Category Archives: LandscapePro

Create Stunning Black and White Landscapes with LandscapePro 2

before and after smallCreating beautiful black and white landscapes is super easy with LandscapePro, check out the tutorial below.Untitled-1Open the photo in LandscapePro.Untitled-2  Label the photo, you only need to label things once.

Click the Continue button when finished.Untitled-3The software does a great job of identifying marking up the image.4 All that needs to be done is to click the Smart Brush button on the left and go along to horizon line where the sand meets the sky. The Smart Brush correctly identifies the areas.

Click Continue when finished, then adjust the Horizon Line is needed and click Continue again.Untitled-4 Under the Tab Global Presets, click on Black and White 2.Untitled-5 Next under the Whole Picture Tab click Desaturate and Contrast, adjusting the slider as needed.Untitled-6Under the Sand Tab click Improver and leave the slider all the way up.Untitled-16Now going back and tweaking the image click on the Depth tab and click on the Subtle preset, lowering the slider down to about a third.

Now all that’s left to do is save your image.

sand dunesDownload your free trial now!

Safari Tips

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Trying to take amazing images when on a safari can be really tricky but here are a few tips to help you get the best out of your safari:

  • Look through all the different safari tours on offer to make sure that you get the right one for you.
  • Be patient, you will have to wait to get the photo you want.
  • Get as close as you can before zooming in on your lens. The closer you get the crisper the image will be.
  • Fast shutter speed is critical so you don’t miss anything, have a higher shutter speed in between shooting animals to make sure you capture any sudden movements.
  • If possible try to get the animals looking straight at you, it makes the photo much stronger.
  • Lighting, this is critical to a good picture, let your driver know the lighting you need as this can’t be changed in Post Processing.
  • High speed memory cards, spare batteries and cleaning stuff for your lens and camera (safari can be dusty!)

Post Processing with LandscapePro  couldn’t be easier, check out this tutorial to see how quick it is.

Download your free trial now!

Getting that Perfect Sky

The sky is a massive part to any great landscape, a grey sky will lower the effect of the whole landscape.

A few tips to remember when shooting landscapes:

  • White Balance – correct for the type of weather
  • Shot in RAW if possible
  • Timing – right time of day and good weather
  • Equipment – Camera gear, Tripod and spare batteries

Sadly we don’t always time for the right weather to get that great sky. Well LandscapePro can help with that. Our sky replacement couldn’t be easier, check out the tutorial below.

Untitled-1Open your image up in LandscapePro.Untitled-2 Label your photo with the Labels on the left and click Continue.Untitled-3The software with mask the area, though you might need to change this a little with the Pull and Smart Brush tool on the left.

Once you are happy with the masking click Continue.Untitled-4Click on the Sky tab, scroll through the sky’s and click on ones you like.Untitled-5The sky is completely replaced with the new sky, this sky is called Noon 4.Untitled-6Now click on the Whole Picture tab, chose the Sharp preset and lower down the slider on it to about 1/3 on.Untitled-7The last step now is to improve the water slightly, play around with all the presets adjusting their sliders to find out what is best for your photo, this is Improver about half way.before and afterClick on image above to see the massive improvement a good sky can have on a photo.

Download your free trial now!

 

Perfecting Your Storm Photography

Weather photography can look breath taking and astonishing, this is through post processing is where you really bring the picture to life.

Here are a few things to bare in mind when shooting a storm:

  • Pack light
  • Stay safe
  • Shoot in RAW
  • Use a tripod
  • Use a filter, to protect the lens UV is a good one to use for this

Check out the tutorial below to see the amazing results that LandscapePro can have on your weather photographs.

before and afterClick to see the dramatic difference.Untitled-1Open your image up in LandscapePro and mark up your image then click on Continue, the software will identifying everything but you will need to just refine the areas using the pull and soften tools to get the best results.Untitled-2Under the Global Presets Tab chose the the Focus Preset lowering the slider down quite low.Untitled-3Now under the Whole Picture Tab click the Contrast Preset, once again lowering down the slider to low.Untitled-4  For the Sky Tab, click over to the Sliders Tab as we don’t want to replace the sky.

Turn off the separate clouds from the atmosphere (look closely at your clouds to see if it looks better on or off).

Turn up the Dehaze slider just slightly and for the Contrast turn it up about half way (though keep an eye on your clouds).Untitled-5Under the Grass Tab select the Lush Preset and turn it down to about 1/3 on.Untitled-6For Lighting, play around and see what works best for your picture you can move the Black Sun around the screen.

Low Preset works best for this image.

Now all that is left to do is save your image.shutterstock_657822304lpsmall

Download the free trail of LandscapePro 2 now to perfect your Storm photographs!

 

Capturing Animals in Motion

Animals in motion always look amazing in magazines with the colors popping out of the page but if your photos don’t live up to this, don’t worry just follow these tips and tutorial to get your images looking magazine ready.

  • Keep your shutter speed really higher, to make sure your images don’t come out blurry.
  • Know your camera, this may sound simple but makes all the difference.
  • Don’t try to have the perfect framed photo, this can be done in post processing, it is more important to get the image. Don’t zoom in too close, you might cut out part of your image, but you need to zoom in so your animal appears sharp enough.
  • Use a Tripod or rest your camera on a flat surface to prevent any camera shake.
  • Use continuous focus mode on your camera, so your image stays in focus.
  • Shoot in Shutter propriety mode.
  • Shoot in continuous mode.

Check out the tutorial below to  get the colors to really stand out in you photographs.

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Open your image up in LandscapePro.Untitled-2

Label your image then click Continue.

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The software does a reasonably good job of identifying what is what. But you will just need to correct and refine it using the Pull tool, in order to get the best results.

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Once you have finished, click on the Soften button on the left and go over the edges of the fur, this softens the edges where the animal meets the background that helps when applying presets to the image.Untitled-6

Click Continue, next comes up marking where the horizon is, if like mine you don’t have one, just click Continue again.Untitled-7

Click on Global Presets tab, select the preset called Improver, lower the slider until you think it looks it’s best. Untitled-9

Next click on the Animal Tab and scroll down to the Preset called Improver, lower the slider down to near the bottom.Untitled-10

Click the Ground Tab and chose the Preset Warm and adjust the slider accordingly.Untitled-12

The last step is to go to Depth and select the Preset Subtle and lower the slider quite far down.before and afterClick on the image to see bigger.

This was super easy to really big out the colors in your image and give it that great look.

Download your free trial now!

 

Interview with a Pro – Blake Verdoorn

Canadian Lake Small Canadian Lake – Blake Verdoorn

If you saw our recent LandscapePro 2 tutorial, you’ll already be aware of the work of up-and-coming landscape photographer, Blake Verdoorn.

At only 23 years old, his work has already been published by National Geographic Travel, Photographer’s Forum, and many more. We were thrilled to get an interview with Blake to learn more about his experiences and ambitions…

How old were you when you got into photography?

I picked up my first camera about 3 years ago when I traveled to Alaska with my Grandfather. My parents wanted me to bring a camera along so I could document the trip. At the time, I thought nothing of it. Nor did I have any experience or knowledge of photography. I remember coming home and really being taken back by the images I had captured. Again, I knew nothing about composition, DoF, etc., but something about those images resonated with me. They still do. Fast-forward a year, I decided to buy my first camera. I was 21. I’m 23 now and it has been one heck a ride since that decision.

What inspired you to start?

I have always had a deep passion for the outdoors. Living in Dallas, Texas, it’s always incredibly special to get the opportunity to venture out and experience this beautiful world. After come back from Alaska, looking through the images from the trip, something clicked. I remember sifting through landscape images from professional photographers after that trip thinking, “I want to be able to do that. I want to bring home stunning photographs like this”. So I began dedicating all of my time to learning. At the time, no one close to me was really understanding why or what I was doing. I don’t come from a necessarily artistic family, so to branch off and do something unique and different had friends and family questioning. They still are. I don’t think they’ll ever stop. I question myself too. It’s good. I reminds me that what I’m doing matters.

Big Bend SmallBig Bend River, Texas – Blake Verdoorn

You’ve traveled to some really amazing places and met people from different cultures, what has been your most inspiring experience so far?

I’ve got two really great experiences that I’ll never forget. In 2013, I had the opportunity to backpack Europe (I don’t have any photos from that trip because my camera was stolen). During that trip we met an Australian named Sam. She was staying at the same hostel in San Sebastian, Spain. Whenever we leave for these big trips, about to meet people from all over the world, you develop this idea that these people are somehow vastly different from you because they grew up on the other side of the world. I remember going to dinner with her and the group of friends I was with and talking, getting to know each other. It was there that I realized she was no different than us. We had the same stories of love, hurt, triumph, sadness, loneliness, fears etc. We grew up listening to the same music, playing the same sports and going through similar motions as kids and students. So here five guys were, from Dallas, Texas, laughing and sharing about the complexities of life with a girl from Sydney, Australia, in San Sebastian, Spain. It was an incredibly beautiful and humanizing experience.

Secondly, was about a year ago when I was photographing in New Zealand. My cousin and I had taken a gondola to the top of a mountain in Queenstown to photograph the sunset. Up top was another group of photographers doing the same thing. Max and Sam (different Sam) were both from Germany, touring the South Island on a photo expedition. Similar to Spain, we began talking and getting to know each other. This time, it was much more about the photography community. We were talking gear, styles, techniques, software; we talked about the frustrations and inspirations of photography, but mostly about the joy it brings us in our lives. Again, it made the world feel very small. The same idea in Spain, that people, with seemingly vast differences, can come together so quickly over shared passions and a love for beautiful images. The world of photography is massive, but instances like this make you feel like the community is much tighter knit than we think it is.

In meeting with people from all around the world and hearing their stories about upbringings,  their dreams, fears, and emotions, I’ve found that we are all much more similar than we thought we are—sometimes scarily similar. If you just take the time to get to know someone, you’ll find that everyone is the same.

Which image are you most proud of? Which means the most to you?

I’m most proud of a shot that I took when hiking through Glacier National Park in Montana. This particular shot has won a couple awards and has been published in a couple of photography books. We had decided to do a hike called Scenic Point. It was a high-elevation hike up the mountains that overlooks Two Medicine Lake. We knew we didn’t have a lot of time so we hurried to the peak. The sun began to set on our way down and we were met with a breathtaking orange and red sky that was reflecting off the lake way below us. It was an absolutely stunning view.

Glacier NP SmallTwo Medicine Lake – Blake Verdoorn

An image that I took of my friends outside of Monument Valley means the most to me, simply because it captures my friends so well. We wanted to remake the scene from Forrest Gump when he is running and finally decides to turn around. That scene was filmed at mile-marker 13 driving towards Monument Valley from Utah. So we got out of our cars, pitched our most bearded, Tom-Hanks-esque, friend to play Forrest and the rest of the friends were his herd of followers. It’s significance is a deeply personal one. It’s a great reminder of those guys, how much they mean to me, and the fun we have had together travelling the world.

What would you say is the hardest part of landscape photography?
What is the greatest reward?

Landscape photography, like any genre of photography really, is its own monster. There are so many things that are specific to landscape photography that don’t really have to do with any other genre. Lens selection, composition, light type and availability, etc. Sometimes it gets a bad reputation because anyone can travel to Alaska or Yosemite and take a pretty picture. There is no denying that one. However, you can always tell the difference between someone who takes a picture of Yosemite Valley and someone who photographs Yosemite Valley. The hardest part specifically is really just the getting there. More often than not, you have to totally beat yourself up to get a shot. Whether that is a sunrise you don’t want to wake up for, or a hike that is a little too difficult (especially with 10 extra pounds of photo equipment). What really great landscape photography takes is a whole bunch of extra time. A lot of these professional landscape photographers will wait for hours for the right light and the right conditions. Most of the time, I don’t have that kind of time. So it requires much more inventive ways to get great shots. The second hardest part is simply the money. Landscape photography (with exception) has little money to be made. Unfortunately, that is just the truth. If you want to make a living off of landscape (which I don’t), good luck and let me know how you did it because I’m still trying to find out.

The greatest reward is when you just beat yourself up to get to where you want to be, and you look at that tiny little screen on the back of your camera and you think, “yes”. There is always this feeling of certainty once you get the shot. With all the unknowns that lead up to getting the shot, it’s great to be able to look at your result and think, “wow, this is gorgeous”. I always make sure to get my shot in camera, then take a mental shot for the memory. I always hate when I return home and realize I was so busy shooting I forgot to look at my subject with my actual eyes…

It isn’t always a “yes, this is the shot” type moment though. I have plenty of shots where I went home thinking I didn’t have anything only to find a image that is breathtaking. Those are equally as rewarding. They are like little surprises just waiting to be unveiled.

You photograph landscapes but also portraits and wedding photography, what different approaches do you have to take to these different genres?

The biggest difference is lens selection. I would never shoot a landscape with a 35 or 50 mm f/1.4 lens. I suppose you could. And you would probably get great results. But it’s just not practical. My only overlap in lens selection is the 70-200. I love shooting landscapes at 200mm. When you compose it right, you get this dramatic compression that makes mountains tower over you foreground. To me, that is so much more majestic than shrimpy little mountains in the background of a wide-angle shot.

Mountain Tops - RMNP smallRocky Mountain National Park – Blake Verdoorn

The other difference is paying attention to light. The way I look at light is significantly different in weddings and portrait than in landscapes. When I’m photographing people my only thought is, “find soft light”. When shooting landscape, there isn’t much you can do to control your subject and the light that shines upon it. Obviously changing the time of day changes the light on a mountain. But if I’m hiking and shooting at the same time and limited by my time in a park, my only control is how I compose. So I try and find interesting foregrounds, natural frames, leading lines, etc. to dominate the image rather than beautiful light. If I have the chance to photography a landscape in beautiful light, then great! The perfect storm! But like I said, that isn’t always the case though. My three main landscape lenses are: 24-120 f/4, 70-200 f/2.8, and 15-30 f/2.8

If you could travel to anywhere in the world for a photo-shoot, where would you go?

As cliché as it sounds (and I hate that it’s even cliché), it’s Iceland. I have been trying to get there for four years now and have yet to have the opportunity. It’s driving me crazy. There is some much wild, untamed and forceful beauty there. It’s somewhat of a bummer that it is kinda photographed out. But that doesn’t deter me. I don’t care.

I would love to go back to Africa for a safari. I was there when I was a child and remember being blown away by a photographer’s images of the animals that we were getting to see. I’d love to go back with a monster lens and have a blast shooting those other-wordly animals.

Where do you see yourself in 10 years time?

I am getting ready to go to graduate school to study Journalism and Advertising. I really hope to get more into videography and filmmaking and start shooting documentary.

The greatest think that I am lacking right now is a cause. I shoot because I enjoy shooting. There is nothing wrong with that, but I want my images to stand for something. I want people to see my work and think, “that is more than just a pretty picture that’s the voice of (insert cause here)”. So that’s what I hope. I feel like I have “found my calling” in photography, but I need to find my calling within my calling if you will.

I hope to be running a production company one day. I think it will happen. I just need to be patient. I have plenty of time. I hope to be married, probably have kids. Own a house. Make more money than what I do now. Have some resemblance of a stable life. I need to add that in-case my family reads this.

If you could give one piece of advice to someone looking to start photographing landscapes, what would it be?

Invest in good equipment. Good equipment and good lenses make a big difference. While I am a proponent of “it’s not the camera, it’s the camera-man”, there is also “it’s kinda also about the camera”. I will get better results with some primo glass on a full-frame camera than if I shoot on a entry-level kit lens and crop sensor (that being said, my favorite shots were shot on a kit lens, entry level camera, so I just debunked my own point).

Shoot all the time. Even it’s it’s not landscape. The reason I started shooting weddings and portraits was because I loved to shoot but couldn’t shoot landscape all the time. So I filled my time with other stuff I could shoot. The more you shoot the better you’ll get. Just like everything else in life.

Don’t expect to make any money off of landscape shots. I have yet to make a dime off of any of my landscapes. There are people all over the world making a living off of landscapes but it’s really hard and really competitive. So if you love traveling and love photographing, than make it a personal quest to get better. Who knows where it will lead you.

Lastly, have fun. If you’re beating yourself up because your images aren’t as good as professionals, than you take the fun out of it. Use professionals as inspiration and motivation to get better, but don’t get down because your images don’t look like theirs.

Thank you Blake for taking the time to talk to us. You can follow Blake’s adventures and see more of his work on his website and via Unsplash.

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.

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.

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.

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.

 

tiger 1

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.