Photo Of The Day By John Hoskin

Today’s Photo Of The Day is “American Landscape” by John Hoskin. Location: Glacier National Park, Montana.
Photo By John Hoskin

Today’s Photo Of The Day is “American Landscape” by John Hoskin. Location: Glacier National Park, Montana.

“Icons of the Western U.S. once endangered, truly a landscape that has made a remarkable recovery,” says Hoskin.

Photo of the Day is chosen from various OP galleries, including Assignments, Galleries and the OP Contests. Assignments have weekly winners that are featured on the OP website homepage, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. To get your photos in the running, all you have to do is submit them.

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Random Bits Of Photo Education    

Random Bits Of Photo Education

In regard to learning, repetition is key. The more you perform an action, the less you have to think about it each time it’s conducted. Hence the theme for this tip. I deliberately chose three common topics with the intent of embedding the concepts into your workflow. If you’re new to them, may this reading be your start. If you’re somewhat familiar with them, may they become one with you. And if you’re a frequent user of them, may they become instinctive.

Take Charge Of Depth Of Field: There’s a direct relationship to how much depth of field is created in a photo to the focal length of the lens, the aperture at which the photo is made, how close the subject is to the background, how far away the subject is from the camera and how much the subject is magnified. (This is assuming you’re using a DSLR and not a point and shoot, which inherently provides a lot of depth of field due to its small sensor size.)

Focal Length—The more telephoto the lens, the less potential for near to far depth of field. The wider the lens, the greater the potential. For instance, an image made with a 28mm lens will inherently display more depth of field than a 100mm lens. So if you want to create shallow depth of field and you use a wide lens, it may not be possible. Hand in hand, if you use a telephoto lens and you want a subject close to the lens and a distant object to both be in focus, it may not be possible.

Random Bits Of Photo Education

The Aperture—The wider open the lens, the less depth of field. The more it’s stopped down, the greater the depth of field. In other words, ƒ/4 nets shallower depth of field than ƒ/22 based on a given focal length. It’s important to realize the connection to focal length as explained above. If you use a telephoto lens, even though you set it to ƒ/22, you still may not be able to achieve near/far depth of field. Understanding how focal length and aperture go hand in hand is key!

Proximity to the Background—The farther away the subject is from the background, the more the background can be thrown out of focus. If the subject is very close to the background, it’s not possible to make the background go very soft, even if you use a super telephoto lens and set the aperture to ƒ/4.

Random Bits Of Photo Education

Distance From The Camera—If the subject is very close to the camera and the focus point is placed on the subject, there’s more potential to create a shallow depth of field than if the subject is 25 or more feet away. Again, there’s a relationship to the focal length of the lens, the aperture at which it’s set and how far the background is from the subject.

Subject Magnification—The more macro the subject, the less depth of field. This area of depth of field is more specialized and is a subject unto itself, but I just want to bring it up to let you know it’s a variable.

Convey Motion: The obvious way to show motion is to record a fast-moving subject and freeze the action. The only thing about this is, depending on the action, the subject can look static and the motion aspect is lost. Think about a photo of an airplane in flight. When a fast shutter speed is used, it looks as if the plane is hovering in midair. So besides freezing action, use other means to portray motion:

Random Bits Of Photo Education

Slow it Down—Use a slow shutter speed and let the motion “paint” the sensor. Think about flowers blowing in a stiff breeze or a person walking a city street to show the hustle and bustle of a big city. A slow shutter speed depicts the motion while stationary parts remain motionless. Be sure to use a tripod to achieve the effect.

Zoom It—During a long exposure, use the zoom feature of your lens to go from wide to telephoto or visa versa to create converging lines toward the center of your frame. Place the camera on a tripod if you want straight lines or handhold it if you prefer wiggly.

Random Bits Of Photo Education

Pan It—Panning is used to create an image with a sharp subject set against a background that shows motion. The way to achieve this is to move the camera along the path of the subject’s motion and use a slightly slower shutter speed than necessary to freeze the action. For instance, start with a shutter speed of 1/60th to capture a runner. Use a slightly longer speed to create more motion or a higher one to show less. Preview the image on the LCD and adjust the speed accordingly.

Use Leading Lines: A leading line is used to steer the viewer’s eye to the main subject. A great example is a country road that snakes its way to bring the eye to a barn, an important tree or another key element. Another classic one is an S curve of a river or path that allows the viewer’s eye to flow through the image. They can be curved, straight, diagonal or zigzag. Look for them to lead a path to the main subject and place them in your composition in a strategic way.

Visit for information about his nature photography tours and safari to Tanzania.

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10 Guides To Fascinating Macro Photography

Macro photography allows nature photographers to take close-up images that reveal incredible details the naked eye can’t see. With digital camera technology, it’s now even easier and less expensive to explore the genre. The following guides explain the gear needed and the technical aspects you’ll need to master, and may even provide some inspiration for beginners and seasoned macro photographers alike.

1. Macro Vision

Mastering the art of macro photography in nature takes time and patience, but knowing the when, where and how of the art will increase your chances of finding fascinating subjects and creating successful images. Read more …

2. By Nature’s Design

A combination of depth of field, great light and composition, camera position and the right settings will allow you to master macro photography. This guide offers some key tips for discovering details and patterns through close-up compositions. Read more …

3. Macro Field Studio

Want to create studio-quality macro images of wild subjects in their environments? This guide offers tips for building a macro field studio for photos on location. Read more …

4. Speaking For A Species

Photographer Clay Bolt had to step out of his comfort zone and into the world of filmmaking to help protect one of North America’s rarest bees. He and his team transformed a simple idea into an award-winning film that may have been just the right catalyst to make life better for one little bee in need of some serious help. This article shares some of the most important lessons he learned during production of the film. Read more …

5. New Ways To Think About Macro

Every lens you have has the potential to be a great one for close-up or macro work when you know their benefits and limits. So, to get a unique close-up perspective, think beyond the usual macro lens. Read more …


Ode To Monet

Studying the work of celebrated painters can lead you to new ways of seeing photographically. Read now.

6. Depth Of Field In Macro Photography

Depth of field in macro photography is especially important to ensure the details of your subject are sharp. These tips take a deeper look to help you get the best results. Read more …

7. Tack-Sharp Macro Photography Tips

This guide covers the tools you need to get close, and how to produce the sharpest images by utilizing proper focus, stability and depth of field. Read more …

8. Macro Flash Tips & Techniques

This guide is all about gear. Learn how to get complete creative control over your close-up photography with these versatile flash and mounting systems. Read more …

9. More Advice On Macro Flash

Many gorgeous images of macro subjects have been taken with available light. But as with many other subjects, a lot of factors must fall into place to create a successful natural-light photo. If you’re not happy with the available natural light, flash can be used as a fill light, main light or in tandem with multiple flashes to produce dramatic and pleasing results. Read more …

10. Some Macro Quick Tips

This guide covers the basics of capturing great macro shots. Try them out on your favorite subjects. Read more …


Grand Landscapes, Intimate Details

Tell a deeper story of a place by adding close-up images to your location portfolios. Read now.

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Target launches Wallet for in-store mobile payments

Image credit: Target

Paying for items used to be so simple, but it continues to grow more complicated with the introduction of mobile wallets for specific companies. 

Target is the latest to jump on the trend, as today the mega retailer announced its new Wallet for mobile payments, which can be found on both the iOS and Android versions of the Target app.

As with many other mobile payment systems, Wallet is a way of checking out with your smartphone at the register. At Target (as with Walmart), this is essentially the only way you can do this as the retailer doesn't accept Apple Pay or Android Pay. (Samsung Pay reportedly works at Target for some users because it's not based on NFC.)

The main appeal of Wallet, though, is that it allows users to both pay with the app and scan coupons from the company's Cartwheel program and automatically apply the discounts. Paying for items and applying Cartwheel discounts used to take two different steps, but the Wallet allows Target shoppers to simplify those multiple steps into one.

Seeing red

The catch, for now, is that you need to have one of Target's REDcards for debit or credit purchases to use the app, but Target plans to extend the service beyond RED members at some point in the future.

Target's announcement post plays up how much faster this process is compared to "other payment types," which presumably refers to traditional swipe and chip-and-PIN methods. Naturally, it neglects to mention that Apple Pay and Android Pay would be faster still as they remove the extra step of having to open an app.

You also can't use gift cards with the Wallet feature at the moment, but that feature will be coming "soon."

Whether users gravitate to Wallet is another question, but Target is certainly doing what it can to stay up to speed with rivals.

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