If you enjoyed my Death Star image post, here’s a quick tutorial on how I did it. All you need is Photoshop and some layer blending prowess. Should Ewoks disable the shield generator, however, you’re on your own to defend it. The same technique works with overlaying images of the moon on cityscapes.
The “Secret Sauce” for Fine-Art Image Processing
Photography, like any other medium, is a craft. In woodworking, you produce a finished product through a serial application of sandpaper, working from coarse to fine. The best finish is only obtained after using the finest-grit sandpapers, sometimes even between coats of lacquer. So it is, too with photography.
Your camera settings apply the foundation of the image, but they cannot refine the image in the same way your editing software can. Even seemingly small adjustments can be the difference between a snapshot and a gallery print. For years, my “secret sauce” has been to finish images with the “Big 3” Nik Collection plug-ins (Color Efex/HDR Efex/Silver Efex).
For a limited time, my collection of PDF guides to the Nik Collection by Google are available for only $9.99 each. Or, you can purchase the set of three guides for only $24.99. No coupon code necessary!
Each PDF guide is user-printable and also includes a set of installable custom presets for the Nik Collection plug-ins.
- The Photographer’s Guide to Color Efex Pro 4
My go-to plug-in for transforming landscape and urban images into fine-art masterpieces
- The Photographer’s Guide to HDR Efex Pro 2
Learn the art of HDR Tone-mapping, from natural to surreal
- The Photographer’s Guide to Silver Efex Pro 2
The powerful monochrome conversion tool that delivers fine-art quality results
Nik Collection PDF Bundle
Includes all three guides listed above
*Special Note: These products contain multiple files and are delivered as a ZIP archive. To download the files to an iPad, you will need a free ZIP utility, such as iZip for iOS. Android users should consider using WinZip. Otherwise, download and extract the files to a Mac or PC and then transfer them to your tablet device.
Dynamic range is a way of describing the range of brightness values your digital camera (or film) can faithfully record. Newer cameras, especially the ones from Nikon and Sony, have sensors that deliver as many as 14 stops of dynamic range. The trick, however, is how to extract that information when processing your shots.
If you use Adobe Lightroom, the Camera Profile (under the Camera Calibration Panel) will dictate the starting point for dynamic range. If you use the manufacturer’s RAW converter, then the as-shot settings (e.g., Nikon Picture Control) is applied by default. The in-camera settings set the contrast (tone curve) and color for how your images are processed. By using a low-contrast setting, you’ll be able to expand the dynamic range of your shot. Continue reading Expanding Dynamic Range On Single RAW Files in Adobe Lightroom (with Video)
Adobe rolled out updates to Photoshop CC and Lightroom CC early today. In addition to new camera/lens profiles, this update adds local Dehaze adjustments to the Develop Module (and ACR 9.2). You can now apply the Dehaze effects locally with brush and gradient tools.
I really like the Dehaze effect; it’s similar to clarity but the contrast adjustment isn’t quite as intense. You can also use it in the negative direction to create the appearance of fog/haze. It’s a tool that is particularly well-suited for enhancing night sky images of the Milky Way.
Adobe has also modified the Import dialog in LR, something I will investigate shortly. In the meantime, enjoy the new features. Note: the Dehaze feature is only available in Lightroom CC 2015 and will not appear in Lightroom 6.
Join me online next weekend as I teach digital infrared processing using Lightroom & Photoshop. Digital infrared photography is more accessible than ever, and it is a great way of exploring the world in a different light. In this class, I’ll teach you how you can create a variety of different looks with your digital infrared files using Lightroom, Photoshop, and Nik Plug-ins.
When: Saturday, February 21st
12-2pm Mountain Time (2-4pm Eastern)
Where: Online (GoToMeeting) webinar
- Choosing an infrared conversion filter type
- Setting White Balance in Lightroom/ACR via a custom camera calibration
- RAW adjustments in Lightroom/ACR
- Fixing hotspots
- Black and White Conversion using Silver Efex Pro 2
- Red-Blue Channel Swap (blue sky) technique in Photoshop and via Plug-ins
- Working with super-color IR files to create a variety of styles
All participants will receive a printable PDF copy of the class materials.