There are already quite a few articles with software tips on the blog, so let me highlight them here for you. There are tips for Photoshop, Lightroom, Ptgui, Color efex pro and of course Oloneo Photoengine. Of course there are also tutorials available, but this are just the tips & tricks :)

Photoshop tips

Lightroom tips part 1 / part 2

Photoengine tips

PTgui tips

Color Efex Pro tips

Lightroom tips

I quite quickly planed another shot trip for this week, this time to Hallstatt and Salzburg in Austria, and due to other work, I again ended up with no photos/posts ready for the blog. But instead of reposting some older photos, I will highlight some of the guides available on this blog, during the next few days.

So for today, a reminder that you can find two guides on how to combine HDR panormas here. There are two, as one shows how it’s done in Autopano Giga and the second one in PTGui. So here they are:

creating HDR panoramas in Autopano Giga

creating HDR panoramas in PTGUI

HDR panoramas with Autopano

Let’s look a the editing process of one of my recent photos today. This one is a fisheye shot, of the John Frost bridge in Arnhem, in Netherlands.

For this shot, I decided to remove the distortion completely, to see how it looks. So here you can see the final and the original exposure, side by side.

Corrected fisheye
Corrected fisheye

I started the edit in Lightroom. For all of the 5 exposures, I removed the lens distortion (the last Lightroom version supports the fisheye lens), removed chromatic abberations, tweaked the white balance and toned down the highlights a little. From there I exported all the exposures and merged them in Oloneo Photoengine. As always, just by changing the strength and contrast.

Corrected fisheye
Corrected fisheye

To finish the photo, I loaded the Photoengine result and the original exposures into Photoshop and did these edits (layers numbered from bottom up):

1. Photoengine result
2. 0EV exposure to correct errors created by moving objects and water
3. Darkened the green area on the pillar from the -2EV exposure
4. Color efex pro contrast, to brighten the image, used more stronger on the bottom part of the image
5. A little bit of overall brightness using curves
6. A little bit of overall contrast using curves
7. Even more contrast
8. More saturation into the blue colors
9. Brightened the dark pars a little more
10. Noise reduction on the bottom part (got noise due to the fact that it was brightened a lot)
11+12. Darkened the horizont from the -2EV exposure, and saturated it more
13. Overall color balance shifted a little toward warmer colors

And that’s all I did with this image. To find out more on how I edit, check out the guides and before after categories on this blog, or check out my video tutorial series here:
Master exposure blending

Time to add new wallpapers again. Today it’s two new ultra wide ones in 3440×1440. Get them as usually form the wallpapers page :)

Before the storm
The whole SNP bridge

Let’s look today on one of my recent photos and how it was edited. This time it’s this late night panorama taken in Prague by the Charles bridge. This was a two tile panorama which I took without the help of a panorama head. Actually a lot of my panoramas are done this way. If you are far enough from the subject, and you are using a longer focal length, you don’t really need a panorama head. The stitching software is intelligent enough to work with the small amount of paralax effect you will get.

Late night at the Charles bridge

Here you can see bigger versions of the middle exposures I used.

Late night at the Charles bridge
Late night at the Charles bridge

Overall I used 10 exposure, I went from -2 to +2EV, as there were some quite dark areas, and also few very bright lights.
Late night at the Charles bridge
I started in Lightroom, where I only removed the chromatic aberrations, lens distortions and vignetting and corrected a little the white balance (it was too much towards red). From there I exported everything as 16-bit tiffs and loaded them into PTgui. For a detailed process how I combine shots there, check out the specific tutorial on creating HDR panoramas.
Late night at the Charles bridge
I continued in Oloneo Photoengine. As always, I just added a bit of strength, until I get a nice even exposure, from which I could start with. Setting of around 50 works the best usually. Same here. To continue I loaded everything into Photoshop and continued with the following edits (layers numbered from bottom up):

1. Oloneo Photoengine result
2. Painted in the +1EV into the water, to remove the blend of the moving lights
3. Merged copy, where I filled in few areas around the corners, that were empty form the panorama blend
4. Darkened the bright lights from the -1EV exposure.
5. Brightened part of the reflection, to make it more visible
6. Retouched out all the people on the bridge
7. Corrected a stray light on the bridge
8. Few more bright spots corrected from the -2EV
9. The tower in the back lost all the contrast in the blend, so I recovered it from the 0EV exposure
10. Color Efex tonal contrast, with settings 10, 15, 10 and 10. These are my most used settings for this plugin
11+12. Curves and color balance, to correct the uneven brightness and color of the photo. I made the right part darker and more saturated.

Late night at the Charles bridge

And that’s all I did with this image. To find out more on how I edit, check out the guides and before after categories on this blog, or check out my video tutorial series here:
Master exposure blending

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