Monday, December 20, 2010

Canyonlands Sunrise - Redeveloping Raw Files

I recently had a client who was interested in a sunrise shot of the Canyonlands, which gave me reason to review some raw files from my Canon 1Ds  (that camera is now long gone) that I shot in 2003. Much to my delight I came across a sunrise shot showing a sunburst coming through Mesa Arch. I think that I did not develop this image back in 2003 because there was not HDR (High Dynamic range) processing at the time, and I could not reconcile the frame that had the correct sky exposure with the correct arch exposure. Using Aperture I went back and re-developed the 2 raw files (one exposed for the sky and one for the arch) and combined them using Photoshop's pro-HDR. Voila, I now have a wonderful new image that would have been almost impossible to develop prior to HDR tools and the latest RAW processing tools. The image upsampled nicely in OnOne Perfect Resize 7. Maybe 10 years from now we will be able to re-process our earlier files to get rid of motion blur, all traces of noise, and severe under or overexposure. Be sure to hang on to all your RAW files, you never know when they will come in handy!

Canyonlands Sunrise

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Autumn Colors in Napa

I spent some time in Calistoga over Thanksgiving and went on a hot air ballon ride over the Napa Valley with my family. Autumn Colors are on the decline there but this is one of California's great locations for late season autumn colors. All the vines turn wonderful shades of red and yellow. Some unharvested vines still have grapes on them. I have added a few images to my Wine Country Prints portfolio from this trip. These images were all retouched with the new Photo Tools 2.6 Professional Edition by On One Software. This set of tools provides many options for giving images a boost in color and ambiance. Since the lighting was somewhat flat during the time we were ballooning I did quite a bit of retouching to the image Autumn Vineyards (which was taken from the balloon) to give it some pop and interest. I used the Hasselblad H4D handheld for my shots from the hot air balloon, with the 50-110 zoom. 

OnOne software has launched the Masters Page on their website which I am pleased to be a part of, in company with some wonderful fellow photographers.

Autumn Harvest, Napa

Autumn Vineyards,  Napa 

Grandmother Vine, Napa

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Making Large Prints Takes a Giant Leap Forward

I have been testing out the new Perfect Resize 7 program by OnOne Software by creating very large canvas prints (90"+) from files that are 30" tall at 240 dpi. This software replaces their Genuine Fractals I am amazed at the great image quality you can get using this new program when making large prints. I think OnOne has made a great leap forward with image upsampling.  In particular they have updated the algorithms used for image enlargement, added new sharpening tools, and added a smoothing feature that really makes a huge difference in image quality of enlarged files. You can get all the info you need on these new tools which are included in the Perfect Photo Suite 5.5 that was just released today. These tools all integrate with Lightroom, Aperture, and Photoshop CS5. OnOne has a very informative collection of how to videos  for using these new tools that are available online. The software is available as a demo to try out. The new Perfect Resize 7 also makes easy gallery wraps for canvas prints. Genuine Fractals used to leave a segment of the corners white that required manually refilling in photoshop, but now one click and the whole gallery wrap is done. This will be a huge timesaver. Below is an example of how the new gallery wrap feature looks on a print. It duplicates the sides of the image then reflects it onto the sides that are used to wrap around the stretcher bars.

(Disclosure: I have a professional relationship with onOne and provide them feedback on their software and also provide them images for their marketing).

Waterfall at Dusk Canvas Wrap