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 / Photography
Popular Photography

Popular Photography August 2014

Popular Photography brings you step-by-step secrets of the pros for taking their most amazing shots. You’ll discover the best equipment at the best prices, get comprehensive comparative reports on cameras, lenses, film, digital equipment, printers, scanners, software, accessories and so much more. Get Popular Photography digital magazine subscription today.

United States
Bonnier Corporation
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1 min.

MOST PEOPLE rightfully associate image stabilization with longer focal lengths, since it's often hard to get a fast enough shutter speed to handhold long glass. But that doesn't mean it's not helpful for wide-angle lenses, too. Canon's new 16–35mm f/4L IS USM is the company's first wide zoom to include its Optical Image Stabilizer, which they say will provide up to 4 stops of shutter-speed advantage. Canon's L designation indicates a rugged, weathersealed construction and high-quality imaging. Three glass-molded aspheric elements and two ultra-low dispersion (UD) elements help correct aberrations. The USM autofocus motor promises quiet focusing while allowing for manual touch-ups whenever needed. Nine aperture blades bring hopes of smooth bokeh, while a minimum focusing distance of 11 inches throughout the zoom range lends consistency. An internally focusing design makes…

2 min.
history's backroads

THE BEST WAY to pierce the rural heart of Vermont is to simply wander, advises Middlesex-based shooter Kurt Budliger. “It has thousands of miles of dirt roads and is an intimate-landscape shooter's paradise,” he says. Route 100 is a great place to start. This road meanders from Massachusetts to near the Canadian border. The Mad River Valley between Warren and Waitsfield is particularly pretty, says Budliger. “It has picturesque farms and mountain views. And there are great covered bridges in Waitsfield and Warren.” Further north, Moss Glen Falls offers one of the most photogenic spots in the state. “The access is very easy, with a large parking area just north of the nearby falls,” the photographer adds. Groton State Forest in Plainfield provides wild woodland, lots of small ponds, and the possibility of…

2 min.
lighting for compositing

WHEN CREATING studio portraits of student athletes for the University of South Carolina in his home town of Columbia, SC, pro shooter James Quantz Jr. tries to recreate the visual excitement of an actual game. He often does it by compositing in flashy backgrounds that pop the portrait subject. Dropping an athlete into such a background, however, makes his in-studio lighting all the more challenging. “I usually choose a background before I set up my studio lights,” explains Quantz. Why? Because the lighting of that backdrop more or less dictates how and where the lights in his studio should be placed. If the direction of his studio lights conflict with the direction of the lighting in the composited background, the photo will look fake. Notice, for example, how the flaring stadium lights…

4 min.
step 1

IT'S EASY to accumulate video clips and share them unedited, but video can be a great medium for storytelling to chronicle a special life event, vacation, or even just day-to-day activities with family and friends. Telling those visual stories, however, often requires a little editing, which can be intimidating for the uninitiated. Here's the good news: it's not that difficult, and creating an edited movie with a personal touch can be very satisfying. We like to edit video in Adobe Premiere Elements 12 because it offers a nice balance of easy-to-use, automatic features and manual options. You can add transitions between clips, apply special effects and graphics, and control color intensity, color temperature, and tint, to name just a few possibilities. A number of sophisticated audio options are available, too. You…

2 min.
step 1

NATAN DVIR, an Israeli fine-art photographer, has made a name for himself by adding new life to the genre known as street photography. Classic 20th-century street shooters such as Robert Frank, Leonard Freed, and Garry Winogrand generally worked in black-and-white and placed pedestrians front and center in their images. Dvir adds rich color and cinematic breadth to showcase passersby as actors on supersized stages. His best work is funny, sad, and insightful, all at the same time. “It's all about juxtapositions,” says the artist, who teaches street photography at New York's International Center of Photography. The basic idea behind his series Coming Soon “is to juxtapose the artifical dream world that is created in billboards with the reality that plays out below them,” he says. Why not try something like this yourself?…

7 min.
travel tips

Scotland is the self-proclaimed best small country in Europe. While others may argue with such a bold claim, there is little doubt that this little country packs a big punch in nature-photography potential, in any weather, and throughout the four seasons. IRONICALLY, LITTLE Scotland's natural assets are big when compared to the United Kingdom as a whole: It has the highest mountains, the biggest lakes (lochs), the largest national park, and a greater expanse of wild space than anywhere else in the U.K. What's small in Scotland is its population—just a little over 5 million, most residing in the conurbations of Glasgow and Edinburgh. Further north you'll find fewer people, less traffic, less pollution, and lots of wide-open landscapes full of wildlife. The U.K.'s tallest peak, Ben Nevis, stands at just 4,409…