Ive got time for a quick post of last night’s fun. It was cold and beautiful. And I finally saw my first beavers since moving to Oregon.
Shot with Fusion and edited with Snapseed.
I think I’m still getting used to this whole being able to get up near cloud level thing. I’ve spent so many years shooting at sea level. This is a fun, new perspective.
Speaking of fun, there’s a lot of photography fun on the horizon for me. This weekend I’m going out to shoot the milky way because the conditions look perfect. I’m also going to be giving private lessons to a client, during the day. She doesn’t know anything about photography, but thats no problem. The last person I worked with, that had zero experience, was making money with her photography and shooting events within months.
And theres even more fun coming next week. A fellow photographer that I met in Maine is flying out here from Texas, and we’re going to be shooting the Columbia River Gorge, Portland, and the coast for nearly a week. He said he was getting depressed having nothing to shoot but freeways and power lines haha. So, if I’m missing from the blog for a while, its because I’m out playing :)
I did my taxes yesterday…and shortly thereafter, I got a scowl on my face because I owe a bunch of money. I immediately wanted to run off to a wide open landscape to relax, or to sell everything and go to Alaska, but neither one happened. Instead, I sat around working on my landscapes, and coming up with more ideas to make money with my photography. One of which is going to be selling sets of photos for use as wallpaper on your mobile devices.
This morning, I’m going to head out to some waterfalls to relax for a while. There was a chance of snow out there last night, so I could be making my way out to a magical scene very shortly. I hope you all enjoy your day.
Last night I decided to go look for another spot to take in the sunset. The problem was that the sky was rather boring, so I changed my plans and just went for a drive in the mountains. I found this interesting old barn on a hillside, and decided to stop for a few photos.
I know there are quite a few apps that you can use to add light leaks to your image, but you can also create it in camera when you’re shooting. The trick is to keep the sun just out of frame. Since the sun was relatively low, and it was the golden hour, I got a nice warm glow from the left side of the frame. It absolutely adds to the mood of the image here, and in my opinion makes it work. Otherwise, you just have a barn on a hill.
I edited this in Snapseed, using one of the new Grainy Film filters. Like I said before, I think they look great, and I’m not really a filter guy.
Here is the original image.
Also, it seems like some people really don’t like Snapseed’s redesign. I think the layout is great. Editing feels quicker with this layout. I know change is hard, but this seems like a good change.
Another amazing thing I just noticed is once an image is saved in Snapseed, all of the stacks are saved as well. If you load any image you edited in Snapseed, all of the edits you made can be adjusted again. Thats a fantastic addition.
I’ll be honest, I didn’t expect Snapseed to add many more features to their free app. It was already pretty loaded with good stuff. The update to version 2.0 adds a lot of excellent features. For me, Snapseed was already the top editing app, and now its taken another step forward.
Let’s check out the new features:
The histogram is a very welcome addition for me. You can see it at the bottom left of the screen. Now I can keep track of my highlights and shadows, as I edit, making sure that I don’t clip them (lose detail by over-editing.)
Lens Blur isn’t a new tool. It was the tilt-shift tool, but has a new name now. However, they did add 11 shapes, instead of just the typical circle. You can have a heart shaped blur if you’d like. Perfect for the teenage girl inside you!
The Perspective Transform tool is a great addition. Now you can delete any perspective apps you had on your phone. The cool thing about this tool is when you adjust the perspective, which will create empty space in the image, Snapseed uses a content aware fill to intelligently fill in the open spaces. I’m not sure how accurate the content aware fill is, so you may need to crop if there are weird artifacts being created.
Spot healing is a good idea. I wish it was more like TouchRetouch, but right now, you can only use the tool by tapping on one spot, instead of being able touch and draw over what you want removed. Spot healing will be useful if there are spots or small things you want removed from your images.
Stacks allows you to re-edit or delete any adjustment you’ve made. You can also copy edits from one image to another. History was lacking for a long time in Snapseed. This is a big step up from a history feature. I’m so happy to see non-destructive editing included. Now you don’t have to worry about starting all over if you make an adjustment that you don’t like.
The Brush tool lets you make adjustments to parts of the image that you choose by drawing with your finger. The Brush tool allows you to dodge, burn, and adjust exposure, temperature, and saturation. My first impressions are this is a decent tool. I wish you could select the brush size, instead of having to zoom into the image. I also wish there was some intelligent edge detection to make selections easier. This tool will be decent for broad adjustments, but maybe not the best for precise ones.
To selectively apply filters, tap on the stacks icon on the top of the screen. Below it’s the 3 icon. The number changes depending on how many layers you have.
Then tap on the layer you want to mask
Next tap on the paintbrush icon to bring up the masking screen.
Below, I’ve tapped the icon to the left of the middle of the lower part of the screen, to invert the mask. This puts a red mask over the image to show you where the filter is applied. For the purpose of showing how it looks if you make adjustments, I used a +25 to draw over the middle of the image. That means the effect will be applied at 25% opacity wherever I draw.
Snapseed has added a couple of filters from Color Efex Pro (their amazing photoshop/lightroom plugin.) They are the tonal contrast and glamour glow filters. Both of which are great. Tonal contrast is my favorite new feature. It allows you to make adjustments to the contrast in specific tonal ranges. Also very useful are the protect shadows and protect highlights sliders, which should help prevent clipping.
Glamour Glow has 5 presets, or you can make your own adjustments with the sliders. This effect is great on portraiture, landscapes, and still life images. It’s an easy way to get something similar to an orton effect.
Grainy Film is another new addition. These appear to be VSCO type filters that simulate 18 different film types. They look pretty great to me.
Noir offers 14 dark and grainy filters. They’re really not my style, and I don’t see myself using them.
I shot this with an HDR camera app that I’m beta testing, called Fusion.
This is after making adjustments in Tune Image, including ambiance, contrast, shadows, and highlights. Then I added a little structure in the details tool. I followed that up with Tonal contrast, which made the biggest difference between the original and the final image. There was so much more detail brought out in the trees, and part of the clouds.
I can tell already that I’ll be using the tonal contrast filter instead of the drama filter, from now on.
Quite often, when people find out I’m a professional photographer, they’ll tell me what I should go take a photo of. Over the years, I’ve come to understand that we don’t all view things the same way. Our current mental state, as well as our connection to a location, or object, greatly influence how we perceive something. So, a lot of times, since I don’t share the same connection to something that someone else has, I’m unable to see why they think its so worthy of a photograph. Does that make sense?
It’s pretty hit and miss when someone wants to show me a location that they think is cool. Ok…it’s mostly miss. But not this time. My new friend was telling me about some unmarked falls she found while exploring Southern Oregon. I was pretty eager to check it out because its hard to find waterfalls that aren’t overshot, or crowded with tourists.
These cascading falls certainly didn’t disappoint. The photo only captures about a quarter of its size. It went up much higher and farther back. It had that classic Oregon look with all the moss covering the rocks. There were ferns to use as a foreground element, and a massive boulder to help frame the falls. Basically, theres a lot of potential there.
I did get some nice shots with my Nikon, but I feel like this is a place I’ll have to go spend some more time with, so I can do it justice.
I’m happy to share with you guys that I landed my first magazine cover for Emerald Magazine. They found one of my old iPhone photos and decided they’d like to use it. This is nowhere close to my best work, but it works for this issue of their magazine.
If you want to recreate something similar, in the middle of a street, simply set your iPhone down on the road, for an extremely low angle.
I’m hungry for more, so I should probably start submitting work to publications regularly.