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Removing lens flares

I did an article a long time ago, about removing lens flares. There I suggest two options. Removing them using Photoshop tools, or by creating a second photo where you shade the sun and then blend them together. But sometimes one forgets, or you just don’t notice the flare until you load the shots into your computer. So what to do then? Today I will show you something I do in those cases from time to time.

Removing lens flares using multiple photos

So this was my situation. I did not notice the flare in this photo. The sun was a bit to the left here, and with no clouds in the sky, it was so bright, I could see nothing on the camera screen. But as you can see there few are big flares and on spots that are not easy to correct in Photoshop. So what to do?

Removing lens flares using multiple photos

What I did was use a photo, that I took from the same location, but with different settings, that did not have flares on the same spots. As long as you did not move too much between the two photos, you can align them, even if you zoomed out or in. All you need is that the same area is in both photos. You can try to align manually, but Photoshop align layers function can work very well here.

Removing lens flares using multiple photos

Here I used a much wider shot, and while this one also has flares, they are on different spots. I loaded both photos into Photoshop. The one I wanted to fix placed on bottom. Then I locked the layer (choose layer and click the lock icon above the layer list). Now I could align them without distorting the one I want to fix. I just chosen both layers (holding down CTRL and clicking on each layer) and aligned them using Edit/Auto-Align Layers and choosing the Auto projection.

Removing lens flares using multiple photos

This was the result. I cropped the layer now, to get rid of the extra part I did not need (CTRL+click on the bottom layer thumbnail, and then Image/Crop to crop based on selection). Now by using a mask, I just hid the top layer with all black mask. Using the brush I painted with white in it, where the lens flares were. There is one more thing to fix, and that is to match the brightness and the color of the corrected areas. Her I used brightness/contrast to brighten the area and color balance to make it a bit warmer. You have to use the adjustment layers as clipping masks, so they affect only the layer under them (Alt+Ctrl+G with the layer selected, or Layer/Create Clipping mask).

Removing lens flares using multiple photos

And with the lens flares fixed, one can continue with further edits.

Snow covered Hallstatt

I visited Hallstatt in Austria few times before, but I always wanted to go back during winter, to get some nice photos of it covered with snow. And with a fellow photographer Pedro Kin (from pedrokinphotography.com) we planed to do a road trip there last Friday. But, not the amount of snow that fallen the last week was so big, that the roads into Hallstatt were closed. So we decided to postpone.

And we postponed it to yesterday, when we did the trip. And wow, there was still a lot of snow. We visited Hallstatt and a nearby lake Altausseer See. We got some nice photos, that I will share mine with you here on the blog. The biggest problem actually was to get to some places, as getting through a 1m or more of snow without sinking into it was not possible. Should have bought snow shoes:)

Today’s photo is a typical view of Hallstat, but this time with all the snow. It is a 2 shot panorama, each shot from three exposures. I was a bit lucky here, as for some reason the light on the church tower was off in one of the photos. As it always creates an overexposed area, I was quite happy how it looks without it. Shot’s combined into panorama in PTgui, edited in Photoshop.

Snow covered Hallstatt, Hallstatt, Austria

Top photography spots – Astana

I visited Astana in Kazakhstan last year, and thanks to a local guide I had the chance to visit many cool photo spots there. And with the tradition of my other Top Photography spots lists, here is a lit of the ones I liked, with a bit of description and their GPS locations. So here goes :)

Btw. in all this spots it’s fine to use a tripod.

Don’t forget to check out other available lists:

Baiterek Tower

Let’s start right at the center. The Baiterek tower looks great, even if it’s a bit harder to take photos of, as it’s really bright. There is a big park around it, so you can just walk around until you find the view you like the best. You can even go up the tower, but I skipped that. No outside platform means no really good viewpoint from the top. But you my enjoy it :)


Fountains in the center

Not far from the Baiterek tower, you can get to a nice city park with big fountains and flower beds. The tower is well visible from here, so you can use it as a background subject while taking photos here. hey turn off the lights late at night, so be there earlier if you want them to be colorful.

If you walk further away from the Baiterek tower, you will get to the Presidential Palace. But while it looks great, that’s the only spot in the city where I was stopped by a guard and asked not to take photos.


EXPO 2017 Sphere building

This is just such a unique building that you should just not miss. Looks good from all sides, especially in the evening. Since there are light on top and also inside that change and animate all the time, you can get a different photo just by waiting for few minutes. The overall area is quite interesting, and there is also this crazy sculpture right behind it.





Walkway next to Ishim River

There are quite few photo oportunities here. There are two bridge, with the new pedestrian one just looking great for some minimalist architecture photos (I don’t have a photo here, during my visit it was right before competition, and so it was not accessible yet). The other bridge, makes for a really nice curve and looks quite unique too. It also light’s up in the evening. There is also and amphitheater on the path that makes for a perfect reflection photo.

The GPS location is the one right in front of the amphitheater.


Road bridge in the center

Don’t skip this spot. As the road crosses through the city center there a bridge there. And the view towards both sides is just great. Many fountains and interesting architecture to behold. The bridge is short, so it does not shake that much and there is also a statue right in the middle of one of the walkways.


Horses at the Opera

Let’s finish this list with something a bit different. At the opera house you will find these golden horses statues. It really is something different compared to all the other photo spots I shared here. And they just look great :)

There are of course even more spots one should visit there, so I plan to go back too :)

Don’t forget to check out other available lists:

Light tunnel in the morning

I still don’t know if this was a permanent light installation, or there was an event that this light tunnel was in Astana, Kazakhstan. But I noticed it while passing by, as my hotel was close by. And it was on the whole night. So one morning I decided to go to it to take few photos. I went there around 5 in the morning. I edited photos through the night, so I was up anyway :) As you can see, it rained beforehand, so I had some nice puddle to work with there. I put my tripod as low as it could go, and too this photo.

This is a two shot vertorama, edited in Lightroom, finished in Photoshop.

Light tunnel in the morning

Thematic Pavilion II

I still have a lot of unedited photos from Astana in Kazakhstan. While I was there only few days, and it rained most of the time, I still managed (thanks to a great local guide) to take many photos. It was also my first time there, and usually when I visit a city for the first time, I take much more photos than normally. I just want to capture everything :)

I took this photo in the Expo 2017 Area, behind the Sphere building there. It started raining quite heavily, and I still wanted to take photos. But I was limited in my lenses, as for instance the 12mm or the 17TSE I use are not weather sealed, so could not use those. I had to stick with the 24-70 and the 16-35 from Canon.

For this photo, I actually stood under a crazy looking roof. You can see it’s reflection on the right side. The whole complex is looking very organic and quite abstract. But it hid me from the rain for a bit :)

This is a three exposure blend, edited in Photoshop.

Thematic Pavilion II, Astana, Kazakhstan
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