Category Archives Photography

When I take a vacation (or working trip in this case), I always try to make a photo book from the trip, and here’s a look at the one I made from my “Week in Paris with Jay Maisel” online class taping trip. Because I was either interviewing Jay or taping my own class on travel photography, I didn’t get to shoot all that much, but at least I got enough to make a small book. Here are a few of my favorite pages from the book.

I have so much more I want to share about the trip, but I’m on a tight timeline right now, so I hope to have some behind-the-scenes stories and photos on Friday (well, that’s the plan anyway). Hope you enjoyed the layouts here, and I wish you a fantastically French Tuesday. :)

 

http://youtu.be/dg27fAhBAE4

Here’s a short video I did to celebrate the launch of the latest edition of my book, ‘The Photoshop CS6 for Digital Photographers” (the book is already written, edited and is getting its final prep before it heads to the printing press).

This video is all about those cool little features, tweaks, and enhancements in Photoshop CS6 that don’t get all the big headlines (like Content Aware Move, and Adaptive Wide Angle), so a lot of folks don’t know about them, but they are pretty darn sweet! Plus, I threw in a tip or two along the way.

By the way, just in case (ya know) you can pre-order my book at Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble.com, or wherever cool books that have some really cool stuff in them (including a really helpful majorly updated chapter on Photoshop’s built-in HDR, and a brand new chapter on editing video from your DSLR right within Photoshop CS6 itself, which I think for a lot of folks is exactly what we’ve been waiting for), are sold. :-)

It’s in the train station Gare de Lyon, and we were able to do a video interview with Jay Maisel for our online class (and Jay and I got to have a pretty yummy breakfast during the taping), and the following night I took my wife and our friends Barb and Mike for dinner there as well.

It feels a lot more like dining at “The Louvre” or Versailles and a lot less like eating in a train station, eh? :-)

NOTE: I was hoping to have a “Report from the G+ Photographer’s Conference” for today but I’m still gather photos, so hopefully I’ll be running it alongside “Free Stuff Thursday” this week. Have a great Tuesday everybody!

The shot above was taken inside the Sainte-Chapelle in Paris. I had never been, and was really taken with the fact that it’s all stained glass (and tells a story, reading from left to right, bottom to top in each pane of the stained glass). While it’s looks really large here, I’ll bet it’s not 100 feet deep from end to end (but the ceilings are really high). NOTE: make sure you click on these to see a much larger version.

Above: Here’s the view if you turned 180° around from where I took the other shot. Again, the same amazing stained glass, and shot hand-held (it wasn’t as bright as it looks here — I had to brighten it up a bit in post). 

Above: Here’s a different church — this one is the St-Germain-des-Pr©s in Paris, and we filmed a small part of my travel photography glass there. The view here is off the right side of the alter, which is why the chairs all are facing to the left.

Above: here’s a pano of the back of that same church — you can tell from this photo, but that pipe organ is pretty darn huge!

Above: This is the chapel out at the Palace of Versailles, about 30 miles outside of Paris. Again, handheld since tripods were forbidden big time — they literally had flashing signs outside “No Tripods!”

Jay Maisel wanted to take us to Sainte-Chapelle (none of us had ever been), and Jay told me, “You’re going to walk up a small, dark spiral staircase, and when you come out and see the stained glass surrounding you on all sides, and the incredible light in that room, I promise you won’t be able to wipe the smile off your face.” He was absolutely right. It was truly spectacular.

Of course, we shot a lot more than churches during our week in Paris, but I thought it would be fun to share at least a few of my favorites here (also —- while we did see the outside of Notre Dame, we didn’t have a chance to get inside. We had a busy shooting schedule).

More on Friday. Au revoir!

 

Because of my own tour schedule, and our events like Photoshop World and the Google+ Conference for Photographers, I don’t often get a chance to speak at other conferences, but when I was asked to speak again at the International Society of Aviation Photography (ISAP) Conference on behalf of Nikon, I jumped at the chance.

This will be the third time I’ve presented at the ISAP Conference, and I have to say of all the conferences out there, this is without a doubt one of the best-run, most-fun, and incredibly value-packed conferences I’ve ever been a part of. The incredible training, and unbelievable shooting access they’re able to arrange for their attendees still amazes me to this day.

I’m speaking on Thursday, but I’m sticking around for their class location shoot on Friday (and catching a night flight home), but if you’re going to be at the conference, make sure you come up and say “hi”!

Here’s a link to their site with more details on the conference. Hope to see you in Norfolk, Virginia this week!

Wow, what a week!
We shot three online classes (including “A Week in Paris with Jay Maisel” plus my on-location class on shooting travel photography, and a class on Lightroom/Photoshop for Travel Photography). We taped starting at 9:00 am each day and went non-stop until after midnight every day. We literally fell into bed each night, but we still had loads of fun (it’s hard not to have fun in Paris, even when you’re working).

Easier HDR
My new Nikon D4 actually makes shooting HDRs a lot easier, because not only can I finally just take three bracketed shots (one two shots under, one two shots over, and the regular exposure), but I can set my Self Timer to take all three shots for me (I know Canon’s have been able to do this for some time, but this is the first Nikon I’ve had that will do it. Not even the new D800 will do it — just the D4). So, I shot more bracketed exposures by far than I normally would.

The “Third Frame” technique
When I was going through my images, I saw that sometimes the third frame (the one over-exposed by two stops) would make part of the sky solid white, and when I saw the 3rd frame of my bracketed shot the Eiffel tower, it reminded me of the London Eye shot I had done with the solid white background, so I took it into Lightroom and pushed the Highlights and Whites until the sky went solid white, then I brought in lots of Clarity and Blacks to make the blacks pop, and it looks pretty cool. Then, I went back and started over from scratch by first doing the full HDR treatment (using Photoshop CS6’s updated HDR feature, and the built-in “Scott5” preset) and then I mixed in the sky technique from Lightroom, and it just came together.

If you look closely, I leave just a little bit of color in all the shots, so they’re not fully black and white. When I showed a few to Jay Maisel on my phone, he really liked them, and said “They kind of look like metal etchings” and I kind of agree. So, after the Eiffel Tower shot, I set out to shoot a few more iconic Parisian places, like Notre Dame, the Arc de Triomphe and The Louvre (below) and did the same thing.

Expanding the idea
Once I showed these to my wife Kalebra (who was along with me on the trip, and really made the trip a blast for me), she said, “Don’t you have other iconic places you could use this technique on?” I realized I had a lot of bracketed shots from previous trips, so I dug up a few and I’m sharing some of those below.

The reality is….
The reality is…. even if you have the properly bracketed shot, not all iconic monuments or buildings work with this look. I like ones where I shot it really wide with my 14mm or so, but even at that, some of them just didn’t look right, but I’m posted the ones I’m OK with so far (but I have more to try out from my archives).

Not for everybody
I know, like HDR in general, this look won’t appeal to everyone, because the only look that appeals to nearly everybody is no “look” at all, so I just think these are for me. In fact, I like it enough that I’m thinking of places I’d like to head back to, and go into them with shooting for this style in mind (which is what I did with the bottom two shots from Venice — taken after I processed the one from the Eiffel Tower).

One for the road…
I figured I’d bring it back around with a final shot from Paris below — this one a side-angle view of the Eiffel Tower with the 14mm (I only took two lenses — my 28-300mm, which was my main lens, and then the 14mm which I used in churches for a super-wide angle look or for this series).

Tomorrow, the Paris back story
I have a lot more to share about Paris, and our experiences there (both good and bad), but I wanted to share these first, so tomorrow I hope you’ll stop in as the story continues. Have a great Monday everybody. :)

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