Contest ends

Today was the last day you could submit your entries for my HDR editing contest. From tomorrow the voting will start on my Facebook page.

What I have learned from editing older photos

As recently I have been editing mostly my older photos, I found out, that every-time I was lazy, or in a hurry, and I haven’t done something, it leads to photo I discard in the end.  So what I learned is:

  • take your time to compose the shot, one nicely composed photo is better than 10 horrible shots.
  • use a tripod, always when you can, use a tripod
  • use a bubble level to check for and even horizon, sometimes it is easy to correct, but most of the time it really isn’t
  • use a remote, even if you are using a self timer, it is not enough. A remote will give you much sharper photos, try not to touch the camera at all.
  • use mirror lockup or live view mode, the difference is subtle, but your photos will be sharper
  • use manual focus, especially in dark environments. Auto-focus can give you good results, but most often it’s a little off
  • set your white balance in the camera, don’t rely on post-processing. When you are on the site, you can see how the scene looks, you don’t have that luxury while sitting at your PC.

This is of course mostly for landscape shots. For other kinds of photography this does not fit that well :)

Town hall in Valtice

Still one more month until my first bigger trip this year, and still the weather in Bratislava is really against any reasonable landscape photography. But at least I have time to learn more new photography techniques and be ready when I shoot again :) So for today I chosen another photo from last year, from the small city Valtice in Czech republic.

Manual blend from 6 exposures (I took 7, but haven’t used the darkest one), mostly to darken the middle part and brighten the trees.
Town hall in Valtice

The Charles bridge lights

The view from the Charles bridge tower is really nice, it’s just a little harder to place a tripod there, as the railings are quite massive. Haven’t yet tried the opposite view, from the other tower, but at least I have a place where I have to go next time :)

Manual blend from 5 shots, edited only in Photoshop
The Charles bridge lights


I really like all the repetition I got in this photo. All the pillars, together with the light the sun created on the ground, it just pulls you in. This was taken in the not used part of the Strahov stadium in Prague, one of the biggest stadiums in the world.

This is again a manual blend from 5 photos (I took 7), where I used one as the base and than two to darken the sky and another two to brighten parts of the shadows. Edited only in Photoshop.

Difficult light in Prague

I tried to edit this photo few times before, and I’m still not sure if it as it should be. The blue from the sky, with the yellow from the square just don’t play along well here. I got a photo with much better colors few minutes later, but that one is not usable. They turned on the flood lights, which shine on the tower from this was taken. So I got so many flares :)

This is a manual blend, from three shots, one for the most of the photo, one for the sky and the bright yellow part in the middle, and one to lighten the foreground and some other dark areas. I could have removed the distortion, but I decided against it, as then the feeling of looking down disappears.

For those interested, this is the Lesser town square in Prague.
Difficult light in Prague

Photography contest

The contest I announced yesterday is up for a great start. Already over 100 people joined the event and over 70 already posted a submission. I think I’m right on track on beating the number of entries from last time (which was 153). You can see all the info about the contest here:

Foggy reflection in Prague

Another soft blend today :) I tried to do as few global adjustments as possible, as everything created ugly color bending in the sky and water. I used only Photoshop to edit this one, no other program, no special plugins.

For those interested, this is of course the Prague castle and it’s reflection in Vltava, taken late in the evening around a year ago.

Btw. do you want me to mention if a photo is tone-mapped or blended by all my photos? Just curious :)
Foggy reflection in Pragu

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