Category Archives: Color Effex Pro

Auld Lang Syne – From Negative to Digital

This New Years day I decided to pull out one of my binders of 6x7cm negatives and scanned this old negative for the first time. This does not mean that I had not yet printed this image. To the contrary I have printed it many time before but only in the darkroom, one of my oldest friends. Auld Lang Syne by Robert Burns always come to mind at this time of year.The title of the Scottish tune translates to “times gone by” and is about remembering friends from the past and not letting them be forgotten.

Basic scan of 6x7 neg with Epson V750

Basic scan of 6×7 neg with Epson V750

New Years Eve I was studying Lightroom 4 to start using it’s Cataloging process for filing and processing my images. Waking up to a the new year I  am look fwd to a year filled with teaching photographic workshops, capturing images and displaying at art fairs. In two weeks I will be flying out to capture images in Zion and Bryce Canyon with my brother Robert James and Craig Osterloh a talented western photographer and friend http://www.craigosterlohphotography.com/  

Image processed through Photoshop & Nik Software

Image processed through Photoshop & Nik Software

This image was captured on Kodak VPS film and scanned with my epson  V 750 negative scanner. Which was state of the art 10 years ago when I purchased it. After scanning the image I opened the image in Photoshop CS6 and then using Tonal Contrast in Color Efex Pro and then Vivesa 2 by Nik software to enhance the image.

Auld Lang Syne performed live by Sissel as part of a Happy New Year video greeting card at you tube. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GxSqMbsHeJ8 This clip features some beautiful scenery and of course a wonderful rendition of a timeless song.  May each New Year be better than the last for you!


Exposure adjustments using Blend Modes

To make Exposure adjustments using Blend Modes you first make a layer. When you make a duplicate or copy layer it opens in Normal Mode and has an Opacity of 100% in the layers pallet. Normal Mode does not change the appearance of the image. In the Layers Pallet Layer 1 automatically becomes an active layer and the Blend Modes become active and you are able to change the Blend Mode and Opacity of this layer.

Duplicate Layer-Normal Blend mode

Duplicate Layer-Normal Blend mode

I find blend modes the most effective way to make exposure adjustments. In the Layers Pallet to the right of the word normal lick on the arrows and a menu pops up, scroll through each Blend Mode in the menu to see how they affect the image. The two I use to affect exposure are Screen and Multiply.

Make a selection in Blend Mode

Make a selection in Blend Mode

I selected Screen mode to lighten the image, this will usually make the image to light but by clicking on the arrow next to 100% and moving the slider to 25% for this images, I lighten the image to the exposure I want.

Blend Mode - Screen 25%

Blend Mode – Screen 25%

 

I selected Multiply mode to darken the image, this will usually make the image to dark but by clicking on the arrow next to 100% and moving the slider to 25% for this images I darken the image to the exposure I wanted.

Blend mode - Multiply 25%

Blend mode – Multiply 25%


Award Winning Nighttime images of Rome and Pisa without Post Processing

Congratulations to Robert Perry from Cleveland who captured these two night images during the October 2012 Italian Photo workshop. The Lakewood Photographic Society competition was for nighttime photography. Robert had a busy work schedule after returning and entered thes two images as they came out of the camera without any post processing and won a first and third place in his local Camera Clubs competition.

1st place image in nighttime photography.

Roman Forum

Roman Forum

In the digital age where everyone uses software to process images there are a lot of people who think that software can fix any image and make it an award winner, this is seldom the case. Why not capture each image using good composition and proper exposure that can win awards without processing and then if there is time use the software in Photoshop and Nik Software to make them into even better images.

3rd place image in nighttime photography

Leaning Tower – Pisa, Italy

Leaning Tower – Pisa, Italy


Sunset in Chianti Tuscany

 

During the Italian October workshop Janice Maguire a portrait photographer from New Jersey captured this image in Chianti Tuscany just south of Florence. Her composition has the grape vine leading you into the picture with the fence poles, road and rolling vineyards draws your eye across the image to the mist. The clouds and light of this amazing sunset was a gift we all enjoyed capturing

Tuscan Mist at Sunset

Tuscan Mist at Sunset

This image was processed using Film Effects in Nik Software’s Color Efex Pro.

Check out Janice’s portrait work at smug mug.  http://jjm7777.smugmug.com/


Sunset Over Ancient Rome

Faye from Australia who joined me for last Octobers Italian Photographic workshop just emailed this image with an inquire as to where we were when she captured this image.

Saint Peters – Rome, Italy

Saint Peters – Rome, Italy

Each year I take clients to this vantage point which allows us to enjoy the changing light of sunset while capturing Panoramic views of Ancient Rome. This image that Faye sent me shows off the elegance that is Old Rome with wonderful balcony gardens and ancient tiled rooftops. Seeing Saint Peters framed between two of Rome’s other domed churches always takes my breath away.


Charleston Spring Photographic Workshop – Dogwood Cemetery

This Cemetery  image Captured on my Cannon 5D in Old Charleston needed very little work in Photoshop camera raw. After opening the image in Photoshop I finished processing the image using Film Effects in Nik software – Color Efex Pro3.

Dogwood-Graveyard

Dogwood-Graveyard

Battery Park stretches along the lower shores of the Charleston peninsula, bordered by the Ashley and Cooper Rivers which meet here to form Charleston harbor. This area of Charleston is famous for its stately antebellum homes and is one of the best spots to photograph and get to know Charleston. This historic spot on the waterfront features southern mansions with hidden gardens and our oldest churches with cemeteries where our founding fathers are buried. The Battery has incredible views of Fort Sumter, Castle Pinckney, and the Sullivan Island Lighthouse.


Live Oak Reflections

The best time for capturing a mirror reflection is First Light. In the early morning light just as the sun is coming up, everything is still. It is as if Mother Nature is holding her breath and allowing you to see mirror images of her handy work in the lakes and ponds. This is my favorite times to capture images when earth is still and most of the world is still sleeping.

Live Oak Reflections

Live Oak Reflections

In Camera Raw 6.6 I adjusted the White Balance to Auto and shifted the exposure slider to + 0.15. I also adjusted the Recovery slider to +11

Camera Raw 6.6

Camera Raw 6.6

This is the image opened directly into Photoshop directly out of Camera Raw 6.6. This is a great image without any processing but a few adjustments in Color Efex Pro 3.0 will make this image pop.

Image opened directly out of Camera Raw

Image opened directly out of Camera Raw

In Color Efex Pro 3.0 I used Film Effects and the film I selected was Kodak Portra 160VC. When shooting film this was always one of my favorites.

Film-Effects

Film-Effects

To bring out the Shadows and bring down the Highlights I used Tonal Contrast in Color Efex Pro 3.0

Tonal Contrast

Tonal Contrast

The last tool I used in Color Efex Pro 3.0 is Remove Color Cast. This tool will adjust the color and often gives it the warming effect I want in images.

Remove Color Cast

Remove Color Cast

With just a few quick adjustments in Color Efex Pro 3.0 this image Live Oak reflection was turned into a finished image.

Live Oak Reflections

Live Oak Reflections


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