RSS

Category Archives: HDR

Must-Have Filters for Landscape Photography

Must-Have Filters for Landscape Photography

By Nasim Mansurov

While I was photographing the beautiful scenery of the Glacier National Park at sunrise, I realized that some filters are pretty much required to get good results when photographing landscapes. While many photographers think that some of the built-in tools in Lightroom and Photoshop can simulate filter behavior, making filters redundant in the digital age, some filters in fact can never be simulated in software, while others help in getting even better results in post-processing. If you do not know what filters are and what they are used for, I highly recommend reading my “lens filters explained” article before you continue to read this one.

1) Polarizing Filter

B+W Circular Polarizing Filter

A polarizing filter is a must-have tool for landscape photography. It is typically the first filter landscape photographers buy to instantly improve their pictures and and add vividness and contrast to them. A polarizer can reduce reflections from objects such as water and glass and can be used to darken the sky, bring out the clouds and even reduce atmospheric haze, making the scene look much more vivid. For all normal lenses that have a filter thread in the front, you can get a circular polarizing filter, also known as a “circular polarizer”. A circular polarizer is very easy to use and once you attach it on the front of your lens, all you need to do is rotate it clockwise or counter-clockwise to get a different amount of polarization. Polarizing filters work by blocking certain light waves from entering the lens. Rotating a polarizer allows certain types of light waves to pass through, while blocking other ranges of light waves. Thus, you could turn a sky from light blue to very dark blue or increase/decrease reflections by simply rotating the filter.

The effect of polarization cannot be reproduced or simulated in post-processing, especially when dealing with natural reflections. Take a look at the below image:

Read more about Neutral Density Filters and more via Must-Have Filters for Landscape Photography.

 
Comments Off on Must-Have Filters for Landscape Photography

Posted by on January 27, 2012 in HDR, Landscape, Post Processing, Technique, Tutes & Tips, Worth a Look

 

Tags: , , , , , ,

100 Photography Tips Infographic – Expert Photography

Welcome to ExpertPhotography’s top 100 photography tips, picked from the best tutorials of 2011, and brought together in one place, for your ease. These tips are extracts from a variety of to the tutorials, where you’ll find much more information, to help you improve your photography. Here are the tutorials that the tips came from:

10 Tips For Better Portraits

10 Steps To Taking Better Photos

10 Top Tips To Taking Sharper Photos

10 Tips For Taking Better Candid Photos

10 Embarrassing Mistakes I Made As A Beginner Photographer

10 Ways To Critique A Photo

10 Reasons Your Photos Suck

10 Reasons Why Being A Photographer Sucks

Top 10 Photography Clichés You Should Avoid To Improve Your Photography

10 Accessories To Improve Your Photography

via 100 Photography Tips Infographic – Expert Photography.

 

How to Create a Realistic HDR Image: A Simple and Fun Method to Create a HDR Image, without Photomatix

From the Digital Photography School:
How to Create a Realistic HDR Image: A Simple and Fun Method to Create a HDR Image, without Photomatix.

A Guest post by Jacob Shultz

HDR photography – It has become a term synonymous with overly-saturated, cartoony looking photographs with large halos. This tutorial will explain the benefits of HDR photography, and how you can take your own high quality HDR photos which look amazingly realistic – without the use of Photomatix.

11.jpg

The method I am about to show you is used in many of my photographs. It uses the same principal as normal HDR photography, however there are two large differences. The ’stereotypical’ HDR photography uses a method called tonemapping, which creates the obnoxious halos and often over saturated look. This tutorial looks at a method which makes use of High Dynamic Range, without tonemapping, and with full manual control.

To start off, you need to take some photos. Choose a suitable location, for me it was the local beach. Just as if you were taking a normal HDR, you will need to ‘bracket’ your photograph. ‘Bracketing’ simply means to take the same photo at differing exposures. This ensures that different elements in the photograph are all exposed correctly in at least one of the images. Take as many photographs as you need to cover all ranges of light in the composition. In my photograph, I used four images. In situations with more extreme levels of light (sun, shadows, etc.) you may need to use more images. However, you can often get away with two images, one exposed for the foreground, and one exposed for the background. Shooting in RAW is also highly recommended.

Once you have downloaded your images to your computer, the first step is to edit them initially in Adobe Camera Raw (select all files and then press CTRL+R). The first step is to apply straightening and/or cropping to every photo (do this by selecting each photo on the left hand sidebar). Next, establish what element each image is going to effect. For example, image number 1 is going to be the foreground. Edit the photo, only paying attention to the foreground.

These were the settings I used:

1.jpg

Image 2 will affect the ocean. My edits:

2.jpg

Image 3 will take care of the top portion of the sky:

3.jpg

And finally image 4 will be the bottom portion of the sky, closest to the horizon:

4.jpg

Once you have finished the rough editing of individual photos, open them all into Photoshop, and then duplicate them into the one document:

5.jpg

The next step is to basically ‘erase’ portions of each image, so that all parts blend together and show a higher dynamic range – HDR. Apply a layer mask to image 1, and use a soft black brush to rub out everything but the general area that this photograph is affecting (we will make more detailed adjustments later). Then continue this for each image:

6.jpg

7.jpg

8.jpg

Great work! You now have a basic idea of how your final image will look. Now, go through each layer and make finer adjustments to improve the quality of the image. Use a white brush to paint back or show the image, and a black brush to rub it out again. This is called non-destructive editing. Note: try to eliminate cloud ‘ghosting’ by making sure clouds blend between images without any abrupt or unnatural shifts.

9.jpg

Once you are satisfied with the image, save the file as a PSD document. The next steps will cover the final edits before the image is finished. Merge all the layers in your document to one layer (if you want, keep a separate group with the individuals layers there, but hidden), then save as a.JPG file. Open Adobe Bridge, then select the .JPG you just saved and press CTRL+R. We are now going to re-edit the HDR photograph. Here are the changes I made:

10.jpg

Open the edited file back up in Photoshop, and apply any final editing that suits your workflow. In my case, I cloned out some sensor dust, added a bit more purple into the photo and applied some sharpening. Finally, save the image, and you have completed the tutorial! This is a great way to enhance the dynamic range of a photograph, without the need of a HDR tonemapping program such as Photomatix. You can apply the same method with differing extremes – using two photos to subtly enhance a minimal image, or use 5 or 6 photos to fine tune every detail of a complex composure. If you struggle to get realistic results, then keep trying! Practice makes perfect. This is a technique I’ve been using for over 6 months, but it has only been recently that I have really started to really finetune my workflow. Above all though – have fun!

Final product:

11.jpg

About the Author: See more of Jacob Shultz’s work at his blog, Facebook page and Flickr account.
Read more: http://www.digital-photography-school.com/how-to-create-a-realistic-hdr-image-a-simple-and-fun-method-to-create-a-hdr-image-without-photomatix#ixzz1KXRtarSm

 
Comments Off on How to Create a Realistic HDR Image: A Simple and Fun Method to Create a HDR Image, without Photomatix

Posted by on April 29, 2011 in Featured, HDR, Software, Technique, Tutes & Tips

 

Tags: , , ,

Merging HDR in Photoshop CS3, CS4 Tutorial

I found a fantastic tutorial for HDR (High Dynamic Range) at Photoshop Cafe that shows step by step how to apply it to your photographs. It’s important to note that bracketing (taking three pictures of the same scene at three different exposure settings) can make HDR much easier than trying to obtain it from one image alone. (FYI, Single frame HDR is called Pseudo-HDR).

The tutorial will show you how to go from these three images:

To this:

Now I have to admit, that I don’t personally believe the image used shows off HDR to its full effect, but the tutorial for Photoshop is very simple to follow and that makes it worth a look!

Photoshop HDR tutorial. | Merging HDR in Photoshop CS3, CS4 Tutorial.

 
 

Tags: ,

17 Awesome HDR Shots That Aren’t Overdone

By Light Stalking

HDR (High Dynamic Range) images often make our eyes bleed. Don’t get us wrong, we think HDR is an awesome way to bring out lighting in a photograph that was difficult to bring out in any other way, but since the world was first introduced to HDR, it has been a little overdone by some folks. Now sometimes overdone has its place, but we should remember that you can also use HDR to produce realistic and beautiful photographs. Here are a few that we think get the balance just right.

Majestic Tree by G a r r y.

Majestic Tree by G a r r y.

Strange by Christolakis.

Strange by Christolakis.

Autumn at Rock Island Falls by Lee McCain.

Autumn at Rock Island Falls by Lee McCain.

Morning Meeting at the Fish Market by Lucas Jans.

Morning Meeting at the Fish Market by Lucas Jans.

Good Morning by Lutz-R. Frank.

Good Morning by Lutz-R. Frank.

The home of the red knight!! by fatboyke.

The home of the red knight!! by fatboyke.

The Lightness of Being by Lee McCain.

The Lightness of Being by Lee McCain.

Milan – Il Duomo – 12-01-2008 – 00h11 by Panoramas.

Milan – Il Duomo – 12-01-2008 – 00h11 by Panoramas.

Single by Christolakis.

Single by Christolakis.

Steveston style Cosmetic Surgery – Bow lift by janusz l.

Steveston style Cosmetic Surgery – Bow lift by janusz l.

Passeggiando by Roby Ferrari.

Passeggiando by Roby Ferrari.

Into the future but not without the past by janusz l.

Into the future but not without the past by janusz l.

All Ashore by ecstaticist..

All Ashore by ecstaticist.

Sunrise and Fog on the Refuge by Lee McCain.

Sunrise and Fog on the Refuge by Lee McCain.

Holsbeek, Belgium by fatboyke.

Holsbeek, Belgium by fatboyke.

View from our cottage by wili_hybrid.

View from our cottage by wili_hybrid.

Jungfrau by Pear Biter.

Jungfrau by Pear Biter.

via Light Stalking » 17 Awesome HDR Shots That Aren’t Overdone.

 
Comments Off on 17 Awesome HDR Shots That Aren’t Overdone

Posted by on April 23, 2011 in Featured, HDR, Inspiration, Worth a Look

 

Tags:

 
%d bloggers like this: