Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Learn Landscape Photography Series: When?

Welcome to the world of chasing the sky. It's Ironic that a landscape photographer has to focus more attention on what's happening in the sky above than on the land below. But it's the light from the sky that will make the most of your images going forward and for the most part it can be planned.

The magical "Golden Hour" as you may have heard over and over again is the hour of soft light the sun gives subjects as it rises and sets. So show up a half hour before sunrise or sunset, take a couple shots, and your a photographic icon. OK now back to reality, in order to get the most possibilities from a location I like to break it down into a two hour window for shooting. Don't forget to give yourself enough time to hike into the location and set up everything.

Landscape photography by Nick Oman Photography.
Blue Hour

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Learn Landscape Photography Series: Other Essential Gear

So now that you have your camera and lenses mostly set, you need something to hold it perfectly still for all those long exposures. The tripod is the quintessential landscape photographer's tool. Picture all the greats holding there massive 8x10's on solid wood tripods, now fast forward to today and the tripod is becoming less and less needed with high ISO's and crazy good image stabilization. If you want tack sharp though, and landscape photography demands tack sharp, a tripod is still a must.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Learn Landscape Photography Series: Camera and Lenses

You might not like what I have to say about your current camera. So if you are happy with your camera stop reading and wait for the next post in the series!!!

Saturday, April 19, 2014

An Exercise In Awareness For Better Photography

I sat in a chair with my puppy Mosey laying on the grass beside me in my backyard. It was the warmest day of the year so far and a light breeze felt like Spring. I sat back and watched as a large flock of birds flew in a V high in the blue sky above. Their wings would catch the sun in unison with every flap and until they flew out of site I was mesmerized. A slight shift in the breeze and I began to follow the movement of the wispy clouds slowly swirling and drifting. Circling on these winds two hawks appeared climbing higher and higher. Their wings spread at full span as they glided so far into the sky that I eventually lost sight of them.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Persistence Is Essential To Nature Photography

Along the lines of my last post this is another story of getting the most out of your photography trip. 

Nature photography by Nick Oman Photography.

On this trip to the Uinta National Forest I had plans for a sunset over the forest with a few lakes in the foreground. After a few hour drive I made it to the Bald Mountain Pass Lookout only to see thunderclouds fast approaching. Well this could work out alright I thought. A cool thunderstorm with some lightning could really be amazing from this vantage point.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Landscape Photography And The Best Laid Plans

Landscape photography by Nick Oman Photography.

The natural amphitheater is a bright white sandstone formation at the very top of Snow Canyon State Park just outside the town of St. George, Utah. To arrive at the amphitheater it's a short hike through a well marked trail on mostly flat packed desert sand. Easy right?

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Does Your Gear Matter?

Night photography by Nick Oman Photography

Better gear won't make you a better photographer! It can however allow you to take better photographs.

I like most photographers started out with a entry level DSLR camera. It had the basic functions that are important to learn, but the image quality with the kit lenses was iffy at best. I added a nifty fifty and the quality improved enough that all I used from that point on was that 50mm lens(not easy to get wide landscapes with a 80ish mm lens). Soon the photography bug had taken a firm hold and I knew this was what I wanted to do forever. The next step for me was a big one, $$$ Full frame land $$$.

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Need A Creative Boost?

I know that from time to time I need some inspiration for my photography. Usually this is either after a recent trip somewhere that has endless amounts of photographic possibilities(Bryce Canyon Composition) or the other time is when I hit a roadblock in processing a photo. I know how I want the image to look, but I can't quite get it there. Arghh! This used to happen to me more frequently than it does now and the solution came in a very roundabout way.

You may have noticed that I love black and white photography as much as I love color. In fact I strongly considered only using black and white as my only images for sale. So what does this have to do with overcoming creative roadblocks you ask? When I started going back over some of the images I had processed in color and converted them to black and white I found myself stuck. Not sure what to do. In order to move forward I knew I needed to learn some new processing techniques.

With monochrome, the image comes down to two keys for me. First is content. If the subject is impressive it can stand on it's own in color or in B&W. Second is contrast and by contrast I mean how many levels of gray between the black and the whites there is in a photo. Also known as tonal range or tonal contrast, this is what gives the scene a sense of depth and can make it really pop. By trial and error and reading as much as I could. I found how to control the different levels of contrast in my B&W images and it has carried into my color images too.

Nature photography by Nick Oman Photography.
For even more creativity in photography or really just life in general I suggest you pay a visit to Guy Tal's Bookstore.