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12 December 2017

My Favourite Photos

Posted in: blog|

I’ve been photographing for around 10 years now and in that time I literally captured thousands of photos. I processed just a small fraction of them and shared online even less. Of those finished and uploaded, I still really like just some of them and you will find them below.

Click the photo thumbnail to view it in large size.

I hope you will like them too!

18 January 2017

New Layout on the Blog

Posted in: blog|

New Layout

If you’re frequent visitor to this blog, then you probably noticed that yesterday I changed layout of the blog completely. Especially I introduced new homepage, while the blog is available here. More changes are coming in the next few days (mainly to simplify a few sections of the blog, clean the fonts, improve sections spacing, etc.) but I’m already interested in hearing your opinions. Do you like the changes? Or maybe you preferred the old look?

Also it’s possible that some functionality was broken due to the changes I did. So I’d really appreciate it if you could let me know about any link or feature of the blog that doesn’t work anymore.

3 January 2017

Most Popular Posts in 2016

Posted in: blog|

Most Popular Posts in 2016

First of all I would like to wish you a very Happy New Year!

Last year I shared a lot of articles on my blog and below is the Top 10 list based on popularity. Please note that only articles from 2016 are included in this list (otherwise HDR tutorial would be on top as usually 😉 ).

  1. ON1 Effects 10 Review – in 2016 I started to use ON1 Effects plugin as my finishing touch tool for almost all my images and I’m loving it. Why? Read this review to find out.
  2. Landscape Photography Tips – the list of 27 landscape photography tips most of which I use when I’m out shooting nature. These tips will help you to get better landscape photos in a number of occasions from shooting seascapes to shooting foggy mornings.
  3. Canon 5D Mark IV – first impressions review – in 2016 I upgraded to 5D MK IV camera and in this review you can read my initial impressions. I’m currently working on a final review after using the camera for a few months. The only thing I can say is that I like 5D MK IV more and more.
  4. ON1 Effects Presets – 15 presets for ON1 Effects 10. All of them are free of course.
  5. Capture One Presets – 22 presets for my favorite RAW files editor. Again – these are available for free.
  6. Why do I use Canon? – it’s a question I get asked sometimes so in this post I share some thoughts on using Canon system and why I think switching to another system is a no go for me.
  7. Capture One 10 new features – list of new features in a just released Capture One 10.
  8. 21 Days in Japan Travel Itinerary – last year I visited Japan and in this post you can read my 3-weeks travel itinerary which can be useful if you’re planning your trip to Japan anytime soon.
  9. Back from Madeira. Pearl of Atlantic – in 2016 I also visited Madeira and in this post I share some thoughts about it.
  10. Bamboo Forest – in this video tutorial I’m showing how I edited one of my best photos taken in 2016, Bamboo Forest in Kyoto, Japan.

Travel Guides – new section on the blog

Besides writing a lot of new posts, this year I introduced many changes to the blog and one of the biggest was addition of Travel Guides section, where I share useful tips from the locations I visit, like the best photo spots in Madeira or tips about travelling in Japan. Let me know if you like it or maybe it’s better I focus only on photography?

I hope you enjoyed reading my blog last year and I hope you will enjoy reading it in 2017 as well.

If you have any suggestions or requests, feel free to share them with me.

Shiratani Unsuikyo forest, Yakushima island, Japan

28 December 2016

My Best Photos of 2016

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My Best Photos of 2016

Year 2016 is coming to an end so it’s a time of summaries. 2016 was a great year for my photography & travels. I visited 3 places I planned to visit for years (Japan, Cuba and Madeira island) and took a lot of amazing images. In this list you will find photos that I think are the best of them (or maybe my favorite ones?). Clink on the blue link to read more about each photo: story behind the place & photo, camera info as well as post-processing details.

Photos below are in no particular order although I will start with my favorite from 2016, which is…

1. Bamboo Forest in Kyoto

Probably one of my best photos ever taken, this photo shows famous bamboo forest in Arashiyama, one of the districts of Kyoto, early in the morning before any tourists arrived there.

2. Mt. Fuji hiding in the clouds

When I was in the area of Mt. Fuji, most of the time it was hidden in the clouds. But when it appeared during sunset it was truly amazing! With beautiful colors and wonderful soft light on its peak.

Mt. Fuji

3. Ponta de Sao Lourenco

Ponta de Sao Lourenco is a beautiful peninsula in the east part of Madeira island. Unlike other parts of Madeira which are full of lush green trees and remind of tropical forest, Ponta de Sao Lourenco is very rugged, almost desert like with 180 meters high red and brown cliffs. It offers nice (but sometimes a bit demanding) hike with some spectacular views over Atlantic ocean and endless photo opportunities for landscape and fine art photographers as there are plenty of huge rocks standing out of the sea that look spectacular with right sunset or sunrise light or when treated with long exposure.

Ponta de Sao Lourenco

4. Courtyard in Havana

I found this beautiful courtyard in one of the museums in the Old Havana. Huge fallen pot immediately attracted my attention and so I composed this image in such a way it stays in the central part of the image. The place was full of beautiful details, textures and geometric shapes which made it sheer pleasure to photograph it.

Free Presets for Capture One 10

5. Magical Forest

Shiratani Unsuikyo forest on Yakushima island in Japan was one of the most magical and impressive locations I’ve ever visited and photographed. Few thousand years old cedar trees, green moss and countless streams make this place look like taken directly from fairy tales. Despite the fact I saw no elves or gnomes I really enjoyed it and also took a few great images there so the list couldn’t go with at least one of them.

6. Mt. Fuji before sunrise

Another photo showing Fuji-san. Even though it was spring already this sunrise was freezing cold. But it was worth getting up early to see Mt. Fuji in its full glory.

7. Cuban woman smoking cigar

Year 2016 was also great because I tried some other types of photography. I started to experiment with artificial light in my tiny home studio and during my travel to Cuba I spent good amount of time trying to take street photos. And there were a couple of street photos I really liked. Below you can find one of them. It’s a posed photo but I think it’s still really nice.Cuban woman smoking cigar in Havana8. Love

I photographed this tender moment in Nara, Japan. I think no more words are necessary here.

Love

9. Fushimi Inari Taisha

Fushimi Inari Taisha in Kyoto, Japan was on my to-photograph list for a few years now. So when I finally visited Kyoto I couldn’t wait to take pictures there. But first attempt was a failure. Despite being very late in the evening there, there were still crowds of people what stopped me from taking any good pics. On the second occasion I was more successful (or lucky) and managed to take photo below.

Fushimi Inari Taisha

2 May 2016

1 Million Views on 500px!

Posted in: 500px, blog|

1 Million Views on 500px!

Million views on 500pxTime for a little break from Japan today and instead time for a bit of self-promotion 🙂

Just a few days ago I reached major milestone on one of photography websites – my photos on 500px have been viewed 1 million times!

It took me several years to achieve that (almost 5 to be exact), much longer than I expected when I was setting up my account on 500px, but here I am finally. To celebrate this milestone, today I would like to share a few, out of 400, images I uploaded to 500px through the years. It will be the first image I uploaded there, highest rated one, most voted and one with the highest view count. Apart from the last image, all of them are quite old and they are from 2011 and 2012. At that time it was much easier to score high rates on 500px as it had far less users than it has today. Nowadays there are so many great photographers there, that I’m happy if I manage to score 99.0.

BTW if you’re on 500px, you can follow my work here:

https://500px.com/wojciechtoman

It all started with this photo uploaded on 10 September 2011. This black & white HDR photo shows Arch of Constantine in Rome:

The Arch of Constantine

This one in turn was the highest rated photo I uploaded to date with a rating of 99.8 and it shows Milky Way over Fuerteventura island. Quite frankly this one is one of my all time favorite photos:
Two Roads

This one received most votes (1123 votes in total). This photo is another one from Fuerteventura island:
Have a rest under the stars

And this one, taken in the Round Tower in Copenhagen, has been viewed most times (more than 12000):
Round Tower in Copenhagen

9 March 2016

Small changes to the blog

Posted in: architecture, blog, Chania, church, hdr|

Changes to the blog

As you have maybe noticed, in the last few days my blog changed its look a little bit. Most of the changes were rather cosmetic to make the blog look a little bit more fresh and up to date with current standards (e.g. I added so called mega menu which became very popular in last few months) and to make various sections of the blog easier to access and find.

As always with such changes, if you see anything broken, please let me know so I could fix it 🙂

Church in Chania

Today I would like to share HDR photo I took last summer in Chania in Greece. It’s one of the churches in the old town. I really liked leading lines created by pavement tiles as well as their colour and the fact that they reflected light a little bit.

I captured 5 frames 2 stops apart and tone-mapped them in Photomatix Pro 5 with Contrast Optimizer. As with most of my recent images, finishing touches were done with ON1 Effects 10.

Church in Chania (more…)

14 January 2016

Most Popular Posts of 2015

Posted in: blog, landscape, long-exposure, reflection, thailand|

Most Popular Posts of 2015

2015 has finally come to an end and January is usually time of various summaries. So today I decided to write a short ranking of most popular posts on my blog in the last 12 months in case you missed some of them 🙂 Here’s the list ordered by post popularity:

  1. HDR tutorial – it’s my most popular post ever (around 100k views already and counting) and with the recent overhaul it isn’t surprising it won the ranking again.
  2. Capture One 8 Review. Or why I said “goodbye” to Lightroom – my review of Capture One 8 (review of Capture One 9 is still in progress 🙂 ). From this review you’ll learn why I decided to switch to C1 and leave Lightroom behind.
  3. Capture One Film Styles Review – another Capture One related review. In this one I reviewed presets by Alexander Svet. The presets are great as they try to recreate look of various traditional films.
  4. Canon 16-35 f/4 L IS USM Review – I bought Canon 16-35 f/4 L IS at the beginning of 2015 and almost immediately it became one of my favorite lenses as it is perfect for my landscape photography needs. If you’re interested to learn why, read this review
  5. 500px vs Flickr vs Google+ vs Facebook – Where should you share your images? – back in 2013 I wrote a series of posts in which I compared various social networks from photographer’s perspective. After 2 years I decided to make another comparison as there were many changes to each of the websites. What changed? Which website is the best to share your photos? Read this article 🙂
  6. Lightroom 6 Review – in 2015 Adobe finally released a long awaited Lightroom 6/CC. What’s my opinion about it? You can read in this review.
  7. Photomatix Pro 5.1 is out! Favorite presets, new slider and more – in 2015, HDRsoft also released a new version of Photomatix Pro 5.1 which added some new features like favorite presets or brightness slider to Fusion/Real-Estate.
  8. Photo Editing Apps Comparison: Gimp, Lightroom, Photoshop – I was asked for this post for some time. I compared various photo editing apps (Gimp, Lightroom and Photoshop) and mentioned strengths and weaknesses of each of them.
  9. HDR Tutorial – Sample HDR photos to play with – by the end of 2015 I added new section to my blog where I share sample bracketed photos for you to play with. Make sure to share the results with me 🙂 leave a comment on my blog or send me an email 🙂
  10. Throne Hall in Amalienborg Palace – this is the photo only post. Not a tutorial or review. Photo was taken in Copenhagen in a beautiful Amalienborg Castle. Really stunning piece of architecture.

BTW if you’re interested to see similar ranking from 2014, you can find it here.

Lonely boat on Sunrise Beach

Today I would like to share another photo from Thailand. This one was taken on sunrise beach on Koh Lipe island, during one very beautiful sunrise. Editing was done almost entirely inside CaptureOne 9. Some finishing touches were done using ON1 Effects plugin inside Photoshop.

Lonely boat on Sunrise Beach (more…)

28 December 2015

Best Photos of 2015

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Best photos of 2015

This year is finally coming to an end so today I decided to share the best photos of 2015. I tried to pick 10 images but couldn’t decide on the last 2 so I decided to share just 8 instead.

It was a really great year for my photography as I visited a few interesting locations, including several islands in southern Thailand, Copenhagen, Mexico, several locations in Dorset in UK, and even though I failed to visit a few more I initially planned to (like Cinque Terre in Italy or Tatra Mountains in southern Poland) I still managed to capture a lot of nice images. So this was nice change after previous year in which I travelled very little and so didn’t capture so many good photos.

Order in which the photos appear below is totally random. One thing that you will probably notice is wide variety of subjects, techniques and styles – there are both colour and black & white images, landscapes, cityscapes, architecture photos and even some wild-life. Also this year quite a lot of my images are long exposure what shows direction in which I go with my photography.

1. Lighthouse at Sunset in Chania town, Greece. Read more
Lighthouse at Sunset (more…)