LandscapePro 2 Tutorial – Sky Reflections

This week we’ll be looking at one of our other products, LandscapePro 2.

LandscapePro is an intelligent, easy-to-use and powerful tool for outdoor photographers. Whether you’re looking for simple color corrections or total transformations, LandscapePro puts dozens of intelligent controls at your fingertips.
To join in with the tutorial, download the free trial and head on over to Unsplash and download the example image. This image is provided by landscape and wedding photographer Blake Verdoorn. We’re hoping to score an interview with him in the next few weeks so look out for that in an upcoming post!

Don’t forget to share your results with us via our Facebook page.
If you have any questions or need assistance, our customer support team will be happy to help.

Want to Specialize in Wedding Photography?

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It is wedding season once again and if you are thinking about specializing in wedding photography now is the time to start. Here are a few things to keep in mind:

When putting together your portfolio, only include weddings, yes you might have some other amazing shots but they won’t interest your prospective clients, and it reinforces the point that you specialize in weddings.

As a specialist, your prices will/can increase, to decide on your price have a look around at what other specialist wedding photographers charge and also what you think you are worth.

Going the extra mile – As a specialist you should really go that extra mile and make them feel special. Gifting the couple a free extra (such as a photo book or big canvas/print) when handing over their photos, makes their experience with you that much better. This will mean they will keep you in mind for anniversary photos and recommend you to people. Obviously this will be reflected in your pricing if you feel you an charge enough in your local area.

Creative shots  – Think/do a few creative shots that will really work and show the couples personality, the more you do the more knowledge you will get and knowing what will and won’t work. A little different from the usual wedding photos.

Marketing – This is key to growing your business, try to set aside some time every week to work on marketing.

Plan out – Plan ahead what shots you want to take, keep an eye on the weather forecast, know where you are shooting, visit before the wedding or if you can’t look online at photos and see what is around, bear in might what the couple want, they might have some clear ideas of what they want, do theirs but also some of your own.

Candid photographs – Only show the couple the good ones. Naturally happy and smiley, don’t just shot the ceremony, shot the bride getting ready, waiting at the altar, literally everything you think will give the couple that little bit extra and make it that more special when they get their photos.

Turn over time – When telling them how long until the photos are ready for them, don’t underestimate, there is nothing more annoying, give yourself plenty of time so you will be done early and they will see it as a nice surprise and feel valued.

Back Up your photos – I’m sure this goes without saying but back up your photos on the wedding day and on your finished images.

Post processing – Do not show any photos until you have edited them, this might seem like an easy one but the couple will be eagerly awaiting the images they might ask to see the unedited so they know what there is. It is best to make them wait for the perfect images.

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PortraitPro and PortraitPro Body is a perfect companion for you, try out a free trial now to make the Bride and Groom look their very best.

1940s Glamorous Photo Shoot Post Processing

Doing decades photo shoots can be really fun and glamorous and with PortraitPro you can make your images look even better within minutes.

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Open your image in PortraitPro, the software will identity the face and have a pretty accurate mark up,  You can move the mark up dots to make it as accurate as possible to get the best results.

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Once you have adjusted the mark up, chose the Preset Glamorous on the top of the right hand side. This does most of the work for you, leaving you to just make your own personal preference tweaks to the images.

unsharpen the eyes a little bit

I reduce the sharpness of the eyes a very small amount.

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I also change the color of lipstick, red was a very popular color for lipstick in the 1940s, but due to the softness of my image due to her outfit I have gone for a pink color instead.

Simply chose your preference shade for the selection, it is important to make sure your lips are marked up accurately, it is simply if they aren’t quite right. You can change the mark up on the left hand image at any time.

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Next I change the color of the hair, as auburn hair was a popular color back then.

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To do this, under the hair settings, click the View/edit Hair Area button. All the hair should appear pink, go over any bits that aren’t selected and click OK.

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Click through all the hair colors selecting the colors, that you like before deciding on your final color.

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The last change that I make to the image is under Picture Controls, I move the  Vibrance slider up to full on this setting, this make the colors move in line with what you would get in the 1940s.

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This took hardly anytime and you can really see the improvement in the image, and with Studio Max you can batch process them to save even more time.

To try this out for yourself, download a free trial of PortraitPro now.

Smart Photo Editor Transformations

You can completely transform your images with Smart Photo Editor, here are some ideas of the transformations you can make, with links to the tutorials.

ballet before and afterBallet Dancer

Untitled-11Changing the background to black and white.

double exposure before and afterDouble Exposure

bear before and afterTriple Exposure and Mirror Effect

rhino before and afterBlack and White Wildlife 

polariod before and afterPolaroid

elephant before and afterWatercolor

org all threeSharpen 

Click here to download a free trial of Smart Photo Editor, to try this tutorials out for yourself.

Travel Photography 101: Everything You Need to Know

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Travel Photography sounds wonderful but there’s a fair bit to it, here are a few tips, equipment list suggestion and how to make money for Travel Photography.

Tips

Research – Look up where you are going, what is around and put together a list of places that you want to photograph. Be selective so you can spend a fair amount of time in each location to get the best shots possible.

Know your gear – Whether you are buying new gear or not, a little before you go, it is a good idea to have a play around a week or two before you go away. Just to refresh your memory.

Get up early/stay up late – In order to catch the best shots, sunrise and sunset usually are the best time to photograph, so take this into consideration when planning your shots.

Picking the right accommodation – Choosing the right location for accommodation is really important. Be close to where you want to shot.

Get inspired – Look at other photographers photographs of where you are going, to help you decide what locations you want to go to and to be inspired. Ask them where the photo was taken if it isn’t written anywhere.

Experience their culture – Whilst travelling try to immerse in their culture as much as possible – food, music and local markets, etc.

Travel light – Try to travel as light as possible, don’t load yourself down by trying to take every camera and lens you own with you, just take a main lens and one to zoom, especially if you are going trekking or hiking. You don’t want to be too loaded down.

Be selective of where you are visiting – Don’t try and squeeze absolutely every location there is to visit, pick your favorite and spend more time there taking pictures, rather than rushing around trying to capture everything.

Don’t always be behind your lens – Experience where you are rather than constantly being behind your camera.

High angle shot – Try to find somewhere to take a good birds eye shot.

Your camera doesn’t have to break the bank – Don’t feel the need to go out and buy a brand new top end camera for your trip, you can get great shots on the camera you already have.

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Equipment

  •  Camera body
  •  Backpack – One opens from the back, makes it safer and a lot of secure. Have it organised, using pouches is a good idea making being able to find things quickly.
  • Spare batteries – It’s a good idea to have at least one spare batteries in your backpack.
  • Lenses – only need one of two lenses.
  • Small Camera/Action Camera – Having an action camera/small camera to take quick photos. Action cameras can have window mounts and you can film travelling on train or car.
  • Back Up/Laptop – Backing up your images is super important, save at least one place if not two.
  • Portable Charger – To Keep your phone charged, they also work on charging some cameras as well, so check to see if it will work on yours.
  • Shoulder Strap/Camera Clip – Keeping your camera ready to go at all times.
  • Tripod
  • Camera Filters – Just like with lenses only take one or two.
  • Lenses cleaner
  • Mini Torch
  • Camera Remote

 

Settings for Camera When Moving

When travelling in a moving car/helicopter a good camera settings are:

Manual Mode

Shutter Speed – 1/1000 + (higher for  helicopter)

Aperture – wide depth of field f/8-11

ISO Auto mode

For in a car have the window open.

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Making Money as a Travel Photographer

Making money as a travel photographer can be a slow starter, as you already need to have a portfolio. Speculative or commission based are your two options.

Speculative is where you go to a location first then afterwards try to sell your images, either as stock images, prints or to advertising. This will mean you aren’t guaranteed to make back any money from your trips, so only plan to go to places you would go anyway.

Commission based is going somewhere you already know you will be paid some money for whether you were commissioned by an advertising firm or if you had contacted the tourism board/ local hotels and have an agreement, this will most likely not be the entire cost of your trip but could be a fee or free accommodation in exchange for your images to be used for their advertising.

Website

To be able to make it as a Travel Photographer you need a website and an Instagram account. Instagram account is becoming more and more the source that agencies and clients will go to first before your website, so both need to be uniform and relate to each other. This is your brand and you want one clear image of who you are to come across.

Post Processing

Don’t forget to edit your photos, to make your image look their very best. LandscapePro is great for editing your travel photos quickly, click here to download a free trial.

Becoming a Full-Time Photographer

smallBecoming a full time photographer is a big step to make, you aren’t just becoming a professional photographer but you are also running your own business, meaning your aim is to be profitable and make money.

Here are a few tips to keep your business moving:

Budgeting – This is so key, as if you don’t do this properly, your business won’t succeed. You need to know how much you have to make to meet your current living costs and set aside a little money every month to cover taxes, and also incase any of your equipment breaks and you need to replace.

Prioritizing your time – You are a lot more productive if you have even a rough schedule of what you want to have done each day.

Setting your rates – It can be hard trying to think of what you think you are worth, but it is important not to under sell yourself and you need to earn enough to live off of, also don’t calculate what to charge by assuming you will be fully booked. Base it on what you need, what you think you are worth and in comparison to other local photographers.

Setting aside time to keep your business finance side of things in order – This is the least interesting part of your business, but it is essential that it is not forgotten about. A few hours per week is better than nothing.

Keep building up your client base – you may be busy now but you still need to bring in more clients to make sure you are always busy.

Marketing/Networking – You need people to remember you, as well as bringing in new clients. Sending emails every now and then is helpful, every month or so it makes sure your past clients and people who were interested don’t just forget about you. Too many emails will annoy people and have the opposite effect.

Keep/ get an organiser – This is a great way to keep all the business side of things together in one place.

Appointments book – so you don’t double book, you might think that this is an easy one and it won’t happen to you but it’s easy to forget and write down on scraps of paper that are lying around.

Keep all your receipts for equipment you buy, as these are business expenses so will be taken off money made for the amount of tax you need to pay, try to keep them in date order, but just having them all in one place is enough. If you lose a receipt you can’t claim it.

Insurance – Make sure to insurance your equipment.

Post processing – editing your images to make them look their best is very important, but it can take an age, but with our software (PortraitPro, PortraitPro Body, LandscapePro and Smart Photo Editor) is it really cuts the time you spend editing your photographs.

Good Luck!

 

Lillian Bassman Style Tutorial

Lillian Bassman was an amazing photographer, who shot Fashion photography for Harper’s Bazaar in a new and exciting way from the 1940’s all the way til the 1960’s. Her black and white images are striking, due to her developing techniques in the darkroom, using tools that included tissue paper, bleach and spatulas.

Open your image up and identify the gender.

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The software will mark up the face for you, but you can tweak it to make it exact.

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Under ‘Presets’, I chose ‘Full Lighting’, as it gives the face more of a glow.

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Under ‘Skin Smoothing Controls’, using ‘Master Fade’ to apply the changes to all areas, go quite high with the slider as image will be in black and white and this will help with the contrast.

Also I changed the around mouth in this section with this image, but this is just personal preference.

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If the lighting isn’t quite right you can change the direction that the light is coming from, we want the light hitting the front of the face, leaving a slight shade on the other side.

Under ‘Make up Controls’, I have added red lipstick, mascara, highlighter and blusher just a little, this is to create more of contrast when made black and white and makes her features stand out.

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The last change I make in PortraitPro is have the ‘Baby Skin’ slider all the way to the top, this makes the skin as smooth as possible. The facial features will now looks slightly blurred, don’t worry.

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I also crop the image slightly under ‘Picture Controls’. Save the image as a Jpeg/Tiff/Png and then open it up in Smart Photo Editor.

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In Smart Photo Editor the first thing I do is to apply a Black and White effect to the whole image. The effect I pick is called ‘Portrait’.

To do this, you click ‘Effects Gallery’ on the right hand side at the very top, then on the left hand side click ‘Color’>’Black and White’. Then pick with effect you like best.

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Blurring the background is the next step, click ‘Select Area’ button on the right hand side, click ‘Background’ and work your way around the person.

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When you have completely done around the person, click the ‘Bucket’ that appears to fill in the rest of the background.

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Now click the ‘Confirm Selection and Browse Effects’ button.

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We want a blurred background, there is a small search bar, just type in blur, the effect I picked is called ‘blur’. You can change the strength of the effect by moving the slider. Click ‘OK’ when you are happy.

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My image isn’t quite right, so going to crop the image again, click the ‘Crop’ button on the right hand side and resize your image.

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After Cropping the image I apply two effects to the whole image, firstly ‘Constrast f6′ followed by ‘Brighten faces 2b’.

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Now just save the image.

Finished image

This is the end result. With the background blurred and the facial features smoothed out, you can really see the effect the strong black and white colors have against each other.

To try this tutorial for yourself click here to buy PortraitPro and Smart Photo Editor, or download free trial of PortraitPro and Smart Photo Editor.

How to Improve Your Landscape Photographs

So you have taken your photos and are now back home looking through them. They are good but not exactly how you pictured them, slightly dull in color. This simple tutorial takes your photographs to that next stage in minutes using LandscapePro.

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After loading your image into LandscapePro, label everything in the picture and click continue.

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LandscapePro does a pretty good job and selecting the area for you but you will need to adjust the selection a little, simply click on a label and drag covering everything that is said object. Do this for each label.

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Once you have finished click on ‘Continue’.

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Now if you have a horizon in your picture you can match this up to it, then click ‘Continue’.

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There are now a row of tabs, the first is Global Presets tab, there are many choices, I chose ‘Improver’ for my photo.

Next I work way down one at a time, some I turned off as they didn’t need changing as I had already applied a preset to the whole image.

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Work your way through each section, one at a time. There are preset options or if you prefer you can click the sliders option and adjust everything yourself, or pick a preset and edit it if its not quite right for your photo.

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before and after

The photograph still looks recognizable, but vastly improved with the few changes made, that took a matter of minutes.

Click here to buy LandscapePro and download a free trial.

Posing Tips for Portraits

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Posing for portraits isn’t something I would call relaxing and as a photographer you want your clients to feel relaxed to get the best photos, so here are a few tips to help:

  • Try to build rapport with your clients, by asking them questions, keeping it light helps get that natural smile rather than a forced smile.
  • The background is important, if you are having a screen background, think about what color.
  • Instructing your clients where to put their hands really helps, as they always feel awkward when taking photographs, having a set place there to put them, helps the client relax.
  • Movement can be interesting in portrait photos, especially the hair can make a great image.
  • A 2/3rd turn is a very flattering position.
  • Don’t overdo the lighting as it can quickly go from being flattering to blinding, and your clients won’t feel relaxed with so much lighting pointed at them. Natural lighting is best, if possible.
  • People have a habit in photos to have their chin up too much, to get a good definition of the chin, your client should be looking at you, not down at the ground.
  • Guide your clients as to how to pose don’t say act natural with no directions, they aren’t models.
  • Clear communication is the most important thing to remember, you don’t want to confuse your client or getting them overthinking their poses.
  • Be happy and smile, you being in a good mood puts your client in a good mood.

I hope you found these useful, and don’t forget to try out PortraitPro, to give your portraits that extra wow factor.

How to Improve Your Wildlife Photos in Minutes

When you look through your photos, do you sometimes feel like you didn’t quite capture the true colors?

Animals are often one of these photos. Well here is a short tutorial on how to improve these photos, using LandscapePro and takes only minutes to do.

 

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Once you have opened LandscapePro and uploaded your photo, you get asked to label what is in your photo.

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After labeling the area, LandscapePro does a pretty good job and selecting the area for you but just need to go use the Pull tool and others on the left hand side to get this how you want, though you can come back and correct this later.

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The next step is choosing what to change first, for this I am going to be getting the animal (tiger) first, so click on the animal tab to get the sliders to show.

It’s really easy to adjust the appearance of the animal, its easy and quick, moving the sliders you seeing the change instantly. If you liked it best how it was originally just double click on the slider.

There is also Presets tab at the top where you opened the animal tab, click on this, there is a long list of different presetting you can apply to your picture rather than trying to get your desired outcome using the sliders.

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Next I click on the water tab, to change the settings, just a little bit.

After this you can change the picture as a whole, but if you have already edited all the image separately you don’t need to use this.

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The Tigers orange fur really stands out now in the finished photograph.

tiger before and after

To see just how dramatic the difference is, above is the before and after, side by side. This only took a few minutes to do!

Making your wildlife photos really stand out, download your free trial of LandscapePro today.

Check out this tutorial on black and white wildlife photography.