Saturday, 29 June 2013

Palace reflected in a puddle

I took this photo in Madrid. It was still early in the morning so I had quite nice warm light. Also there were plenty of puddles after previous evening rain so I decided to use them to reflect Royal Palace in them.

Technical details:
Camera: Canon 5D MK II
Lens: Canon 24-105 f/4 L IS USM
Focal length: 24 mm
Aperture: f/7.1
Exposure time: 1/400 s ("middle" exposure)
ISO: 100
Number of exposures: 3
E.V. Step: 2 EV
Flash used: no
Tripod: no
Filters: circular polarizing filter
Software: Magic Lantern 2.3, Photomatix Pro, Lightroom 5.0, Photoshop CC

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Wednesday, 26 June 2013

Review: Photoshop CC Shake Reduction tool

before after

There was a lot of talk about shake reduction technology in Photoshop prior to release of Adobe Photoshop CC. As it was just released a few days ago and I'm its lucky user I would like to share a few words with you about this interesting technology.

Before we start, take a look at the photo above. Before shows the photo as I took it (+ some minor cropping and contrast tweaking in Lightroom). You can notice a bit of blurriness especially in the wings, legs and abdomen. The After shows the image after applying Shake Reduction filter to it. The image is crisp and almost razor sharp (compare leaf or the wings).

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Saturday, 22 June 2013

Warsaw at night and small change to blog

I took this photo from viewing terrace of Palace of Culture and Science (Pałac Kultury i Nauki) in my home town - Warsaw. The conditions were perfect. Blue hour light made buildings really stood out.

I also made a small change to this blog - I got rid of regular comments form and replaced it with Google+ comments. Hopefully this will help me in interaction with my readers on Google+.

Technical details:
Camera: Canon 5D MK II
Lens: Canon 24-105 f/4 L IS USM
Focal length: 28 mm
Aperture: f/18.0
Exposure time: 20 s ("middle" exposure)
ISO: 100
Number of exposures: 5
 E.V. Step: 1 EV
Flash used: no
Tripod: yes
Filters: no
Software: Magic Lantern 2.3, Photomatix Pro, Lightroom 5.0, Photoshop CC

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Friday, 21 June 2013

Rocks at sunrise

Today a HDR photo taken during sunrise on Fuerteventura. I decided to put some rocks in foreground to add interest to this otherwise rather boring scene.

Technical details:
Camera: Canon 5D MK II
Lens: Canon 24-105 f/4 L IS USM
Focal length: 40 mm
Aperture: f/18.0
Exposure time: 5 s ("middle" exposure)
ISO: 100
Number of exposures: 5
 E.V. Step: 1.5 EV
Flash used: no
Tripod: yes
Filters: neutral density ND8 filter
Software: Magic Lantern 2.3, Photomatix Pro, Lightroom 5.0, Photoshop CC

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Thursday, 20 June 2013

Tip: don't be afraid of high ISO

Example of using high ISO
Click on the photo to view it in large size on black background.
You know that very saying that you should always shoot at your camera lowest ISO (eg. ISO 100 or ISO 200), don't you? Especially when doing HDR photography. It's a good thing in general as it results in the best image quality.

Sometimes, however, it's virtually impossible to do that because there is no way to set up a tripod (in case of the above photo there were some metal bars making it really difficult) to get fast enough shutter speeds. So should you just miss that very shot? No. In such cases don't be afraid to use higher ISO values. In the image above I used ISO 3200 and the image is still clear and sharp (in the past I even used ISO 6400 and I was still happy with the output). It also didn't require that much noise reduction as you might think. Modern cameras have very advanced sensors which really make high ISOs usable. Try them - they might be a life saver one day.

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Wednesday, 19 June 2013

One cold day

It's very hot in Warsaw at the moment (around 30 degrees centigrade) so I decided to share an image I took in the middle of winter.

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: 1/2000 s ("middle" exposure)
ISO: 800
Number of exposures: 3 
 E.V. Step: 2
Flash used: no
Tripod: no
Filters: no
Software: Magic Lantern 2.3, Photomatix Pro, Lightroom 5.0, Photoshop CC

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Tuesday, 18 June 2013

Royal Baths Park in HDR

It's a pretty old shot taken in 2011 in Royal Baths Park (Łazienki Królewskie) in Warsaw. Original photo was very dark because my processing skills at that time weren't very good. If I recall correctly I used GIMP at that time. So before uploading it I brightened it a little bit and it looks ok to me :)

Technical details:
Camera: Canon 50D
Lens: Canon 24-105 f/4 L IS USM
Focal length: 24 mm
Aperture: f/6.4
Exposure time: 1/500 s ("middle" exposure)
ISO: 1000
Number of exposures: 3
E.V. Step: 2
Flash used: no
Tripod: no
Filters: no

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Monday, 17 June 2013

Virgen de la Almudena

Another HDR photo taken in neo-romanesque crypt in Madrid. This one shows painting from 16th century which is housed inside the crypt. The name of the image is Virgen de la Almudena.

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: 1.6 s ("middle" exposure)
ISO: 400
Number of exposures: 5
E.V. Step: 1
Flash used: no
Tripod: yes
Filters: no
Software: Magic Lantern 2.3, Photomatix Pro 4.2.6 (Exposure Fusion), Lightroom 4.2, Photoshop CS6
Photomatix Pro settings: download

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Friday, 14 June 2013

Lioness in B&W

I really love taking photos of animals and would love to try wildlife photography one day. It's amazing to see animals happy in their natural environment. For now, however, to capture photos of animals like lions, tigers or eagles I have to visit local Zoo. Is it the same? Definitely not (in fact it's rather sad to see those majestic species closed in a cage for instace), but as one of my favourite wild-life photographers, Ashley Vincent, says photographing animals is a lot about capturing their character and personality. Here's the quote:

"What I attempt to capture in my images is something of my subject's character and personality, as I believe it is these sort of engaging images that will have others feeling more of a connection with each individual subject, and perhaps for some people that connection will raise their levels of compassion enough to act on feelings that may eventually play some part in protecting and conserving the most vulnerable of Mother Nature's gifts."

Technical details:
Camera: Canon 5D MK II
Lens: Canon 70-300 f/4-5.6 L IS USM
Focal length: 300 mm
Aperture: f/5.6
Exposure time: 1/400 s
ISO: 100
Number of exposures: 1
E.V. Step: n/a
Flash used: no
Tripod: no
Filters: no
Software: Magic Lantern 2.3, Lightroom 4.2, Photoshop CS

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Thursday, 13 June 2013

Alexanderplatz in Berlin

It's such an old shot, taken in 2010 (so it's almost 3 years now) in Alexanderplatz in Berlin. If I recall correctly, it's one of the first photos I processed with Photomatix Pro 4.0 which was released a bit earlier that year. Also at that time I was its regular user (I joined Photomatix development team two or three months later). Eh memories :)

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Tuesday, 11 June 2013

Catedral de la Almudena

I took this HDR photo inside Almudena Cathedral (Catedral de la Almudena) in Madrid. Although the cathedral is quite nice it didn't impress me that much. I much more liked neo-romanesque crypt which is nearby - much better atmosphere, you can almost feel history there.

As for editing I went with exposure fusion in Photomatix, then made some global adjustments in Lightroom and finally made local tweaks using luminosity masks in Photoshop.

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: 1/20 ("middle" exposure)
ISO: 1600
Number of exposures: 3
E.V. Step: 2 E.V.
Flash used: no
Tripod: no
Filters: no
Software: Magic Lantern 2.3, Photomatix Pro 4.2.6 (Fusion/Natural), Lightroom 4.2, Photoshop CS
Photomatix Pro settings: download

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Monday, 10 June 2013

Tatra mountains chain

I shot this panorama earlier this year in Koscieliska valley, Tatra mountains, Poland. The scene had rather low dynamic range so I decided not to use HDR here.

Technical details:
Camera: Canon 5D MK II
Lens: Canon 24-105 f/4 L IS USM
Focal length: 28 mm
Aperture: f/7.1
Exposure time: 1/1000
ISO: 800
Number of exposures: 1
E.V. Step: n/a
Flash used: no
Tripod: no
Filters: circular polarizing filter
Software: Magic Lantern 2.3, PTGui 9.1, Lightroom 4.2, Photoshop CS6

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Sunday, 9 June 2013

Rain... rain... rain

It's raining heavily in Poland very often recently (it's raining right now too) so I decided to share a photo I took during rain fall. It was taken in Masuria, Poland. I took 5 exposures and manually blended them to restore some details in shadows as well as to add some definition to regions in fog.

BTW I made some changes to the mobile version of this blog. It should fix some issues but could introduce new ones. So if you're visiting my blog using a phone or tablet device I would be grateful if you could let me know if everything is working fine for you.

Technical details:
Camera: Canon 50D
Lens: Canon 70-300 f/4-5.6 L IS USM
Focal length: 73 mm
Aperture: f/8.0
Exposure time: 1/5 ("middle" exposure)
ISO: 200
Number of exposures: 5
E.V. Step: 1 E.V.
Flash used: no
Tripod: yes
Filters: no
Software: Magic Lantern 2.3, Lightroom 4.2, Photoshop CS6

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Saturday, 8 June 2013

Mountain stream at sunset

Click on the photo to view it in large size on black background.
Today a mountain stream I found in Tatra mountains, Poland.

Sorry for not writing anything more recently but I'm pretty busy. I hope to share some tutorial or tips soon though.

Technical details:
Camera: Canon 5D MK II
Lens: Canon 24-105 f/4 L IS USM
Focal length: 40 mm
Aperture: f/7.1 
Exposure time: 1/500 ("middle" exposure)
ISO: 800
Number of exposures: 3
E.V. Step: 2 E.V.
Flash used: no
Tripod: no
Filters: circular polarizing filter
Software: Magic Lantern 2.3, Photomatix Pro 4.2.6 (Details Enhancer), Lightroom 4.2, Photoshop CS6

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Friday, 7 June 2013

Red peaks

I took this sunset photo in Tatra mountains, Poland. I really like how the red peaks stand out. The light was really gorgeous.

It's a single exposure photo that I processed using luminosity masks to boost contrast and clarity a little bit.

Technical details:
Camera: Canon 5D MK II
Lens: Canon 70-300 f/4-5.6 L IS USM
Focal length: 300 mm
Aperture: f/9.0
Exposure time: 1/500
ISO: 500
Number of exposures: 1
E.V. Step: n/a
Flash used: no
Tripod: no
Filters: no
Software: Magic Lantern 2.3, Lightroom 4.2, Photoshop CS6

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Thursday, 6 June 2013

Small church

I'm recently sharing a lot of black & white HDR photos. Don't know why really - they just attract my attention when I go through my photo archives. This photo depicts a small church I found while wondering on Gobalowka mountain above Zakopane.

Technical details:
Camera: Canon 5D MK II
Lens: Canon 24-105 f/4 L IS USM
Focal length: 47 mm
Aperture: f/8.0
Exposure time: 1/320 ("middle" exposure)
ISO: 100
Number of exposures: 3
E.V. Step: 2 E.V.
Flash used: no
Tripod: no
Filters: no
Software: Magic Lantern 2.3, Photomatix Pro 4.2.6 (Details Enhancer), Lightroom 4.2, Photoshop CS6

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Wednesday, 5 June 2013

Sunset in Warsaw

It is a sunset photo I took last year in Warsaw near Copernicus Science Centre. Today I would shot and post-process it slightly differently (not that much though) but I still like all those pinks and purples in the sky and in the reflection.

Technical details:
Camera: Canon 50D
Lens: Canon 10-22 f/3.5-4.5 USM
Focal length: 10 mm
Aperture: f/11.0
Exposure time: 1/5 ("middle" exposure)
ISO: 100
Number of exposures: 7
E.V. Step: 1.5 E.V.
Flash used: no
Tripod: yes
Filters: no
Software: Magic Lantern 2.3, Photomatix Pro 4.2.6 (Details Enhancer), Lightroom 4.2, Photoshop CS6
Photomatix Pro settings: download

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Tuesday, 4 June 2013

Lake in Winter

360 degree panorama from Masuria
Today just a panoramic shot I took this winter in Masuria, Poland. In fact it's a panorama HDR photo. I used total of 18 bracketed sequence with 7 photos each what resulted in 126 photos total! Original panorama was 360 degrees but unfortunately I had to crop it quite a lot to make it look ok on my blog.

If you want to learn how to take panorama photos yourself read my tutorial.

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Monday, 3 June 2013

Inspiring Photographers: Mark Johnson

Time for another great photographer. Ladies and gentlemen - Mark Johnson! Mark is my favourite macro photographer and one of my favourite nature photographers in general. I remember viewing his works on Flickr several years ago and now I do it more recently on 500px and Facebook. Above photo of frozen ladybirds is amongst the best and unique photos I've ever seen. Finally it was Mark who inspired me to try macro photography. And although I don't take macro photos very often because it's sooo difficult I can now understand his passion towards it. This small world is pretty amazing. Thanks for inspiring me Mark!

Now a few words about Mark:

Favorite subjects: nature and macro
Photo gear: Nikon D800 with Nikkor 105, sometimes extension tubes
Follow Mark: 500px, Facebook, Fine Art America

Below you will find a small selection of Mark Johnson's works (after viewing them make sure to follow Mark on 500px and his FB profile :) ).

Enjoy! 




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Sunday, 2 June 2013

Winter evening

Soft light in Tatra mountains
Click on the photo to view it in large size on black background.
Today another photo from Tatra mountains I took this year in winter. It was one cold late afternoon let me tell you. Looking at this image I can almost feel the cold of the snow what makes me feel better (it's rather hot where I am at the moment).

This is a manual blend of 3 exposures. I used +2 EV photo to restore some of the details in the darkest shadows and -2 EV photo to darken the sky a little bit as well as to restore details in the brightest highlights.

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: 1/200 ("middle" exposure)
ISO: 640
Number of exposures: 3
E.V. Step: 2
Flash used: no
Tripod: no
Filters: no
Software: Magic Lantern 2.3, Lightroom 4.2, Photoshop CS6

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Saturday, 1 June 2013

Millenium Square in Montpellier

May was a great month for my blog. All major statistics (Page Views, Vistis, Unique Visits and Alexa rank) beat their records. I would like to thank anyone who visited my blog during that time and I also hope that you'll visit my blog in the following months :)

Today black and white HDR photo taken in Montpellier in the Millenium Square (Place du Millenaire). I really like strong contrast in it as well as lines. To get such strong contrast I shot this photo during midday what ensured that there will be very dark shadows as well as very bright highlights.

Technical details:
Camera: Canon 50D
Lens: Canon 10-22 f/3.5-4.5 USM
Focal length: 10 mm
Aperture: f/7.1
Exposure time: 1/640 ("middle" exposure)
ISO: 100
Number of exposures: 3
E.V. Step: 2
Flash used: no
Tripod: no
Filters: no
Software: Magic Lantern 2.3, Photomatix Pro 4.2.6 (Details Enhancer), Lightroom 4.2, Photoshop CS6

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