Subject isolation is a powerful creative tool in photography, especially with portraiture. This week, Jason and Rick explain a variety of ways to get clean subject isolation in your photographs both in-camera and with editing software.
Using Photoshop to create natural landscape photos that include the moon
When photographing landscapes at twilight that include the moon, proper exposure can be nearly impossible to achieve. That’s because while the dim light of twilight requires a relatively long exposure, the moon requires nearly a sunny-16 exposure. As a result, there is no one camera exposure setting that will get the scene right. Your options are:
Under-expose the scene and recover shadows & highlights in post
Properly expose for the landscape and blow out the moon
Bracket exposures and combine them in post
All of the above options have drawbacks. In an under-exposed image, you’ll be prone to getting noise when you try to recover shadow details, and you may or may not be able to recover detail in the moon. If the moon is very small in the frame (as with wide-angle lenses), you can make the conscious choice to just allow it to blow out completely. Bracketing exposures is another option, but I’ve found that traditional exposure blending or HDR tone-mapping just doesn’t quite produce the results I’d like, because the blown-out areas around the moon often bleed into the sky or are exacerbated by thin clouds.
Recently while I was in the field, I decided to try a variation on exposure blending. I captured two shots: the first was exposed only for the moon, and the second shot was properly exposed for the landscape. I then used Adobe Photoshop to combine the images, but instead of just blending them (as with a traditional composite), I had to completely remove the blown-out moon from the landscape photo using Photoshop’s Content-Aware Fill tool.
Video: Processing Landscape Photos with the Moon (Photoshop)
This week we sat down (virtually) with our good friend and colleague, Eric Bowles. Eric is a freelance photographer and photo educator in Atlanta, Georgia who specializes in wildlife and landscape photography. Eric is involved with NANPA and is also the director of the Nikonians Academy. Eric frequently judges photo competitions, so we discussed our experiences with judging, and took a closer look at the process that goes into selecting your own images for contests and also for sharing with others.
New software updates; Use of Color Grading in Photos
This week we saw several updates (or announcements) to many of the major software editing tools, including Adobe Lightroom/Photoshop, DXO, and Capture One. In Lightroom Classic, the “Split-Toning” panel has been replaced by a new “Color Grading” module. We’ll take a look at how it works and why you may want to use it for more than just traditional split-toning effects.
Honesty in Camera Reviews?
Lately, there’s been a real explosion of camera/lens reviews that make us scratch our heads. Are these reviews honest, or simply just click-bait?
Nikon Announces the Z6ii and Z7ii Mirrorless Cameras. Should You Upgrade?
This week, Nikon formally announced the “Mark II” release of their flagship mirrorless cameras, the 24MP Z6ii and 45MP Z7ii. We’ll take a look at what’s new in these cameras, and discuss our upgrade philosophies as to whether we’ll order either of these cameras.