Sunday, June 12, 2011

Blending Landscape Exposures with Marc Muench

This weekend we are happy to have Marc Muench here to teach Light students the latest tips and techniques in exposure blending. Last night we shot along the Bluff Trail in MontaƱa De Oro State Park to gather images for HDR processing.

The fog left us alone just long enough to get some great shots of the sunset.

Today we'll be using the images from last night to explore the different ways to blend multiple exposures together to create stunning High Dynamic Range images.

We hope to have Marc back soon for another awesome workshop.

There will be more HDR learning opportunities during the California Photo Festival Oct. 12-16, 2011.
Check out our website to see the rest of our summer workshops.
Fiat Lux!

Friday, June 10, 2011

Great Idea from Lee Varis

Lee Varis will be with Light a few times this year and he has set up a carpool discussion board for those coming from SoCal. 

Check out his link below for info.

Lee's Blog and Carpool

If you have not experienced a Lee Varis workshop it is time.  Check out his two offerings here this summer; Photoshop Fundamentals and The Digital Zone System.  These will be great fun and tremendous learning opportunities.  Take a look at the course description here and you might be surprised by what Lee considers "Fundamentals." 

The Digital Zone System is a modern take on the original Zone System by Ansel Adams and Fred Archer.  If you want to know light, exposure, and your camera this is for you.  Description here

Off to Toronto this weekend to watch Victoria's Dad and Brother play a major concert event. 

Dad and brother play for Supertramp.

Fiat Lux!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Lens Flare Technique

Victoria's IR pano of the Midnight Cellars vineyard

Yesterday's post featured a Photoshop Lens Flare filter placed strategically on my head.  If you want to use the flare in your creative process try the following technique.

Open an image in Photoshop as a Smart Object.  If you are going through Adobe Camera Raw, hold down the Shift key and click on "Open Object" (the button normally says "Open Image"). If you are already in Photoshop, right click on your background thumbnail (in the Layers Panel) and choose "Convert to Smart Object". Finally, if in Lightroom, right click your image thumbnail and choose Edit In-Open as Smart Object in Photoshop.

To add the Lens Flare, go to the Menu and click Filter-Render-Lens Flare.  This will bring up the Lens Flare filter dialog.  The radial buttons let you choose your lens category and the brightness slider controls the intensity of the effect.  Sometimes difficult to see is the third control, the small crosshair in your preview image.  Drag the crosshair to place the effect.

Once you click "Ok" a smart filter is created and the flare will be visible in your image.  I chose an IR image so you can easily see the filter effect.

The beautiful thing about a smart filter is you can go back and make changes at any time.  To do this click on the smart filter "Lens Flare" and the dialog will reopen to adjust your filter.

The Lens Flare is a great little trick to bring out every now and again.

Fiat Lux!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

With Friends Like These...

Never a dull moment when your friends are Photoshop experts!

Although I do thank Rick Sammon for showing everyone how angelic I really am.

Would love to hear comments on a good caption for this shot.

Fiat Lux!

Friday, June 3, 2011

Support and RRS Link

Mountain goat from moving boat.
Canon 1D Mk III, EF 800mm f/5.6L, and RRS PG-02

Day five of my Lightroom "Zero to Hero" class here at Light.  Wanted to put up a quick blog before class.

I was looking through some of my AK shots and found these two examples of camera support working in my favor.  We (and most photographers, photo magazines, blogs, etc.) speak a lot regarding capturing the sharpest images.  Hands down the best techniques we have found are to shoot from a STABLE platform and use Live View when possible to compose, expose, and focus (built-in mirror lock-up too.)

A stable platform to me means good tripod and Really Right Stuff gear.  I am using the PG-02 panning gimbal head these days which supports my long lenses and serves double duty as a multi-axis panorama kit. 

The goat shot above is an effective 1040mm with a 1/400 shutter speed from a moving boat!  That is only possible when the platform is stable.  I also used Live View to focus and set my exposure.  The PG-02 makes that probable but the addition of a long lens support kit makes the shot probable.  There is not a gear solution for everything but having the right equipment certainly helps.

24 shot HDR pano taken from a boat with the PG-02.

For a cool writeup from Joe at Really Right Stuff about an awesome trip check out the following link.

Now back to Lightroom for me.  We are learning the final workflow step today - Output.  So plenty of time with export, Print, SS, and Web.  Good living.

Fiat Lux!