15 December 2015

Street in Chania

Posted in: architecture, Chania, crete|

Street in Chania

One of the things I love most about Greek and Italian towns are beautiful narrow streets in their old towns. They are very atmospheric and are great for photography with all those incredible details and textures we photographers love. Wherever you look you might find something interesting. From amazing textures on the ground or walls to smaller details like windows, doors or lanterns.

So today I would like to share photo of such street that I captured in Chania.

Street in Chania (more…)

14 December 2015

Venetian Port in Chania once again

Posted in: architecture, Chania, crete|

Venetian Port in Chania

Venetian port is in my opinion one of the most beautiful spots in Chania town so it shouldn’t be surprising that during my visit there I took hundreds of photos of it and today I would like to share yet another one. On that day I was quite lucky to get really good visibility so mountains could be seen in their full glory (there was only one day when it happened – during most of the time they were covered in clouds unfortunately). I wish mountain peaks were covered in snow as it would result in much more dramatic look but as it was middle of very warm summer obviously it was impossible. But I heard that this often happens in spring so next time I hope to see and photograph it.

If you would like to see more photos from Chania, make sure to visit this link on my blog: photos from Chania.

Venetian Port in Chania (more…)

3 December 2015

Venetian Port in Chania

Posted in: architecture, black and white, Chania, crete, long-exposure|

Capture One 9 is out

If you haven’t heard the news, Phase One has just released new version of their flagship app, Capture One, that I use for almost all my editing. I still haven’t spent enough time with it but the update looks quite promising so far so expect updated review from me very soon. For now you can read my thoughts on Capture One 8.

It also made me realize that I promised to share my HDR workflow with Capture One and Photomatix. The post is almost ready so I hope to share it in a few days from now.

Venetian Port in Chania

I was sure I had already shared this photo here on my blog but after looking through the archives it seems that I haven’t. So here it is today 🙂

It’s a long exposure black & white image showing lighthouse and Venetian port in Chania, Greece, where I spent a week in summer this year. It’s a lovely and very photogenic place and I hope to revisit it in the future!

Venetian Port in Chania (more…)

5 September 2015

Photomatix Pro 5.1 is out! Favorite presets, new slider and more

Posted in: architecture, Chania, crete, hdr, photomatix|

Chania at Night

Today Photomatix Pro 5.1, new version of software I use to create all my HDR photos, was officially released by HDRsoft. You can download it from HDRsoft website:

Of course update is free for all licensed users of Photomatix Pro 5.

The list of most important updates is below:

  • Favorite presets – you can now ‘star’ your favorite presets to get quicker access to them. To do this, just click on the little star icon located in the left-bottom corner of the preset thumbnail. After that you can switch to Favorite presets category to see only presets you marked as favorite.
  • New presets category: Architecture – this new category lists presets especially useful for architecture and real-estate photographers. At the same time two completely new presets were added (‘Interior 3’ and ‘Smooth 3’) that you will both find under Architecture category.
  • Fusion/Real-Estate was renamed to Fusion/Interior
  • Brightness slider added to Fusion/Interior – If you have ever found images from Fusion/Interior too dark, this slider will help you fix that easily.
  • Batch bracketed now allows you to select base exposure used for deghosting
  • Alignment presets – when aligning your bracketed images you can now select preset (such as hand-held, on tripod and a few more) instead of choosing alignment method
  • Support for RAWs from recent cameras including Canon 5DS and 5DS R, Canon 750D/760D as well as Nikon D7200 and many other camera models.
  • User interface of batch windows was redesigned to make it easier to use.
  • Bug fixes

I will also soon update my HDR tutorial to reflect changes introduced in Photomatix Pro 5.1 – I’ll let you know once it’s done.

1 September 2015

Enjoying Dinner

Posted in: Chania, crete, hdr, long-exposure|

Featured photo – Enjoying Dinner

One of the things I really liked about Chania (and what I generally like about mediterranean towns) is its atmosphere, especially in the evening when narrow streets fill with people enjoying their dinner in one of the many small restaurants. So in today image I would like to share a bit of that atmosphere with you.

As for the technical part, taking this image wasn’t easy at all. The biggest challenge were people which were walking all over the place ruining all my attempts to get decent photo. So I had to use a bit longer exposures to blur them. I took 5 exposures and used Exposure Fusion in Photomatix Pro 5 to blend them. Also as originally the sky was completely black and I found it boring and a little disturbing I replaced it using stars from another image.

Enjoying Dinner (more…)

31 August 2015

HDR Exposure Calculator – useful web utility

Posted in: Chania, crete, hdr, landscape, reflection|

HDR Exposure Calculator – useful web utility from HDRsoft

calculator_resultsToday I would like to mention a small but useful web utility app from HDRsoft (creators of Photomatix Pro and the company I work for).

Have you ever wondered how many exposures you should take to capture whole dynamic range of the scene and to create beautiful HDR image? 3, 5 or maybe 7? This app will help you with that – it calculates how many exposures you need exactly! No more guessing!

To use it, simply visit the link below:

HDR Exposure Calculator

It’s very easy to use, you basically just need to enter exposure of highlights and shadows (which you can easily measure by pointing your camera at brightest and darkest spots of your scene using Spot Metering) and then you can click on the large blue Get Exposures button to get the results – number of exposures you will need to take as well as their shutter speeds (and exposure bias value).

Featured photo – Just After the Rain

Time for today’s shot. Although that’s not very common in summer, during my stay in Chania, Greece it was raining for a few hours (it was storm in fact). It stopped pouring in the late afternoon and as soon as it did I grabbed my camera as I knew what it meant – some amazing light. And I wasn’t disappointed. There were some stunning clouds ranging from blue to yellow and there was amazing reflection which made the scene look even better.

Dynamic range in this case was pretty crazy so I went with HDR processing – I took 5 exposures (in fact it would be better to capture 7 but I was shooting hand held so it was not an option) which I then merged to HDR in Photomatix Pro.

After the Rain (more…)

28 August 2015

Golden Greek Sky

Posted in: Chania, crete, hdr, landscape|

Featured photo – Golden Greek Sky

Yesterday I shared classic example of blue hour shot so today I would like share image taken during golden hour. Also in Chania, Greece.

It’s an HDR image from 5 exposures, tone mapped in Photomatix Pro 5 using Tone Compressor. I decided to replace water with -2 EV exposure, as I really liked texture and sun reflection in it, using a bit less known feature of Photomatix Pro. During tone mapping, just above preview image there is “Selection Mode” checkbox. After clicking it, you can draw selection and then right-click it and replace the selected area with one of your source images. It works really great!

Golden Sky (more…)

27 August 2015

Blue Port

Posted in: Chania, crete, hdr, landscape, long-exposure|

Featured photo – Blue Port

Today I have a classic blue hour image for you (you can learn what is blue hour from here).

Just a few days ago I shared a photo showing lighthouse at sunset in Chania (you can see the image here). During another sunset I went to that lighthouse and took photos from there as it offerred great view of the harbour. I found some really nice rocks that that I could put them in foreground of my photos. As there was pretty high dynamic range I decided to use HDR and I also decided to use long exposure to blur water and make it less distracting – the longest exposure was just over a minute.

Blue Port (more…)