reflection

14 January 2016

Most Popular Posts of 2015

Posted in: blog, landscape, long-exposure, reflection, thailand|

Most Popular Posts of 2015

2015 has finally come to an end and January is usually time of various summaries. So today I decided to write a short ranking of most popular posts on my blog in the last 12 months in case you missed some of them 🙂 Here’s the list ordered by post popularity:

  1. HDR tutorial – it’s my most popular post ever (around 100k views already and counting) and with the recent overhaul it isn’t surprising it won the ranking again.
  2. Capture One 8 Review. Or why I said “goodbye” to Lightroom – my review of Capture One 8 (review of Capture One 9 is still in progress 🙂 ). From this review you’ll learn why I decided to switch to C1 and leave Lightroom behind.
  3. Capture One Film Styles Review – another Capture One related review. In this one I reviewed presets by Alexander Svet. The presets are great as they try to recreate look of various traditional films.
  4. Canon 16-35 f/4 L IS USM Review – I bought Canon 16-35 f/4 L IS at the beginning of 2015 and almost immediately it became one of my favorite lenses as it is perfect for my landscape photography needs. If you’re interested to learn why, read this review
  5. 500px vs Flickr vs Google+ vs Facebook – Where should you share your images? – back in 2013 I wrote a series of posts in which I compared various social networks from photographer’s perspective. After 2 years I decided to make another comparison as there were many changes to each of the websites. What changed? Which website is the best to share your photos? Read this article 🙂
  6. Lightroom 6 Review – in 2015 Adobe finally released a long awaited Lightroom 6/CC. What’s my opinion about it? You can read in this review.
  7. Photomatix Pro 5.1 is out! Favorite presets, new slider and more – in 2015, HDRsoft also released a new version of Photomatix Pro 5.1 which added some new features like favorite presets or brightness slider to Fusion/Real-Estate.
  8. Photo Editing Apps Comparison: Gimp, Lightroom, Photoshop – I was asked for this post for some time. I compared various photo editing apps (Gimp, Lightroom and Photoshop) and mentioned strengths and weaknesses of each of them.
  9. HDR Tutorial – Sample HDR photos to play with – by the end of 2015 I added new section to my blog where I share sample bracketed photos for you to play with. Make sure to share the results with me 🙂 leave a comment on my blog or send me an email 🙂
  10. Throne Hall in Amalienborg Palace – this is the photo only post. Not a tutorial or review. Photo was taken in Copenhagen in a beautiful Amalienborg Castle. Really stunning piece of architecture.

BTW if you’re interested to see similar ranking from 2014, you can find it here.

Lonely boat on Sunrise Beach

Today I would like to share another photo from Thailand. This one was taken on sunrise beach on Koh Lipe island, during one very beautiful sunrise. Editing was done almost entirely inside CaptureOne 9. Some finishing touches were done using ON1 Effects plugin inside Photoshop.

Lonely boat on Sunrise Beach (more…)

7 January 2016

Last Chance to Share Your Best Photos!

Posted in: landscape, reflection, thailand, the best of|

Share your best photos

I would like to inform you that only 2 weeks are left to share your best images from 2015 and have them featured on my blog together with info about you and your photography! For more info read this post:

http://hdr-photographer.com/2015/11/share-your-best-photos-from-2015/

Don’t wait till the last second to submit your images 🙂

Sunset in Thailand

And today I’d like to share yet another sunset photo from Phra Nang beach in Thailand. There were some amazing colors in the sky and I decided to take just a single image (i.e. no HDR) exposed for the sky to capture them.

Sunset in Thailand (more…)

26 November 2015

Blue and Orange

Posted in: hdr, landscape, reflection, thailand|

As promised I sent new issue of the Newsletter during last weekend. If you would like to get next issue in your email box (which should arrive somewhere in December), make sure to subscribe by leaving your email address in the little form in the right side of this blog.

Blue and Orange

As you probably know intuitively there are certain colour pairs that when used together create very powerful effect, eg. blue & orange, red & green or yellow & violet. These are so called complementary colours – when used next to each other they cancel each other out, creating the strongest contrast for those particular two colors.

I really love using complementary colours in my photos and as I shoot a lot of sunsets most commonly I play with blue & orange. And today I would like to share image featuring these complementary colours. It’s an HDR image from 5 exposures that I took in Thailand earlier this year. I processed this image in Photomatix Pro 5 using my favorite Contrast Optimizer method and then made some fine tuning in Photoshop using a variety of different plugins from Topaz and ON1. Note the gradation of tones – from blue foreground to almost orange sky in the background.

Blue and Orange (more…)

19 November 2015

Tranquility

Posted in: landscape, reflection, thailand|

New issue of Newsletter is coming

Not sure what happened really but it seems I accidentally deleted yesterday post in which I mentioned that new issue of HDR Photographer Newsletter is coming later this week (most likely tomorrow evening). If you’re interested in receiving it, make sure to subscribe to this Newsletter by filling the form located at the top of my blog’s sidebar.

Tranquility

Another image from Thailand today. In this case the sunset was already over but there were still a lot of colors in the sky (mainly pinks and blues). I also loved that perfect reflection in foreground created by some huge puddles.

Tranquility (more…)

17 November 2015

Share your best photos from 2015

Posted in: community, hdr, landscape, reflection, thailand, the best of|

Share your best photos from 2015

For the last two years I invited you to share your best photos taken in 2013 and 2014. Quite a few of you took part in that small project and as current year is slowly coming to an end to run another edition. So I’m looking forward to your best photos.

If you would like to be part of this year’s project, simply send me the links (in comments to this post) to exactly 2 of your best photos and I will share them on my blog by the end of January 2016. Additionally it would be good if you could email me those images (watermarked if you want) resized to 900px on longer side.

It doesn’t matter whether you are pro or amateur – you will be featured on my blog. If there will be too many photos I will share them in a few turns but I will share all of them.

Some conditions that must be met:

  • Deadline is 20th January 2016
  • The photos should be taken in 2015 (or at least be edited in 2015),
  • The photos must have at least 900px on the longer side,
  • Please provide the link to your page (and/or Facebook profile, 500px profile, SmugMug etc.) as well as the name under which you would like to be credited. You can also write short bio that I will put next to your photos.
  • Links to photos must be sent in the comments under this post,
  • You have to provide links to exactly 2 photos,
  • Please send both photos resized to 900px on longer size to w.toman@hdr-photographer.com with subject “Best of 2015”. I will use the photos only to embed them in the post. They can be watermarked of course. If you can’t or don’t want to send the photos – that’s fine 🙂 It would just make my life a little bit easier but it’s not necessary.
  • Of course if I find the image obscene or breaking the law, I’m not going to post it here.

Reflection of Sunset

For today I selected another sunset HDR photo from Thailand which I captured a few months ago. There was this stone block, which I’m not sure what was for (any ideas?), that looked quite cool against the sunset and beautiful reflection all around it.

This HDR image was created from 3 exposures in Photomatix Pro with final tweaks done in Lightroom and Photoshop.

Reflection of Sunset (more…)

6 October 2015

Ducks on the Lake

Posted in: hdr, landscape, reflection, Tatra|

Featured photo – Ducks on the Lake

Today I decided to share HDR photo I took 2 years ago in Tatra Mountains in southern Poland. It shows ducks swimming in the lake. Nice light, reflection and movement created by ducks swimming around makes this a really nice image to look at (at least that’s my opinion 🙂 ). I hope you like it as much as I do.

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

Ducks on the Lake (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 🙂 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…)

22 September 2015

Reflection of Royal Palace

Posted in: architecture, hdr, landscape, long-exposure, reflection, warsaw|

Featured photo – Reflection of Royal Palace

I’m not shooting bridges very often, I just tend to prefer natural landscapes much more than structures created by humans, but one of the great things about bridges is that they make composition so much powerful with all the leading lines they introduce to the image. They make your eye travel through the whole frame making it easier for us photographers to show all we want. If you would like to learn more about photo composition, check out my Photo Composition Primer.

But for today I have a photo of a bridge, which was taken during my workshops in Warsaw. Apart from Slasko-Dabrowski bridge it also features Royal Palace and Cathedral buildings in the Old Town. To capture this image I used 5 exposures spaced 1 EV apart. In Photomatix Pro 5 I used Contrast Optimizer to tone-map them and then spent fair amount of time in Photoshop trying to get contrast and colours the way I wanted them to be.

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

Old Town in Warsaw (more…)