Photos That Changed Photographer's Lives

New National Geographic editor Jessie Wender reached out to the photographers she would be working with.

"(As) a new photo editor at National Geographic, I was eager to learn more about the photographers we work with, many of whom I haven’t met in person. In honor of Thanksgiving, I asked ten of them to share an image that they were especially thankful for having taken – one that had perhaps changed the way they thought about something, or had a large impact on the trajectory of their career. Below are the stories and images they shared...

Here's one example from the story. Click on the image to see the entire piece.

"It was a challenging task to light Hang Son Doong cave in Vietnam. Discovered in 2009, it is one of the biggest cave galleries in the world. The pictured gallery is a mile long, 200 yards high, and not quite that wide. We needed 14 people to light this immense room. It was very chaotic....."

Photos We Love

In our hunt for the best of HDR photography we often run into compelling photo collections that aren't really HDR but compelling nevertheless. You'll enjoy this one. Click on the image to see the full collection.

HDR Tip by James Brandon - Prevent Muddy Whites

High Dynamic Range photography is all about taking an image with a range of brightness larger than your display device can handle and taming it to deliver an attractive and believable image. No matter which HDR software package you use it’s inherent in the HDR process that you will have to make critical decisions about how you want to handle pixels that need to be wrestled back into your display’s dynamic range.

Shooting and teaching pro James Brandon gives us a tip on how to tame muddy highlights that can happen by over processing. This is the first in a series of valuable tips on HDR photography James will be providing us each month for our blog and newsletters. Let’s dive in!

TIP: Don't Let Your Whites Get Muddy!

One of the more common mistakes I see in HDR is the loss of correct color in a photograph. This could be from pushing specific channels too far like your reds, or from trying too hard to get a "properly exposed image." One mistake that I've been seeing frequently are the muddy whites caused by forcing an image’s histogram into submission. If you simply didn't capture full range of light in a scene, but still tell a program like HDR Express to get rid of any white clipping, the program will take your whites and turn them muddy to make you happy. Don't fall victim to this processing fail! Here's a screenshot from HDR Express of what I'm talking about.

gray hole

Muddy whites are a dead giveaway to a poor HDR image, so avoid them like the plague. It's ok to have blown highlights sometimes! Sure, it would have been nice to have captured the full range of light, but this isn't a perfect world, and that isn't always going to happen. Instead, pull your Highlights slider back until those white start to look clean again. Mess around with the other sliders a bit and you'll be surprised at how much detail you actually may still be able to pull out.


In this version, I pulled back the highlights slider to make the highlights look cleaner. To see if your highlights are blown, you can either look at the histogram which I pointed to in the top right, or you can click the "H" above the histogram to activate the blown highlights overlay which you can now see in red in the image. If you're still hooked on bringing in the detail, take your darkest RAW file and pull the exposure down to see if you can bring out the details. Sometimes this works, sometimes it doesn't. Cheers, and happy shooting!


The Good and the Bad of HDR

Here at UCT we're proponents of "natural" HDR. The bizarre, over-saturated and too frequently seen processing that many have called "HDR" drives us crazy. In this article James Brandon who has graced this blog in the past points out what he believes is a collection of HDR images "done right". Click on "Like" if you agree.

photo by Rob Hanson

Often Copied But Rarely Done This Well - Landscape Photography

We just love it when an oft-copied scene is done right. We're also loving the discovery of Landscape Photography Magazine. Check this link to see the equipment and settings used to make the image.

Inside HDR with Pro Photographer Will Austin

Will Austin is an accomplished architecture, industrial and travel photographer based in the Seattle area. His work displays the skill and nuance gained over years of working with different HDR techniques. His refreshingly light-handed use of HDR brings a bright and open look to his images, a look we found compelling. We caught up with Will for a short discussion about his work this weekend.

Tame Those Converging Lines by Julie Eggers

Julie Eggers gives us one of the most valuable tips we've had the pleasure to pass on to you. Whether you do HDR photography or just stick to the basics, commit this tip to memory! Be advised that this tip requires the use of Photoshop CS5, CS6 or CC.

Reed Hoffmann Webinar Posted For Viewing

It's Here....

Syndicate content