This was shot off my balcony in Thailand. I happened to have my Nikon D5500 with the 55-200 lens on it and aimed it towards the beach. With the crop on the D5500 I get a more reach with that lens then I do with any other and it’s light and sharp.
Using portrait orientation worked better for this image because I got the layering effect of the sky along with the buildings. It provides some visual interest that landscape would not have been able to produce.
I won’t bore anyone with editing but lets just say, nature didn’t exactly produce the colours you see in this image. There is some tweaking going on. Nothing too fancy but it’s not natural.
Shot from the Route 41 bridge in Fort Myers, Florida. No idea what the real bridge name is but I do know the road name so going with that.
This was shot a couple years ago. It was meant to be HDR when I was just learning about it. So I had 7 images to stack which would have introduced so much noise that it wasn’t worth the effort. The image being published is just a single image. It’s amazing what you can learn in a few years.
I mentioned yesterday why I keep going back to my archives. It’s nice to look at an image you passed on to see what you can do with it. Knowing full well I can do way more in Photoshop than I ever did before I could edit this image. Plus, I’m a sucker for a good looking sunset image. Low hanging fruit of the photographic world. Ranks up there with animal photos.
The one thing I do with every image now is load my camera defaults. I have camera profiles for all my images. This helps me work off a consistent base image knowing that the color and distortion has been corrected for me already. This means I can quickly set the white balance and move on. For sunsets you want daylight or cloudy. It will be correct 98% of the time for a white balance.
When I got to Photoshop I knew this was going to be low key image. So I made my curves adjustment until the sun became the focus of the image. Then I just dodged and burned the various bits of the bridge to get it to where I wanted it.
The image felt it was missing something so I loaded up Intensify CK. Found a preset I was happy with, mainly focused on the water and then brought that into Photoshop. Masked that bit in and called it a day.
This series was shot while I was at Lakes Regional Park in Fort Myers, Florida. When I went there I was hoping to get sunset type photos but the trees were blocking my view of the sun which I wasn’t used to because I had been shooting along the river.
With the light dropping and not getting sunsets I adapted and started to shoot the islands and their reflections on the water. It turned out to be one of the longer shoots I did with me walking around the circumference of the lake and the light dropping to almost dark. So I was shooting under constantly changing conditions.
Normally with edits like these I mask in various bits and pieces but with this many in the set I did straight edits and kept the images “pure” for lack of better words. Just curves adjustments and local adjustments using dodge and burn. Standard sharpening and called it a day.
I had a tip on a park located about 30 minutes away from where I was staying in Fort Myers. The park was called Lakes Regional Park so I headed there around sunset so I could get some evening shots over the lake. One of the problems is that the West view was blocked by trees and housing so I was a bit late for the really good sunset photos but I made do and ended up shooting for a couple of hours at the park.
I took this photo in both landscape and portrait just to see which way would work better. The vertical allowed me to capture the clouds like I wanted to so I edited that version.
The image is all about the clouds. So I made sure to run a filter through it and brought out the details. Then masked that bit in. Then another filter for the water and boat to bring out the sun reflection on it. Finally a hue/saturation and sharpening and called it done.
I likely should not have edited this photo but I will admit to being a bit emotionally attached to it because in my mind it looked cool. I just liked how the ships masts work with the setting sun. The other little bits in the photo catching the light also drew me to it. They all can’t be winners and sometimes you go with an image just because you like it.
This is not HDR believe it or not. I knew if I did the HDR merge things would go horribly wrong with noise and it wasn’t going to be a battle I could win. So instead I just brought them into Photoshop and did a merge. Once I had an image to work off of I didn’t do a whole lot more to it. Just a simple dodge and burn to bring out some features (Wacom Tablet Practice) and then left it alone. Sometimes the desire is there to do more than the image needed and it just causes problems. So I just hit save and called it a day.
I almost didn’t edit this photo. After working a 12 hour day and having a blinding headache I just wanted to pass out and go to sleep when I returned to my abode. However, after a dinner with my staff after a successful project and walking home in a brisk snow pelting me in the face I sat in front of the computer and carried on!
I saw the shadow the cloud cast on the shadow and thought it looked really cool. I had no idea I captured that when I shot it and I figured what the hell and processed it. I didn’t put a lot of effort into it and I liked the softer look that came out of it. I did some tweaking and called it a night.
As I edited this picture I had spent the day walking in the pouring rain as I was making my way back home after having to go to DC in the morning. This is after being jammed into subway cars going to and from and dealing with mechanical delays with the subway system. I would rather be on shooting on a beach in Thailand as the sunset and know that the city you see in the distance has a cold beer and some spicy food waiting for me when I’m done.
I haven’t edited a true landscape for awhile and I went and did a HDR. I know most people like them and I do enjoy doing them. As I have struggled with normal pictures lately it was nice to do a HDR. Sometimes when you are stuck in a rut you need to change it up. I have had the same problem with HDR and I go normal so hopefully I’ll set to the next series I have in mind.
I walk to work now! Weird to be excited by that but considering my commute could be anywhere 30 minutes to an hour or more depending on traffic. Now my commute if I walked earnestly is 10 minutes. It’s usually around 30 because as you can guess by the title of this that I am puttering around taking photos. Occasionally (once a week) I have to deal with a detour to the local bar for $5 beers. So in all I am enjoying my new area and don’t miss my old place at all.
For the first time in a long time I didn’t use layer masks for these images. They are straight from Lightroom flattened out which means I make the image as flat as possible by increasing blacks and shadows and decreasing whites and highlights. Contrast tends to be increased along with exposure. It just depends on the image itself and how it came out of the camera. Once I have a flat file I move it to Photoshop and start the heavy lifting.
If you really want to know more about the process just check out Ming Thein’s Photoshop Workflow I & II. Not cheap but worth it. He is also doing a weekly Photoshop Workflow now for $9 a week. It’s not the cheapest around at $36 a month but you get to see the workflow of a master photographer and how he views images and what he thinks will make an image look good.
All these images were processed using Ming Thein’s workflow. The only think I don’t do is use Bridge and Camera Raw. I do use Camera Raw but only after I have it in Photoshop. Instead I use Lightroom where he uses Camera Raw because I am lazy and let Lightroom catalogue for me.
For inquiring minds all the images except the first one which was my Sony RX100M3 were shot on an Olympus EM1 using either a 12-40 (24-80) or a 40-150 (80-300) lens.
The image I attempted for Friday finally got down after a few hours of editing and more layer masks then I ever thought was possible. A plethora of third party tools were also used to get this image to where it is. Not 100% happy but never am. There are some issues with it but I’ll leave it up to others to find them.
The sun was setting to my left and I really wanted that reflected in the water and keeping the darker, blue sky to my right but still bringing in the sky colors to get it something interesting tones. The people you see in the far left are not fishing, they were an engagement shoot for a couple and a photographer and his assistant. The lady in the green dress was in my frame for some shots but I didn’t like her walking down the pier as it drew the attention away from the entire package so I used the images where she was with the group.