Today's Awesome Guest Blogger: Rob Knight


My friend Rob Knight is today's awesome guest blogger. Today he shares his five tips for successful pix your next tropical trip. Take it away, Rob.

Summer is here and I’m excited about hitting the road! I take two big trips to shoot and teach in Costa Rica each year, and I’m getting ready for the first of the two in June. As I prepare for my trip I thought I would share a couple of tips that might help you during your next trip to the rain forest.

1.  Keep your eyes peeled. It’s a good idea to do research ahead of time and plan for shots you would like to make, but don’t let your plans get in the way of unexpected opportunities. There is so much going on in the rain forest that it’s easy to focus on one subject and miss a hundred others. A good guide can act as a second set of eyes and help you make the most of every situation.

2.  Bring your flash. Even if you’re going somewhere sunny, it’s a good idea to bring along some light of your own. You can use daylight fill-in flash to control contrast during the day, or use flash at night when you couldn’t make a frame otherwise. I also use a flash for almost all of my wildlife and macro photography.


3.  Aperture Priority mode. The light can change quickly in the rain forest. I like to shoot in aperture priority mode so I can control the depth of field, and I let the camera worry about the shutter speed unless I specifically need to freeze or show motion. This is a really quick way to work in rapidly changing light. I don’t have anything against manual exposure mode, but I’d hate to miss a shot because I was trying to decide on the right shutter speed. (Hey Rob, I agree - Rick)


4.  Exposure compensation. When I let my camera choose the shutter speed I still want to decide how my images will look. With zero compensation the camera will overexpose the dark canopy of the rain forest. I usually start with -1EV to capture the saturated colors in the forest or a beautiful sunset. If you’re shooting a bright scene like a tropical beach you might need to dial in +1EV or more so the image isn’t underexposed.

5.  Review your photos each day. If at all possible, you should download your photos each night and give them a quick look. Chances are if you didn’t get the shot you wanted you can go back the next day and try it again. The last thing you want to find out when you return home from a trip abroad is that the shot you thought you nailed is out of focus.

Costa Rica is one of my favorite places to shoot. There are so many opportunities to shoot wildlife, people, landscapes, you name it! I’d be happy to show you around sometime and help you improve your photography. As I write this I have a couple of cabins available for my all-inclusive Costa Rica workshop this September. Visit my site  for more information and to register online.

Thanks again to Rick for having me on his blog. I hope to see you soon!

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