lisbon

2 February 2015

Monastery in Belem

Posted in: architecture, black and white, hdr, lisbon|

Daily photo – Monastery in Belem

Today I would like to share old Black & White (or monochrome to be more exact) HDR image I took in Lisbon, Portugal. It shows beautiful Jeronimos Monastery aka Hieronymites Monastery (Mosteiro dos Jeronimos) which is one of the most amazing examples of Portuguese late gothic.

To take below high dynamic range image I took 3 exposures at 2 EV spacing, tone-mapped them in Photomatix Pro and finished in Photoshop.

Monastery in Belem

Camera Info

Finally some EXIF info:

Technical details:
Camera: Canon 5D MK II
Lens: Canon 24-105 f/4 L IS USM
Focal length: 24 mm
Aperture: f/8.0
Exposure time: 1/320 s (“middle” exposure)
ISO: 100
Number of exposures: 3
E.V. Step: 2.0 EV
Flash used: no
Tripod: no
Filters: no
Technique: HDR, tone-mapping, black & white
Software: Magic Lantern, Photomatix Pro 5 (Contrast Optimizer), Lightroom 5.4, Photoshop CC, Topaz Clarity, Topaz Detail, Topaz BW Effects
14 April 2014

Street in Lisbon

Posted in: architecture, hdr, lisbon, painterly|

Daily photo – Street in Lisbon

Although, as you know, landscapes are my main area of interest in photography, I do travel quite a lot to various cities. And when I’m there what I like to photograph most are streets because a lot of European cities are very old and this means some beautiful buildings, great detail and fantastic textures – things that really shine when doing HDR on them.

Below photo was taken when I was wandering in Lisbon 2 years ago (I loved that city and hope to visit it again in the future!). I decided to use my painterly technique on it to make the textures look nicer and a bit painterly. It’s especially noticeable on the pavement and road which look like taken from some illustration or drawing.

Street in Lisbon

Finally some EXIF info:

Technical details:
Camera: Canon 5D MK II
Lens: Canon 24-105 f/4 L IS USM
Focal length: 24 mm
Aperture: f/5.0
Exposure time: 1/500 s (“middle” exposure)
ISO: 640
Number of exposures: 3
E.V. Step: 2.0
Flash used: no
Tripod: no
Filters: no
Technique: HDR, tone-mapping
Software: Photomatix Pro 5 (Details Enhancer), Lightroom 5.3, Photoshop CC, Topaz Simplify
19 January 2014

Available online means it’s free?

Posted in: hdr, lisbon, street, thoughts|

Available online = free?

It’s quite depressing when you make your content available online, when you share your photos and tutorials without any charge just to notice that your content gets copied, gets stolen.

I often get questions about permission to use my photos, or translating my tutorials for instance and I really appreciate that! I almost always agree because it’s cool to see my images on some nice website with my name under them. It’s also great to see my tutorials translated into Italian or German. Really great! But yes, I require that my name is visible and the link to my blog is provided. But that’s the only cost that I require for non-commercial use.

However, it sometimes happens that someone simply copies whole my content (eg. whole tutorial) and puts it online with his own signature. Or download my photos and use them as theirs. I know that every photographer wants to get exposure but it’s just not fair, it’s just stealing. You can’t name it differently. Every month I spend many hours writing my tutorials (and please note that I’m doing it in my free time as I’m full-time software developer – not photographer), sometimes it takes even a few days or even weeks to get one particular tutorial finished and polished (like my HDR tutorial or Star Photos Tutorial)… I don’t get as much exposure for it as I would like to… but hey, if it can help someone – it’s great! I’m really happy if someone writes me an email or comment telling that my tutorial inspired them to try HDR photography or star photography. Or that one of my articles helped them in understanding particular subject of photography. It gives me a lot of satisfaction and motivation to work even harder.

But then someone comes to my website, copies whole text and puts it on his blog, stealing part of that little exposure I could get. And I can do virtually nothing. Fighting with piracy is almost impossible – even huge corporations can’t do much about it.

That said it’s very sad that people can’t understand that if something is available online without extra charges, it doesn’t mean you can do anything with it (unless license allows for that or author gives you permission for that). For instance you can’t copy or modify my photos or tutorials. You can’t sign them with your own name.

Daily photo – Street in Cascais

Today HDR photo was taken in the small town of Cascais, near Lisbon.
HDR photo from Cascais

It was a pretty interesting street full of details and with very interesting pattern on the pavement. Notice that I haven’t removed people from this shot. It’s because I think that such scenes look much more interesting if you include them as people are part of the streets. Without them such photos would look deserted.

Technical details:
Camera: Canon 5D MK II
Lens: Canon 24-105 f/4 L IS USM
Focal length: 24 mm
Aperture: f/9.0
Exposure time: 1/30 s (“middle” exposure)
ISO: 100
Number of exposures: 3
E.V. Step: 2
Flash used: no
Tripod: no
Filters: circular polarizing filter
Technique: HDR, tone-mapping
Software: Magic Lantern 2.3, Photomatix Pro 5 (Details Enhancer), Lightroom 5.0, Photoshop CC
18 January 2014

First tests of Sony NEX-6

Posted in: hdr, lisbon, nex|

Quick tests of Sony NEX-6

Today I finally had a chance to do some quick tests of my new Sony NEX-6 camera (and Sony 10-18 f/4 lens) that I will use almost exclusively for the next few weeks (sort of experiment before one of my trips). First impression is – man, it’s so light! Even with a lens I can hardly feel its weight. Amazing! Especially compared to DSLR 🙂 And it’s so small that I can hide it my jacket’s pocket! As for the images themselves I’m not sharing anything yet as the light was very boring and flat today so they aren’t very good (they are just boring). Hopefully I’ll manage to capture something better in the next few days. But as far as I can see, image quality is quite nice even on high ISO. So everything looks promising.

Daily Photo – Cannon in Lisbon

Today’s HDR photo was taken in Sao Jorge Castle in Lisbon. I captured just 3 exposures (at that time I almost never captured more) but it was enough to capture whole dynamic range of the scene. I also composed it in such a way that both visible wheels are in the points of imaginary 3×3 grid thus satisfying rule of thirds.

What I like most about this image, is the amount of details in the cannon itself. It was a beautiful piece of weaponry and with tone-mapping I could further enhance these details and make them pop.

HDR photo of cannon


Finally some EXIF info:

Technical details:
Camera: Canon 5D MK II
Lens: Canon 24-105 f/4 L IS USM
Focal length: 32 mm
Aperture: f/11.0
Exposure time: 1/50 s (“middle” exposure)
ISO: 800
Number of exposures: 3
E.V. Step: 2
Flash used: no
Tripod: no
Filters: circular polarizing filter
Technique: manual blending, luminosity masks
Software: Magic Lantern 2.3, Photomatix Pro 5 (Details Enhancer), Lightroom 5.0, Photoshop CC
28 December 2013

Fortress in Sintra

Posted in: architecture, hdr, lisbon, sintra|

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

Today I would like to share a photo I took in February 2012 but I processed it just today. Well, I did processed it earlier but I never liked that older version and have never published it. This photo shows one of the most beautiful fortresses I’ve ever seen – Castelo dos Mouros (Moorish Castle) in Sintra, Portugal. Although these are just ruins, they are still very impressive.

I processed this photo using Contrast Optimizer, which since release of Photomatix Pro 5, became my new favourite processing method. I use it for the majority of my new HDR photos.

Technical details:
Camera: Canon 50D
Lens: Canon 10-22 f/3.5-4.5 USM
Focal length: 10 mm
Aperture: f/9.0
Exposure time: 1/640 s (“middle” exposure)
ISO: 250
Number of exposures: 3
E.V. Step: 2.0
Flash used: no
Tripod: no
Filters: no
Technique: HDR, tone-mapping, luminosity masks
Software: Magic Lantern 2.3, Photomatix Pro 5.0 (Contrast Optimizer), Lightroom 5.0, Photoshop CC, Topaz Clarity

19 November 2013

Church in Lisbon

Posted in: architecture, church, hdr, lisbon|

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

Today just a photo without much description. Taken last year in one of many Lisbon churches. I’m really happy about the light and mood I got here. The noise is quite strong (mainly due to hight ISO) but in fact in this very case I like it because it helps building the effect I wanted to achieve.

Technical details:
Camera: Canon 5D MK II
Lens: Canon 24-105 f/4 L IS USM
Focal length: 24 mm
Aperture: f/4.0
Exposure time: 1/50 s (“middle” exposure)
ISO: 4000
Number of exposures: 3
E.V. Step: 2
Flash used: no
Tripod: no
Filters: no
Technique: HDR, tone-mapping
Software: Magic Lantern 2.3, Photomatix Pro 4.2.7 (Details Enhancer), Lightroom 5.2, Photoshop CC, Topaz Clarity 

18 November 2013

Changes to the blog

Posted in: blog, hdr, lisbon, street|

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

I decided to make some changes to the blog one more time 🙂 Most of the things are bug fixes in website code and blog template (so they are mostly transparent to you) but I also changed a few things that you will see. I made Related Posts widget a bit more fancy (with some animation and stuff like that), slightly improved readability of Photography Tutorials section (I intend to make even more adjustments to it so it’s easier to find interesting content there), I reduced number of posts shown on home page to just 5 (from 15!) to increase readability of the blog and to reduce load times which were quite long especially on mobile devices.

I also improved Lightbox. When you click on any photo on this site it will be shown in larger size on black background what is normally much better to view my photos.

Finally I added a map to posts containing photos (majority of them does…). In fact, in the past I added it from time to time but I did it manually so it was a tedious process and after some time I stopped doing so. However, this time map is added automatically (ok… almost). I hope it will give you a better idea where I take my photos and who knows, maybe one day you will capture a photo from the very same spot as I did?

I’m in the process of making further changes and adjustments and hopefully you’ll notice them in a few days. There are some bigger changes coming so stay tuned.

Today HDR photo was taken in February 2012. Just 1.5 year ago yet it seems so long! My post-processing and photography technique and skills have evolved since there pretty much I think. I’m much more aware of what I’m doing and what I want to achieve with particular photos. I focus more on the artistic aspect of taking photos – I don’t need to spend several minutes trying to figure out what exposure to set or trying various techniques blindly hoping one of them will work.

BTW it’s quite unfortunate that I don’t remember location where I took this photo so on the map you will see a pin in the middle of Lisbon. If by any luck you know where it is exactly, let me know and I’ll be happy to update location.

Technical details:
Camera: Canon 5D MK II
Lens: Canon 24-105 f/4 L IS USM
Focal length: 28 mm
Aperture: f/5.0
Exposure time: 1/400 s (“middle” exposure)
ISO: 640
Number of exposures: 3
E.V. Step: 2
Flash used: no
Tripod: no
Filters: circular polarizing filter
Technique: HDR, tone-mapping
Software: Magic Lantern 2.3, Photomatix Pro 4.2.7 (Details Enhancer), Lightroom 5.0, Photoshop CC, Topaz Clarity 

17 October 2013

And the winner is…

Posted in: architecture, challenge, hdr, lisbon|

There were quite a lot of entries in my post-processing challenge. I hope you had some fun playing with photos taken by me. From my point of view it was also a great experience and inspiring as well to see so many different versions of those photos.

Based on the number of submissions I decided to pick 3 photos which I found most interesting ones. The choice was very tough in fact as I liked many more versions. Also it’s very subjective (maybe next time I will make Facebook voting?) so please don’t be sad/angry/disappointed if you don’t see your photo today.

#1 Vineets Photography:
http://www.vineet-suthan.com/photoblog/

For me it’s the most interesting version (and so it’s the winner). Use of brown tones looks really interesting and in my opinion fits the image. Also the highlights are properly restored (they weren’t in my version 😉 ).

#2 Frank Bramkamp:
https://plus.google.com/104762767414084728435/posts

Frank used my photos in quite creative way adding a lot of details and some elements that weren’t present in the original shots. This resulted in some great mood.

#3 Foto Buddy:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/foto-buddy/

And last but not least – version with some excellent contrast and sharpness (especially when viewed in large).