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3.9 Rating
Landscape and Travel Photography

Ideal for those who want to take their travel & landscape photography to the next level

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4.5 Rating
Photography Lighting Tutorial Part 1 - Control of Color

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

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4.3 Rating
Flash Points: The Control of Light

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

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4.2 Rating
Tool Talk

Mike Corrado on the gear that shapes the light.

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4.8 Rating
Repeating Flash Lighting Technique

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

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4.3 Rating
Balancing Photo Exposures with Nikon's Active D-Lighting

Bring light to the shadows with Nikon's Active D-Lighting

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4.9 Rating
Speedlight Tutorial: Day to Night Technique

David Tejada uses Speedlights to create the illusion of a night scene

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3.7 Rating
Advanced Wireless Lighting

Advanced wireless lighting is the use of multiple Speedlights set up for wireless remote…

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5.0 Rating
Benefits of Using Fast Lenses in Low Light

A tip from Nikon Ambassador Lucas Gilman

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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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4.7 Rating
Joe McNally and the new SB-910 AF Speedlight

Behind the Scenes of a Marketing Campaign Shoot

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4.5 Rating
Six Steps to Lighting Magic with Joe McNally

Follow lighting expert Joe McNally's instructions for easy flash photography…

Beginner

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4.7 Rating
Using Auto FP High-Speed Sync to Illuminate Fast Sports Action

Dave Black on using high-speed flash sync for sports…

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Bright Idea: Adding Star Power
4.4 Rating
Bright Idea: Adding Star Power

Creating a starburst in your photographs

Beginner

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4.0 Rating
ISO Control

For digital photography, ISO refers to the sensitivity of the camera's sensor. The ISO setting is one of…

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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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4.6 Rating
Cliff Mautner: King of Hearts

Cliff Mautner's unique style has made him a successful and in-demand wedding photographer.

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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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4.3 Rating
Using Variable Neutral Density Filters to Adjust Exposure in DSLR Video

Adjusting exposure with Variable ND filters

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4.6 Rating
Action and People Photography

For those who want to take better people and action photos

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3.9 Rating
Getting Creative with White Balance

Try getting creative with your camera's white balance for some interesting results.

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4.4 Rating
Shooting Family Interview Movies with a DSLR

Adding interviews to family movies and videos

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4.0 Rating
One Shot: On the Beach

Deborah Sandidge on shooting crashing ocean waves

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3.2 Rating
Smart Portrait System

Nikon’s Smart Portrait System incorporates into COOLPIX cameras a series of automatic functions,…

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4.3 Rating
Exposure Bracketing: The Creative Insurance Policy

Get creative with your photography by using this age-old technique.

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4.3 Rating
Live Image Control

Live Image Control lets you preview how certain settings will affect your final image

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4.3 Rating
Bright Ideas: Tips and Techniques for Photographing Jewelry

Jody Dole on photographing jewelry

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3.6 Rating
Learning How to Use Your Camera's Histogram

The histogram is a useful tool that analyzes tonal range and helps in…

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4.2 Rating
Walkabout

Take a photo walk with Nikon pro Lindsay Silverman.

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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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3.7 Rating
7 Tips & Tricks to Taking Better Wedding Photographs

Joe McNally on how to take better wedding portraits

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4.2 Rating
My Go-To NIKKOR Lens

Vincent Versace's favorite lens: 28-300mm zoom

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3.3 Rating
Rich Clarkson: The Right Place at the Right Time to Get the Shots

Rich Clarkson, an acclaimed photojournalist, who…

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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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4.3 Rating
Zoom Lens Maximum Aperture: Fixed and Variable Apertures

Zoom lenses can have either a fixed maximum aperture or a…

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Canyon Country Shooting

Tips for Photographing the Southwest

Ask any aficionado of workshops and photo treks, "Why the southwest?" and the answer comes easily: an abundance of photo opportunities. Ask Justin Black, co-founder and managing director of the Visionary Wild Workshops, and he'll quickly get down to the specifics of the area's appeal, starting with the generally good weather and the translucent quality of the light in the desert air. Then he'll mention the graphics of a wide-open landscape, much of it on public land that's easily accessible for day trips, weekend excursions and longer trips and travel. Not to mention the sense of discovery in many of these areas. "Even though people have been there," Justin says, "there's little evidence of it, so you're an explorer as well as a photographer."

So there you have it: in southwestern Colorado, Nevada, Arizona, Utah, New Mexico and areas of the California desert—big, graphically clean landscapes that offer everything from broad vistas to the intimate details that are revealed as, say, sunlight reflects off the walls of sandstone canyons.

But before you get to planning and packing, a few essentials to consider:

The first is safety. Carry water and a first aid kit. Wear sturdy, comfortable boots; you'll be hiking, not strolling. "Watch the weather," Justin adds. "If you're in the canyons, know that storms even 30 or 40 miles away can have consequences—like a wall of water coming down the canyon toward you. Stay alert and stay informed." And tell people where you'll be. Your cell phone might not get service, so it's good to know that others know your plan and your itinerary. You don't want to end up like that guy they made the movie about who got pinned by the boulder and had to...well, you know.

The photo essentials?

Time. Really. Allow a lot of it so you can follow the light or wait out its changes; and so you can discover those great photo locations. "Don't be in a hurry," Justin says, "and don't show up with a lot of preconceived ideas or images in mind. You'll be offered surprises and opportunities, so be open to them. Relish the exploration."

Also in the time category, expect long days...and take advantage of them. You can make pictures from pre-dawn to after dusk, and while some places aren't picture-friendly in midday light, you can use those hours to photograph in the canyons, working in the shadows or in areas of reflected light. If the light's harsh on the canyon wall, turn around to see what the light is bouncing into or onto; that bounced light can be diffuse, warm and welcoming.

With all that light bouncing around, what about exposure? "There are exceptions, but I find that Matrix metering does remarkably well," Justin says. "And I always check the histogram."

Sunlight also means sun glare and flare. "I'll almost always use a lens shade," Justin says, "and when the camera's on a tripod, I'll often use an MC-36 cable release and stand in front of the camera. If I can see my shadow falling on the lens, I know there won't be any flare."

Because of the range of tones in many southwest scenes, we wondered if HDR photography might be a good idea from time to time. "Not bad," Justin says, "but I've been astonished by the dynamic range of the D800E. There are some images I've made with that camera that in the past I would have had to use a graduated neutral density  filter or a two-exposure layer or HDR, but what you can do in a single frame with that camera is amazing."    

Finally, all the photos you see here were taken (by Justin or fellow pro shooter and Visionary Wild workshop instructor Jack Dykinga) with cameras firmly mounted on tripods. Whether you consider a tripod essential gear is your call; we're just saying...

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