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on Dec 17, 2008 in Random Thoughts

Whoa….Guess there was a question or two

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I want to thank the 478 folks who in the first 24hrs of the blog posting have already emailed from around the globe questions and thoughts for my new book. I guess I should have done this book a lot sooner, it has been 7 years since my last book on wildlife photography. I have to come clean, when Scott suggested I do this I didn’t think I’d get much of a response. That’s one great thing about this profession, everyday I learn something new!

One very common question I thought I’d answer right now. The #1 question has been on workflow with a Part A and a Part B. The Part A is workflow in regards to getting all the back end business of getting images from the camera to the home/office network safely. I’ll be addressing that in the book no doubt. You can find the “old” answer (because technology does keep changing) here. The Part B answer, well, those who asked it will be disappointed with the answer. The basic question is, “what’s the workflow in Photoshop you use to make your images look so good, how do you know how to crop?”

I shoot Raw +Jpeg and unless you’re looking at a gallery print (a process that requires Photoshop for things like sharpening for content and output), what you’re seeing is the Jpeg that came right out of the camera. My wildlife images don’t see Photoshop (other than sizing and creating the blog poster) and are in fact the Jpegs from the camera. I’m pretty old fashion in that way and, well, a stick in the mud where I’ve drawn the line. I consider myself a nature history historian, many of my images are the only image of a species that exists. I use every tool and technique at the point of capture to get it right, right from the start. When you look at any of my wildlife images, even though it was captured digitally, it’s just like if you looked at an old fashion slide. It is what it is. This will be a big part of the book. So the brief answer to the Part B workflow question, camera craft is how I get the quality you see.

When it comes to my landscapes, well that’s a totally different animal. They fall under the giant umbrella of Art and as such, I use every tool, both camera and computer to grab your heart strings. The image above is a good example of that. This is a D1 image taken with the 80-400VR from the Denali Hwy of the Alaskan Range back in Oct, 2000. Man, does it have noise and a color cast. Both of those things had to be dealt with in post to make the gallery print. After that, Nik’s Silver Efex Pro was used for the B&W conversion. (Oh yeah, this is one of my favorite images.)

I want to thank everyone who has written with their input and  words of encouragement. To be honest with you, I wasn’t nervous about writing the book until I read all that folks expect of me! Thanks also for coming to Moose News Blog as well, we appreciate your support!