Why the Canon 5D Mark II is the Best Nature Photography Camera

I started out in photography using a Canon Powershot A50. I had bought the camera in 2000 because that is when my first son was born. I did not want to miss anything as he grew up and I had never owned a camera before. I had heard of digital cameras but had not really ever used one. This Canon Powershot A50 was a 1 mega pixel camera that had some neat features for the cameras at this time. No video or anything like that but I learned to use some of the features of the camera fairly easily. It was quite expensive for my wife and I to buy this camera as it was around $250 and when you have just been married a few years and have a new baby that is a lot of money.

This camera lasted until my son was about 5 years old. I had began taking him fishing and hiking places with me and we took pictures along the way when we would go hiking. So we decided one fall in 2005 to go hiking and exploring in the mountains of West Virginia, when I say mountains I mean the Monongahela forest. There were so many areas to see and I was not sure really where to begin so we started at the falls of hills creek and immediately I knew that I was in love with nature photography and particularly waterfall nature photography. We eventually made our way up to the Seneca rock area of the northern Monongahela forest and took a tour of Seneca caverns, which was a great place to visit and a got a few pictures inside the caverns of bats and various rock formations. However, when we left I set my camera on top of the car and was getting our things arranged in the car preparing for our drive and inadvertently left the camera on top of the care. We started down the road and after about half of a mile I heard something go tumbling down the back of the car window. I looked in my rearview mirror and saw my $250 camera bouncing up and down on the road and pieces fly all over. This was very disheartening as we had planned to continue to spruce knob West Virginia which is the highest point in the state.

I managed to gather the pieces of my Canon Powershot A50 from off the road and made up my mind that we were not going to get any more pictures on our trip. This was pretty disappointing but I convinced myself that the trip was not about pictures but rather about my boy and his daddy spending time together. So we continued on to Spruce Knob and while up there I decided to look at the camera and see if it could be used even though it was in a bunch of pieces. I began getting the pieces together and believe it or not managed to get the camera to turn on by rigging the switch for the flash card door. Even though the LCD was cracked in many places it actually came on and I actually was able to take pictures with this camera that was stuck together literally with a couple small sticks and some tape. From this point forward not only did I realize that I loved nature photography but that Canon was the best camera I could have.

Once I began too look at other waterfall nature photos on the internet, I began to hunger for a new camera. I thought that I must be able to figure out how they made the waterfalls look so smooth and silky. This gave me the unction to save up and buy a new Canon Rebel 350D in early 2006. This camera was in my opinion the best camera I could have, although many others were much more expensive and had many more features, this was the first SLR I had ever held in my hand. I learned the different settings and was amazed at what aperture and exposure time could do to the look of a waterfall or stream. This is when my nature photography website was inspired one day walking home from work singing the gospel song “How Great Thou Art”.

After I had obtained a better camera I realized that the look and sharpness of a digital image did not depend solely on the body of a camera but largely depended on the quality of the lens. This is when I became determined to get a better fixed focal length lens and realized the difference in a quality lens and a cheaper zoom lens. I wondered can photography get any better and if so what would it take to make the very best images. Although I lacked the funding to obtain a high quality professional full frame digital camera I had the passion to still explore and take more and more pictures refining my skills and beginning to document each expedition in greater detail. I knew that I needed to begin capturing our hiking adventures on video but did not want to lug around a camcorder.

In 2007 we obtained a new Canon G9 which combined a high quality point and shoot lens with the latest technology video and audio capture built right into a very small camera. This camera had the best of both worlds and allowed us to hike and take great wildlife shots and even great macro floral photography. This is when I learned that RAW image format was the best way to shoot so that I could manipulate the exposure and color in post processing. Wow! I had thought jpeg was great until I experienced the benefits of salvaging typically unusable images by processing them with Canon photo professional. The Canon G9 really is a great little camera but it lacked the super sharp detail and range that my Digital Rebel 350D could attain. For the next two years I imagined how convenient it would be to be able to hike and take great quality SLR images as well as take nature adventure video at the same time with the same camera.

One day in late 2008 I read about new model Canon that was going to be released and that this camera would combine super quality 21 mega pixel full frame Canon technology with not only high resolution video, but HD 1080p quality video. I said to myself no doubt this camera would be far beyond my reach and must certainly cost $5,000 or more. However, I learned that this new camera could be purchased for a little under $3,500 with a high quality low aperture f4 zoom lens that also sports moisture resistant weather seals. This was without a doubt the answer to all of my needs and wants as a novice adventure nature photographer. After several months of saving a planning I was blessed with a new Canon 5D Mark II and accompanying 24-104mm F4 zoom lens.

I have now been the proud owner of this wonderful camera for almost a year now and am convinced that this camera is all that I will ever need. Even though there may be newer technologies that come out such as 3 dimensional holographic photography (think I am kidding, watch and see). The Canon 5D Mark II will always be my favorite camera. This camera marked the camera that brought me into the full frame professional market. This camera takes amazing low light photography at higher ISO settings, I often take low light photography in the forest and even take some night landscape shots from lofty mountain heights, it is imperative that the noise of these images is kept to a minimum.

Recently I have learned that I can connect my Canon 5D Mark II to my laptop and store images directly from the camera to my 500 GB hard drive. This gives me hours and hours of high quality video recording and thousands of 21 MP images. No doubt I have a lot to share with this new camera and I have only began to experience the wonderful quality this camera provides. So far I have posted at least 100 new 21 MP images on my nature photography website and I have to say that they are some of the best images I have ever taken and they only keep getting better as I learn more about the 5D. The automatic bracketing features are really great and are helping me to experience the wide range resolution possible with HDR.

The live view function is truly amazing as it allows me to set up my 5D on a tripod close to the ground for a macro shot of a mushroom for instance. It would otherwise be impossible to focus on a small mushroom very close to the ground while looking through a view finder. Then I can press a button and focus and see the real results directly on the 3 inch screen. This is not only great for live real-time viewing but it is great for post image viewing, as I can literally zoom in on a particular area of a high resolution image and verify that it is in perfect focus before I even transfer and process the image on my local laptop. also, the automatic sensor cleaning system is great for a nature photographer who frequently changes lenses in the field where dust and contaminants are inevitable.

Consider some of the features and specifications of the Canon 5d Mark II but do not compare only the specifications to other cameras keep in mind that Canon makes a great product and that their cameras are rugged, long lasting and even if other specifications on other Cameras that start with an N are slightly higher I will always be a die hard Canon fan from the real world experiences I have lived through over the past 6 years as an adventure nature photographer.

Nature Photography – How to Make Unique Shots

This article explains how to take amazing nature photographs. It covers the following information: choosing an object to photograph, learning how to get to an appropriate location, and choosing the right shot.

The information in this article is written for either the beginner or intermediate photographer. The author assumes that you have taken photographs before and are familiar with GPS navigation systems, Internet research and Google Earth software.

Taking great photographs begins with research and consists of three steps. The first step is to choose an object: a waterfall, a mountain, or anything that you think will make an attractive photograph. The second step is to get to the location using either your car or bike along with a reliable GPS system. The final step is to take a picture using your favorite camera. When choosing the place or landmark at which to take your picture, you can start by conducting online research on interesting places in your area. There are many opportunities for nice shots or objects for your photos in national parks or landmarks such as Yosemite National Park, Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Arches National Park, or Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park. You can learn about places by downloading Google Earth software and installing it on your computer. Google Earth software will help you visit locations virtually and obtain an approximate view of the shot; it will also supply you with exact data for your GPS to aid in efficient travel. Another good idea is to visit the visitor center of a particular attraction online; it could be useful in gathering additional information and downloads that you can print out later, such as parking information, rules and trails information. The next step is to learn how to get to your destination. In this case, the best approach would be to use a car and a good GPS system so that you don’t get lost in an unfamiliar location. The last step is to set up your camera and take a few shots for selection, thereby guaranteeing that your photograph will stand out from others and represent your unique vision of the place.

Some things to consider:

Process. The dynamic range of nature, including sunny spots and surrounding shade, can easily overwhelm your camera’s capturing capability. Use exposure bracketing and combine the photographs on your computer to extend your dynamic range accordingly. Since you will need to underexpose your shot for most nature pictures, make sure your exposure time is long enough. (Tip: this is extremely difficult during the day and much easier at dawn.)

Time needed. The hike around a recreational park could take about 2 – 3 hours round-trip. Once you’ve reached your destination, it takes about 30 minutes to one hour to photograph every possible angle of an object.

Fees. The entrance fee to the entire recreational park could be as much as $25. If you possess a National Park Pass, you usually do not need to pay a fee, but you will need to display the pass in your vehicle (such as on your dashboard or windshield) while you are gone.

Difficulty getting to the place. The trails at national parks and similar locations can be difficult to maneuver, so do not make the mistake of carrying your entire arsenal of equipment; you can leave your heavy photo equipment in your car. Also, make sure to dress appropriately to protect yourself from thorns, branches, and other obstructions that are frequently found on trails.

This article taught you how to create unique nature photos. You first select an object by researching your area, then find out how to travel to its location and find a spot, and finally how to take a series of photographs.

Making Personalized Greeting Card From Your Photos

Busy schedules during the holiday season prevent working citizens from writing personal greeting cards to friends and family. In an age where people must work two jobs to pay phone bills and mortgage payments, working citizens are lucky when they find the time to purchase holiday gifts. To help people keep in touch with loved ones during the holiday season, companies have created greeting card software programs.

Computer-generated cards are currently in style because of their customizable designs and low-cost. Since people often like to exchange individual or family portraits, card software programs have enabled customers to make card sets from individual portraits, family portraits, or combinations of both.

To make greeting card sets, people first need to purchase a software program. With the program, they may create a professional looking holiday card using an original template, of which they have dozens to choose from, or they may create a simple photo card. Either way, they require a digital camera or a compact disc containing the portraits they wish to use. If people do not wish to use a portrait or a combination of portraits, they can use a picture of an object or a nature photo or create a collage with such pictures.

After uploading the desired portraits or pictures into the program, people may write a custom title message for the card front and a holiday message for inside the card. People have the option of customizing the text as well. So, the title message can appear like snow or glittering ribbon and the holiday message can warm hearts further with holiday colored text.

Once people make greeting card sets, they can save the original card as a JPG, PNG, or BMP image file. This allows people to print and send out more holiday cards if they forgot a distant family member or two in the initial printing batch.

Besides the holiday season, software programs are ideal for every holiday and celebration. The template themes make greeting card sets customizable for Valentine’s Day, Easter, Independence Day, birthdays, seasons, sporting events and more. To create a valued greeting card, people merely need to upload a photo and add a message.

When rushed and low on money, people can use greeting card software programs to make card sets and remind friends and family of their love and kind regards.