Creating a digital polarising effect in software isn't difficult, if all you want to do is intensify a blue sky. This picture has been treated with the Color Editor in Capture One, but many other photo editors have equivalent tools. The trick is to select the blue sky tones alone and then reduce the Lightness/Luminance value and increase the Saturation. Blue skies are … [Read more...] about How to create a polarising filter digitally, and why it’s not the same as the real thing
Ideas to try
Looking for ideas to improve your images? Here's a collection of quick fixes, image effects and unusual processes to get you thinking. Some of them are software specific, others can be adapted to work in just about any photo editing application.
The Orton Effect was invented by photographer Michael Orton, who experimented by sandwiching two shots of the same subject, one with sharp detail and one blurred. This gives an image with a very atmospheric soft ‘glow’ but with sharp underlying detail. This can now be carried out digitally with a lot more control, and the result can be soft and dreamy or dark and surreal, … [Read more...] about Tool tips: Luminar Orton Effect filter
Welcome to this occasional ‘Preset Picks’ series, which showcases the best preset image effects from different programs and then takes them apart to see just how they were done. This is the MacArthur preset in ON1 Photo RAW 2019’s Texture Combos preset category. It gives a strongly-textured print-like appearance and a faded warm patina that suggests an old photograph taken … [Read more...] about Preset picks: ON1 MacArthur preset
SN-05 is a pretty unromantic name for an image style, but it’s worked quite a transformation on this sunlit winter tree and sky. It’s one of 15 Styles in the Seasonal pack, which is sold via the Phase One website here: Seasonal Styles & Presets for Capture One - Preview Images & Buy The price is £69 in UK currency but is converted to local currencies wherever you’re … [Read more...] about SN-05 from Capture One’s Seasonal Style pack
Adjustment layers started out in Photoshop as a way of altering the look of an image without actually changing its pixels. It was the start of non-destructive editing. Now, adjustment layers are everywhere, not just in Photoshop, and for me they are the key to successful image enhancements. There’s a second factor, though – layer masks. Without layer masks, adjustment layers … [Read more...] about The power of adjustment layers and masks
I felt this scene needed to be captured with a deep, brooding intensity, and I particularly wanted to hold on to the textured cloud detail in the sky. Capturing a DNG file with Lightroom Mobile gave all the processing leeway needed. Well, I actually think you can. I like taking pictures with my iPhone. It’s partly a practical thing, as it’s the camera I always have with me. … [Read more...] about Can you really take proper pictures with a smartphone?
Your camera’s sensor, your lens’s image stabiliser and the latest photo-editing software technology may surprise you with what they can do together. When you’re on vacation or on a once-in-a-lifetime trip or just strolling through warm city streets at night, you’re going to want to capture the sights with your camera but you don’t want break the mood by wrestling with a … [Read more...] about Don’t be scared of high ISOs!
One of the reasons I rate image effects programs so highly compared to traditional image editors is the way they open your eyes to effects you wouldn’t have thought of. Like applying the Lith Border effect in Alien Skin Exposure X3 to this early morning shot of a country church. There’s already a lot of contrast in this shot, with the sun shining through the leaves towards the … [Read more...] about Try a black and white high contrast Lith effect
In photography, things don't always come together as you'd want them to. Sometimes you get wonderful lighting but there's no effective subject in front of the camera for bringing it out, and sometimes you've got a good subject but the lighting isn't right. Lightroom CC/Photography plan trial version and offers This is one of those situations. I thought the couple … [Read more...] about How to relight a scene in Lightroom
There's colour photography and there's black and white, but sometimes there's something in between which has its own very distinctive look. This tutorial is all about selective colour – making a black and white image but with one single colour preserved. In this case it's red, which is usually the most popular choice for this technique. I've used it to create a retro seaside … [Read more...] about How to create a selective colour effect