Tag Archives: landscape photography

Before & After With Lightroom 5

During yesterday’s “Mastering the Lightroom 5 Develop Module” online class, we took a look at the power of RAW editing by working on an image that might not have been too inspiring straight out of the camera:

Sunset in the Badlands; as-shot image before processing.
Sunset in the Badlands; as-shot image before processing.

What I liked about the shot, though, was the light hitting the peaks and the clouds. This image represents a typical set of challenges in outdoor photography. Wide dynamic range between the sky and the foreground, mixed lighting between the sky (daylight) and the hills (shade), and low contrast overall.

We used the full set of tools in Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 5 to adjust the RAW image, and then we applied Skylight Filter and Pro Contrast in Color Efex Pro 4 to make the final image pop. The end result is far more spectacular, and captures the feeling we had when we were actually there shooting this on the Badlands Photo Safari.

Sunset in the Badlands, South Dakota. Final image after processing in Lightroom 5 and Color Efex Pro 4.
Sunset in the Badlands, South Dakota. Final image after processing in Lightroom 5 and Color Efex Pro 4.
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Long Exposure Creativity in Garden of the Gods

Long exposure (265s) captured in Garden of the Gods, Colorado Springs, CO. Nikon D800e with 16-35mm f/4 Nikkor lens and Singh-Ray Mor-Slo filters (15 stops)
Long exposure (265s) captured in Garden of the Gods, Colorado Springs, CO. Nikon D800e with 16-35mm f/4 Nikkor lens and Singh-Ray Mor-Slo filters (15 stops)

My latest addition to my photo kit is a set of Singh-Ray “Mor-Slo” solid ND filters. I got these filters in both the 10 and 5-stop varieties in 4×4″ square glass. Continue reading Long Exposure Creativity in Garden of the Gods

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The Nikon D7100 DSLR: DX-Format Flagship?

The Nikon D7100 is described as the DX-format "Flagship."  Image courtesy Nikon USA.
The Nikon D7100 is described as the DX-format “Flagship.” Image courtesy Nikon USA.

Last night, Nikon announced the long-awaited D7000 replacement, the new D7100 DSLR. You can pre-order a D7100 here so that you have one in your hands the minute they come out.

The D7000, to me, has always been a “close but not quite” camera. By all accounts, its sensor is really good. However, the smaller form factor and diminished performance (AF, frame rate, bracketing limitations) dissuaded me from getting one as a D300s replacement. The biggest surprise to me when I read Nikon’s announcement was the subheadline:

“Nikon’s DX-format Flagship Provides Agility, Amazing Image Quality and Wireless Connectivity

You read that right; the DX-format Flagship. In my opinion, this means what I’ve been hearing (and thinking) for some time. DX is for enthusiasts, FX is for pros. Continue reading The Nikon D7100 DSLR: DX-Format Flagship?

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Nik Software HDR Efex Pro 2.0 Hands-On Review

Badlands sunrise, processed in HDR Efex Pro 2.0

Some of you may have noticed that I’ve recently been posting a lot of HDR photographs here and on my G+ page lately. Part of the reason is because I enjoy being creative, and HDR is one of my creative outlets. The other reason is that I’ve had the opportunity to test the latest version of Nik Software’s HDR tone-mapping software, HDR Efex Pro 2.0, which was formally announced today and is available now.

At first glance, version 2.0 might seem like a minor revision, with subtle improvements to the interface and control sliders. However, I can honestly say that after testing HDR Efex Pro 2.0 for the last few months, I will not be going back to version 1. My HDR images are consistently better across the board with version 2.0; they have better color, better sharpness, and superior tone-mapping effects.

Continue to my hands-on review of Nik Software’s HDR Efex Pro 2 Continue reading Nik Software HDR Efex Pro 2.0 Hands-On Review

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Creative Outdoor Photography Workshop Wrap-Up

Skulls on a truck, Park County, CO (HDR Image)

I just wrapped up a four-day workshop here in Colorado, where we explored creative outdoor photography. We started out by doing traditional landscape photography in Garden of the Gods, then we moved on to several unique locations for interesting compositions and shots. We had a great photo walk in Manitou Springs, and we were able to shoot inside the Miramont Castle, a unique Victorian building. After each morning’s shooting session, we held classroom sessions where we explored the creative aspect of post-processing, including HDR, Monochrome, and Color Efex Pro. We also learned how to use Photoshop layers to maximize our creativity and enhance our workflow with Nik Software plug-ins and Flypaper Textures. Continue reading Creative Outdoor Photography Workshop Wrap-Up

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