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Articles written by Daniel Laan

Fine-Art Landscape Photography (Part 2): Demons of a Diverse Portfolio

First frost of the year on autumn leaves

Students often ask me a rhetorical question: “What is it like to be a professional landscape photographer?” Well, it’s fantastic if you’re into the outdoors, natural landscapes, and of course photography. However, that’s not entirely the point of the question. The real question you want to ask though, is “How do you find a sustainable income to support such a career?” Typically, we all have a preconceived idea of what a landscape photographer does for a living. But that idea seems to stem from a time when there weren't that many people in the business.

Fine-Art Landscape Photography (Part 1): The Magically Appearing Photograph

Fine-Art Landscape Photography (Part 1): The Magically Appearing Photograph

There are two ways to photography: registration and creation. Let me be clear that, before we get into a short essay about self-acceptance in art, neither is better than the other. While I’d like to teach you today about conscious creation, registration is the inherent nature of photography. But the way we modify and modulate light before it hits the sensor, as well as the entire process after it, is all up to us and not the camera manufacturer.

Review of OrionH V2: The Photoshop Panel for Capturing the Night

Review of OrionH V2: The Photoshop Panel for Capturing the Night

Editing Milky Way, star trail, and deep-sky astrophotography images can be a daunting task. With dozens of layers and adjustments, we can feel overcome with getting the most out of our nightscape photography. With the new and improved version of OrionH, those days may well lie behind us because this plugin panel for Adobe Photoshop aims to lower the amount you sit at the computer. OrionH comes with three different panels that each have their nightly specialty and in this review, we will discuss version 2.0’s new and improved algorithms and features for each of those panels.

Review: Aluminium Dibond from Zor.com

Review: Aluminium Dibond from Zor.com

Today I’m testing out a direct to aluminum print from Zor.com, which is supposed to bring out vibrant colors and incredible image clarity. The 3mm Dibond is fashioned from two thin sheets of aluminum, with a low-density core of polyethylene. This makes the print sturdy and durable, but also very lightweight. But to be honest, I’m awfully skeptic of printing on anything other than fine-art papers. Call me a conservative printer. Let’s find out if Dibond can change my mind.

A Reason for Nightscape Photography

A Reason for Nightscape Photography

Photographers who are active on social media often get a lot of questions about the technicalities of photography. Especially about nightscape photography – the subgenre of landscape imaging where you basically have a dark landscape set to some celestial backdrop featuring twinkly stars. Either through commenting on a shared image, a direct message, or an email, people ask about the type of gear that was used to capture a specific shot or any of the numerous variables that make up a given photo. Variables that range from the time of day to how many degrees of rotation on the polarizing filter. But this time I got an email that announced the inevitable demise of the subgenre of nightscape photography. But there’s a strong, intrinsic motivation for nightscape photography that I want to share with you here.

Review of Loupedeck: The Dedicated Photo Editing Console for Lightroom

Review of Loupedeck: The Dedicated Photo Editing Console for Lightroom

How could you make photo editing more intuitive? Both working professional photographers and beginners would really benefit from a more intuitive, time-saving way of interacting with Adobe Lightroom. Dragging sliders and rating images can be, well, a drag sometimes. I’m actually surprised it took this long for a creative company to dream up a dedicated photo editing console for Adobe Lightroom. But the day has finally arrived. Loupedeck promises to change the way you work with Lightroom and shorten the amount of time you spend sitting at your computer. Loupedeck is here and we’re reviewing it.

Simon Baxter: Chasing Waterfalls and Fog

Simon Baxter: Chasing Waterfalls and Fog

Simon Baxter makes an unplanned visit to a verdant misty forest in North Yorkshire, UK. As Baxter talks us through the thought process behind one of his images, it becomes clear that the gushing waterfall in the background isn’t his area of interest. A couple of trees above the waterfall that are steeped in the rolling mist look very intriguing.

Review of OrionH: This Photoshop Panel Saves You Hours of Processing The Milky Way

Review of OrionH: This Photoshop Panel Saves You Hours of Processing The Milky Way

You have been up all night, taking images of the Milky Way. Tomorrow, hours of editing probably lie ahead. Light pollution, noise, and a lack of contrast can make most nightscape photos feel lackluster. If you’re familiar with doing landscape astrophotography, then you’ve no doubt experienced the amount of effort needed in post-processing to make your images shine. Even with today’s digital cameras, no picture comes out of the camera the way you’ve imagined them to. Enter OrionH; a panel for Adobe Photoshop dedicated to natural night photography and meant to decrease the amount of time you sit at the computer.

A Week in the Wild - Part 1: Preparing for Photography Wilderness Camping

A Week in the Wild - Part 1: Preparing for Photography Wilderness Camping

With the goal in mind to write up a reference for planning a week of photography in the wild, it's almost unthinkable to not include an article about gear an rules about sleeping in the great outdoors. Not on a campsite, not in a hotel or any form of modern comfort, but out in the backcountry, sleeping under the stars. This quickly grew out to be an article to bookmark, because I don't expect you to remember everything about this after a first read.

Finding the True Reason Why You are a Photographer

Finding the True Reason Why You are a Photographer

You are at a crossroads again. Every now and then, you arrive at a point in your photography where you are left uninspired. It’s that moment when you feel like you’re drawing blanks even as the conditions are just right. Stages like these occur every once in a while, no matter your experience in photography. Feeling uninspired can be daunting and seemingly endless. But once you realize that these are the best moments for self-reflection, there’s another opportunity for personal growth. It’s times like these when you ask yourself: “What is your reason for pursuing photography in the first place?”

Perfectly Iceland, Part 2: Seven Icons of Landscape Photography

Perfectly Iceland, Part 2: Seven Icons of Landscape Photography

Road number one leads you around Iceland’s epic natural formations. These scenic locations, often the subject of landscape photographs, have seen a dramatic rise in tourism recently. So what is it about these subjects that attract people from all over the world? And when is the light at its best to shoot a memorable image yourself here? These are the Icelandic icons of landscape photography.

Review: The Saal Digital High-End Photobook for Professional Photographers

Review: The Saal Digital High-End Photobook for Professional Photographers

If you have ever imagined your very own photography coffee table book, this review will probably get you designing it straightaway. Saal Digital, a German photo printing company offers the High-End Photobook, which, at least on paper, has all the bells and whistles you would like to see in a book containing your finest work. I’ve put the book to the test to see if the quality lives up to the claims made on their website and the Instagram advertisement that led me to them.

Now Available: 6-Stop ND Filter for Ultra Wide Lenses Without a Filter Holder

Now Available: 6-Stop ND Filter for Ultra Wide Lenses Without a Filter Holder

The problem with ultra-wide lenses is that a bulbous front element makes it impossible to attach a filter directly to the lens. A tried and tested method to create more space between lens and filter through the use of a filter holder and a lens adapter ring. Systems such as the Wonderpana by Fotodiox and the SW-150 by Lee make the use of all sorts of filters available for photographers with deep pockets. Like the enormous filters themselves, these systems are often expensive and only attach to one lens. Enter STC with a 6-stop ND filter that you could use with the widest of lenses, and for just 80 bucks.