Black Friday deals

Black Friday is approaching, and as it’s always the best time of the year to stack up on photography software, services and tutorials, I will share with you here the ones I have found most interesting and worth wile.

I will update the list as I find more of them.

Update 9. Oloneo

Oloneo Photoengine has been my go to HDR software for years now. And right now you can get it with a huge 55% discount. They don’t offer it so cheaply often :)

Head over to Oloneo page here.

Sean Oloneo Black Friday 2018

Update 8. Sean Bagshaw

If you looked at any of my recent screenshots, you have seen the TK actions panel in most of them. And right now you can get it, plus all the videos from a great landscape photographer Sean Bagshaw, who uses them, for a huge 50% off. Just use the code Save50.

Head over to Seans page here.

Sean Bagshaw Black Friday 2018

Update 7. Chip Philips

Another great photographer who has a discount on all his tutorial videos. With the code BLACKFRIDAY20 you can get 20% off on all purchases on his page.

Head over to Chips page here.

Chip Philips Black Friday 2018

Update 6. Moo

I like to use Moo to print my business cards. They offer a lot of options, including having a different photo on every single card. Looks great and people love to choose they own favorite when you give them a card :) You can see a photo of my cards here.

They are currently having a 30% off discount with the code SNEAKY30 from now till the 25th.
Head over to Moo page here.

Moo Black Friday 2018

Update 5. Raya Pro

If you are looking for a Photoshop plugin that add a lot of blending and photo editing functionality, you should take a look at Raya Pro by Jimmy McIntire. He currently has a 25% discount on the panel and also all his video tutorials.
Head over to Jimmy’s page here.

Raya Pro Black Friday 2018

Update 4. Affinity

Affinity also offers a 30% off discount on all their software, so if you are looking for a cheaper alternative to Photoshop and Illustrator, you should check out Affinity Photo and Affinity Designer.
Head over to Affinity site here.

Affinity Black Friday 2018

Update 3. DxO Software

If you wanted to get the new Nik Collection (for me the most used plugins in photo editing) and wanted to get onto the new updates, not is the best time. DxO offers 50% off on all of their software, so that makes the price of Nik Collection only 34.99.
Head over to DxO site here.

DxO Black Friday 2018

Update 2. OnOne Software

OnOne offers a Black Friday bundle for their Photo RAW software today too.
Head over to OnOne site here.

OnOne Black Friday 2018

Update 1. Clip Studio Paint

Clip studio paint (also know as Manga Studio) is not a photography software, but for drawing. Still, it’s one of the best and one can get it as low as 25 usd today. I did buy a copy :)

Head over to OnOne site here.

Clip stuido Black Friday 2018

1. Master exposure blending video tutorial

As usually, I will start with my own discount. From today, until the end of the month, you can get my video tutorial series for 20USD instead of the usual 49USD (that’s around 60% off). You can buy it from the Master exposure blending page or directly here with Paypal.

Master Exposure Blending Black Friday 2018

2. Skylum Software (formerly Macphun)

As usually, Macphun has a lot of discounts for their software. You can get Aurora or Luminar at a discount or even buy a bundle. Also the upgrades are discounted. And if you use the code HDRSHOOTER, there is an extra 10USD off for you.

Head over to the Macphun website here.. The offer is valid from today until the 28th.

Skylum Black Friday 2018

3. Topaz Labs

Topaz Labs has always big discounts for Black Friday and it’s not different this year. From the 22th you get get 25% off from all what they offer and also some great bundles.

Head over to the Topaz Labs store here.

Topaz Labs Black Friday 2018

4. ACDsee

ACDsee softwar also offers discounts for most of their software (up to 70% off). Just head over to their store to check out the specific discounts.

The ACDsee software store can be found here.

ACDsee Black Friday 2018

5. Imagenomic

Imagenomic is another maker of great plugins. I always use Noiseware on all my photos. And if you do portraits, you should try Portraiture from them. They have a sale from the 20th to the 27th with the code thanks2018.

Head over to the Imagenomic page here.

Imagenomic Black Friday 2018

6. Peak Design

Peak Design also likes to offer a lot of discounts for Black friday. From the 22nd to the 26th you can get 10% off the Everyday Bags, 15% off Clips and Straps and 10% off from theirn new Travel Line (if you buy the Travel Backpack and 2 or more Packing tools)

Head over to the Peak Design site here.

Peak Design Black Friday 2018

7. Stuck in Customs

Trey Ratcliff from Stuck in Customs offers from the 21st to the 28th 50% off from all his tutorials and presets. So if you like Trey’s style of editing photos, now is the time to stock up on those videos.

Head over to the Stuck in Customs store here.

Stuck in Customs Black Friday 2018

8. Fstoppers tutorials

A lot of Fstoppers tutorials are on sale, with the code BF2018, but I would specially look at the ones from Elia Locardy, the Photographing the world series.

Head over to Fstoppers store here.

Stuck in Customs Black Friday 2018

Perspective correction in Photoshop

There are situations when you just cant avoid perspective distortion. Like the one in the photo I will use in today’s guide. I was standing really close to the bridge where the fireworks were. Even with a crazy wide lens, I still would not be able to catch most of them, if I did not tilt my camera up.

So now I have perspective distortion, how to fix it? Lightroom, Photoshop and many other tools offer perspective correction, but I like to do it manually. The reason for that is, that most of them will keep the original aspect of the photo when correcting and so they crop off a lot of the photo. I prefer to keep as much of the photo as I can.

So let’s have a look how I do the perspective correction on one of my recent photos.

Perspective correction workflow

1. Let’s first look at the starting photo. You can easily see on the bridge, how distorted it is. The top is completely falling inwards. So it has be opened in Photoshop, and we can start working on it. Don’t forget to properly level the photo first, I it’s crooked you will not be able to correct the perspective properly.
2. First, I always duplicate the layer, and work on a copy. To duplicate, just right click on the layer and select duplicate. Then, choose the crop tool, and expand the photo, so there is space to work in. You don’t need to expand down, but you can.

3. Now select the layer you created, and select Edit/Free Transform (or just hit Ctrl+T). Now the image will have a border around it. We need to go into perspective edit, so right click anywhere within it, and choose perspective.
4. Now click and hold on the right top corner and start pulling it to the right. Hold down Shift so it stays in line with the original position. You will see how the opposite corner also moves out. Do this until the lines that should be vertical in the photo, are vertical. In this case, this would be the pillars of the bridge.

5. Now you will notice, that while the perspective is corrected, the whole image now looks like squished. We still have to correct that. So again, right click anywhere withing the image, and choose scale. Click on the middle top point and drag it up. If you have the latest version of Photoshop, hold down Shift, so it’s a non-uniform scale. In the older ones, you don’t have to.
6. Pull it up until the proportions look correct. You may have to switch back to perspective and correct the corners again, since the scaling can introduce some distortions again.

7. Once done, just crop the image to the proportions you want. You may leave some of the corners in, and then fix them later. I did a guide on that some time ago and can be found here.

And this is the final photo after all the corrections and edits.

Looking back

Today’s post will be a bit nostalgic. I have been updating this blog since 2010 now and I have changed it a lot over the years. And today, I went through the waybackmachine archive and had a look at many of the snapshots of it there. And I though I share them also with you here :)

Btw. the site started as hdrshooter.wordpress.com, then was blog.hdrshooter.net and only after I had luck and managed to buy the hdrshooter.com domain it moved here.

Many looks of hdrshooter.com

This are 9 different screenshots, around 1 for every year the site is online, starting with the one from 2010. Funny how my style over the years changes. What do you think? :)

Many looks of hdrshooter.com
Many looks of hdrshooter.com
Many looks of hdrshooter.com
Many looks of hdrshooter.com
Many looks of hdrshooter.com
Many looks of hdrshooter.com
Many looks of hdrshooter.com
Many looks of hdrshooter.com
Many looks of hdrshooter.com

The tilt-shift lens became my favorite lens almost immediately after I bought it, so today I will share with you how to use one. There are two main functions, the tilt and the shift, today we will look at the shift one.

What is shifting?

Shifting is moving the front of the lens up/down or left/right, without moving the camera. Like this you can completely change what the camera sees, without needing to move it all. Lets look at an example here. These four shots have been done from the same spot, with just shifting the lens.

As you can see, shifting a lens moves what you see by about 40% of the photo. There is a bit of distortion, but much less than if you moved the camera.

Correcting perspective distortion

The main use of shifting is to get rid of perspective distortion. You probably had a situation when you were trying to take a photo of something taller and you had to tilt you camera up to get it whole into the frame. The result of this is of course that all the vertical lines in the photo will start to fall towards the center, the more you tilt you camera.

Here you see an illustration of this. First tilting. As you can see, the field of view changes, to what you need, but a lot of perspective distortion is introduced with it.

Now lets looks how it is with the tilt-shift lens. When you shift, the field of view changes, but the camera stays leveled. Like this, no perspective distortion is introduced into the photo, and all verticals stay in a right angle with the horizon.

Since you are shifting instead of tilting, you can take photos of taller structures without any distortions, and also take shots while being much closer to the object.

Here is a photo with a normal lens tilted up, and with the tilt shift lens.

Panoramas/Vertoramas

Another situation where perspective distortion can cause problems, is when you are taking panoramas or vertoramas. Each time you rotate or tilt the camera, you are introducing distortions, which makes the combining more difficult. with a tilt shift you can take all the shots without ever moving the camera. Lets looks fist at a panoramaic example:

Here I took two photos, one shifted left, one shifted right. These then perfectly fitted together when aligned. Or here is a vertorama example. Again taking the photos while shifting up to get the whole scene.

Moving the camera location

The last thing that it’s really useful for, is a way of moving the camera position, without moving the camera itself. What I mean by this is, that when you shift the lens, it looks like to moved the whole camera.

Let’s imagine a situation, where you stand on the edge of something and you just can’t move the camera further out. What to do now, when you want the view to be from there? You shit the lens, so getting the view from further out that you can move to. Same when you standing on top of something, and you would want the view to be even from higher up and similar.

This lens give you views that normally would not be possible at all.

That’s all about the shift function of this lens, next time I will take a look at the tilt function.

Multiple exposures

I almost always take multiple exposures for all my photos, using the AEB function of my camera. Even if I don’t have to. There are reasons to do it. But there are reasons also for not doing it. And today, I will try to take a look at reasons for doing so, and also for the ones against it. So here goes.

Why and when to take multiple exposures

High dynamic range
Of course the first and the biggest reason to do multiple exposures is to catch the whole dynamic range of a scene. Even the best camera can’t capture everything in one photo. You will need to blend images if you want to avoid overexposed or underexposed areas.
Better safe than sorry
Even if you think that the dynamic range is not too big and you will get everything from one photos, you can be mistaken. It’s better to have the extra exposures and don’t need them, that not having them and needing them.
Automatic backup
Anything can happen when you are taking photos. Even a tiny movement of the camera can destroy the image. When you ave multiple exposures, you easily can get around this just by using other exposures. If you took 3 and one is bad, you still have two that you can work with and so on.
Removing people from photos
Since you easily can under or over-expose a photo by one to two stops, you can use the extra exposures to remove moving objects or people from the final photos (more on this here). The same goes for other moving things. For instance, if there was wind and the leaves are blurred in the shot. You can take a faster exposure, like -2EV one, overexpose it to match the exposure you want, and then just blend it in. Since for that one the exposure time was shorter, the leaves will be more stable in it.

Why and when to take multiple exposures

Why and when not to take multiple exposures

Files take more space
The most obvious reason, you will get more photos. The file don’t take that much space at first, but over time it stacks up. I know this best from personal experience :)
Takes more time
It takes more time to take multiple exposures. Especially in the evening, when you photos get into the 10-30s range, you will get to the point when taking just one photo takes up to few minutes. If you light is changing fast, and you have only few minutes to take you photos, this can be a problem.
You are taking photos handheld
Some do multiple exposures when taking photos handheld. I don’t bother anymore. Even in the brightest of sunlight you are just not able to hold the camera steady enough. You will not be able to blend the shots perfectly. Rather than this, underexpose the photo a bit. You will always be able to better correct underexposed areas than overexposed ares afterwards.
Taking photos of moving subjects
Again, if you are taking photos of moving subjects, just take one shots. You will not be able to blend the shots anyway. A good example here is fireworks. They change so quickly, you can get only one photo. But remember, if you did not move you camera, you can still take a multiple exposures of the scene afterwards, and just blend the moving subject into them later.

Why and when to take multiple exposures
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