Online and offline course available from today

Something I planed for a while now, was to start offering online photo editing courses and offline general photography courses. And from today, I will start doing so.

For any questions or inquiries about more personalized offer or bigger groups, feel free to message me under miroslav.petrasko@hdrshooter.com or use the contact form here.

Online course via Skype

If you want to get better at editing your photos, this may be for you. For the one or two hours (based on your choice), over a Skype connection we would cover topics from :

  • Basics of photography, terminology, exposure
  • Basics of working with Lightroom and Photoshop
  • Basic corrections, perspective correction, fixing errors
  • Composition basics
  • HDR, using HDR specific software like Oloneo Photoengine
  • Luminance masking
  • Exposure blending
  • Working with Panoramas and HDR panorama
  • Editing one or multiple of my photos together, or a photo you provide.
  • Photo critique, with suggestions on improvements
  • General photo discussion

I’m not doing any specific course content, as everybody’s skill level is different and you may be interesting in a specific topic. Based on your skill level, you can suggest what you want to know, or I will choose for you.

For this course I would suggest you own at least Photoshop and Lightroom. Basic knowledge of working with computer is of course also a must.

Everyone who buys this course will also get a copy of the video tutorial series Master Exposure Blending for free.


Length of the course


Online and offline course available from today

Offline course in Bratislava

The second option, is to meet up in Bratislava (for now I’m limiting this to only one city) and take photos together. Here is what we can go through is:

  • Basics of photography, exposure
  • Composition in landscape and cityscape photos
  • Setting up your camera
  • Taking multiple exposures
  • Panoramic photos, panoramas, vertoramas, 360 photos
  • Taking long exposure photos
  • Choosing exposure
  • Focusing your photos
  • General photo discussion

I’m not doing any specific course content, as everybody’s skill level is different and you may be interesting in a specific topic. Based on your skill level, you can suggest what you want to know bout, or I will choose for you.

The location for this course will be the center of Bratislava, the area around the Bratislava castle, SNP bridge and Old bridge. Other location is possible on request.

For this course I would suggest a camera that support manual settings. Since it’s a cityscape course, a tripod.

Everyone who buys this course will also get a copy of the video tutorial series Master Exposure Blending for free.


Number of people in the course


Online and offline course available from today

Once you buy a course, I will contact you within 24 hours so we could arrange a date and time that would suit your needs. For any questions or inquiries about more personalized offer or bigger groups, feel free to message me under miroslav.petrasko@hdrshooter.com or use the contact form here.

Wallpapers in 3440×1440

Time for new ultrawide walllpapers. As always, all are in 3440×1440 resolution, made for 21:9 monitors. And as always, you can get all from the wallpapers page here.

New ultrawide wallpapers

And here are the new wallpapers:

ultrawide wallpapers
ultrawide wallpapers
ultrawide wallpapers

ultrawide wallpapers
ultrawide wallpapers

Right after returning from Cinque Terre, I thought about putting together a list of spots to take photos there. And since I even already got questions about it, here goes :)

Cinque Terre

For those who don’t know, Cinque Terre is an area in Italy. It consists of five little tows, those being Vernazza, Manarola, Riomaggiore, Monterosso and Corniglia. There are all quite tiny and one can actually visit all of them in one day.

Before I get to the spots, few general things. I would not go there by car, it’s just not meant for it and you can’t enter the towns anyway. There are local trains every few minutes during the day and every half an hour in the evening. The trips take only few minutes. You can also buy a discount day pass, which is worth it if you plan to go more than 4 times that day (daily is 16 euros, single is 4 euros).

To access the walk paths, you need to buy a pass. Spots I mention here are not on the paths, except two, which I will mention. But it you don’t plan to hike, you can go without this pass. Also, in the evening you can get on the paths without paying, as there is nobody to check you at the entrance.

I stayed in Vernazza and I find that town the most photogenic. I will share more spots for that one than the others.

Don’t forget to check out other available lists:

Vernazza – over the city spot 1

This is probably the most popular spot in Vernazza. It gives nice view of the town and you will see some photographers here almost always. It takes a bit of waking up the stairs from the town, but it’s not that bad. If you wan’t to do sunset from here, I would go a bit earlier, as it get’s full quickly.


Top photography spots - Cinque Terre

Vernazza – over the city spot 2

This spot gives a quite similar view to the previous one. But there is one big difference. If you look at the tower in the city, it does not reach through the horizon in the back here. I find the way it breaks the horizon line very annoying, so I prefer this spot. This is only about 5 minutes walk up the stairs from the previous one.

Top photography spots - Cinque Terre

Vernazza – on the path spot 1

This is the first spot that’s on the hiking path. But if you go here for the sunrise or sunset, the path is open and you don’t have to pay. The view from the side of the city is great and most photographers go to the bit further spot so it’s not so full here.

Top photography spots - Cinque Terre

Vernazza – on the path spot 2

This is the more popular spot. You will see a railing with a lot of photographer here. In front of the railing there is a spot with quite better view, but one should not go there as it is dangerous. But everyone is responsible for their own actions, so do what you think is best.

Top photography spots - Cinque Terre

Vernazza – down by the rocks

If you don’t just want views from above the city, I would suggest going down to the rocks. Makes for a great long exposure spot. The view of the city is also nice, I just got noghting as it was crazy sunny the day I was there, and that made for horrible photos.

Top photography spots - Cinque Terre



Manarola – opposite the town

Let’s move from Vernazza to Manarola. The best view here is from the walkway opposite the town. You can either stay lower on the walkway, or go a bit higher, to the top of it, where is a small park. Again, if you want to go there, go a bit earlier, as it’s quite a popular spot with photographers. There photos are from the higher spot.

Some also go down onto the rocks, but that’s a more dangerous location. Again, use caution if you want to go there, and you are there at your own risk.

Top photography spots - Cinque Terre

Riomaggiore- down by the rocks

Another very popular spot. Not just for photographers. There will be many people here around sunset and you will be lucky when you get a spot at all. Don’t forget to take good shoes, as the rocks are a bit slippery. It get’s better later, as most of the people leave once the sun goes down.

Missing photo here, will be added as soon as possible

Monterosso – view of the beach

Monterosso is a bit stretched out, but my favorite view was from the side, seeing the beach together with the ship and mountains in the background. This location is easy to access, just walk along the sea. Here you can even go completely down to the rock, and have a nice foreground. I don’t have one as the area was occupied with people, but you maybe have more luck :)

Top photography spots - Cinque Terre

Monterosso – behind the tower

There is a little platform here with quite a nice view. If you look right, you will see a similar view as the one in the spot before. But if you look straight, you get this nice view of this tower surrounded by the sea.

Top photography spots - Cinque Terre

Corniglia – side view

The last but not least, Corniglia. This town is on top of a hill, so be ready to walk up many, many and even more steps, or take the bus :) My favorite view here is from the side of the town, but since you don’t see the sea as much, it’s not as spectacular as the other ones.

Top photography spots - Cinque Terre

And that’s all for this list, hope you find it useful when you go and visit the beautiful Cinque Terre.

Don’t forget to check out other available lists:

Correcting missing parts in photos

You don’t see it in finished photos, but quite often, especially with panoramas, you may have missing parts in a photo. It’s mostly in the corners. When two photos are merged into a panorama, the software has to distort them to match them, and the result is not a rectangular shape. Here is an example of that in a photo from Hallstatt:

Correcting missing parts in photos

You can see that the corners are missing and also part of the sky and water as a result of the panorama merge. I could crop it all off, but then I would loose a lot from it, as seen here:

Correcting missing parts in photos

And that’s just not acceptable. So instead, I would crop it to the desired compositon I want, and then fix the missing parts afterwards. So let’s say I crop it like this:

Correcting missing parts in photos

And lets fix the problems.

Using content aware

Content aware tool is great for areas of single color or areas with smaller repeating details. So for a sky, wall, water, forest in the distance and similar, it creates some great results. It’s really not great for very detailed objects, where the details change.

Here it works best on the sky, water, and the mountain in the distance. Just choose any selection tool, select the are a little bigger than you need and then choose Edit/Fill (Shift + Backspace) and choose Content Aware from the drop-down selection and confirm.

You usually get god results, but sometime one need to select the transition area again and repeat.

Correcting missing parts in photos
Correcting missing parts in photos

Using clone stamp tool

The clone stamp tool is the best on repeating patterns. You can also use it on single color areas and similar, but that’s usually simpler to do with content aware. Again, it’s not really that great for detailed object like bushes for instance, where you will never match the objects exactly.

To use it, just choose the clone stamp tool from the toolbar on the left, hold down alt and click on the source location that you want to copy, and then paint in the missing ares. I personally prefer to do this on a separate layer, as that makes it easier to go back or blend only parts of the correction.

Be careful when using it not to create visible repetition (if there should not be one).

Correcting missing parts in photos
Correcting missing parts in photos

Warping parts of the image

If nothing works, you can try warping the image. By this I mean selecting a part of the photo, next to the missing area, and stretching it around to fill the missing spot.

You have to be careful not to stretch any straight lines or objects, as that is very noticeable. This works best on organic things, like bushes, water, clouds and similar.

What you do, is to create a rectangular selection around the area. You go a bit wider than you need. Than you choose Edit/Transform/Warp (or hit Ctrl+T, then right click on the selection and choose Warp). Now choose the corner or the middle point (base on where the selection is) and drag it outside the photo.

Correcting missing parts in photos
Correcting missing parts in photos

Don’t over do it. Once a hole start’s appearing between the selection and the rest of the image, it’s too much. In this case, undo what you did, and do it again but in parts. Drag the point a bit. Confirm. Create new selection and repeat. Piece by piece you will fill in the spot.

Correcting missing parts in photos
Correcting missing parts in photos

Once you are done, sometimes you get a very noticeable distortion inside. In that case, reselects it, go into warp, choose a spot inside and drag it towards the distortion. What you want to do, is to get the distortion over a bigger area, so it’s not so visible.

Correcting missing parts in photos

How this photo ended

And that’s it for this guide. Hope it’s understandable and if not, feel free to ask :) I wanted to show you this photo finished with all the edits, but I never did this one, I did one taken right after it, so I will share that one here :)

Hallstatt, Austria

Looking back

There will be no new photos here today, but instead let’s have a look at my photography beginnings. These photos were taken right as I started with photography and some of them are even older than the first post on this blog.

Not that they are any good, they are over-processed like crazy, but it’s interesting to have a look at ones past and see how one’s work evolved.

Very old photos

These photos are all from 2010, taken with my first DSLR, the 450D. It was a great camera, but one really has to know at least something about photography to use it. I still remember the day I switched to manual focusing, how all my photos got better right away :)

One interesting fact here is, that almost all of these were taken handheld. Now I almost never take landscape photos anymore from hand. Tripod all the time.

Looking back
Looking back
Looking back
Looking back
Looking back
Looking back
Looking back
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