27 February 2015

City Hall in London

Daily photo - City Hall in London

This impressive structure that you can see in the photo below is London's city hall. I took this photo from Tower Bridge on a rainy day and for that reason the image looked really boring in colour. I decided to try black & white and it worked quite well.

All editing for this image was done in Lightroom and the adjustments involved desaturating and increasing contrast and clarity.
City Hall in London

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23 February 2015

Kensigton Gardens

Daily photo - Kensigton Gardens

Today I decided to share another high dynamic range photo I took in London - this one shows one of the buildings in Kensigton Gardens.

Although this might not be obvious at first glance, this scene was really challenging as far as light is concerned. The building was quite dark and was back-lit. It is that kind of scenes where HDR really shines - by bracketing and tone-mapping I was able to create image with balanced exposure across whole frame without too dark and too bright areas.
Kensington Palace

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17 February 2015

Sunrise on Fuerteventura

Daily photo - Sunrise on Fuerteventura

This is quite an old photo that I processed not that long time ago (you know with photo library containing thousands of photos it's quite easy to fall behind). This was pretty tricky photo that required me to use slightly different workflow that I normally use. Most of the time I load photos into Photomatix, merge them to HDR, tone-map resulting HDR image and then I work further on tone-mapped image in Photoshop to improve contrast, colours and clarity.

However, in this case moving water was quite tricky to get it right - there were a lot of ghosts in the HDR image. So instead I used manual blending using luminosity masks and simply masked water from one of the source exposures.
Sunrise on Fuerteventura

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9 February 2015

Almudena Cathedral at Night

Daily photo - Almudena Cathedral at Night

Today I would like to share HDR black & white image I took at night near Almudena Cathedral in Madrid. Building was illuminated with fairly bright light and the sky was pretty dark so conversion to monochrome seemed like a natural thing to do.
Almudena Cathedral at Night

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5 February 2015

Photomatix Pro Presets - 111 Free HDR Presets

New Photomatix Pro Presets

It's been a while since I shared any Photomatix Pro presets. For that reason today I decided to update my Mega Pack collection to add new presets I created in the last few months. This time collection features 111 free presets!

You can download the presets here:

What's in the bundle?
  • 15 completely new and never released presets, most of which use my new favourite processing method, i.e. Contrast Optimizer,
  • All presets that I shared up to now (96 presets).
Summing up, the collection contains 111 free presets good for landscape, architecture and street HDR photography. There are both very realistic presets and more artistic ones, colourful and black & white - everyone should find something for himself.

Please note that some of the presets will only work in Photomatix Pro 5 or newer as some of them require Fusion/Real-Estate or Contrast Optimizer which were introduced in Photomatix Pro 5.

Note: if you downloaded some of my presets previously you can delete or overwrite them as all of the previous presets are included in this pack.

Here are the instructions, on how to install the presets*:
  1. Download the presets and extract them on your disk.
  2. Start Photomatix Pro 4.2 or newer. If you haven't updated to 4.2 visit HDRsoft homepage and download your upgrade (in case you're eligible to it).
  3. Open any image and tonemap it to go to the tonemapping preview mode.
  4. In the Presets window change tab from "Built-In" to "My Presets".
  5. In the combo-box in the upper part of the Presets window select "Import Presets..." item.
  6. Navigate to the directory where you extracted presets and select all the files you want to import. You might also want to specify category for the imported presets (eg. "Downloaded"). To do this just fill in the text field at the bottom of the Import window.
  7. Accept the selection and wait for the thumbnails to appear. Voila!
* In case of older versions than 4.2 you can follow instructions I posted here.

Daily photo - Golden Sunset

And it's time for a daily HDR photo - it was taken during beautiful golden sunset in Warsaw, Poland. I took as many as 7 exposures here (because by including the sun in the frame dynamic range of that scene became really high).
Golden sunset in Warsaw

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3 February 2015

Charles Darwin statue

Daily photo - Charles Darwin statue

Photo of Charles Darwin statue in Natural History Museum in London
Charles Darwin, English naturalist and geologist, is best known for his work on theory of evolution by means of natural selection so it's not surprising that his statue can be found in the hall of Natural History Museum - place dedicated to nature and history of various species.

This photo is very simple. I basically just converted it to black & white (bright marble of the statue looked like a good candidate for b&w conversion) and then increased contrast a little bit.

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2 February 2015

Monastery in Belem

Daily photo - Monastery in Belem

Today I would like to share old Black & White (or monochrome to be more exact) HDR image I took in Lisbon, Portugal. It shows beautiful Jeronimos Monastery aka Hieronymites Monastery (Mosteiro dos Jeronimos) which is one of the most amazing examples of Portuguese late gothic.

To take below high dynamic range image I took 3 exposures at 2 EV spacing, tone-mapped them in Photomatix Pro and finished in Photoshop.
Monastery in Belem

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