lake

22 September 2014

Colourful sunset

Posted in: hdr, lake, landscape, Masuria, reflection|

7000 downloads of HDR tutorial eBook

Despite the fact my free HDR tutorial eBook was released almost a year ago, it’s still doing pretty well. It has just reached 7000 downloads! And the numbers are still growing so in a few months it should finally reach 10k downloads 🙂
If you haven’t read it yet, you can get it here.

Daily photo – Colourful sunset

Today I would like to share HDR landscape photo taken last year in Masuria, Poland.

Colourful sunset


Camera Info

Finally some EXIF info:

Technical details:
Camera: Canon 50D
Lens: Canon 10-22 f/3.5-4.5 USM
Focal length: 10 mm
Aperture: f/22.0
Exposure time: 2.0 s (“middle” exposure)
ISO: 100
Number of exposures: 7
E.V. Step: 1.5 EV
Flash used: no
Tripod: yes
Filters: ND8 neutral density filter
Technique: HDR, tone-mapping, luminosity masks
Software: Magic Lantern, Photomatix Pro 5 (Contrast Optimizer), Lightroom 5.4, Photoshop CC, Topaz Clarity
29 December 2013

The Best Photos of 2013

Posted in: crete, hdr, lake, landscape, madrid, Masuria, mountains, Tatra, warsaw|

Last year I did a short summary of year 2012 by picking my 5 top photos from that year (you can view this summary here).

Picking 5 photos by that time was quite easy as in 2012 I didn’t take that many good photos (I was still beginner – I sort of still am). In 2013 I travelled much more – I visited Tatra mountains twice (in winter and autumn), Montpellier in France, Madrid in Spain, Crete and Santorini islands in Greece. I took several photos in Warsaw where I live as well. Apart from that my skills as a photographer and post-processor (is there such a word?) became much higher and so I ended up with more than 400 photos that had 5/5 stars rating in my private Lightroom catalogue. All of them from 2013! I love so many of these shots – choosing only 5 of them would be very difficult if not impossible. And not fair 😉

So I picked a few more… Below you will find a collection of 18 photos from various places in arbitrary order. Click on any of these photos to view them in large.

Neoromanesque crypt in Madrid, Spain. I loved textures and details in this place.
Royal Palace in Madrid. It was really blue Blue Hour creating fantastic colours.
Another photo of Royal Palace in Madrid and one of my most popular photos from 2013, probably due to warm light and reflection in a puddle. BTW to get this reflection I actually put my camera inside the puddle – don’t try it at home as cameras usually don’t like water!
Another one from Madrid – this one taken during blue hour by Debod Temple – ruins of temple transported from Egypt.
Colourful forest in Masuria, Poland processed using my painterly approach.
Warsaw, my home town, during blue hour as viewed from high vantage point. Construction of this high building is over (so there are no more cranes) so I will have to retake this photo soon.
Winter sunrise over Tatra mountains with fog lurking in the valley.
Tatra mountains again – this time during very painterly sunset.
One of the most unique photos I took in 2013 – night over the Giewont mountain.
Welcome to Mordor – image that looked like Mordor to me. Just a little more beautiful.
Mountain huts in Tatra mountains.
Autumn in Polish Tatra mountains. Very painterly scene.
View from Kasprowy Wierch over Dolina Stawow Gasienicowych in Tatra mountains.
Soft sunset light over the grass and tress on Crete island.
Colourful sunrise by the lake in Poland.
Blue hour in Warsaw as seen from Swietokrzyski Bridge.
Beautiful sunset in Masuria, Poland.
Another unique photo from me. Overexposed Moon started to look like sun what together with stars from Milky Way gave rather surreal effect.

23 December 2013

Late sunset

Posted in: hdr, lake, landscape, long-exposure, Masuria, reflection|

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

It was a really beautiful sunset by the lake and when it started to turn into blue hour, the colours became even more amazing – with all shades of blues, purples, oranges and reds.

Technical details:
Camera: Canon 50D
Lens: Canon 10-22 f/3.5-4.5 USM
Focal length: 11 mm
Aperture: f/22
Exposure time: 1.3 s (“middle” exposure)
ISO: 100
Number of exposures: 7
E.V. Step: 1.0
Flash used: no
Tripod: yes
Filters: no
Technique: HDR, tone-mapping, luminosity masks
Software: Magic Lantern 2.3, Photomatix Pro 5 (Contrast Optimizer), Lightroom 5.0, Photoshop CC, Topaz Clarity

6 December 2013

Old boat

Posted in: hdr, lake, landscape, Masuria, reflection|

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

Today I would like to share quite old HDR photo showing old boat. Sorry for such a short post but I’m rather busy today.

BTW make sure to download my free Photomatix Pro presets mega pack if you haven’t done this already.

Technical details:
Camera: Canon 50D
Lens: Canon 10-22 f/3.5-4.5 USM
Focal length: 20 mm
Aperture: f/16.0
Exposure time: 1/25 s (“middle” exposure)
ISO: 100
Number of exposures: 7
E.V. Step: 1.0
Flash used: no
Tripod: yes
Filters: no
Technique: HDR, tone-mapping, luminosity masks
Software: Magic Lantern 2.3, Photomatix Pro 5 (Details Enhancer), Lightroom 5.0, Photoshop CC, Topaz Clarity

28 November 2013

Colourful sunset

Posted in: hdr, lake, landscape, long-exposure, Masuria, reflection|

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

Today I would like to share HDR photo of a sunset I took last summer in a beautiful region of Masuria in Poland (this place is great for photographing beautiful sunrises and sunsets!). The colours were really gorgeous and together with very calm water (there were just a few ripples that I got rid of using longer exposure) created great atmosphere. Tranquillity, silence – it was all about that.

BTW I’m happy to announce that my collection of free autumn presets for Lightroom has been now downloaded 200 times 🙂 If you still haven’t downloaded it, click here to get it.

Technical details:
Camera: Canon 50D
Lens: Canon 10-22 f/3.5-4.5 USM
Focal length: 10 mm
Aperture: f/22
Exposure time: 6 s (“middle” exposure)
ISO: 100
Number of exposures: 7
E.V. Step: 1.0
Flash used: no
Tripod: yes
Filters: ND8 neutral density filter
Technique: HDR, tone-mapping, luminosity masking
Software: Magic Lantern 2.3, Photomatix Pro 5.0 (Contrast Optimizer), Lightroom 5.0, Photoshop CC, Topaz Clarity, Topaz Adjust

24 November 2013

Panorama of sunset

Posted in: hdr, lake, landscape, Masuria, panorama, reflection|

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

It’s one of my best photos taken this year. It was a really gorgeous sunset over one of the lakes in Warmia-Masuria region in Poland and I just couldn’t get it wrong. The colours, the reflections – everything was perfect.

Technical details:
Camera: Canon 5D MK III
Lens: Canon 24 f/1.4 L USM II
Focal length: 24 mm
Aperture: f/22.0
Exposure time: 3.2 s (“middle” exposure)
ISO: 100
Number of exposures: 5
E.V. Step: 1.0
Flash used: no
Tripod: yes
Filters: no
Technique: HDR, tone-mapping, luminosity masking
Software: Magic Lantern 2.3, Photomatix Pro 5.0, PTGui, Lightroom 5.0, Photoshop CC, various Topaz Plugins
18 October 2013

Meeting a brown bear and Smreczynski Staw

Posted in: hdr, lake, landscape, mountains, reflection, Tatra|

Smreczyński StawSmreczyński Staw is a beautiful pond near Kościeliska Valley at the height of about 1200 meters above sea level.

It was a long and rather tiring climb but after a few hours we finally made it to Saddle below Kondracka Kopa (1863 meters above sea level). Unfortunately saddle welcomed us with freezing and very strong wind known as Halny what made it very difficult not only to take some photos but also to rest properly before going down. In fact initially we considered going further to 2005 meters onto Kondracka Kopa but due to the wind we altered our plans and decided to go back directly. After a short break to drink some liquids and eat some snacks we started our descent. It turned out to be even more tiring than the climb. Almost 10 kgs of photo equipment plus additional belongings seemed to be much heavier at this point. The stones seemed to be even more slippery than they were, when we had been climbing up. And the wind didn’t make it any easier.

So after going for about 150 or 200 meters, we decided to take a break near some berries bushes. They provided some shelter from cold wind so I thought it’s a great place for some quick rest. But soon after we had stopped we heard the voice somewhere from above:

– Do you see it? – I was too tired to realize that it was me and my girlfriend who were supposed to answer.
– Do you see it? – the voice asked the same question for the second time, louder this time and almost at the same time I saw a woman walking down with a small girl. At this stage I realized that we should probably answer.
– What “it”?
– There was a female bear with two children when I was ascending. She was very close to the road and I’m not sure if it’s safe to go down or go back up and try finding another route.

That was quite a shock. Bears at this time of year are especially dangerous and female bears with children are even more aggressive because they want to protect their kids (quite natural I would say). And there is one more thing – when bears eat a lot of fruit (like berries or peaches for instance) they’re fermenting in their stomachs what make bears behave as after drinking alcohol. So drunk bear, wanting to sleep and being extra anxious about their kids didn’t seem like the best that could happen to us.

Still we decided to continue our descent (as climbing up again wasn’t something I was very keen on), walking cautiously and paying extra attention to our surroundings. Initially, for about 50 meters, there was nothing suspicious but then we saw them – beautiful brown bear family calmly eating berries… They were about 75 meters or so from us. Not too close but not too far either. They could quickly get close to us if they wished to. Luckily they didn’t notice us (or maybe they just didn’t care about scared tourists?). I don’t remember much from this point apart from the fact that we virtually run down the steep slope. The stones weren’t that slippery anymore and the equipment became very light. The wind disappeared somewhere as well.

It was a scary experience but I also find myself very lucky. Meeting such beautiful animals in their natural environment is one of the most beautiful things under the sky. They’re at home, we’re intruders (or guests) there. For that reason I find it very sad that so many people don’t know how to behave in parks, forests, mountains. They’re shouting, laughing so loudly that animals seem to be scared or feeding them by leaving sandwiches near the track… I saw all these during last week. Unfortunately.

I didn’t take any photo of the bears and now I’m a bit disappointed about that as this could be my only chance. But still the experience was so great and intense that I will probably never forget it 🙂

And now finally some technical specs for the image above.

Technical details:
Camera: Canon 5D MK III
Lens: Canon 24-105 f/4 L IS USM
Focal length: 24 mm
Aperture: f/9.0
Exposure time: 1/100 s (“middle” exposure)
ISO: 400
Number of exposures: 5
E.V. Step: 1.0
Flash used: no
Tripod: yes
Filters: circular polarizing filter
Technique: HDR, tone-mapping, luminosity masks, panorama
Software: Magic Lantern 2.3, Photomatix Pro 5 beta (Details Enhancer), Lightroom 5.0, Photoshop CC
9 September 2013

Lake at sunset

Posted in: hdr, lake, landscape, Masuria, reflection|

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

Reflections. As you might have noticed they are one of my favourite subjects in photography because they add so much depth and interest to a photo. They can turn even a boring scene into interesting one. So here is one more reflection from me. There was almost no wind so there are just a couple of small ripples on the water surface making the reflection almost mirror-like.

You can also download Photomatix Presets used for this photo here.

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: 1/4 s (“middle” exposure)
ISO: 100
Number of exposures: 7
E.V. Step: 1.5
Flash used: no
Tripod: yes
Filters: no
Technique: HDR, tone-mapping, luminosity masks
Software: Magic Lantern 2.3, Photomatix Pro 4.2.7 (Details Enhancer), Lightroom 5.0, Photoshop CC