Windy evening over Hainburg

posted in Austria on with No Comments

Radian

Radian time-lapse device

Some time ago, I posted about the Radian tile-lapse device, and at that time, it was not available for order. More people asked me where one can get one, and until now it was kind of hard. But just recently the things changed, and one can now order Radian right from the manufacturers page. You can find more about it in my review, or order it on the Alpine Labs page here.

Windy evening over Hainburg

I did a little photo-shooting on Tuesday, at this really nice place above Hainburg in Austria. The weather was not the best, but since it’s the middle of Octorber, that not so surprising. But as the low clouds and the fog low on the horizon reflected a lot of color from the city, it looked quite interesting anyway. Still the photo got a little noisier than I like, but as it was windy, I had to use a higher ISO to try and avoid camera shake.

This is a HDR from 4 exposures, created in Oloneo Photoengine, finished in Photoshop.
Windy evening over Hainburg

Through the trees

posted in Switzerland, Zermatt on with 2 Replies

Photoshop

Photographers to follow on Ello

My photographers on Ello list just exploded in size and now already consists of over 400 entries. I keep updating it every day, as I get new requests, and I hope there will be even more photographers there. Photos just look great on Ello.

You can find the list as always on its page Photographers to follow on Ello.

Through the trees

While in Zermat, I was running around, trying to find an interesting view of Matterhorn. There are quiet a few areas with a nice view, but I wanted something with a little more interesting composition. And since framing can be that, I chosen two trees to frame it. It worked out very nicely, don’t you think?

This is a HDR from 6 exposures. It look almost nothing like the photo I got directly from the camera, and I’m including a screenshot from Photoshop to prove it. This one is exactly a situation, where HDR excels. HDR was crated in Oloneo Photoengine, finished in Photoshop.
Through the trees

Most useful blending modes

posted in Other on with 2 Replies

If you have ever worked with Photoshop, you know what blending modes are. One just can’t get around them. If you haven’t, the blending modes are different options how a layer can behave, in the relation to the layers under it. There are many blending modes, varying from very useful, to not so much. And in this post, I will go through some of them, through the ones I think are most useful when editing photos, and what I use them for.

Soft light

Probably the most useful blending mode of them all. Based on the top layer, it either darkens or brightens the bottom layer. There are other that do the same (Overlay, Hard light), but this one creates the softest effect, which blend the most with a photo. It’s very useful when sharpening the photo (using the high pass filter, as 50% grey has no effect), creating glow (just copy layer, blur and choose soft light), dodging and burning (create new layer, set it to soft light, and paint white where you want to dodge and black where you want to burn) and more. Just duplication the layer and setting it to soft light will add you a lot of contrast and color to a photo. Just tweak it with the opacity slider :)

Blend modesSoft light
Blend modesSoft light sharpening

Difference

I don’s use Difference directly as a tool to edit a photo, but it helps in a certain situation. What id does, is to show you the color/brightness difference between two layers. It there is no difference, it is just black. This can be very useful, when trying to align two layers manually. Just set the top layer to difference, and immediately you can see if you are aligned or not. Then just move the top layer with the arrow keys, until you only see a small difference. That will always be there, if you try to align images with different brightness. But you can see on these screenshots, what the difference between aligned and not aligned photos.

Blend modesDifference aligned
Blend modesDifference not aligned

Color/Luminosity

These two are a pair, each doing the opposite of the other. The color will show only the color of the top layer, luminosity only brightness values. This is great when you wan to use only one, but not the other. For instance, in these examples, I applied a strong Color Efex tonal contrast on the duplicate of the bottom layer. Once, set to color, it only added saturation. But the second one is more interesting, just set to luminosity, it will add the detail, but the color will not be affected (of course it will be a little different, as you change the brightness).

This is also very useful, when you apply contrast to a photo. You probably noticed, that adding contrast, will also make a photo more saturated. To correct this, one can change the contrast layer to Luminosity, and then it will only affect the contrast.

Blend modesColor mode
Blend modesLuminosity mode

Multiply/Screen

A second set of inverse modes. What both do, is to multiple the color of the top and bottom layer. The difference is, that screen inverses the colors first. So if you use Multiply, the result will be always darker, if you use screen, it will be lighter. In editing, I tend to use this in two ways. One is if I just want to darken/brighten the image by one exposure stop. I just create a new curves layer, and set it to Multiply/Screen. I of course than also can tweak the curve, to get exactly what I wanted.

The second is in combination with luminosity masks. Just duplicating a layer, putting a brights luminosity mask on it, and setting the blending mode to Multiply. This will very nicely darken all the bright areas, and also add to their color. This can create very nice effects on clouds and the sky. Of course one can also do the opposite with dark’s mask and Screen mode.

Blend modesMultiply
Blend modesScreen

Lighten/Darken

And a last series. Again doing the opposite to each other. Both compare the top and bottom layer. The lighten, will always choose the brigher pixel from each, and use that. The darken, will always choose the darker. In the example, I combined a HDR result with one of the original exposures. This is actually exactly how I use this blending mode. Once you have a HDR, and you want to give it a little more natural feel, you can use this. For instace, if you have white objects in your photos, just use the exposure where they look the best, and use Lighten as the mode. They will be replaced, as in HDR white is usually darker, but other parts of the photo wont be affected.

Blend modesLighten
Blend modesDarken

You can of course tweak all the blend strengths by changing the opacity of the top layer, and also by using layer masks, and painting the effect just where you need it.

Feel free if you have any question about any of this :) And if you can’t find the blend modes in Photoshop, here is a screenshot of where to look for them, and the photo with no modes applied to compare.
Blend modes

Oh.. is it Monday again? So again time for a process post here :) For today, I will show you how I edited this photo of the Dubai marina, taken from the Palm Jumeirah, sometime around midnight. So lets start :)

Let’s first take a look at the finished photo and the starting 0Ev exposure.

The tallest blockFinished photo
The tallest blockOriginal 0Ev exposure

As you can see, based on the camera light meter, the photo would be just too bright. I took only 4 exposure for it because of that, as I was certain, I would just not need the +2Ev exposures. So as always, I opened all in Lightroom, where I corrected the purple ting and changed to a little warmer color balance. Also I removed chromatic aberrations and corrected the horizon line.

The tallest blockAll exposures
The tallest blockTweaked in Lighroom

From there, I exported everything as 16-bit tiff files and opened in Oloneo Photoengine. Added strenght, a lot of contrast and made the photo even warmer. From there I loaded everything into Photoshop and continued from there (layers numbered from bottom up):

1. Oloneo Photoengine result
2. -2EV exposure, to darken few bright spots n the photo
3. +1Ev exposure, to brighten few areas that were still too dark
4. removed noise using Imagenomic Noiseware
5. wanted to go for a more softer feel, so used motion blur for the whole image and then masked it only onto the water
6. added overall more contrast to the photo
7. added even more contrast to the water, and few areas on the buildings

The tallest blockCombined in Photoengine
The tallest blockPhotoshop edit

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:
banner-master

Vintage style

posted in Bratislava, Slovakia on with 3 Replies

Formatted for pinterest

Formatted for Pinterest

I continually add new things to the blog, but not always mention them in the blog posts right away. It mostly because that I want to spread up new things across more days, so there is something new when you visit the blog :) And also this gallery, has been on the blog (and pinterest) for a few weeks now. It’s a gallery of photos that were specially cropped for the Pinterest view. I don’t take credit for the idea to do this, but I still hope you like it :)

You can see it on the blog here or directly on Pinterest here.

Vintage style

I don’t often the use the Analog efex plugin, as I never like the result on landscape or cityscape shots. But it’s a little different on people shots. There I don’t mind a little more vintage look. And as in this photoshoot with the lovely Alexandra, I used a vintage camera as a prop, it was just fitting to put a little more vintage look on it. What do you think?

This is a single exposure, edited in Lightroom and Photoshop.
Vintage style