Park La Ronde from Jacques Cartier Bridge (Montreal)

Amusement park La Ronde is one of the most popular and busiest spots in Montreal in summer. It is located on Saint Helen’s Island in the middle of Saint Lawrence river. It is also famous for being home of international fireworks competition - L’International des Feux.

I am not a big fan of thrill rides but I love La Ronde for being interesting photography subject with lots of colors and lots of textures. I had idea for this shot for some time but was too lazy to climb Jacques Cartier Bridge from the city. But with appearance of rental Bixi bikes in Montreal I had no excuse. I rented Bixi in Old Montreal and biked over the bridge all the way to Saint Helen’s Island.

This photo has so many details, you can even see Olympic Stadium in the background. It is better to view it at full size.

I took 3 hand-held bracketed shots and processed them as HDR (High Dynamic Range) image.

Travel Photography Blog - Canada. Montreal. Park La Ronde

Canada. Montreal. Park La Ronde
Loc: 45.521043, -73.532482

Deconstructing Featured Photo

Travel Photography Blog: 3 Bracketed Shots (-1;  0; +1) [Read more...]

Yellow Colors of Merced River (Yosemite)

Before visiting Yosemite National Park first time I went through hundreds of photos of fellow photographers, trying to anticipate and plan ahead what to soot.  By the time of my visit I had general idea of the layout of the valley and key spots to visit.

At the same I had few surprises. For example: I did not expect the valley to be so narrow. But the main surprise was the color of Merced River.  It had prominent yellow hues. And it was not reflection of the sunset, I took featured photo in the middle of the day with thick clouds defusing direct sunlight. I did not complained, it was welcomed surprise.

The idea for the composition of the photo was to use river as leading element with Yosemite Falls as  focal point.  But when I started to process it back home in Lightroom I realized that yellow waters of Merced River overpowers everything else in the composition, becoming the actual focal point.

I used HDR (High Dynamic Range) processing in Photomatix to tone map 3 bracketed photos.

Travel Photography Blog - California. Yosemite National Park

California. Yosemite National Park
Loc: 37.736900, -119.599979

 

Deconstructing Featured Photo

Travel Photography Blog: 3 Bracketed Shots (-1;  0; +1) [Read more...]

Inspirations: BANFF NATIONAL PARK – 36 Best of Travel and Landscape Photographs

Today’s theme for inspiration is BANFF NATIONAL PARK.  Last week I went to Atlantic Coast of Canada where I spent most of the time exploring and photographing Forillon National Park. At some point during my trip I realized that I do not have even one photo in my portfolio from Western Canada and it is time for me to fix the shortcoming.

When I think about Western Canada the first place which comes to my mind is Banff. Let me explain. Years back one of my friends from Montreal decided to explore Canada by driving all the way to Vancouver. He packed all his belongings in his truck and took off. But he never managed to reached Vancouver. 10 years later he is still in Banff, the place he could never leave because of its beauty.

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Photo Extract Weekly – Killer Resources for Improving Your Photography Skills

Travel Photography Blog - Photo Extract WeeklyThis is my weekly post; collection of the best photo related resources I came across in the last 7 days. I hope you can find something useful and interesting in the different fields of photography.

I included resources relates to: travel photography, landscape photography, HDR photography, history of photography, inspirational resources, humour and photo equipment. Please let me know if find my collection useful.

My Favorite Resources of the Week

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Sunrise at Cap-Bon-Ami in Forillon National Park (Quebec)

I just returned from my  latest trip to Eastern Quebec. I spent 3 days in one of my favorite travel photography destinations  in Canada – Forillon National Park. It is located at the eastern tip of  Gaspé Peninsula where Gulf of Saint Lawrence flows into Atlantic Ocean.

The weather was not particularly favorable for landscape photography with hot humid air and no clouds for the duration of my trip.  The only time I could get favorable light was sunset hours.

The featured shot is from Cap-Bon-Ami beach which is located at the North Sector of the park. I strategically placed Cap-des-Rosiers lighthouse to be secondary focal point of the composition.

I used HDR processing to bring out details in the foreground textures of the cliff.

Travel Photography Blog - Canada. Quebec. Forillon National Park

Canada. Quebec. Forillon National Park. Cap Bon Ami
Loc: 48.807773, -64.220303

 

Deconstructing Featured Photo

Travel Photography Blog: 4 Bracketed Shots (-1;  0; +1, +2) [Read more...]

Rocks of Pfeiffer Beach (California)

 

Pfeiffer Beach is arguably the most beautiful beach in Central California, the must-visit travel photography destination. At the same time it is the most secluded one. Without planning and research it is almost impossible to find it; there is no signs or directions on California State Route 1 and the only way to get to the beach is to take a narrow, rundown one-lane road through the mountains.

During my travel photography trips to California, Pfeiffer Beach is the strategic location for me. This is the place where I allocate extra time for my photography and time to rest and have a picnic in the beautiful surroundings.

Travel Photography Blog - California. Big Sur. Pfeiffer Beach

California. Big Sur. Pfeiffer Beach
Loc: 36.236923, -121.815157

It was end of January, the weather was unusually warm but with the strong, gusty wind blowing from the ocean. There was no way to have picnic on the beach without getting healthy dose of sand with the meal.

This is when I started to climb the cliff at the south part of the beach trying to find shelter behind the rocks. It was pretty challenging to set up my Feisol tripod on such a uneven terrain.

With HDR processing in mind I setup my composition to have shapes and textures of the rocks as the main foreground interest.

Deconstructing Featured Photo

Travel Photography Blog: 3 Bracketed Shots (-1;  0; +1) [Read more...]

Inspirations: JOSHUA TREE – 28 Best of Travel and Landscape Photographs

Today’s theme for inspiration is JOSHUA TREE. I decided to feature the beauty of the desert second week in a row after my last week’s  selection of DEATH VALLEY photographs got a lot of attention from the readers of this blog.

The first time Joshua Tree National Park got on my radar few years back when I was watching hilarious episode of tv show Entourage  -  ”Tree Trippers”. Probably the best episode of the entire show.

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Photo Extract Weekly – Killer Resources for Improving Your Photography Skills

Travel Photography Blog - Photo Extract WeeklyThis is my weekly post; collection of the best photo related resources I came across in the last 7 days. I hope you can find something useful and interesting in the different fields of photography.

I included resources relates to: travel photography, landscape photography, HDR photography, history of photography, inspirational resources, humour and photo equipment. Please let me know if find my collection useful.

My Favorite Resources of the Week

[Read more...]

Cirque du Soleil in Old Montreal (Canada)

Every year or so the Old Port of Montreal changes its normal appearance and becomes more colorful and photogenic. This happens when Cirque Du Soleil visits Montreal.

Even though Cirque Du Soleil has its headquarters in Montreal and circus school for developing new artists, it does not have permanent venue in the city. It setups giant tent (Grand Chapiteau) at Jacques-Cartier Pier.

I composited this shot using colorful Grand Chapiteau as the main focal element. I also placed Notre-Dame-de-Bon-Secours Chapel (the oldest churches in Montreal) to be visible in the background as symbolic backdrop for my composition.

I used HDR photography as my main processing technique.

Travel Photography Blog - Canada. Montreal. Old Port

Canada. Montreal. Old Port
Loc: 45.506984, -73.548704

Deconstructing Featured Photo

Travel Photography Blog: 3 Bracketed Shots (-1;  0; +1) [Read more...]

Point Sur Lightstation at Sunset (California)

I always try to find and tell story behind every travel photo I post in my blog. But I could not recall anything interesting about this shot.

This is one of those iconic places around Big Sur when you drive along California State Route 1. You can spot it quite often in tv commercials and movies. I was just lucky passing Point Sur at the right time. It was not very comfortable outside of the car with gusty, cold wind blowing from the ocean. It was quite challenging to keep tripod steady while taking series of bracketed shots for HDR. But I was not complaining since the light was outstanding, illuminating entire scene with the soft golden hue.

Travel Photography Blog - California. Big Sur. Point Sur Lightstation

California. Big Sur. Point Sur Lightstation
Loc: 36.326319, -121.894188

But the real story began when I started processing this photo back home. After years of working in graphic design and photography fields I became quite efficient with Photoshop and Lightroom. My goal is to spend as little time as possible during processing phase. On average I spend between 5min and 15min on every photo I post here.

This case was different. I spent at least 3 hours over period of 2 weeks processing this photo. I ended up with Photoshop file containing 25 layers and close to 1Gb in size. My main struggle was to get right colors and textures in sky area. I used Lightroom, Photomatix, Photoshop, Topaz Labs plugins, Color Efex from Nik and Perfect Effects from onOne Software.

Various parts of the final photo were processed using different editing tools and later assembled together using luminosity masks.

I call it processing Frankenstein.

Deconstructing Featured Photo

Travel Photography Blog: 5 Bracketed Shots (-2, -1,  0, +1, +2) [Read more...]