Blue hour at the Eiffel Tower

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I decided to go for a little trip for the next few days. And since I haven’t taken any new photos recently (as I’ve been sick), don’t really have anything new edited. So for the next few days, I will be reposing some of my favorite photos from the last years. Feel free to follow me on my FB profile, where I will be posting behind the scenes photos from the places I visit :)

And today, one of my favorite shots from last years trip to Paris :)
Blue hour at the Eiffel Tower

What is CC license and why I use it

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Maybe some of you have noticed the little disclaimer on the bottom of the pages sidebar, that mentions that (almost) all my photos are shared under the creative commons license. Those of you who work with photos, probably know what that means, but some of you probably don’t. So in this post, I’m going to go through the basic licenses, and what do they mean, and what they allow or prohibit.

Entering the Chain bridge

All rights reserved

The All right reserved is the default license for every photo. If you see a photo on a page, and it’s not specified differently, it’s being shared under this licence.

What in means, in simple terms, is, that you can’t do anything with the photo, without a permission from the author. You can’t post it on you blog, you can’t post it on your facebook, you can’t use it for personal or commercial use.

Of course in the world we live in, where social media are very dominant, photographers usually don’t mind, even if you share their photos with All right reserved on social media, but never presume it’s OK. It’s still infringing on the copyright (think of it in a terms as sharing a full movie, or a song on your FB page). If you really want to share a work like this, share a link to it, it’s always safer.

Public domain

This is the complete opposite of All right reserved. With photo in the public domain, you can do anything. They can be used for personal or commercial use, can be shared, published and more, without needing to give a credit to the author.

If you ever need a use a photo for a project, and cant take it yourself, and don’t want to buy one, try searching for public domain photos.
Big Ben

Creative Commons

And we get to the creative commons licence (CC). You can think of it as a set of licenses, that were created for people who just don’t want to specify everything every time. When you share a photo, and you want to allow some use, and forbid different use, it much easier to quote a specific Creative commons license, that to create your own.

The creative commons license consist from three main parts, and each one specifies different rights, but already specifying that a work is shared under CC, you allow people to share and download your work. So the main parts are:


This is the most basic part. This means that everyone who share your work in any way, has to attribute it to you, in a way you specify. This is usually done via a name and link back to the source. If you ever share someones photos, even if you are not sure under what licence it is shared, always include this.


This part is about allowing or forbidding derivative work. For instance by photos, it is if you allow them to be used in other peoples photo manipulations. There is also a third option here, that is Share Alike, which means that people can use your photos, but have to share the final result under the same license.
Midnight Drivers

Commercial use

The last part is if you allow the free commercial use or not. If this is set to noncommercial, it means that the photos can be used for free only for any noncommercial purposes (your personal fb page, personal blog, tumblr blog…) and for everything else a license has to be purchase.

What is commercial use?

As many people don’t know (or sometimes play dumb) on what commercial use is, here a little explanation.

As commercial use, we view anything that creates direct profit, or help creating a profit in the future. Here are few examples:
- you use the photo on your product
- you use the photo on a free promo material (yes, the company makes no direct profit, but it promotes future profit, as every commercial)
- you use the photo on your company’s webpage, facebook page, or any other social media (again, this is a promotion for your company)

This all applies even for non-profit organisations, as they usually just create a profit for a different company or organisation. The simplest way one can think about is, if the person contacting the photographer gets paid for their work, so should the photographer :)

What I use?

So I use the most restrictive CC license, the Atributions, Non-commercial and No-derivs. It means, that I allow the sharing of my photos if one gives me proper credit, but I don’t allow modification of them, or any commercial usage.

I choosen this license, as I want to allow people to share my photos without being scared that they receive a copyright claim :)

There are very few photos on the blog, that are shared under All right reserved license. The reason for this is, that those photos were taken for a specific client, so I don’t own the rights for them.

There are few more licences, but there is already outside of the scope of this article. As a photographer, these three are the most important when sharing a photo on the internet. For more information on Creative commons, please visit their page:

And we got to another Monday, so let’s get to another before/after process post. For today I chosen this photo of Dubai Marina (which you see every-time you visit this blog :) ), so let’s first take a lot at the finished, and the starting photo.

Dubai Marina
Dubai Marina

As you can see from the original photo, I could have probably gone even without HDR, but that’s just not what I do :). So what I needed to correct few areas, and overall color.

So I started as always, in Lightroom, correcting lens distortion, the crooked horizon and chromatic aberrations. Then I continued into Oloneo Photoengine, where I combined the exposures.

Dubai Marina
Dubai Marina

AFter that I contineud in Photoshop. Loading the Photoengine result, together with the original exposures. There I did the following edits (layers numbered form bottom up)

1. Photoengine result
2. -2EV exposure, to darken the strong highlight in the photo
3+4+5. -1EV, 0EV and +1EV exposures, to correct the ghosting from the moving cars
6. I expanded the photo a little one the top and filled it with the sky. This is so the buildings don’t touch the edge of the photo.
7. Merged version with few spots retouched, for instance, I got a little bit of the skyscraper I was on in the corner, which I didn’t like there.
8. Added contrast to the photo
9. First color balance to try and remove the overall purple hue.
10. De-saturated a little the yellow colors, mostly visible on the streets.
11. Second color balance to tweak highlights a little.
12. Changed the hue for the very strong neon lights in the front
13. I usually don’t use the chanel mixer, but the colors were still to purple, so a little less blue and more green in the red chanel helped here.
14. A little more overall desaturation of the blue colors.
15. And to finish a little brightening of the dark areas, using curves and a luminosity selection.

Dubai Marina
And that’s all I did with this image. To find out more on how I edit, check out the guides and before after categories on this blog, or check out my video tutorial series here: