Tag Archives: lightroom

MacPhun Aurora HDR Pro!

MacPhun is offering Aurora HDR Pro with bonus features!

HDR can be extremely challenging for a number of reasons. Let’s look at this image I recently developed. The challenge was that the 3 bracketed images include various items in motion. For example, in the middle exposure (top left), the woman was walking away from the stopped train. But in the darker exposure (top right), there is altogether a different women in that same position. In the lightest exposure (bottom image), she is even more blurred. With other HDR programs, I have struggled with blending images with movement, even when I have selected the primary/base image. Additionally, I wanted to get the most dynamic range possible without the image looking “hdr”.

Aurora HDR Pro successfully blended the 3 images, while retaining the features from the base image I identified and the integrity of a “non-hdr” image, creating exactly the final image I was going for!

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Developed from these images:

Screen Shot 2016-05-10 at 4.02.36 PM

Key Features include: 

  • Aurora HDR Pro + Bonuses for only $89!
  • Reflect Studio App: Add stunning reflections to your images
  • Watermark Sense App: Batch Watermark images with text and/or logos
  • Preset Pack: 18 Bonus Pro Presets
  • 25 Bonus Textures
  • 4 Sets of Professional Exposure Brackets
  • Over $100 in Savings

To purchase Aurora HDR, click the link below!

Aurora HDR + Bonuses

Dust Spots!

Dust spots and artifacts are my pet peeve… cannot stand them because they are so easy to fix. However, they can be hard to find! They are definitely the bane of any landscape photographer’s existence, but they can show up in any image and they never show up until you have published or printed an image! It is like magic. As soon as your friends, family, and world can see the image, the dust spots/artifacts miraculously appears and of course, you are at best, the second person to see it. :-/

Even those folks with great eyesight miss them. But here is where we can look to technology for a solution. Lightroom Develop and Photoshop Camera Raw both have dust spot removal tools. But for real success, you have to “visualize spots” to get the most of these tools. Let’s take a look at how this one little checkbox can make a world of difference.

Take this image… unprocessed, right out of the camera. We can see some spots (red arrows) right off the bat. So those can be easily fixed. But the real question will be…. have we missed any? So at a glance, we would like to say we haven’t, but how can we be sure?

Screen Shot 2015-12-21 at 1.41.20 PM

 

As I mentioned, the best tools for the identification of dust spots/artifacts that I have found are the spot removal tools in Lightroom Develop (the icon shown to the right) ,Screen Shot 2015-01-22 at 2.20.38 PMand in Photoshop Camera Raw (icon shown to the right).  Screen Shot 2015-12-22 at 11.48.12 AMAs these programs are the same, these spot removal tools are also the same. The only difference is the icon used to access them.

Now the tools themselves are great and do an amazing job (most of the time) of identifying the pixels from which to clone the dust spot. But the true beauty of these tools is their ability to identify spots and artifacts in images that we simply cannot see with the naked eye.

Here is how this works. Take the image noted above, we identified 5 dust spots/artifacts that need correction. Let’s see what the spot removal tool finds. To make this a bit easier, I have drawn arrows to re-identify the spots we found in the above image and then circled the additional dust spots/artifacts identified by the software. Take a minute to look back at the color image. Those spots in the sky do not stand out and could easily be missed if it wasn’t for the spot removal tool. So how do we get this masked image, show below? In both Lightroom Develop and Photoshop Camera Raw spot removal tools, there is a checkbox that says “visualize spots”.

Screen Shot 2015-12-21 at 1.41.46 PM

 

 

In Lightroom, the Visualize Spots can be found to the bottom left of the center panel: Screen Shot 2015-12-22 at 12.03.43 PM.

In Photoshop, the Visualize Spots can be found at the bottom of the right hand panel: Screen Shot 2015-12-22 at 12.03.26 PM

To emphasize the spots, check the box and then drag the slider bar to the right. This tool will even identify spots in the middle of clouds! In fact, it will identify spots anywhere in an image. Dust spots stand right out, as they have distinct round edges. Notice the dust spots in the sky above, they are hollow round spots and very noticeable. Now you can use the cloning feature (in both programs) to clone out the dust spots.

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In a few minutes, hundreds (which can happen) of dust spots/artifacts can be removed!

Screen Shot 2015-12-21 at 1.43.02 PM

 

Now, you can finish processing the image! I suggest removing dust spots first, so that whatever processing you do to the image doesn’t exaggerate or further emphasize spots that need to be removed. It is simply easier to fix the spots before their edges are more pronounced with contrast or clarity.

For this image, here is the final result:

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Happy Holidays and Creative New Year!!

Third Party Printing

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If you are like me, you don’t have a photo quality printer at home, so you use a third party printer, such as Costco. Our particular Costco does a great job, but tends to print a full stop darker than what I want in my print result. So this tip is how to deal with this, without having to alter your base image.

The features discussed here can also be used to brighten up or add contrast to your images when printing at home as well. But the likeliness is, if you are printing from Lightroom, you already knew this.

For folks like me, who print outside of their home, we normally Export a .jpg to a file, then upload the .jpg via an online portal to our printer, then pick up the images when they are ready. This method works just fine, but there is no way (that I have found) to imbed a development rule in the Export presets.

So how do we get around this… use the Print module in Lightroom!

The Print module can be used to print to your home printer or to a .jpg. So for those of us who use a third party printer, we just need to modify the settings in the Print module to print to file and create a preset for the settings that work best with our third party printer and each time we want to print and image, we will be set.

Click here for a video that will take you through the set up instructions.

While you are there, remember to subscribe to RRPT videos and check out the over 2 dozen videos already available in our library!

Macphun Black Friday Specials Are Coming Early This Year!

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BlackFriday is fast approaching and Macphun has some great gift ideas!

 

Save $80 on the Creative Kit Plus (Black Friday Special) & get a $25 Amazon or Apple iTunes Gift Card with purchase.Valid: Nov 25 – Dec 1
copy_1_ckplus_icon_92Details: Creative Kit Plus includes 4 award-winning Mac photo software products worth $210 (if purchased separately) for JUST $129.99. Nearly 40% off (an $80 savings). Plus, customers from the United States get a $25 gift card of their choice from the Amazon or iTunes stores with purchase of the Creative Kit Plus.Black Friday special is only valid on Creative Kit Plus (Black Friday Special). Gift Card only available to customers in the United States.

Use our discount code ROADRUNNER, if you are interested in purchasing individual products such as:
tonpro_icon92Tonality Pro – Awesome program for creating stunning black and white images! Great flexibility as the plugin has its own layer and masking capabilities!

 
 
 
 
 

intpro_icon_92Intensify Pro – Create powerful images with unprecedented drama, clarity, and detail! Great flexibility as the plugin has its own layer and masking capabilities!

 
 
 
 
 

shpro_icon_92Snapheal Pro – Easily remove unwanted objects, heal skin imperfections, get rid of pesky dust spots! Snapheal Pro features multiple erasing modes and adjustable precision for pixel-perfect results.

 
 
 
 
 

focpro_icon_92Focus 2 Pro – Create images with selection focus, lens blur and tilt-shift effects with just a few clicks!

 

Camera Raw Processing

RRPT has just returned from a wonderful photo tour of the Great Smoky Mountains. We had a great group of folks who were game for early mornings, long days, and late evenings! This was my 3rd trip to this area and by far, it was the best. We were gifted with some of the best weather conditions I have ever seen in this area.

During our trip, we discussed a lot about image processing, from which software products we use to which techniques we use to create our final images. So I decided to create some tutorials to demonstrate my approach… starting with my thought process and approach to my images, through the use of Camera Raw to enhance images and Photoshop layers and masks to modify specific areas of the images, to final touches!

These tutorials are chock full of tips and tricks on how to navigate and use Camera Raw and Photoshop. I focused on these products because I wanted to demonstrate that you can achieve beautiful images through basic tools, as not everyone has Photoshop plugins (NIK, TopazLabs, onOne, etc). So for these tutorials, I used what I consider to be the basic software tools need. For full disclosure, I work in Adobe’s Creative Cloud suite (Photoshop CC) and use and describe Photoshop’s version of Camera Raw, but if you have older versions of Photoshop or Photoshop Elements, you should be able to use processes described in these tutorials to enhance your images!

These tutorials are somewhat sequential… starting with Columbine, then Rivers, then Foggy Tree. I mentioned this, because Columbine is the longest tutorial and includes a significant amount of Camera Raw explanation. The other two tutorials, although still descriptive, are not as in-depth on Camera Raw functionality, but get straight to the enhancements. Although the tutorials demonstrate the use of Camera Raw and Photoshop on specific subjects, all of the techniques demonstrated can be used to enhance any image, any subject.

My goal was to create instructional videos that help photographers learn how to use the image processing tools available to them. Hope you enjoy! If you find these tutorials helpful, please subscribe to RRPT’s YouTube Channel, as we add videos and tutorials regularly!

Columbine (Aquilegia canadensis):

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In this tutorial, I show you the various features of Camera Raw and describe how I use the Basic adjustments, as well as the Adjustment Brush, features. Then I demonstrate how to bring the image back into Photoshop to enhance the blur/soft background (2 techniques for this!) and how to sharpen our main subject. I describe how to use layers and masks to selectively apply our adjustments, including what white/black masks do, and some tips and tricks for manipulating masks. I also describe how to select the brush tool and how to change its characteristics, including size and opacity. Lastly, this tutorial also describes Free Transform and how to use the transform tools, along with layers and masks to clone parts of your image.

To view this tutorial, click here.

 

 

 

River:
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In this tutorial, I demonstrate how to enhance a forest river scene. We cover how to clone unnecessary features from your image, add dimension to long-exposure water, straighten the image through the crop tool, and how to enhance the mossy rocks to give the image that added pop! These tutorial focuses primarily on the Adjustment Brush tool in Camera Raw and shows that you can take an image to nearly its final stage with this one invaluable piece of software.

To view this tutorial, click here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Foggy Tree:
_XT19932-EditIn the final tutorial in the set, I discuss how to enhance an image taken in deep fog. Most of us LOVE foggy days and foggy scenes, but can be stumped when we get home and see this flat monochromatic image. Where do we start? Well, this tutorial demonstrates that in a few easy steps, you can take a bright, flat, foggy scene and create a moody scene with dimension fit for a zombie movie!

To view this tutorial, click here.

Black Friday Sales, Discounts, Video Tutorials and More!

RRPT would like to announce the launch of a couple of new pages on our website!

Software/Gear

In time for Black Friday sales, we are launching our Software/Gear page. This page contains links to the software and gear companies that we find to be invaluable to our creative processes, from hardware that enhances our ability to create images in camera, to software and textures that enhance our images during post-process. Its all here. Many of these fine companies are offering Black Friday deals. If you are not able to take advantage of these sales, don’t fear, as RRPT has established affiliate relationships with a number of them, so that we can bring our participants and friends discounts all year long.

So check out RRPT’s Software/Gear page for a little early holiday shopping!!

 

Tutorials/Workshops

RRPT would also like to announce a new Tutorials/Workshop page. This page features both video tutorials and personalized photo processing workshops! Get ready to take your photography to the next level by learning the tricks and tips on Lightroom, Aperture, Photoshop, Photomatix, and other software tools! As we are building our library of video tutorials, check back regularly for new launches. We are currently featuring videos on Importing Images into Lightroom (great for beginners and folks new to the Lightroom platform) and Merging Images in Photoshop HDR pro and editing in Adobe Camera Raw (great for all levels of photographers, who bracket images, but are new to the HDR process).

For photographers who perform hand-on training or have particular images they wish to develop, the Personalized Photo Processing Workshops, may be the way to go. If you are local, we will set up a time to get together and work on the skill areas you specifically want to improve, on your images, so that you can learn by doing! If you are out of this area, but have some questions or areas of photo processing on which you need help, use our contact page and let us know. We will work on developing video tutorials to meet your need!

Click here to learn more about our Tutorials/Workshops page.