Time of day

Sunrise and sunset are the most popular times to take photos at. And it’s not really a surprise. The low sun can give you great color and makes for some wonderful photos. But which one to choose? Let me give you my thought on that :) Btw. most of the points are the same for morning vs. evening blue hour.

Sunrise vs. Sunset

At sunrise you have the place for yourself – Most of the places are empty very early in the morning. No cars, no people, no tourist and mostly not even other photographers. Nobody will stand in you way, nobody will photo-bomb your photos. Even very busy tourist spot (Eiffel tower, Tower bridge and similar) are empty in the morning. Of course there are exceptions. For instance there are always people at the Charles bridge in Prague. At any time.

The sun position is more unique at sunrise – Not many people do photos at sunrise. And there are probably even some that never seen one. As the sun is in a different position as for sunset, this makes for a more unique photo.

Sunrise vs. Sunset

Sunrise in Amsterdam

The air is clearer at sunrise – As it’s usually colder during the night than during the day, the moisture in the air condensates and it results in a more clearer view. Like this you will get more sharper photos. This does not work always and everywhere, but mostly it does.

Better water reflections at sunrise – If you ever been in Budapest, Amsterdam or any other city with a lot of water traffic, you would seen how hard is to get a reflection in a lake that is always being disturbed. But if you go in the morning, there is not traffic, and the water is perfectly calm. Like this you can get the most beautiful reflections.

Sunrise vs. Sunset

Sunrise in Cesky Krumlov

You can use a tripod at more locations during sunrise – There are places where normally you cant use a tripod. But if you are there very there is usually nobody to bother you, so nobody will mind if you use one.

Not everything is accessible at sunrise – This is sometimes a problem when taking sunrise photos. Some areas may be closed off and not accessible at all. A nice example here is a viewing platform in the middle of Cesky Krumlov, that has the best view of the city. It’s not open at all before 8am, so no luck if one wants sunrise photos.

Sunrise vs. Sunset

Sunset in Paris

It’s much easier to be up at sunset – Of course the biggest problem of sunrise is that it’s so early. Especially if you have been taking photos until lat at night. I sometimes don’t even go to sleep, as it easier than waking after only few hours.

Street and decorative lights are mostly on – Street lamps and decorative lights in the cities come on closer to the sunset, and usually turn off quite before the sunrise. So it you want the light in the shot, you are better of with sunset. Most decorative light are turned off in the middle of the night and you will not have them at all in the morning. This can be a positive in few cases too. Some landmarks have very strong lights on them.

Sunrise vs. Sunset

Sunset at the Neusidler See

Either way, you should get great photos at both times, just don’t forget that there are also other times in the day :)

Wallpapers

When I first shared the 4K wallpapers page last week, I mentioned that I will update it a bit more from the start as with only few it looks a bit silly. So here I’m doing this, with 4 new wallpapers.

You can get all my wallpapers from there pages:

New 4K wallpapers

The theme for today’s wallpapers is Paris, especially the Eiffel tower. One funny thing about this 4 photos is, that you get sunrise, daytime, sunset and an evening shot. So you got almost the whole day here :) Download them now from the 4K wallpapers page here.

4K wallpapers 3840x2160 Paris
4K wallpapers 3840x2160 Paris
4K wallpapers 3840x2160 Paris
4K wallpapers 3840x2160 Paris

HDR panoramas

I already shown you how to create HDR or blended panoramas (panroamas where you use multiple exposures for each shot) with the help PTgui or with Autopano Giga. But what if you don’t have any of those. So today I will show you how to combine blended exposures into panoramas using just Photoshop.

Btw. if you want to use a HDR software, you can fist merge the exposures into tone-mapped HDRs with the same setting and then do a panorama. Personally I don’t like this approach, as tonemaping can create halos and similar issues, that can prevent a nice panorama blend.

Blended panoramas in Photoshop

When using Photoshop to create blended panoramas, the order of doing it is apposite to the other ones. While before, we would fist create the panorama and then blend the exposures, here we first blend, then create the panorama. This is because if you try to create separate panoramas they will all be different. You can try, that even combining the same images over and over into panoramas, will result in slightly different panoramas. So while programs that support HDR panoramas can work around it, Photoshop can’t.

So as I said, we have to go the other way. First blend images, then combine into panorama. So what do you do?

First load all the images you want to blend into Photoshop. These have to be rasterized, not smart objects. Photoshop can’t use smart objects when creating panoramas. If you did some edits on them before this, make sure that photos with the same exposures have the same edits. So for instance if you darkened the highlights on the darkest exposure in a RAW editor, be sure to do it in every darkest exposure.

Then combine the images into layers, that should be together (grab the layer with the mouse and drag it onto a name of the other opened image, once that shows, hold Shift and let go of the mouse button). You should end up with the number of files open, how many different photos you have for the panorama. In this example, I only used two exposures for every photo, and two photos for the panorama.

Once these are in layers, you have to blend them. You can use different techniques here, but the important thing is you do the same in all the parts. So you blend the first one, and using the same technique you blend the second, and so on. Don’t do any other edits on the photos, no color corrections or anything else. Just the blend. Everything else can be done once you created the panorama.

Now, save all the files. Does not matter where, just save them as PSDs and don’t close them. Once that’s done, choose File/Automate/Photomerge. In the popup window, leave the layout at Auto and then click on Add Open files. This will add all the open files into the Source files list. Click OK afterwards.

Now Photoshop will merge the files into one big panorama. You will loose the layers you had, but since you already done the blend, that should not be a problem.

Now just merge the layers if all looks good, and continue with your edits of the final photo. You don’t need the original files you merged into the panorama anymore.

Hallstatt is quite a small town in Austria, that is just beautiful. And it’s usually quite full with tourists. But as those just take few photos and move on, it’s quite easy to take photos there. The whole town is stretched out along one street following the lake shore, so you can easily reach most of the spots I will mention here. You can also use a tripod on all spots here, without any issues.

Don’t forget to check out other available lists:

On the street

If you ever seen a photo from Hallstat, it was probably from this spot. It gives the best view of the town. You will always see other photographers here and quite a lot of tourists taking snapshots. But it never to me, that there would not be a spot where I could put a tripod. Most tourist are there just for minutes, so it always changes. Just be careful of traffic, even if there are only few cars passing during the day, the street is quite narrow.

Top Photography Spots - Hallstatt
Top Photography Spots - Hallstatt

The bus stop

Right as you get into the tow, before you enter the walking zone, there is a buss top on the right. This spot gives a very nice view of the town. Completely opposite the first spot. Again there will be quite a few people here, but again, it changes quickly. There is a boat dock in the way a bit and you can’t get on it, but still the view is nice, especially if you zoom in.

Also if you want a photo with a swan in it, there are quite often around this area.

Top Photography Spots - Hallstatt
Top Photography Spots - Hallstatt

Parking area above the town

When you go through the city, you will notice signs pointing to the church that is a bit up the hill. You have to follow them, up a covered staircase to get to the church. Once you there, turn 180 degrees onto another walkway with another covered staircase and follow it. You will get up onto a parking area that is above the roofs of the town. The view is quite different to other spots here.

Top Photography Spots - Hallstatt



Down at the ship dock

If you want to get a bit closer to the water and get a photo of the front of the town, go here. Just know, boats dock here quite often, so especially during the summer, the view can be blocked. Not much issues during the Winter though. You can also see swans here quite often.

Top Photography Spots - Hallstatt

Five fingers viewing platform

Ok, Five fingers is not it Hallstat. Actually you have to go to the neighboring town of Obertraun, to this spot. From there you take two cable cars to get up to here, and you still have to walk about 20-30 minutes to get to the spot. But the walk is not that hard, as it’s quite even. Once there, you will get the best view in the area you can get. Just don’t go onto the Five fingers platform if you are scared of height :)

Top Photography Spots - Hallstatt
Top Photography Spots - Hallstatt

Other available lists:

Wallpapers

I have been updating my wallpapers selection on this blog for a while now, and today it’s time to expand it with a new resolution. This time I’m going big with 4K wallpapers in 3840×2160. So I hope all of you who have a screen with a resolution like that will like it. Btw. They will of course look great on anything smaller than this also :)

Don’t forget to check out other available wallpapers:

New 4K wallpapers

I’m starting this page with these four 4K wallpapers, all with the same theme. This time they are all from Dubai. I will be updating the selection soon, as with only 4 it looks a bit empty. But until then, feel free to download these here.

4K wallpapers 3840x2160 HDRshooter
4K wallpapers 3840x2160 HDRshooter
4K wallpapers 3840x2160 HDRshooter
4K wallpapers 3840x2160 HDRshooter

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