Photographing Moving Water

Hi Folks:

As a landscape photographer,  I’ve always been captivated by images of moving water.  By varying the shutter speed one can create many different effects.  A very high shutter speed can ‘freeze’ the moment…

Shuswap Lake Bubbles

Continue Reading →

Stair-Stepping Through a Panoramic Photograph

Hi Folks:

I’ve written a couple of posts before on panoramic photography; this one is about an idea, an experiment if you like, that I tried recently.

There’s a back story for this experiment, and that is that in the downtown area here there’s a panoramic mural on the side of a building that’s approximately 60 metres/ 200 feet long.  It’s a nice work, and I wanted to make a photograph of it.  It’s on the side of a building, and that side faces a parking lot.

Now most panoramic photographs have one basic thing in common, which is that the location of the camera doesn’t change.  If one is using a camera/ lens that’s capable of shifting, then those shifts can be used to capture more image area.  Otherwise one rotates the camera to capture each image that is rendered in the panoramic software.  I talked about this more in my Photo of the Month article for March.  I mostly use Autopano Pro for my panoramas and my HDR work; it works well for me for the most part.  I’ve also used Hugin, and more recently I’ve also played a bit with Adobe Photoshop CS5. Continue Reading →

Panoramic Photography and Stitching “Errors”

Hi Folks:

In a previous post I rambled on a bit about panoramic photography – basically a system where one combines several images into one using software designed for that purpose.  One can also take several images of the same scene at different exposures and combine them into one HDR image using the same software.  Mostly I use Autopano Pro for stitching, although I’ve also used Hugin, and since I work extensively in Lightroom I’ve been playing a bit with Photoshop CS5‘s HDR Pro and panorama tools as well.  To create a stitched image the software looks for the same points in two or more images and assigns them as ‘control points’.  The combined image is then mapped around those control points.  Usually this works very well, but in my previous post I talked a bit about parallax errors and things like that, and sometimes these images don’t get mapped together perfectly.  This can create situations like this: Continue Reading →

Photo of the Month

Hi Folks:

Well, since yesterday was the last day of the month this post may be considered an ‘April Fool’s’ joke, but the only fool in this case is me.  Besides, yesterday was Wednesday and Marcia’s ‘Poetry Corner‘ post and I didn’t want to compete!  Yeah, like that’ll work.  Oh well… 😉

So.  March has been a busy month, photographically speaking.  I made close to 2000 images this month, and while there are those who will shoot that and more in a day, I come from a world of 36 and even 12-exposure rolls of film so I’m still not used to the scattergun approach when it comes to imaging.  Of those 2000 or so images, many were used as the basis for panoramas, or more specifically stitched images, since not all stitched images are panoramas, nor need be. Continue Reading →

Photo of the Month – Making Small Creative Edits in Lightroom

Hi Folks: I usually dedicate the last day of the month to my favourite image made that month, but this month I’m going to do something a little different and dedicate it to an idea. I use Adobe Photoshop Lightroom (I currently have both LR 2.6 and 3 Beta installed) to do all of my file management, tagging, and pretty much all of my editing, etc. One of the biggest changes between LR 2 and LR1 before it was the ability to make selective rather than global changes to an image; I have no doubt that this will be expanded upon in LR 3 when it comes out, but we’ll have to wait and see. Now Photoshop is THE pixel editing program, and there is so much that can be done in Photoshop that can’t be done in Lightroom, so we’ll get that argument out of the way right up front. However, rather than be stymied by limitations, I always like to know how far I can take something – in this case Lightroom’s selective edit commands: the brush tool and the gradiant tool. I find mostly what I use them for is making very small adjustments. By small adjustments I’m talking generally ½ a stop or less. Still I think small corrections can make a big difference. I’m no Lightroom guru, but in all of the various Lightroom tips, tutorials and videos I’ve seen I’ve yet to see anyone cover this so I thought I’d give it a shot. Further creative effects may be achieved by changing the saturation, clarity, brush colour, etc. but this tutorial focuses solely on exposure adjustments. Continue Reading →

Photography Links

Hi Folks:  There are about a bazillion websites on photography today… I’d hate to hazard a guess on how many of them I have bookmarked, so I won’t try.  However there are some that I visit daily or at least regularly, so I thought I’d add them in here (in no particular order):

  • Luminous Landscape: This site is run by Toronto photographer Michael Reichmann.  News, reviews, product updates and assessments, and a forum with probably the largest collection of amateur and professional photographers from around the world.  Michael’s store has a number of downloadable videos for sale – well worth checking out!
  • The Online Photographer: A daily blog by Mike Johnston.  Lots of useful (and sometimes fun 🙂 ) information here.
  • National Geographic Shot of the Day: ’nuff said.
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day (from NASA).
  • Adobe Photoshop Lightroom Killer Tips: Matt Koslowki’s site, with presets, tips, videos and more about Lightroom.
  • Joe McNally’s Blog: One of my favourite photographers.  I haven’t met him (yet) but he seems like such a down to earth guy.
  • John Paul Caponigro’s Blog: Another of my favourite photographers.  There are hundreds of pages of free .pdf files available through his site.
  • Light Diary: Craig Tanner’s photo blog.
  • PhotoWalkPro: Jeff Revell’s photo blog.
  • Digital Photo Experience: Rick Sammon, Juan Pons and friends provide tips and information on digital photography.
  • Alltop Lightroom News: A collection of the latest blog posts related to Adobe Photoshop Lightroom.
  • Alltop Photography News: A collection of the latest blog posts related to photography and photographers.
  • Analog Photography User’s Group:  Remember film?  I shot it for a lot of years.  Kodachrome was my favourite.  This is a user forum for those not digitally-inclined.
  • Canon Digital Learning Center: Tips, techniques and information related to all things Canon, although some of it can be applied to those with other camera systems.
  • TrekEarth: Phototographs, critiques, discussions…
  • David Farkas Photography Blog: David’s most recent posts have been about his experiences with the Leica S2.
  • Camera’s View:  Not a very active blog, but there is a set of calendar templates there for Lightroom and some other useful information.
  • Focus on Singh-Ray Filters:  Because you can’t fix everything in Photoshop.
  • The Mindful Eye:  Tutorials, critiques and other useful tidbits by Craig Tanner and friends.
  • The DAM Forum:  For every time you’ve asked yourself, “Where did I put those DAM-images on my hard drive?”
  • Leica User Forum:  The place for all things Leica.
  • Lightroom-Blog: Sean McCormack runs this site as well as Lightroom-News and provides great Lightroom information.
  • Lightroom-News: see above.
  • Hasselblad Forum: User information for both analog and digital Hasselblad cameras, lenses, etc.
  • Rangefinder magazine:  Do rangefinder cameras have a place in the world of auto-everything?  I think so.
  • Tao of Photography: Andy Ilachinski’s blog.  A unique combination of photography and philosophy
  • Flickr:  our Flickr site… couldn’t resist!

Mike.

P.S.  Someday I’ll add these and some other links to the main page.  Someday… I promise.

P.S. II, the Sequel: You can find more of our posts on photography and Lightroom tutorials here, and you can find links to over 200 other sites that have Lightroom tips, tutorials and videos here.