Forillon National Park From Above at Sunrise (Quebec)

This is photo is from my latest trip to Forillon National Park which is located at the Atlantic coast of 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 the acceptable conditions was sunrise hours.

My schedule was simple. I wake up for sunrise, shoot for 2-3 hours and then leave all my photo gear at the motel and spend the rest of the day hiking, whale watching, kayaking bringing only point-and-shoot camera with me (Lumix LX7).

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

I was happy I could capture such amazing scene but I was dead tired and it was only 8am. The rest of the day I spend lying on the beach and sipping 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 for late morning picnic around Morro Bay. It was our first day of Pacific coastal drive along California State Route 1. It was unusually warm for the end of January and what was even more surprising is complete lack of wind. Pacific beach in the winter with no wind, go figure.

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

Shooting against the sun I knew the only way I could pull it off is to use HDR photography processing. I took sequence of 5 bracketed shots and later process 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.

[Read more...]

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...]

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.

[Read more...]

Manhattan Sunset Skyline (New York)

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

I was very happy that instead of driving to my hotel though busy tunnels I was taking 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 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...]

500px Photo Walk in Montreal

Yesterday as part of 500px Global Photo Walk I was helping to organize the event in Montreal. The location for Montreal Photo Walk was beautiful René-Lévesque Park in the borough of Lachine.

24 hours before the walk we had major storm in Montreal. In my neighbourhood, which is located next to René-Lévesque Park, we lost power for 12 hours. Night before I was thinking about canceling the event for good. Even couple of hours prior to the start of the walk we had heavy rain with gusty wind and no hope for better weather. Then suddenly the rain stopped and 30 min before the beginning of the event we had blue skies with incredible cloud formations. By the end of the walk we had most beautiful sunset I’ve seen in Montreal in years.

It is shame that lots of people decided not to attend the event  due to weather. But we still had decent crowd of about 25 people. Thank you guys, it was fun. Let’s do it again next year.

HDR Photography - Canada. Montreal. Lachine

Montreal 500px PhotoWalk
Loc: 45.430421, -73.668736

Featured Photo

I took this photo at the park west end just before the end of the PhotoWalk.

HDR Photography - Canada. Montreal. Lachine

Canada. Montreal. René-Lévesque Park
Loc: 45.430421, -73.668736

 

Deconstructing Featured Photo

Post Processing: HDR Processed in Photomatix
[Read more...]

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...]

Spring Sunset Clouds at the Marina (Montreal)

Due to heavy traffic on freeway I took early exit and decided to take scenic Lakeshore Road driving along Saint Lawrence River instead. The sunset caught me around Lachine marina, not far from where I live. The view was spectacular with clear reflections in quiet waters of the marina.

Unfortunately I did not have my Canon DSLR and tripod with me. Driving home to pick up my gear was out of questions and the only option I had is to use my point-and-shoot Lumix LX-7 camera. I love my LX-7, it has functionality of DSLR with wide and fast lens squeezed into tiny body.

I took 3 hand-held bracketed shots hoping to recover highlights of the sunset with HDR processing techniques. Ideally I prefer to take 7 bracketed exposures when shooting against the sun but in this case I had no choice ; 3 brackets is the limit in LX-7. Of course I got much more noise in my final image by using point-and-shoot camera but Topaz DeNoise plugin did pretty good job to reduce it.

This photo is the proof that you absolutely do not need expensive photo equipment to get involved into photography and produce interesting images.

HDR Photography - Canada. Montreal. Lachine

Canada. Montreal. Lachine
Loc: 45.430421, -73.668736

 

Deconstructing Featured Photo

Post Processing: HDR Processed in Photomatix
[Read more...]