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Natural Observations Newsletter has become the photographers source for inspiration and learning.

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January 2010

If you enjoy the articles in this newsletter, please take a minute to thank all the contributors. Without their tireless work, this would not be possible. Their website and or e-mail is listed along with their writing.

Using the Shadows and Highlights Tool

Mineral Mountain and Mount Rainier reflected in Mystic Lake, Mount Rainier National Park, Washington, USA

The Shadows and Highlights tool in Photoshop is great for bringing life to images whose tone is difficult to correct with conventional color correction tools like levels or curves. This special tool targets the bright and dark areas of your image separately, allowing you to bring detail back into these spaces. It is a quick and easy way of dealing with the often high-contrast lighting of sunrises and sunsets.

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Understanding Your Hand Held Flash

Snail, Mammoth Dome Sink Trail, Mammoth Cave National Park, Kentucky, KY, USA

In this first part of the upcoming series on better understanding the flash, we begin with the basics. This article gives a well grounded description of how the modern flash "thinks", and how to program it to achieve both full and fill flash. Examples of images using fill flash are shown, and the article aims to give readers a good understanding of the basics of flash use. Next month, we'll look into some more advanced techniques like shutter drag and creative manual flash use for low-light scenes.

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Photo Destination: Death Valley National Park

Sand Dunes, Death Valley National Park, California, USA

Death Valley National Park can best be characterized as a land of extremes. It is the largest national park south of Alaska, and at over 3 million acres in size, offers a lot for photographers. From the amazing Badwater Ultra-Marathons to patterns in the Sand Dunes and the great salt flats, this park is one of our hidden gems. Come and explore this unique and beautiful park.

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