I’m pleased to announce new Lightroom course offerings. Good friend and fellow photographer Rebecca Benoit and I have been working hard on a comprehensive module-based series of classes targeted to everyone from the novice to the pro.
Click here for more information and details.
Sunset at the Wooden Shoe tulip fields. Yes there were acres of great color in the fields. But when the sun went down, the best color was in the sky. This was a high dynamic scene with the fields getting fairly dark and the sky a glow with nature’s beauty. Exposing for both was impossible. HDR would not result in a natural look. Blending two images in Photoshop would be a lot of work, the result would not look natural, and having detail in the tulip field and windmill would detract attention away from the sky. So I exposed for the sky only (I shot in manual mode) thus silhouetting everything but the sky.
Let me know what you think and thanks for looking.
I few years ago I set up all my cameras for back button focus. It took a little getting used to, but soon after I loved it and will never go back to shutter button focus.
WHAT IS BACK BUTTON FOCUS?
- An option to change the way autofocus (AF) is activated.
- Instead of AF being activated by the shutter release button, AF is activated by a separate button on the back of the camera.
- Not to be confused with “Back Focus” (when the lens focuses behind the intended target).
WHY USE BACK BUTTON FOCUS?
- No more switching your lens to manual focus.
- Even with your lens set to AF, you can manually focus and not have the camera focus when pressing the shutter button.
- No more refocusing every time you press the shutter button.
- Can use AI-Servo (Canon) / AF-Continuous (Nikon) mode for all of your focusing needs.
WHERE IS THE BACK BUTTON FOCUS BUTTON?
It varies from camera to camera and from manufacturer to manufacturer. Not all models have the ability to back button focus.
- Canon: Look for the AF-ON button. Some models use the * button.
- Nikon: Look for the AE-L/AF-L button. Some have the AF-ON button.
- Sony: Not many models have this feature. The a77 and a99 have back button focus available when you customize the Joy stick (AF /AM,AEL buttons).
- Olympus: Look for the AEL/AFL button.
- Pentax: Look for the AF/AE-L button.
SETTING UP BACK BUTTON FOCUS
As stated above, not all cameras have back button focus. Setting up back button focus involves going in to your camera’s menu system. Internet searches provides the easiest way to find out how to set up your camera and many models have videos showing you how to set it up.
I know it’s been a while and I apologize for that. I’ve been VERY busy getting new workshops planned and have also been deeply involved with my new web site. LOTS of work and hopefully well worth the effort. I finally got a database linked to my web site to not only make my job easier but provide a better user experience for my viewers.
Once things calm down a bit after this month, I will be back in here providing tips and techniques.
Thank you for your patience!
The graduated filter tool in the Develop module of Lightroom 4 is a very powerful tool. It not only mimics a graduated neutral density filter but can do a whole lot more. Clicking the tool opens up a sub-panel showing all the adjustments available within the tool. The tool allows you to “split” the image so that one portion will receive the adjustments while the other side of the filter is unaffected.
After activating the graduated filter tool, drag your mouse into the image. Left click and drag the mouse up, down, left, right…any direction. If you hold the Shift key while dragging, the filter will remain horizontal of vertical (depending on which direction you’re dragging). As you drag, you are also defining a transition area. The farther you drag, the wider this transition area becomes. Generally you want a little transition but not too much.
The RAW image is shown below. I felt as if the sky was a bit bright compared to the land below so I wanted to even out the exposure. I also wanted to make the sea rocks more pronounced and make the details in the beach stand out a bit more. So I used two graduated filters…one for the sky and the other for the land.
There are other Develop adjustments in the final image but I want to focus on the Graduated filter for this discussion.
For the sky (everything above the horizon) I created a graduated filter by dragging the mouse down (so all adjustment will affect the sky only) while holding the Shift key (to keep the filter perfectly horizontal). I set the center of the filter directly on the horizon with a small transition zone. Once the filter was created, I made the following adjustments:
For the land (everything below the horizon) I created a graduated filter by dragging the mouse up (so all adjustment will affect the land only) while holding the Shift key (to keep the filter perfectly horizontal). I set the center of the filter directly on the horizon with a small transition zone. Once the filter was created, I made the following adjustments:
The resulting image is below (with some cropping, desaturation and other adjustments applied to the entire image).
Thanks for looking!
- Canon EOS 1D-X with EF 16-35mm f/2.8L USM lens
- Tripod mounted
- Remote shutter release
- Taken 2/1/2013 @ 5:16PM