Tag Archives: landscape photography

South Dakota Photo Safari 2017

Photograph Surreal Landscapes Sept. 17-21

Registration for my annual South Dakota Badlands instructional photo safari closes on August 1st. Space is limited to eight (8) photographers. On this trip, you’ll not only be treated to some of the most interesting landscapes in the US, but you’ll also receive personal field and processing instruction from me. This is one of my most popular landscape photo safaris, and you’ll learn my end to end approach to photography, from camera to post-processing.

Discounted lodging is available when you register by August 1st.

Focus-Stacking Landscape Photos

Infinite depth of field and maximum sharpness without a tilt-shift lens

Get infinite depth of field in landscape photographs with focus-stacking
Get infinite depth of field in landscape photographs with focus-stacking

Focus-stacking is a technique that macro photographers have used for years to maximize depth of field in close-up images. You can apply the same technique to landscape photos, too. While dedicated focus-stacking software has been around for a long time, this tool is now built-in to Adobe Photoshop CC (you just have to know where to find it). That means if you have the Adobe Photography subscription package, you can start experimenting with focus-stacking right away.

Free Download: Focus Stacking Tutorial (PDF)

I’ve put together a FREE focus stacking tutorial eBook (PDF format), which is free to all my newsletter subscribers.

My step by-step tutorial will show you how to:

  • Capture focus-stacks
  • Process RAW images in Adobe Lightroom
  • Merge the stack automatically in Photoshop CC

Continue reading Focus-Stacking Landscape Photos

Before & After With Lightroom 5

During yesterday’s “Mastering the Lightroom 5 Develop Module” online class, we took a look at the power of RAW editing by working on an image that might not have been too inspiring straight out of the camera:

Sunset in the Badlands; as-shot image before processing.
Sunset in the Badlands; as-shot image before processing.

What I liked about the shot, though, was the light hitting the peaks and the clouds. This image represents a typical set of challenges in outdoor photography. Wide dynamic range between the sky and the foreground, mixed lighting between the sky (daylight) and the hills (shade), and low contrast overall.

We used the full set of tools in Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 5 to adjust the RAW image, and then we applied Skylight Filter and Pro Contrast in Color Efex Pro 4 to make the final image pop. The end result is far more spectacular, and captures the feeling we had when we were actually there shooting this on the Badlands Photo Safari.

Sunset in the Badlands, South Dakota. Final image after processing in Lightroom 5 and Color Efex Pro 4.
Sunset in the Badlands, South Dakota. Final image after processing in Lightroom 5 and Color Efex Pro 4.

Long Exposure Creativity in Garden of the Gods

Long exposure (265s) captured in Garden of the Gods, Colorado Springs, CO. Nikon D800e with 16-35mm f/4 Nikkor lens and Singh-Ray Mor-Slo filters (15 stops)
Long exposure (265s) captured in Garden of the Gods, Colorado Springs, CO. Nikon D800e with 16-35mm f/4 Nikkor lens and Singh-Ray Mor-Slo filters (15 stops)

My latest addition to my photo kit is a set of Singh-Ray “Mor-Slo” solid ND filters. I got these filters in both the 10 and 5-stop varieties in 4×4″ square glass. Continue reading Long Exposure Creativity in Garden of the Gods

The Nikon D7100 DSLR: DX-Format Flagship?

The Nikon D7100 is described as the DX-format "Flagship."  Image courtesy Nikon USA.
The Nikon D7100 is described as the DX-format “Flagship.” Image courtesy Nikon USA.

Last night, Nikon announced the long-awaited D7000 replacement, the new D7100 DSLR. You can pre-order a D7100 here so that you have one in your hands the minute they come out.

The D7000, to me, has always been a “close but not quite” camera. By all accounts, its sensor is really good. However, the smaller form factor and diminished performance (AF, frame rate, bracketing limitations) dissuaded me from getting one as a D300s replacement. The biggest surprise to me when I read Nikon’s announcement was the subheadline:

“Nikon’s DX-format Flagship Provides Agility, Amazing Image Quality and Wireless Connectivity

You read that right; the DX-format Flagship. In my opinion, this means what I’ve been hearing (and thinking) for some time. DX is for enthusiasts, FX is for pros. Continue reading The Nikon D7100 DSLR: DX-Format Flagship?