Texas Highways Photo Editor Griff Smith demonstrates how to do his style of light painting using your point and shoot camera. Recorded at the George Observatory in the Brazos Bend State Park.
In this image I wanted to contrast the poppy's white petals and its green buds and leaves with the darkness of the burned trees in the background. In order to extend my focus from the flower, which had to be sharp, out into the trees as far as possible, I used a wide-angle lens because it has an intrinsically greater depth of field than a regular lens. The brightness of the sunlit prickly poppy allowed my lens to stop down to its minimum aperture of f/22, which provided its maximum depth of field. As for exposure, I knew from experience that digital-camera sensors often misread a very bright subject and end up underexposing it. To counteract that, I set my camera to overexpose by 2/3 of a stop, which also helped bring out some details in the dark parts of the trees that might otherwise have been lost.
Texas Highways Photo Editor Griff Smith explores different camera techniques you can utilize when mounting your camera on a tripod.
Texas Highways Photo Editor Griff Smith shares photography tips to help you take pictures at sunset that have a sense of place.
Texas Highways Photo Editor Griff Smith demonstrates how to take crisp close-up pictures, even using a point-and-shoot camera.
Texas Highways Photo Editor Griff Smith shares some methods to improve the composition of your pictures. Recorded at Baylor University's Armstrong Browning Library in Waco, Texas.
Texas Highways Photo Editor Griff Smith starts a new series to share easy tips and tricks to take better pictures with whatever camera you may have available.
When I compose an image, I like to imagine that the viewer is looking right over my shoulder,” says Texas Highways Photography Editor Griff Smith. “The picture has to tell the story on its own merit, without a caption.” The images shown on these pages, from Griff Smith’s Texas, an exhibit that opens March 5 at Sam Houston Memorial Museum in Huntsville, could well serve as a visual collection of short stories about the people and places of Texas.
Lots of ranchers grew up thinking the only good snake is a dead snake. An enlightened few, though, are beginning to see diamonds in those diamondbacks–as well as money in mice, treasure in turtles, and a bonanza in butterflies.
If you're like me, come springtime your thoughts turn to spending quality time outside, trying to make a nice photograph or two of our usually glorious wildflowers, found along most roadsides and in many pastures. I say usually, because as we prepare this April’s issue, much of Texas remains gripped by a drought that began as 2004’s wetter-than-normal year came to a close. Perhaps, though, by the time you receive this issue, rains will have returned and we’ll be able to enjoy a fine spring wildflower show.
Photographers, take note: Those of you who have long admired photographer J. Griffis Smith’s inventive work for Texas Highways can now learn just how he manages to capture those memorable 1,000-word images. Griff will lead a workshop June 18-24 at the esteemed Santa Fe Workshops in New Mexico, and his lucky students will have their work featured in the October 2000 issue of New Mexico Magazine.
Photographs and the act of creating them have always fascinated and, simultaneously, mystified me. The finished image has to captivate first, to induce a viewer to give it more than a glimpse; but equally important, the image should deliver content of some sort. These two things must happen for a photograph to succeed, whether the image is categorized as art, documentary, or photojournalism.