Inspirations: CHICAGO – 30 Best of Travel and Landscape Photographs

Today’s theme for inspiration is CHICAGO.  I consider Chicago one of the most beautiful cities I have ever visited. I remember my first visit to Chicago years back. It was short business trip and I did not know much about the city and I didn’t expect much. Later I realized that the only city I could compare it was New York. It is as beautiful as New York with similar mix of history and modern architecture.

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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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Top Travel Photographers Reveal Their Favorite Photo Locations Around The World – Part 2

Today, I have a very special treat for my readers. This is the second part of roundup post, “Top Travel Photographers Reveal Their Favorite Photo Locations Around The World“. The first part of the post

was published about 2 months ago and it was by far the most popular article on this blog. It attracted a lot of attention from all over the world. At the same time, our readers pointed out that we did not cover any destinations from Africa and Asia. Today’s roundup post should fix some shortcomings of the original article.

I asked top travel photographers from all over the world to answer one simple question.

If you had to choose what would be your favorite photography location?

So here are their answers!

 

Karen Hutton

Photography is why I breathe, baby. That’s lifelong, undying love and passion. It’s all about: Connection. Inspiration. Story. Humor. And Beauty. Who couldn’t do with more beauty in the world? I love photographers because they wear their heart on their sleeve and it lives in their work. Their breathtaking world view. Their intensely personal story… the one that we just HAVE to tell or our hearts will simply burst from the withholding of it.
www.KarenHutton.com

My favorite photo location has to be New Zealand.  I feel like I could spend a lifetime exploring all that it has to offer. Every frame is just stunning, no matter what or where; each new vista is just gorgeous beyond reckoning. The place has a thousand moods. It’s mysterious, brilliant, epic in scale.. and the varietal shades of blue are unlike anywhere on the planet. It fills you up from the inside out with deep inspiration and beauty on a scale that takes your breath away. Repeatedly! And although I’ve been there, it pretty much has a lifetime membership to my bucket list.

Travel Photography Blog: New Zealand

New Zealand. Milford Sound 
Loc: -44.67152, 167.9258

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Lone Tree at the Rim of the Grand Canyon (Arizona)

When I was visiting Grand Canyon in the beginning of May as part of my travel photography trip to the southwest, I could not complain about the weather. It was decent. The temperature was around 20°C (70°F) with clear air and some clouds. The only discomfort was caused by a very strong and gusty wind.

Every time I planned my shot, I had to apply extra pressure with my body weight to my tripod for extra stabilization. At some point, I almost lost my gear because I was not careful enough in trying to setup my Feisol on an uneven surface at the edge of the cliff. That made me think that it is quite dangerous to hike at such a proximity to the canyon when the rocks are wet or covered with ice, and the strong wind can also cause some deadly slips. I started to guess how many people lose their lives every year from the falls over the rim. Knowing that the Grand Canyon is such a popular travel destination all year around, I estimated that the number should be pretty high.

For some reason, I never stopped thinking about it and I had to google it when I was in my hotel room later that day. Sure enough, in 30sec, I found official statistics from the National Park Service. Park statistics show that about 4.5 million people visit the Grand Canyon every year and only 2-3 people die from falls. This useless fact satisfied my obsessive curiosity and I started preparing for my long drive to Bryce next day.

Travel Photography Blog - Arizona. Grand Canyon South Rim

Arizona. Grand Canyon South Rim
Loc: 36°3’42″ N 112°6’29″ W

 

Deconstructing Featured Photo

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

Forillon National Park From Above at Sunrise (Quebec)

This photo is from my latest trip to Forillon National Park, which is located at the Atlantic coast of the Canadian province of Quebec. I have already featured this spot in one of my Photo Location Guide articles.  This time, the weather was not very favorable for travel and landscape photography. It was unusually hot with humid air and no clouds for the duration of my trip. The only time with acceptable conditions was during sunrise hours.

My schedule was simple. I woke up for sunrise, shot for 2-3 hours and then left all of my photo gear at the motel. Then, I spent the rest of the day hiking, whale watching, kayaking, and bringing only my point-and-shoot camera (Lumix LX7).

That morning, I decided to climb Mont Saint-Alban and take some aerial shots from the observation point. After the steep hike with all of my gear, I managed to take a few interesting shots before the last cloud disappeared and direct sunlight made the landscape look lifeless and boring.

I was happy that I could capture such an amazing scene, but I was dead tired and it was only 8am. During the rest of the day, I  relaxed at the beach and sipped beer.

Travel Photography Blog - Canada. Quebec. Forillon National Park

Canada. Quebec. Forillon National Park. View from Mont Saint-Alban
Loc: 48.81119, -64.22419

 

Deconstructing Featured Photo

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

Morro Creek Dunes (California)

I took this photo while looking for a nice and cozy place to have a late-morning picnic around Morro Bay. It was our first day and we were enjoying a Pacific coastal drive along  California State Route 1. . It was unusually warm for the end of January and what was even more surprising was the complete lack of wind. Pacific beach in the winter with no wind, go figure.

We were coming from Montaña Oro State Park and I had already taken plenty of photos of Morro Rock from different perspectives, but I could not resist taking some more. I used the beautiful Morro Creek dunes as a foreground element of the composition with the rock as the main attraction. I also loved how morning light gave soft glow to Morro Rock.

When shooting against the sun, I knew that the only way I could pull it off was to use  HDR photography processing. processing. I took a sequence of 5 bracketed shots and later processed them for HDR in Photomatix.

Travel Photography Blog - USA. California. Morro Bay

USA. California. Morro Bay
Loc: 35.378528, -120.862712

Deconstructing Featured Photo

Travel Photography Blog: 3 Bracketed Shots (  -2;  0; +1; +2) [Read more...]

Inspirations: LAKE POWEL – 30 Best of Travel and Landscape Photographs

Today’s theme for inspiration is LAKE POWELL.  Last year during my travel photography trip to Southwest one of my most anticipated destinations was Lake Powell. I was on my way to Page only 40 km from Lake Powell when I realized that due to landslide the US89 road was closed and I had to take alternate one which bypasses Lake Powell area.

Now I am starting to plan my next year’s photography trips and I want to make sure I visit Lake Powell this time.

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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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06. Before & After: Niagara Sunrise – Combining HDR Processing and Panorama Stitching Editing Techniques

Today I want to share my photography workflow when it is necessary to combine two different processing techniques: HDR photography and panorama stitching.

Below, you can find my Before&After Widget, which illustrates twelve editing steps of my workflow. By clicking through the numbers, (orange squares) you can see how each image transforms from step 1 (original raw image) to step 12 (final published photo).

Before & After Widget

If you’d like to follow along, I’ve included my source files with this post (original RAW files, layered Photoshop file (PSD), and Lightroom preset). You can download all files at the end of the post.

I used to be a big fan of panorama photography, but with the popularity of social media platforms like Google Plus and Instagram, as well as with the wide spread of mobile devices, photos with wide panoramic orientation have become less and less popular. They just look too small in social media feeds and on small mobile screens.

These days, I only do panoramas when I intend to print my work.

But in the case of this featured photo, the reason for using this panorama technique was different. When I was scouting a location at Niagara Falls at night, I had no intention of shooting panoramas. The plan was to photograph at sunrise directly into the sun through the mist, thereby featuring three main elements of the composition: the falls, sun and Rainbow Bridge. Understanding that shooting directly into the sun would produce photos with an extreme dynamic range of 22-24 stops, I intended to use HDR photography processing to compensate for it.

What I did not realized was that the scene was a bit too wide and there was no way I could accomplish my plan with my 10mm lens on a Canon 60D cropped sensor. The only solution I saw was to use panorama techniques.

I shot 2 sets of bracketed photos sequences, five frames each, with an exposure ranging from -2 to +2 (-2, -1, 0, +1, +2). Later, I merged two sets of bracketed shots as HDR in Photomatix, and then stitched two HDR images in Photoshop. See my detailed steps below.

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Manhattan Sunset Skyline (New York)

This view was like the grand prize of my latest trip to New York. As usual, it was a busy and exhausting day with lots of walking in hot and sticky weather with multiple short, yet intense rainfalls.

I was very happy that instead of driving to my hotel through busy tunnels I was taking a ferry ride to Staten Island where I stayed this time.

It is not very often that you see such a beautiful summer sunset with clear air in New York City, but that was the day. After three days of witnessing boring and forgettable evenings, I finally could capture the rejuvenated New York City skyline with new One World Trade Center at its best.

Travel Photography Blog - New York

New York. Hudson River
Loc: 40.681944, -74.046667

It was challenging to photograph from fast moving and shaking ferry with the strong wind blowing from the river. From the beginning I was planning to utilize HDR photography processing for this shot but using tripod was out of questions. I had to settle for 3 bracketed shots (-2, 0, +2) trying to hold camera as steady as possible. Out of 7 sets of bracketed shots I took only one was useable.

Deconstructing Featured Photo

Travel Photography Blog: 3 Bracketed Shots (  -2; 0; +2) [Read more...]