Categories
Landscape Photography Night Photography Travel Photography

Stretching Across

Another from Brookside Gardens that I struggled to edit. This one admittedly turned out better to me but I still sat there and stared at it for awhile.

I have noticed that I have been into reflections lately. No real idea why. I have figured out how to edit them to give them a lot of detail without masking in the image from above. It basically comes down to dodging and burning and gradient adjustments. No real big secret to it. You want your water reflections to “pop” just dodge them. Sounds counter-intuitive but trust me it works. I learned this from Ming Thein and he’s a far better photographer than I will ever be.

Editing wise I gave away a good chunk of what I did. Gradients and then localized contrast adjustments with dodge and burn. It’s really not hard once you figure it out and you get used to doing it. The biggest challenge is if you never used a Wacom Tablet you are going to struggle with the pen. I really can’t stress how much better your editing will be when you start to use a tablet. I use the cheap version. I had a more expensive one I got as a refurb but I found the cheap one works better and I travel with it. So if you are thinking how do I take my editing to the next level, get a cheap one.

Enjoy.

Stretching Across

Categories
Landscape Photography Nature Photography Travel Photography

Forest Path

This was taken at Meadowlark Gardens on a path that leads around a small pond. Not sureĀ if it started as an official path but it is now because there are seats there now. It’s a bit muddy after a rain but it’s a quick way to get to other parts of the park.

I setup up the shot because I really liked the light coming in from the side. It gave the leaves a bit of a glow and the way the shadows come off the trees. You also get the impression you are walking in shade and then head out into the brighter sunlight at the end of the tree covered path.

There was some experimenting with this image. It was not done in HDR even though it slightly looks like it. The light was slightly blown out and you could really tell at the end of the path. I put in some layer masks from Intensify CK which I liked but it was still very bright. I brought it into ColorEfex and did my usual hue/saturation adjustments but I wasn’t happy with the blown highlights. Saw a filter called darken contrast and selected it. Started to play with sliders and I got the image exactly where I wanted it in regards to light. Did a quick round of sharpening after bringing the image back into Photoshop and called it done.

Enjoy.

Forest Path

 

Categories
Architectural Photography Landscape Photography Travel Photography

Sunset Behind Chicago

More from the Chicago archives. This was more of a B roll type image but I really liked how the sun was setting behind the Chicago skyline and the way the weird cloud was over the sky.

The walkway isn’t in the most ideal location but I was hampered by a fence that didn’t allow me to place the tripod exactly where I wanted. Hopefully the water will draw your eye more than the walkway. If not then ignore it and look at the sky anyways!

I really wanted a quick edit because I am mildly jetlagged from being on the West Coast of the US for that 10 days. Instead this turned into an hour long odyssey of editing. Multiple masks were applied and I had to do a bit of dodging and burning to bring everything to a point I could stop.

Enjoy.

Sunset Behind Chicago

Categories
HDR Photography Landscape Photography Travel Photography

Dawn Over Sharpsburg

The title gives away where this image was shot. Sharpsburg, Maryland is a bit weird in that historical sites are right up against private property. While I was on public land at the time the field and the fence were private land but I suspect they were apart of the Battle of Sharpsburg since it just runs all together. I was right up against a barbed wire fence with my tripod shooting over the farms field.

There was much cursing of Adobe with this image because I foolishly updated Photoshop only to discover its Adobe’s brand new version instead of an incremental update. So all my plugins and filters were gone. So I had to save the image as a massive PSD then go back into Photoshop to get all the stuff I needed to complete the image.

Speaking of the image itself this is what I would call a hybrid HDR image. I did create a HDR then I created a non-HDR image. I stacked the photos and aligned them and then let Photoshop do the tone mapping which turned out the way I wanted. That meant I didn’t have to go in and manually mask the images.

I still went back and did a bit of a dodge and burn on area and cleaned up the ever present dust spots in the sky.

Once that was done I did a mask to remove the noise from the image and then did a quick sharpen pass and call it done.

Enjoy.

Dawn Over Sharpsburg

Categories
Flower Photography Macro Photography Nature Photography

More Spring Flowers

I’m clearing out the back log of flower and landscape stuff. Shockingly I have other stuff I shot as well. It’s nice to have a cushion to work with. Plus the flowers one day and the landscapes the next gives me a break from straight flowers which I can quickly edit.

I will launch into a diatribe concerning Lightroom which is a great tool but Adobe wants it to be good enough. If you really want to edit photos you are going to need Photoshop at some point and thats a money maker for Adobe. All my images over the last 3 years have been run through Photoshop and as I learn to master it I do more-and-more with in it very Photoshop. My biggest complaints are the retouching tools and curves tool. Lightroom uses some logic that says close enough works. It’s horrific. I don’t even bother. I did it on an image in this series and I ended up just fixing it in Photoshop because when I saw it at 100% I thought what the hell? Points if you can even find it because Photoshop is that good on fixing a “fix”.

My other complaint is curves in Lightroom. Don’t bother. It’s awful. I have no idea what the tool does but I do not have the granularity of control I have in Photoshop. I do my basic edits in Lightroom and bring it into Photoshop. Every one of these images has had the curves tool run on it. You can fine too so much with the curves tool and it make no sense why Lightroom doesn’t allow the same as it does in Photoshop. The only reason is because Adobe would like you to purchase Photoshop as well.

If you are happy with Lightroom and all it produces then stick with it. If you feel that your photos lack that certain something and you aren’t using Photoshop because you are intimidated or you think its not going to do much more to your photos, give it the 30 day trial and go in with an open mind and a browser set to Google to figure things out. You wil start to get annoyed too with what Adobe has done to Lightroom.

For the flowers, enjoy.

More Spring Flowers

More Spring Flowers

More Spring Flowers

More Spring Flowers

More Spring Flowers

More Spring Flowers