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Photographing Nature: A photo workshop from Brooks Institute’s top nature photography instructor

Book Description

25 years of nature photography instruction in one gorgeous, full-color, hands-on course

Anyone can photograph nature—just step outside and you’re on location. But becoming a good nature photographer takes expert training. In Photographing Nature, Ralph Clevenger, whose images have appeared in such publications as Nature’s Best and National Geographic, shares the techniques he’s been personally using and teaching to aspiring photographers for the last 25 years in his popular nature photography course at the elite Brooks Institute.

In this stunning, four-color course-in-a-book, each chapter opens with a spectacular photo spread from the natural world that Clevenger uses to illustrate themes and techniques essential to mastering nature photography. Just as he does in his classroom at Brooks, Clevenger explains how each photo was captured, the tools and techniques used, and typical problems related to capturing such a photo, along with solutions. Chapters also include sample Q&A sessions as well as assignments you can try yourself.

By the time you’ve worked through all of the techniques in this beautiful, yet informative book, you’ll not only photograph the world differently, you’ll see it differently as well. With a foreword by George Lepp, one of North America’s best-known contemporary outdoor and nature photographers.

Table of Contents

  1. Copyright
    1. Dedication
  2. Acknowledgments
  3. About the author
  4. Foreword
  5. Introduction
  6. 1. Play nice
    1. Ethics
    2. Knowledge and creativity
    3. Equipment
      1. Batteries
      2. Plamps
      3. Blinds
      4. Preparation
    4. Becoming part of the solution
    5. Questions & Answers
  7. 2. You need more stuff?
    1. Stuff
    2. Practice
    3. Equipment
      1. My gear
      2. More stuff
      3. Steady stuff
      4. Sensors and histograms
    4. Lighting
    5. Questions & Answers
  8. 3. It’s all about the light
    1. Qualities of light
    2. Equipment
      1. Cameras
      2. Reflectors and diffusers
      3. Lens shades
    3. Lighting
    4. Questions & Answers
    5. Assignments to try
  9. 4. Not everything’s black-and-white
    1. The color of nature
      1. Color of light
      2. Color of subject
    2. Equipment
    3. Lighting
    4. Questions & Answers
    5. Assignments to try
  10. 5. Flash! And you’re in control
    1. Light at 1/20,000 of a second
      1. Your light plus nature’s light
    2. Equipment
      1. Flash basics
      2. Ring lights
      3. Wireless triggers (infrared vs. radio)
    3. Lighting
    4. Questions & Answers
    5. Assignments to try
  11. 6. Wet-belly photography
    1. Finding flowers and chasing bugs
      1. All-day shooting
    2. Equipment
      1. Lenses
      2. Extension tubes
      3. Diopters (close-up filters)
    3. Lighting
    4. Questions & Answers
    5. Assignments to try
  12. 7. Garden variety shots
    1. Nature so close
      1. Why some subjects work and others don’t
    2. Equipment
      1. Lenses
      2. The right tripod head for close-ups
      3. Right-angle finders
    3. Lighting
    4. Questions & Answers
    5. Assignments to try
  13. 8. The wonder of wildlife
    1. Lions and tigers and bears, oh my!
      1. The wonder of flight
    2. Equipment
      1. Lenses
      2. Auto-focus (AF)
      3. Teleconverters
      4. Support
    3. Lighting
    4. Questions & Answers
    5. Assignments to try
  14. 9. An ounce of prevention
    1. Zoos
      1. Wildlife models
    2. Equipment
      1. ISO
      2. Cars, boats, and blinds
    3. Lighting
    4. Questions & Answers
    5. Assignments to try
  15. 10. Land, sea, and sky
    1. The wide view
    2. Telling the story
    3. Equipment
      1. Your light meter’s modes
      2. Fisheye and perspective-control (PC) lenses
    4. Lighting
    5. Questions & Answers
    6. Assignments to try
  16. 11. Looking through the frame
    1. The frame
    2. Composing the image
    3. Equipment
      1. Light meter patterns
      2. Filters
    4. Lighting
    5. Questions & Answers
    6. Assignments to try
  17. 12. What are you looking at?
    1. Preconceptions
      1. Learning to see
    2. Equipment
      1. The golden mean
    3. Lighting
    4. Questions & Answers
    5. Assignments to try
  18. 13. On the road
    1. Road trip
    2. A ‘typical day’ of shooting
    3. Equipment
      1. Indispensable travel items
      2. Other gear
    4. Lighting
    5. Questions & Answers
    6. Assignments to try
  19. 14. Back in the lab
    1. Becoming the lab
    2. Manipulation
    3. Equipment
      1. Applications to help you create images
        1. High Dynamic Range (HDR)
        2. Lens Distortion
        3. Sharpening
        4. Color Effects
        5. Enlargements
        6. Extended Depth of Field
        7. Firmware
    4. Lighting
    5. Questions & Answers
    6. Assignments to try
  20. Resources
    1. Mentioned in Photographing Nature
      1. Books
      2. Photographers’ personal sites
    2. Additional Web Resources
      1. Photography community, tips and techniques
      2. Techniques and equipment
      3. Dynamic range, tonal range
      4. Noise in images
      5. Rain, dust, weather protection
      6. Tripods, ballheads, gimbal heads, flash brackets
      7. Camera bags and steadybags
      8. Blinds and gear for outdoor photography
      9. Sensor sizes
      10. Batteries and chargers
      11. White balance, color
      12. White balancing cards and plug-ins
      13. Monitor calibration
      14. Cleaning your equipment
      15. Auto-focus
      16. Light and creativity
        1. Magic hour
        2. Sunrise/sunset, moon phases, weather
        3. Articles on creativity, golden mean, and the Fibonacci series
      17. Flash
        1. Flash techniques and gear
        2. Macro photography
      18. Depth-of-field calculators
      19. Film scanning and processing
      20. Panorama tool and techniques
      21. Travel
      22. Portable solar panels for charging batteries
      23. Traveling green
      24. Identifying insects and plants
      25. Game farms and zoos
      26. Image manipulation and processing
        1. Software that does it all
        2. Filters and color effects
        3. High dynamic range (HDR) software
        4. Lens-distortion software
        5. Sharpening software
        6. Enlarging software
        7. Noise-reduction software
        8. Extended depth of field