Today's Awesome Guest Blogger: Andy Smith

Thanks, Rick, for asking me to do this guest blog post.(Thanks, Andy, for another guest blog! - Rick)

I attended Rick’s most recent workshop in Iceland, and having been on a few of Rick’s workshops before, I thought I’d try to do something different for the final slideshow that always finishes out Rick’s workshops. I thought I’d see if I could bring together several things I’d been working on with my photography:
    1.    Monochrome and Black-and-White processing.
    2.    Infrared photography with a camera I recently had converted to infrared only.
    3.    My recent obsession with cinematic and panoramic composition.

The result were some images I’ll share here along with some quick processing notes.

Opening Images
Mighty Gullfoss - Clouds and Mist

I’m amazed these images turn out as well as they did – as the conditions were miserable: lots of lens cleaning was necessary between each shot due to the thick mist caused by the wind and water spray.

The Golden Circle - Trolls and Lava

These are HDR images, produced by using the Exposure Fusion option in Photomatix.  I find Exposure Fusion gives a clean, natural result, mostly without the nasty halos, etc. that people hate so much with HDR. See Rick’s  article, “I Hate HDR.” 

Also, I chose one of the longer exposures in the de-ghosting stage to get the longer, more flowing water. (Click here to get a discount on Photomatix.)

I used Lightroom for the B&W conversion. To create the look you see here, I bring down the overall exposure, then brush back in the brightness where I want it in the water.

These are all infrared photos, converted to B&W, which is why you see the green areas as white. With infrared, otherwise dark foliage becomes a light source, which is why you typically have to adjust your exposure compensation when shooting IR. 

Iceland is a great location for both infrared and Black-and-White - there is gorgeous in color, of course, but the landscape and terrain offers many opportunities for monochrome photos.

Glaciers and Lagoons – Ice and Water

These are straight photos converted to B&W in Lightroom.  The lower right, a favorite (of mine and Rick), is a testament to always looking around for a different shot.  

While everyone, including myself, were focused on that interesting rock formation on the left, stopping and looking around for a slightly different view paid off with something unique. (Note from Rick: I like this image for many reasons: lots of negative space, off-center subjects, horizon line in the center of the frame, format and black-and-white treatment.)

Infrared Icelandic Horses

Lastly, here’s a bit of fun with an infrared shot of some Icelandic horses. The upper right image shows the out-of-the camera shot. The bottom two image are red and blue channel swaps in Photoshop.

Thanks again to both Rick and Tim Vollmer for the excellent Iceland workshop.

Click here to see my full B&W gallery.

Lifepixel has great infrared photography info on its sie.

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