Vltava River in Praha

I decided to make two HDR versions of 3 bracketed shots of The Vltava River in Praha (Prague).

One version is with my tweakings using Photoshop, plus further editing in Lightroom. The other version is basically the automated HDR version I got using Lightroom, with only minor adjustments.

The Vltava river in Praha.

The Vltava river in Praha.

The Vltava river in Praha.

The Vltava river in Praha.

From Wikipedia:
The Vltava (IPA: /vəlˈtɑvə/; Czech pronunciation: [ˈvl̩tava]; German: Moldau, IPA: [ˈmɔldaʊ]) is the longest river within the Czech Republic, running southeast along the Bohemian Forest and then north across Bohemia, through Český Krumlov, České Budějovice and Prague, and finally merging with the Elbe at Mělník. It is commonly referred to as the Czech national river.

Monochrome Strømsfoss

Here’s my entry for Leanne & Laura’s Monochrome Madness Challenge this week.


Strømsfoss, Norway (click to see large version).

You can see my Adobe Lightroom settings & Adobe Photoshop layers in this gallery:

After I’m finished with the settings in Lightroom, I export the file and open it in Photoshop. This is my Photoshop workflow (see the Photoshop layers picture for reference):

  • In Lightroom I used a preset called Antique Light. I tweaked the settings to what you see in the “Lightroom settings” image in the gallery and exported the image.
  • Open the exported photo in Photoshop.
  • In Photoshop: The layer Background Copy is the one I work on. The layer named Background is the original, as it looked when I exported it from Lightroom.
  • On the background copy I used a low opacity brush and added some dodge & burn (in the corners, around the edges, on the trees, boats and their reflections).
  • The Old book cover layer is set to darken with an opacity of 50%
  • The 4 tape layers are set to multiply at 100% opacity
  • The grain & noise layer: I used the Paint Bucket tool to fill the layer with black. Set the layer opacity to 28% and then used filter – noise – add noise, ticked off monochromatic with uniform distribution at 16,5%
  • Then I added my watermark, file info and saved as a jpeg.

Related Posts: 

More tutorial posts: 

Converting into Black & White using Photoshop & Lightroom

I wanted to write a tutorial on how I post-process images and show you this method to turn them into black and white. This is just one of many methods. The software I use is Adobe Lightroom and Adobe Photoshop. As you can see, the original image is rather boring and flat, with a grey sky and not a lot of contrast. 


Original image. Boring and flat, with a grey sky and a lack of contrast.

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Horizon / A different view on Krakow

This is my entry for WordPress’ Weekly Photo Challenge. The theme this week is «Horizon» and I’ve used a technique called ‘displacement map’ to blend these images together. Both photos are shot in Krakow, Poland. One on the streets of Krakow, while I shot the model in the studio of Pawel Wodnicki.


Weekly Photo Challenge: http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2013/10/25/weekly-photo-challenge-horizon/

Pawel Wodnicki: http://www.pawelwodnicki.pl

Also check out Paula’s Thursday Challenge: http://bopaula.wordpress.com/2013/10/23/thursdays-special-e-u-tempu-sa-and-the-time-knows/

Natalia Kuternoga

Model: Natalia Kuternoga

Model: Natalia Kuternoga

The Process

  • At first I shot photos of the model, Natalia Kuternoga in the studio of the Polish photographer Jacek Ura.
  • After the photo shoot I did some basic adjustments to the photo in Adobe Lightroom, exported the result and opened it in Adobe Photoshop.
  • The first thing I did in Photoshop was to make selections to separate the model and background.
  • Then I created a displacement map from a photo I took of a worn down graffiti wall in an old fort near Krakow in Poland.
  • I added the displacement map plus a few details from a color splash photo.
  • Separated two copies of the models left eye. Changed the settings, dodge and burned and finally merged the layers when I had my wanted result.
  • Brushed in a couple of leaves from the standard Photoshop brushes
  • I then changed the overall colors of the photo by adding several layer masks (the following numbered list is reversed, so # would be the bottom, # 5 on top):
  1. a black & white layer
  2. gradient map red/orange set to color and with lowered opacity
  3. copy of gradient map set to soft light and a very low opacity
  4. a gradient fill ranging from dark to light green and set to soft light
  5. a color balance layer with a medium opacity and individual settings for the shadows, mid-tones and highlights
    • The first layer was set to screen mode with a high opacity before I brushed out the unwanted parts leaving the effect basically on the left side of the photo.
    • The flames was added as 3 layers from two different shots I have in my catalog.
    • The second layer is another photo of flames, set to darken and medium opacity. Also on this layer I brushed away the effects using a layer mask.
    • The third flame layer is a copy of the second, but now set to luminosity with a medium strong opacity (and off course with an individual layer mask like all the other layers).

Now the image looks something like what I wanted it to look, so it’s time to go through all the layers and layer masks, change the opacity if needed, brush out masks, and do minor adjustments. I decided to make another copy of the eye, create a selection, border the selection and paint a white circle. I sat the blend mode to lighter color and lowered the opacity and fill drastically,  so that it left a hint of some crazy iris but without becoming too dominant.

Model: Natalia Kuternoga.

Photo, execution, idea, design, layout: Cardinal Guzman

This was my entry for WordPress’ Weekly Photo Challenge: Hue.

Five versions of Kunsthall Oslo

My friend said that he always used Photomatix Pro for his HDR-photos, so I decided to try it out. Normally I use Photoshop for all my image editing and occasionally Adobe Lightroom. I decided to make 4 different versions of the same 3 bracketed photos and post one of the original photos, so that you (and I) can compare. 

I’m new to Photomarix Pro, so the result probably looks different from it would if I were familiar with the software. First the original photo and at the end there’s a gallery for easy maneuvering:

Original photo. I've only done some small adjustments to the raw file.

Original photo. I’ve only done some small adjustments to the raw file.

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Cat Got a Good Treatment

He was bland, he was boring, he was lazy. So I had to frisk him up a little. 


The original file was a .jpg file that I opened as .raw in Photoshop. I turned down the exposure by -0,65, added a lot of contrast and some clarity. Then I used the lens vignette filter and sat the slider to about -15 to center the focus a little. When I was pleased with the settings I opened the file.

The first thing I always do after opening a file is to make a copy of the layer. Make sure you never work on the original. I changed the settings in the HDR toning (Image – adjustments – hdr toning). After having done that I was still not satisfied, so I added a tiny touch of lens blur effect and then a saturation layer for the eyes.

Color VS B/W

The only thing I did here was to add vignette using the raw file in Photoshop

The only thing I did here was to add vignette using the raw file in Photoshop

I decided to try out Silver Efex for this black& white  photo. Normally I use Photoshop for my editing, but Jeff mentioned Silver Efex and then I suddenly remembered that I have a version installed. I’m not so familiar with the S.Efex software, so I can only do basic stuff, but it’s quite easy to maneuver and the GUI is user-friendly.
In my opinion both the results are pleasing and Silver Efex was easy to use (even for a Photoshopper like myself).

I chose a photo that I shot in the botanical garden here in Oslo. The color version has been edited in Photoshop and the only thing I did was to add some vignette using the raw file.
For the B/W version I changed the structure and contrast in Silver Efex Pro, then I Used Photoshop to add a brightness/contrast layer and a small touch of vignette with the Lens correction filter.

- Changed the structure and contrast in Silver Efex Pro. - Added brightness/contrast layer, plus a vignette with the Lens correction filter in Photoshop.

– Changed the structure and contrast in Silver Efex Pro. – Added brightness/contrast layer, plus a vignette with the Lens correction filter in Photoshop.

Now I’ll try to catch up on some commenting and blog reading 🙂

Tutorial: Restore Scanned Photos in Photoshop

Original, scanned photo.

Original, scanned photo.

This is  a detailed tutorial with screenshots. Many of you probably have old photos lying in a drawer or shoebox.
The first thing you should do if you intend to digitize these images, is to clean the surface of the images before scanning them. It’ll save you a lot of post-processing later. For this tutorial I’ve scanned a typical summer photo and I’ll restore the photo using Photoshop.

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