Jun 232013


When taking landscape photos I have found that taking 3 photos of the same scene and combining them into one gives me more leeway in how I can optimize the image. The trick is to take one normal image and then a second that is two steps too dark and a third that is two steps too bright. When all three images are combined into one, detail can be pulled out of the shadows and highlights that normally, with one shot, would be unavailable.

To combine the shots I use Photomatix. Mostly because Trey Ratcliff uses it and I hope to be half as good as he is some day. The combined image can be processed as HDR, High Dynamic Range, using a process called tone-mapping which tweaks the colors or as a regular image back in Lightroom.

For this image, taken on a hike above Harris Park outside Milton Freewater, I chose to use HDR because it pulled the colors out of the rocks. If I had to do it over again, I would have bumped all the photos one stop darker so I could get more detail from the clouds. I allowed the camera to set the exposure while pointing at the dark rocks so baseline photo was underexposed. If I had been paying attention (we were just out for a fun hike) I would have set the exposure one step darker.

My Social Media Links: Facebook; Google+; Twitter; Pinterest;
Sep 222011

CreativeLive.com has been broadcasting the live taping of their 4-day Photoshop CS5 Intensive Seminar with Lesa Snider since Tuesday. I have tried to watch the series but since it runs 9am to 4pm (PDT) it does interfere with work :) Luckily it is also rebroadcast from 5pm to Midnight and I think again after that (can’t vouch for that) so that people in different time zones and work schedules can watch. For a ‘webinar’ it has been quite good. Lesa has covered lots of material and has fun doing it. I might be tempted to buy the 4 day seminar on DVD. It costs $99 but while the seminar is going on they have it marked down to $79.

The only thing that holds me back is that I don’t have time to learn Photoshop right now. I think I have only popped into it a half dozen times to play with some photos that needed serious help like some of my rodeo shots. Because they were shot under low light, I had to use a high-ISO setting and so the photos needed some serious noise reduction but the real problem was that what little light they got was coming from a mix of both setting sun and stadium lights, giving the photos a blue cast, but using some some Photoshop tricks, I was able to set the correct white balance. Maybe when Cross Country season is over I will have some time to get out and take some location and portrait shots again and then play with them in Photoshop. Right now all my editing is done in Lightroom 3. Now there is a webinar I am in desperate need of. There is enough in common between the two programs that I might still be tempted to grab this recorded seminar before the week is out.

I did end up buying her 800+ page e-book, Photoshop CS5 – The Missing Manual directly from 0’Reilly the print book is available for 40% off from Amazon. Using the coupon code ‘AUTHD’ I was able to buy the $39.99 e-book for just $19.99. I figure I can keep the e-book on both my computer for reference and on my tablet for reading material on those long trips to Cross Country meets. Here is the blurb about the book:

You’d be hard-pressed to find a published image that hasn’t spent some quality time in Adobe Photoshop. With new features such as Content-Aware Fill and Puppet Warp, Photoshop CS5 is more amazing — and perhaps more bewildering — than ever. That’s where this full-color Missing Manual comes in. It covers Photoshop from a practical standpoint, with tips, tricks, and practical advice you can use every day to edit photos and create beautiful documents.

Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced pixel pusher ready to try advanced techniques, author and graphics pro Lesa Snider offers crystal-clear, jargon-free instructions to help you take advantage of these powerful tools — not only how they work, but when you should use them. Describing the CS4 edition, bestselling Photoshop author Scott Kelby wrote, “Lesa did a great job on the book, and in my mind, it is the new Photoshop Bible.”

  • Learn your way around Photoshop’s revamped workspace
  • Get up to speed on essential features such as layers and channels
  • Edit images by cropping, resizing, retouching, working with color, and more
  • Create paintings and illustrations, work with text, and explore filters
  • Prepare images for printing or the Web, and learn how to protect your images online
  • Work smarter and faster by automating tasks and installing plug-ins

Written with the clarity, humor, and objective scrutiny, Photoshop CS5: The Missing Manual is the friendly, thorough resource you need.

I will let you know what I learn. In the meantime, do you use Photoshop? What have you found helpful?