Monthly Archives

November 2011

Skips Stubbs in the Sea of Cortez (2011)

Skip's Trips

From Skip:

I and five friends had an 8-day diving charter out of La Paz in the Sea of Cortez in early October. We had no “set your hair on fire” moments, but great weather, fabulous food and company for sharing, and good sea conditions. The largest waves we saw were 6-10 inches! We visited all of our usual places, and found a couple very good new ones (see photos), and went back to Las Animas for the first time in several years. We didn’t see much there, but had nice clear water to appreciate the beautiful setting. All in all, a very pleasant and relaxing trip. The water was unusually warm this year 84-87 degrees F everywhere, so the visibility was a little off, but we never got chilled on dives, no matter how long. I still remember this one sunset…

Click on the image for more great underwater photos!

If I Shoot Raw Do I Have To Pay Any Attention To Exposure? No!

Wisdom

Ask The Digital Photography Expert

Q: If I shoot raw, do I need to worry about getting my exposures correct anymore? I remember when I took photography in high school, the teacher had us bothering with confusing settings like shutter speed, apartachure and film fastness, and all of that was very hard to understand especially because I was really in photography to meet chicks and sniff the fixer tank fumes. Now I have decided that I am going to travel the world and take glamorous photos like a pro, teach glamorous photo workshops, and get a glamorous job at Life magazine where I will meet chicks, so I have decided to buy a camera and get started. I have been told that with today’s super smart digital cameras I don’t even need to be concerned with exposure settings anymore. Is that true? Sincerely yours, Nubert Eye’essoo.

A: Yes, Nube, it is true! You can pretty much take any photo at any exposure setting you wish, and fix it later in raw.* I do it all the time. Let’s consider an illustrative example…

I was editing some images I shot this summer to get them organized for a copyright submission and found a sequence of a blue whale that I had forgotten about. It was underexposed by at least three stops, perhaps four stops. I must have pressed the exposure-hold button while the camera was pointed up at the sky or some other lame-brain move. In the days of film a bluewater four-stop underexposure surely would have gone straight in the trash as fast as possible. Keeping something like this around, dwelling on it and thinking about the “what if”, is like remaining friends with an old flame — the tears, regret, and tequila gnaw at your gut. Better to put such things behind oneself, make a clean break and move forward. However, for some reason this sequence stayed on my hard disk, so today I took a look at one of the frames to see what image was buried in there. Low and behold I was able to pull out decent color and detail, enough for a half-page repro or web use. Yet again I am amazed at what we can do with a raw image — even a vastly underexposed one — with today’s software tools. Note also this is not even shot on a modern digital camera. The body that made this image is a six-year-old Canon 1DsII. I wonder how much better it would have been shot on a 5DII or 1DIV. Shown here are two frames in the sequence, one of which is “saved” and the other of which appears in its straight-from-the-camera form. Raw is amazing and can fix just about any mistake you can make. So go ahead and blast away and don’t worry about details like exposure settings or focus. As you can see, I certainly don’t!

* Ok, there are elements of poetic license of that answer. Actually, it was pretty much a total lie.

Stock Photo Gallery: Bodie State Historic Park

Galleries

Bodie State Historic Park Photos

A few years ago I visited Bodie Ghost Town, aka Bodie State Historic Park, near Mono Lake in the Eastern Sierra to photograph the old buildings in early morning light. It was a great experience. I had heard that Bodie is one of the the finest examples of an old Western mining town and after seeing it first hand I can see why. I got to the park gate about 30 minutes before sunrise, and to my delight found that only two other photographers were there that morning. Solitude, at sunrise, in one of the finest ghost towns in the country. (OK, granted, Bodie is not technically a “ghost town”, but I think of it that way.) I effectively had the entire town to myself and did not bump into another person for at least an hour. It was quiet, cool, with clear skies and dew on the grass. I spent about two hours wandering around, peering around into the old homes, barns, shops and town halls. To see some of my favorite images from that morning, see my gallery of Bodie State Historic Park photos. Thanks for looking!

Wagon and interior of County Barn, Brown House and Moyle House in distance, Bodie State Historical Park, California

Wagon and interior of County Barn, Brown House and Moyle House in distance.
Location: Bodie State Historical Park, California, USA

Whytake.Net

Uncategorized

I received an invitation from Alister Benn recently to take a look at, and contribute to, Whytake.net. This new website and social networking tool founded by Benn and Rafael Rojas is designed to bring nature photographers together and help them share their work with the world. The design of Whytake.net is simple, clean and very appealing to me, and the quality of work appearing on Whytake.net from contributing photographers is impressive. Take a look today! Click the image below to see my portfolio on Whytake.net but be certain to check out the INSPIRE and EXPLORE links at the top of the page to see the work of other great photographers.

Stock Photo Gallery: Blue Shark Underwater Photographs

Galleries, Sharks, Underwater Life, Underwater Photography

Underwater stock photos of Blue Sharks (Prionace glauca)

I’ve updated my collection of blue shark underwater photos. Most of these blue shark photographs were taking freediving (breathhold diving) with a few friends in the open ocean near San Diego or just below the border in Mexico. In days gone by, a small bucket of chum would bring in 5-20 blue sharks, sometimes more, and they were big beautiful sharks, sleek and long and graceful. Longliners and the fishing industry has decimated the blue shark (Prionace glauca) population in the eastern Pacific (along with many other shark species) and today a bucket of chum might attract a few sharks which will typically be small. Some of the best days of my life have been spent swimming around a small boat under the hot California sun, in clean blue offshore water, trying to keep track of the sharks swimming around and frame up a few good images. Life is good! Thanks for looking. Click the image below to see my gallery of blue shark photos.

Blue shark, Baja California, Prionace glauca

Blue shark, Baja California.
Species: Blue shark, Prionace glauca

Stock Photo Gallery: Antarctica Photos

Antarctica, Galleries, Southern Ocean

Antarctica Pictures and Stock Photos of the Antarctic Peninsula

I have assembled my favorite Antarctica Photos into a stock photography gallery. The Antarctic Peninsula is perhaps the single most photogenic place I have ever been. The photographs nearly take themselves and every direction one turns holds a scenic view. Some of Antarctica holds a stark beauty, while other regions are so chock full of life it is unbelievable. I cannot wait to return to the Southern Ocean and sea Antarctica again.

Click the image below to see a selection of my favorite Antarctica photos. Thanks for looking!

Pack ice, a combination of sea ice and pieces of icebergs, Weddell Sea

Pack ice, a combination of sea ice and pieces of icebergs, Weddell Sea.