4 December 2015

Capture One & Photomatix Pro HDR workflow

Posted in: capture one, forest, hdr, landscape, long-exposure, mexico, Photomatix Pro, tutorial|

Capture One & Photomatix Pro HDR workflow

As you probably know I love Photomatix Pro and recently I also felt in love with Phase One Capture One. Before moving to Capture One I used Lightroom and my HDR workflow was simple: select the bracketed images in Lightroom, export them to Photomatix using a plugin, make adjustments in Photomatix, save the image and it would automatically show in Lightroom allowing me to make final adjustments there or send the image to Photoshop for instance.

As much as I like Capture One, it made my HDR workflow a bit more complicated because it doesn’t support plugins (unfortunately just released version 9, hasn’t changed anything in this regard) so it’s not possible to open bracketed images directly in Photomatix from Capture One level. It means different approach is needed and I would like to share my current HDR workflow with you.

Here are main steps:

  1. First I do basic adjustments like lens correction, removing chromatic aberration, white balance or noise reduction in Capture One
  2. I export the images as 16-bit TIFF files to a folder where my source images are stored (of course recipe is needed for that).
  3. I load exported TIFF images to Photomatix and merge them to HDR where I post-process them as I would normally do.
  4. After doing the adjustments in Photomatix I save the image as 16-bit TIFF in the directory where source images are located
  5. I switch back to Capture One. As I saved HDR image in the same directory as source images, it appears there automatically.
    Note: make sure to disable following option in Capture One: main menu View -> Global Filters -> Always Hide Processed TIFF . In my case it was checked by default and I spent a lot of time trying to figure out why my tone-mapped images didn’t show in Capture One.
  6. I do fine tuning in Capture One. This includes working on colors and contrast, removing dust spots, local adjustments etc.
  7. If I need more control I export the image from Capture One to Photoshop.

It seems to be quite complicated but apart from steps 2 and 3 it doesn’t differ much from my previous Lightroom workflow. In case of Lightroom these 2 steps were one – export the images from Lightroom to Photomatix and it happened almost automatically, a bit more work is needed here.

Sunset in Mexico

Today I’d like to share long-exposure HDR taken in Mexico in 2014, post-processed in Capture One and Photomatix (yes, above workflow applies here). I really like this silky smooth water. It looks sort of dreamy or painterly.

Sunset in Mexico (more…)

27 October 2015

Photoshop Tip: change brush size and hardness in Photoshop easily

Posted in: hdr, landscape, long-exposure, mexico|

Change brush size and hardness in Photoshop easily

As you probably know there are many ways of changing brush size and hardness in Adobe Photoshop and today I would like to share one more with you – one that doesn’t require you to stop drawing with your mouse and so doesn’t break your creative flow.

To do that:

  • to change brush size – hold Alt key (Option on Mac), hold Right mouse button and move mouse left or right
  • to change brush hardness – hold Alt key (Option on Mac), hold Right mouse button and move mouse up and down

It saves a few precious seconds 🙂 also for me it’s a bit easier method because I can set the brush size I really want without too much guessing.

Late Sunset

For today I picked another image from Quintana Roo, Mexico. It’s a long-exposure HDR photo I took late at sunset in the direction opposite the sun. There were some nice blue clouds (yes, they were really blue what I found a bit unusual) which later turned into some weird looking whites.

If you’re interested in learning more about HDR photography, as always I encourage you to give my free HDR tutorial a try. It should give you the idea what HDR photography is and how to approach it to get naturally looking results.

Late Sunset (more…)

21 October 2015

Storm is Coming

Posted in: hdr, landscape, long-exposure, mexico|

Storm is Coming

When I was in Mexico in 2014 and shooting one of the sunsets I experienced quite severe tropical storm. Below image was taken a few seconds before I decided to pack my gear and leave (Sony NEX-6 camera which I used on that day isn’t very weatherproof you know…). The sky in this image is really dramatic and even kind of scary. If I was to shoot this image today I would probably go with long exposure to blur the clouds what would probably create some nice abstract shapes in the sky. Maybe next time 🙂

Storm is Coming (more…)

19 October 2015

Sunset in Mexico

Posted in: hdr, landscape, long-exposure, mexico|

Featured photo – Sunset in Mexico

One more image from Mexico today. In fact some of you have probably seen it on 500px and Facebook where I shared it already a few days ago. Anyway this HDR image from 5 exposures taken after sun disappeared below horizon. There was some nice glow in the sky as well as some gorgeous sun rays, which you can see in the right part of the sky.

Sunset in Mexico (more…)

15 October 2015

In the Jungle

Posted in: hdr, landscape, mexico|

Featured photo – In the Jungle

I haven’t shared any image from Mexico in a while but I still have plenty of them to share. So what about this one today? It was taken in Xcaret park and it shows reconstruction of traditional Mayan village hidden somewhere deep in the jungle. To capture this image I took 3 exposures, 2 stops apart and then merged them to HDR and tone-mapped in Photomatix Pro. Finishing touches were done in Photoshop using luminosity masks and Topaz plugins to increase clarity of the image.

In the Jungle (more…)

22 January 2015

Cenote in Mexico

Posted in: hdr, mexico, panorama|

Daily photo – Cenote in Mexico

HDR panorama of one of the many cenotes in Mexico

Today I would like to share this HDR panorama taken in one of the cenotes in Mexico. I already shared one version of this image in the past… but I like this one a big more.

Finally some EXIF information:

Technical details:
Camera: Sony NEX-6
Lens: Sony 10-18 f/4
Focal length: 10 mm
Aperture: f/5.6
Exposure time: 5 s (“middle” exposure)
ISO: 200
Number of exposures: 55
E.V. Step: 1.0
Flash used: no
Tripod: yes
Filters: no
Technique: panorama, long-exposure, manual blending, luminosity masks
Software: PTGui, Lightroom 5.0, Photoshop CC, Topaz Clarity, Topaz Adjust
8 January 2015

Last Chance to Share Your Best Photos

Posted in: hdr, landscape, long-exposure, mexico|

Last chance to share your photos

If you would like to have your 2 best photos from 2014 featured on my blog, note that time is quickly ticking away! Just a few days are left (you can submit your photos until 14th January 2015 – so less than a week to go). After that I will share all images I received. And next chance will be at the beginning of 2016 🙂
If you would like to participate make sure to read this post.

Daily photo – Sunset in Puerto Aventuras, Mexico

HDR photo of sunset in Puerto Aventuras, Mexico

Today I would like share HDR photo of a sunset in Mexico. I hope you like it! Most of the time during my last year stay in Cancun, sky was clear during sunset or there were just small single clouds here and there which didn’t look really great. But there were a few sunset, and here is one of them, when there were some beautiful colourful clouds in the sky.

Camera Info

Finally some EXIF info:

Technical details:
Camera: Sony NEX-6 (read my review here)
Lens: Sony 10-18 f/4
Focal length: 12 mm
Aperture: f/22.0
Exposure time: 10.0 s (“middle” exposure)
ISO: 100
Number of exposures: 5
E.V. Step: 1.0
Flash used: no
Tripod: yes
Filters: Cokin NDX variable density neutral filter
Technique: HDR, tone-mapping, luminosity masks
Software: Photomatix Pro 5 (Contrast Optimizer), Lightroom 5.4, Photoshop CC, Topaz Clarity, Topaz Detail