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Klass Photography Article Archive

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Rethinking Photography in the Digital Age

Wildflowers below the peak of Mount Rainier.  A ptrol cabin near Indian Henry's Hunting Grounds sits below the towering peak.  Mount Rainier National Park, Washington, USA

In the last decade, photography has unarguably been turned upside down with the invention and popularization of the digital camera. Now more than ever, picture taking has become a part of our everyday lives - from camera phones to micro point and shoots. It might seem like the industry has completely changed direction, perhaps lost the roots it had in traditional chemical processes - but this article ventures to argue otherwise.

The digital revolution is merely another step in the evolution - and it's not as new, or as dramatic as you might think. For instance, did you know the first digital camera was patented in 1968 - more than 30 years before the first 2 megapixel professional camera was released to the public.

This article quickly surveys the history of the photographic process and how the photographer has had to adapt as cameras have evolved. The digital camera is merely a stepping stone in handing control of the photographic process from the few skilled chemists and engineers to the masses.

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The Next Generation of Nature Photographers

Waterfall and wildflowers, Waterton Glacier International Peace Park, USA - Canada

As a young photographer, I had the unique opportunity to learn from some of the most inspiring and influential nature photographers as a recipient of the North American Nature Photography Associations annual High School Scholarship Program. It brings together 10 students from across North America, professional photographers, editors, and dedicated instructors for an intensive week-long experience.

I am honored to have become the committee chair for this great program. Together with many other talented instructors, we have the opportunity to inspire the next generation of young photographers. Learn about this great scholarship available to any high school student, and our unique approach to teaching both photographic skills and life-long lessons.

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Worth the Wait...

Hovenweep Castle, Hovenweep National Monument, Utah, USA

Often one the most important skills a nature photographer can have is the ability to be patient and wait for just the right light. This article looks at two situations in which I could have packed my equipment up early, but decided to wait and simply see what would happen. Though your patience certainly won't be rewarded every time, in these instances I got the shot because I took the chance. As Robert Frost concluded in his memorable poem, The Road Not Taken, "I took the one less traveled by, And that has made all the difference."

Be both inspired and uplifted as you journey with me into the field to explore the possibilities when you're present in the moment, and willing to explore the gifts nature has in store.

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Creating a Digital Portfolio

A digital portfolio can be a helpful thing to have as a photographer on the go. I keep a collection of images on my iPhone, and always have something to show an interested person. This article discusses setting up a digital portfolio on an iPhone, iPod, or iPad, using an Apple computer. By separating images into albums, and loading these onto your device, you'll be able to show off your best work whether during a planned meeting, or a chance encounter.

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Using Creative Blur to Abstract Images

Fall foliage along a roadside overlook, Southern Vermont, USA

This article discusses the creative use of lens blur to abstract natural landscapes. Normally I'd always advise photographers to keep their camera steady on a tripod, but occasionally it can be fun to play with manipulating the image by moving the camera during the exposure.

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On Location: 4 Corners Region

Hovenweep Castle, Hovenweep National Monument, Utah, USA

The 4 corners region (where Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado, and Utah meet) is an area full of great photographic opportunities. This article explore three of the lesser-known parks, Hovenweep National Monument, Chaco Culture National Historic Park, and Bandelier National Monument. These beautiful parks are all linked together by their common attachment to Native American history.

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Nik HDR Efex Pro

We've discussed HDR images before, and this article is more of an example than a tutorial. Nik's new HDR Efex Pro plugin for Photoshop, Lightroom, and Aperture came out just a few weeks ago, and I'll be demonstrating how to make the most out of the simple software. Like Photomatix's popular plugin, Nik's has the capability to create both realistic and surrealistic HDR images - for this I've revisited some old images and came up with one that would benefit from a realistic interpretation.

Nik offers a free 15 day trial of their HDR plugin - available at Nik Software. For those interested in purchasing a full copy, a 15% discount is available by entering discount code: KLASS.

Creating HDR Images with Nik HDR Efex Pro from Raymond Klass on Vimeo.

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The Art of Editing

Reflections in Sweet Creek, Oregon, USA

Editing your images is about more than just what software or work-flow you use. Editing your images is a great way you can reflect upon your creative process and gather ideas for the next time you head out with your camera. This article doesn't address the technical or software side of editing, rather it provides tips and inspirations to make the most of your time editing and reviewing images from your past shoot.

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On Location: Autumn in Maine

The Maine coast is an extraordinary place to visit during the peak fall foliage season. This year I was fortunate enough to spend 2 weeks there. This article explores some of the diverse subject matter available during this time of year.

Located on Mount Desert Island, Acadia National park has a wide array of photo opportunities. From inland lakes, to shear cliffs and beyond, there are subjects to fill almost any interest.

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Capturing Yourself in Your Photographs

Reflections in Sweet Creek, Oregon, USA

Ansel Adams once said, “There are always two people in every picture: the photographer and the viewer.” We often think about how we are portraying the subject of our image, but rarely consider how the image is a reflection of ourselves. A photograph is inherently a representation of the photographer's beliefs, values, and past experiences. By embracing our individuality, we can create images that are as unique as we are. Why fight to create the types of images others have created, when your artist gift is to truly represent yourself in your work?

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