Writing with Light

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The Woman at 2949

Keeping watch on the street below in Trastevere, Rome….while I keep watch above.

Click on the image to see a full resolution version (it really does look better) or to Purchase a Print.

Italy, Rome, Trastevere, window, woman, black and white, monochrome, travel photography, street photography

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Topaz Glow

To say that I’m excited by the release of Topaz Labs newest plug-in would be a huge understatement. This week Topaz Glow was released and what a great addition to Topaz’s arsenal of great tools.

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Topaz Glow can be used as a stand-alone or a plugin (for PC & MAC) to transform your photos from dull to dazzling. Containing more than 70 unconventional and quirky filters, you can infuse your images with neon, graphic, liquid and other electrifying effects. Glow reveals hidden textures in your photos that aren’t visible to the naked eye. While you may not want to apply Glow on every image, you can take your creativity to the next level with this awesome plug-in.

Glow comes packed with 70 filters which you can use as is or you have complete artistic control to customize, combine and tweak to make your vision come to life.

Topaz Glow is regularly priced at $69.99 but until December 31, 2014 you can pick up Glow for $49.99 using the coupon code INTROGLOW.

Here are a few of my images processed with Topaz Glow. Click on each image to see a larger version.

Topaz Glow, Topaz Labs, sunflower, flower

Topaz Glow, Topaz Labs, Italy, Tuscany, door, blue, travel photography

Topaz Glow, Topaz Labs, Paris, Louvre, night photography, long exposure, travel photography

Lens Correction in Lightroom 5 – Fixing Rome

I don’t know what it is, but when handholding my DSLR, often times my horizon isn’t straight. I don’t know maybe I’m a little off kilter :) In any case in a lot of shots I have to straighten my horizon in post. The other problem I sometimes face when shooting buildings is that the perspective is off and the building looks like it’s leaning backwards. If I had a Tilt Shift lens I could take care of that problem in camera but alas I don’t. This is where the Lens Correction panel in the develop module in Lightroom 5 comes in.

I have to say that LR5 has become not only an organizational and cataloguing tool for my image library but my go to post processing software as well. The power of LR5 never ceases to amaze me. I would say that 85% of my images are processed in Lightroom alone and I only use Photoshop now for detailed cloning work.

The image below was taken while I was walking around Rome. This is the original RAW file, straight out of camera.

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As you can see it needs some work. Not only is the building leaning a bit sideways but it’s also leaning back. I first used the “Level” tool in the Lens Correction panel then the “Vertical” tool to straighten the building. Then I opened up the shadows which brought back all the detail inside the windows and the tables of the restaurant. I then increased the clarity and vibrance slightly, made some adjustments with the Luminance sliders in a few colours and added a bit of detail.

Here you have it…the final image. Click on the image to enlarge.

Rome, Italy, restaurent, dining, patio, travel photography, building, shutters

Standing the Test of Time

Cypress trees line the hills of Tuscany. I don’t know how long these have been standing in this spot but I do know that I could photograph the Tuscan countryside ad infinitum.

Click on the image to see a higher resolution version (it really does look better) or to Purchase a Print.

Tuscany, Italy, Blackand White, monochrome, landscape, travel photography, hillside, cypress trees, minimalist

Beware of the Dog

Every so often I get this boost of creativity and feel inspired to do something different, even a little outrageous with one of my images. This was the case with this image that I captured when we arrived at San Quirico D’Orcia in Tuscany

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This is the image straight out of the camera. I haven’t done a thing to it. What I love about this scene is the layer upon layer of the buildings and how the converge. As I stared at it on my computer screen I wondered what it would look like if the buildings were slanted and those stone walls started to squeeze together. I used the “pinch” artistic filter in Photoshop, at about 55%, to bring the stone walls in and the back buildings forward forcing the centre door to inch closer. That looked pretty cool but I still wanted to make it a bit more ominous looking. I had a black and white image of a dark and cloudy sky and used that as a texture overlay using the blending mode “multiply” at 100% opacity. I then used a layer mask to bring back some of the detail in the walls and selectively lighten certain areas.

As you can see from the original image Fido was nowhere to be seen. He is from that village. I captured him only moments earlier standing on one of those high walls. I used the Quick Selection tool to select only him from the image he was in, created a new layer from the selection and then dropped him into this image.  And there you have it…Beware of the Dog!

I don’t do these often but its fun experimenting. I would love to know what you think.

Click on the image to enlarge (it really does look better) or to Purchase a Print.

Italy, village, San Quirico D'Orcia, Tuscany, composite, fine art, dog, travel photography

 

Black Friday Mania

With Thanksgiving coming up in the U.S. this weekend and Black Friday mania grabbing hold both here in Canada and the U.S. I’ve come across some great photo deals that I wanted to share with all of you.

Updated with a new deal from Dreamscapes.  See below.

Stuck in Customs

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All Presets, Tutorials and eBooks will be marked down 35% regular price starting Wednesday November 26th to Monday December 1st. Trey Ratcliff is the one who started it all and his HDR Tutorial has just been revamped with 100% new content. In the first hour, you’ll know all the basics, and beyond that, you’ll learn an amazing collection of new tricks, workflow, and post-processing techniques that will give your photos a great and unique look. Excellent for any skill level, from beginner to advanced. In addition to this and other tutorials the Stuck in Customs store is a great resource for books as low as $4.97, textures and Lightroom presets. Check it out here.

Ian Plant’s Dreamscapes

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Everything in the store is 20% OFF starting today through the end of November. If you haven’t read Ian’s Chasing the Light, this is the perfect time to pick up a copy of this amazing book.

Topaz Labs

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If you’ve been following this blog then you know that I use Topaz Labs plug-ins in my workflow. From November 28th through December 1st, the good folks at Topaz Labs is offering the entire Topaz Photography Collection (all 15 products) for $249.99. Use the coupon code BLACKFRIDAY2014 at checkout. And don’t forget you can use the coupon code elphoto to get 15% of any individual product.

Edith Levy Photography

Last and certainly not least from now until Dec 23rd take 20% all products in my gallery by using the coupon code Holiday2014. If you’re thinking of a unique gift why not give the gift of art.

Malibu Pier, California, long exposure, high key, beach, waves, malibu pier cafe, travel photography

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