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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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Think About Your Subject Before You Begin Shooting

Find out why thinking about your photos can be as important as taking…

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2.8 Rating
Shooting the Effects of Global Warming

Gary Braasch follows the evidence; the power of photography does the rest.

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4.3 Rating
Boudoir Photography: Creating the Sensual Image

Trendy boudoir photography by CherieFoto.

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Create and Publish Your Own Photo Book

A photo book is a great way to share your images with the world.

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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
Versatile Views of the World of Wildlife:

Ron Magill field tests the AF-S NIKKOR 80-400mm f/4.5-5.6G ED VR lens

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Photograph Family and Friends During the Holidays

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

Beginner

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4.6 Rating
10 Tips for Better Camera Panning

Dave Black's tips for camera panning

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Pete Turner: Master of Color Photography

Pete Turner is a master of color, but he's also a master of content and mystery.

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Lessons from a Travel Photographer

Attention to details has helped make Rosanne Pennella the successful travel…

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Lens Choice for Great Portraits

Dixie Dixon on lens choice for portraiture

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Want Better Landscape Photos? First Check Your Definition of "Landscape"

Tony Sweet offers tips for better landscape…

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Speaking For Themselves: The Veterans Portrait Project

The power of portraits

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4.7 Rating
High Speed Sync: A Flash Technique To Add a Pro Touch to Your Photographs

Kevin Kubota on auto FP high speed sync flash…

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4.6 Rating
Lighting Techniques: Light Painting

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

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Preservation and Protection of Wildlife Through Photography

Photographer Moose Peterson's respect for wildlife and the…

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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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For Memorable Family Vacation Photos, Focus First on Family

Tamara Lackey on taking great photos during family vacations

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Critical Focus: Getting the Most From Your D800

Michael Clark on getting the most out of your D800 HD-SLR

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Take Better Portraits

Tips for taking a good portrait photo

Beginner

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Hands On: Range Rover

Lindsay Silverman on the many moods of HDR

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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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Northern Exposure

Corey Rich documents a first ascent of the Arrigetch Peaks in Alaska's Brooks Range

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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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Photographing it All

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

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One Shot: See a Puddle, Make a Picture...or Two

Randy Ziegler on the importance of patience while out shooting

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What is Your KeyMission?

Elijah Wood on the KeyMission 360

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Online Exclusive: Time Lapse Photography Adds Interest to your D-Movies

Speed up time with interval shooting.

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

Blaine Harrington on travel photography in Europe

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Tips and Techniques For High Flying Photos

Tom Bol discusses taking photos from hot air balloons, planes and helicopters

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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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Polarizing Filters Add POW to Pictures

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

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How to Choose Your Next Nikon 1 Lens

Go beyond your Nikon 1 camera's kit lens

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One Shot: Supermoon

Sam Garcia photographs the Supermoon

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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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One Shot: No Exit

How a simple change can alter a photo’s feeling

What makes a photo particularly memorable?

Perhaps it has relevance to your personal history; or it's the precise capture of a subject's personality; or there's a nostalgic connection to a place and time.

Or maybe the reason is something totally unexpected.

As a writer for the Learn & Explore section of the Nikon website I see a lot of photos I consider memorable, but this one, taken during the Northeast's snowstorm season by Nikon School instructor Bill Durrence, comes with its own memorable story.

When he's traveling, Bill likes to send an image and a short e-mail message each day to a list of friends and colleagues. He calls these communications "post cards," and when this one arrives I call Diane Berkenfeld, editor of L&E.

"Did you get an e-mail from Bill?" I ask. "The shadows on the snow photo?"

"Great shot," she says.

"He's a terrific photographer," I say. "What about doing a story with him?"    

Fast forward a few months and Diane and I are back on the phone, looking at contact sheets of Bill's photos on our monitors, choosing images for the story. We're editing down from initial selects when Diane says, "We can't forget the snow shadows picture."

So we go back through the contacts, looking for it among a group of similars. We know it's there—we specifically asked Bill to send it—but we're not immediately finding it. Then Diane says, "There it is, number ‘0021 Final’." And she's right, it's there...but why isn't it jumping out at me the way it did when I saw the post card? "Why am I not as excited about it?" I ask. "It's the same shot we saw."

But as I look at it, I realize it isn't exactly the same, and just as I start to say, "Could it be...?" Diane says, "It's the border."    

"Yeah, you're right," I say, "but how can a border make such a difference?"    

"Find out what Bill has to say," Diane says. "See if there's a 'One Shot' story here."

What Bill has to say is this: "It's a practical issue. Anytime you have bright tones next to the edge of the frame, those tones become an escape route out of the picture. Your eye is drawn to brightness, and in a photograph like this, with so much snow along the edges, it's easy to kind of drift in and out of the picture, especially with the shadow and snow lines moving your eye back and forth. The border locks you in; it contains you in the picture. Your reaction to the picture illustrates that practical point—without the border, you weren't locked in; it didn't grab you the same way."  

While Bill first put borders around photos with light tones at the edges, adding them has become a stylistic touch, one that he applies to all his presentation images.    

"And there's another reason for the border," Bill adds. "It's more philosophical, and it may sound weird, but the nature of a still photograph is that it's a frozen moment. There's time before and after that moment, and there's all the stuff that's outside the frame. When I teach, I talk a lot about how the photographer is responsible for everything in the picture, and the frame is where you manage that information. You get to decide what people know and what they don't know; it's how you limit or expand the information that's in the scene. Putting on that black border is my way of stating that although there is more, this is what I want you to see."

Bill took the photo on the campus of Regis College in Weston, Massachusetts. "I live in Savannah," he says, "where we never see snow. In my travels for the Nikon School I'll be in places where there's snow on the ground, but most of the time when I get there it's slushy, dirty or full of footprints, but not photographic possibilities." So as soon as he'd finished the first section of that day's school, he bundled up and went out to shoot.

In this frame he captured all that appealed to him: the shape of the pristine snow, the flow of the terrain, the presence of both light and dark shadows. "It's in the soft highlight and shadow pattern of the snow that you get a sense of dimensionality," he says.

All of which makes the photo memorable...while a thin black line makes it even more so.

The specs: D5300, AF-S DX NIKKOR 18-140mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR, 1/640 second, f/8, ISO 100, aperture-priority, Matrix metering.

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