There is a lot of HDR news coming out about new programs that will be released over the next few months. Adobe started this rush with upgrading their HDR plug-in in CS5 to HDR Pro. They had to upgrade because there old plug-in was just horrible and with HDR Pro they now have a program that works. If you are looking for photorealistic this will work for you and it is included with Photoshop CS5.
Unified Color Technologies has released their new HDR program HDR Expose. This is a nice program for photorealist images, the interface takes a little time to get used too, and until July 31st they have a special price of $99. Watch the online video to get an idea of where to start to tone maps your HDR photo.
Nik Software will be releasing their very first HDR program very soon and it looks like it can give you that photo illustrative look that you get from Photomatix Pro. Knowing how well Nik integrates their plug-ins with Photoshop and Lightroom I am looking forward to this new program.
It has been rumored that HDRsoft, makers of Photomatix Pro will be up-dating their software in the near future. It has been the workhorse for working with HDR for the past few years and I hope in this update they work on reducing noise, especially in the sky when you push Photomatix to that illustrative.
So hold on to your hats as all the new HDR programs come out. Here is a new HDR photograph from Dinosaur World near Tampa Florida.
When I was teaching a workshop in St. Augustine a few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to photograph a church early in the morning with a group of students. I had learned that Photomerge in Photoshop CS5 was able to put together a panoramic using a wide angle lens. Before CS5 you had to use either a normal or telephoto lens to produce a good panoramic images with Photomerge. This was usually fine as I would turn my camera vertical and take as many photographs as needed and then merge them together. But this time I was up very close to the church and even with turning my camera vertical I was not going to be able to photograph it using a normal lens, so I put on my 24mm lens and shoot this group of photos.
I wasn’t content with just trying to put together an image with wide-angle lenses. I decided I had to do it in HDR. So I took all these images and converted them to HDR using both Photoshop’s new HDR Pro and Photomatix Pro. In Lightroom I selected the eight converted HDR images and ran Photomerge to create this one image, and I was really surprised at how well it put them together.
Here are the eight images that were used in photo merge to create the one image on the bottom, I had to crop a little bit and use a little bit of Content Aware Fill, but in the end I really liked how this image turned out.
Keep an eye out in the video tutorial section later this month for a video on how to do this.
I just returned from teaching at a workshop in St Augustine, FL, hosted and instructed by a friend of mine, most of you will know him as V, or Vanelli, his full name is Robert Louis Vanelli, but no one calls him that. V has a great workshop he created called “Vacation with Vanelli”, where he works with people in great locations and teaches them his program called the “5 P’s of Photography”. He asked me to come to St. Augustine and teach a three-hour breakout session with his students, he also invited the public to attend this breakout session.
I spent a lot of time with V and besides not getting a lot of sleep, I came to really respect how he teaches his students, his enthusiasm for photography and what a great guy he is. The other instructor that V brought in was Sandy Foster. I have met Sandy at Photoshop World before and had a great time photographing and working with her and the students.
Vanelli and a couple of the students and I decided to go photograph some abandoned WW II air planes that one of the students had heard about. When we got there we discovered that it was all fenced in and if we entered it was at our own risk. Well the risk was to Vanelli! As he was going over the fence the ladder acted like a seesaw and he fell right on his head. We got some great photos and when I talked to V the next day he informed me that his head was a little black and blue.
I know V will be holding more “Vacation with Vanelli” seminars over the next few months, and I would recommend this to anyone for a unique experience in learning photography and Photoshop and how to enjoy doing both. It really was a fun time and I’ll do it again in a heartbeat.
Here are some of the photos that I took in the day and a half I was there.
Early Morning Shoot
I could have photographed for hours, if I was not worried about getting arrested!!!
What's left of the inside of one of the WW II Airplanes.
Vanelli after his head crash!!!
I will be teaching a three hour “Break-out Session” on HDR and Architectural Photography that is open to the public for only $59. V is running a few contests for free “Break-out Session” tickets, here is the link:vacationwithv.com
Vacation with Vanelli is a unique style workshop that teaches the art of digital work-flow covering the FIVE P’s: Plan, Photograph, Process, Print and Post. Vanelli and friends travel to exciting places working on projects for their books and portfolio. Vacationers get a chance to work and learn along side these amazing photographers as they refine their own skills. Imagine having a personal instructor looking over your shoulder whispering tips and tricks!
Vacation With Vanelli Cost: $395 – space is limited
Saint Augustine, Florida
June 16th – 19th, 2010
Break-out Session Cost$59
Friday, June 18th – 11am – 2pm open to the public
Register (321) 795-3050 or vacationwithv.com
Canada has done it again, using the Canon 5D Mark II the TV series HOUSE has filmed a season finale using only the 5D Mark II and all of Canon’s lenses. I have not seen the whole episode yet, just the first few minutes of the TV show, but you could not tell that it wasn’t done with high-priced video cameras. I find myself wanting to shoot video with my 5D Mark II and while I was at Photoshop world in Orlando I went to a a lot of the motion classes and heard them talk about DSLR’s. I think as photographers, we are going to have to learn how to use our cameras for both still and for video. Take a look at HOUSE.
Here is what Cannon said in its press release:
“We take great pleasure in congratulating the cast and crew of HOUSE on completing the first network television episode to be completely shot on a DSLR camera,” stated Yuichi Ishizuka, executive vice president and general manager, Consumer Imaging Group, Canon U.S.A., “This milestone marks a paradigm shift in the way professional cinematographers and filmmakers capture HD video.”
It’s a new digital world out there, and I believe video is going to be part of it.
With the economy as slow as it is right now, many photographers are looking for new sources of income. Many photographers are diversifying the types of photographs they shoot for clients, expanding their client bases and looking for new ways to sell their photographs. One of the ways that I have been looking to expand my income stream is to use a company on the web called iStockPhoto.com.
I know a lot of photographers look at websites like iStockPhoto as taking away, or reducing their client base for the photography. But, as I have found out from a friend of mine, who only had 276 images on iStockPhoto and made over $10,000 last year, that this could become a very profitable income producer. I have nearly 70,000 images in my image library, many of which would work well on sites like iStockPhoto.com.
I have images that I will not place on iStockPhoto, they are my artwork and limited edition prints that I sell on my fine art photography website: VanDuinenPhotography.com. I hear the argument from other photographers that you don’t make a lot of money on any particular image on websites like iStockPhoto, but it’s not about one particular image or one sale, it’s about the number of sales and the number of people looking for photography in one place.
As I start sorting through my 70,000 images, I realize what a daunting task this will be, but during economic times that we are going through right now, another $10,000 this year would help me or any other photographer I know. You have three types of buyers on iStockPhoto: advertising agencies, nonprofits and people looking for art for their homes, so keep that in mind as you search through your libraries.
Here are a couple images that I am putting up on iStockPhoto.com
Well here I go again. My hard drive, with all my images on it decided not to work. Again! The hard drive did not die, it just got corrupted and could only see half of the 4 TB on the drive. Now this happened to me about eight months ago, with the same drive, and I said I was going to get another hard drive and back it up separately. I didn’t! So, after a half a day talking to the hard drive manufacturer and trying to run recovery software, the manufacturer had me send the unit back to be fixed because something’s not working right.
Something’s not working right!!! This is the second time, you can bet something’s not working right. When I get this unit back it does not get a third chance, I will be selling it on eBay. I’ve since bought another 4 TB drive by another manufacturer and I will be buying a second 4 TB hard drive from this manufacturer as soon as I sell the other hard drive. Thank goodness I back up all my images onto DVDs, one for my studio and the other to be sent off-site. It took me 2 ½ days to load up all the images back on one hard drive so I could use them, and luckily I did not lose a single image.
I have now come up with a system that should keep all my images safe, from the time I download them from the camera, to working on my desktop, placing them in my Working Library hard drive and backing them up on Archival hard drive and DVDs.
- When I download my images from my camera I use a card reader and use my computer operating system to transfer the images onto my Desktop computer. I don’t use third party programs to transfer my images most of the time, as I trust the operating system to do a better job with less of a chance of a files becoming corrupted than by using third-party programs. Although, I have been using Lightroom lately to transfer images and put them into the image management system.
- Once they are transferred to my working computer I make a copy on a backup hard drive that is used just for this purpose. Once I’m done editing the images and ready to put them on my Working Library hard drive I will delete them from this hard drive. This is just to make sure that I have images in two places while I am working on them at all times.
- When all the images have been edited and worked on in and the job handed off to the client, I then back up all raw and Photoshop files on my Working Library hard drive. This drive gives me access to all my images at a time I need to get to them and is linked to my light room database.
- Once they’re on the Working Library hard drive I will create DVDs of all the images. I made two sets of DVDs, one that stays here in the studio and one that is shipped off-site and away from hurricanes.
- The last step will be to copy over all files to a Archival hard drive that is labeled and placed in a safe place and unplugged from electricity. I live in Florida where we have a lot of lightning and storms like you’ve not seen, and I want to make sure my Archival hard drive is disconnected from electricity to keep it safe. Just to let you know, you should take your hard drive out every two weeks and run it to keep it working correctly. I know of a few photographers that have not run their archival hard drives and when they need to use them they find out that it’s not working, or is frozen up.
This may sound a little redundant and time-consuming, but I think it’s probably the best system that I have heard of, and like I said earlier, I have not lost an image during two hard drive failures.