ON1 have released Photo RAW 2018 and if you would like to download a trial version, here is the link:
It isn’t a secret that I want to challenge myself more with my photography and I’ve been trying to think of ways to do it. I do have a lot of ideas and I know that I want to start compositing and combining images. I am still not sure how exactly, but I do want to start experimenting. I don’t want to accept the world as it is. So when I was out the other day taking photos I saw this shop front.
A couple of weeks ago I showed an image and did a little talk on it, and I want to continue doing that when I can, so today I have another image for you. It was taken about two weeks ago. A friend and I thought we would try a new spot for us to do some light trails over the Eastern Freeway going into the city. We weren’t sure if we would see the sunset there, but it seemed like a good spot regardless.
There have been some problem with WordPress and I’m doing a test to see if Jetpack have sorted out the issues.
I did a post yesterday that I think many missed because an email notification wasn’t sent out and neither did it appear in the reader.
Here is the link to yesterday’s post for those that haven’t heard about it.
When I did one of these a while back many of you seemed to like it, so I thought I might do another evolution of an image, this time looking at an image I did of the Seafarers Bridge here in Melbourne. I have photographed this bridge so many times over the last year or two, so it was good to try it again to see if I could get something different.
The image was taken last summer, and I wanted to see what my Nikon 14-24mm lens could do with the bridge. The very wide angle means you can fit so much into it. I love the lens, but wish I had ND Filters for it, I think I would be able to get some amazing shots with it.
Only a little processing has been done to it here, using Adobe Camera Raw.
One of the things that I really didn’t like was the blue sky. I’m not a fan of all blue in the sky. I prefer clouds, not necessarily all clouds, but I like how they give the image drama and mood. The first thing I wanted to do was replace it. I went to my sky folder and found one I thought would work. The latest version of Photoshop has a great application for masking the sky so you can replace it. It made it so much easier.
The new sky was darker, well once I was finished with it, so had to change some other things. I cropped the image as well. I wanted more focus on the bridge, though it wasn’t cropped much. I changed the colouring some too.
I think the worked image shows off the bridge more and it stands out. Though I did it a week or so back and wasn’t quite sure I wanted to show it at all. I put it up on Instagram today and it’s done okay.
So really, it was all about the sky in the end.
Recently I was given an opportunity to try out some Photoshop Actions from Sleeklens. It is not a company I’ve heard of before, but when they contacted me about their actions it seemed like a good opportunity to try them.
Photoshop Actions for Landscape Photography
The first point that got my attention was that they were for landscape photographers. I can’t tell you how many places I’ve looked at for them and only found ones for portrait photography. I was certainly going to give these a try and see how they would work.
What is an Action
For those of you that don’t know what an action is let me explain. They are like mini programs, you load them up and then when you press play they will do a few processes. It is a bit like your washing machine. You press start and then it adds water, washes, empties, fills again, empties and finally spins. An action works in a similar way, but each one has a different set of stages it will go through. All you have to do is sit back and watch until it finishes or you get a prompt telling you to do something.
I know we are visual people, which is why we do photography, so I am going to do a video to show those that don’t know how, how to load actions and where to find them. I am also going to show you how some of them workYou can purchase the package with this link, Landscape Adventure Collection. They also sell presets for Lightroom and lots of other ones to help with your workflow.
How are Actions helpful
Actions can be great for helping to minimise your workload. I have made several of my own for those things that I do a lot. If you are new to Photoshop actions the ones from Sleeklens can be great to help give you great results. Though, like with anything they should be used carefully and appropriately. If you use one and it makes your image horrible, then don’t use that action for that image.
One thing I do like about these actions is that if you don’t like it it is easy to remove it from the image. It puts all the work it did into a group that you can just delete. When you are working on an image you don’t always know what is and isn’t going to work so it is good to be able to try one, remove it, try another one.
The set of actions you get give you lots of different options for different images. I did enjoy playing with the sunset and sunrise actions. Seeing how you can enhance a sunset was great. I think a lot of people will really like those.
There are quite a few different actions and they are always fun to play with. You can get an idea of the possibilities and you never know there might be one that you really like and want to use all the time.
It should also be pointed out that the actions don’t just add special effects, they can help your images. They can help warm your image or make it cooler. There are actions to help the base image better if the exposure wasn’t quite right. You can work on the shadows, or get more clarity within it. So they aren’t special effects necessarily.
They are also not gaudy or over the top, as some actions I’ve seen can be. You have options within many of them as well. You still feel like you are in control with what is going on.
Where to get them
If you are interested in purchasing their actions then the link for the ones I’m using are:
They also have a number of other actions available too, follow this link to see those.
I have done a short screencast for you as well so you can see the actions in action, so to speak.
For those of you who have been following me for some time know that I love editing photos. I’ve never been one to think that the image I get in my camera is anywhere near the final image. I never quite know what will happen when I start editing,
This is a beginning of something I am going to try doing here and on other platforms. I am going to develop a workshop on editing for people. I’ve mentioned it to you before, but now I am going to start doing some posts, giving tips and advice. I’m still working on the logistics of it and it is an idea that is developing. I hope you will come along with me.
Another thing is reviewing and sharing information. Now that I am a self hosted blog I can do this without WordPress caring or threatening to close me down. Here is my first one, not a review, but something that could be good.
On1 Software Announcement
On1 is a software editing alternative to the usual ones, and they are developing some software to process RAW images. It is called On1 Photo Raw. It is still in the development stage, but they are asking for people to make suggestions on what they would like to see it do. It is a great opportunity for all of us to let them know what is important to us and what we would like to see.
Here is the link for you.
SHARE. RATE. DISCUSS.
THE FUTURE OF RAW PHOTO EDITING
See what you think. I’m going to be trying out the software and will be posting photos that I have done using it. I’m hoping to give a lot more reviews on editing tools and anything else that is relevant in editing photos.
Since this is a new beginning for this blog and you are all here I would like to do some new things. One thing that I would like to go back to doing is looking at an image and seeing how I processed it. More a discussion on it rather than a tutorial, but perhaps over time I might start doing some of those as well. So this is the first of my posts on the Evolution of an Image, and we start with one I call Going Through.
The image for this discussion was taken up at my mothers last week. I had lots of plans of getting lots and lots of long exposures, but the weather was unseasonably warm, or hot if you like. It also meant bright light and not many clouds. I did manage to get out a couple of times, and I pretty much got what I wanted, but I think it might be the start of it really. I am looking forward to getting back and trying more.
This is the basic image that I managed to get. I love these silos, they say the Mallee to me, however they are no longer used, like so many things there.
I haven’t done anything to this image, and this is how it was shot. It was a four minute exposure with the Firecrest 16 ND Filter from Formatt Hitech. It was starting to get too bright so I had to make some adjustments. I am starting to think I might need to get the Firecrest 3 as well, do some stacking, especially with our harsh light.
Once I got it home I opened it up in Adobe Camera Raw to make some preliminary adjustments. I always do these images in Adobe Photoshop as I know I will want to do things that I can’t do in Lightroom. I also converted it into a black and white image.
You can see the clouds moving and the black and white conversion allows for more concentrated effort on the textures and patterns. Sometimes we can get too distracted by the colours.
Lots of things were done to the image. The sky was darkened because I like dark skies. I like that effect. I also put some noise into the sky to help with any distortions that can happen as you darken it.
I started working on the silos themselves next. I wanted people’s eyes to settle on the ones at the end. The oldest silos, and the ones that you see everywhere in the Mallee. They are no longer used, so they are the subject for me. The silos on the left were too bright so I had to work on them to take the focus off them. I like dodging and burning so did quite a bit of that all over the image.
There is a lot more contrast in the final image. The silos stand out more, but the ones at the end get a little lost. I knew that I would want this image in colour.
I converted it back to colour and my orange silos were back. Sometimes when I convert them back you can end up with some over saturated colours that just ruin the image and you can’t fix it, but other times you can. This was one that I could. I chose to get rid of a lot of the colour from the sky, it wasn’t the subject. I worked on the silos at the end more. I think in the final image they stand out more. Though as a final bit of processing I also put some purple into the shadows.
I know some people are going to prefer the monochrome version, but for me it is the colour one. I think it is a much stronger image. For me your eyes go to the end silos.
This image is also for sale and I will be putting up a page for pricing soon with a blog post on it.
It is interesting how you can process one image in two different ways and give it two completely different looks.
I took the following image of Point Lonsdale Pier at sunrise last year. It wasn’t an especially inspiring one, but it was very early. There really were too many clouds for it to be a good one.
Initially, I thought I would try the image in monochrome and see what I could get.
The water is very light, and seems like there is light on it when it was very dark.
Then I wondered what it would be like if I made it colour again.
It seems almost like this one is a different image and taken later in the morning, but I assure you they are the same image.
In the end I couldn’t decide which one I liked more. I asked my husband which one I should put on Instagram and he said the colour one. I did and people have seemed to like it. I don’t know, which would you choose?
In my back-up files I have thousands and thousands photos, maybe a million or more. There are so many and I often think that I have nothing I can work on. The reality of it all is that the base images are always there. If I want to go back and rework them then what I end up with is going to be different to what I did previously, because my experience with processing has changed. So today I decided to try reworking an older image, one from Apollo Bay that I took at sunrise at the marina there.
This particular morning was so beautiful. I very rarely get a beautiful sunrise and I was really shocked on this particular morning at Apollo Bay when we headed out that we managed to get this.
This is what I did to it the first time around.
There is nothing wrong with how I processed it originally, and it has been a popular image in the past, but I wondered if I could improve it.
What I don’t like about this image is the bit of plain sky at the top and the bottom reflection. It seemed to make the image dirty in a way, I’m not quite sure how to explain it. I also wanted to know if I could make the colours more intense. So I had a play.
I cropped it a little to help get rid of the the bits I didn’t like and I added some intensity. I like the outcome and the added gradient to the top and bottom almost frames it in a way. On a black background it looks fantastic. The boats in the middle were lightened a little so they didn’t get lost. The image is about the boats as much as the sunrise I think, and they each compliment one another.
It might even be interesting visiting this in another two years to see what I would do then. See how much more I have learned about Adobe Photoshop by that stage. It is an ever ending process and one that I love.
This is going to be series I believe, not this image, but going back and reworking old images. I know there are ones that I have from the past that I like the composition, but now hate how I processed them, or know that I would do things differently now. It should be interesting.