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...]

Upper Yosemite Falls Through Pine Fence (California)

My only visit to Yosemite National Park was not a carefully planned trip. It was almost a spontaneous last minute decision. Due to my changed schedule, while visiting the San Francisco Bay Area a few years back, I realized that I had opportunity to spend the entire day on my photography.

At first, I was afraid that one day was not enough and I would risk spending the entire day driving and not having enough time to explore the park. However, it turned out to be one of my best California trips.

It was end of April and now, looking back to my trip, I realize that it was probably the best time of the year to visit Yosemite. The weather was just perfect – around +20 C with clear air. All the rivers were still full of water, and as a result, I had the chance to witness all the park´s waterfalls at their full strength. Also, what I liked the most was that the park was not too crowded, and I had plenty of freedom to set up my tripod and compose my shots.

In this featured photo, I was photographing the Upper Yosemite Falls through the row of pine trees. It was a perfect opportunity to use HDR processing. It also helped me bring out details in the dark foreground elements of the composition.

Travel Photography Blog - California. Yosemite National Park

California. Yosemite National Park
Loc: 37.7348, -119.6044


Deconstructing Featured Photo

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

Purple Sands of Pfeiffer Beach (California)

Pfeiffer Beach is probably my favorite beach in Central California. I featured it once in one of my previous posts. I failed to mention before that another feature about this remarkable and unique place is the color of the sand.

The purple sand of Pfeiffer Beach is the result of manganese garnet from the hills surrounding the beach. The color is more prominent close to the slopes, and it completely disappears when approaching the shore.

As you can see in my featured photo, the purple color is quite prominent and it serves as a main attraction in my composition.

Travel Photography Blog - California. Pfeiffer Beach

California. Big Sur. Pfeiffer Beach
Loc: 36.23815, -121.81489


Deconstructing Featured Photo

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

Photo Extract Weekly – Killer Resources for Improving Your Photography Skills #24

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...]

Cedar Dunes West Point Lighthouse (Prince Edward Island)

A few weeks back, I featured the Covehead Harbour lighthouse in my blog, which is one of 63 lighthouses located in Canada’s smallest province, Prince Edward Island (PEI). It gave me the idea to dig into my photo archives and see how many lighthouses from PEI I had photographed over the years.

Due to my poor tagging habits in my earlier Lightroom days, this happened to be quite a challenging task. After a few hours of going through my archives, I decided to change the whole approach and started posting photos of PEI lighthouses, one by one, as I found them. Maybe later, I will create a combined post with all of them.

This featured photo is from the Cedar Dunes Provincial Park where the West Point Lighthouse is located.

Travel Photography Blog - Canada. Prince Edward Island. Cedar Dunes Provincial Park

Canada. Prince Edward Island. West Point
Loc: 46.62016, -64.38647


Deconstructing Featured Photo

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

Bryce Canyon’s Natural Bridge (Utah)

When you drive along the rim of Bryce Canyon National Park, there are 13 viewpoints where there is plenty of room for parking and from where you start hiking. And in most of the cases, the hikes and viewpoints are wide open with endless opportunities and freedom for composing your shots.

But this Natural Bridge viewpoint is different. It is very small with the beautiful arch in very close proximity. It was challenging to compose anything meaningful because my 10mm wide angle lens was not wide enough to give me many options.

I am not too happy with this shot, but it was the best that I could do.

Travel Photography Blog - Utah. Bryce Canyon National Park

Utah. Bryce Canyon National Park
Loc: 36.21270, -121.74528

Deconstructing Featured Photo

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

Piedras Blancas Light Station (California)

The main attraction of the Piedras Blancas beaches is the Elephant Seals Rookery where you can observe the sea animals at such a proximity that you can actually touch them. If you are lucky enough to drive along the California State Route 1 in January and February, you can see hundreds and hundreds of elephant seal pups.

While most of the tourists spend hours watching the elephant seals, I followed the coastal hikes and tried to find interesting spots for my travel photography. This is one of my favorite views in the vicinity of Piedras Blancas. In this composition, the beautiful rocks illuminated by morning light serve as the main focal element, and light station in the background adds another point of interest.

Travel Photography Blog - California. Piedras Blancas Light Station

California. Piedras Blancas Light Station
Loc: 35.6594, -121.2533


Deconstructing Featured Photo

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

Inspirations: YOSEMITE – 28 Best of Travel and Landscape Photographs

Today’s theme for inspiration is YOSEMITE. Yosemite National Park is the ultimate destination for any travel photographer. My encounter with Yosemite was very limited; it was one day trip from San Francisco few years back.

Next time I am in California I am planning to visit Yosemite for longer period of time so I have chance to photograph it during golden hours (sunset and sunrise). And today’s amazing collection of photos is my way of scouting the park and pinpointing the spots I have to visit.    

[Read more...]