Archive for Outdoor Photography

How to Photograph Nudes Like a Professional

Posted in Articles about Photography, Books about Photography, Good News, Image Processing and Software, Inspirations, Marketing, Photography Gear, Techniques, Workshops and Seminars with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 10, 2010 by Darwin

One of the classic genres of photography is the figure study. It seems you simply can not go through your career in photography without dabbling in the art of photographing the nude. My first attempt at nude work was stressful and daunting! I did not know how to find models (I used a friend the first time). I knew very little about appropriate techniques both in-camera and in the chemical darkroom. But worst of all I had to overcome the tunnel vision that your subject is a nude person – yikes!

The first couple of tries produced results that were less than satisfactory. I was not confident of my photographic capabilities, I had no idea how to direct the model, I had no concept of what I was shooting and why. I had no props, no great location, and none of the civilized niceties needed to make a shoot go well (you know blankets, bathroom, water etc). I simply had a camera and a naked person in front of me – now what?

There is so much to consider to do a nude shoot well and to come across professionally. You just don’t jump into it like I did. Over the years, I refined my working method and have done numerous nude shoots both in the studio and outdoors. I think I have learned a lot and am much better at it than I was initially. Part of the learning process was trail and error and part was by studying books on the subject. I have seen some decent books on nude photography over the years but only recently did I discover the BEST book on the subject I have ever seen. Ashley Karyl’s e-book “How to Photograph Nudes Like a Professional” is a winner. It is a 328 page compendium of everything you need to know to photograph the human form.

I can not believe the detail and thought that went into Ashley’s book. Ashley covers everything you need to know from finding models, working with models, lighting (indoors and outdoors), props, locations, hair, make-up, camera and lenses, marketing, releases, digital workflow, retouching, printing and on and on and on. Not only is this a great book on how to photograph the nude, it is a fine book on the art of photography in general. Highly recommended!

To order Ashley’s book click here.

How to Photograph Nudes Like a Professional

By the way, Samantha and I are putting into practice many of the lessons that we learned from Ashley’s e-Book by doing location nude shoots of male and female models here in Alberta. We will present our results at the Digital Photo Expo on October 2 in Calgary. Hope to see you there! In the meantime, happy shooting and watch out for mosquitos!

©Darwin Wiggett


Travel Photo Contest – Ilya Genkin

Posted in Monthly Photo Contest with tags , , , , , , , on July 28, 2010 by Darwin

Ilya Genkin

©Ilya Genkin

The magnificent Broken Hill Sculpture Park is one of the main tourist attractions and icons of the Australian outback. Twelve impressive stone sculptures are situated on a hill located in The Living Desert Reserve in about 10km north of Broken Hill, NSW, Australia. The sculptures were carved in 1993 by artists from around the world, under the direction of organiser and artist Lawrence Beck. The main sculpture on the photo is “Bajo El Sol Jaguar” (Under Jaguar Sun) by Antonio Nava Tirado from Mexico and now it is a symbol of Broken Hill. Broken Hill (also known as ‘The Silver City’) is one destination that should be put on any photographers list as it is not only a beautiful town with its wonderful architecture (and of course people) but it is also provides the perfect base for exploring some of the best attractions in this region of Australia.

Travel Photo Contest – Tom Stephens

Posted in Monthly Photo Contest with tags , , , , , , , on July 27, 2010 by Darwin

Tom Stephens

©Tom Stephens

This is my impression of kids at play on a late summer evening in Riverside Park, New York City. The young soccer players were totally absorbed in their game — and apparently oblivious to the gorgeous light! The sun setting across the Hudson River and the high vantage point above the playground made an irresistible combination. The solidly planted coach in the foreground contrasts with the players, who seem almost airborne thanks to the long shadows.

Technical stuff: Pentax *ist DS, f6.3, 1/200 sec, ISO 200.

My Backpacking Camera Kit

Posted in Photography Gear, Techniques with tags , , , , , , , , on April 14, 2010 by Darwin

©Darwin Wiggett

When I do day hikes or backcountry pack trips I really want to keep things light. The lighter the pack, the more fun the trip and more importantly I have energy to explore and be creative. I used to haul my big camera (a medium format camera with 5 lenses) into the backcountry with me but rather than use the potential of all that gear, I just ended up tired and sore. Not any more! Pictured above is my lean backcountry camera kit. My goal for a 4 to 5 night backpack trip is to keep my pack in the 35 to 40 lb range including camera gear. I could probably get a even smaller camera like a Panasonic GF-1 but for now the Rebel works great and is not that heavy.

Pictured above is a Canon Rebel XSi with a Tamron 17-50mm f2.8 lens (a surpisingly sharp but inexpensive lens). The camera is outfitted with a Really Right Stuff L-bracket, a bubble level and a Cokin P-holder on the lens. My filter kit inclues three Singh-Ray grads (2 and 3-stop hard-step and 3-stop soft step), a Singh-Ray 5-stop solid ND, Singh-Ray LB warming polarizer and Singh-Ray Gold-n-Blue Polarizer. I take three fully charged batteries (one battery lasts about two to three days) and a bunch of memory cards (only one is shown here) and a trusty cable release.

All the gear above is packed into a Tamrac Velocity 7 sling bag (shown below), and I use a Gitzo GT2542L tripod with a Really Right Stuff BH-40 ball head. There are lighter tripods out there (this one is 3.5 lbs with the ball head), but the one thing I will not sacrifice on is a sturdy tripod or being stuck with a short tripod. This tripod goes to eye level which for me is a big positive (I hate bending to look through the camera on a tripod) and it is nice and solid which I need when I make long exposures. And finally I always have my bear spray and cougar knife with me. You just never know which furry friend wants to come and help you take photos.

©Darwin Wiggett

I wear the camera pack on my chest so it is always available to make photos and the tripod goes on the main pack. For the last several years I have been one happy backpacker with this light camera system. If I wanted more range I might add a 18-200mm zoom or something similar, but I like having a f2.8 lens that is sharp all the way across the zoom range.

©Samantha Chrysanthou