Computers and Software for Digital Photographers

The rule of thumb when purchasing computers is to buy the biggest and fastest you can afford. For nature photographers, the rule needs to be customized a bit. I still believe you need a big, honking computer for processing your images in Photoshop, but what about when you're out in the field I don't lug around my desktop computer when I travel cross-country on a photo safari I recommend hauling a laptop. Unfortunately, not everyone has the luxury of having both a desktop computer and a laptop,...

Advantages of Digital Cameras over Film in Nature Photography

If you're still shooting film and you haven't yet switched to digital, you're not alone. On a recent trip shooting waterfalls during peak fall color in a popular region of northern Michigan, I ran into a lot of photographers. Yes, most were shooting digital almost all of the digital photographers I ran into were using digital SLRs but I was a little surprised to see how many were still using their film-based SLRs and large-format cameras. It makes sense many nature photographers have years of...

Setting Photoshop Color Preferences

Color Configuration Dialog Box

After making sure your computer's monitor is calibrated and profiled, the next most important step in ensuring proper color management is making sure Photoshop color settings are correct and correct color profiles are assigned to your images. Believe it or not, these are the most overlooked steps for photographers using Photoshop. Making sure color preferences are correct will enable you to work in the best color environments for the different types of images you might produce, including images...

Choosing the Best Computer Displays for Working with Photos

When choosing a computer monitor for your desktop computer or as an external display for your laptop, there are a few specifications you'll need to pay attention to type, size, and dot pitch. LCD displays are becoming more popular and have quickly replaced CRT (Cathode Ray Tube) displays as the monitors of choice. For photographers, CRTs are still the best choice. CRT monitors offer the nature photographer better resolution, color, quality, and calibration. (You'll read more on calibration in...

Its All in the Head

When you make a decision about a tripod, the next thing you'll need is a tripod head. The same rules used when selecting a tripod hold true for selecting a tripod head. You'll need to take into consideration the weight of the equipment you'll be attaching to the head, the type of head that will best fit the type of shooting you'll be doing out in the field, and of course, the price. Basically, there are two types of tripod heads nature photographers prefer Pan and tilt heads. Pan and tilt heads...

Camera Backpacks and Bags

While traveling, hiking, or just driving to a local park for some nature shots, nature photographers need to haul cameras, lenses, and accessories. We all have camera bags some are suited for the field, and some really aren't. A good camera bag can be the nature photographer's best friend (see Figure 3.7). Like ice cream, digital cameras, and computers, camera bags come in all sort of flavors. You can choose shoulder bags, backpacks, hard cases, and even models that have storage room for a...

Caring for Digital Images in the Field

One situation portrait or backyard photographers that could be us sometimes don't have to worry about is what to do with our digital images while we're away from our digital darkroom. At some point, you've probably been hundreds or thousands of miles away from home, taking hundreds or thousands of digital images, and been faced with the predicament of how to download images. You do have some options Bring plenty of memory cards. I've done this before leave on an extended trip overseas and...

Clothes on Your Back and Shoes That You Wear

I'm not what you might call a well-dressed man. My typical outfit consists of jeans, black t-shirts, and moccasins, except when shooting nature photos in the field. Depending on the type of shooting I'm doing and the typical weather conditions, I transform my wardrobe to accommodate the conditions at hand. When shooting in the field, you'll need to outfit yourself with appropriate clothing, or your outing can become a miserable experience. When getting ready to venture out for nature shooting,...

Using Graphics Tablets

Nature photographers have a tendency to edit fine details in Photoshop. Almost all of us are used to using a mouse to navigate around our computer. You'll find that many professional retouchers yes, there are pros dedicated to retouching photos use finer tools to navigate around fine details of an image. The tool of choice is a graphics tablet. A graphics tablet gives you much more precise control over the brushes and tools you use in Photoshop. It's like retouching an image with a Graphics...

Desktop Computers for the Nature Photographer

Desktop computers typically contain more memory, disk space, and expandability than their portable counterparts. It's always been that way, and it will continue to be for the foreseeable future. The reason There's more room for computer manufacturers to include less-expensive components with desktops than with laptops. What that means to you is more bang for your buck you can typically get a desktop computer for far less money than a similarly equipped laptop. Desktop computers are still very...