Tutorial: Post Processing “F11 and Be There”

27 03 2011

It’s been quite a while since I have posted on the blog, so I thought I’d get back into it with a photoshop post processing tutorial.  This morning I went out with a few buddies for a shoot.  What a fantastic day…. one of those days where everything comes together… forecast was for scattered showers, so I was hopeful….. on the drive down to Curl Curl it was raining pretty hard, but my iPhone showed it was just an isolated shower.

Sure enough once I got to the car park and met the other three photographers that were shooting with me the rain stopped, but there was big brooding storm clouds all around us.  We walked off onto the rocks, got one more little shower and then the rain stopped for the rest of the morning and some clear patches opened up on the Eastern horizon.

The reason for the title of this image is because I think this expression is the best way to get images… just be there….. there were supposed to be a few others showing up to shoot, but my guess is that the rain scared them off.

There is nothing too flash in this tutorial, but it’s more the combination of when and where I use various effects that give me the results on this image.  It’s a short tutorial, I hope you enjoy it.



Photoshop Tutorial – My Cousin Scott

2 01 2011


This is a photo I took on New Years Eve of my cousin Scott.  A cool dude by any measure, and somebody who was keen to see what I get up to when I do my sunrise shoots.  So I planned an environmental portrait that I wanted to make for him as a present.  This tutorial will show you the rather stylistic processing approach that I took to create this image.  I hope you enjoy it.  If you have any questions, post a comment on this blog and I’ll respond.

Happy New Year



Funny How Thing Work Out Sometimes…

30 12 2010

Often when I go scouting I don’t take a camera along with me, or else I’ll just take a pocket camera with me (or iPhone).  However when I went scouting on Tuesday to the rock shelf on the Southern side of Avoca Beach, I knew there were photo opportunities there because I have walked the shelf before.  So I decided to take my “big camera” along with filter belt and tripod.

The weather was overcast which made the lighting quite flat.  When I got to the spot that I wanted to photograph, I composed the shots I was thinking of, and used filters to slow down my shutter speed.  For the shot that you see here, I used my 10 stop B&W filter to allow me to shoot with 30sec shutter durations even at 3PM.  Later on I used 3 filters (3stop Grad ND, 3 stop ND and Polariser) which allowed me to shoot waves with a 1-2 sec shutter duration even in mid afternoon.

I was pretty happy with my shots and looking forward to dawn on Wednesday when I would go for my “keepers”, but as it turns out it was a glarey “blah” sunrise and I wasn’t at all happy with the shots that I got. So I ended up processing up my scouting shot.

The original raw files- Top=Scouting trip, Bottom=Sunrise

You can see the dramatic differences in the lighting in the two RAW images above.  The top image was the shot from the scouting trip on Tuesday @ 3PM taken during overcast skies.  The bottom image was taken at about 5AM on Wednesday with a BLAH sunrise.

For those interested in my post processing it included

  1. Colour correction to fix the colour cast introduced by the 10 stop filter
  2. High contrast b&w layer blended in multiply mode to get dark dramatic water
  3. Used Nik Color Effex “Brilliance and Warmth” filter to warm up the rocks
  4. A bit of “Freaky detail” on foreground rocks
  5. Desaturating image using Joselph Holmes colour variants
  6. Some dodge/burn and darkening curves
  7. Vignette.

I guess the lesson in all this is… if the light is good, then scout with your “real camera” and filters.

Happy New Year


Sick with a mancold – Another Tutorial

17 11 2010

OK, I’m home sick today with a man cold.  I still don’t know why women don’t fully understand the seriousness of man colds!!! I’m not getting any sympathy.  Anyway, with some spare time on my hands I thought I’d do another tutorial.  I processed the above image yesterday.  The reason that I am doing a tutorial on it is because I had to use a number of methods to get the detail and drama into the water.  You can see from the original file (bottom) there wasn’t much detail in the highlights,  I had to coax the detail out in post processing.

I hope you enjoy it.