I just browsed through my images from last year, and these are my favorites. Thanks for looking! Luminescence of Nature Photography: Best of 2010
I’m busy adding workshops to my 2011 calendar. Here’s what I have scheduled so far:
- Jan 22: Mastering Nikon’s Capture NX2 12-4pm EDT (live online class)
- Jan 25: Going beyond the presets with Nik Software’s HDR Efex Pro (FREE Webinar 10-11am Pacific Time, sponsored by Nik Software)
- Jan 29: The NEF-Centric Workflow: Capture NX2 & Photomechanic 12-3pm EDT (live online class)
- Feb 13: HDR Photography at Wings Over the Rockies Air Museum (12-5pm MST)
- March 13-17: Birds of the Florida Everglades (Sold Out)
- May 1-5: Photographing the Oregon Coast with The Image Doctors (Photo Safari with Rick Walker)
All of my workshops are organized online at Luminescence of Nature Photography on Meetup.com. Join my group to be notified immediately of new classes. I aim to educate photographers of all levels, from beginners to advanced pros. Join me for a session and take your photography to the next level!
Happy New Year, everyone! 2010 was extremely busy for me, but I’m excited to say that 2011 should be even more fun! In case you missed it, here’s the 2010 recap:
New eBooks Released:
I also had the pleasure of teaching numerous workshops, including Capture NX2, NEF-Centric Workflow, and HDR Efex Pro training. I got to meet some of you in person at The Image Doctors Landscape workshop in Colorado and The Image Doctors Photo Safari in Moab.
So, what’s coming up in 2011?
It’s been over two years now since Nikon released Capture NX2. In that time, the competition for our image processing dollars has been furious. Adobe has updated Photoshop Lightroom to version 3; Apple has done the same with Aperture. And yet, despite the temptation to switch, I still use Capture NX2 almost exclusively. Let me explain why.
The first thing that you have to understand is that Capture NX2 has only one mission: image editing (particularly NEFs). Capture NX2 is not a pixel editor, at least not in the sense that Photoshop is. Adobe’s Photoshop Lightroom and Apple’s Aperture also behave differently. They are image management applications that also offer editing features. Comparing Capture NX2 to either of these products is apples to oranges, unless you only focus on image editing capabilities. And that’s where I feel Capture NX2 still holds its own in many regards. I will also address what I feel are the program’s weaknesses and areas for improvement.
I’ve been dabbling in high dynamic range (HDR) photography since 2005, when Adobe released Photoshop CS2 and the “merge to HDR” command. The big challenge with HDR in Photoshop has always been the tone-mapping step. Tone-mapping is where you tell the software how to squish the 32-bit/channel (HDR) image into a 16-bit/channel color space. Tone-mapping controls not only the global image contrast, but also local contrast (micro-contrast) between adjacent tones. I’ve seen a lot of bad attempts at tone-mapping, and part of the reason is that the on-board Photoshop tools just aren’t very easy to use.
While there are lots of HDR software options available today, I have always gravitated towards using Photomatix Pro (www.hdrsoft.com) for my images, because I was able to get good results for my natural landscapes. In October, 2010, Nik Software released HDR Efex Pro, a plug-in for Photoshop/Lightroom/Aperture that performs HDR tone-mapping. I like both programs, so here’s a quick comparison and review.