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Backpacker Photo School: Capture Your Favorite Trees

Trees do more than keep our ecosystem in balance with oxygen: They bring nature closer to our lives, especially when we can't escape the bustle of daily city life.

The Cultural Landscape Foundation and American Photo recognize the importance of trees in our daily lives and our country's history. They sent 12 photographers to document a few of the most important and at-risk trees in the country. The result: "Every Tree Tells a Story." Read Full Story...
Friday, November 19, 2010 in: Backpacker Photo School
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Backpacker Photo School: Man-Made Aurora Borealis?

What if all you needed to make your own Northern Lights was a dark night and a big light? Would you do it? Of course you would.

Minnesota photographer and frequent BACKPACKER contributor Layne Kennedy is an expert on shooting the Boundary Waters and other parts of the North Country. He's shot canoeing stories and dogsledding stories for our readers' viewing pleasure, and he's just discovered an exciting photographic trick after a night out playing under the stars: "I learned how to create artificial geomagnetic storms!" Read Full Story...
Friday, October 08, 2010 in: Backpacker Photo School
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Backpacker Photo School: Win a National Park Vacation

Enter your photo into the Canon Photography in the Parks Photo Contest.

If you're looking for a way to win camera gear, or even next summers vacation to a national park, enter a picture into the Canon Photography in the Parks Photo Contest and hope to be a winner. There are categories for teens and adults to enter into. Find out all the details on their website.

It's always a good idea to check out last year's winners before entering a contest, to get an idea of what the judges go for.

All entries are due September 30, so go through you photos now and enter fast.

Backpacker readers, you are amazing photographers. I think you have a serious chance of winning the vacation and scooping up lots of the Canon gear they're giving away. GOOD LUCK!

–Genny Fullerton
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Tuesday, September 21, 2010 in: Backpacker Photo School
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Backpacker Photo School: September Contest Finalists

Why does a certain photo win Backpacker's Photo Contest? Check out the winner and the almost-winners to find out why we liked them. Bonus: Watch a slideshow of the competition.

And the winner is... Don Sender, of Washington, D.C.! We published his Yosemite photo in the September 2010 issue. He snapped this homestretch view of Half Dome. “The guy with the hat was looking up at the climbers," he says of the photo. "His pose is one everyone makes when they first see how steep the hike’s last section looks.”


Keep reading to learn the secret to taking this photo and four more of our favorites. Read Full Story...
Friday, September 17, 2010 in: Backpacker Photo School
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Backpacker Photo School: Continuous Shooting

Sometimes it's hard to capture a photo of exactly the right moment in time. Get the best shot, by shooting on continuous mode. Keep reading to learn how.

Pictures with a bunch of people jumping are so fun to make and show off, but it can be a challenge to get that moment when everyone's in the air. If your friends lack coordination, this technique won't help. If the problem is knowing when to press the shutter though, here’s the way to do it. Set your camera to the continuous shooting or burst mode. Push the shutter button before takeoff, and hold until the jump is over, and you’ll get a selection of shots to choose from.

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Friday, September 03, 2010 in: Backpacker Photo School
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Backpacker Photo School: Getting Inspired

One of the best ways to improve your photography skills is to look at photography that's creative and inspiring. Think about what makes the photo attractive and why you like looking at it. Then try to do similiar things in your own photos.

Vacation photography is easy. When you're seeing unusual sites, just click away and the pictures are interesting. When you're hiking closer to home, or in less amazing surroundings it takes a little more creativity to make photos that people will enjoy looking at. 


One way to hone your creativity is to look for inspiration before going out on a hike.... Read Full Story...
Friday, August 20, 2010 in: Backpacker Photo School
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Backpacker Photo School: Photography Internship

Fall 2010 Backpacker Photography Internship

If you are a photo or a design student and are looking for a summer internship, Backpacker has one for you. Keep reading for details. Read Full Story...
Friday, July 30, 2010 in: Backpacker Photo School
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Backpacker Photo School: Light Painting in Camp

Memories and laughter await after sunset when you and your campmates try out these lightpainting techniques. Grab your headlamp, set the shutter speed to ultra-slow, and get started!

Light painting is like drawing onto a photograph: You can add in all sorts of shapes, write messages, or illuminate real objects simply by casting light in a certain direction. Let your imagination run wild and you can have a “photograph” of just about anything.

There are two different ways to paint with light. The first is like taking a marker and writing across the image. This is done by going into the area where the camera is aimed and shining the light back towards the camera. Keeping the light still will make a very bright spot in the photo, but moving the light creates a line. you can use any headlamp at all, but I’ve noticed this method works better when you have a very narrow light source. A tiny, powerful light, like the Princeton Tec Pilot ($10) seems to make better lines and leave fewer unintentional glowing areas in the image. If you have headlamps that shine multiple colors, see what you can come up with to use those colors to your advantage.

Keep reading to learn about the second type of light painting...
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Monday, July 19, 2010 in: Backpacker Photo School
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Backpacker Photo School: Free wallpapers for your screens

How much time do you spend looking at your iPhone, Blackberry, computer screen or iPad? Set it up with a beautiful photo as your wallpaper and you'll be inspired to get out on the trail more every time you glance at the screen.

Do you still have that default wallpaper showing up on your iPhone? Does your computer look as generic now as the day you picked it up at the store? It's time to personalize. We've got some inspiration for you. Three of our favorite Reader Photos are now properly sized and downloadable for use as your wallpaper or screensaver for a few phone options, computer screen sizes and even your new iPad. Just go to this link and download the zip file that contains the right size photos for your screen. All three photos will download and you can choose your favorite as your own wallpaper.

Keep reading for help setting the files as your computer's wallpaper or screensaver.


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Friday, July 09, 2010 in: Backpacker Photo School
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Backpacker Photo School: 2 quick tips to help you win the Photo Contest

Focus carefully and simplify your photos. Here's why and how.

While you’re out taking photos on the trail this summer, taking a few extra moments to think about your pictures will help you come back with a better set of photos– maybe even the winner to BACKPACKER’s 2011 Readers' Choice Photo Contest.

Here are 2 tips you want to keep in mind:

TIP #1: Take Time to Focus

Don’t take pictures while you’re walking along.  It’s true that photography on the trail will make the hike take a little longer, but there’s no point in even carrying a camera if you aren’t going to stop walking to compose a photo of the scene in front of you. Most of the time the camera doesn’t have enough time to focus on the subject if you’re moving while trying to take a picture. Do yourself a favor. Pause for a moment before clicking. Take a breath, let the camera focus, and then take the picture. Read Full Story...
Friday, July 02, 2010 in: Backpacker Photo School
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