I’m surprised that I actually like the way this image from Maine turned out. I got a little bit discouraged with the location because Shannon and I got there right at sunset, and there were already about 10 photographers set up on the rocks. We had to find our own angles that would give us a good composition, while keeping balding heads out of our shots. I also sat on this image for a while because our buddy Mike Mezeul got a sweet shot from a low angle. I didn’t think mine was as good, and I had plenty of other stuff to work on, so this one could wait.
The only problem I have with it displaying on my blog is the size. It really looks better if you click on it. The details are much more crisp when its a bit larger.
This image was created by manually blending 2 exposures in photoshop. One for the sky, and one for the water. I used the two exposures to mold the light on the rocks, lighthouse, and trees a bit, by picking and choosing which exposure to paint in different areas at different opacities. It’s a fun process. There was quite a bit more processing, including luminosity masks, nik plugins, a topaz plugin, and a subtle orton effect just on the crashing wave.
Thanks for looking! I’ll probably be away from the blog for the rest of the week as you all spend time away from the computer with loved ones. I think I’ll be alone this year, after moving far from my family, but there are a few locals that have been kind enough to extend an invitation for me to join them. Sitting at home, editing with my own cheesecake, sounds just as fine to me :)
I came across this free app today that looks pretty loaded with features. It’s normally $4.99, so grab it while you can.
Leonardo – Photo Editor
Today’s image is from Little Lake in New Hampshire. It’s right next to Chocorua Lake…aka Chocolate Lake. If that sounds familiar, it’s because I posted an iPhone version of this while I was there. I know it doesn’t look like sunrise, but it was. There were just some clouds in the way.
Sometimes, when my body hurts, and I’m exhausted, I wonder why I get up for sunrises. The stillness of the early morning hours reminds me every time. I don’t care how cold or dark it may be, when I wake up. The moments of calm before the storm are worth it.
In a way, those quiet moments, when I’m alone with my camera are my moments of meditation. It’s my way of shutting the world out, letting my thoughts go, entering the flow state, and becoming one with whatever my subject is. I believe that connection is important for creating great images.
Two of my favorite places for this type of meditation are the beach, and waterfalls. The sound of the crashing waves, and falling water are so loud that they overpower any other noise. I find it funny that we think of waterfall photos, or beach photos as relaxing and serene, when, in reality, they are quite loud and violent, in person.
This tree in the White Mountains of New Hampshire caught my eye, as we walked back to the car. It was sitting on a hillside, which gave me a great low angle view of the branches going in various directions.
Shooting up into the sky, on an overcast day, requires blending of multiple exposures, otherwise, you will lose all detail in the sky, or end up with an underexposed foreground. This one was particularly challenging, because the leaves were blowing in the wind, between my bracketed shots. I had to carefully manually blend 3 exposures in photoshop, using luminosity masks, to recreate what I saw with my eyes, while making sure not to get any weird ghosting with the leaves.
I set this shot up with my Nikon D7000 and Tokina 11-16mm lens, sitting on my carbon fiber manfrotto tripod.
Yesterday, I went for a fall hike in Southern Oregon with a couple of buddies. We decided we needed to take advantage of the dry conditions before the rain and cold weather come.
I’d never been to Roxy Ann Peak before, so I didn’t know what to expect. The trail offers great views of Mt McKinley, both of the Table Rocks, and the Rogue Valley.
I felt like this scene looked perfect for a painting, so I used Brushstroke to create a painterly version below.
I’d also been meaning to start recording my edits again, so I went ahead and did that for this one. Since there is no audio, I’ll quickly tell you my thought process during the edit. I usually start my edits in Snapseed by increasing the ambiance because I like the way it affects shadows, highlights, and color in an image. I also always like to boost the contrast a little bit, to make it pop. Since the sky was a little brighter than I wanted, I brightened the shadows slightly, so I could lower the brightness without making the shadows too dark. I probably should have gone lower on the brightness, but I was moving quickly here.
Next, I wanted to see how the sharpness and details looked in the image. I usually end up increasing the sharpness by 4-5, and then add around 10-15 of structure. You don’t want to add too much, or you get a crunchy looking image.
I took the image into Mextures next, because I wanted to try and add some light to the image that would enhance the golden hour feel. I also thought it would help make the overexposed sky look a little better. I ended up using a guest formula by Cora Edwards, and then fine tuning each of the layers to my taste.Basically, I didn’t want the foreground to become too dark, or contrasty, nor did I want the midtones and shadows to become washed out.
Sorry about the title, I couldn’t help myself.
How about a behind the scenes shot from Maine today? This is the power stance of Canon shooters, sitting on the ground. Ok, I can’t really poke fun at her fun getting low. Low angles are great for creating interesting compositions. How often do you see things from your eye level? All day, everyday. Getting down low allows for a perspective that we don’t see too often.
If you’re going to shoot from a low angle with a DSLR, a wide angle lens is great. Just be sure to make sure your horizon is level, and keep an eye on the sky, as it will be overexposed in a scene like the one we were capturing on a grey day. Sometimes, theres nothing you can do about it, and you have to accept it, other times, you can look for different compositions to minimize the amount of overexposed sky in your shot.
The original photo of Shannon shooting down this path in the woods was nice and all, but I’m kind of in double exposure mode as I finish writing up that article today.
Here are the two images I used to create the above image in Union.
I’m pretty sure I used the multiply blending mode with the leaf image in the foreground. I’ll be discussing blending modes and how they work in the upcoming article. I’m trying to keep it simple and easy to understand. Math is hard…and theres a bit of math that goes into them.
Well, its back to work for me. Enjoy your weekend!
Yesterday, I decided I needed to get away from editing, and everything that goes into building a brand, so I went for a drive to check out some waterfalls that a new friend told me about. I was really impressed by the waterfalls, and can’t wait to edit those photos. I already have so much to edit though haha.
As I was driving, I saw some awesome scenery that I hadn’t seen before. Mt Thielsen looked pretty amazing with the leading lines that the road provided, which meant I had to stop for a shot.
I snapped one or two from the side of the road, but it really didn’t do the scene justice. I knew standing in the middle of the highway would provide me with symmetry, leading lines, and a better composition, so thats exactly what I did.
I definitely have to come back here for a sunset. What a view!
Shot with the native camera app, and edited with Snapseed.