Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Viveza Now Available for Lightroom 2

Today, Nik Software released its popular Viveza software with support for Lightroom 2! It works just like the version for Photoshop with the exception that you can now launch Viveza from Lightroom, select either the original, a copy of the original or a copy with "Lightroom Adjustments" before you begin editing. You can also decide whether to "Stack" the resulting image back into the Lightroom catalog along with the original or all by itself. I have been hoping that Nik would begin adding support for Lightroom so I had to try this new version out on some photos I took in Yosemite a couple of weeks ago.

In February each year, when the atmospheric conditions are at their best, Horsetail Falls on El Capitan in Yosemite National Park comes alive at sunset to provide the visual perception of a fire falls. Hundreds of photographers come out to see and capture the above photo. However, most walk away with a yellowish-gold colored falls - not what you would expect from fire! Some crank in a warmer white balance on their cameras, which does make the falls more reddish-orange. However, it also dulls the blues in the sky. This can be resolved in Photoshop with layers but I decided to give Viveza with LR2 support a try and eliminate the extra step in my workflow.

In the photo above, I first used Viveza to accentuate the warmth of the light in the falls. Using a relatively small control point, a little larger than the width of the falls, I started at the top and adjusted the B, R and W sliders to make it look more like fire. Then I duplicated and overlapped this control point with another by 50% to apply the same adjustments to the next section of the falls. I continued this process down its entire length until it all looked the same.

Finally, I placed a control point on the sky and made it cooler by deepening and saturating the blues. I then decided to duplicate that control point then overlap it with the other to even out the color in the sky.

Larger versions of the above photo can be found on my Flickr account and at www.howardignatius.com.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Removing Beta Camera Calibratiion Profiles after installing Lightroom 2.2

The online information for removing the older beta profiles seemed a little abbreviated. I had success by taking the following steps on my Mac:

Quit anything that uses Camera RAW - Lightroom, Photoshop, etc.

Go to the following location on your Mac:
Macintosh HD: /Library/Application Support/Adobe/CameraRaw/CameraProfiles

In /CameraProfiles folder you will find one or more folders with names that have the word "beta" in them. Drag and drop these folders to your trash can, leaving the folders with the released profiles - which are those without the word beta in them. My system asked for a password before I could move these folders.

Relaunch Lightroom and verify that the beta profiles are gone.

If you remove the beta profiles LR will automatically switch to the corresponding release profile. Since applying camera calibration is the first thing I do in my work flow, if there was a change between the release and beta it may impact everything else that I did. You may want to experiment with your photos first before removing anything. From what I have read you can keep the beta profiles indefinitely.

Hope this works for you!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Film vs Digital

There has been a lot of talk about film vs digital on the web lately. You can check out Ken Rockwell's website and see some of the work he has been doing with both formats. I ran across this little video comparing the output from a Nikon D700 to a Nikon F5. In the video they blew up the images from each camera to the size of a four story building and compared side-by-side. Guess which format won!

Have a great weekend!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Larger Moon without using Photoshop!

I get a lot of questions about how I make moons appear larger then they really are in my photos. Anyone that has Photoshop can show you how to do this. However, the image I posted here came right out of the camera and no post processing software was used. Here is how I did it:

Most of the newer Nikon DSLR cameras have a feature in the Shooting Menu called Multiple Exposure. On the D3 and D300 you can take up to 10 exposures and overlay them in the camera. Kind of like you used to be able to do it in film cameras by reseting the shutter and reexposing.

For this image, I took two exposures at dusk, one to properly expose Morro Rock and the other to add the moon. The moon was actually a little higher in the sky than shown here. I used my 70-300mm lens for both exposures. The first was at 110mm - 1/15 sec @ f4.5 - I used in-camera metering to determine these settings. Then I switched to Manual, zoomed the lens out to 300mm and dialed in 1/125 sec @ f4.5. I then focused on the moon and recomposed the shot so that the moon was in the upper right quadrant and took the second exposure.

I got away without a tripod this time, but you may want to use one just to make sure everything is sharp. Also, I have had success at dusk but you may have trouble at other times during the day or night - since you really need the moon to stand out in a dark starless field of view and long exposures may add star trails which detract from the final result. The easy part is the moon, very bright and you can underexpose it a little and still get good results.

Give it a try and let me know how it works! Leave a message below to share your experience.

Sunday, November 9, 2008


So here we go! I've started another photography blog! Hopefully, with your help, I will make it relevant and provide value to all of those photographers out there that are looking to do something with your digital images!

In the last few weeks. I have been getting my website together. I had to learn some new tools along the way. I am using Dreamweaver for most of my work. I also have been testing out Exposure Manager for selling my photos. I will publish my results soon.

Let me know what topics you would be interested in. Bye the way, I took the adjacent photo on the island of Naxos, Greece.