Jan 20, 2011 at 11:48 am #1268000
@drewdoty1444Locale: Santa Cruz, CA
just got a new GF1 with the 20mm pancake and interested in any guides on how to best capture nature shots. anybody know of some well put together books?
drewJan 20, 2011 at 11:54 am #1686289
@b-g-2-2Locale: Silicon Valley
Nature photography is such a broad field that there are thousands of good books on the subject. Your avatar shows a California newt.
–B.G.–Jan 20, 2011 at 12:49 pm #1686314
I have something like 125 credit hours in photography. I've seen a LOT of photo instruction books and IMHO, photo books are generally useless unless you want to cover the absolute basics. Go to the library. It is all on the web too. Ken Rockwell is a hoot on camers and techniques– read his stuff: http://www.kenrockwell.com/index.htm
You should understand the relationship to shutter speed and lens aperature, focusing techniques(read up on hyperfocal distance), macro photo techniques, and using flash (thou shalt know thy Inverse Square Law). With digital stuff, understand how "noise" is created and how to use it or avoid it. Understand dynamic range and how your camera can be tweaked to get what you want from it.
1) Go to the library, pull a dozen books off the shelf on the subjet matter you want to photograph and look at them all. Then go get some more….. rinse and repeat :) Every time I took on a different subject matter, I found experts in that field who were really good at making photographs, because they knew what was important– say, the differences in petal color patterns between two kinds of orchids, or the behavior of the Western Ice Worm. Someone trained as a photographer *might* have a leg up on the creative side— composition and such, but those experts know what works and they have seen forty zillion photos on their subject.
2) Old National Geographics will teach you a lot. Those folk are really good at making and *editing* images.
4) Don't just thumb through images: study them, take them apart, analyze them and know why some work and some don't. Pay attention to camera angle, angle of view, color, exposure, natural and added lighting. If you can't figure out how the photos were made, then you can ask some questions.
5) Take LOTS of photos, varying angle, exposue, focus and focal length. Analyze them just like you did with the photos others made. Be brutally honest with yourself. Learn from seeing and doing.
Basic nature photo things to know? Use a tripod and remote release. Study the light— that means getting up VERY early. Know how to use a flash for fill light. Know how to use a reflector for the same. Know how to do good macro work. Know how filters work– polarizers are big.
Have fun too!Jan 20, 2011 at 6:30 pm #1686447
delJan 20, 2011 at 7:01 pm #1686457
All you need to know about Rowell is in his images. Awesome, in the true meaning of the word.Jan 20, 2011 at 10:32 pm #1686533
delJan 21, 2011 at 5:53 am #1686565
@carlbeckerLocale: Northern Virginia
Know your tools well, study light and composition then be there.Jan 21, 2011 at 11:51 am #1686709
@peter_schLocale: The Mountainless Midwest...
One current, great photographer (primarily of the Sierras) is Michael Frye, and he has a recent book that I liked a lot, "Digital Landscape Photography: In the Footsteps of Ansel Adams and the Masters." Some of the techniques are a bit more advanced, but he covers the basics pretty well too. His blog is very informative too, with great bi-weekly critiques of other people's photographs:
http://www.michaelfrye.com/landscape-photography-blog/Jan 21, 2011 at 10:11 pm #1686914
@drewdoty1444Locale: Santa Cruz, CA
i checked out rockwell's site and it is very informative. been to galen's gallery and was blown away. this is my first camera that is not a point and shoot so i am excited to see where i can go with this. it might change the way i backpack a little.
also, how do you shoot star trails. my camera has bulb mode, which from talking to a friend is ideal. ive heard stacking photos is another way. but what if i want to have my tent lit in the foreground. do i need to have a constant light on in there for over an hour to get the lighting right? can i walk around with a headlamp on while the lens is open or should it be completely dark?
thanks for the input
drewJan 21, 2011 at 11:08 pm #1686930
You will need to experiment, but a couple seconds should be more than enough to light the tent. The stars will revolve around the North Star, IIRC
Check this site out— the guy gives some starting exposures:
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