Tag Archives: Photoshop training

Smokey Mountains Photographic Workshop

Clingmans dome - Rim Frost

Clingmans dome - Rim Frost

On Monday,  April 23 on the first full day of the Smokey Mountain workshop there was rime ice that made the narrow winding switchbacks mountain roads to Clingmans dome too treacherous for driving and the road was closed for most of the day. Fortunately after 4pm the road to Clingmans dome was reopened and we were able to capture some fabulous images. I have traveled through the Smokey mountains for the last 20 years on my way home from the southern art fair circuited and this is the first I was able to capture Rime Ice sometimes known as hoar frost

Mount Le Conte

Mount Le Conte

The summit of Mount Le Conte to the east of 441 was covered in rime ice. Sunlight played on the landscape like a painters brush as it dappled the trees on the mountain with light as we photographed. It is always a wonderful experience watching when nature presents us with her handiwork.   

 


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.


Greenbrier – Smokey Mountain National Park

 Just north and east of Gatlinburg there is an amazing area in the great smoky national park called Greenbrier. The rock formations in Greenbrier look like the formations you would find on the Moon.  It is an amazing place to photograph especially after a fresh rain.  The crevices fill with water and create wonderful reflection pools of the surrounding trees. I like to visit this area in the late afternoon when the light is being blocked by the surrounding hills and trees.  You can get some amazing reflections on the water lying in small pools between the rocks

Greenbrier Moonscape - Great Smokey Mountain Park, Tennessee
Greenbrier Moonscape – Great Smokey Mountain Park, Tennessee

I came in at a low angle and Captured my images at F16 through F32 so my depth of field would not only keep the rocks and small reflection pools in the foreground in focus but also keep the waterfalls and trees in the background in focus.

Greenbrier - Great Smokey Mountain Park, Tennessee
Greenbrier – Great Smokey Mountain Park, Tennessee

Image number 16, 17 and 18 in the Smokey Mountain gallery were photographed in the Greenbrier area.

Greenbrier - Great Smokey Mountain Park, Tennessee
Greenbrier – Great Smokey Mountain Park, Tennessee

I selected my camera White Balance for Auto and selected my Camera Profile for Neutral in Adobe Camera Raw and then opened the images into Photoshop CS 5 so I could do my adjustments using Nik software. With these single images I found that running them through the Nik HDR program game me amazing contrast that I couldn’t achieve with any other tools I had used.


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


Vernice Carnival – Photographic Workshop Tour Febuary 12-16

       Carnival – Venice, Italy

                 February 12 – 16

                 $750, Limit 5 students

Gondolas - Piazza San Marco

Gondolas - Piazza San Marco

 The rich colorful palette of Venice with its canals, bridges and the amazing architecture of San Marco Piazza and the Rialto bridge provide some of my favorite compositions to photograph. This February during historic Carnival I will be taking a small group to capture the architectural images as well as a the historic costumes of Carnival. The Colors of the and medieval architecture that Venice provides for our backdrops will give you breathtaking images, some of the best images you will ever capture. This Island City is a great time to shoot through the year. Capturing images during Carnival when residents and visitors compete with each other for the most authentic and sometimes the most outrageous costumes is a must for every photographer.

• 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

Brief Itinerary:

Day One: 5 pm get together in Veniceto go over equipment and if time allows Photograph at sunset.
Day Two– Four: Photograph at sunrise and sunset and when the light is right.
Day six: PhotographSunrise and go over final thoughts before saying goodbye.

A Journey shared is truly a Journey remembered


Venice and Florence Photographic Workshop Tour Oct 2011

Venice and Firenze Oct 12-17 2011
$750.00, Limited to 8 Students

Airfare and Hotel not included in workshop price. Approximate cost based on double occupancy, starting at $1,800.Contact us for Hotel & Airfare info. If you love photography, the romance of Italy, this is the trip for you. You’ll be inspired bythe rich history, the colorful palette of Venice and Firenze! 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 hasbeen 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, ourbest images lie just beyond our greatest failures. We believe through photography and an open mind the best is yet to come.

Grand Canal-Venice Italy
Time For Romance-Venice Photo Workshop

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 skill levels and formats; however, this class will be geared for the digital photographer.

• 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!


Charleston Photographic Workshop April 4-9 2011

Charleston, South Carolina April 4-9 2011
$700.00 Limited to 6 students

First Light
Springtime in the South

Charleston is one of our Country’s greatest Histological and Architectural treasures. The Battery Park area is one of the oldest communities in the U.S. and offers a wide range of photographic opportunities. The Plantations scattered around Charleston also offer unique photographic opportunities. In this workshop, we will spend time photographing Magnolia Plantations Gardens and Audubon Cyprus swamps. In the field, I will spend time with each student helping to improve everyone’s compositional and technical skills. During non-shooting times, we will work on images in Photoshop and Nix Software to help everyone improve their image processing.

Every Morning we will be out shooting at the best time of the day “First Light” capturing those moments when the there is Magic in every shot.

• Learn tips and tricks used by the professionals to create impressive photographs.
• Discover new viewpoints, interesting details, which might be overlooked and 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!


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