Archive for November, 2012

Yesterday and this morning I have taken advantage of the nice weather and been out getting some shots of the sunset last night and sunrise this morning.

Yesterday I went to Hothfield Common just as the sun was setting.

 

Panorama of Hothfield Common

I used PT GUI to create this panorama using 6 portrait shots, I love the colours at this time of year, especially when you get a nice sunny day like yesterday.

Sun bursting through at Hothfield Common

I took this shot as I was leaving the woods, its slightly over exposed but wanted to get the lens flare and keep the detail in the foreground.

This morning was very cold and frosty, as the sun came up got some amazing colours in the sky.

Island Reflection

This shot really shows the difference in colours as the sun is coming up, on the right the sky and reflection is full of orange and on the left still blue and cold.

Frozen Rushes at Singleton Lake

By the time I took this shot the sun was a bit further up and the whole photo has an orange glow.

Branch Reflection

There was still a slight mist on the lake and this photo really shows off this and has a great atmosphere.

Orange Frozen Fungi

And finally I took a macro shot of some fungi covered in mist, here is my favourite shot.

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Today has been a very windy day in Kent, perfect weather for a walk in the woods.  My first idea was to get a long exposure to get a nice soft effect of the clouds.

After doing this I wanted to try and get some images to process in HDR efex, with the Autumn colours managed to get some nice results, this first one I quite like as it doesn’t look over processed at all.

This next one I went a bit heavy on the processing but really like the results, the almost misty effect in the background is the sunlight bursting through.

The Final HDR image I wanted to see how it looked in black & white and decided to really go to town with the processing.

Finally I wanted to try and create a ‘Planet’ an effect I have seen before but only just learnt how to do it, this is my first attempt which is pretty poor, will keep trying and next time will get better results!

 

I have been doing a lot of admin this week, organising my photos in folders and making sure I am backing everything up correctly, this made me think I should write a short blog about backing up your work and how.

You need to make sure your data is backed up and safe in-case the hard disk on your PC/Laptop is lost or damaged, so therefore backup your data to an alternative storage location to your hard disk. ¬†Also you need to protect your data from a ‘Worse case scenario’ ¬†where both your PC/Laptop and alternative storage are damaged or lost, so your data also needs to be backed up in a remote location.

I make 2 backups of my data, 1. a USB Hard Disk that I backup using Sync Toy on a weekly basis and after each shoot that is attached directly to my PC so it is very quick to backup.  2. Backup to an on-line location so if my PC & USB hard disk are damaged or lost my data isnt lost and I can retrieve it from the online backup.  There are many companies that do this, I use Carbonite as they offer unlimited space.

This covers every eventuality you can by backing up your data and it takes 5 minutes per week.  For me any more backups than this a waste of time, memory cards and flash USB memory stick are unreliable forms of backup and I would never use them for storing data, as soon as I am back from a shoot the first thing I do is move the photos off of the memory card to my PC and then run Sync Toy to backup to my USB hard disk.

I hope you find this helpful

This week I have started using a new program Photomatix Pro 3 for processing HDR images, I have attached my first favourites so far, I am sure they will get better with time.

 

Both were taken just after sunrise, the HDR effect really brings out the shadows and the reds on the horizon.

 

This HDR image really helped show the reflection of the tree in the lake.

 

I plan to experiment with Photomatix in the coming weeks and will post more results to my blog.

Fun in Photoshop

Posted: November 10, 2012 in Uncategorized

Photoshop is a tool that I aim to make as little use of as possible usually, today I decided to use it to enhance a few shots, I have given an example here.  This first image is one I took this summer at Eastwell manor in Ashford, the reason for taking the original shot was that it looks very much like a typical Hungarian scene (my partner is Hungarian).

In itself not a particularly exciting photo with a boring sky.  I decided I would try and add a more exciting sky to it, I love the sky in the photo below and decided this would be perfect.  The shot below is taken at a place called the Devils Kneading Bowl just outside Wye in Kent.

I then removed the sky and added the sky from this photo, then monochromed the whole photo and adjusted the colours to make sure the contrast in the clouds and between the two crops remains.  Below is the final result.

I think the final image is much nicer than either of the originals, so I may use photoshop a bit more in the future!

I spent this weekend in Germany and had a quick visit to Luxembourg City which is an amazingly small capital city with a population of only 94,000!

In Germany I stayed in a very pretty little town in the Rhineland region called Saarburg, the village is surrounded by vineyards and is famous for Riesling wine.  The town square has a river running through the centre and at the edge of the square there is a waterfall.

This picture shows the waterfall and the river leading to a mill in the foreground, I imagine this view hasnt changed for hundreds of years.

 

A close up of the Mill.

 

Unfortunately the weather wasnt great and was very overcast the whole weekend, the next photo shows the landscape surrounding Saarburg and the dramatic looking weather that was constantly around.

 

Finally a shot of the river running through the old part of Luxembourg City.

 

 

I decided on halloween to go to Pluckly which is a small village in Kent that has the reputation of being the most haunted village in England, I tried to take some dark moody photos, a couple below.

Here is the church in Pluckley which has many ghosts reportedly roaming through it and in the churchyard!

Here is a view looking left from the church out of the yard into the village.

And finally while on my way home the sun was setting and I managed to find somewhere to stop and capture this shot, as I was setting up the birds took off and just finished the shot off for me!

Tomorrow morning I am off to Saarburg, Germany for a long weekend, on my return I will post photos here, I have been there before and know its a stunning town in the Rhineland, so just keeping my fingers crossed the rain that’s forecast holds off.