I took my new Nikon 1 V2 mirrorless camera out to Garden of the Gods park in Colorado Springs. I wanted to see how the camera performed in the field in good light and with the new 18.5mm f/1.8 1-Nikkor lens. This shot is of the famous “Kissing Camels” formation. I used the 18.5mm lens and had the camera on my Gitzo traveler tripod. Continue reading Photo of the Day: Kissing Camels with the Nikon 1 V2
Now through Sunday, July 22nd, you can save 20% off my complete guide to Nik Software’s Color Efex Pro 4 plug-in. This guide has nearly 300 pages of information, including step by-step examples of how to add multiple filter effects to create unique processing effects.
Use code CEPSummer1 to get your discount in the Luminescence of Nature Press online shop.
I dusted off another shot I captured a few years ago, this time during a trip to Connecticut. I was hanging out with a good friend of mine who lived in the area, so we went on a photo walk to the harbor in Norwalk. Anyway, here’s a quick illustration of how effects filters can improve an image, even if you aren’t going to take things to the extreme.
The original shot is OK, but the light is already getting kind of harsh. I did a low-contrast conversion in Capture NX2 and sent the resulting TIFF to Photoshop CS5, where I converted the background layer to a Smart Object (Smart Objects let you save filter effects non-destructibly). I then used the following three filters in Nik’s Color Efex Pro 4:
- Contrast Only (for base contrast and color corrections)
- Pro Contrast (the Dynamic Contrast slider makes the clouds pop)
- Sunlight (adds warmth and soft light to the boat)
Here’s the screen grab from Color Efex Pro 4:
My main mission here at Luminescence of Nature is to educate photographers. To that end, there’s always lots of discussion about camera settings, RAW converters, and software settings. But even though we live in the digital age, there are some old tricks that just work. The difference is knowing how to apply the effect in your software of choice.
The effect I’m talking about is corner shading, or vignetting. This was the old darkroom trick of “burning” or “dodging” the edges of the frame to draw attention to the center of the image. This technique can be applied via a variety of tools in your digital darkroom, but the concept is simple. Your eye is subconsciously drawn to bright, colorful, contrasty areas, and conversely avoids dark, low-contrast, low-color areas in a scene. What’s great about this effect is that it need not be applied so strong as to be obvious, and yet it still delivers a powerful impact. Let’s take a look at three different ways to apply a vignette effect in post-processing.