Profile cover photo
Profile photo
Viktor Elizarov
50,435 followers -
Travel photographer and multimedia designer from Montreal, Canada
Travel photographer and multimedia designer from Montreal, Canada

50,435 followers
About
Viktor's posts

Post has attachment
Exposure Triangle: Making Sense of Aperture, Shutter Speed & ISO

Post has attachment
Camel Butte in Monument Valley (Arizona)
The Camel Butte is one of the signature landmarks of the Monument Valley. It was very high on my to-do list during my first visit to the region.

When I approached the GPS coordinates of the Camel Butte I was a bit confused because I could not find it at first. The famous formation was completely covered by the combination of the low, dark clouds and the fog making it invisible even from the distance of a couple of hundred meters. It also rained hard.

What I learned from my previous visits to the Southwest that in the middle of the spring the weather is unpredictable and it changes constantly. I decided to take a pause.

I did not have to wait for a long time. By the end of my 20 minutes lunch break inside the car, the storm was gone and the sun was back illuminating the rocks with the soft light.

http://buff.ly/2nbjjXW
Photo

Post has attachment
Sunrise Over South Shore of O’ahu (Hawaii)
Check how photo looked straight from the camera, how it was taken and processed:
http://www.phototraces.com/deconstructing-photo/sunrise-over-south-shore-of-oahu-hawaii/

I took the featured photo from Makapu’u Point Lighthouse Trail on O’ahu island of Hawaii. The trail is probably the most rewarding location with the regards to photography.

When you start the trail this is the panorama you get to witness; the south shore of the island with the breathtaking views of Koko Head Mountain and famous Sandy Beach where I almost broke my back while learning bodyboarding.

After the trail takes left turn, all you see is the open ocean with the silhouette of neighboring Moloka’i Island on the horizon and the large number of migrating whales between two islands.

And when you reach the top of the trail you will be exposed to the amazing views of the eastern shore of O’ahu with Waimanalo Beach underneath you and Kailua and Olomana peak at the distance.

SHOOTING AND PROCESSING

I only used single RAW image to process this photo. 90% of the processing was done in Lightroom. I used Graduated Filter to emphasize the sunrise colors in the sky.

For the processing, I used a Lightroom preset based workflow, using Shark Cove present from my Landscapes Collection.

Do not forget to download my FREE Lightroom Presets: http://www.phototraces.com/lightroom/free-lightroom-presets 
Photo

Post has attachment
Zion Canyon Overlook Trail (Utah)
Check how photo looked straight from the camera, how it was taken and processed:
http://www.phototraces.com/deconstructing-photo/zion-canyon-overlook-trail-utah/

HDR Processed: Lightroom, Photomatix, Photoshop
Bracketing: 7 shots (-3; -2; -1; 0, +1; +2; +3)

I find that Zion National Park is the most challenging place to photograph among all canyon locations I visited during my travel photography driving trip through Arizona, Utah, Nevada, California.

Let me explain. Zion was my last canyon stop before driving to the deserts of Nevada. At that point, I was used to hiking or driving at the top rims of the canyons with the plane view in front and below me. It was always easy to find something interesting to photograph with multiple options for good compositions.

Zion is different. It is very narrow and you drive at the bottom of the canyon, and in most of the cases, you have to shoot up. I realized that even with my widest 10mm lens was not wide enough to fit everything I wanted to include in my composition. The tall trees were always in my way. The only solution was to hike up to the observation point and get a better view.

The featured photo is from the Canyon Overlook Trail. I find this location to be the most accessible (20min short and easy hike) with the observation point at the edge of a cliff and a breathtaking view of lower Zion Canyon. 
Photo

Post has attachment
Sunrise at Hanauma Bay Rim Trail (Hawaii)
Check how photo looked straight from the camera, how it was taken and processed:
http://www.phototraces.com/deconstructing-photo/sunrise-at-hanauma-bay-rim-trail-hawaii/

I took this photo while visiting Hawaii for the first time. The highlight of the trip was early morning hike along the Hanauma Bay Rim Trail on O’ahu Island.

It was a beautiful and warm morning but when I reached the top of the crater the wind became extremely strong and gusty. I had to hold my tripod with the both hands to minimize the camera shakes and to prevent it from flying away.

SHOOTING

The light of the scene was very dynamic with the bright sun and the dark shadows. I knew from the beginning that in order for me to pull this shot I had to shoot for HDR. I took 3 bracketed shots with 2EV intervals (-2, 0, +2) plus I used exposure compensation -1EV so the actual exposure values of the shots were -3, -1, +1.

PROCESSING

I keep experimenting with my editing workflow trying to streamline it and make it more efficient.

For today’s shot, I decided to stay away from pure Natural Look. I wanted to try something more creative and maybe even edgy.

First, I merged 3 bracketed shots for HDR using new Lightroom Merge tool. I outlined this technique in my latest tutorial “Lightroom HDR – Natural Looking HDR In Lightroom”.

After I produced HDR image I used a Lightroom preset based editing.

I started applying different presets from my Landscape Collection to HDR image. I selected the following looks that I liked the best: Brocken Clouds, Skyshine, Clock Tower and Tropical Morning.

After I played with ToolKit adjustments and compared 4 version again, the obvious winner was Broken Clouds look. 
Photo

Post has attachment
Walking at the Bottom of the Sea (New Brunswick)
Check how photo looked straight from the camera, how it was taken and processed
http://www.phototraces.com/deconstructing-photo/walking-at-the-bottom-of-the-sea-new-brunswick/

This is another shot from my trip to Atlantic Canada when I visited one of the most amazing places in the world, the Hopewell Rocks. Once again, during the low tide hours, I got to walk at the bottom of the sea. The tide fluctuation riches 14 meters vertically, making it the place of the highest tides in the world.

At the time when I took the featured shot, the water was not completely gone, making the beach muddy and wet.

SHOOTING & PROCESSING

In the summer months, the Hopewell Rocks can be extremely crowded making it a very challenging place to photograph. This time I was lucky, there were only a few people on the beach and I knew I could easily mask them in Photoshop later.

I took 3 bracketed shots on a tripod but used only middle exposure for editing.

I used Lightroom Rapid Editing for Landscapes, applying Point Lobos preset first from Landscape Collection and then used TOOLKIT adjustments.

Lightroom Editing Formula: Point Lobos (5, 9, 21, 31, 40) 
Photo

Post has attachment
Snow Ride on Saint-Paul Street in Old Montreal
Check how photo looked straight from the camera, how it was taken and processed:
http://www.phototraces.com/deconstructing-photo/happy-new-year-from-montreal/

My original plan was to post new photo which reflects 2014 holiday season but it was not easy to do. Here in Montreal, we were on track to have amazing white holidays but heavy rain melted all snow just hours before Christmas. Now, the winter is back with the very cold temperature but there is still no snow. It does not look pretty.

This photo I took a few years back in the heart of Old Montreal on Saint-Paul street. I processed it for HDR using Photoshop HDR Pro with the goal to achieve natural looking image. 
Photo

Post has attachment
Ragged Point’s Cypress Tree (California)
Check how photo looked straight from the camera, how it was taken and processed:
http://www.phototraces.com/deconstructing-photo/ragged-points-cypress-tree-california/

HDR Processed: Lightroom, Photomatix, Photoshop
Bracketing: 5 shots (-2; -1, 0, +1, +2) 
Photo

Post has attachment
Cows at Point Sur Lightstation (California)
Check how photo looked straight from the camera, how it was taken and processed:
http://www.phototraces.com/deconstructing-photo/cows-at-point-sur-lightstation-california/

SHOOTING + PROCESSING

If you follow my blog you probably know that a few months ago I switched from Canon DSLR to Sony Mirrorless. And now I am starting to see the unexpected consequences of the switch, I am starting to see how it is changing the way I process my photos.

When I switched from Canon 60D to Sony A6000 I did not pay much attention that I was getting much bigger sensor (24Mp) since I was very content with Canon’s 16Mp. What I am starting to see is that new generation 24Mp sensor in combination with high quality lenses from Sony and Zeiss resolves insane amount of details, produces images with wider dynamic range and collects much more information from the scene.

I can see that in many situations I do not have to use HDR processing anymore, I can use a single RAW in Lightroom and achieve the same result in.

This is exactly what happened with featured photo. I took 3 bracketed shots, planning to merge them to HDR in Photoshop HDR Pro, but after analyzing RAW files I realized that I could easily bypass HDR processing without sacrificing any quality.

I started the processing in Lightroom by applying Gentle Wave Preset from my Free Lightroom Preset Collection (http://www.phototraces.com/lightroom/free-lightroom-presets/) and after fine tuning it I applied final touches and noise reduction in Photoshop.

Check Before&After widget below the featured image to see how much details I managed to retrieve from underexposed areas of the original image. 
Photo

Post has attachment
Sunset Ride Under the Golden Gate Bridge (California)
Check how photo looked straight from the camera, how it was taken and processed
http://www.phototraces.com/deconstructing-photo/sunset-ride-under-the-golden-gate-bridge-california/

After visiting San Franciso on 8-10 occasions, I was finally rewarded with the perfect sunset with the clear sky and warm colors.

The Hawk Hill offers of the most spectacular and breathtaking view on San Francisco and the Golden Gate Bridge. The only problem is the weather which is very unpredictable. There is no way to predict what to expect at sunset hours on any given day. All you can do is to visit it as often as possible with the hope that theory of probability will kick in at some point.

SHOOTING & PROCESSING

I took 3 bracketed shots on a tripod but used only middle exposure for editing.

I used Lightroom Rapid Editing for Landscapes, applying Golden Gate preset first from Landscape Collection and then used TOOLKIT adjustments.

Lightroom Editing Formula: Golden Gate (8, 17, 22, 34) 
Photo
Wait while more posts are being loaded