Photoshop Tutorial – Postprocessing The Deadvlei

9 12 2011

Here’s a real quick photoshop tutorial that shows how I post-processed this iconic image taken at the Deadvlei in Namibia.

Because this is such a surreal location I wanted to reflect this in the post processing.  Because of it’s iconic nature, there are plenty of wonderful natural-looking images of the Deadvlei, so I was trying to do something a bit more abstract in the post processing to put my own mark on it.

 

I hope you enjoy this short tutorial.

Brent

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Namibia – Abstract Landscapes

8 12 2011

 

One of the highlights of my trip to Namibia was visiting the Deadvlei near Sesriem.  From the time I first saw photos from this amazing place I said to myself “this is somewhere that I just have to photograph”.   The textures of the dry lake bed…. the abstract shapes of the petrified trees….. the beautiful red/orange sand dunes surrounding the lake are all like something out of a Dali painting.

A light painted image taken at night.

I ended up doing three shoots at this location.  A sunset shoot, followed by a sunrise shoot, and then a sunset/night shoot.  Similar to Kolmanskop, this location was a photographers dream… lots of different ways you could approach the shoot.  Different compositions, lighting and post processing all combined to make this a pretty special and surreal landscape.

I deliberately went pretty hard with the post processing.  The reason for this was that there are plenty of lovely “natural prints”,  however because this is such a surreal landscape, I wanted to add a bit of surreal processing to the post production to create an image that was a bit different to everybody elses.  The top image looks incredible when printed large on fine art paper (and on super glossy).

 

I’ll follow up with a tutorial on my post processing for some of these images in a few weeks once I have finished my image processing.

 





Kolmanskop – Disneyland for photographers

8 11 2011

My Namibian trip is going sensational so far…. Unbelievable landscapes.

Yesterday I spent hours photographing the ghost town of Kolmanskop.   I can only describe it as Disneyland for photographers if you like photographing old stuff, abstracts etc.   It is SO MUCH FUN.

Not much bandwidth, so I’m keeping my post brief.  Off to Wolverdans today for some big landscapes!!!

My bag with my light modifiers and light stand got lost on route, but luckily they have found it and I will be reunited soon.





I’m Off On The Best Photo Trip In The World!

2 11 2011

Photo courtesy of Paul Bruins

OK, Maybe the title is a bit subjective, but thats how I feel.  On Friday I depart for a 2.5 week trip to Namibia.  I’ve been planning this trip for over a year and now it’s finally here.

I am travelling with one other photographer (Analia), and her husband Rob.  Together we are spending two weeks in a

Photo courtesy of Paul Bruins

Landcruiser photographing one of the most beautiful countries in the world.

We collect our 4WD in Windhoek (the capital).  It will be all decked out for camping with 2 fold out tents on the roof, fridge, BBQ, tables, chairs, camping gear etc.  We then head down to the Quiver Tree Forest near Keetmanskop,  then off to Luderitz which is on the coast.  The reason we are going here is to photograph two incredible ghost towns – Kolmanskop and Elizabeth Bay.  Both are ex diamond mining towns, and when the diamonds ran out, the people moved out.  What makes Kolmanskop especially interesting is that the desert has started reclaiming some of the buildings, so you get these incredible scenes of abandoned houses with sand dunes in them.   For me this is going to be a fun exercise in light, composition and colour.

Photo courtesy of Paul Bruins

Then we start heading up North to Wolwedans which has some absolutely gorgeous big landscapes.  We are staying in a private camp site all to ourselves with 4wd access roads into the park, so we can photograph at our leisure.

Photo courtesy of Paul Bruins

From there it’s a short hop up to Sesriem.  Our only luxurious accomodation for the trip. Here we are staying at the Sossus Dune Lodge which is inside the gates of the park.  The reason for this extravagence is so that we can photograph the incredible Dead Vlei at night…. I’m just dying to do some light painting here,  I think that it is the perfect subject for it and I have only ever seen two images that were shot at night in this location.

Then we drive for 3 days right up the North of the country to a town called Opuwo.  We pick up our local guide who is going to take us out for 5 days with various Himba tribes.  There I want to really focus on some environmental portraits using off camera flash.  We will go and visit the Epupa falls and the desert country of the North West.

Then back to Windhoek via Etosha National Park for one night of Wildlife viewing.

And then as if that wasn’t enough… when we get back to Windhoek again, a super talented local photographer called Sigi is going to line up a model for a shoot in a great looking ghost house.

This is going to be a photo trip of a lifetime as far as I am concerned.  2 weeks in country… chasing the light… eating, sleeping and breathing photography.  Life doesn’t get much better than that in my book.

Stay tuned, I’m not sure if I’ll be posting from the road, but I’ll sure as hell be posting when I get back.

Brent





Photoshop Tutorial – Processing Death Valley

14 10 2011

 

I had a request for a tutorial on how I processed the image above.  So I have put together a short 4min tutorial on the processing of Death Valley Image.  Enjoy.

Brent

 

 





When Is The Best Time To Shoot Landscape?

11 07 2011

So last week I was in Nevada and I went to check out Death Valley.  I scouted out Zabriske Point at Death Valley and planned the pano you see above.  It’s a pretty obvious shot of the location.  However as I was checking it out under the mid-day sun, I was asking myself when should I shoot it.   I think the conventional answer to that is to shoot it when the sun is low in the sky so that you get strong shadows and depth.  So that is what I did,  however I remembered back to a shot that Peter Eastway made in Death Valley, and the one thing thing that stuck in my mind was that Peter said he made the capture way after the sun went down when it was almost dark.

So I thought I would give it a try as well as making my capture in direct light.  For me, it was no contest, the light from the post-sunset capture was much more subtle, but still provided plenty of highlights and shadows.  I realised that the sky above the setting sun was acting like a big soft-box and throwing a much softer (but still directional) light onto the scene.

Not sure it will work in all situations, but it was definitely an interesting experiment for me.

Shot 40min after sunset

Shot just before the sun set





Off Camera Flash Workshop For Perth?

14 05 2011

Hey there Sand Gropers

I’m going to be visiting Perth for a few days of business in early June and was contemplating putting on a 1 day workshop for bringing models into your landscapes and shooting with Off Camera Flash.

I’ve been running this workshop over here now for about 8 months and it is very popular.  So if you would like to attend this workshop, just drop me an email at brentbat@gmail.com and express your interest.  If there is enough interest I will make it happen.

Not sure whether you guys just shoot “scapes” over there or what.  More information about the workshop can be found here.