23 May 2016

Glow over Warsaw

Posted in: warsaw|

Glow over Warsaw

Today it’s time for another HDR image from Warsaw, Poland. I took it from high vantage point during sunset last summer. There was a little bit of haze towards the horizon what created some very nice glow around the sun.

One of the things I did during post-processing was to make sunset warmer and add even more glow to it. If you would like to learn my technique for making sunsets even warmer like in this case, make sure to read (and watch) my free tutorial by visiting the link below:


Glow over Warsaw


19 May 2016

Golden Sunset in Warsaw

Posted in: warsaw|

Golden Sunset in Warsaw

Every now and then I go through my old unprocessed images to see if there are no hidden gems that somehow got lost and forgotten (it already happened a few times so I’m always excited doing this as I never know what I would find). And today I discovered below image. It was taken in Warsaw, Poland during beautiful golden sunset back in 2014. As I really liked the image, I decided to process it. For post-processing I used mostly Photomatix Pro‘sĀ Contrast Optimizer and ON1 Effects 10 to do final tweaks.

If you’re interested to learn how to make such images yourself, make sure to read my free HDR tutorial:


Golden Sunset in Warsaw


9 February 2016

Night is Coming

Posted in: architecture, hdr, warsaw|

Night is Coming

It’s yet another photo I took in Warsaw last year. It was already getting dark but there was still a bit of light left in the sky and I thought it would be sort of cool to show this transition from day to night. Dynamic range was high in this case so it was necessary to capture HDR image (I used 5 bracketed images) which I tone-mapped in Photomatix Pro 5.1. Finishing touches were done in Photoshop and using ON1 Effects 10 plug-in.

If you would like to learn how to take and process such photos yourself, make sure to read my free HDR tutorial where I detail my post-processing.

Night is Coming (more…)

5 February 2016

Sunset in Warsaw

Posted in: architecture, warsaw|

Sunset in Warsaw

Today I’d like to share a photo I took last summer in my home town (Warsaw that is). In fact today the view would look slightly differently as Q22 building you can see in the back (I mean the one surrounded by cranes) is nearly finished by today and I must say it’s one of the most beautiful and unique skyscrapers in Warsaw. It’s another image on which I used ON1 Effects 10 and I must say that I really like this software! It’s really great for adding some finishing touches.

Sunset in Warsaw (more…)

1 December 2015

Main Hall of Politechnika Warszawska

Posted in: architecture, black and white, warsaw|

Main Hall of Politechnika Warszawska

Today I would like to share architecture photo (not my typical subject but as I live in the big city, it’s often easier to find good architecture than nice landscape šŸ™‚ ) showing beautiful ceiling in the main hall of Politechnika Warszawska (Warsaw University of Technology) in Warsaw.

Main Hall of Politechnika Warszawska (more…)

2 October 2015

HDR Photo Competition by HDRsoft – Fall 2015

Posted in: challenge, contest, hdr, warsaw|

HDR Photo Competition by HDRsoft

HDRsoft Ltd., team behind excellent Photomatix Pro, is now running another HDR photo competition. To enter it, you need to post-process your images using Photomatix or Photoshop/Aperture plug-ins (you can also use trial versions! which is really cool). This time you can submitĀ a maximum of 3 photos across both categories (Realistic and Creative). You can submit them all to Realistic category for instance but you can also submit 1 to Realistic and 2 images to Creative category – it’s all up to you.

Prizes are given in each of the two categories and they are:

  • 1st Prize: 500 USD Amazon Gift Card + Photomatix Pro Plus bundle license
  • 2nd Prize: 200 USD Amazon Gift Card + Photomatix Pro license

You can enter the competition until 31st December 2015 and the winners will be decided by the end of January 2016.

To enter the competition and read all the rules visit following website:


Good luck!

Changes to the blog

As you might have already noticed I made several changes and improvements to this blog in the last couple of days (e.g. fixed some issues with lightbox, added related posts). Most of them were very subtle but sometimes small change in code can have serious impact for the users. So if you notice any feature that is broken now, please let me know and I’ll fix it šŸ™‚

Featured photo – Old Town in the Morning

For today I picked another image from my city, Warsaw that is. I really like the textures on these buildings and lanterns light made them even more interesting. I took 7 exposures here, to avoid lights being completely blown out, and tone-mapped them in Photomatix Pro 5.1 using Tone Compressor. Quite frankly, I rarely use Tone Compressor but there is one very nice thing about it – it gives photos look that resemble photos taken back in analogue times. And I thought it would look very nice here.

Anyway after that I loaded my tone-mapped image into Photoshop CC where I made further adjustments to it to make the textures even stronger and more vibrant. For that I mainly used Topaz Clarity plug-in and luminosity masks. I also added a bit of vignette.

If you would like to create such photos yourself, make sure to read my HDR tutorial.

Old Town in the Morning (more…)

28 September 2015

FAQ on Photomatix and HDR by HDRsoft

Posted in: hdr, long-exposure, photomatix, Photomatix Pro, warsaw|

FAQ on Photomatix and HDR photography

I’m not sure if you’re aware of this but on HDRsoft website there is excellent FAQ section on Photomatix and HDR photography in general.

Of course many questions & answers are related to using Photomatix or issues that you could potentially run into but there are also some more general questions like: “What is the ideal exposure spacing?”, “How do I capture a very high contrast scene?” or “I am getting noisy results. Is there a way to avoid this?” – each with very detailed answer that should help you in making your HDR photos better!

So if you have questions about HDR photography make sure to visit that FAQ as there is a chance it’ll answer them. Of course if it doesn’t you can always try asking me here on my blog and I will try to provide as detailed answer as possible (provided I know it of course šŸ™‚ )

You can visit the FAQ under the URL below:


Featured photo – Busy morning in Warsaw

Today I have a sunrise image from Warsaw for you. It’s a light trails image taken during Sunday sunrise so I didn’t expect much traffic but quite to my surprise there were quite a few cars there on the streets already. I took 44 exposures in total in this case – 5 of them were bracketed images to create HDR photo (and make shadows brighther because they were almost pitch black) and remaining 39 frames were used to create light trails by blending the images together in Photoshop.

If you would like to create such photos yourself, make sure to read my HDR tutorial.

Busy morning in Warsaw (more…)

23 September 2015

HDR Photography Tip: Check for halos by zooming out your image

Posted in: architecture, hdr, landscape, reflection, tutorial, warsaw|

HDR Photography Tip: Check for halos by zooming out your image

baseOne of the reasons why some photographers consider HDR photography evil are halo artifacts – phenomenon that appears between regions of very different luminosity like bright sky and dark mountain. You can see example of halo artifact in the image on the right. This is the lighter area around the trees and building.

Most of the time they are clearly visible but there are cases when there are so subtle than you can actually miss them (but sooner or later someone will find out). If you opened the image on the right in larger size, halo artifacts wouldn’t seem so bad.

There is very easy trick to make sure your photo is halo-free – just make your photo very small (either by zooming out in your HDR program or when previewing finished image) as halos tend to become more visible as you make the image smaller or look at it at the distance (so walking a few feet away of your computer will work equally as good).

If there are halo artifacts in your photos you might be interested in learning how to get rid of them. In the past I wrote several pieces of information on that subject:

Featured photo – Reflection of Royal Palace

For today I decided to share yet another sunset image from Warsaw… yes, another from my workshops šŸ™‚ 5 exposures at 1 stop spacing were required to capture whole dynamic range of this scene. At first it might seem its dynamic range isn’t very high as there is no longer sun in the frame but there was still a little glow in the sky that was very bright and using fewer exposures resulted in blown-out highlights.

What you might notice in this image is that there is plenty of dirt in the reflection. Unfortunately it is how it looks at the moment. Vistula river level is very low right now (after very dry winter, spring and summer) and there is also a lot of debris in it right now.

If you would like to create such photos yourself, make sure to read my HDR tutorial.

Old Town in Warsaw (more…)