Dahab

21 December 2013

Dramatic sunset

Posted in: Dahab, Egypt, hdr, landscape, reflection|

Dramatic sunset in Egypt
Click on the photo to view it in large size on black background.

It was one of the most dramatic sunsets I’ve ever seen. It looked like sand storm was coming (but fortunately it was just an impression). It looked like the end of the world.

Technical details:
Camera: Canon 50D
Lens: Canon 10-22 f/3.5-4.5 USM
Focal length: 10 mm
Aperture: f/16.0
Exposure time: 1/100 s (“middle” exposure)
ISO: 100
Number of exposures: 3 
E.V. Step: 2.0
Flash used: no
Tripod: yes
Filters: no
Technique: HDR, tone-mapping
Software: Magic Lantern 2.3, Photomatix Pro 4.2.7 (Details Enhancer), Lightroom 5.0, Photoshop CC
17 September 2013

Thoughts: Specialization in photography

Posted in: Dahab, Egypt, hdr, landscape, thoughts|

Dramatic sky during sunset in Dahab
Click on the photo to view it in large size on black background.

There is so much to do in photography. You can shoot landscapes, architectures, cars, real estate, portraits, fashion, weddings, tamed or wild animals, insects, stars, street scenes… whatever you want. Really – sky is the limit. The problem is that each of these subjects requires a bit different approach, technique and skills. And even different equipment.

For example landscape photography is much about patience and strong will (and steady tripod!) because you might need days or weeks to capture a single photo you have in mind. And you will often go back home with nothing worth sharing (eg. when you expected nice sunrise but it was raining). It’s even worse when you need to hike for several hours to reach your destination just to find out that there is nothing really worth capturing (eg. the light is boring). What’s more you will often need to get up very early (to shoot sunrise) or miss dinner (to shoot sunset). Wild-life photography is much about understanding animals, knowing their behaviours, spending hours studying them. But you also need to be silent and cautious. You need to become part of they world. Sort of. Portrait photography requires good interpersonal skills to tell the model what you expect from him/her, make him/her feel comfortable during the shoot etc. And also you need to have great understanding of light. And let me tell you one thing – I as former 3D graphics programmer know equations describing light, how it behaves, reflects off surfaces etc. Yet I cannot apply it to my photography. I see light as mathematical formula not a tool to craft art. Unfortunately.

For above reasons, apart from a few photographers who are just exceptions proving this thesis (take a look at works of +Michael Woloszynowicz or +Pawel Tomaszewicz for instance – both these guys are shooting wonderful landscape, architecture but also portrait work), most of the others are greatly specialized. And so am I. As you probably noticed my main area of focus is landscape photography. From time to time I share other photos ranging from macro to portraits but my main strength is shooting nature views. I like hiking, I like silence at sunrise/sunset, I don’t have problem with eating late meals. I feel great when I can photograph landscape. I might not be the best landscape photographer in the world (quite frankly I’m nowhere near the level I would love to reach) but it’s my world. I specialize in this kind of photography.

Focusing on one area is a very good thing because you spend your efforts improving quite a small subset of skills (eg. you don’t need to learn artificial light if you’re mainly shooting with natural light). You also spend your money only on equipment targeted towards this kind of photography (eg. ultra wide angle lenses for landscape photography or powerful flash units for potraits). This way you also increase your chances of capturing some really stunning photos. If for 10 days in a row you go out to photograph sunset there is quite a chance that at least one of them will be stunning. But if one day you go photographing sunset, another you shoot portraits, on the next one animals and then macro… well, there is a great chance you’ll end up with mediocre photos…

At the same time bear in mind it’s a good thing to try something different from time to time to see other possibilities and improve general skills (like composition for instance). If you focus on something too much you loose wider perspective what can also be a bad thing for your photography. So summing up specialization is a great thing that can make you a great photographer. But at the same time step out of your comfort zone from time to time to progress as a photographer.

Technical details:
Camera: Canon 50D
Lens: Canon 10-22 f/3.5-4.5 USM
Focal length: 10 mm
Aperture: f/16.0
Exposure time: 1/100 s (“middle” exposure)
ISO: 100
Number of exposures: 3 
E.V. Step: 2.0
Flash used: no
Tripod: yes
Filters: no
Technique: HDR, tone-mapping
Software: Magic Lantern 2.3, Photomatix Pro 4.2.7 (Details Enhancer), Lightroom 5.0, Photoshop CC

16 September 2013

Evening walk

Posted in: Dahab, Egypt, reflection|

Click on the photo to view it in large size on black background.

I took this photo last year in Dahab, Egypt while doing some landscape photography. It shows a family during an evening walk near the sea. The water you see in the picture remained there after high tide.

Technical details:
Camera: Canon 5D MK II
Lens: Canon 70-300 f/4-5.6 L IS USM
Focal length: 300 mm
Aperture: f/9.0
Exposure time: 1/100 s
ISO: 3200
Number of exposures: 1
E.V. Step: n/a
Flash used: no
Tripod: yes
Filters: no
Technique: black & white conversion
Software: Magic Lantern 2.3, Lightroom 5.0, Photoshop CC

8 May 2013

End of the world

Posted in: Dahab, Egypt, hdr, landscape|

Photographing dramatic skies or light conditions is one of the easiest ways of getting powerful and beautiful image. You just press shutter button, apply a bit of post-processing and you’re done 🙂 the only difficult thing is to actually come across such conditions. A lot of patience and a bit of luck is required.

I took this HDR photo in Dahab, Egypt last year.

Technical details:
Camera: Canon 50D
Lens: Canon 10-22 f/3.5-4.5 USM
Focal length: 10 mm
Aperture: f/16.0
Exposure time: 1/200 (“middle” exposure)
ISO: 100
Number of exposures: 5
E.V. Step: 2
Flash used: no
Tripod: yes
Filters: no
Software: Magic Lantern 2.3, Photomatix Pro 4.2.5, Lightroom 4.2, Photoshop CS6

2 May 2013

Apocalypse

Posted in: Dahab, Egypt, hdr, landscape|

I took this photo almost one year ago. Initially I didn’t like it but when I was going through the older photos yesterday I thought that it looks sort of cool. The sky was really dramatic, it looked as if some nasty storm was approaching.

Technical details:
Camera: Canon 50D
Lens: Canon 10-22 f/3.5-4.5 USM
Focal length: 10 mm
Aperture: f/16.0
Exposure time: 1/200
ISO: 100
Number of exposures: 5
E.V. Step: 2
Flash used: no
Tripod: yes
Filters: no
Software: Magic Lantern 2.3, Photomatix Pro 4.2.5, Lightroom 4.2, Photoshop CS6

26 July 2012

Shore in Dahab (colour)

Posted in: Dahab, Egypt, hdr, landscape|

I often process my photos in a few different ways, most commonly both in colour and in black & white. It’s amazing how post-processing can add completely different feeling to the shot, with b&w version being more dramatic most of the time. It’s the case with this photo. I uploaded black & white version a few weeks ago, and you can see it here. Indeed there is more drama in it. However, I like colour version as well because of the oranges and reds in the left side of the frame.

Here is EXIF data:
Camera: Canon 50D
Lens: Canon 10-22 f/3.5-4.5 USM
Focal length: 10 mm
Aperture: f/14.0
Exposure time: 1/30 s (for “normal” exposure)
ISO: 100
Number of exposures: 3
E.V. Step: 2.0 EV
Flash used: no
Tripod: no
Filters: no
Software: Photomatix Pro 4.2.3, Lightroom 4.1, Photoshop CS5

Location:

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10 June 2012

Desert Lightroom 4 presets

Posted in: Dahab, download, hdr, lightroom, Milan, presets|

HDR photo taken in Milan. Processed in Photomatix Pro.

Today I decided to share some of my Lightroom 4 presets which I used for my most recent photos from Dahab. Here is the download link. The ZIP archive contains 4 presets which are shown below. I used this presets for photos taken during the day. I plan to release some which I used when shooting sunsets soon. Below you can find images showing how each of the presets look in action.

Original file

Desert Vivid

Desert Vignette

Desert B&W

Desert Again

26 May 2012

Dahab in photos – slideshow

Posted in: Dahab, Egypt, hdr, slideshow|

Today I decided to upload slideshow of photos I took recently in Dahab, Egypt. I recommend playing it in HD in full-screen mode. Hope you like them.

They are mainly landscape shots. Also I have some interesting plans for the next week. I hope to write next post about sharpening and write a tutorial on batch features in Photomatix, so stay tuned 🙂