Between the bridges

posted in Ljubljana, Slovenia on with No Comments

Or better said, between the bridge, as the both sides are form the same bridge. Actually this bridge, the Triple bridge, consist’s of three separate parts, as also the name suggest.

This is one of the photos I took during my stay there last year, and as you can see, the weather was not ideal. There is a small chance that I will stop there for a day next month, so maybe then I get some photos with a little nicer weather :)

This is a HDR from 5 exposures, created in Oloneo Photoengine, finished in Photoshop.
Between the bridges

Top photography spots

posted in Other on with No Comments

I have been slowly adding to the Top photography spots list on the blog, and right up I’m already at 6 lists. I still want to create many more, but I fist need to get many more photos (and of course many more visits to the different cities :)).

But for now, if any of you are planing to visit one, or more of these cities, these lists could be really helpful. I always try to mention if tripods are allowed or there are any problems with those, and there are few spots on the lists, where I really had problems finding this out before a trip. And I think that it’s not to hard to believe, that the Prague list, is the most visited page from the whole blog, even more visited than the HDR tutorial.

Top 5 photography spots in Bratislava

Bratislava

Top 5 photography spots in Prague

Prague

Top 5 photography spots in Budapest

Budapest

Top 5 photography spots in Paris

Paris

Top 5 photography spots in Paris

Dubai

Top 5 photography spots in Paris

London

A stubborn vertorama

posted in Bardejovske Kupele, Slovakia on with No Comments

PTGUIThis one really didn’t wanted to be combined. It always was a little off. I even tried to combine it in Photoshop (which I almost never do), but it just refused to work nicely. In the end I had to remove almost half from one of the shots, so the rest blends nicely. You can see a screenshot from PTgui on the side. Repeating texture is really hard for panorama software :)

I took this photo in the spring in the Open air museum in Bardejovske Kupele in Eastern Slovakia. It’s a two shot vertorama, each shot from 5 esposures. Vertorama created in PTgui and HDR blended in Oloneo Photoengine. Finished in Photoshop.
A stubborn vertorama

Morning light in Paris

posted in France, Paris on with No Comments

RAW files

Those of you who follow the blog, know that I do a contest from time to time, where I provide RAW files to one of my photos for the contestants to edit. But did you know that if you still want those raw files, you still can download the ones from the last two rounds and experiment as much as you want :)

You can find the ones from the third round here and the ones from the fourth round here.

Morning light in Paris

I’m currently a little scarce for new photos, as haven’t been traveling that much last months. But what’s good is, that if all goes according to plan, I will visit many new places and cities next month. I so like adding new countries and cities to the blog. The more the better, don’t you think? :)

So for today I chosen a photo from my last years trip to Paris, taken the only sunrise that was actually nice when I was there. Even without any clouds, the view was quite nice :) This is a HDR crated from 6 exposures in Oloneo Photoengine and finished in Photoshop. I used a 10 stop ND filter, while shooting this to blur the water and the passing cars.
Morning light in Paris

Few tips for Oloneo Photoengine

posted in Slovakia on with No Comments

You may have noticed, that in the last year I have started using the Oloneo Photoengine for my photos more and more. It makes a great companion to manual blending, as it can be very easy to create a good starting image from it. You can see my favorite things about it in my Oloneo Photoengine review here.

And since I use it so much, I thought I share few tip for it. For what I do, and why I do it. Maybe some of you will find them interesting, or they will motivate you to try Photoengine out :) So here goes.

1. Use edited tiff files instead of RAWs as input.

You may think that using the RAW files as input is great, for providing as much info to the Photoengine as possible, but a 16bit tiff includes all the dynamic range anyway. And what one also can do, is to use a RAW converter of ones choosing, to correct lens problems even before the HDR editing.

What I do before opening files in Photoengine is that I correct the lens distortion, chromatic aberrations and sometimes noise in Lightroom. I also sometime tone down the highlights in the darkest shot, and brighten the shadow in the lightest shot, to make the blending even better. This is because in every HDR program, the smaller the dynamic range, the usually better, more natural, result one gets.

2. Don’t use all exposures

Again one would think that using more is better, but you are not only trying to get a big dynamic range, but also get a nice photo. Especially if you have taken very bright exposures (+2EV and more) including them in the blend can create an overall very bright image, that just looks awful. You can of course correct this by changing exposure and brightness, but just leaving the bright exposure out can make the thing a lot easier. Also, using less exposures will cause less ghosting, if you had any movement in your shots.

Here u see the same brackets with the same settings, just in the first one I used only 3 exposures, in the second one 4.

Photoengine tips
Photoengine tips

 

3. Try a single exposure as input

One would not believe how much detail and dynamic range can be found in a single photo. I like to use this mostly for my fireworks shots, as those are by definition only single exposures. As Photoengine keeps the sharpness of the photo and makes it so easier to brighten the darks, and recover the bright areas. And all that with a single slider.
Photoengine tips
 

4. Take advantage of the contrast sliders

You maybe noticed, there are two contrast sliders in the Oloneo Photoengine. One under High dynamic range tone mapping, the second one under Low dynamic tone. They both work a little differently. The first one works in conjunction with the Auto-contrast, and you just tweak how strong the auto-contrast is. The second one is a straight up contrast adjustment. I you change just one of those, you will not see any difference, but once you also change the strength, you will see it. I suggest trying both out, as I find a combination of both give me usually the best result.

5. Careful about the Detail Strength

It can be really tempting to just add a lot of detail strength to a photo, but I don’t use it at all. If you really feel that you need more detail, try adding it, but just a little. The combination of changing strength and contrast is usually enough, and the photo retains the original sharpness and natural feel.

Here is an example quickly the strength can be too much.
Photoengine tips
 

6. Use batch processing when editing panoramas

In my tutorial for HDR panoramas, I mentioned that I first create the panorama blends, and then do the HDR editing. But this approach does not work great for bigger panoramas, as no computer is able to work with such huge files without any issues. In those cases I prefer to use an opposite approach. First I export all the files as 16-big tiffs (of course with lens corrections already applied). I do the processing of the first series in Photoengine, and save the settings as a preset. Then I apply the same settings to all other series using the batch processing that is included in Photoengine and use the result for the panorama creation.
Photoengine tips
 

7. Try the natural mode

The natural mode is just a single check box, but it can make the result so much better. What it does, is that it tones down all over-saturated areas of the photo, making them more believable. Sometimes is better just to decrease the saturations, but that does not always ends with the same result.

Here you can see what a difference a single click can make, and no, I didn’t add any saturation for effect.

Photoengine tips
Photoengine tips

 

8. Create multiple version to be blended later

Another way to get the most from Oloneo Photoengine, is to created two (or more) different versions of the same photo. For instance, like in the photo from the yesterdays post, I created a darker version, from only 4 exposures and a lighter version, from all 5 exposures. Like this, I had a nice sky in the darker version and a nice foreground in the darker version. All I needed after that was just to blend them together.

These are all the tips for now, but of course there is much more to Oloneo Photoengine, and I will revisit this topic again later :)