109/365 Gemeentehuis Sittard At Sunset

109 Gemeentehuis Sittard At Sunset

Sony NEX 6, 16-50mm Sony lens
ISO 100, f/10, 1/80 sec, Raw

Gemeentehuis Sittard At Sunset

Since I’m here I took at least 50 pictures from this building at different days and times. I was never really satisfied with the outcome because I wanted to come up with something special, something that will make this building look spectacular and I was determined to do it.

I think the best photographs happens when you least expect it and how well you are prepared for the unexpected. It felt good when I was passing through town, seeing the sky slowly clearing up. I hurried up to this place as fast as I could so I don’t miss this beautiful opportunity. I have managed to be there when the Sun came through the clouds completely.

I set my tripod/camera for long exposure. I wanted to have the clouds looking artistic,  smooth and not too overwhelming. Usually it takes some time before I nail it, but this time I was happy with the very first shot. I kept shooting like crazy that day, but the first picture impressed me the most.

At my studio, I quickly uploaded all pictures into my computer for further processing. This is what I did in Lightroom and Photoshop

1) Open up the shadows

2) Drop down the highlights to recover some of the sky

3) Press alt key to move the whites to the right until you see dots on the screen and then back it up a little…The dots indicate if parts in your image are overexposed or not

4) Do the same with the blacks, but the opposite direction

5) Increase contrast

6) In this example I set the white balance to Shade to make the sunset look richer

7) boost clarity, not much around 20%

8) Vibrance, I usually do same as clarity

9) reduce noise to 20% and increase sharpness to 60%

10) check lens correction and chromatic aberration

11) When shooting RAW you get this option where you can change picture styles. I have chosen landscape which sometimes does a great job boosting your image and making it pop up a little more.

12) export to Photoshop

13) use Imanogenic noiseware to reduce as much noise as possible

14) Use unsharp mask in Photoshop for the final sharpness of the image

15) Use curves to bring back some of the contrast lost while using unsharp mask

16) Whenever sharpening the image you will loose some of the colors. You can get it back with vibrance

17) save and export…

This is very quick overview of the steps I usually do to make my images look the way I want. I’m not saying it’s the best way. It’s the way I’ve learned it from other professionals around the world and It works well for me.

I hope you like this image, please if you do let me know and give it a thumbs up. Looking forward to another picture…

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108/365 Sunrise From Bergstraat

108 Sunrise From Bergstraat

Sony NEX 6, 16-50mm Sony lens
ISO 100, f/8, 1/25 sec, Raw

Sunrise From Bergstraat

After being on skype until 3 in the morning last night I thought I will never get up for today’s sunrise. Well I’m glad that I did because the sunrise was absolutely stunning. Clouds were coming in fast, changing shapes every second. There was this violent, very dramatic scene revealing in from of me. It only lasted for a few minutes but it felt like I was there for hours, watching what was probably the best sunrise since I’m here in Sittard…

I hope you like this image too, please if you do give it a thumbs up.

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107/365 Footbridge Over Keutelbeek Sittard

107 Footbridge Over Keutelbeek Sittard

Sony NEX 6, 16-50mm Sony lens
ISO 100, f/25, 2.5 sec, Raw

Footbridge Over Keutelbeek Sittard

After yesterday’s heavy editing I decided to take it easy today and get back to nature. Stadspark has a lot to offer and it’s probably my favorite park in Sittard, where I can really chill out…I’ve been to this relaxing place many times and every time I find something interesting to photograph.

Since I started this project, I brought home hundreds of pictures from short walls around there and I always put some of them aside so that I can go through them later.  As I’m looking through the folder, this picture caught my attention and I wanted to share it with you.

I wanted to keep it as natural as possible! The only adjustment I did on this picture was to bring back some of the highlights and boost contrast a bit. Then I send it to Photoshop where I removed some of the noise and I increased sharpness to 10%…

I hope you like this image, please if you do give it a thumbs up and share it with you friends. I’m looking forward to show you my tomorrow picture, until then do your best forget the rest.

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106/365 Sunset From ABC Carpark

106 Sunset From ABC Carpark

Sony NEX 6, 16-50mm Sony lens
ISO 100, f/5, 1/160 sec, Raw

Sunset From ABC Carpark

“ You don’t take a photograph, you make it. – Ansel Adams

Today I thought the same thing when editing this photograph. This vertical panorama is made from 4 images put together in Photoshop. When I first saw what Photoshop did to these pictures I immediately thought this is going to be a whole evening editing mission.

When you are at the top of the ABC Carpark looking at this building you can see it’s all over the place. The carpark has more than 7 degrees drop on the left side, so when you take a picture the lines look strange. I want it to challenge myself and really create this picture from scratch.

Raw

 

First I put the panorama together then used transform – warp tool to straighten the lines to as close to the final result as possible. Then I used Liquify tool to correct some of the distortions on the side and level the whole picture. The biggest challenge was to correct the windows as they were very distorted. Look at the example above, this is how it came out from my camera.

After tweaking bits and pieces for 3 hours I finally had something I could look at and so I started color correcting the whole image. I like the result!!! I think it came out really nice.

I hope you like it too, please if you do, let me know and give it a thumbs up…

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105/365 Skatepark Sittard At Sunset

105 Skate Park Sittard At Sunset

Sony NEX 6, 16-50mm Sony lens
ISO 100, f/8, 1/160 sec, Raw

Skatepark Sittard At Sunset

I thought about going to skatepark for a while now. I didn’t had any picture from there and it was on my list. The one close to the city center has been taken down and new one built next to Holleweg. Looks like a perfect area for skaters and BMX enthusiasts.

I saw the clouds closing in with some gaps in a distant horizon and I thought if I’m lucky I might see some Sun coming through those gaps and light up the whole scene. I was indeed and exactly at the time when I climbed the top of the U-shape. I was happy that I didn’t missed this opportunity because then It became cloudy again for a while. So I waiting there watching some guys pulling amazing tricks on the skateboards and kept thinking about my old days doing the same thing.

After while the clouds cleared quite a bit and the Sun came through again. I kept shooting panoramas as long as the Sun was giving some light. I love shooting landscapes in the golden hour. For me it’s the most creative  time of all.

I hope you like this picture, please if you do let me know, share it on Facebook and give it a thumbs up.

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104/365 Sittard Gracht – De Basiliek Reflection

104 Sittard Gracht - De Basiliek Reflection

Sony NEX 6, 16-50mm Sony lens
ISO 100, f/8, 1/60 sec, Raw

Sittard Gracht – De Basiliek Reflection

This morning I couldn’t resist to go out to take some photos. It’s been really beautiful! I went for a walk around Sittard wall and I wanted to have a picture of the gardens from the top of Fort Sanderbout. I had in mind to capture the Sun coming through the branches of the trees, lighting the foreground of the frozen grass down below. I’ve noticed stairs going down from the Fort Sanderbout and so I used those stairs as a leading point into the picture. I tried panorama, wide angle shoots and I knew I’ve got something great. I was excited and happy to have a picture for tonight.

Then on the way home I came to Rosa park. The Sun was at it’s best painting the scene with the golden light. I looked on my left and I saw the reflection of the Basilica in the water. It was gorgeous, the reflection was rich in colors  and I had to capture it. After couple of attempts I walked away with a feeling that I nailed this one very well!

I’ve learned that the best pictures often comes when you less expect it! In other words be ready for whatever the nature throw at you at any given time!!! I like to carry my camera wherever I go. Even when I eat, sleep it’s next to me fully charged!

I hope you like this image from the Rosa park, please if you do let me know, share it with your friends and give it a thumbs up.

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103/365 View From Rijksweg Noord

103 View From Rijksweg Noord

Sony NEX 6, 16-50mm Sony Lens
ISO 100, f/8, 1/60 sec, Raw

View From Rijksweg Noord

Recently I’ve got an email from Karin. She was so nice to share with me her picture from this place and recommended  me to go there. This got me excited straight away and next morning I went there to check this place out.  Unfortunately It started raining so I turned back and kept this place in my mind.

Today when I looked out of the window I knew where I was going, and it didn’t take long before I stood there in the middle of the road trying to figure it out what will be the best way to memorize this place. I tried different things but nothing worked, until I went for vertical panorama.

Whenever I was shooting vertical panorama, I always thought that I should stay still and tilt the camera when taking the shots. Nothing wrong with this approach, in fact it works well in many cases but I think I found a better way today. Instead of tilting the camera from a still position, I went from a low angle shot and slowly worked my way up until I was standing on my toes, with my arms stretched up. First I thought It wont work but then the result was 100% better.

With the tilt option you get this weird effect where the trees look stretched and unnatural. The same counts for the buildings. It took me 3 hours to fix the 88 picture and I now know it could have been done better.

Anyway it’s those little things that sometimes can change the whole game. I’m excited to do more tests on that. I’m sure it won’t work all the time, but it’s good to try different things to get as close to the picture you want as possible.

I hope you like this shot, please if you do like it, share it and give it a thumbs up.

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102/365 Sunset At Train Station Sittard

102 Sunset At Train Station Sittard

Sony NEX 6, 16-50mm Sony lens
ISO 100, f/8, 1/3 sec, Raw

Sunset At Train Station Sittard

Honestly, I haven’t expect this at all today. It has been cloudy and rainy whole day and then at the end the nature did this!!! Amazing!!! Another reminder to be ready at any time. I saw it when I was making a dinner. I stopped everything, grabbed my camera with tripod and I was in 2 minutes on the platform at the train station shooting this beautiful sunset.

Few tips when shooting sunset. 

1) underexpose. You can really see the difference when you get back home looking at different exposures on your computer. The underexposed pictures look more rich in colors and tend to be higher in contrast.

2) Look for lines in the picture that will lead you in and around. I have seen the sunset developing more to the right side of the picture and it was tempting to point my camera towards to it, but the foreground just didn’t work. I always look for the ”S” shape before I set up my camera and shoot. In this case straight lines worked perfectly too.

3) Shoot in RAW and in MANUAL mode! This is very important because you want to have a full control over your settings and every detail in your picture. When you shoot in RAW you record all of the data from the sensor, which is handy later when you processing the images. It gives you the highest quality and you can enjoy the non-destructive editing. When you shoot in JPEG the camera does the processing instead of you and let me tell you, it’s not as smart as your brain is!

4) Stay longer at your location especially if you see that the scene is changing dramatically! Keep shooting like crazy!!! Like today, It happened so fast that I wished I had a second camera. It’s really disappointing if you miss a shoot. The sky may change, the Sun come through for just a second, you never know what may happen and to be ready is the priority number one!!!

I hope you like this image above, please if you do and you found this four points interesting give it a thumbs up and share it with your friends.

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