Plug-ins

Registration is Open for My "Capture the Classics" Workshop!

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Above: Mail car, Southeastern Railway Museum. Canon 5D Mark III, Canon 17-40mm lens. This is an HDR image. For HDR, I recommend Photomatix. Click here to get a discount on Photomatix.

Registration is open for my fall 2015 Canon EOS Destination Workshop: Capturing the Classics: Old Cars and Antique Trains. I can't wait to return to our two awesome locations: Old Car City and the Southeastern Railway Museum - which are outside of Atlanta, GA.

I'll be teaching: composition (the strongest way of seeing), "croposition" (combining composition with cropping), storytelling,  lighting, HDR – and how to use reflectors, diffusers and a speedlite when photographing a model.

My friends from Canon will be there to loan you the newest gear (including fish-eye lenses and super-wide-angle lenses) to photograph some of the oldest cars in the country. You will also have plenty of time to process your images – for our group slide show/critique session. And, you'll even get to make a print or two on Canon printers.

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Above: Lounge car,  Southeastern Railway Museum. Canon 5D Mark III, Canon 15mm lens.

For now, here's a look at some of my favorite photographs from my previous trip to Old Car City and the Southeastern Railway Museum.

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Above: Old Car City. Canon 5D Mark III, Canon 17-40mm lens. 

I removed some of the reality from my images in this post either by using a fish-eye lens, by altering the true color of a scene, by applying a plug-in, by shooting HDR, by selectively blurring parts of an image –  or by using a combination of all these techniques.

I can show you how to apply digital enhancements during the workshop. Of course, I'll show you how to get awesome straight shots, too.

About removing some of the reality from a scene: When we remove some of the reality from a photograph, the photograph can - but not always - look more artistic.

Photoshop, Lightroom and plug-ins make creating artistic images relatively easy - if you have a creative vision.

Speaking of creative vision, check out my new book, Creative Visualization for Photographers.

And speaking of plug-ins, I'll be teaching plug-ins at Photoshop World this August in Las Vegas. All my seminars are listed here.

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Above: Old Car City. Canon 5D Mark III, Canon 24-70mm lens.

On my workshops I stress light and composition, the topics of my two latest classes on Kelby Training. The picture above of our model Hanna illustrates the benefits of shooting on an overcast day, when contrast is low. It also illustrates creative composition: shooting at an angle creates a sense of depth in an image, the Bel Air insignia adds a sense of place to the image, and shooting at eye level helps the viewer of the photograph relate to the subject.

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Above: Old Car City. Canon 5D Mark III, Canon 17-40mm lens. Effects added with Nik Color Effects Pro. Several Photoshop CS6 enhancements.

Above: Old Car City.  Like abstracts? You will find them in pealing paint and in rust at Old Car City.

Another element of photography we talk about on my workshops is the importance of cropping. In the above photograph, the extremely tight crop (I know it's extreme) emphasizes the fins and tail lights of this cool Caddy.

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Above: Southeastern Railway Museum. Canon 5D Mark III, Canon 17-40mm lens.

Yes, the railway cars and old automobiles are awesome subjects. But hey, I especially enjoy photographing people on location. That is why I was so glad we had a great model. Thank you Hanna for doing such a wonderful job.

We will have another great model for the 2015 workshop.

I hope to see you at Old Car City and at the Southeastern Railway Museum - where we not only make good pictures, but where we also have a ton of fun.

If you can't make that workshop, all my workshops are listed here.

Explore the light,
Rick 


Take Your Photography to the Next Level: Learn Photoshop

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Yes! Lightroom is awesome for image editing. But Photoshop is simply more powerful and versatile . . . and for some more fun.

I teach Photoshop (as well as Lightroom image editing) on my group and private workshops – on location and in Croton-on-Hudson, NY.

If you want to take your photography to the next level, learn Photoshop.

The opening image for this post was created from the above image in Photoshop – with some help from Photomatix and Nik Color Efex Pro. I also teach how to use plug-ins artistically - and selectively.

Don't get me wrong. I love Lightroom. It's just that Photoshop offers more creative options for creative photographers.

Explore the light,
Rick

Plug Into Creativity with Perfect Photo Suite 8

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I love using all the plug-ins and stand-alone image editing programs that are available for creative photographers. They can help to awaken the artist within. That is why I teach this stuff on my workshops - as well, of course, how to get the best possible in-camera image.

The latest release in the world of stand-alone programs/plug-ins in onOne Software's Perfect Photo Suite 8, which includes Enhance, Portrait, Effects, B&W and Resize - along with Layers and Masks.

You can download this cool software from the onOne Software site.

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Here's a quick look at my first go-around with Perfect Photo Suite 8.

For the opening image in this post I selected Perfect Enhance and used the Cool Light effect, after which I added a custom border. What's cool about Enhance is that you can control the Brightness, Contrast, Vibrance, Temperature, Detail and Vignette – to name just few of the creative controls.

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When you remove the true color and sharpness from a scene, you remove some of the reality. when you remove some of the reality, a picture can look more artistic and creative. Plug-ins and digital imaging editing programs let you do just that, quickly and easily.

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I like creating new color images, but I am also having fun with Perfect B&W. Here's a tip when using Perfect Black&W: Experiment with the color filters - first - to see how they change the tones in your image. Start with filters and then play with the other creative controls.

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Back to Perfect Enhance: I used it to enhance this image of the interior of a lounge car at the South East Railway Museum near Atlanta, GA.

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Sometimes, even subtle enhancements can create a more compelling image.

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A while back I wrote an article here on my blog, Goodbye HDR, Hello EDR. In the article I talked about the data we can pull out of RAW files.

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Check out the two images above. I created the image with more detail using the HDR Look effect in Perfect Effects.

Have fun with Perfect Photo Suite 8. Again, you can download the stand-alone program/plug-in from the onOne Software site.

I am teaching plug-ins (and travel photography) at Photoshop World 2014 in Atlanta. I hope to see you there!

All of the plug-ins I use are listed on my Play & Save on Creative Plug-ins page.

Explore the light,
Rick

Hey: Looking for some great prices on some great gear - for you or a loved one for the holidays? Click here.

Save 10% On Any Alien Skin Plug-in Until Aug 15th

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Yes! I have been accused and convicted of using Performance Enhancing Plug-ins -  including plug-ins from Alien Skin Software. 

Alien Skin Software offers a bunch of cool plug-ins: Exposure 5, Blow Up 3, Snap Art 3, Bokeh 2 and Eye Candy 7.

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I used Exposure 5 to create the opening image for this post. You can save 10% on any Alien Skin plug-in until August 15th by using this code – RSA1308 – upon checkout from the Alien Skin web site.

Talk about variations! Exposure 5 offers endless creative options for photographers with Performance Enhancing Plug-in addictions. :-) 

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Above is my original image.

Check out my Save on Plug-ins page for savings on all the plug-ins I use. 

Explore the light,
Rick

Get the Entire Nik Collection by Google for Only $149!

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Check this out! You can own the entire Nik Collection of awesome plug-ins for only $149! See my Save on Plug-in page for info. You'll find great deals on other plug-ins on that page, too. Above: Nik HDR Efex Pro.

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Above: Nik Silver Efex Pro.

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Above: Midnight filter in Nik Color Efex Pro.

I'm a big fan of plug-ins, as readers of my blog know. Plug-ins can help you awaken the artist within. 

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Above: Nik Dfine. 

Explore the light,
Rick