Last night, National Geographic Traveler announced the winners of their 25th annual photo contest, and as you can imagine, the images are nothing short of amazing. The prizes weren't bad either - the winning photographer received a 10-day Galápagos expedition for two - so one could assume there would be a lot of competition. The contest received over 15,500 entries. Of those, here are the top 11...
Recent Nature Articles
Photographing forests is one of the harder parts of landscape and nature photography. This editing trick might change how you approach your subject.
Many times when shooting objects in an uneven light (usually outside), we have to choose if we want to expose for the darker areas, or for the brighter areas. This means part of the image will be exposed 'correctly' while the other parts will be overexposed (or underexposed). There are few solutions that can help us avoid these issues like shooting HDR or adding artificial light. But these solutions are not always handy and not always something that can be done. This great tutorial shows you how to fix overexposed highlights in only few minutes.
Lisa is not a professional photographer. She started taking photos and learned about photography because she started watching birds and wanted a way to document it. She’s originally from Germany and moved to the US with her American husband. She lives in Michigan now, and although the landscape and weather is similar to what she experienced in Germany, the wildlife, especially the birds, differ quite a lot.
I've been looking at photo apps for the iPhone since the phone was first released in 2007. From the start, it was pretty clear Apple wasn't getting the most out of their own camera with the built-in app, and third parties rushed in. If you wanted to take serious photos, many of the apps were wanting, offering stickers and other features most pros would disdain. But not this app.
Three years ago, Photographer Christian Carollo came upon his grandfather's travel photography from across the United States. The initial spark for the "Past and Present" Project started with a particular image of the small coastal town of Winchester Bay, Oregon. Christian wondered if he could replicate the image and he succeeded. This was the start of an epic and awe-inspiring project now known as the Past and Present Project. Christian has traveled all over the United States, continuing to replicate his grandfather's images. The results are breathtaking and have re-inspired in me the true emotional potential a single image can have.
Photographer Sergei Gaschak photographed an area deemed uninhabitable to humans: the Chernobyl disaster's 'fallout zone.' While a few people do still choose to live there, animals are more known to have inhabited the area, unaware, obviously, of the radiation that they expose themselves to. Still, few abnormalities seem to form in these animals, apparently, despite the few examples of albino spots and some more serious effects on various swallows.
Over the past few years, the team at SmokyMountains.com have created a map showing time predictions for peak fall colors in the United States. The 2016 version of this interactive map is now live just in time to make those camping reservations or other travel plans to get the best photos of the season.
Before I began writing for Fstoppers, I spent 18 months working for the photo sharing company SmugMug. While working at SmugMug had many perks, I don't think I enjoyed any of them more than being sent to Norway to assist in the making of the film, Arctic Surf. I was hand picked to tag along with the talented videographer Anton Lorimer as we detailed Chris Burkard's work of photographing surfers in the cold and rugged Arctic Circle. It was an incredible experience, in one of the most beautiful locations that I had ever visited. I even put together a Behind-The-Scenes photo journal of the trip.
Flowers can be a wonderful opportunity for photographers to practice their camera skills. Whether receiving a bunch as a gift, or wanting to record the flowers in your own garden, there are a few things you can do to improve your flowery shots.
Horses have been the subject of many powerful images throughout time. They lend a magnificent presence to any photographers portfolio. Boudoir photography has been inspired by the story Lady Godiva and her nude ride on her horse for the people of Coventry.
This is it. By now, You will have been inspired, honed your ideas, found the perfect location and booked your talent. You will have taken that little bit of inspiration and nurtured it into a full fledged shoot. If you are anything like me, you will have tossed out far more ideas than you kept and you will have spent hours upon hours solidifying the few that stuck with you. It is safe to say that the hard part is over.
Timelapses aren't just for moving clouds and the northern lights (but they sure are pretty) but in fact their use for studying earth sciences is becoming a key part in learning more about our landscape and using the images to educate and inform the masses. I interviewed Forrest Pound of San Francisco based Kontent Films, who was tasked with building custom timelapse rigs to document parts of the Colorado River. He has shared this DIY project step by step, so read on to learn more.
Do you struggle with finding compositions in woodland? Over the years, I have developed a strategy that helped me to succeed. Sometimes, I even see one composition beside the other without even looking.
Wildlife can be a fascinating photography genre that requires a lot of skill and patience, but it can also bring a tremendous amount of joy as showcased by this passionate nature photographer who specializes in capturing squirrels.
While browsing the web for editing tips, I ran across this video tutorial that had me intrigued based on the title "How To Make A Sick Mountain Bike Edit." I normally don't watch mountain bike videos, but this one had me from the beginning.
Nature Photographer Kevin Ebi was tracking a young fox with his camera Saturday while it trotted with a rabbit in its mouth in northwestern Washington when he heard the screech of a bald eagle behind him. Knowing what was about to happen, Ebi focused in and readied himself to capture what has quickly become the most widely shared photograph of his career.
It is easy to overthink landscape photography (as I am about to do now). For anybody prone to self-doubt, like myself, the act of landscape photography can be downright paralyzing.
Professional landscape photographer Michael Shainblum shares this incredible 8K UHD time-lapse featuring amazing light at many of the best locations in New Zealand for landscape photography, including Milford Sound. Be sure to check out the full-size image gallery as well.
A young couple fell to their deaths in Yosemite National Park last week. We should all take it as an unfortunate reminder: no photograph is worth your life
It is not difficult to get an okay shot as an advanced photographer. The problem is not seeing the things that would bring your photography even up to a world-class level. What if I would tell you that there exists a tiny subgenre in photography that makes not only most of the things you have to improve visible for you but also makes you a better photographer in all genres of photography?
Photographer Mike Olbinski has been visiting the Central Plains to shoot it's storms since 2010, and last week he encountered a supercell straight out of an apocalyptic thriller. The views in this timelapse are breathtaking! It's incredible to watch this massive storm tear through the fields near Booker, TX. There really isn't much more that I can say, just watch the video. Well done Mike! Amazing footage
When National Geographic calls and asks you to take on a project that involves capturing one of the most photographed places on the planet, how do you come away with something new or unique? Six photographers took on this challenge and shared their stories and images in this short video.
Whether we shoot stills, video or both, better utilizing light is probably the single quickest and most effective way to boost the quality of our work. I recently came across the beautiful work of cinematographer and DP Matthias Koenigswieser. If you love to shoot natural or ambient light and want to see just how beautiful applying lighting to achieve a natural light look can be, you’re in for a treat.
Filmed and edited by Nejc Miljak, “Before You Wake Up” is a short production that casts a strong motivating monologue aimed at landscape photographers around the world. Alongside its message, the video portrays an awe-inspiring adventure into nature as photographer Janez Tolar captures images sunrise to sunset. The combination of these makes this semi-ethereal video too good to pass up sharing.
How to Photograph the Total Solar Eclipse and Get Better Images With the Sky-Watcher Star Adventurer Mini
On August 21, hundreds of thousands of people in North America and millions watching live at home will be experiencing a once, maybe twice, in a lifetime celestial opportunity. A total eclipse of the sun. Thousands of photographers will be traveling to locations along the path of totality to get the best possible photographs during the event. Photographing an event like this requires some special equipment so I will go over what you’ll need and some extra tools like the Sky-Watcher Star Tracker Mini (SAM) that can help you take your images to the next level.
There is no substitute for hard work when it come to being a photographer. In my opinion, the best way to improve your work is to shoot as much as possible. If you want to be a surf photographer, shoot surfers, if you want to be a portrait photographer, shoot portraits, and so on. However, for photographers just starting out, chances are it's going to take some time and experience to build your skills to the point where you are able to specialize in one thing. While this is not always the case, here are some tips to help you make the most of the simple things and improve your photography.
Sometimes, life decides to throw a load of crap at you. It's up to you how you deal with it.
Would you ever turn your back on a river full of roaming crocodiles while your cohorts chucked food into the water? I wouldn't either, but this photographer at the “Crocodile Bridge” over the Tarcoles River in Costa Rica, got a close look at one of the river beasts while perched in the grass.
Robert Capa said, “If your pictures aren’t good enough, you’re not close enough.” This might be an exception to that rule.
What do you think about him pushing the boundary?
Announced less than a month ago, the new Nikon D810 has made video DSLR shooters foam at the mouth with its long list of cinema-centric features. The crew from Cinescapes Collective got their hands on an early release of the D810 and put together a short film for Nikon Professional Services. Watch the BTS video to hear their thoughts on the Nikon D810, then read on for the final film and stills from the production.
Our cameras today are extremely powerful with settings and features that help us archive stellar image quality. But sometimes the images we come home with just don't capture the true essence of what was photographed and what our eyes saw. The photo is just a bit overexposed or underexposed and doesn't capture what we felt in that moment we pressed down on the shutter button. We fiddle and tweak in Photoshop with sliders and brushes, but there is another tool to add to the arsenal: masks. Specifically, luminosity masks.
With July coming to an end, summer in the North East is in full swing and what better time to get out and shoot than the present. Whether you are shooting portraits or landscapes, in the daylight or under the stars, sometimes the best way to stay motivated and make sure you are having fun with your photography is to keep things simple. While I don’t go bare-bones with one camera and a lens, if I am out adventuring, chasing a sunset, or on a day trip hiking through the forest, I like to keep my gear minimal. While each piece of equipment has various uses, here is a look into my camera bag and different ways you can use each piece of equipment.
Having spent years photographing the night sky from the Milky Way to exploding meteors to man-made space junk disintegrating in the atmosphere, I thought I had seen it all. Then I drove as far north into Canada as you can possibly go, and everything changed.
Have you ever wondered how people start full time in photography and even take it one step further by working and living as a full-time landscape photographer? Dave Morrow is one of those people and he spends his days in the middle of nowhere to capture the best images.
Do you like seeing things up close, like really, truly up close? What is it about macro work that is so interesting, seeing textures and scenes that are much harder to appreciate using just our eyes?
Whenever I take a moment and look at landscape photography it's like a tiny escape. An escape from the busy commotion of the cities that we live in and the chaos of the people in those cities. Most landscape photography is calm and serene with a beautiful array of colors acting as a canvas. Photographer, Benjamin Edelstein known for his stunning work sits down with us to talk about what it is to be a landscape photographer.
A group of conservators restoring one of the century old supply depots established by Robert Falcon Scott during his expedition to the South Pole found more than they bargained for. In the corner of one of the huts lay a solid block of ice containing 22 negatives that have been quite well preserved for an entire century.
It's been several years since I first had the chance to visit Yellowstone National Park, but I can honestly say that it was an incredible experience throughout and I can't wait to go back. The trip to the national park was honestly a game-changing experience for me and how I approach my own landscape photography. I learned so much on that trip, not necessarily about my gear, but about what to shoot and how to capture it in a way that would help me really remember what it was like to see things in person.
I live and breathe landscape photography and there are so many great tips you can test and try out yourself. Here are five tips I benefit a lot from in my work that you can implement to improve your landscape photography right now.
About two years ago, in the spirit of adventure and creativity, I decided I was going to try and photograph the ocean with artificial lighting. I had an image in my head of all the things I’ve seen in daylight hours, with the stark contrast of an illuminated wave against a dark backdrop. A run-of-the-mill day down at the beach certainly wasn’t going to do either. We were going to go straight to the top and shoot the biggest and meanest waves we could find.
Aerial videos that have been shot by drones have been flooding YouTube for the last few years, especially as the cost and expertise needed to get into it has come down. A birds-eye point of view can add a lot of production value to a video project, but where does one start when looking to get into aerial video? I spoke with Brent Foster who told me about the doors that shooting aerial video can open, as well as the challenges they present.
Snowy region shooters rejoice, there exists a way to completely get rid of all blue snow in your photographs! I know what you’re thinking: just adjust the white balance in any ol' image processor. Unfortunately, you will find that using this method is only winning half the battle for many images. In a few easy steps, you’ll learn how to make any winter photo much more pleasing to the eye.
Despite having grown up around photography all my life (thanks, dad) and then starting my own commercial portrait business in 2009, there is one small little thing I'd never done before, silly as it sounds. I have never, ever shot in snow. Born in the Caribbean in 1975, then briefly living in Miami before settling down in Houston in 1979, I have truly never experienced real snow. But all that changed for me recently in Salt Lake City and Albuquerque - in January.
At the young age of 24, photographer and time lapse creator Michael Shainblum has already created an impressive resume. His photography and timelapse work has been featured on countless international publications, and he is often hired by large tourism boards and brands to create unique and appealing content. But quietly, in his free time, Michael has been chasing the stormy weather, and has captured some insane lightning strikes. As a lightning novice, I asked Michael...
Whether you have any interest in National Geographic or not, you simply owe it to yourself to check out the winners of their 2013 Photography Contest, as well as the short BTS video showing the judges in action. In particular there is a 60 second segment in the video that is one of the most powerful messages I’ve heard all year about the essential key to taking better photographs that can apply to every one of us.
No stranger to unique and challenging photography pursuits, Ben VonWong's latest adventure sent him across the Western United States in search of summer thunderstorms, with an entourage of assistants, filmmakers, and models helping along the way. VonWong shared this behind-the-scenes video, but also some insightful information as to the conversation he hopes to start– one about the seriousness of climate change.
When I was younger, my dad took a class on photography at a local community college. To this day, he says that the biggest thing he learned from the class was that to take interesting pictures, you have to go to interesting places. I suppose that if you are a travel, landscape, or nature photographer, that is true. What a lot of people don’t realize is that interesting places are all around us. Having grown up in Ohio, I always thought that I was stuck in a dreary, featureless landscape of corn and soybeans.