I originally captured this image of the Cadet Chapel in 2011, using a Nikon D3s and 24-70mm f/2.8 AFS G zoom Nikkor lens. I intended for it to be HDR, but I just recently got the result I wanted using Nik Software’s HDR Efex Pro 2. The combination of local tone-mapping via Control Points and new adjustment algorithms really made this image work this time around.
I combined the “Soft” detail option with the “Dingy” Drama setting in HDR Efex Pro 2. I used Control Points inside HEP2 to keep the sky from looking too extreme, and to only add Structure where I wanted it. I then used Pro Contrast, Skylight Filter, and Glamour Glow in Color Efex Pro 4 to finish the image.
Not everyone (myself included) has a degree in fine art or has studied art extensively. As such, I find it enjoyable to take a look at classic paintings and see what makes them so effective. One such example is Rembrandt’s “The Night Watch.” If you examine this image, you’ll see that Rembrandt uses light and color to emphasize the important subjects in his painting. Note that the two primary figures are well-lit, but so is the smaller girl in the background. The other characters in this scene are not as bright and colorful as the ones Rembrandt wants us to focus on.
We can use the same technique in our digital photography. Studio photographers use well-positioned lights all the time to achieve this effect. However, if you’re an outdoor photographer, you might not always get the kind of lighting conditions that perfectly illuminate your subject. Continue reading What Can Photographers Learn From Rembrandt?→
Photography combines technical and artistic elements and allows me to express my creativity. Today, just about anyone with a cell phone has a camera on-hand. So how do you go beyond just taking pictures of your food and your cat?
As with all things, you should have a grasp of the basic fundamentals of exposure. Sure, you can put your camera into Program Auto or “Scene” mode, but doing so can sometimes restrict your creativity. Program Auto mode is great when you’re just looking to get snapshots, and it is well-suited for those just starting out to allow the user to concentrate on composition. But at some point, all your photos will start to look the same, and you’ll probably want to expand your horizons. Here are some techniques you can experiment with once you have the basics down. Continue reading Get Out of Your Rut: Tips for Creative Photography→