Sunday, December 16, 2018

Smoke Rising From The Fields #mystock https://t.co/Yi3nodOr4L #barn #fields #farming https://t.co/ubZ5TlAMEx #photography


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PictureCorrect: Interesting Photo of the Day: Magical Winter in Yosemite

At first glance, this almost feels like a shot from the movies, but Oxus007 manages to capture an ice cold moment at Yosemite. Yosemite is no stranger to tourists as an attraction during the winter season. Many plan camping trips to enjoy skiing, ice skating, and stargazing, along with several other activities during the winter time. But sometimes, you may just be lucky enough to capture a solitary, magical scene frozen in time like this one:

frozen-yosemite-california

Magical Winter in Yosemite by Oxus007 (Via Reddit. Click image to see full size.)

Taking an in depth look at the photo, Oxus007 gets close enough to capture a long exposure shot while the warm sun gazes over the Yosemite peaks. The perfect mix of ice cold snow and solitude with no one in sight. The contrast of the bright whites seemingly implies time has frozen, while the sun represents change and life as it shines down from the hills upon the frozen river.


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Mark Raymond Mason: Daily Photo Tip

In digital photography, an 'artifact' occurs when a file compression method misrepresents the photograph, resulting in an unwanted mark or defect in the image. (First published Dec 19, 2009)

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PictureCorrect: Twilight Photo Editing Tutorial in Luminar

Related note: only a little while left for the Pre-order Sale on Luminar 3 with Libraries

If you’ve never edited an image before, you may be wondering why you should bother, and if you’re used to editing being part of your workflow you may be wondering what Luminar can do to enhance your images that other image editors can’t.

For those who are wondering why you should bother with editing, the reasons are simple. Post-processing your images is like putting the final touches on your masterpiece! It lets you adjust exposure, color, contrast, and much, much more. You don’t have to get into the realm of fantasy composites to do a good, basic edit on your images, and it will make all the difference to the final image.

Luminar is a fast, powerful image editor that will grow with you as your skills progress, and it offers the power of artificial intelligence to help speed your editing workflow along.

Today, we’re going to look at ways to make your images stand out by using manual adjustments, filters, layers, LUTs, and presets.

This is our starting image—a good travel shot, but it could do with some tweaking to really bring out the best in it.

luminar 2018 tutorial

There are several routes you can take to enhance this image in Luminar, so let’s have a look at some manual adjustments first.

Develop Panel

On the right-hand side of the screen you will see the Develop panel, with the basic tools such as exposure, contrast, highlights, shadows, etc. These basic tools will serve as a starting point for the edit, but before I do that, let’s look at the Lens tab. Clicking this tab will enable us to correct any lens distortion. This is what the panel looks like:

luminar menu

By moving the sliders, you can correct both distortion and remove any unwanted vignetting (dark areas around the outside of your image) that’s been caused by your lens.

I adjusted the exposure, shadows and highlights a bit in order to make the image a little lighter but without making the highlights brighter.

develop module

The image still has quite a lot of dark areas in it, so we will turn on the Shadow Clipping warning at the top left hand side of the histogram. This warning is a little triangle which turns orange when activated. There is one on the right hand side of the histogram too, for the Highlight Clipping warning.

Once activated, these handy warnings tell us when there is no detail left in certain areas of the image, and that these areas have gone dark black or bright white. With shadows, it will show up as a blue color on your image, with highlights it will turn burned-out areas red. This is the shadow clipping on this image:

processing with luminar

As you can see, there is still a bit of blue color in the tree branches on the left-hand side of the frame, but it’s not much at all. I’m happy with that, as I don’t want to go too far in lightening the shadows.

LUT Mapping

LUT stands for Look Up Tables, which are mathematical formulas that can be applied to an image to give it a certain look or feel. The most common in recent years has been the ‘cinematic’ look, so that your images look like a still shot from a movie. LUTs have been used by the film and video industry for years, and now photographers are seeing the benefits of using them to color grade and tone their images in one quick step.

You will find the LUT Mapping panel in the Filters menu under the Professional tab. LUTs are meant to be applied after you have done all your basic editing, such as exposure, white balance, etc. Bear in mind that they are not a quick fix for mistakes in your image, such as being over/underexposed. They work best when you start with a properly exposed and corrected image.

Luminar 2018 has a wide choice of LUTs, and I have applied the LUT called ‘Grace’. I reduced the amount to 60 percent and dropped the contrast, as it was too strong at the default levels. I also boosted the saturation a little, too.

luminar lut menu

Here is the before/after split after applying the LUT:

lut before after

LUTs can really make your image stand out, and save you a lot of time doing so.

Accent AI Filter

If you are pushed for time, or if you are totally new to editing images and don’t know where to start, the Accent AI filter is a great tool. It uses the power of artificial intelligence to examine the data in your image and make tailored adjustments to it automatically. It can fix a lot of the issues found in images straight from the camera, and you still get to control how much of a change it makes by using the Boost slider to adjust the amount.

This before/after split is of the original image and the Accent AI version:

accent ai

It has automatically adjusted the shadows, contrast and colors for me, giving a richer and better-rounded image.
Presets and Adjustment Layers

Luminar comes with a wide variety of presets that you can apply to your image in a single click. These presets will work with all kinds of images, from landscapes to portraits, and you can find them by clicking this little icon along the top of the menu bar:

icon

A film strip of presets will appear underneath your image, showing a preview of what it will look like with the preset applied. To find the preset categories, click on the Categories button, and this screen will appear:

luminar presets

Some categories are signature collections by photographers such as Joel Grimes and Brian Mattiash, and for this image we’re going to apply a preset by Joel Grimes:

joel grimes preset

This is his ‘Dramatic Detail’ preset, and it has really brought the detail in the image to life, especially in the snow-capped mountain and the cityscape.

Presets allow you to choose the strength being applied to your image, and each one is fully adjustable. This is how I tweaked the preset in the develop module:

preset adjustments

In this way, you get to use the preset as a starting point for your own adjustments, or you can leave it as is.

You can also combine two or more presets for dramatic results. This is done by clicking on the + icon near the Layers panel. This will give you an adjustment layer on top of the preset you’ve just applied. You then click on the preset you want to add to the first one, and you get to see the combined result. I have added the preset ‘Portrait Pop the Blues’ to the ‘Dramatic Detail’ preset in the image below:

pop the blues preset

Again, I used this as a starting point and made my own adjustments, such as boosting the vibrance and saturation.

There are black and white presets if you want to create an eye-catching monochrome image. I took the photo back to its original state by using the History tool. If you were wondering how to go back to your original, unedited image, this is a way of doing it. You will find the History along the top menu bar. Click it and you will get a drop-down list of all the adjustments you have made to the image.

history menu

Right at the bottom the last item will be when you loaded the image originally. Click it and it will reset everything.

Once I reset the image, I applied this black and white preset ‘Silver Crystals’ from the Travel preset collection:

silver crystals preset

It makes for a fabulously grainy and atmospheric image.

Luminar 3 with Libraries Pre-order Sale Ending Soon:

The new version of Luminar will start shipping to customers on December 18 and adds the ability to organize and edit multiple images simultaneously with the new Library panel. This addition transforms the photo editing software into a comprehensive, all-in-one imaging package.

luminar-with-libraries

Luminar with Libraries (Click to See How it Works)

Luminar 3 is a sophisticated image editor and library, which uses artificial intelligence to allow anybody, working with digital images to make better photos with intuitive and time-saving workflows. Luminar 3 makes processing, managing and editing photographs quicker and easier than with conventional software packages.

Deal found here: Luminar 3 with Libraries Pre-order Sale


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Dpreview.com: Tenba launches new Ridged Lens Capsule line, two new Gear Pouches


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Saturday, December 15, 2018

PictureCorrect: Winter Portrait Studio Photography Tutorial

Winter can be a tough time for photographers and models alike. Chilly weather, harsh conditions, and poor lighting all combine to make the job a tough one. Does this mean you should take a photography break when it’s cold outside? Photographer Gavin Hoey from Adorama doesn’t necessarily think so. Check out how he manages to bring winter into the comfort of his home studio for a great portrait session:

A winter photo feels incomplete without some snow. And replicating real snow inside a home studio can get messy. So, Hoey’s idea is to first take the photo and add the snow later in post.

To set the winter mood, Hoey has the model wear warm clothes and sit on a park bench replica. He uses a black background for the shoot and has a three-light setup.

Lighting Setup

Hoey uses an eVOLV 200 as the key light, placing it off to the side to avoid flat lighting. In order to avoid light spill and to have better control over the light, Hoey uses a grid as well. This is very important for a small home studio. The result is an image that appears to be lit by an elevated lamp post from the side.

winter image with key light

He uses another eVOLV 200 behind the model to act as a separation light. The light is set up to light the model’s shoulders and hat and separate her from the black background. This light also illuminates the smoke to give a hazy winter effect. Also, to emphasize the cold winter look of the image, he uses a blue gel on the back light. By setting the light’s power to 1/64 power, he is able to get a subtle effect.

indoor winter portrait

The key light illuminates one side of the model’s face, leaving the other half in shadow. Hoey uses a fill light powered at 1/128 and covered with a blue gel to add color to the shadows. This further adds to the cold winter feeling.

winter image with fill light

Winter Photo Shoot Technique

Besides creative use of lighting, Hoey makes use of a smoke machine to give a hazy look to the image. He also sprays some fake snow on the model to make the post-processing a bit easier.

snow photoshoot image

Post Processing

In the image above, the model has some “snow” on her when it isn’t even snowing. While you could use some more fake snow during the shoot for a realistic effect, the same can be achieved in post. Hoey demonstrates how you can add snow using Photoshop:

  1. Download and install his free Photoshop action from his blog.
  2. Open the image in Photoshop.
  3. Using Hoey’s action, select the kind of snow you want and click on the play button to run the action. After the action runs successfully, you will notice snow in your image.
  4. To remove the snow from unnecessary areas of the image, select the snow layer and paint over the snow using the brush tool with black selected.
  5. Once you’re happy with the image, go to Layer > Flatten Image.

To take things one step further, Hoey uses the Camera Raw filter in Photoshop to light the old lantern:

  1. Select the Adjustment brush tool.
  2. Set the temperature, tint, exposure, highlights, and clarity all the way to maximum. Leave everything else at zero.
  3. Reduce the brush size and click on the lantern a few times to give it a glowing effect.

Next, Hoey adds a warm glow around the lantern:

  1. Take a new Adjustment brush and leave the temperature and tint at maximum.
  2. Bring the exposure down to about under a stop and set the highlights and clarity to zero.
  3. Then, increasing the size of the brush, click on the lantern to add a warm glow around it.

Finally, to add some finishing touches, Hoey adds a radial filter to darken the area on the model’s left side. And to give viewers a feel that there’s actually a street lamp where the key light was placed, Hoey takes a large soft brush with a light blue color and paints on the corner. To make it realistic, he drops its opacity down for a subtle effect.

final snow photoshoot image

This tutorial is just perfect for those times when you want to take a winter-themed photo while avoiding actual winter photography struggles.


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