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.
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.
Wow it’s been over 2 weeks since I’ve blogged and I think that’s the longest I’ve gone since I started this blog 3 years ago. It’s actually been a really nice break and I’ve had good reason as I was travelling through Europe, Paris and Italy to be precise.
While the trip was amazing I returned home to find that I had a flood in my basement 😦 I’ll leave that story for another time but needless to say I didn’t even get a chance to download any of my images until last night. With over 2000 images to sort through, cull and process it may take me some time especially since my office and Mac is located in the basement.
We spent the first two days of our journey in Paris. It truly is the city of lights and what better image to kick things of with then the Louvre at blue hour. This was taken on our first night in Paris. Having flown from Toronto to Paris on an overnight flight I was walking around with very little sleep. Sunset that night was at 9:57pm so at that point I was almost at the 48 hour mark with only about 2 hours of sleep but I was in Paris and I wasn’t going to miss this opportunity. The real hero in all of this was my husband who was quietly dozing on a bench at this point.
I was going through my archives the other day looking through my images from my trip to Israel in 2010. I’m going back to Israel next week and I was trying to remind myself what I shot the last time I was there. That trip took place before I started this blog and when I was just starting to learn about HDR. This was one image that I was never happy with. I had shot 3 brackets handheld but it was very dark and the longer exposure image was blurry and the HDR never came out the way I wanted it to. Of course that was before I was using Lightroom so I decided to process one of the brackets on its own in LR5. All I did for processing was to bring out the shadows and darken the highlights slightly and cloned out part of a railing.
This was taken on the walk down to Hezekiah’s Tunnel in Jerusalem which was dug underneath the City of David. The tunnel dates back to the reign of Hezekiah of Judah in the late 8th and early 7th century BCE and was designed as an aqueduct to provide Jerusalem with water.
Walking through the tunnel itself is an amazing experience. It’s dark, very narrow and you walk through water that comes up to your knees. Yup that’s us in the picture below. Our tour guide took this shot…
I decided to do a little scuba diving the other day and all was fine until I realized that I was sharing the water with a reef shark. I’ve never swam so fast in my life but I made it to shore.
Alright…that’s not really how it happened. I finally started processing my images from Toronto’s latest attraction, Ripley’s Aquarium, from a few months ago.
The Dangerous Lagoon is one of the amazing galleries at the aquarium. You view and walk the lagoon through an underwater tunnel. The challenge of photographing in this gallery is the poor lighting. I set up my tripod (and had to be very patient as streams of visitors kept walking by). I set my ISO to 640 and shot at f/2.8, 1/40s. I processed the image in Lightroom 5. Those lovely lights you seeing streaming from the top are the lights in the lagoon but doesn’t it just look like the sun’s rays beaming through?
Click on the image to enlarge (it really does look better) or to Purchase a Print.
Walking through Soho one day I almost missed this mural. Can you imagine? I was talking and not paying attention but luckily, as I was about to cross the street a car was coming through the intersection which made me stop. When I looked across the street this is what I saw.
Click on the image to enlarge (it really does look better) or to Purchase a Print.
I also wanted to let you know of new ebook by Ian Plant and it’s absolutely free to download. Costa Rica – Wonders of the Osa is a 40 page ebook showcase the beautiful forest wildlife of the Osa Peninsula. Click here to download this free ebook.
The Dreamscape team has also recently released The Complete Lightroom Workflow tutorial. This series of 18 video tutorials is over 3 hours long by Dreamscapes blogger Kurt Budiger will show you how to use Adobe Lightroom 5 to unlock your photos’ hidden potential. Kurt takes the mystery out of this powerful program. He leads you
through his personal workflow, taking you every step of the way—from importing media through organizing and editing images, applying common adjustments, synching your settings across images, and exporting to Adobe Photoshop. And as an added bonus, he provides you three case studies from his own images, explaining the aesthetic decisions he made in processing each image. The normal retail price of the videos is $29.95, but use discount code Darkroom1 to get $3 off! Click here to purchase or download a free sample.
It seems that fall is the time for new product announcements from companies like Apple and Google. It’s also when we see new photography related ebooks released. In the last couple of weeks I’ve ingested 2 new such releases from the team at Dreamscapes.
Landscapes in Lightroom 5
The first, Landscapes in Lightroom 5 – The Essential Step-By-Step Guide by Michael Frye was actually released a few weeks ago. If you’re not familiar with the author then let me introduce you, Michael Frye is a Fine Art landscape and Nature photographer, writer and teacher from California who has lived in or around Yosemite National Park since the 1980’s. As you can image his images of Yosemite are iconic.
In this, his 7th book (4 print and 3 ebooks) Michael instructs his readers on how to make their landscape images shine using Lightroom 5. Whether your new to Lightroom or just upgrade to LR5 you may want to pick up this book.
Michael walks you through the Develop Module in Lightroom and talks in-depth about the differences between the older versions and the latest. Learn about tone control and all the new features in LR5.
Want to Know What Got Me Really Excited?
Ok…I’ll tell you. Half of this ebook (it’s 87 pages) is made up of examples. A total of 6 example images each approximately 5 to 6 pages where Michael evaluates the landscape image; discusses the profile; what he did to process the image and there’s a link to a video tutorial for each example. So now you’re asking why I’m so excited? Well at the start of the examples section Michael provides a link so that the reader can download all the DNG RAW files to the images he’s used in his examples so that you can follow along and process the image yourself. Now if that’s not exciting what is?
What a great why to learn! Landscapes in LightRoom 5 retails for $14.95 but until September 21st Dreamscapes is having a 15% off sale on everything in their store. Just use the discount code CATSAWAY1 to take advantage of the discount. Click here to go to the store.
The second book that I just put down was released only a couple of days ago. Forever Light: The Landscape Photographer’s Guide to Iceland by Sarah Marino and Ron Coscorrosa.
This is a terrific guide (I really wish I was planning a trip to Iceland but alas that is not to be). Sarah and Ron are very thorough and discuss everything from the ins and outs of traveling through Iceland…driving tips; lodging options; food options; travel costs, etc to providing ideas on recommended gear and gear considerations as well as providing specific location guides from north to south. The location guides themselves are just as detailed providing GPS coordinates; best time to go; driving directions and even the best lenses to use.
Of course the images themselves make me really want to buy a plane ticket and head over there but if this is a photographic trip that you have planned or are planning to embark on then this guide is an indispensible resource.
You can find Forever Light in the Dreamscapes Store for $14.95 but remember until September 21st Dreamscapes is having a 15% off sale on everything in their store. Just use the discount code CATSAWAY1 to take advantage of the discount. Click here to go to the store.