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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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Photography Lighting Tutorial Part 1 - Control of Color

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

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Photography Lighting Tutorial Part 2 - Control of Color

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

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Six Steps to Lighting Magic with Joe McNally

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

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4.2 Rating
Tool Talk

Mike Corrado on the gear that shapes the light.

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Flash Points: The Control of Light

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

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Creative Lighting

For those who want to learn about creative lighting

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Using Speedlights on Sunny Days

Ron Magill shares a tip for using flash in bright sun

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Advanced Wireless Lighting

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

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3.3 Rating
Santa Fe Photographic Workshops

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

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VR Image Stabilization

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

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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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Understanding Auto ISO

Auto ISO can simplify shooting under changing lighting conditions

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Photograph Family and Friends During the Holidays

The holidays are prime picture-taking time. Get some great tips on…

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20 Tips for Great Graduation Day Photos

Tips for taking great photos of your young graduate on their big day

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Elements of Photography

Ideal class for those who want to take great D-SLR photos

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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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Balancing Photo Exposures with Nikon's Active D-Lighting

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

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3.6 Rating
Halloween & Autumn Harvest Photography

Take better photos during the colorful fall season

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4.7 Rating
Photographing the Night Sky

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

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Photographing Sports Indoors and Out

Capturing the action of a sporting event is easy when you follow a few simple…

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Basic Underwater Photography Tips

5 tips to taking better photos under the sea

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Joe McNally: Shooting a Portrait with Speedlights

Joe McNally sets up a portrait on location using Speedlights

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Scene Recognition System and Advanced SRS

Nikon's SRS and Advanced SRS recognize the position, color, tones and…

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Night Photography

Reed Hoffmann's tips for great night photography

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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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4.3 Rating
Bright Ideas: Tips and Techniques for Photographing Jewelry

Jody Dole on photographing jewelry

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How-To Take Great Photos at the Aquarium

Tips for photographing the fish and creatures that live under water

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Sports Shooter Academy Workshop

Sports Shooter Academy gives you the opportunity to work with pros in a hands-on…

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John Shaw: A Photographer's Vision Simplified

See how one of the foremost nature, outdoor and natural history…

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Basics of Exposure and Camera Controls

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

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4.4 Rating
Zoo and Wildlife Photography

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

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3.8 Rating
Summit Series of Photography Workshops

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

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4.6 Rating
The Challenge of Bird Photography

Moose Peterson tells why photographing birds in the field is well worth the challenge.

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Understanding Focal Length

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

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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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Photograph the Classic Holiday Light Bokeh Effect

Tips for shooting lights as soft globes of color

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Lighting Cars for Studio Shots

Blair Bunting on photographing cars in the studio

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Miles of Aisles

Kevin Kubota establishes his clients' comfort level before the wedding, so that on the big day they will…

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Brian Skerry: Below the Surface

An underwater photojournalist's stunning images

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Using Shadows for Dimension in Photographs

Joe McNally explains how shadows add dimension

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2.9 Rating
You Can Successfully Shoot in Bright Sunlight

Cliff Mautner on photography in the midday sun

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Lucas Gilman

Adventure sports and multimedia storyteller Lucas Gilman is a Nikon Ambassador. Learn more about his…

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4.2 Rating
Top Photography Tips from Nikon School Instructors

Learn photography the easy way, at Nikon School

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Capture NX 2: Lesson 2

Master the technique of brightening up a photo with D-Lighting.

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Landscape and Travel Photography

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

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Tips for Using Auto WB for Incandescent Lighting with the D5/D500

Three settings let you keep warm or cool whites in Auto…

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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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Flash Photography the Easy Way

David X. Tejada teaches a workshop titled Small Strobes, Big Results at the Santa Fe Photographic Workshops. When we spoke to him about his approach to creative flash techniques with Nikon Speedlights, he was more than happy to fire off some easy-does-it tips for flash photos. 

I use flash to influence the scene, to improve the photograph, to guide the eyes of viewers to areas of the photo I want them to look at.
  1. Establish the camera comfort zone. "The first thing I tell workshop students is to understand the relationship of the three basic camera settings—ISO, shutter speed and aperture—and know how they work together to achieve an exposure. Being totally comfortable with the basics is the first step in flash photography."    

  2. Don't think about flash. "I know I'm going to make a flash picture because I want or need flash for mood, for detail, to direct a viewer's attention or to separate my subject from the background, but I start by not thinking about flash. The first thing I do is set the [tripod-mounted] camera to capture an ambient-light exposure. I decide on the setting for my photograph, paying particular attention to the background. I select the lens I want to use. Then I choose the aperture according to the depth-of-field I want—let's say f/2.8 for a soft, out-of-focus, non-distracting background. With those key components locked in—background, lens, f/stop—I move the shutter speed until I get what the camera's meter says is the correct exposure. I take a shot and evaluate it. And based on the look of the photo that I want, I'll adjust the shutter speed if I need to increase or decrease the amount of ambient light being captured."

  3. Bring out the Speedlight(s). "Then I bring my Speedlights into play. I control them by position—simply, where I place them in relation to the subject—and by adjusting their power level to set their output. To do that I use either an SU-800 commander unit on the camera, or I'll have a Speedlight on the camera and let that be the commander. Very often I'll be using one or more light modifiers—an umbrella, a softbox, a grid, a snoot, barndoors—to diffuse or direct the light so I have control over how the light will affect the scene and the subject. I'll take a test shot and evaluate the results. I might have to adjust the power output of the flash units, or I might have to move them. Neither is a problem as everything is operating in wireless remote mode. It's really just moving a light stand or holding the flash in a different position, or controlling the power output of the Speedlights separately, and remotely, from the camera position."  

  4. Practice the techniques. "I use flash to influence the scene, to improve the photograph, to guide the eyes of viewers to areas of the photo I want them to look at. The best way to do all of that, easily and with confidence, is to work with these ideas and practice these techniques. I've been at this over 30 years, and I still practice, and I always experiment with my lights and my light modifiers. I have a studio I work in, but I really don't call it my studio; I call it my lab."

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