Last week I mentioned that I was changing the software I would be using for processing my photographs. This week I’ve changed the theme I use for Say It With A Camera. This will probably be the last post where I embed the photographs from Flickr. For some time now I have been worrying about the forthcoming deal between Verizon and Yahoo, who own Flickr. Verizon are a telecoms company. Are they likely to want a photo sharing site? I’m not so sure but I’ve got to start hedging my bets because if they were to drop Flickr I would have an awful lot of broken links on my blog. Just about every previous post would be without photographs.
So I’ve got to start forward planning just in case.Right then, Ambience. It’s been a while since I’ve featured any of the historic churches that we have here in North Wales. I like photographing them, especially using HDR and then in final processing softening the focus just a little. So here’s a few just for fun.
Many of these old churches are quite ornate, look at that organ in the photograph below. The design of the pipes, Victorian workmanship at it’s best.
A simple church in some ways, but the wooden rail is exquisitely carved. Look at the floor tiles as well.
This is a side area of another church. It’s a dedicated family area, not for families, I mean paid for by a single family, the local landowner and this is where they would worship.
Yet compare those churches above with the simplicity of this one. I know what I prefer.
That’s it for this week, here’s what other bloggers are saying about this weeks challenge
An Adventure A Day Friday Foto- Ambience
Ambience – Captivate Me
A Taswegian in Finland Weekly Photo Challenge- Ambience
This is Another Story Weekend Retreat
Ana Linden Winter Moments – Ambience
Weekly Photo Challenge – Ambience – Ingrid Dendievel Photography
DAVID OAKES -IMAGES. Daily Post Photo Challenge – Ambience
Weekly Photo Challenge- Ambience – Marco’s Photoblog
Mindfulness through a lens WPC- Ambience
The Snow Melts Somewhere Fading Light in Venezia
Looks like I got this one wrong. I’m going away for a couple of days and for some reason I had in my mind that this weeks challenge was reflections. So I prepared a load of photographs that obviously had reflections in them and how wrong that was. I don’t have time to go back as we are going away first thing tomorrow, so here we go. Reflections, NOT Shine. Shine, NO, Reflections.
First up, Valle Crucis Abbey. Or at least the ruins of the Abbey. Built in 1201 by Madog ap Gruffydd Maelor, Prince of Powys Fadog, the abbey was one of the richest Cistercian Abbey’s second only to Tintern Abbey. However in 1537 the abbey was dissolved on the orders of Henry VIII during the Dissolution of the Monasteries. The building is now a ruin, but you can visit it as it’s under the care of CADW, the historic environment service of the Welsh Government.
Talacre Lighthouse, always good for a photograph, features next. The beach at Talacre often ends up with pools of water left behind when the tide goes out. Of course when that happens chances are you will be able to catch reflections of the lighthouse or the sky in the water
Couple of weeks back I was at the RSPB reserve at Burton Mere on the Wirral. Although the reserve is mainly on the Dee Estuary, the opposite side from me in Wales. If you look to the horizon, that’s Wales and that’s where I am, well not when this photograph was taken, obviously. I’m in England then. Anyway I digress. There are several large ponds that the migrating birds use although not at the moment or I wouldn’t have this lovely mirror photograph.
Llyn Nantle Uchaf is a funny lake. It’s certainly not one of my favourites, even although it has distant views of Snowdon. I don’t know, there’s just nothing there. Sometimes you will see some small rowing boats tied to those poles but……I just can’t explain it. Anyway Llyn Nantle Uchaf.
If you walk the Miners Path from the top of the Llanberis Pass you can eventually end up on the top of Snowdon. The Miners Path itself is quite level, ok there’s a little bit of up hill and down dale, but nothing too strenuous. That is until you need to start ascending to meet the Pyg Track and the eventual climb up to Snowdon, which can be seen in the distance.
I love Cornwall, land of myth, small fishing villages and so much more. In the summertime you can’t move, the roads are busy, it’s full of tourists, I know, I know, what am I but a tourist, but if you are willing to explore you can find little villages which are off the beaten track.
For my final photograph I’d like to leave you with this beautiful sunset taken on the coast near Harlech in Wales. The sun sets over the Llyn Peninsula and those rocks in the foreground just add that little bit of extra interest.
Here’s what other bloggers, who got it right, are saying about this week challenge.
Jaspa’s Journal South Stack Lighthouse, Anglesey, Wales
Weekly Photo Challenge- Shine – Svetlana’s Photography
Ron Mayhew’s Blog Photoessay- Prague after Dark
Photography Shining Pools – Mike Baker
Diary of a Married Woman Macro Shine
Anvica’s gallery Shine
Weekly Challenge- Shine… – Through Jersey Eyes
The Royal Palace of Sweden – From Hiding to Blogging
Lulu’s Musings WPC- Shine
Over the last few weeks I have wasted so much time trying to master Luminosity Masking. Sometimes I thought I had got it and then I would have a total failure, or several of them. Now you might be asking “what is Luminosity Masking?”
Luminosity masks are the cornerstone of tone-based image adjustments. These masks provide a convenient way to select specific tones in an image which can then be altered as the user sees fit. They have the ability to overcome shortcomings in the tonal values that were captured by the camera or film and to correct tones that shifted during image manipulation. Beyond simplifying these standard adjustments, however, luminosity masks also encourage a very individual approach to interpreting light. Luminosity masks make the captured light incredibly flexible and thereby provide the artist photographer unique opportunities to use Photoshop to explore their personal vision through photography. – Tony Kuyper
I have watched numerous tutorials, experimented on multitudes of photographs, spent hours at the PC, sometimes late into the night, trying to master this technique. All for very mixed results. Why? Because I want to display my photographs in the best possible way……and the experts will all tell you that “Luminosity Masking is much better than HDR. Oh! By the way I’ve got a course I can sell you to help you master the technique”. Look at this photograph. It’s not a great sunset, by any means but the photograph will serve to show what I mean.
After messing around with Luminosity Masks for about 15 minutes I managed to get the image above. Look closely at it. It looks flat, lacks contrast, everything seems muddy, excuse the pun. I had to go an extra step to bring some contrast back into the scene by using ON1 Perfect Effects Dynamic Contrast filter.
HDR stands for High Dynamic Range. For those who aren’t so acquainted with this high-tech shutterbug lingo, dynamic range is basically just the difference between the lightest light and darkest dark you can capture in a photo. Once your subject exceeds the camera’s dynamic range, the highlights tend to wash out to white, or the darks simply become big black blobs. It’s notoriously difficult to snap a photo that captures both ends of this spectrum, but with modern shooting techniques and advanced post-processing software, photographers have devised ways to make it happen. This is basically what HDR is: a specific style of photo with an unusually high dynamic range that couldn’t otherwise be achieved in a single photograph
Read more: http://www.digitaltrends.com/how-to/what-is-hdr-beginners-guide-to-high-dynamic-range-photography/#ixzz43eS4zF3E
However, HDR gets a bad press due to the surreal images that are often seen on the internet. Have a look at the image below this is the type of photograph that gets HDR a bad press.
The thing is HDR is a technique but it’s also a “look” which can produce results from the realistic through to the surreal. I don’t like this surreal type of HDR but I would never criticise anyone if they produced something like this. After all I have always said “My Photograph, My Vision”.
For me HDR can be used to create a natural looking photograph where the highlights and shadows are balanced to produce a photograph more like I saw at the time of pressing the shutter on my camera.
So that’s it for me. No more Luminosity Masks. It’s back to HDR, takes me approximately five minutes to get the result I want using Lightroom’s HDR module, leaving me more time to get out and take photographs.
I had all sorts of ideas for this weeks challenge but events rather caught up with me, leaving me little time to implement those ideas. So when in doubt retire to the abbey. It’s my favourite spot when I want to try out something new for photography indoors. Well it wasn’t exactly something new when I use the camera. More what happens when I post-process the photograph when I get home. Regular reader will know I’m a fan of HDR, but in recent months I have been trying to move away from this; instead, I’m trying to master Luminosity Masks.
I know, I know. “What the 8&$% are Luminosity Masks” I can hear you asking. In simple terms it’s a method of …….Aaah, you don’t really need to know. It’s not easy to explain either and implementing the masks in Photoshop can be confusing at times. Look at the photograph above there’s no blown out highlights. Previously I would have achieved this using HDR software, Now I’m using Luminosity Masks. Yep! That makes sense. I hope?
In the photograph below I used LM’s to balance out the lights. believe it or not, this is not someone’s house. It’s a quaint cafe in Llandudno. Great isn’t it? And so relaxed.
That’s it. I hope you enjoyed the photographs. and if you want to know more about Luminosity Masks follow this link
For this weeks challenge I thought it would be a good idea to look at some of the wonderful churches we have here in North Wales. Many of them have beautiful stained glass wonderful wood carvings and intricate tiled floors.
Look at the stained glass as well as the wall and floor tiles in the church below. Have you ever seen anything like that?
Actually the one below is not in North Wales, It’s Tewkesbury Abbey but the tiled floor is so intricate I just though it was worth showing. What do you think of that floor?
The church below has some intricate wood carvings and some nice stained glass.
Many churches have stained glass windows. Amazing colours and they tell a story.
Some windows dedicated by families are far plainer but in their own way tell a story.
Many churches are quite dark. It’s not always easy to photograph in them because the balance between the highlights and shadows confuses the cameras sensor. If you expose for the highlights the shadows are too dark. If you expose for the shadows the highlights are usually blown out. This is why I use HDR for a lot of my photographs. Sure i have to shoot more photographs per scene and then process those photographs, but it’s worth it.
On the other hand sometime you get enough light shining through the side windows . but invariably I will still use HDR to make sure I capture all the detail
Well that’s it for this week. I hope you enjoyed the photographs. Here’s what other bloggers are saying about this weeks challenge.