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HDR panoramas

While combining single exposures to panoramas in Lightroom is very easy, it does not work with multiexposure ones. There is just no setting in Lightroom to tell it to blend all in the same way. But programs like PTgui and Autopano can do it, and you can see my guide for PTgui here, and Autompano here.

City center enter of Astana

And back to Astana :) This is a view from quite high up of the center park of Astana. There are actually quite a few parks around the center, which makes the city look really nice. I took a lot of panoramas of this view, but I wanted also one done verticaly.

And this is the one. If you look closely, the part of a roof you can see in the bottom left, is a lower part of the building I was standing on. Actually I wanted a shot where you could see the walls of the building, but it just too distorted in the end, so I let it be. Btw. the cloudy sky is from it raining just minutes before I took this photo.

This is a three shot vertorama, each shot from three exposures. Combined in PTgui, blended in Photoshop.

City center enter of Astana, Kazakhstan

Capture fireworks ebook

As today’s photo is of fireworks, how about a reminder that you can get a free ebook about taking fireworks photos. All you need to do is just subscribe to my newsletter. You can do it either at the bottom of this blog, or by going here.

Fireworks at the bridge

To take a break from all the Astana photos (still have a lot of them :)), how about another shot from the Danube in Flames even from earlier this year. I do like fireworks photos, so this will also add a new one of those to the blog :)

This is a single exposure, edited in Lightroom and Photoshop.

Fireworks at the bridge, Vilshofen, Germany

Not sleeping at night

While I was in Astana, Kazakhstan, I decided to change a bit my sleeping time. Since the time difference was 4 hours anyway, I decided not to sleep during the night, but instead, do it differently. I would take photo in the evening, do quick edits during the night, and then go out to take photos in the morning. Only afterwards would I go to sleep.

And with the time difference, this was not even that strange. It was like going to bed around 3am, which is not really that strange for me. Have you ever tried something like this while you traveled?

Very early morning reflection

And this is one of the photos taken before sunrise. Really nice to have a place just for oneself. Too bad that the decorative light were not in the morning. I actually mention that as one of the reasons not to take photos in the morning, in my article ‘Why shoot in the early morning’ here. But of course there are more reasons to do so :)

This is a two shot blend, done in Photoshop. I used the 12mm Laowa lens to get as much of the reflection as I could, as the puddle was quite close to the bridge.

Very early morning reflection, Astana, Kazakhstan

Aurora HDR 2019 pre-orders open

Over the last few years Aurora HDR has become one of the most used HDR tone-mapping software. And just today, Skylum (former Macphun) have announced the new version, Aurora HDR 2019 and opened the pre-orders for a discounted price. The full release is on the 4th of October.

Aurora HDR 2019 pre-orders open

The biggest change for this version is the new Quantum HDR engine that should use AI to make the results better. There is also now support for LUTs and a new Smart structure. I already do have a test copy of the new version, but yet not had enough time to fully try it out. There really are a lot of functions there, so that will take a bit of time anyway.

Aurora HDR 2019 pre-orders open

For now my first impression is, that it still is a great and quite easy way to get into HDR photos, without having to rely on working with more advanced software like Photoshop.

I will be testing it more, and will share with you my thought over the next week. For now, feel free to visit the Skylum site for more information.

(screenshots courtesy of Skylum software)

Golden towers

I wanted to go a bit further back here, to get the whole towers in the shot, but I could not. Still, the 12mm Laowa lens captured them almost completely in one photo. There two golden towers are right in the center of Astana and what I know are office building. You could have actually seen them in one of my recent update, to be exact in this photo. They look quite golden and shiny during the day, but at night, with the blue sky reflecting, they look a bit more green, like here.

This is a three shot blend. I had to mostly just correct the very strong light of the Bayterek monument in the middle and a bit of the other yellow light on the buildings. Edited in Lightroom, finished in Photoshop.

Golden towers, Astana, Kazakhstan

Perspective corrected photos

You see in my photos, that I like to have my perspective distortion corrected. That is all the vertical straight lines in the photo are perfectly parallel to the horizon line. This is mostly from using the tilt-shift lens, that makes that easy, but also by keeping all other lenses perfectly leveled.

Funny thing about this is, that this is strange for the human mind. We normally see the perspective distortion and our minds expect it. So once it’s corrected it may feel odd.

And you maybe seen it in some of my photos. That it even looks like the top of the building is wider than the bottom. But I can assure you, it’s only an illusion. I check the lines in Photoshop all the time. But not that I can’t make a mistake though :)

Same for today’s photo, it may look a bit that the top of the building is getting wider, but it is not. The lines are perfectly parallel.

Bronze horses in Astana

I edit my photos quite a lot, but I usually don’t remove much from them. But there are of course exceptions. Today’s photo is one of those.

I really liked these horse statues in front of the Astana opera, but I did not like how they are installed there. There are standing on metal block, that were a bit rusted. And I just did not like that look in the photo. So I went in with Photoshop and removed them completely. Now the horses look more like they were floating, but it’s much better than before :)

This is a two shot blend, edited in Lightroom and Photoshop.

Bronze horses in Astana, Kazakhstan
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