Archive for Software Tutorials
Being a fan of High Dynamic Range (HDR) Photography, I’ve become very intimate with the Auto Exposure Bracketing (AEB) function on my Canon camera. What I’ve come to realize is that obtaining the entire tonal range of an image at 1 EV increments can be difficult if your AEB settings will only allow 3 exposures to be produced. Sometimes -2, 0 and +2 are just not enough. If you have an extra $300+, you could purchase a Promote Control which offers amazing bracketing controls, but it’s hard to justify that kind of purchase for some of us.
Then, there’s Magic Lantern. It’s a third party software for Canon cameras (sorry Nikon) that sits on top of the camera’s firmware and adds awesome flexibility to DSLR video shooting, but also gives up to exposures for HDR bracketing and a cool Autodetect feature that takes some of the guesswork out of bracketing. I’ve been flirting with downloading the product onto my 60D for some time, but finally pulled the trigger a couple of weeks ago. The video below will take you through the options for bracketing on the 60D prior to having Magic Lantern, then will show how things have changed with it. Take a look.
One of the latest additions to the last revisions of Lightroom and Aperture is somewhat of a game changer in my book, and that’s the ability to apply a white balance setting selectively. Being an Aperture user, I have not experienced how the Lightroom option works, but based on the many discussions and posts people made when version 4 came out, I’m guessing it’s quite good.
The latest update to Aperture included a few new options for white balance, such as three types pertaining to how you’d like for the temperature of a picture to be adjusted: Natural Gray (new), Skin Tone (new) and Temperature and Tint (previous standard). The two new additions allow you to use a brush to selectively apply the effect.
For most folks, the big reason for using this new tool is when you have competing light sources within the same picture, like having both incandescent and natural window light in the same image. You can shoot for one and apply the other in post, evening out the image. My first experience, however, was from more of a creative need. Let me show you.
The image below is an 8 second long exposure taken at the Mississippi River in St. Paul Park, MN. That’s the Blue Moon in the sky reflecting off of the river and some rather interesting tree roots sticking out from the bank. There were two things in the image I wanted to make standout, the great blue and magenta tones in the sky (and watert) and the gnarly roots on the bank. I started with the sky colors.
There are numerous tools at our disposal to edit photos and the same effect can be applied with virtually all of these tools. Lightroom, Aperture and Photoshop are some of the more popular ones and the plug ins and presets for each of these programs are great in number. We typically choose these tools for editing based upon how they fit in our workflow and our comfort level for using them.
For me, I use Aperture for managing my library and basic photo editing, then will export images into other tools for specific effect application, with the main program being onOne Software’s Perfect Effects within their Perfect Photo Suite 6. The effects obtained from Perfect Effects can undoubtedly be achieved with other tools, but I go to Perfect Effects because it fits my workflow and comfort level where the other avenues may not.
Below is a video showing how using a couple of presets within Perfect Effects can quickly and easily take a normal image of a flowering plant to one with dark, rich greens and a bit of glow to give a totally different appearance than the original frame. What software would you use to produce this kind of effect? What would you have done to this image? What behind your eyes would drive you in this image?
Richard Harrington shows you how to customize Aperture 3 so it automatically adds your copyright and contact info to all photos upon import.