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4.3 Rating
How To Grow Your Garden Photography Skills

Taking great photographs of your own garden is easy with a few simple tips

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What it Takes

David X. Tejada on minimalist lighting with Speedlights

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4.3 Rating
Macro Lenses

Reproduce objects up to life size using a Nikon Micro-NIKKOR Lens

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3.9 Rating
Making Pictures in the Rain

Just because it's raining doesn't mean there aren't great pictures waiting to be made.

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4.2 Rating
Macro Photography Tips: Photographing Insects and Other Small Creatures

A few quick tips on macro photography

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Understanding Focal Length

Focal length, usually represented in millimeters (mm), is the basic description of a…

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3.6 Rating
Mentor Series Worldwide Photo Treks

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

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4.8 Rating
Ron Magill

Zoologist and wildlife photographer Ron Magill is a Nikon Ambassador. Learn more about his photography.

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Tamara Lackey

Lifestyle portrait photographer Tamara Lackey is a Nikon Ambassador. Learn more about her photography.

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How to Choose Your Next DSLR Lens

What to look for when choosing your next lens for your DSLR

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3.1 Rating
Photographing People Using Wireless Lighting Techniques

Tom Bol's images inspire new ways of taking a portrait photo.

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Through the Eyes of a Child

Simple tips for children to learn to take better photos

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Shooting the Full Moon with the COOLPIX P900

Using the Moon Scene Mode and 83x zoom of the COOLPIX P900

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James Balog

Conservation photographer James Balog is a Nikon Ambassador. Learn more about his photography.

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Photographing the Night Sky

Astrophotography: tips for making great images of the stars, moon and night sky time-lapse

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The Importance of Composition When Shooting Nature

Pat O'Hara had to go far from home to really appreciate the…

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Tips for Photographing Birds

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

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Lighting Techniques: Light Painting

Using the technique of light painting allows you to add depth and dimension to your…

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Shooting Spectacular Sunrises and Sunsets

Jim Harmer’s tips for photographing at dawn and dusk

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4.2 Rating
Tool Talk

Mike Corrado on the gear that shapes the light.

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Mentor Trekking in Costa Rica with Bill Durrence

A Mentor Series instructor leads a group of photo trekkers through the…

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Summit Series of Photography Workshops

Come to the Summit for the ultimate workshop experience in all areas of…

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Santa Fe Photographic Workshops

Discover the spirit of place. Capture the soul of a portrait. Refine your personal style.…

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Polarizing Filters Add POW to Pictures

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

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4.9 Rating
One Shot: Stamps of Approval

Cindy Dyer's imagery becomes US Postage Stamps

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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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4.7 Rating
Destination Europe: Do a Little Research, Then Go Light on the Gear

Blaine Harrington on travel photography in Europe

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New Directions: The D750 Inspires Creating, and Sharing, New Images

Lindsay Silverman shoots with the D750 DSLR

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A Nikon Ambassador's Photography in Cuba

Vincent Versace on photographing the culture and people of Cuba

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Mothers' Days: Good Timing and Great Locations Result in Memorable Maternity Photographs

Beth Wade discusses tips for…

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Video Composition Rules: Establishing, Medium and Close-up Shots

Composition tips for video

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3.8 Rating
Creatively Photographing Objects Up Close

The idea that less is more can be applied to the subject matter in your photos.

Beginner

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4.4 Rating
Basic Underwater Photography Tips

5 tips to taking better photos under the sea

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VR Image Stabilization

VR image stabilization technology detects vertical and horizontal movement and offsets it by…

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Cherie Steinberg: Capturing the Wedding Vibe

For Cherie Steinberg being a wedding photographer means wearing more than…

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Shooting Long Exposures:

Deborah Sandidge on shooting long exposure landscapes and cityscapes

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4.3 Rating
How to Read Your Camera Manual

Your camera manual, it's not a novel, so don't try reading it cover to cover.

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3.9 Rating
Dedicated Time Release Movie Mode and Time Lapse Using the Built-in Interval Timer

Deciding which technique to use with…

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4.2 Rating
Moviemaking 101 – 6 Tips On How To Make A Video

Six helpful tips when making movies your camera

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2.8 Rating
Scene Auto Selector

A COOLPIX feature that recognizes the type of scene or setting and automatically selects the…

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3.6 Rating
1 NIKKOR Technology: Retractable Lens Barrel

Retractable lens barrel technology offers ultra-compact lens design.

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Photography Lighting Tutorial Part 1 - Control of Color

Go on location with Joe McNally for a video tutorial on lighting…

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Repeating Flash Lighting Technique

Joe McNally uses the technique of repeating flash to capture the grace of balletic…

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4.4 Rating
Photography Lighting Tutorial Part 2 - Control of Color

Go on location with Joe McNally for a video tutorial on lighting…

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Moving Pictures: The Learning Curve

Steve Heiner on starting at stills and going to video

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One Shot: The Forest and the Tree

Photographing the same subject different ways

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4.6 Rating
One Shot: Crop Factor

Carol Freeman field tests the new AF-S NIKKOR 80-400mm f/4.5-5.6G ED VR lens

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3.7 Rating
Chromatic Aberration

Chromatic aberration is a phenomenon in which light rays passing through a lens focus at different…

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Joel Sartore

Conservation photographer Joel Sartore is a Nikon Ambassador. Learn more about his photography.

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4.4 Rating
Flash Points: The Control of Light

Color temperature, rear sync, slow sync: Three key elements in flash photography.

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Photographing it All

With experience as a newspaper photographer and close to 20 years with Sports Illustrated, George…

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A Basic Look at the Basics of Exposure

The relationship between aperture, shutter speed and ISO is the basis of every…

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3.6 Rating
Halloween & Autumn Harvest Photography

Take better photos during the colorful fall season

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3.5 Rating
Have Fun Shooting Selfies (Self-Portrait) Photos

Tips and tricks for taking great Selfies

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4.2 Rating
The Sum of the Parts

Making Movies with the D5000

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Jim Richardson: Why Fast Lenses Make All the Difference

When You’re Constantly on the Move, Fast Glass Makes Tough Shots…

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How to Photograph a Lunar Eclipse

Learn the techniques needed to shoot lunar eclipses from Mr. Eclipse, Fred Espenak

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4.8 Rating
Caring for your Nikon 1 Waterproof Housing

Regular maintenence and care of the WP-N1/WP-N2/WP-N3 will ensure its…

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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…

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Destination Asia: A Showcase for the Storytelling Power of Travel Images

Travel shooter Blaine Harrington offers tips for…

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Cat Photography: Capturing Cats in Pictures

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

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4.4 Rating
How to Read Your NIKKOR Lens Barrel

Understanding what all of those markings and designations on your lens really mean.

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3.9 Rating
The Importance of Quality Audio Capture

Simple tips for photographers shooting HD video with Nikon D-SLRs.

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4.3 Rating
Imagine That

Nope, we didn't make a mistake. The photos you see here were not taken by several different photographers;…

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4.2 Rating
When to Use Graduated Neutral Density Filters

How to use a graduated neutral density filter to decrease extreme light to…

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4.3 Rating
Shooting Wirelessly with Nikon’s WR-1 Wireless Remote Controller System

Learn how easy it is to shoot wirelessly with the…

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3.7 Rating
12 Tips for Better Vacation Photos

A dozen easy tips for taking better vacation pictures

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4.7 Rating
Preservation and Protection of Wildlife Through Photography

Photographer Moose Peterson's respect for wildlife and the…

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4.4 Rating
Taking Pictures in Cold Weather

Weldon Lee has some tips to keep you taking pictures—even in the cold and snow.

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4.6 Rating
Top Tip: If You Want to Shoot Video, Start by Thinking Video

Photographer Nick Didlick on transitioning from sill to…

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4.3 Rating
Bright Ideas: Tips and Techniques for Photographing Jewelry

Jody Dole on photographing jewelry

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Zoo and Wildlife Photography

Spend a day at the zoo with wildlife photographer Julie Larsen Maher

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Techniques: Flower Power

Focus Stacking for Close-Up Depth and Detail

Not to scare you off right at the start, but David Leaser, who is super enthusiastic about the close-up focus stacking technique he used to make these photographs, told us that if he walks away from it for a week or so he has to sort of relearn it. There are, he says, a lot of steps.

But the payoff is worth it, as focus stacking solves the issue of limited depth of field when shooting macro photographs.

David was inspired to try the technique when he returned from the Amazon where he’d been shooting landscapes before turning his attention to “the little ecosystems on the floor of the rain­forest.” The problem was capturing all the detail and structure he was seeing in the plants and flowers. “The depth of field wasn’t great enough at any f/stop to get all that I wanted in an image,” he says. He returned home, did some research and pretty soon he’d worked out the general method and gathered the gear he needed: a D3X, an AF-S Micro NIKKOR 60mm f/2.8G ED, the R1C1 wireless close-up Speedlight system, a Cognisys StackShot, a super-sturdy tripod and Zerene Stacker software.

The StackShot is a motorized rail device that sits atop the tripod and moves the D3X and its manually focused 60mm Micro NIKKOR toward the close-up subject at chosen, preset intervals; David favors .3mm because he’s found it works best within the depth-of-field range of the 60mm lens. The D3X, tethered to his laptop, takes a single image at each interval, and with the camera set for Live View, David sees on the laptop’s screen exactly what the lens sees and the camera captures.

He does not change the focus of the lens, as he’s determined that along the length of the StackShot’s travel he will get enough sharp elements in the frames for the software to combine into the final image. David typically takes several dozen shots as the StackShot moves closer and closer to the flower; the software will automatically choose the sharpest parts of each image and combine them into one.

Not to scare you off right at the start, but David Leaser, who is super enthusiastic about the close-up focus stacking technique he used to make these photographs, told us that if he walks away from it for a week or so he has to sort of relearn it. There are, he says, a lot of steps.

The R1C1 Speedlight fires for each frame. “I set the flash for auto operation and take some test shots before I start,” David says. “I see the results on the laptop and can tell if any adjustments to position or output are needed.” David places Sto-Fen Omni-Bounce flash diffusers on each of the R1C1’s flash heads to soften the light. When the lens comes within three inches of the subject, he’ll add the close-up diffusers that come with the R1C1 kit.

He will sometimes use an SB-900 to illuminate areas that may not be covered by the close-up flash. “The close-up system is very focused on the flower,” David says, “but I may need to add more light to a stem, so I’ll use an SB-900 with the diffuser that comes with it or with a LumiQuest softbox, and I’ll fire the SB-900 with the SU-800 wireless commander unit in the camera’s hot shoe.”

David shoots the images as NEF files, then batch processes them to TIFF files in Photoshop and makes any color or exposure adjustments he feels are necessary. He’ll then take the images into Zerene Stacker, and the software will make its selection and combination of sharp sections. The results show remarkable depth, clarity and detail, and David has made 44x60 canvas prints of images for exhibit and fine art sale.

A last but not least essential: flowers worthy of the effort and capable of eliciting a “Wow!” response. David buys his at the Los Angeles flower mart or grows them himself. We can tell you that while information about all the hardware and software mentioned here, as well as details, guidelines and tutorials about the focus stacking technique, can be found online by Googling keywords, names and phrases, you’re totally on your own when it comes to flower choice.

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