What a great Easter Egg: the Nik Collection is now a free download! Nik is a maker of post production plug-ins for tools such as Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop.
- Analog Efex Pro – explore the look and feel of classic cameras, films, and lenses
- Silver Efex Pro – master the art of black-and-white photography with darkroom-inspired controls
- HDR Efex Pro – from natural to artistic, explore the full potential of HDR [high dynamic range] photography
- Dfine – improve your images with noise reduction tailored to your camera
- Color Efex Pro – a comprehensive set of filters for color correction, retouching, and creative effects
- Viveza – selectively adjust the color and tonality of your images without complicated masks or selections
- Sharpener Pro – bring out hidden details consistently with the professional’s choice for image sharpening
It was then bought by Google, and now Google is making the plug-ins available as a free download…
During my visit to Patriot’s Point in Charleston, SC, I snapped this picture of the USS Yorktown aircraft carrier captain’s chair.
Aircraft carrier captain’s chair. Post processed.
Seemingly an easy exposure enough, but with the bright sunlight, it created a wide dynamic range (range from the brightest pixel to the darkest pixel) that it poses a challenge for most digital cameras. How so, you ask? Take a look at the original exposure below.
The original exposure. Details of the ship’s bridge surrounding the captain’s chair were lost in the shadows.
You can see that while the out-the-window view of the Ravenel cable-stayed bridge is about the same as the post processed photo, the details of the ship’s bridge is almost completely lost in the shadows. Even large portions of the captain’s chair is lost. So how do you capture a photo like that in the first image above, that shows a balanced exposure from the outdoors to the indoor elements?
We visited the famous Biltmore Hotel in Coral Cables, Florida during our weekend vacation to South Florida last month.
Biltmore hotel. Nikon D600 with Nikon 14-24mm f/2.8G AF-S lens @ f/9, 1/200 sec, iso 400, 14mm. Lightroom post processing: exposure +0.33, fill light +60, vibrance +10, saturation +10.
We arrived late in the day for a quick self-guided tour. It was about an hour prior to sunset. The clouds were low in the horizon, acting as a light diffuser for the low setting sun and providing the soft, low contrast lighting for these architecture shots.
Thunderstorms in Florida in the summer is a daily occurrence. Nothing unusual. This storm was a little bigger than usual as there were flood warnings throughout town. Just before sunset, however, it let up a little bit, enough for the sun to peak through before setting. And then this magic happened…
Rainbow after the storm. Nikon D600 with Nikon 14-24mm f/2.8G AF-S lens @ 14mm focal length, 1/80 sec, f/4.0, iso 200.
Read on to see how I post-processed the raw image to get this final result…
The thought of hospitals conjures up all kinds of memories and emotions. For me, I am reminded of emergency rooms and urgent care and anxiety; birthing rooms and newborn nurseries and the overwhelming excitement and love for my newborn children, nieces and nephews; operating rooms and intensive care units and the worries that come with such situations. Surely, hospitals and the attending physicians, nurses, staff, and volunteers play an important part in our lives.
As buildings, hospitals are very functional. Some even have architectural flair. While function take precedence over form, there is still form. For example, take the new addition to East Orlando Florida Hospital. The new building is built with a gentle curve, serving as an architecture point of interest for the facility and a compelling architecture photographic subject.
Florida Hospital East Orlando is architected with a gentle curve. Taken with Nikon D600 with Nikon 14-24mm f/2.8 AF-S lens @ 14mm focal length, 1/80 sec, f/13, iso 100.
In the shot above, I composed the flower bed into the bottom of the frame to give the image some foreground interest. Serendipitously, though it was late morning, the sun was positioned behind the building, leaving the building evenly lit with indirect light. I framed the sun into the shot to add a sun flare that diagonally stretches across the image (as if to remind us of the flowers’ need of the morning light). I cropped the original image using Adobe Lightroom with a cinematic widescreen aspect ratio of 2.4:1 for an epic effect, re-composing the flower bed in the bottom third of the frame (using the composition rule of thirds). Other Lightroom settings included temp 5333, +0.33 exposure compensation, recovery 100, contrast +50, vignetting -10. View the larger 1200 x 500 pixel image.
Read on to see more images of this unique hospital building…