30 January 2015

Lanzarote - Land of Volcanoes

Daily photo - Lanzarote - Land of Volcanoes

Today I would like to share panorama photo I took more than 2 years ago on island of Lanzarote (Canary Islands). Below panorama shows Timanfaya National Park, located in southern part of the island. Many of the volcanoes in the park are still active, despite last big eruptions took place in 19th century, and in fact whole park is very geologically active. Due to this activity just a few centimeters under the ground temperature reaches 100 °C. And at about 10 meters it's already 600 degrees! Walking there is like walking on a ticking bomb. But the views are extraordinary!

After reading above you shouldn't be surprised to learn that alternative name of the park is Fire Mountains (Montañas del Fuego).
 
BTW make sure to click on the photo to view it in large size as it looks much better this way!
Lanzarote - Land of Volcanoes

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29 January 2015

HDR Tutorial po polsku (Polish Translation)

HDR Tutorial po polsku

Today post will be different in a sense that it is targeted towards my Polish readers... so the rest of this post will be written in my native languange :) It's an exception - for posts written in English visit my blog again in a few days time.

Od dłuższego już czasu wiele osób prosiło mnie o udostępnienie mojego poradnika dotyczącego fotografii HDR w języku polskim i dziś mam przyjemność ogłosić, że zakończyłem proces tłumaczenia z języka angielskiego i poradnik jest dostępny, oczywiście za darmo, do ściągnięcia z mojego bloga:


Generalnie zawiera on niemal wszystko to co wersja angielska, z wyjątkiem części Dodatki, opisującej pewne szczególne zastosowania HDR oraz bardziej specjalistyczne narzędzia. Nauczysz się z niego zatem:
  • teoretycznych podstaw fotografii HDR,
  • jak robić zdjęcia HDR,
  • jak rozwiązywać typowe problemy występujące w przypadku fotografii HDR,
  • jak wykorzystywać program Photomatix Pro do obróbki zdjęć HDR - przy czym nacisk został położony na uzyskanie naturalnie wyglądających zdjęć HDR.
Jeśli odzew będzie pozytywny, prawdopodobnie dodam te brakujące fragmenty do poradnika. Ponadto w kolejnych tygodniach zamierzam poświęcić jeszcze nieco czasu na dopracowanie aktualnej wersji, poprawienie niektórych sformułowań, itp. ale możesz już teraz skorzystać z tego poradnika.

Oczywiście czekam na sugestie i komentarze. A może coś jest niejasne? Coś poprawić? Postaram się udoskonalać poradnik w miarę możliwości tak, aby był jak najbardziej przystępny.

I na zakończenie - czemu tłumaczenie trwało tak długo? Cóż, jest kilka powodów. Po pierwsze jest to bardzo długi tekst, do tego zawierający sporo technicznych sformułowań, które dość ciężko przetłumaczyć na język polski, bo nie ma w nim jeszcze dobrych odpowiedników. Po drugie pisaniem tutoriali, poradników czy artykułów zajmuję się wyłącznie w czasie wolnym, nie zarabiam na tym. Generalnie wolę poświęcić tę niewielką ilość czasu na pisanie nowych tekstów niż tłumaczenie starych.


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28 January 2015

Sleeping Knight

Daily photo - Sleeping Knight

Sleeping knight?! No, the title isn't a mistake :) Sleeping Knight is one of the unofficial names of Giewont massif in Tatra mountains that you can see in the picture below. Some say that the mountain looks like sleeping knight and hence the name. Some even see knight's helmet there. Unfortunately my imagination must be very limited because I don't see any knight in this picture. Despite I tried really hard!

Anyway it's a HDR photo from 3 images taken hand-held at 2 EV spacing.
Sleeping Knight

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26 January 2015

Trees on a Slope

Winter & HDR photo guide

We finally have some snow here! Just a little but weather forecasts look quite promising and more snow fall is expected in the following days so I might be finally able to capture some nice winter landscape images very soon :)

As shooting landscapes in winter can be sometimes tricky, make sure to read my tutorial which will give you some general tips about this subject:

Daily photo - Trees on a Slope

For today I selected below winter photo taken in Polish Tatra Mountains:
Trees on a Slope

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23 January 2015

Blue hour by the sea

Daily photo - Blue hour by the sea

HDR photo from Crete taken in the late evening

For today I selected this blue hour image from island of Crete.

Technically, this image isn't HDR image. Instead I used Exposure Fusion (Fusion/Natural) available in Photomatix Pro 5, which is alternative to HDR. If you would like to learn more about Exposure Fusion, read chapter about it in my HDR tutorial.

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22 January 2015

Cenote in Mexico

Daily photo - Cenote in Mexico

HDR panorama of one of the many cenotes in Mexico
Today I would like to share this HDR panorama taken in one of the cenotes in Mexico. I already shared one version of this image in the past... but I like this one a big more.

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21 January 2015

HDR photography tip: how many photos do I need for great HDR photo?

HDR photography tip: How many photos do I need for great HDR photo?

Today I have a short tip for you, fellow HDR photographers. Have you ever wondered, while taking HDR photo, how many bracketed photos you should take for a given scene? 3, 5, 7 or even more? Or maybe just 1? Most photographers make wild guesses here, often taking way too many photos (I often do the same so don't feel guilty!) what can result in ghosting artifacts. Or even worse - too few what results in blown out highlights and/or noisy shadows.

Guess no more - here are the steps to take correct number of bracketed photos:
  1. Set your camera to Spot Metering mode. 
  2. Set ISO to the one you will use for your HDR photo (I recommend using lowest value possible). And definitely don't use Auto-ISO.
  3. Switch to Aperture Priority mode (denoted as Av or A). Set Aperture to the value you will use for your HDR photo.
  4. Point your camera at the brightest spot you want to include in your frame (eg. source light, sky) and note down exposure time displayed by the camera, eg. 1/400.
  5. Now point your camera at the darkest spot you want to include in your frame (eg. shadow, dark rocks) and note down exposure time displayed by the camera, eg. 1/40.
  6. Switch to Manual mode. Don't change neither ISO nor Aperture!
  7. Now let's assume that you want to take your photos spacing them by 1 EV. In such case, start with exposure for brightest spot (in our case 1/400), take a photo, multiply exposure by 2 (it then becomes 1/200), take another photo, multiply exposure by 2 and so on until you take a photo with exposure which is greater or equal than exposure for darkest point (in our case 1/40).
    So in our case we would need to take photos at following exposures:
    1. 1/400
    2. 1/200
    3. 1/100
    4. 1/50 (this exposure is still shorter than longest exposure we need)
    5. 1/25
  8. As you can seen we would need 5 photos.
    There is one problem though - this approach requires using fully Manual mode. What if you would like to take photos using Aperture Priority mode and use auto-bracketing? Then instead of taking photos in Step 6, let's calculate number of exposures (you can then set it for auto-bracketing feature of your camera):

    number_of_photos = log2(slowest_exposure / fastest_esposure) + 1
    In our case it becomes:

    number_of_photos = log2((1/25) / (1/400)) + 1 = log2(16) + 1 = 4 + 1 = 5

Also note that if you would like to use 2 EV spacing you would need to multiply exposures by 4.

You can find more tips and useful HDR photography information in my free HDR tutorial.

Daily photo - In the Park

In the Park
Today I decided to share this HDR photo taken in one of the London's parks.

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