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Viktor Elizarov

Community Photo Critique  - 
 
Church Across Saint Lawrence River (Montreal)

Check how photo looked straight from the camera, how it was taken and processed: http://goo.gl/Iu0mKF

I took this photo on day 4 of my trip to American Southwest. I spent the entire day driving around the enormous area of Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument.

The Vermilion Cliffs is the one of the five giant natural steps of the Grand Staircase. And it is probably my favorite one. I’ve already featured it on my blog (Vermilion Cliffs National Monument) after my last year trip to the Southwest.

When you drive along US Route 89A, for 50-60km you see the Vermilion Cliffs in such a close proximity that you almost can touch them.

SHOOTING & PROCESSING

I took 3 bracketed shots on a tripod (-1, 0, +1). To edit the final photo, I only used one exposure. The HDR technique was not necessary because the light was not very dynamic. 

I used Lightroom Preset Based Workflow where I applied various Lightroom presets to the image and selected the best looking version. I Preset used: End of Summer from Landscape Collection.

(you can always download free lightroom presets). 
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Viktor Elizarov

Community Photo Critique  - 
 
Entering Zion National Park (Utah)
Check how photo looked straight from the camera, how it was taken and processed:
http://www.phototraces.com/deconstructing-photo/entering-zion-national-park-utah/

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

Community Photo Critique  - 
 
USS Cassin Young in Charlestown Dry Dock One (Boston)
Check how photo looked straight from the camera, how it was taken and processed:
http://www.phototraces.com/deconstructing-photo/charlestown-dry-dock-one-boston/


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

Community Photo Critique  - 
 
Winter Afternoon in Big Sur (California)
Check how photo looked straight from the camera, how it was taken and processed:
http://www.phototraces.com/deconstructing-photo/winter-afternoon-in-big-sur-californiacalm-storm-bryce-utah/

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

Community Photo Critique  - 
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BRIAN DUPREE's profile photo
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Viktor Elizarov

Community Photo Critique  - 
 
Colorado River Reflections At Lees Ferry (Arizona)

Check how photo looked straight from the camera, how it was taken and processed http://goo.gl/13ZC87

Daytime Long exposure photography without Neutral Density (ND) filters

Today I want to share the technique I used during my trip to archive longer exposure effect without actually using the long exposure. Confused? If you are, then you will love this hack. 
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Viktor Elizarov

Community Photo Critique  - 
 
Beautiful Sunset At Lake Powell (Arizona)

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

When I visited Lake Powell the first time I did not know that it was a man-made reservoir on the Colorado River. I was under the impression that it was natural phenomena.

The first time I laid eyes on the lake I knew it would be one of my favorite photography destinations. It combines everything I love in landscapes; the water, the canyons and the desert. I was glad they decided to build it so we can enjoy completely mesmerizing and unusual scenery.

SHOOTING & PROCESSING

It was easy photo to take and to edit. I was driving along the Lake Sore Drive and when I saw this amazing view I just stopped and took few shots from the side of the road. The think clouds defused the sunset light making it soft and photo friendly.

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

I used Lightroom Preset Based Editing where I applied Harsh Shadows present from my Landscapes Collection (you can always download my free lightroom presets) to the image and finished it up in Photoshop. 
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Viktor Elizarov

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

HDR Processed: Lightroom, HDR Expose 3, Photoshop
Bracketing: 5 shots (-2; -1; 0, +1; +2) 
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Viktor Elizarov

Community Photo Critique  - 
 
Toronto Skyline in the Fog (Canada)
Check how photo looked straight from the camera, how it was taken and processed:
http://www.phototraces.com/deconstructing-photo/toronto-skyline-in-the-fog-canada/


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

Community Photo Critique  - 
 
CN Tower and Life Saving Equipment (Toronto)
Check how photo looked straight from the camera, how it was taken and processed:
http://www.phototraces.com/deconstructing-photo/life-saving-equipment-at-toronto-island-canada-toronto-skyline-in-the-fog-canada-3/

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

Community Photo Critique  - 
14
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Viktor Elizarov

Community Photo Critique  - 
 
Vermilion Cliffs Beautiful Colors (Arizona)

Check how photo looked straight from the camera, how it was taken and processed: http://goo.gl/EYFTd9

I took this photo on day 4 of my trip to American Southwest. I spent the entire day driving around the enormous area of Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument.

The Vermilion Cliffs is the one of the five giant natural steps of the Grand Staircase. And it is probably my favorite one. I’ve already featured it on my blog (Vermilion Cliffs National Monument) after my last year trip to the Southwest.

When you drive along US Route 89A, for 50-60km you see the Vermilion Cliffs in such a close proximity that you almost can touch them.

PROCESSING

Shooting & Processing

This is the pure road trip photograph. As I drove on Route 89A and I saw the amazing colors in front of me, I just stop the car, took a couple of shots and in 5 minutes I was on my way to Horseshoe Bend. I did not see any mindful composition, but all I wanted to capture is the unreal colors and textures of the desert and the cliffs.

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

The process of editing was very fast and uncomplicated. I used Lightroom Preset Based Workflow where I applied various Lightroom presets to the image and selected the best looking version. I also used Topaz Clarity plugin quite aggressively to emphasize the details and the colors.

(you can always download free lightroom presets). 
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Viktor Elizarov

Community Photo Critique  - 
 
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) 
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Brian Okeson

Community Photo Critique  - 
 
Can't get enough of the Elephant Car Wash!
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Viktor Elizarov

Community Photo Critique  - 
 
East Coast of O’ahu from Makapu’u Lookout (Hawaii)

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

I took this photo while in Hawaii at the end of the January. That was the day when the rain started at least 20 times. Sometimes it was just couple of minutes and a few drops of the water but when I reached the Makapu’u area of the O’ahu it was practically  a storm with the heavy wind.

I spent at least 40min in the car at Makapu’u Lookout parking waiting for the rain to stop. It was totally worth it.

SHOOTING & PROCESSING

Because of the spots of the really bright spots and some areas of the dark clouds I decided to shoot for HDR, taking 3 bracketed shots (-1, 0, +1) on a tripod.

For the processing, I used Lightroom HDR based workflow. 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 workflow, using Golden Gate present from my Landscapes Collection (you can always download free lightroom presets). 
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Viktor Elizarov

Community Photo Critique  - 
 
Winter Afternoon in Big Sur (California)
Check how photo looked straight from the camera, how it was taken and processed:
http://www.phototraces.com/deconstructing-photo/winter-afternoon-in-big-sur-californiacalm-storm-bryce-utah/

HDR Processed: Lightroom, Photomatix, Photoshop
Bracketing: 7 shots (-3; -2; -1; 0, +1; +2; +3) 
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Paul Deatherage's profile photo
 
Nicely executed, great dynamics and zero CA that I can see. Awesomeness!! 
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Viktor Elizarov

Community Photo Critique  - 
 
Niagara Falls Illumination after Sunset (Canada)
Check how photo looked straight from the camera, how it was taken and processed:
http://www.phototraces.com/deconstructing-photo/niagara-falls-illumination-after-sunset-canada/

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

Community Photo Critique  - 
 
Covehead Harbour Lighthouse (Prince Edward Island)
Check how photo looked straight from the camera, how it was taken and processed:
http://www.phototraces.com/deconstructing-photo/covehead-harbour-lighthouse-prince-edward-island/

HDR Processed: Lightroom, HDR Expose 3, Photoshop
Bracketing: 5 shots (-2; -1; 0, +1; +2) 
2
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Viktor Elizarov

Community Photo Critique  - 
 
U.S. Route 89 Loop - Driving through Southern Utah and Northern Arizona

Check how photo looked straight from the camera, how it was taken and processed: http://goo.gl/JSnnh4

Day 4 of the trip was a driving day. There was no hiking or climbing involved.

Originally, I discovered Hwy 89 Loop by accident because of my poor planning while visiting Southwest for the first time. I was on my way from Grand Canyon to Kanab with the plan to visit Lake Powell but due to the landslide the Hwy 89 was closed and I was forced to take Hwy 89A instead. Since then, the Hwy 89A became one of my favorite driving destinations.

This year I decided to complete 300km loop counterclockwise, taking 89A first and on the way back to use 89.

My plan was to visit and photograph the following destinations: Vermilion Cliffs, Marble Canyon, Lees Ferry, Echo Cliffs, Horseshoe Bend, Lake Powell, Grand Staircase. It is amazing that all that could be accomplished in only one day.

Horseshoe Bend

I was very excited about visiting Horseshoe Bend for the first time. I’ve seen hundreds of photos of the bend but not too many of them really impressed me. They all looked very similar without any compositional variety. I was hoping to come up with something different.

When I reached the bend I understood the reason for the lack of the variety in photos and challenges facing every photographer.

First of all, the bend is enormous and it is hard to grasp the scope of the place looking at photos. Even with the widest lens (10mm) it is impossible to fit all elements into one composition. And if you want to step back to use wider perspective, the edge of the cliff abstracts the river below.

I also discovered that there are only a few spots from where you can capture the entire bend.

On top of everything, after I managed to take a couple of shots, the rain started to poor and I had to wait at least 40min before I could resume shooting.

SHOOTING & PROCESSING

As I mentioned earlier, the main challenge was the enormous scope of the scene. When I took the test shot using the widest possible focal length of 10mm, I could see that if I included all elements of the bend there was absolutely no room for the sky. This is when I decided to use vertical panorama technique.

I took 2 shots (see images below) and stitched them together in Photoshop.

First, applied HDR Blend present from my Landscapes Collection (you can always download free lightroom presets here) to both images and loaded them to a new Photoshop document on separate layers. I used transparency masks to blend them together.

 
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Viktor Elizarov

Community Photo Critique  - 
 
Calm Before the Storm at Bryce (Utah)
Check how photo looked straight from the camera, how it was taken and processed:
http://www.phototraces.com/deconstructing-photo/calm-before-the-storm-at-bryce-utah/

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