Do you want to be a better photographer for 2016?

Hello everybody it Chris,

I hope you had a great New Years! It sure was nice to have some downtime with the holidays. It gave us some time to spend with our family and friends, or just sit back and relax from our busy stretch from summer till present. Now that the New Year is here lets give you some ideas on how to be a better photographer.

People often spend to much time getting caught up in the moment that they turn into picture takers. Sure you may come home from a trip or a location with a good shot but is it a wow shot? Did you depend on all that money you spent on a new lens or camera to give you a better picture? Sure it may give you better optical quality or a faster frame per second, but did it really help you be a better photographer?

Let's help you out before you capture that first great moment of 2016. Over the years pro photographers start to create a style, the majority of their pictures may start to look the same. Let me give you some examples, Black and White, Fine art Black and White, High Key Black and White, HDR, Orton, Silky long exposures, creamy bokeh effect, using a better beamer, multi flash set ups ect. These are all styles that can help set you off as a photographer known with a specific style. But you can't just expect to go shoot these styles and become a pro over night.

Education for a style takes time, a passion or desire to achieve a rewarding goal. Nobody said education had to stop after school and lets face it "The more you know, the more your worth" When I first started shooting wildlife I had to learn my camera and lens like it was an extension of my hands. Having the wrong depth of field could be the difference of getting the shot or loosing it. Having to much depth of field could allow for a busy background taking away from the subject. Having to little depth of field trying to create that creamy bokeh background could leave half of your subject not in focus. Learning how my lens worked at different focal distances and perfecting the exposure triangle made me a much better wildlife photographer. But it does not stop there, wildlife all have different habits or reactions. Some can be predictable and other very unpredictable. Studying your subject from books or on the internet may give you an advantage before you get out in the field.

For my landscape photography I have learned a different approach that helps me have a better end product. I have worked on my Envisionography, My what....... Envisionography?? What the heck is that? I recently read a book last year for fine art black and white. The author spent a large portion of the book talking about working on a style of fine art. Understanding how to read light, break down a scene into proper or creative composition. All of these combined with a proper editing technique have helped me to create one of my styles. The large part of Envisionography is once you put this all together you know what to look for, in what light and how to edit it before you even take a picture. 

Having the right tools for the job can make all the difference in your images. Before you melt to the sales pitch at your local camera store. Take your time and read reviews, read articles, ask friends or even ask us for our opinion on something. There is nothing worse then buying something that collects dust because it was not the right tool for the job. A few tips I would recommend is buy a sturdy tripod don't cheep out. There is nothing worse then coming home to blurry pictures because your tripod was shaking in the wind or moving in the water. Buy a good ball head for landscape photography, make sure you buy one proper to support the weight of your lens and camera. Look into a good Gimble system for lenses 400 or larger. If you have a 600 or larger a stabilizer system may be a good investment. Camera remotes come in 100 different sizes, shapes, corded, battery operated, stacking, HDR bracketing and the list goes on. Camera bags are forever an issue I personally find, I have come to the conclusion that you just have to spring for two bags. One for local milling around and another for travel that will fit in the regular carry on size. Even though I'm still young compared to most :) , a roller bag sure helps when you have other baggage to carry around.    

Most of all get out and take lots of pictures! You can always have any picture you want so take your time and make it a goal for 2016. Don't make excuses that you don't have the equipment because if you have good friends they may offer you to borrow a lens. Or just go out and rent one as its as simple as that. Here's to a year of no excuses!!

HAPPY 2016

To see our trips to photograph landscapes and wildlife in BC, see this link.


To see our trips to photography Northern Lights in Yukon, see this link.


To see Chris Peppers trips, see this link.



Kevin A Pepper

Kevin is a photographer and educator based in Waterloo, Ontario. His first love is photographing nature, regardless of the season or weather condition; the Ontario landscape and its wildlife are his inspiration. But you will also see other styles of photography in his portfolio. From street photography to urban exploration of abandoned buildings and architecture, he loves to capture it all with his camera for his corporate clients and his growing personal portfolio. Kevin’s images have been featured in Canadian Nature Photographer, PHOTONews Canada, Photo Technique Magazine, The London Free Press, The Weather Network, and National Geographic Online. His diverse client list includes the City of Cambridge, Olympus, GORE Mutual, TVO, and African Lion Safari. Kevin also operates “Northof49 Photography”, a company launched in 2012 dedicated to teaching amateur photographers through International and Canadian-based workshops. In the coming year, Kevin will be leading workshops in Iceland, Mongolia, Tanzania, Venezuela, Provence, and numerous destinations across Canada. Website: