can be expensive, and that means it's sometimes attractive to build something yourself instead of buying it. In some cases, it's not especially difficult to build perfectly reasonable substitutes with minimal tools in the garage or home shop; in other cases not so much.

DIY Autofocus Calibration Target

As much as I swore off AF testing and calibrating, I’m back at it again. This time I’ve decided to forgo the sheet paper targets and build a target similar to the Lens Align. Now obviously, if you don’t want to spend the time building a target, a Lens Align is, to my knowledge, the […]

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Topic Index

  • Cameras & Lenses

    • Camera Configuration
    • General Principals of Lenses and Cameras

  • Digital Darkroom

    • Post Processing (Lightroom, Photoshop, etc.)
    • Color Management and Calibration
    • Photography Related Computer Hacks

  • DIY

    • Guides to building your own gear from scratch.

  • Light & Lighting

    • Fundamentals of the Behavior of Light and Color
    • Background on Lighting Equipment
    • Lighting Gear Hacks

  • Locations & Wildlife Behavior

    • Insights and Comprehensive Location Guides
    • Insights on Wildlife Behavior

  • Quick References

    • Quick Reverence Material

  • Techniques

    • Tips on using techniques to get more out of your camera and images.

  • Video

    • Useful information, tests, and tips for shooting, editing, and processing video.

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