I’ve always recommended to my students and new photographers to stop the chimping. Recently, I put myself in a situation making me rethink my stance on chimping…somewhat.

Platinum Processing Plant and Cactus

For those of you unfamiliar with the term, “chimping” is the act of looking at the camera’s LCD screen after every image for a little shot of gratification. It refers to chimpanzees gathering around to look at a new discovery.

I assume chimping provides your brain with a little shot of dopamine, the chemical you get as a reward. And while it may give you a good feeling, chimping is also a distraction. For just a few seconds after making every image, you are not paying attention to what’s going on.… More

6 Tips To Making Vacation Photos Memorable And Enjoyable

Tulum Mayan Ruins
Tulum Mayan Ruins / Photo by Wes Gibson

Summer is quickly approaching. Many of you are in the planning stages of your family vacation. If you are reading this, chances are you want to make some great photos of your travel adventures. Here are six tips that will make your vacation photos more memorable and your job as official family photographer more enjoyable.

While visiting foreign ports as a young Navy Photographer, I would venture out with two camera bodies, five lenses, 20 rolls of film, and a flash. Returning after sunset, I would spend most of the night processing film, and then start all over again the next morning.… More

Eastern Tiger Swallowtail on Wild Bergamont
Eastern Tiger Swallowtail on Wild Bergamont / Photo by Wes Gibson

In a recent conversation I had on Twitter, a friend stated, “if I see a perfect shot, I can never seem to catch it the way I see it…it [the photo] doesn’t speak to me.”

This seems to be a very common problem all photographers experience at one time or another. I’m guessing, it’s a common problem all visual artists experience. I know I’ve run into this phenomenon many times myself over the years. Here are my thoughts as to why our “perfect photos” fail.

Photographic Reality

When you see the perfect shot, the perfect landscape, the perfect sunset, the perfect portrait…you are doing a lot more than seeing it.… More

Photographer in woods with tripod
Photo by Tammy Black Wolf

Are you having problems making great photos? If you’re not happy with your photography, maybe it’s the way you think about your photo equipment that’s holding you back.

We all have bad habits in photography. Some more than others. Even seasoned professionals have bad habits. And that’s alright. The important thing is to be aware of what your bad habits are and always trying to improve.

Here are five photo equipment related bad habits that I have either struggled with over the years or have seen in my student photographers. This list is far from being all inclusive.… More

Tis the holiday season again. Lot’s of parties to go to. Lot’s of family and friends to visit with and talk to. Lot’s of great food to eat. As the officially, or unofficially, appointed photographer, it has fallen upon you to document the event for the historical archives. Since you are the one family member that always has a camera in their hands, you are the chosen one everyone will expect to make photos. But that’s okay. If you are like me, photography is a labor of love. It’s a part of you that happens as naturally as breathing. Personally, I enjoy making the photos more than I do the party or event itself.… More

Do you shoot with more than one digital camera? If so, when was the last time you checked the date and time on each camera?

Oh, how I can mess up!

JoJo, a western lowland gorilla at Brookfield ZooI recently went to the zoo with my family for a day of relaxation, and photography of course. When I’m out shooting, I typically carry two bodies with me, one body with a long zoom and one body with a short zoom. My day at the zoo was great, although tiring. I captured nearly 500 images and didn’t break anything, always a plus.

After getting home and downloading my memory cards into Adobe Lightroom, I quickly discovered that all of my images were out of order.… More

Wikipedia defines Bokeh (pronounced boh-kay) as “the aesthetic quality of the blur, in out-of-focus areas of an image.” Bokeh is also defined as “the way the lens renders out-of-focus points of light.” Bokeh in of itself, is not a bad thing. The problem, as I see it, is when bokeh becomes the subject of the photo. Or more percisely, when bokeh becomes more important than the main subject of your photograph. At that point, it’s nothing more than a gimmick used solely for the purpose of catching the viewers eye. The photo itself has little to no value. It’s weak. So, even though the photographer has caught the viewers attention, there’s no sustenance to the photo to hold their attention.… More