31st
March

User stories

On the web-page of Oloneo, the maker of Photoengine, you can find also a category called User stories. These are more of a short interview, and from today, you can find also one with me there. Just head over to Oloneo site to check it out :)

Missing photos

Some of you may have noticed that for 2-3 hours today, all photos were missing from the blog, and also the portfolio site was not accessible at all. This was caused by a DNS problem from the site of GoDaddy, and regrettably I could do nothing to correct or prevent it. I just hope the problem was solved permanently by now, and will not occur again.

Bratislava landmarks

The Bratislava castle and the SNP bridge are just the most dominant landmarks in Bratislava. Especially if you are in the center, you see them from quite far away. And I very happy that I have them both in one photo :) Usually it’s not so easy, as they are on the opposite sides of the Danube.

Different view
Technique: Oloneo Photoengine, Number of exposures: 5, Camera Model: Canon EOS 5D mark II, Lens: Canon 70-200mm F2.8 IS II, Focal length: 123mm, Aperture: 8, Middle exposure time: 4s, ISO: 200, Tripod used: yes, Location: 48.134279,17.106281
30th
March

Welcome to a new week, and as almost every week, let’s start with a new process post. For today I chosen a fireworks shot, so this will be a editing of a single exposure. So let’s take a look at it.

As with most of my fireworks photos, I like to push them into a single color, where the overall color of the photo aligns with the most dominant fireworks color. For this shot it was quite easy to choose, as it was already quite red. So my goal here was to make it even more red. Other than that, I wanted to recover detail from the tree ans the sky, and add more contrast to the fireworks. Lastly, I wanted to recover some of the highlight on the parliament.

Dark skiesFinished photo
Dark skiesOriginal photo

I started in Lightroom. There I cropped away part of the photo, removed lens distortion and chromatic aberrations. Then I exported one version of the photo, recovered the highlight and exported a second copy of the photo.

Dark skiesLightroom tweaks
Dark skiesPhotoengine edit

The first copy I loaded into Oloneo Photoengine, and changed the strength and contrast. Like this I got an evenly exposed photo, which was just very colorful. But my plan was not to use the whole photo anyway, as I wanted to mask in parts of the original exposure. So I loaded the Photoengine result with both of my exported exposures into layers in Photoshop, and I continued form there (layers numbered from bottom up):

1. Oloneo Photoengine result
2. First export, from which I corrected the very colorful areas. I left only the trees and the fireworks untouched.
3. Second export, from which I corrected the parliament buildign
4. Color effex Pro contrast, with which I recovered more detail in the foreground
5. Color effex Tonal contrast to get more contrast in the fireworks
6. Copy of the 5th layers, just set to luminosity, to get even more contrast in few areas.
7. Noise reduction for the trees in the bottom left corner.
8+9. Toned down the highlights on the parliament by using curves and luminosity masks.
10. Brightened the white parts of the fireworks to make them more visible
11. Added a little overall contrast
12. I still was not happy with the amount of contrast in the explosion, so I added a little using Detail Extractor in Color Effex.

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:
Master exposure blending

29th
March

For today, one more shot of the same bridge in Vienna as yesterday. For those curious it’s the Reichsbrücke (Empire Bridge) in Vienna. I actually walked around, trying to get photos of other things not just the bridge that evening, but this walkway, the one close to the water, was the only place where I was protected from the wind enough to get anything usable. The weather recently has really been against nice photos :) It’s either raining, windy, or just completely ugly. I can’t wait for some better weather finally, to be able to do more photos.

The same bridge
Technique: Oloneo Photoengine, Number of exposures: 6, Camera Model: Canon EOS 5D mark II, Lens: Canon 16-35mm F2.8, Focal length: 22mm, Aperture: 11, Middle exposure time: 10s, ISO: 200, Tripod used: yes, Location: 48.228242,16.411141
28th
March

I spend the evening in Vienna yesterday, and while the weather was quite bad, I spend a hour taking some quite long exposure photos. And here is one of them. I’m actually quite pleased how it came out, taking into account the strong wind, rainy weather and the late hour. I hope nobody will notice where I had to remove ugly flares from the water drops that landed on the lens :).

The dark tower
Technique: Oloneo Photoengine, Number of exposures: 5, Camera Model: Canon EOS 5D mark II, Lens: Canon 16-35mm F2.8, Focal length: 18mm, Aperture: 11, Middle exposure time: 10s, ISO: 200, Tripod used: yes, Location: 48.228242,16.411141
27th
March

Just a quick repost of one of my favorite photos today, as I’m again busy today.
The perfect sunset