Category: Processing

It seems like a good time to have this conversation as I was recently reading an article that was written when Adobe first started the whole subscription based deal for Photoshop and Lightroom. The article has since been updated, but reading through it I could see that a lot of what they were saying was not applicable anymore and out of date. 
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shop-front-reflections-leannecole-melbourne

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.
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lighttrails-eastern-freeway-melbourne-sunset

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.
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Test Post

Hello

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.

Catching up and looking back at Aireys Inlet

seafarers-bridge-wide-melbourne

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.

seafarers-bridge-wide-melbourne-original

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.

seafarers-bridge-wide-melbourne

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.

intense-sunset-actions

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.

dark-dreams-landscape-tassie

Dark Dreams Action

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.

dreamy-landscape-action

Dreamy Landscape Action

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.

detail-enhancer-action

Detail Enhancer Action

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.

intense-sunset-actions

Intense Sunset Action

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.

autumn-colours-action

Autumn Colours Action

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:

Landscape Adventure Collection

They also have a number of other actions available too, follow this link to see those.

Photoshop Actions at Sleeklens

I have done a short screencast for you as well so you can see the actions in action, so to speak.