Nikon Americas USA

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3.5 Rating
Mentor Series Worldwide Photo Treks

The Mentor Series Worldwide Photo Treks provide an incredible hands-on learning…

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4.0 Rating
Create a Visual Meme With Your Photos & Quick Wit!

Learn how to create a Meme with your own digital photographs that you…

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3.9 Rating
No Limits: For Better Photos, Think Like a Photojournalist

David Handschuh on thinking like a photojournalist

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4.4 Rating
Fast Frames: A Quick Guide to Bird Photography

Matt McRay discusses how to get birds to visit your yard so you can…

Beginner

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4.0 Rating
One Shot: Purple Haze

Turning an ordinary photo into something special in-camera

Beginner

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4.3 Rating
The Stories that Can be Told Through Photography

Commercial photographer Arthur Meyerson likes his photos to say the most…

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4.2 Rating
Partner Up for Better Pictures

Learn how you can benefit from taking photos with a friend

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4.7 Rating
A Snapshot of Digital Images Online

A statistical look at how much image data is stored in the cloud

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AF Area Modes
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AF Area Modes

Nikon’s three AF area modes—single point AF, dynamic area AF and auto area AF—are designed to handle any…

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4.5 Rating
How to Create a Behind the Scenes Video for your Photography Business

Creating a BTS video with Dixie Dixon

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4.3 Rating
How to Choose Your Next Nikon 1 Lens

Go beyond your Nikon 1 camera's kit lens

Beginner

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4.1 Rating
Tips for Photographing Birds

Birds make great subjects for photographs; tips for capturing them with your camera.

Beginner

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3.6 Rating
Understanding Nikon Wireless Connectivity

Learn how to connect your camera and compatible smart device wirelessly

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4.3 Rating
Polarizing Filters Add POW to Pictures

An Easy to Use Accessory, Polarizing Filters Bring out the Color and Definition in…

Advanced

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4.2 Rating
Shooting Abstract Photos that Make the Viewer Guess

Sometimes showing just a hint of your subject can be more compelling…

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3.5 Rating
Photo Tips from Across America

Nikon training specialist, Kristine Bosworth, covers the country and sends photography…

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2.5 Rating
Capture NX 2: Lesson 6

Discover how to make the colors in a landscape more vivid.

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5.0 Rating
Do a Test Run for Important Portrait Shoots

Dave Black discusses setting up shoots in advance

Beginner

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4.0 Rating
Using Fast Shutter Speeds for Action Photos

Lucas Gilman on action photography settings

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4.7 Rating
Joe McNally

Commercial photojournalist Joe McNally is a Nikon Ambassador. Learn more about his photography.

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4.8 Rating
10 Tips on How To Leverage Social Media in Your Photography Business

Dixie Dixon on leveraging social media for your…

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3.4 Rating
3D Focus Tracking

3D focus tracking automatically shifts the focus point to follow the movement of the subject. With the…

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4.7 Rating
Moose Peterson

Wildlife and aviation photographer Moose Peterson is a Nikon Ambassador. Learn more about his photography.

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4.5 Rating
Moose Peterson: How to Photograph Winter Landscapes

Exposing so the Snow’s White and Six Other Tips for Great Winter…

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3.7 Rating
Basics of Exposure and Camera Controls

Ideal class for those who want to go beyond point & shoot photography

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4.5 Rating
Action and People Photography

For those who want to take better people and action photos

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4.4 Rating
Tips for Photographing Mountains

Making the most of mountains in landscape photographs

Beginner

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4.6 Rating
5 Easy Composition Guidelines

Follow 5 easy tips for better photo compositions

Beginner

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4.9 Rating
Tips from a Model Turned Professional Photographer

See how photographer Nancy Brown turned a 20-year modeling career in…

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4.7 Rating
COOLPIX Cameras and Cool Lighting with Speedlights

Lucas Gilman shows you how to use Speedlights with COOLPIX cameras

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Bright Idea: Adding Star Power
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Bright Idea: Adding Star Power

Creating a starburst in your photographs

Beginner

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4.3 Rating
Andrew Hancock

Sports photographer Andrew Hancock is a Nikon Ambassador. Learn more about his photography.

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4.2 Rating
When You Explore All Angles, Better Pictures Happen

Tom Bol explains how changing perspective can make a better image.

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4.0 Rating
Active D-Lighting

Active D-Lighting optimizes high contrast images to restore the shadow and highlight details that are…

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3.7 Rating
CX Format Image Sensor

Nikon 1 digital cameras utilize the Nikon CX-format super high speed AF CMOS imaging sensor.

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4.5 Rating
Capturing or Freezing Motion in Photos

Learn how to freeze the motion in an action scene or capture a blur to show…

Beginner

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4.2 Rating
Prime Lenses

What is a prime lens? Well, it's a lens that isn't a zoom. A prime lens has a fixed focal length which means…

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3.6 Rating
The Versatile Appeal of the D600

See what makes the D600 an appealing camera

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4.3 Rating
Bambi Cantrell

Wedding and portrait photographer Bambi Cantrell is a Nikon Ambassador. Learn more about her photography.

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4.4 Rating
Tips For Making Tempting Food Photos

Alison Lyons offers simple tips for taking great photos of food & drink

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3.8 Rating
Hands On

Lindsay Silverman discusses autofocusing when using teleconverters

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4.4 Rating
Taking Better Photographs on the Water

Harbors, bays, oceans and rivers all have one thing in common—interesting and…

Beginner

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4.5 Rating
How to Capture the “Wow” Factor

Photographer Evan Williams on shooting stunning photographs

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2.7 Rating
iPhone App

Nikon’s new iPhone app gives you anytime, anywhere access to Learn & Explore educational and editorial…

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3.1 Rating
Taking Pictures at Dusk and at Night

How do I take pictures at dusk and at night?

Advanced

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4.6 Rating
Extend Your Reach with Nikon 1 Cameras and the FT-1 Mount Adapter

Extend your reach with your favorite NIKKOR lenses on a…

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4.2 Rating
Shooting a Rock Concert

Whether you're taking photos at a major rock concert or at your child's school performance, these…

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3.8 Rating
Cat Photography: Capturing Cats in Pictures

With a little patience you too can make great pictures of your pet cat or…

Beginner

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Preserve and Protect: Got a Backup Plan for Your Photos?

That's pretty much a rhetorical question, right? After all, you're here at Learn & Explore at NikonUSA.com, where you've probably been reading about photo techniques, picking up tips from the pros and checking out the latest Nikon gear. If it's one thing you've got nailed, it's protecting the photos you've stored on your computer.

So let's talk briefly about some of the ways you might improve your backup system....

Wait. What? You don't have a backup system? Well, okay, but you've got a plan, right? Not that either. Okay, how about a scheme? A hope?

Actually, we're not surprised.

It was in mid-2009 that the Consumer Electronics Association reported that "nearly one in three consumers don't see the need to back up their files, while nearly a quarter (22 percent) say they aren't backing up files because it's too time consuming." Well, you're thinking that "files" mean every sort of document, not just photos. You're right, but research also reveals that photos account for 85 percent of stored digital files—and the average American adult has 1,800 digital files. So, let's see, 85 percent of 1,800...well, we can all do the math and see the problem.

Here's the scary part: hard drives will fail. It's not a question of if, it's when. They come with an expiration date. They have a life expectancy. They will go down; and very often, it'll be suddenly.

The truth is that it's easy to preserve and protect the precious moments you've captured in pictures.

The easiest way is to simply return to the thrilling days of yesteryear by making prints. Chances are you're already doing that, but if not, it's an easy, secure way of backing up your photos. Prints in albums, prints in frames, prints magnet-clipped to the 'fridge—it's as easy as autofocus.

You can also easily back up your images to CDs or DVDs. Research shows that some 75 percent of folks who back up their files back them up to these disks. It's quick and convenient, and photo retailers do it all the time for their customers. If you want to do it yourself, you can simply use your computer's operating system to burn a CD of your images at the same time you transfer them to your hard drive. Also, software that will back up only new and changed photos is readily available.

Nikon's got a pretty neat piece of software for photo backup. It's called Nikon Transfer and it's a free download from the download section of NikonUSA, plus it comes free with every Nikon digital camera. With it you can set a camera preference that will automatically download your pictures from the camera to a designated picture folder on your hard drive—and at the same time transfer those pictures to a secondary location, like a backup hard drive.

You just need to get into the habit of writing disks whenever you've got a batch of keepers. And remember to keep the keepers "original" files on your hard drive, or write 'em to a second disk. Transferring your photos to a disk and then deleting them from the hard drive isn't backup.

An  ideal choice—and the method preferred by many pro shooters—is to back up photos to dedicated external hard drives. Just connect the backup drive to your computer via USB or FireWire cable and you're pretty much ready to transfer. Almost all external drives comes with free software that'll do the job.

If you're thinking of going the external hard drive route, you'll have to make a size choice. A 500 gigabyte drive will provide plenty of storage, but if you're storing RAW files, or if you do after-capture photo manipulation and end up keeping several versions of the same photo, think bigger. These days, terabyte drives are fairly common (a terabyte is 1,000 gigabytes). Remember, if your external drive is the computer's backup, that's fine, but if it's your only photo storage, that's not backup. You'll need two of them.

They key is to back up regularly, back up with a plan, back up as a routine part of uploading new photos to your computer. There are hard drives that make the job a snap; they pretty much do everything for you automatically or do it at one click, backing up new or changed files or folders from your computer's internal hard drive.

Then there's cyberspace. Storing your images to an Internet server is easy, quick and inexpensive. For example, Nikon offers my Picturetown, which provides up to two gigabytes of free storage for your photos (or movies, if you wish) and the option of upgrading to 200 gigs in 20-gig increments for a nominal fee.

The decision on what to do and what to use is yours. A few choice words in the Google search window will get you started—words like "photo backup systems," "digital file backup" or backing up hard drives." If you want some real fun, Google "professional photo backup systems"—now there's some serious stuff.

But be sure to do something about backing up your photos.

We don't know what you shoot, and we don't know anything about your level of interest in photography. But neither of those matter. We do know your photos are important to you. And you know that too.

Tips for Making the Most of Your Memory Cards

Memory cards aren't strictly storage, though they do, of course store captured images. For some folks they're long term storage solutions, but for most, they serve to briefly hold the files until they can be transferred to a computer. Considering that they are the first repositories of your images, here are three quick tips for getting the best performance from them:

  • Delete photos from your computer after downloading, not from the card, one at a time. When you want to empty the entire card, reformat it in the camera.

  • Don't fill the card to the brim with images, stop short of the full measure of pictures. If you're close to filling the card completely, you may not have room for the next couple of photos you're planning to take.

  • Carry several media cards and split the images from an important shoot, just in case. It is what a lot of the pros do.

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