Rembrandt’s classic painting, The Night Watch, uses light to identify the main figures of interest.
Not everyone (myself included) has a degree in fine art or has studied art extensively. As such, I find it enjoyable to take a look at classic paintings and see what makes them so effective. One such example is Rembrandt’s “The Night Watch.” If you examine this image, you’ll see that Rembrandt uses light and color to emphasize the important subjects in his painting. Note that the two primary figures are well-lit, but so is the smaller girl in the background. The other characters in this scene are not as bright and colorful as the ones Rembrandt wants us to focus on.
We can use the same technique in our digital photography. Studio photographers use well-positioned lights all the time to achieve this effect. However, if you’re an outdoor photographer, you might not always get the kind of lighting conditions that perfectly illuminate your subject. Continue reading →
I’m pleased to announce the immediate release of a high-definition video companion to The Photographer’s Guide to HDR Efex Pro 2.0 (eBook site)
In this video, you get over two hours (159 minutes, actually) of in-depth training on creating fine-art HDR images with Nik Software’s HDR Efex Pro 2.0. I’ve gone through the entire HDR workflow, starting with image capture and RAW conversion and moving through all the steps you use in HDR Efex Pro 2 to create amazing HDR tone-maps. Continue reading →
Traditional ND Grads are great filters, but they have two primary drawbacks. One, they can be tricky to align in the field. Secondly, they don’t work well for objects that protrude into the sky.
The Graduated Neutral Density effect filter in Nik Software’s Color Efex Pro 4 solves these problems, provided that you have an image that doesn’t have blown highlights. It has controls that let you create just about any kind of custom ND Grad filter, and it unlike real filters, this effect lets you brighten areas, too.
The big challenge with this tool is proper positioning. I’ve put together a short tutorial on how this filter works for landscapes.