Inverse Colorized Lightroom Preset

I wanted a cool-looking effect where the dark parts of an image look like they are emanating colored light from within. Lightroom was perfect for this and here’s a preset for you to use to achieve the same effect! Continue reading

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“Photo Editing Overview – Caribbean Sailboat” by @larslentz of NegativeMoments.com on Vimeo

Here is a video showing my edit of one of my photos. In it, I show you the software I used, the basic techniques, and why I did what I did.

Watch the video in the player on this page, and switch to full screen to see better. HD also helps see more detail.

Thank you for watching!

Getting the Correct Color in Lightroom and DxO Software

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DxO and Lightroom

When used together, DxO software and Lightroom work very well. However, I noticed an issue with my workflow and it was the color of the images. The greens and reds were noticeably stronger in DxO than in Lightroom, for the exact same photo. Here’s what I found out was the problem… Continue reading

Easy Night Sky Photography

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How to Take Great Night Photos

What a lot of people don’t know is that it is relatively inexpensive and easy to take great night photos. The Milky Way, stars, and Moon are all within your reach. You can get some extremely cool-looking photos of them without a lot of effort. Here’s how…
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Photo Artifacts in Stock Photography Submissions

“Artifacts”

If you’ve ever submitted a photo to a stock photo site such as iStockphoto, Bigstockphoto, Fotolia, or any of the stock and microstock photo sites, then you may have heard from them that “your photo has artifacts.” But what are these “artifacts” they speak of? And, more importantly, how can you get rid of them?

Some Guidelines (from my experience)

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Expose to the Right? NO! Go left!

Exposure

“Expose to the right” has been a popular saying and method of exposure for digital photographers for years, and it works in some cases. I’ll show you how to go the other way and make it work also. Maybe the time of “expose to the right” is almost over (in some cases). Here’s why… Continue reading

Copyright Your Photos

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Why Copyright? Why not?

With the software for image processing and the cameras available today, is there any reason why someone would not apply copyright information to their photos?  Why, yes, yes there is — it’s called “oversight” and “stupidity.”  For as easy as it is, there really is no excuse not to apply your copyright to your images.  Protect them.  They’re yours.

I use Lightroom software to import and touch up my photos, and there is a provision for applying copyright information to the metadata of your image right at the point of import.  I simply fill in the field that applies metadata and save it as my own preset.  When the photos are imported from my camera into Lightroom, the copyright notice is automatically applied.

In-Camera

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GoPro Camera Settings for Videos and Time-Lapse

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Testing the GoPro Video Camera Modes

The GoPro video camera has a lot of video modes and settings for shooting videos and time-lapse sequences, so how can anyone know which settings are correct? This was my dilemma, and it kept me from shooting anything because I didn’t know what settings to use. But, I said “screw this” and just went ahead and shot with whatever. By trial and error, I think I’ve figured out what works best. Here’s what I learned. Continue reading

Should I Watermark My Photos?

To watermark or not to watermark, that is the question. Often it is a good idea to put your name on the images you place on the internet – especially if they may be re-shared or, worse, stolen. Although theft is less likely that you think, it still happens and a benign way to prevent that and gain some peace of mind is through watermarking. Here’s how I do it and a few alternatives…

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Behind the Shot: Ludington Beach

Ludington Michigan on the West coast of Michigan’s lower peninsula is a beautiful lakeside city. Sitting on the shores of Lake Michigan, it attracts visitors who are eager to get away from the cities and towns, and who are looking to enjoy the lake.  This photo was taken on the beach at Ludington, late in the day.

I got down low for this shot because I really wanted to capture that look and feel of a late summer day on the beach. However, the land and sky were hardly cooperating with me! I made do though and here’s how…

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GoPro Hero Camera Lens Corrections in Lightroom

GoPro Hero cameras are fantastic as movie cameras and also for taking still photos. The Hero 3 is the latest version and has options for 12 Megapixel Wide Angle, Medium Angle, or Narrow. The wide angle is by far the best for getting all of a scene in view, but the distortion around the edges is difficult to compensate and all objects appear curved toward the edges. Here is my formula for getting lens corrections in Lightroom for this camera. Continue reading

Toning Down Photos

Sometimes a photo will have just too much of a particular color (color cast) or overall too much color such as from a polarizing filter. The Singh-Ray LB Color Combo filter sometimes does this to my photos and I have to “tone them down” in Lightroom. Here’s what I do to achieve more pleasing color in these types of images: Continue reading

Color Saturation – What is the limit?

I’m sure you’ve see what you think are “over-saturated” photos — those with too much color. But how much is too much?

The traditional way to judge this is purely subjectively by your own opinion and taste. Maybe you like more saturation or maybe you don’t. Maybe it fits with a particular subject and not with others. There are many variables to this and each needs further explanation and a breakdown. You’ll see, you have some decisions to make and a few tools that will help you: Continue reading

Highlight Recovery

I believe that a highlight recovery tool should never be used, but if it is unavoidable, then here is how I use it.

Highlight recovery is a technique where you try to get back the details in the brightest, blown-out, areas of a photo through software processing. I use Lightroom for this, but just about any image post-processing software has a control for this.

If you’re forced into using highlight recovery tools, then it means that you have portions of your image where the highlights (brightest areas) are blown out (overexposed and white). You use the highlight recovery tool to regain detail in those blown out areas, taking them out of their featureless state.

First, I would try to avoid having blown out highlights by… Continue reading

A Chromatic Aberration Eraser in Lightroom

Chromatic aberration (purple fringe or other color anomalies around bright to dark transitions) is an annoying thing in photos and can easily sneak into one of your’s!

You can see it in the photo I have here around the dark legs of this structure. It is the magenta lining on the left and the aqua on the right of each of the legs. Click on the photo to see it larger if needed.

You may miss it the first time looking at the photo because you’re interested in the composition or overall color, sharpness, etc. (as you should be). But, looking closely, you will find it in almost all of the photos you take.  It is sometimes an aqua, magenta, blue, or yellow lining of darker objects on lighter backgrounds. In older cameras, it was purple, giving it the nickname of “purple fringe.” Fortunately, in Lightroom, there are two or three ways to get rid of this annoying item.

Here are the three ways that I get rid of chromatic aberration using Lightroom: Continue reading

Dynamic Range in the Camera

If you are shooting for high dynamic range photos, then your camera should be capable of providing the dynamic range necessary. But how much dynamic range is really needed?

Since the goal in photography is to capture what you see, how much dynamic range can you see? You can see a maximum of about 13 – 14 stops (13 – 14 EV) when viewing any scene. So, you would want your camera to provide something close to this if you hope to capture what you saw. But digital cameras don’t provide as much range as your eyes, and they tend to come in at around 9 EV for the JPEG files they output.

But, if you shoot in RAW, you have an advantage – the RAW files always contain more data than the JPEG files and therefore more dynamic range. Just how much more range is dependent on your camera, but in general it is about 1.0 – 1.5 EV more on the highlight end and 1.0 – 1.5 more in the shadow end, with a total not usually exceeding around 2 EV more dynamic range. Here’s a list of dynamic ranges: Continue reading

Vignette to Draw the Eye

Why would anyone want to add vignetting to a photo? It is usually something that photographers try to avoid! Lens and filter combinations that produce vignetting can be frustrating to photographers — often resulting in time spent in post-processing software to crop and remove the vignette. Even though vignetting is not always desirable in photos, it can be employed by the skilled photographer to create a “drawing” effect on the viewer. Here’s how . . . Continue reading

Film Grain – Is It Cool?

Film Grain?

I’ve seen plenty of high-end photos with film grain visible in them. If you get right up to them and look, you can see it. I saw it in a Peter Lik photo when I was in on of his galleries in Waikiki and I thought “how could the great Peter Lik allow film grain in his photos?” But I realized shortly after, that great photographers do have film grain in their photos — usually because they shot on film!

So is it cool to have film grain in your photos? The answer is more complicated than a simple “yes” or “no”. But, generally yes.

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Panoramic Images From Normal Photos

Consider the panorama next time you take a “normal” photo. Why? Because with some cropping, you can have a panoramic image quite easily and without stitching multiple photos together in specialized software!

With photos of high resolution (high megapixels), cropping the photo to be panoramic does not lose a lot of resolution. I call these types of photos “cropped panoramics.” When taking the photo, you have to have the panoramic image in mind and set up your composition accordingly. But, with some practice, this can be an easy way to get panoramic images into your portfolio without a lot of extra work!

For example: Continue reading

Neat Image Noise Removal Optimum Settings

I’ve tried all of the popular software packages for removing noise from my photos and I’ve found that Neat Image works the best. But, for as good as it works, there are settings that can be made that will make it work even better. Here’s what I’ve experimented with and found out about setting up  this fantastic software.

First I would recommend that you get a noise profile for your input device (camera). There are profiles available at the Neat Image website and they are easy to install. This improves the profiling. If you don’t have a profile installed though, auto profiling works just fine too. Continue reading

How to Paint with Light

Painting With Light

“Painting with light” is a term I give any photo where I selectively lighten or darken areas of it to make it more appealing.

Here is an example in Lightroom showing the original photo on the left and the enhanced one on the right. Tone adjustments were made to give color and luminance balance to the image, but then I lightened selected areas because it was still flat and drab. Lifeless. Continue reading