The Most popular Tutorials of 2015 on PhotoTraces

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Yesterday I published the list of 30 the most popular photos of 2015 on PhotoTraces. Today is the time to reveal the most popular tutorials of 2015.

2015 was the year of big changes in my photography and it affected the way I edit my photos. First, Adobe introduced HDR module in Lightroom 6 and it changed the way I approach the HDR editing. In the second half of the year, I developed the Lightroom Rapid Editing System which streamlined and speeded up my entire workflow.

Natural Looking HDR In Lightroom

I am a big proponent of HDR photography and use it on a daily basis. I employ different HDR software and various editing techniques to achieve natural looking and balanced HDR photos.

Recently Adobe released a new version of Lightroom, version 6 (read my review Adobe Lightroom 6 Review – New Features). One of the biggest addition that surprised many photographers was the Photo Merge HDR module integrated into Lightroom.

The new edition to Lightroom drastically changed the way I produce and edit HDR photos.

Long Exposure Photography Without a Tripod

Long exposure technique requires a tripod and when you want to slow down the shutter speed in the broad daylight; you also need a Neutral Density Filter. This has always caused problems for me since I often like to go photo hunting in bright light and do not typically carry any extra equipment.

Lately, I’ve been experimenting with a new technique where I can achieve the long exposure effect shooting hand-held, without a tripod. The technique is based on blending multiple images in Photoshop using Smart Objects.

Lightroom Rapid Editing System for Landscapes

Landscapes are the most important part of my photography.

My initial motivation for developing Rapid Editing System was driven by my personal needs. The goal was to speed up my editing workflow and to be more consistent with my landscape photography.

Later I adopted the system to other aspects of my photography, such as People Photography, Architectural Photography, HDR photography. But the driving force of the entire process was always the landscapes.

Shooting and Stitching Panorama In Lightroom – Step By Step

I captured the featured photo while hiking along the Hanauma Bay Rim Trail in Hawaii (Oahu). The main two attractions of the trail are Hanauma Bay and Koko Head Mountain. When I was planning my sunrise hike, I knew that I wanted to capture both attractions in one composition with Koko Head in the background.

When I saw the actual place, I realized that capturing both attractions in one composition would be more challenging than I expected. There was no way I could place both the bay and the mountain into the same composition, as the landscape was too wide.

This is when I decided to take a series of shots and later stitch them into the panorama in Photoshop.

How to Use PhotoTraces Lightroom FREE Preset Collection

Since I released my Free Lightroom Preset Collection it has been, by far, the most popular resource on my blog. It was downloaded thousands of times and the feedback so far is very positive.

The readers of my blog who are familiar with the program have no problems to figure out how to use Lightroom presets but, for the photographers who are just starting to learn the program, it is not always easy and straightforward. Every day I receive multiple questions related to how to install Lightroom presets and how to use Lightroom presets.

I decided to address the most common questions and challenges by putting together a short tutorial that demonstrates the best practices on how to use my Lightroom Presets.

Combining 12 Shots into HDR Panorama

The featured photo is from my last trip to Hawaii. Everything was challenging about this photo, from the location, the weather and the processing. All in all, it took three days and 12 shots to produce the final image.

Everything was challenging about this photo, from the location, the weather and the processing. All in all, it took three days and 12 shots to produce the final image.

My first attempt to photograph this location was unsuccessful. After waking up at 4am, driving from Honolulu and hiking in the dark on a muddy trail, I realized that early morning rain and dark, thick clouds canceled the sunrise and that I would have to try my luck the following morning.

Complete HDR Workflow in Lightroom, Photomatix and Photoshop

The featured photo of the sunset at Moonstone Beach in California was one of the most popular photos on this blog in the last 12 months.

I also was asked on many occasions about the process of shooting and editing this particular shot. I decided to put together step by step visual guide of my typical HDR workflow when I use Photomatix to merge multiple photos to HDR.