Tag Archives: European Images

Siena Farmhouse – Processed using Photoshop Elements 9 and Adobe Camera Raw 6.1

 

Last fall I spent 2 weeks teaching Photographic Workshops in the Chianti area of Tuscany, Italy. We stayed at a Agriturismo that was  an working vineyard south of Florence, each day we started with a sunrise shoot then head back to the Agriturismo for breakfast. After breakfast we would explore nearby villages for more images and a little shopping. I find that my best images are normally captured at sunrise and sunset except when you are lucky enough to have scattered showers thought the day. When everything is drenched from a fresh rain it enhances the colors. If you are luck enough to have partial overcast, as in this image, your colors are not washed out from the bright sunlight. The mix of blue sky and clouds helped to give this image it’s finishing touch.

 

Raw CR2 File

Siena Farmhouse – CR2 Raw image

Siena Farmhouse – CR2 Raw image

 

This histogram looks good but the image looks a little dark. In the Basics Pallet, I  start with the Exposure slider by moving the slider to +0.20 to brighten the image. This changes the Histogram by shifting the information to the left and created a little clipping in the highlights. To compensate for the clipping, I shifter the Recovery slider to 11 which shifted the highlighted area back to the right and eliminates the clipping.

 

The next step is to adjust for White Balance, this can be done by manually adjusting the Temperature and Tint sliders or using the dropdown menu. Using the dropdown menu to check the presets, with this image I liked the Daylight preset of 5500 Kelvin and +10, this added the warmth you normal see during daylight hours. 

 

The next adjustment I made was Clarity which adjusts midtone contrast. This is a wonderful adjustment which brought out crisper detail in this vineyard image. With the Vibrance slider  I added +40  to bring out the saturation in the midtones. I love this adjustment, it adds a much subtler saturation than you can achieve with the Saturation slider. In this case it enhanced the blues in the sky and richened the tones throughout the image.

Basic Pallet

Siena Farmhouse – Camera Raw 6.1 Elements 9 Basic Pallet

Siena Farmhouse – Camera Raw 6.1 Elements 9 Basic Pallet

The next adjustment I made was in the Camera Calibration pallet, to bring out the colors in this fall vineyard image. Using the Camera Profile dropdown menu I selected Camera Landscape, to bring out all the colors I remembered seeing in this wonderful image near Siena in Tuscany.

Camera Calibration

Siena Farmhouse – Camera Calibration – Camera Landscape

Siena Farmhouse – Camera Calibration – Camera Landscape

The Last adjustment I made was in the Detail Pallet. Right click on your screen and bring the image to 100%. By bringing the image to 100% you will be able to see the effect the sharpening is having on the image. On this image I set the Sharpening Amount at 100 with the pixel Radius at 1.1 and the Detail at 25, which are the setting I use 90% of the time.  With most images I find that if I set the Amount between 75 and 150 with the pixel Radius between .75 and 1.5 and the Detail amount at 25, I achieve my best results.

Detail Pallet

 

Siena Farmhouse – Detail Pallet – Sharpening

Siena Farmhouse – Detail Pallet – Sharpening

 

With just a few minuets of processing in Adobe Camera Raw 6.1 in Elements 9 we have a printable image that will bring out the beauty of  this Siena Farmhouse.

Adobe Camera Raw 6.1 - Elements 9 - Siena Farmhouse

Adobe Camera Raw 6.1 - Elements 9 - Siena Farmhouse

 I will work with this image for several more hours to bring out the colors and clone out antennas and other distractions but for all practical purposes this image is ready for printing.


Leaning Tower of Pisa – Color Effex Pro, Transform and Viveza 2.0

When shooting in RAW I  process my images in Adobe Camera Raw before opening the images in Photoshop CS5. The tools in the ARC converter represent some of the greatest innovations in photographic technology. There are other programs I could open my images in but my preference for processing images has always been the Photoshop programs.

As you can see when this Raw image is opened even though the histogram is good it is a little dark and a little cool. Both adjustments can be corrected using the adjustment sliders in the basic tool Pallet.

Leaning Tower of Pisa - CR2 Raw image
Leaning Tower of Pisa – CR2 Raw image
 

When you are capturing images whether with film or with RAW digital files the most important elements are proper exposure and composition. If your exposure is good and you have good composition it will only take a couple of minuets to transform a RAW image into a finished work of art.

With this images I shifted the Exposure slider to +1.10 to lighten the image a little. If you look at the histogram on the top right it has shifted the information to the right without creating any clipping in the highlights. I also moved the black slider from 5 to 8 which gave me a little depth in the shadows. With the White Balance I selected Auto which warmed the image. Then I brought the recovery sliced to 31 which brought a little more detail to the clouds. There are many other wonderful tools that I have spent hours on in ARC but I seldom use them since I have started using Nik software. I will use a few of the  tools in the Nik software suite to finish this image after I open the Raw CR2 file in Photoshop CS5

White-Balance in ARC
White-Balance in ARC

The perspective of this image is off and there are two ways to correct this. One is to get out my 4″x5″ camera out and make the adjustments to straighten the angles out before shooting by making bellows adjustments or use the transform tool in Photoshop when I get home. A good amount of my shooting time is spent teaching digital classes and I seldom bring my film cameras while I am teaching so I spend the extra time making the perspective adjustments using the transform tool after I get home.

Before you use the transform tool you must first create a duplicate layer of your images you can do this by going to the top Menu bar to Layer > New > Layer via Copy or use the shortcut Ctrl J to create a duplicate layer. Once you have done this go back up to the top Menu go to Edit > Free Transform. If you hold down the control key you can drag the corners to correct the perspective of the image. When I want to make precise adjustments I will create a grid by going to View > Show > Grid. After you have transformed the image, hit enter and you have transformed the perspective to the image.

Free Transform
Free Transform

When I have finished some basic adjustments I decide on which of the Nik software to use. With this image I have decided to use Film Effects in Color Efex Pro. On the right hand side there is a dropdown menu that has 33 different film types to chose from. When you scroll over the film type with your curser it will show you a preview of what that image would have looked like if you had captured that image with that type of film. For this image I selected Kodak Ultra Color 400UC. In the past I would have been limited to the types of film I had brought on location. This one tool in Nik Color Efex Pro opens up endless possibilities. 

Film Effects in Color Efex Pro

Film Effects in Color Efex Pro

The next tool I decided to use is VIVEZA 2 which is also a Nik software tool. By dropping in a control point in the blue sky I moved the warmth slider to the right to give the sky a nicer blue. I then duplicated this control point by holding the Alt key and dragging a duplicate control point to the left and right. To avoid any overlap of the blues I had just enhanced I dropped in neutral control points into the clouds. In this case there was some overlapping and the neutral control points eliminated the blue overlap and put the original warmth back into the clouds. You can try Nik software for a 15 day trial and when you buy Nik you can use my discount code “EuropeanImages” for a 15% discount. 

Viveza 2.0 - Leaning Tower of Pisa
Viveza 2.0 – Leaning Tower of Pisa

By using ARC and Nik software I have transformed a finished image into a printable file in just a few minutes. I usually find that I will go back and tweak an image in a day or two, so I am viewing the image with a slightly different perspective.

Leaning Tower of Pisa - Printable Image

Leaning Tower of Pisa - Printable Image


29 avenue Rapp, 7th Arrondissement

On one of my photographic trips to Paris I spent some time strolling the side streets near the Eiffel Tower. Just a few blocks from the Eiffel Tower is 29 avenue Rapp, 7th arrondissement built by Jules Aimé Lavirotte in 1901 which is my all time favorite buildings and I think the most unique of the Art Nouveau Period.  

29 avenue Rapp, 7th arrondissement built by Jules Aimé Lavirotte in 1901

Art Nouveau - Paris, France

After making a few adjustments in Photoshop I used Nik software HDR effects Realistic (Subtle) and then I used Nik software RAW Presharpener on all three images.

Art Nouveau - Paris, France

Art Nouveau - Paris, FranceArt Nouveau - Paris, France

 
 
29 avenue Rapp, 7th arrondissement

29 avenue Rapp, 7th arrondissement


Venice, Cinque Terre and Pisa Oct. 18-24 2012

      Venice, Cinque Terre andPisa 

                 Oct. 18-24 2012

                 $750.00, Limited to 8 Students

Gondola waiting to go our for Sunset Tour

Romance Awaits-Venice

The colorful palette of Venice, The Cinque Terre and Pisa with there rich history is the perfect photographic venue. In Venice the Piazza San Marco and the Canals offer a variety of images that are wonderfully unique. The Cinque Terre a beautifully rugged stretch of coastline with five tiny villages set like jewels into the Ligurian Coast, we’ll capture it’s charm and beauty. It is one of those places people tend to read about once and then dream about forever. Pisa famous for its Leaning Tower and the Piazza dei Miracoli is a great place to spend our last day capturing images. Pisa is a wonderful hub where you can catch a train for Florence or Rome, or a flights home. We will photograph sunrise and sunset in these wonderful cities. Our field time will be spent on composition and proper use of light. We will spend some time processing images using Photoshop and Nik Software to help you with your processing skills. There is a training video at my website that you will be able to reference when you are processing images at home. Our goal is to teach you how to capture beautiful images and explore how to create the images that continue to inspire.

Brief Itinerary

Day One: 5pm get together in Venice to go over equipment and if time allows Photograph at sunset.
Day Two: Photograph at sunrise and sunset and when the light is right.
Day Three: Photograph at Sun rise in Venice have breakfast and Travel to Cinque Terre for afternoon and evening images.
Day Four and Five: Photograph at sunrise and sunset and when the light is right.
Day Six: Photograph at sunrise have breakfast and Travel to Pisa for afternoon and evening images. .
Day Seven: Photograph Sunrise and go over final thoughts over breakfast before saying goodbye.

• Learn tips and tricks used by the professionals to create impressive photographs.
• Discover new viewpoints, interesting details which might be overlooked, see the
world photographically.
• Learn to sense the direction of light and how to capture the magic moment.
• Improve your photographic technique.
• Learn your camera and how to get the most out of it.
• Have fun!

Workshop Information

In these workshops we will capture landscape images that excite and move, images that trace where the mind has been and form a unique vision that will last a lifetime. These workshops are about applying new skills learned daily and sharing our collective knowledge to take that next step in a supportive environment. We hold a deep passion for the places we travel to, and will help you explore how to create the images that continue to inspire. What takes time to create, time respects, good images don’t just happen. Most often, our best images lie just beyond our greatest failures. We believe through photography and an open mind the best is yet to come.

Paul James is a published, award winning photographer from Southeastern Michigan who offers the best in personalized photographic instruction on every level; whether you’re just beginning or a seasoned veteran. Paul takes great pride in his work, and this translates to some great teaching techniques. He has vast experience in both the artistic and technical aspects of photography; he is adept in Digital, Medium and Large format Cameras, which includes a large range of camera brands and models. He welcomes photographers of all formats and skill levels; however, this class will be geared for the digital photographer.

The October – November 2011 Florence Tuscan and Roma photographic workshops trips were a great success. Each groups came home with some wonderful images and some wonderful memories. I have been posting some of the new images on the website and hope that you enjoy them as much as we enjoyed taking them. Many thanks to my two wonderful friends Steve and Grazia who helped make the Rome workshop very special. For anyone traveling to Roma for a holiday, taking one of their personalized day tours is a must.


Pisa Chianti and Rome Workshop Tour – Oct. 24-31 2012

        Pisa, Chianti and Rome 

                      Oct. 24-31 2012

                      $795.00, Limited to 8 Students

Tuscan Vineyard

Chianti Farmhouse in the Mist

Pisa famous for its Leaning Tower and the Piazza dei Miracoli is a great place to spend our first day capturing images. In the Heart of the Tuscan region we’ll be capturing images while staying in the Chianti countryside that boasts impressive Etruscan roots, with time for wine tasting a cooking class and some Photoshop work. Ancient Rome beckons to be photographed from the Vatican to the Colosseum and so much more. Our field time will be spent on composition and proper use of light. We will spend some time processing images using Photoshop and Nik Software to help you with your processing skills. There is a training video at my website that you will be able to reference when you are processing images at home. Our goal is to teach you how to capture beautiful images and explore how to create the images that continue to inspire.

Workshop Information

In these workshops we will capture landscape images that excite and move, images that trace where the mind has been and form a unique vision that will last a lifetime. These workshops are about applying new skills learned daily and sharing our collective knowledge to take that next step in a supportive environment. We hold a deep passion for the places we travel to, and will help you explore how to create the images that continue to inspire. What takes time to create, time respects, good images don’t just happen. Most often, our best images lie just beyond our greatest failures. We believe through photography and an open mind the best is yet to come.

Paul James is a published, award winning photographer from Southeastern Michigan who offers the best in personalized photographic instruction on every level; whether you’re just beginning or a seasoned veteran. Paul takes great pride in his work, and this translates to some great teaching techniques. He has vast experience in both the artistic and technical aspects of photography; he is adept in Digital, Medium and Large format Cameras, which includes a large range of camera brands and models. He welcomes photographers of all formats and skill levels; however, this class will be geared for the digital photographer.

Brief Itinerary:

Day One–5pm get together in Pisa to go over equipment and if time allows Photograph at sunset.
Day Two–Photograph at sunrise in Pisa and drive to farmhouse in Chianti for afternoon and sunset.
Day Three–Five: Photograph at Sunrise and Travel to Rome for afternoon and evening images.
Day Six–seven: Photograph at sunrise and sunset and when the light is right.
Day eight: Photograph Sunrise and go over final thoughts before saying goodbye or taking guided tours with Steve and Grazia where we will be capturing more images.

• Learn tips and tricks used by the professionals to create impressive photographs.
• Discover new viewpoints, interesting details which might be overlooked, see the world
photographically.
• Learn to sense the direction of light and how to capture the magic moment.
• Improve your photographic technique.
• Learn your camera and how to get the most out of it.
• Have fun!

A Journey shared is truly a Journey remembered

The October 2012 Florence Tuscan and Roma photographic workshops trips were a great success. Each groups came home with some wonderful images and some wonderful memories. I have been posting some of the new images on the website and hope that you enjoy them as much as we enjoyed taking them. Many thanks to my two wonderful friends Steve and Grazia who helped make the Rome workshop very special. For anyone traveling to Roma for a holiday, taking one of their personalized day tours is a must.


Roman Forum photographed on Workshop

This shot was taken during the October 2009 photographic workshop in Roma. This image is a composite of two images taken at the same time and stitched together in Photoshop.


Italian Photographic Workshop

Marble Columns-San Marco

Marble Columns-San Marco

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

                                                                                                                                   

The Eternal City-Rome  Oct15-20 2009 
       Group size 8 Price $750.00*
                                   
Cinque Terre   Oct 21-25 2009
       Group size 6 Price $600.00*  

Airfare and Hotel not included in workshop price. Approximate cost, based on double occupancy, starting at 1,200.Contact us for Hotel & Airfare info
If you love photography, the romance of Italy, this is the trip for you. You’ll be inspired by the rich history, the colorful palette of Rome or the Cinque Terre or both! Be uplifted by the company of photographers who share your passion In photography. In this workshop we will capture landscape images that excite and move, images that trace where the mind has been and form a unique vision that will last a lifetime. This workshop is about applying new skills learned daily and sharing our collective knowledge to take that next step in a supportive environment.We hold a deep passion for the places we travel to, and will help you explore how to create the images that continue to inspire. What takes time to create, time respects, and good images don’t just happen. Most often, our best images lie just beyond our greatest failures. We believe through photography and an open mind the best is yet to come.


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