Tuesday, 26 August 2014

Saturation vs Vibrance - what's the difference?

When I started using Adobe Lightroom a few years ago, one of the things that caused my biggest confusion was what had been the difference between Saturation and Vibrance sliders. They both seemed to affect saturation and vividness of colours but the results they gave weren't identical.

And that is true - although both sliders boost saturation of colours, they do this in a slightly different manner. Here's an example.

Below you can see original image I took on Lanzarote islands, Canary Islands. The image showing volcanones has pretty low saturation so I decided to improve it:
Original image

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Monday, 25 August 2014

Autumn in Tatra mountains

Daily photo - Autumn in Tatra mountains

Autumn is just around the corner here, so today I would like to share landscape photo I took last year in Tatra mountains in Poland.
Autumn in Tatra mountains

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Wednesday, 20 August 2014

Post-processing Wednesday: Christmas market

before after

Time for another post in my Post-processing Wednesday series. For more posts from this series go here.

In this case Before photo is 0 EV photo without any adjustments and After image is finished image that I manually blended using luminosity masks in Photoshop.

About source images

There is still some time before next Christmas but today I decided to show you how I edited image captured during exactly that time of the year almost 2 years ago.

You can read more about the image itself in this post. Well, image in that post is slightly different but it shares EXIF data as I was shooting with same parameters for almost whole evening.

As you can see in the Before photo above, some highlights were slightly blown out, especially in the areas near light sources. At the same time some areas were darker than I intended them to be, eg. sky and buildings on the right. So I decided to capture HDR image and for that purpose I took 7 exposures at 1.5 EV spacing. You can see all exposures below sorted from brightest to darkest:
Bracketed photos in Lightroom

Darkest exposure have all lights correctly exposed and brightest one (+2 EV) exposes shadows correctly.

Editing in Lightroom

As always I started my editing in Lightroom. This time I moved tint of White Balance to +24 to make the image a little bit more magenta. I also applied lens corrections in Lens Corrections tab by checking both Enable Profile Corrections and Remove Chromatic Aberration settings.

After that I exported all my source images to Photoshop for manual blending.

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Monday, 18 August 2014

250 subscribers on YouTube

250 subscribers on YouTube

Despite the fact I'm not very active on YouTube (yet, because I intend to increase my activity there in the next few weeks and months) I've just reached my very first milestone there, that is 250 subscribers. Of course it isn't impressive, well it's more funny than that, but even Rome wasn't built in a day. So yeah, such things simply require time. And a lot of effort. Hopefully one day my channel will be much more popular ;)

You can view my YouTube videos here.

Daily photo - Park in London

Today I would like to share an HDR photo I took in one of the many parks I visited during my last visit in London (however, I cannot really remember which one was that... I should probably start logging GPS data when taking photos because I keep forgetting exact location pretty often). It was captured in the middle of the day (not very good!) but I still like it due to tranquility of that scene.
Park in London

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Wednesday, 13 August 2014

Best camera is the one you have

Best camera? The one you have

I often get this kind of questions: "What's the best camera?", "I have Camera X and would like to upgrade. What would you recommend?". It's always tough. Really. What's the best camera? I'd say the one you currently have (if you don't have any it's a different case of course). In this post I will describe pretty common behaviour (also known as a really expensive trap) when photographers focus to much on getting new gear, when they don't really need it, instead of on the photos themselves. This post is in fact sharing my own experiences as I also fell into this pitfall.

When I was beginning with photography a few years ago I often thought that if my photo had been of poor quality it had been almost always because of poor gear (at that time I used simple Canon 400D with some 18-55 mm kit lens). So throughout the years I kept upgrading my equipment every now and then pursuing some ideal, looking for Holy Grail of photography equipment. Needless to say I didn't find it. I first switched to Canon 50D because 400D had very low dynamic range and poor high ISO capabilities. Then I switched to 5D MK II because I believed that full-frame is the way to go. But soon after that I switched once again to another beast - 5D MK III because... well, it's a great camera but I'm not really sure why I upgraded as its predecessor had almost everything I needed at that time. I also kept buying new lenses. And new tripods, new filters, not to mention numerous bags and additional small accesories. And a lot of photo editing software. It all costs money.

Now, I don't mean I didn't need any of that equipment, some of it was really helpful and useful for my photography (for instance Canon 24-105 L lens is some amazing piece of equipment I cannot imagine living without). I bought some equipment that allowed me to take better photos. I bought equipment that let me forget about technical limitations or which opened new opportunities in front of me. But with so many changes to my gear I quickly became obsessed with "collecting" it and I started to focus more on the gear itself than my photos. There were some pieces of equipment that weren't really inevitable for me. I didn't need them. They couldn't make my photography better. Yet I got them.

Nowadays I try to limit buying new equipment to only one I really really need. When a thought of getting something new crosses my mind (most commonly it's a tilt-shift lens ;) ) I ask myself a question whether I really do need this? Will my photos become better? Will I have more photo opportunities thanks to that? And the answer is most usually - no (when it is yes, I decide to buy). I'm shooting landscapes mainly, and although tilt-shift lens can sometimes be helpful in this kind of photography, wide-angle lens and ultra wide-angle lens is what I really need 99% of time. And I already have them. I also stopped upgrading my cameras. Yeah I'd love to have camera with sensor similar to Nikon D800 or D810... I'm not making huge prints at the moment so I wouldn't benefit much from 36 megapixels. I usually don't need to crop my photos extensively neither. Sensor in 5D MK III is really sufficient for me - image quality is better than good (in fact even sensor of 50D is sufficient for me in the majority of case) so I can't really complain.

As always I'm interested in hearing your opinion about the subject. Did you behave similarly in the past? Or maybe you still do :) ?

Daily photo - View in Tatra Mountains

Below high dynamic range photo was taken in Tatra mountains last year. It was very windy so I didn't risk setting up my tripod (especially as there wasn't enough room for that) and went with shooting hand-held.
View in Tatra Mountains

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