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Viktor Elizarov

Community Photo Critique  - 
 
The Very Best Of Photography Articles and Tutorials – July 2015
-> http://goo.gl/XC6BFp 
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Viktor Elizarov

Community Photo Critique  - 
 
Topaz Software Review – How I use Topaz Plugins
 
Full Review ---> http://goo.gl/lE7ptj 
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Viktor Elizarov

Community Photo Critique  - 
 
Sunset At South Shore of O’ahu (Hawaii)

Check how photo looked straight from the camera, how it was taken and processed: http://goo.gl/C0jqxA

I already featured photo I took almost from the exactly the same spot while visiting Hawaii. The big difference though between two shots is the photo below I took at the sunset and the previously published shot was taken at sunrise.

It is not often you came across the place which is perfect for both sunset and sunrise photography. Makapu’u Point Lighthouse Trail on the O’ahu island of Hawaii is one of those amazing spots.

SHOOTING

This is the extreme example of sunset photography. I was shooting directly into the sun, but it was already partly shielded by the Koko Head Mountain making the shadows of the scene very dark. The light of the scene was very dynamic. When I checked the dynamic range of the HDR image during the processing phase, the value was 19.3 stops.

Here are some dynamic range values for you to compare:

Scene: 19.3 stops
Human eye can see: up to 14 stops of light
Sony a6000 sensor: 11.4 stops
Computer monitor: 8 stops
The human eye is considered to be the best and the most sophisticated optical device, but even a human eye can not see the entire range of the light here.

This was the perfect scenario to use HDR photography and I took 3 bracketed shots with 2EV intervals (-2, 0, +2) on a tripod.

PROCESSING

I started with merging 3 bracketed shots for HDR using new Lightroom Merge tool. 

Later I moved to Rapid Lightroom Preset-Based Editing, applying End of Summer preset from Landscape Collection and adjusting the exposure (image was underexposed) with the ToolKit.

The Lightroom Preset Editing Formula: End of Summer (1, 20, 31, 34)

In Photoshop, besides regular editing (contrast, color correction, noise reduction), I spent at least 20min to clean up the scene with the Stamp Tool and to remove tree branches from the bottom left corner

Also, with the help of the Topaz Star Effects plugin, I emphasized the starburst effect of the sun and to add the sun flare. 
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Viktor Elizarov

Community Photo Critique  - 
 
This photo is the perfect reminder why I only shoot RAW format. I embraced RAW from the moment I bought my first camera which supported raw (Canon Rebel). When I opened the first raw photo in Photoshop and I saw its potential compared to JPEG I was convinced immediately and I never looked back.

The only time I switch a camera to JPEG mode is when I shoot sports.

The day I took the featured photo I spent the entire afternoon shooting water polo in Berkley and when after the games I decided to go to Marin Headlands for the sunset, I completely forgot to switch my camera from JPEG back to RAW.

I only noticed the problem when I started to process photos back home. I could not edit this image the way I intended because every time I wanted to apply stronger contrast or more aggressive color correction image would start to break up by revealing ugly banding. I had to settle for less aggressive processing

Shooting

Even though it was middle of May it was very chilly at Marin Headlands with strong wind bringing the cold fog from the ocean to the bay. I had to put on every piece of clothing I had in my car, but it did not help. Then I had to fight the wind while setting up the tripod and trying to keep it steady while shooting.

I took 3 bracketed shots with 1EV intervals (-1, 0, +1) on a tripod.

Processing

I started with Rapid Lightroom Preset-Based Editing, applying Natural preset from Landscape Collection and adjusting the exposure (image was underexposed) with the ToolKit. But I was not happy with the result, I wanted to convey the cold feeling of the scene by adding blue color.

In the Basic Panel, I set the White Balance Temperature to -19, shifting the entire white balance of the image towards the blue color. 
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Viktor Elizarov

Community Photo Critique  - 
 
Brooklyn Bridge Wires and the Flag (New York)

Check how photo looked straight from the camera, how it was taken and processed
http://www.phototraces.com/deconstructing-photo/brooklyn-bridge-flag-new-york/

Single RAW processed: Lightroom, Photoshop 
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Viktor Elizarov

Community Photo Critique  - 
 
Path to Golden Forest (Montreal)
Check how photo looked straight from the camera, how it was taken and processed
http://www.phototraces.com/deconstructing-photo/path-to-golden-forest-montreal/

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

Community Photo Critique  - 
 
Sailing in the Fog Under the Golden Gate Bridge (California)
This photo is the perfect reminder why I only shoot RAW format. I embraced RAW from the moment I bought my first camera which supported raw (Canon Rebel). When I opened the first raw photo in Photoshop and I saw its potential compared to JPEG I was convinced immediately and I never looked back.

The only time I switch a camera to JPEG mode is when I shoot sports.

The day I took the featured photo I spent the entire afternoon shooting water polo in Berkley and when after the games I decided to go to Marin Headlands for the sunset, I completely forgot to switch my camera from JPEG back to RAW.

I only noticed the problem when I started to process photos back home. I could not edit this image the way I intended because every time I wanted to apply stronger contrast or more aggressive color correction image would start to break up by revealing ugly banding. I had to settle for less aggressive processing

Shooting

Even though it was middle of May it was very chilly at Marin Headlands with strong wind bringing the cold fog from the ocean to the bay. I had to put on every piece of clothing I had in my car, but it did not help. Then I had to fight the wind while setting up the tripod and trying to keep it steady while shooting.

I took 3 bracketed shots with 1EV intervals (-1, 0, +1) on a tripod.

Processing

I started with Rapid Lightroom Preset-Based Editing (read my tutorial here), applying Natural preset from Landscape Collection and adjusting the exposure (image was underexposed) with the ToolKit. But I was not happy with the result, I wanted to convey the cold feeling of the scene by adding blue color.

In the Basic Panel, I set the White Balance Temperature to -19, shifting the entire white balance of the image towards the blue color. 
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Viktor Elizarov

Community Photo Critique  - 
 
Mont-Saint-Bruno Fall Reflections (Canada)
Check how photo looked straight from the camera, how it was taken and processed:
http://www.phototraces.com/deconstructing-photo/mont-saint-bruno-fall-reflections-canada/

HDR Processed: Lightroom, Photomatix, Photoshop
Bracketing: 3 shots (-1, 0, +1 ) 
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Алексей Матвеев's profile photo
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Viktor Elizarov

Community Photo Critique  - 
 
Percé Rock Flowers (Quebec)
Check how photo looked straight from the camera, how it was taken and processed:
http://www.phototraces.com/deconstructing-photo/perce-rock-flowers-quebec/

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

Community Photo Critique  - 
 
Shot in Seattle's Wallingford neighborhood.
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Viktor Elizarov

Community Photo Critique  - 
 
Garrapata State Park Shore (California)
Check how photo looked straight from the camera, how it was taken and processed
http://www.phototraces.com/deconstructing-photo/garrapata-state-park-shore-california/

Garrapata State Park is another iconic location along the California State Route 1 in the Big Sur area. It is easily accessible from the road with only a short hike to the shore. For some strange reason, there are no signs along Route 1 and it is easy to miss it if you are not looking for it.
 
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Viktor Elizarov

Community Photo Critique  - 
 
Bonsecours Basin Park in Fall Colors 
Check how photo looked straight from the camera, how it was taken and processed
http://www.phototraces.com/deconstructing-photo/bonsecours-basin-park-in-fall-colors-montreal/

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

Community Photo Critique  - 
 
Red Colors of the Fall (Montreal)
Check how photo looked straight from the camera, how it was taken and processed
http://www.phototraces.com/deconstructing-photo/red-colors-of-the-fall-montreal/

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

Community Photo Critique  - 
 
Vermilion Cliffs National Monument (Arizona)
Check how photo looked straight from the camera, how it was taken and processed
http://www.phototraces.com/deconstructing-photo/vermilion-cliffs-national-monument-arizona/

This was the end of the very eventful day during my trip to Arizona and Utah.

Earlier that day I woke up in Grand Canyon Village and, after a short stroke along the rim of the Grand Canyon, I drove north towards Page and Lake Powell. Due to the landslide, route 89 was closed and I had to change my itinerary and take an alternate, unplanned route towards the Vermilion Cliffs National Monument and North Rim of the Grand Canyon. 
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Walter Velázquez

Community Photo Critique  - 
 
New King...mandarín cuisine.
Amsterdam. Holanda. 2012

©WalterVelázquez

www.waltervelazquez.com.ar
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Viktor Elizarov

Community Photo Critique  - 
 
HDR with Compact Camera. Fall Sunset at the River (Montreal)
Check how photo looked straight from the camera, how it was taken and processed:
http://www.phototraces.com/deconstructing-photo/hdr-with-compact-camera-fall-sunset-at-the-river-montreal/

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

Community Photo Critique  - 
 
From Canyons of Utah to Deserts of Nevada
Check how photo looked straight from the camera, how it was taken and processed:
http://www.phototraces.com/deconstructing-photo/from-canyons-of-utah-to-deserts-of-nevada/

HDR Processed: Lightroom, Photomatix, Photoshop
Bracketing: 3 shots (-1, 0, +1 ) 
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Viktor Elizarov

Community Photo Critique  - 
 
Blue Hour at Niagara Falls (Canada)
Check how photo looked straight from the camera, how it was taken and processed:
http://www.phototraces.com/deconstructing-photo/blue-hour-at-niagara-falls-canada/

HDR Processed: Lightroom, Photomatix, Photoshop
Bracketing: 3 shots (-1, 0, +1 ) 
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Virgil Mize

Community Photo Critique  - 
 
North Dakota train station. 
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Viktor Elizarov

Community Photo Critique  - 
 
Long Exposure Playing Field (Cuba)

Check how photo looked straight from the camera, how it was taken and processed:  http://goo.gl/xCdu1I

I took this photo during my trip to Cuba. Cayo Coco is the popular and very busy place in Cuba. The early mornings was the only time when I could have the place for myself walking with the tripod and DSLR freely. The rest of the day I only used my compact Lumix LX7.

Shooting

It was early morning, the sun was still behind the horizon and it was still pretty dark. Normally, I shoot using aperture around F8 and F11 but in this case I had to set it to F5.6 in order to get shutter speed below 30sec. I used a tripod to pull such a long exposure.

The main challenge was the lack of space on the small pier from where I was shooting. I could not move around to come up with the interesting composition. My goal was to make the net and the left side of the sky, illuminated by the sun, the main elements of the composition. Ideally, I would loved to step back and move to the right but that was not the option because taking long exposure shots while swimming would be extremely challenging.

When I took a bunch of shots while the sun was rising, I could clearly see that orange cloud and the net was too far apart but that was the best I could do.

Processing

The processing itself was very straight forward. I used Rapid Lightroom Preset-Based Editing, applying Natural preset from Landscape Collection and adjusting the exposure (image was underexposed) with the ToolKit.

The real challenge started when I decided to improve the composition by moving the net a couple of inches to the left in Photoshop. I tried the easy solution first but the Content-Aware Move Tool created a complete mess and I had to use transparency masks with the Brush Tool to manual blend the net to a new location.

I believe that by moving the net closed to the center I manage to improve the composition. 
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