Category Archives: Behind The Lens

Lake Annecy With HDR And Photomatix

Lake Annecy, French Alps

This week I’ve been experimenting with HDR and Photomatix a little. I originally processed this shot of Lake Annecy exclusively in Lightroom, but wasn’t completely happy with the results even though I liked the composition.

I didn’t have multiple exposures of the same scene as you typically would with HDR, so I used Photomatix to create an HDR image from a single RAW file. It gave me some extra detail in the foreground and the mountains on the horizon which is just what I was looking for.

While I’m not a fan of the over processed, saturated HDR images you see a lot these days, I do appreciate the more subtle effect the process can create. I still don’t have the patience for taking more than one exposure of a single scene but I do think I’ll be using Photomatix a little more in the future!

Have you ever used Photomatix? Maybe you’re a big fan of HDR images? I’d love to hear from you!

Post-Processing in Lightroom: Into A Dream

When I’m out with a camera I always try to let my imagination run wild with the landscapes around me. As soon as I saw the subject of this week’s post-processing tutorial I knew the artistic direction I wanted to take with it in Lightroom.

In this week’s video I demonstrate how I created the dream-like feeling in this shot using the temperature and vignette sliders. After a request from Kan of Kan Walk Will Travel I also made sure to use a shot with which I could demonstrate the Graduated Filter tool.

So this will be my first request fulfilled! If you have anything you’d like to see more of just let me know and I’ll do my best to include it in a future video. I hope you enjoy this week’s tutorial, and if you have any questions please don’t hesitate to ask! For those who don’t enjoy the video format you can see the before and after below.

Do you have any tips for using the Graduate Filter tool? Or maybe you have another example of fulfilling your artistic vision with Lightroom? I’d love to hear from you!

Post-Processing in Lightroom: Fixing Vertical Distortion

The subject for this week’s post-processing video is this shot I took in Lisbon, Portugal. It provides a good, simple example of how to use the vertical distortion tool in Lightroom to change the perspective of a photograph.

This image was more popular than I thought it would be. I guess I should be focussing more on images with animals in! I don’t take many of those right now. There are a couple of other little Lightroom tricks in the video that I explain along the way, so I’m hoping you’ll find it useful!

If you’re interested in seeing some more before and after post-processing, be sure to check out the AB Friday Forum run by Stacy Fischer. It’s a fantastic place to pick up some tips and tricks while being inspired by the great work of other photographers.

As I said last time, if you have any requests for shots that you’re interested in seeing just let me know and I’ll endeavour to put together a similar video over the coming weeks and months. See you in two weeks for the next installment!

Have you used the distortion tools in Lightroom? Maybe you have a trick or two to share? I’d love to hear from you!

137 Posts, 338 Photos, 1 Year Blogging

Vernazza, Cinque Terre

Last week I surpassed one year blogging here on WordPress. I still find it hard to believe that I’ve been posting 3+ times a week for 12 months! A big part of my motivation for getting out and exploring so much comes from the excitement of sharing new images with you. Thank you so much for your support over the last year!

I thought I’d post a shot from the place that started it all – the Cinque Terre region of Italy. Still probably the most visually stunning part of the world I’ve visited, this place really struck a chord and inspired me to do more with my travel photography.

This shot of Vernazza was taken whilst trying to explore one of the hiking trails that connect the five coastal towns along the Italian Riviera. Unfortunately the route was closed, but I managed to get this shot from the beginning of the trail. I really can’t wait to go back some day and hike the full distance!

Vanishing Points And The Golden Ratio

Vanishing Point, Lisbon Metro

Lines leading to a vanishing point always seem to make for great composition. This shot was taken on the Lisbon Metro, but I guess it could be any underground train network in the world. The frequency of trains left a lot to be desired, but at least it gave me time to take this shot!

When composing images like this I always try to put the vanishing point on one of the phi points of the golden ratio. I know a lot of people swear by the rule of thirds, but at least 50% of the time I prefer this crop instead.

If you’d like to experiment in Lightroom, go to the Tools menu and select Crop Guide Overlay. Then you can have your pick of different grids to guide your composition. I’m sure that on at least one occasion the golden ratio will be just perfect!

Post-Processing in Lightroom: Circle of Light

I’ve finally got around to recording a belated second post-processing video! I published this shot of Amsterdam’s Royal Palace back in April, and a couple of people asked to see a before and after of my processing. Hopefully this will satisfy your curiosity!

Whether you’re a fan of the final shot or not, I think this is a great example of what you can achieve in Lightroom with only a few clicks.

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If you have any requests for shots that you’re interested in seeing just let me know and I’ll endeavour to put together a similar video over the coming weeks and months. I’m planning to publish one of these every two weeks, depending on how popular they are!

What tools do you use for processing your photos? Maybe you’d like to see a video for a specific shot of mine?! I’d love to hear from you!

Why I’m Using 500px For My Portfolio

500px Portfolio

I’ve recently started uploading my shots to a portfolio on 500px, which you can find using the newly created Portfolio link in the website menu at the top of my blog (between Photography and About Me) or by visiting directly here. I seem to get a lot more views on 500px compared to any other platform, so I’d really recommend it if you’re trying to get your images in front of as many eyes as possible.

Not only is it a great format for viewing photos, they also provide print and download services for free. Unfortunately they don’t provide any flexibility on pricing, so you just have to make do with the model they’ve decided upon. But it means I have a place where people can buy my photos without any upfront costs for me, which at the moment is a no brainer.

I’ll be continuing to add my best shots on 500px, as well as selecting some of my favourites from the past few years to upload. It’s a great place to see all of my photography in one place, without the ramblings of the blog. And if you’re anything like me you’ll be able to waste a good few hours just looking through other photographer’s images on the front page!

Do you use 500px? Or have another platform you’d like to recommend? I’d love to hear from you!