Do You Think in Photoshop?

Posted May 17th, 2011 by   |  Photography, Software  |  Permalink

Do you aspire to get the photo as close to perfect in the camera or do you wonder how that photo might look if you continued processing it in software? It is an interesting dilemma and one that can never be truly answered for everyone. Many people state, “I’m a purist. What I see in front of me is what I strive to represent in the camera.” Others will say, “I’m an artist and the end product is more important than what I see in front of me.”

Regardless of your feelings on this matter, I want to encourage you to “think in Photoshop.” What I mean by this is that I want you to imagine what your photo might look like after some additional work in Photoshop or Lightroom or Nikon Capture NX2. Might it look better in black and white? How about a sepia tone? What if you simply improved the color balance just a little bit and added some contrast?

Look through the images below to see what I mean. Each photo is a different rendition of the same image. The first one is what the image looked like directly out of my camera.

Original image. It was a bit dark in the foreground, but I did this on purpose so I could maintain all the detail in the clouds.

Original image. It was a bit dark in the foreground, but I did this on purpose so I could maintain all the detail in the clouds.

Same image, but I corrected the colors a bit and used Nik Color Efex Pro 3.0 Pro Contrast.

Same image, but I corrected the colors a bit and added a little bit of contrast in Nikon Capture NX2.

Single image HDR in Nik HDR Efex Pro plugin for Photoshop.

This version was created by performing a single image HDR in Nik HDR Efex Pro plugin for Photoshop.

Sepia conversion using Nik Silver Efex Pro 2.0 plugin for Photoshop

Sepia conversion using Nik Silver Efex Pro 2.0 plugin for Photoshop

Black and White conversion using Nik Silver Efex Pro 2.0 plugin for Photoshop.

Black and White conversion using Nik Silver Efex Pro 2.0 plugin for Photoshop.

My point is that you can often arrive at a much better or more interesting image after working on the file in Photoshop or Nikon Capture NX2. The simple act of playing with your images in software can open up whole new worlds of creativity for you. Don’t hesitate to think in Photoshop.





Under Tanzanian Skies

Posted April 11th, 2011 by   |  Photography, Software, Travel  |  Permalink

I love the sky in Tanzania.  The daily afternoon thunderstorms almost alway guarantee some type of dynamic light that begs to be captured by your camera. It is easy to point your camera towards the heavens, but the challenge is to find a way to juxtapose wildlife or an austere landscape underneath those dramatic skies. This combination of amazing sky and wildlife/landscape is one of my reoccurring photo goals each time I travel to Tanzania.

Here are some attempts from our last photo safari with the Nikonians Academy.

Zebra in Tarangire. Nikon D700, 24-70mm f2.8. Processed in Photoshop using Nik Silver Efex Pro 3.0 and Nik HDR Efex Pro.

Zebra in Tarangire. Nikon D700, 24-70mm f2.8. Processed in Photoshop CS5 using Nik Silver Efex Pro 2.0 and Nik HDR Efex Pro.

Elephants and crepescular rays. Nikon D700, 24-70mm f2.8. Processed with Nik HDR Efex Pro and Nik Silver Efex Pro 3.0.

Elephants and crepescular rays. Nikon D700, 24-70mm f2.8. Processed in Photoshop CS5 with Nik HDR Efex Pro and Nik Silver Efex Pro 2.0.

Elephant dwarfed by baobab tree. Tarangire NP. Nikon D700, 24-70mm f2.8. Processed in Photoshop using Nik Silver Efex Pro 3.0.

Elephant dwarfed by baobab tree. Tarangire NP. Nikon D700, 24-70mm f2.8. Processed in Photoshop CS5 using Nik Silver Efex Pro 2.0.

Approaching storm and young male lion in Ngorongoro Crater. Nikon D90, 24-70mm f2.8. Processed in Photoshop CS5 using Nik Silver Efex Pro 3.0.

Approaching storm and young male lion in Ngorongoro Crater. Nikon D90, 24-70mm f2.8. Processed in Photoshop CS5 using Nik Silver Efex Pro 2.0.

Acacia tree, rain storm and crepescular rays. Nikon D700, 24-70mm f2.8. Processed in Photoshop CS5 with Nik HDR Efex Pro and Nik Silver Efex Pro 3.0.

Acacia tree, rain storm and crepescular rays. Nikon D700, 24-70mm f2.8. Processed in Photoshop CS5 with Nik HDR Efex Pro and Nik Silver Efex Pro 2.0.

Dead tree on the Serengeti. Nikon D300s, Nikon 24-70mm f2.8. Processed in Photoshop CS5 with Nik Silver Efex Pro 3.0.

Dead tree on the Serengeti. Nikon D300s, Nikon 24-70mm f2.8. Processed in Photoshop CS5 with Nik Silver Efex Pro 2.0.





Mt. Kilimanjaro in Sepia

Posted March 16th, 2011 by   |  Photography, Travel  |  Permalink
Mt. Kilimanjaro, Tanzania

Mt. Kilimanjaro, Tanzania

Mt. Kilimanjaro above the town of Moshi, Tanzania. November, 2010. I took the image with my Nikon D700 and 24-70mm f2.8 lens during one of my African Safari trips. In the computer, I processed it Photoshop CS5 using ACR, Nik Color Efex Pro 3.0 Polarizer and Nik Silver Efex Pro Sepia conversion.





Nik Silver Efex Pro 2.0 Released

Posted February 25th, 2011 by   |  Photography, Software  |  Permalink

I love Nik Software products and Nik Silver Efex Pro has always been one of my favorite ways to create black and white images. Now, Nik Silver Efex Pro 2.0 has been released with a bunch of new tools such as color point technology, new algorithms and new visual presets. Their new software allows you to add regional adjustments as well as local adjustements. One of the neatest elements of the software is the border module that allows you to create very professional looking vignettes and burned edges.

The new software works as a plugin for Photoshop, Lightroom or Aperture. It can also be operated in stand-alone mode using TIFFs and JPGs.

I love it.

Metro Station, Washington DC.

Metro Station, Washington DC.

Stairwell at Penn Station, Washington DC.

Stairwell at Penn Station, Washington DC.

US Capitol Building Dome, Washington DC.

US Capitol Building Dome, Washington DC.





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