First issue of HDRshooter newletter

Yesterday I send out the very first issue of the HDRshooter newsletter. I hope it will be the firs one of many to come :) If you are curious, you can see it here: HDRshooter Newsletter Issue #1

The newsletter won’t be are regular one, as I will create a new one only when I have enough new stuff to put in it. If you like it, and want to stay in touch with the blog, feel free to subscribe. I promise not to spam you, and the newsletter will always include a links to guides, not yet published on the blog :)

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Nik Silver Efex Pro review

I have again added a new review to this blog. This time it is a one of the Silver Efex Pro plugin by NIK. So check it out to see what is this plugin about and if it’s something you might use in your post-processing.

nik-silver-eiffel

Sunset riders

This is a statue called the Mythical ship in Bratislava, next to River park. I wanted a photo like this for a longer time, and yesterday, thank you a coincidence (the spot I wanted to go for sunset was not accessible) I got it. The sunsets the whole last week were just beautiful, full of purple and pink colors. Too bat its over, with today’s weather being a snowstorm.

This photo was such a pain to edit. As with all photos with very high differences in bright and dark areas, I had a huge problem getting rid of the halos around the statue. I tried first to blend them using Oloneo and Photomatix, but in the end I had to do it all manually. I actually thought of retouching the supports out of the photo, so having it just floating in the air, but that wouldn’t look so real after that :)
Sunset riders

Giveaway reminder

For all those who still haven’t joined my Oloneo Photoengine giveaway, you still have 3 more days to do so. The winner will be chosen this Sunday at midnight. To join, just go to the contest page and use the Rafflecopter widget.

trey book

How to organize photos

Just finished reading (and watching) Trey Ratcliffs latest book/tutorial Organize Your Photos – The Three Level System. I’ve been using Treys approach to organization for a longer time, since I read his older book about this subject. But the new version now splits this into three levels based on your obsession with your organization. I can honestly say, I’m level 3, I’m very obsessive with my organisation. But as my Lightroom library is around 100 000+ photos, I have to be. Still the new book gave me a few new ideas what to change and tweak, even if I still have to clean up a big part of my own library.

So if you are looking for a way to organize you photos, this new book could be for your. You can find it here Organize Your Photos – The Three Level System (BONUS), and if you decide to buy it, you can use the code “SIC-6591” for a 10% discount :)

Almost perfect reflection

I think I mentioned it before, but the Kuchajda lake is the best place for reflections in Bratislava. It’s always very calm, and the sunset look just great there. You can almost think that this reflection is fake, created in Photoshop, as it just looks too perfect. But I can assure you, this is really how it looked like. And since the whole week we have great sunsets in Bratislava, I had one also yesterday. This photo is even taken a little later, after the best colors already faded, when the blue hour already began. But I processed it first, as in the sunset photos you cant see the building lights so much. Either way, I will get to those later anyway.

This is a HDR created in Oloneo Photoengine and then blended with original exposures in Photoshop.
Almost perfect reflection

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

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