*Topaz Detail 3, my first run

TimberlinePano (1)

Hi all and welcome to a quick review on your Topaz special plugin of the month!  This month Topaz is running a special on Detail 3 for 50% off!  Normally $39.99, if you use the code “aprdetail” HERE on Topazlabs website, the price drops down to $19.99!!!

That’s all well and good, but what does Detail do?  I had not tried it until I was made aware of the sale, so here is my experience and thoughts on what I think it is best at doing.

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*ELK Collective and MWL, featured in Hospitality Design Magazine!

Multnomah Whisky Library in Hospitality Design by ELK Collective I’ve written about the shoot we did for ELK at the Multnomah Whisk(e)y Library, the award that it won for best new design via Eater.com, and now it has garnered national attention via Hospitality Design Magazine.  The article is short and sweet, and gives a little insight into the aesthetic and design approach by my friend and ELK Co-founder, Kelly OG.  Come on in… Continue reading

*How to shoot HDR Composite imagery with people

indbeautyhdr

Sure, we’ve all seen the images that have been run through an HDR-like tonemapping, contrast increasing filter, making the grungy, saturated and contrasty images we’ve all come to accept as HDR, or at least, HDR-like shots.  While the “HDR” look can bring about photographic debates bordering on political or religious polarity, there is a way to actually capture and process the actual dynamic range of a scene, not just try and make it look like a processed, HDR image.  If you’re not a fan of HDR, by all means, feel free to ignore this post, but to and for me HDR can be a very useful tool, and one that, in this particular situation can help stretch a limited budget by being able to get a good range of exposure for a dynamically diverse scene without tons of lighting.  Now, the trick here when wanting to do this with human subjects is that you’re needing to take multiple frames at differing exposure values, which means, in short, a person or people would need to stay statue still to make it work, right?  Not so.  C’mon in and I’ll show you how to get around this unfortunate challenge…

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*Shooting a residential project for the ELK Collective

ELK Collective Design

Interior design is something I rarely thought about until I started dating my wife years back.  Her eye, attention to detail, intentional purchases regarding furniture and design elements as well as a desire to shift everything in our home around on a regular basis has led me to gain a better understanding of the importance of personal space.  We spend so much time in very few places, which for most of us are our homes, offices and the like.  Mrs Squeeze’s ability to build a continuity of style in our home has allowed me to recognize nuances and features in other’s homes now as well.  My friend and fellow ELK Collective collaborator Megan and I spent a day documenting a residential project she has worked on over the last couple years.  It is a modern, warm and inviting space that balances linear design with an asymmetrical balance that certainly proves both fashionable and functional for a young family.  C’mon in to see more…

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*Everything you need to know about digital photography (well, almost). Two years of tips, tricks and various freebies, revisited.

With my blog’s second anniversary coming up, I wanted to thank everyone that has stopped by, commented and added to the content.  It’s been a fun couple of years and has been far more educational for me than I’d ever thought it would have been.  I wanted to make a list of my more popular posts as well as some that can help some of us who may be just stumbling into the fold.  Any of us who have recently acquired a new camera and may be wanting to learn how to use it to its potential, or are looking to build up a few post processing techniques, I’ve compiled some of the more useful and popular posts below…

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*HDR 101, Part 2 – Processing Dynamic Range

My final result

We’ve been out capturing dynamically diverse scenes in Part 1 of the HDR 101 series, now we get them onto the computer and realize that there are a variety of ways to achieve our vision.  From free-ware to thousands of dollars worth of software, there are options.  Some are better than others, and some offer a better bang for the buck (in my opinion).  Regardless, most all HDR software out there will offer you a free trial, so you can decide which works better for your vision.  That said, here are a couple techniques using Photoshop, Everimaging HDR, and a very popular HDR software, Photomatix, along with discount codes if you choose to purchase :)  Read on for more…

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*HDR 101, Part 1 – Capturing Dynamic Range

the scale of luminance values as far as the eye can see…

Politics, Religion, Economics, HDR.  There seems to be little in the photographic world that starts such heated discussions as the concept of HDR photography and processing.  Truth of the matter is, it is a very popular technique and can be done with a multitude of results, some more visually shocking than others, but I believe HDR gets a bad rap too often.  Let me start off by saying, I am not an HDR expert.  I do not feel that my techniques are an end all by any means, but I have figured out some very helpful techniques that I feel can benefit those looking to get into, or better understand capturing and processing HDR imagery.  For me, capturing the dynamic range of a scene is the primary concern while the way these bracketed images are processed is an entirely personal decision.  Too often, I see people tonemapping single images, or running them through an HDR-like software to give it that grungy, gritty look and calling it “HDR.”  While many of those images have a very cool look to them in their own right, it still doesn’t quite qualify as a high dynamic range photo by definition in many cases.  C’mon in and we can discuss ways to capture the whole dynamic range of any particular scene along with some tips and tricks.

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*High Dynamic Range with Photomatix

Under the bridge, completely enveloped in shadow...

Are you ever frustrated by scenes that are too dynamically diverse having to lose your highlight and shadow info to expose for the midtone ultimately losing the shadows to dark noisy areas and blowing out your highlights resulting in detail-less white blotches?  I think that I can help.  This isn’t the only HDR or Photomatix tutorial on the web, but you’re here, and it’s free.  Regardless of how you feel about some of the HDR imagery that can bombard the senses, combined with the proper capture technique HDR software can help achieve, photographically ,the dynamic range that the human eye is capable of seeing.  By using this method of combining bracketed exposures, you can save yourself hours of dodging and burning, masking and aligning in Photoshop, with simple HDR software, or you can create your own fantasy cartoonish grunge-scape if that’s what you’re after.  I will walk you through step by step instructions regarding the proper capture and postprocessing  techniques using the popular HDR software, Photomatix from HDRsoft.  I also have a discount code to offer you 15% off (TRP15) if you choose to purchase the software.  To follow along, Photomatix is available as a non-expiring full free download (it will just watermark your images) to use and feel out the benefits to this very popular tool in digital photography.   Read on for links, techniques and a software discount…

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