Contest voting

The contest voting over on Facebook is up to a fast start, with hundreds of likes already given to the submitted photos. Check them all out in this Facebook album.

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Nik Color Efex Pro 4 Review

I’m slowly adding more reviews of all the software and hardware I have been using. This time it is of the Nik Color Efex Pro Photoshop plugin. My reviews focus more on what I like and use about the software, but I think some of you will find them helpfull :)

Christmas market in Bratislava

Bratisalva-behind-the-cameraAs in a lot of cities, there is also a Christmas market in Bratislava. And as I didn’t get any photos of it last year, I was searching for a nice vantage point to take a photo now. But I was not in the mood to take photos in the middle of all those people, so I went up to the Town Hall tower, to take photos from there. The view was nice, it was just freaking cold there :).

This is a HDR created from 5 exposures in Oloneo Photoengine and the combined with original exposures in Photoshop.

Recently I’ve been taking more “Behind the camera” shots, so I’m also including one from that evening.
Christmas market in Bratislava

Few more hours

Only few more hours to join my HDR editing contest, sponsored by OLONEO. So don’t forget to send or submit your entry. And for those who miss it, don’t worry, you still can join giveaway, which will be running for one more week. To join, please visit the contest page here: https://www.hdrshooter.com/2013/11/18/photo-contest-sponsored-by-oloneo/

Determining the sun position

One thing that you need to know, as a landscape photographer, is the sun position. There are many tools to find it out, so I thought I share with you the ones I use. When I’m on my desktop, I use Suncalc.net. It’s very straightforward, clean and easy to use.
suncalck
When I’m on the road, or already on the spot, I use one one of these two apps for Android. Either Sundroid or  The Photographer’s Ephemeris. Both give me the same information about the suns position, but Sundroid also includes information on moon and planets position. But the interface is a little more cumbersome. So I use them both.

Sundroid
Sundroid
The Photographers Ephemeris
The Photographer’s Ephemeris

Which one do you prefer? Or any tips for even better ones?

In the bar

I’ve been out taking photos again today, but as I haven’t posted any interior shots for a long time, I thought I post one today. So here is a photo from the Mirror bar in Carlton hotel in Bratislava. It’s a really nice small bar, perfect to get a coffer and a cake :). Maybe for my next business meeting.

This photo is a combination of all the techniques I use. I created a HDR in Oloneo Photoengine, one in Photomatix Pro 5 and then I blended these two together with the original exposures I had. I had to also tone down the colors a lot, as the combination of red carped, red walls and reddish/brown wood gave everything a really strong red color.

In the bar
All rights reserved, this photo is a property of Carlton Property s.r.o. Please do not use without permission.

contest-side

Last day to join the contest

Tomorrow is the last day you can join my photography contest sponsored by OLONEO. After that the voting will start. The raffle will continue for one more week, so don’t forget to join. To find all the info about the contest, please go here: https://www.hdrshooter.com/2013/11/18/photo-contest-sponsored-by-oloneo/

10 basic Photoshop shortcuts to make your work easier

While editing photos, I use Photoshop all the time. And making it easier and faster, one has to use as many shortcuts and possible. So I thought that some of you, who are just beginners, would find useful a short list of 10 shortcuts, I think one should know and use in Photoshop. There are of course many more, but these are the ones I think everyone should start with.

  1. Space – pan image. This is the one you should get used to first. When you hold the space bar, your cursor changes into a hand and you can move around the photo. This make all edits so much faster than hawing to use the tool or scroll bars.
  2. Ctrl + Space – zoom in/zoom out. This is another one that makes all your work so much faster. Instead of having to choose the zoom tool, just use this shortcuts instead. While holding these two buttons, press your left mouse button and drag up/down to zoom in/out. This is the fastest way to zoom around the photo.
  3. F – full screen. Make you work easier, and hide all you don’t need. It cycles through three modes, so choose the one you like the most
  4. D – reset colors. This resets the foreground color to black and background to white. This is very useful when you work with masks, and you need to quickly reset you chosen colors.
  5. X – switch colors. Switches the foreground and background color selection. Great for when you are painting a mask, and you need to switch a lot between white and black.
  6. Ctrl – move. Move tool is very important in Photoshop. And so you don’t have to always select it, there is a quick access to it. In almost all other tools, when you hold down Ctrl, you will be temporarily switched to Move. When you release the key, you will continue with the tool you had.
  7. Ctrl + Shift + V – paste in place. Everybody knows what Ctrl + V does, and this is and advanced version of that. It will paste your selection on the same place from where you took it. For instance if you copy your watermark from one file to another, it will appear on the same place as it was.
  8. Ctrl + Alt + Shift + E – merge visible. While you are editing your files, quite a lot of steps need to be performed on a merged copy of all the layers (like high pass sharpening). This shortcut makes creating such a new layer much faster, even if you have to press 4 keys at once
  9. Ctrl + Alt + Z – step backward. Ctrl – Z is the usual keyboard shortcut for step back, but if you want to go more than one step back in Photoshop, you have to use this one
  10. Shift + Backspace – fill. Always when you need to fill a layer, or a mask with black, white, 50% grey, or you need to use content aware fill on the selected area, just press this and select what fill you need.

A cold evenings light

The weather looked so promising today, so I went out shooting with Pedro Kin from www.pedrokin.com. And we got a nice sunset, with interesting clouds, just the color wasn’t there. I just could not get the look I hoped fore, even after quite a long edit. So I have to be satisfied with the photo how it is. It has to be better next time :)
A cold evenings light

topaz

Cyber Monday and Black Friday sales

Black Friday and Cyber Monday are just few days away, and as it is the best time to buy new software, I thought I share with you some interesting deals I came across. So here is the first one. For the next few days Topaz Labs has discounted the whole Topaz plugins Collection almost by 50%. It’s really worth checking out. The amount of all the available effects here is just stunning. You can find them all on the Topaz Labs site.

5000 likes

My fan page on Facebook just reached 5000 likes. Thank you very much everyone who follows me there and I hope that over time there will be many more of you :)
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Color therapy

Some time ago I was thinking, how would my photos looks without structure. I mean, when you do a B&W photo, you keep the structure, but remove the colors. So what if I removed the structure and kept the colors. I just wondered what I would get. And with a little playing around in Photoshop, I got this little series of very colorful minimalist images. It’s funny that even without any subject in them, I still get a similar feeling from them, as I did from the photos they were created from. The sunset, sky, grass colors are so unmistakable, that even on their own you feel like you see the objects :)

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Podersdorf-IMG_0012-blur
Budapest-IMG_8176-blur
Podersdorf-IMG_9956-blur

What do you think?

Cold evening by Danube

For today I chosen for you a photo I took two weeks ago by the SNP bridge in Bratislava. The water level at this time of the year is quite low, which really allows one to get down under the bridge, so getting also all these rocks into the shot. The light was not that great, but that is normal for this time of year. Hopefully it gets a little better, as I would so like to go out and get some new photos.

This is a HDR created in Oloneo Photoengine and then blended with original exposures in Photoshop.
Cold evening by Danube

Photography contest sponsored by Oloneo

The first week of my photography contest has passed and until now 90 entries have been posted overall. You still have one week to enter and have a chance to win a copy of Oloneo Photoengine. Just head over to the contest announcement here https://www.hdrshooter.com/2013/11/18/photo-contest-sponsored-by-oloneo/ and grab the source images.

And the raffle for another copy is also still running, so feel free to join there also, to have a bigger chance to win :)

The giveaway is over, the winners have been notified

At the party

I know I promised to get back to landscape shots today, but with the quantity of photos I still have to process from this weekend (three parties until the morning worth of photos :)), I just had no time for HDR. But instead, I have for you one of the photos I took during the party. And as I really like portraits, its a portrait.

This is a single image edited in Lighroom and Photoshop. I bounced the flash off the ceiling to get a nice light here.

Big thanks to Dominika for letting me share a photo of her :)
At the party

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