Water Drop Photography | EVERY STEP from start to print by Adam Karnacz

We take a look at the amazing world of water drop photography. I show you how I created this beautiful piece of art from the original concept through to the stunning final print.

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Welcome to the world of water drop photography.

Type a quick search of ‘Water Drop’ or #waterdrop and you will quickly see just how popular this area of macro photography has become. I have written before about why shooting these kinds of images improves your skills as a photographer, but that does not explain why people love them so much.

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Freezing a moment in time  

Shooting water drop photography highlights the pure essence of photography, capturing a moment in time. We see thousands of water drops every day, but rarely pause to consider their architecture and movement. During a particularly heavy rain storm we may marvel at the size of drops bouncing off the ground, but the rest of the time we take it for granted or do not notice. Freezing this moment forces us to appreciate the beauty, complexity and symmetry of a most regular occurrence and brings into sharp focus the importance of water in our lives.

All about colour

The addition of vivid colours, opaque liquids and well controlled lighting, adds drama to the scene and gives the images that ‘wow’ factor that is becoming increasingly rare in today’s world.

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More than a photography tutorial 

This is a bit more than a photography tutorial. I wanted to provide an overview of what it is all about. If you want to give it a try for yourself then please click the link above to watch my in depth tutorial.

Photography Blogs

My video photography blogs are designed to entertain and document how I go about capturing my work. If it provides photography tips and inspiration along the way then please share it with your friends so more people can benefit from the content. If you enjoyed this photography vlog I would really appreciate it if you subscribed to the channel so you can come along for the journey.

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Adobe make BIG Lightroom CC changes!! by Adam Karnacz

What is the difference between Adobe Lightroom Classic CC and Adobe Lightroom CC? In this video we discuss some of the big changes that have been made by Adobe this week that is causing many photographers to be nervous.

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Adobe Lightroom Changes

Adobe Lightroom has gone through some big changes in the last few days. It’s a staple of millions of photographers worldwide and changes like this can make many of us nervous. In this video I’m gonna go through some of the changes, discuss how it might affect everyone, from the absolute beginner to the seasoned pro and share a couple of my thoughts. 

On Wednesday Adobe updated their full suite of apps and some of the biggest changes involved Lightroom. For years it has been the main software used by photographers all over the world. Prior to this week it hadn’t been updated since 2015 and has been plagued with slow speeds and has become increasingly complicated. 

Problem Solving Approach

Adobe have now tried to solve these problems by splitting Lightroom into two parts. Lightroom CC and Lightroom Classic CC. These names have caused some confusion.  Adobe Lightroom Classic is pretty much the same program we have always known and has been updated with new features like luminosity masking and much needed performance improvements. Lightroom CC is now a stripped back version of Lightroom that is cloud based. It is basic but powerful. It still edits raw files but works seamlessly across all your devices including your desktop and even a web browser. 

This has been much needed. Recently on my workshops I have come across photographers who are new to photography or just getting back into it after years of being away and the essential step of post processing is something that has been intimidating and difficult to learn. With Lightroom CC we can now make all the most straightforward edits without the complexity and still shoot in raw. The files and the edits are stored in the cloud so there is no need to try and manage all your files on an ageing computer. They can be made on your iPad, phone or other devices with the Adobe servers doing the hard work. 

More User Friendly?

The interface has been reworked to be more easily understandable and user friendly. The app imports all your cloud based collections from your current Lightroom mobile account. You can load in new files and edit them like normal. I can see this being useful even for seasoned shooters. One way I can see me using this is for simple family pictures, quick shoots or even weddings. I will load in the raw images into Lightroom Classic, select the keepers and place them into a collection and the come over to Lightroom CC where I can use any of my devices as suits me to make the simple edits required for these type of shots. I can still open them into photoshop from the desktop version of Lightroom CC. If need to make more complex images like bracketed shots or combine panoramas then I can move back into Lightroom Classic.

Cost

From the start of next year all Lightroom products will now be subscription based. The basic package is the Lightroom CC package.  This includes Lightroom CC and 1TB of cloud storage for £$10 per month. Next is the photography package. This includes Lightroom CC, Lightroom CC classic, Photoshop and 20gb of cloud storage. The final package is the same as the photography plan but with 1TB of storage and costs £$20 per month. 

Photographer Nerves

Understandably there has been some nervousness and confusion about the changes Adobe have made here. They are clearly targeting the 95% percent of the world who have previously been happy to never edit their images.  It makes the rest of us worry that we are going to be neglected. I don’t think that will be the case though. I think Adobe could have done a better job just by naming things a little differently. Adobe Lightroom CC and Adobe Lightroom Pro CC would have been much more descriptive and made us traditional Lightroom users feel special, rather than old and out of date. 

How I Make Money With Photography by Adam Karnacz

I explain how I make money with photography and how I use my Squarespace website to make it happen.

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Squarespace

When Sqaurespace got in touch with me to ask if I would make a video about their platform I decided I would only do it if I could provide value at the same time as advertising their service. Thankfully the good people at Squarespace wanted the same thing. 

A base on the internet

I was a Squarespace customer for about 6 months before they started sponsoring me. The website it the gateway to how i make my money with photography and the two are intrinsically linked. Having that base on the internet provides some context about who you and people will take you seriously.

Selling Prints

The first way I make money with photography is by selling prints of my work. The website provides a fully integrated store where the prints can be ordered directly online. I make the prints myself using the Canon PRO-10s which puts me in full control of quality. Selling prints is an obvious way to make money as a landscape photographer but finding a market and people who want to buy them requires hard work and the ability to build an audience.

Landscape Photography Workshops

The second way is via my landscape photography workshops. These launched successfully recently and form part of almost all landscape photographers income. This is a much bigger topic that deserves a dedicated video. If you are considering running workshops it’s important to consider your teaching style, locations, legal issues, insurance and much more.

Weddings

Thirdly is weddings. Most professional photographers have shot a wedding at some point. It’s another big subject that I will cover more in future. However it is a great way to make money as a photographer, the market it always there. The pressure, hard work and importance of being professional with a client can’t be overstated. You get one chance to capture each moment of the day so do not accept a wedding job lightly.

YouTube

Fourth is YouTube. There are several ways you can make money with YouTube. Advertising revenue, affiliate marketing and sponsorships are the usual kind of pathways to make money. Creating videos for YouTube can be amazing fun but if you plan to create videos consistently, it is very hard work.

Hard Work

With enough dedication, hard work and a little talent, anyone can make money with photography. If you want to start a website and start making money from your photography, make your next move with Squarespace.

What's in my Camera Bag 2017 | Landscape Photography Edition by Adam Karnacz

In this video I am still in Snowdonia and we delve into the depths of my camera bag to see what I am using to capture my landscape photography in 2017. 

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What's in my Camera Bag?

One of the things I love about photography is the marriage of technology and art. It seems often the cool thing to do is to pretend you don't care about the gear. Whilst the gear are just tools I use to create my art, from time to time I really enjoy talking about my tools. I am not alone in this. I am contacted daily by people asking me what gear they should buy, what is the best lens for a certain situation, what filters I use etc etc. So on my recent trip to Snowdonia I took a few minutes to show exactly what is in my landscape photography bag. 

To see a full list of my camera gear please use he link above. 

Camera Bag

I also get a lot of questions about the bag itself. I am currently using the F-stop Sukha camera bag. This is an amazing photography bag that is perfect for the rugged mountain conditions I am faced with. It is was waterproof and provides great access to your gear that is stored in the ICU or internal camera unit. It is a big bag and has addition room for food, camping gear and more. 

Cameras

My main body is currently the Canon 5D Mark IV. It is truly an epic camera. I have reviewed it before in a big real world test. Hit the link below.

https://youtu.be/5HGxkQw5hto

I am also using the Canon 800D for vlogging. For well under a thousand pounds this is a great camera with superb video features and still ideal for landscape photography. You can see my recent review on the link below.

https://youtu.be/F9e4HymcZn4

Lenses

My current lens setup covers all the important focal range for capturing landscapes. Having a wide angle lens is important if you want to capture the big wide vistas. I use the Canon 17-40mm f/4 lens. Whilst it is an older lens it still provides excellent quality and can also be picked up for a bargain price. I have not felt the need to upgrade to a newer 16-35mm lens. 

Next I use the Tamron 24-70mm. Image quality is on a par with the original Canon 24-70mm f/2.8 but the Tamron also come with image stabilisation. Perfect for video. 

At the long end I use the Canon 70-200mm f/4 to capture the more intimate landscapes. I purposely use the cheapest version which is the f/4 because it is the lightest and easiest to lug around. I use the Canon 70-200 f/2.8 IS mark 2 for my wedding photography. It is a stunning lens but weighs more than an elephant. I do not want to carry it up mountains. 

Filters

As many of you know I do not use graduated filters. I prefer to use screw on filters. I feels they are easier to carry around and quicker to use. 

I carry a circular polariser for each of the lenses and Neutral density filters for long exposure photography. I have a 6 stop ND and a 10 stop. They can also be combined to give 16 stops of light reduction.

Accessories

What's in my bag accessory wise? Photography equipment is made up of accessories such as lens hoods, eye piece covers, memory cards, batteries and other stuff such as food and safety gear for the mountains. I no longer use a shutter release cable or an intervalometer as the Canon 5D Mark IV has it built in along with a bulb timer.

Perfect Your Landscape Photography Editing Workflow by Adam Karnacz

Losing your images or misplacing them across numerous hard drives is a horrible feeling. Having an efficient workflow for your landscape photography images is important. Get it right today and it will look after you in the future. 

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I organise and edit my photographs using Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop. Lightroom is my main photo editing app as I have less and less need for Photoshop these days as Lightroom continues to evolve. They are truly awesome bits of software that I could not survive without. Click the link above to get a free trial. 

Get your landscape photography editing workflow right

A landscape photography editing workflow may differ from other types of shoots because generally there will be less individual images compared , to say, a wedding. It is however still important to maintain a solid naming structure on your hard drive. I use a theme as he top level eg, ‘Weddings’ or ‘Videos’. This is followed by ‘year’ and then sometimes ‘month’. I initially copy the files to hard drive and the import into Lightroom. 

Using Adobe Lightroom

Once in Lightroom I organise, mark and flag the images to help me decide which to keep and edit. This is detailed in the video. I am using a MacBook Pro so once I am finished editing I need to move the files over to my external storage drive. It is important to do this within Lightroom itself which will copy both the physical file and the Lightroom catalogue data. Watch the video now to get full details. 

No Landscape Vlog this week

I was unable to shoot a vlog this week due to suffering a dreadfully bad back. Instead I decided to stay in and shoot this video. I will be returning to the landscape photography vlogs next week.  Leave a comment down below and let me know what you think of this video, does your workflow differ? Which bits work, which bits don't? I would love to hear from you.

Landscape Photography Editing - High Cup Nick vlog images by adamkarnacz@me.com

Get an insight into how I edit my pictures in Adobe Lightroom from my latest landscape photography vlog at High Cup Nick in the Pennines. Get a free trial of Adobe Lightroom - https://www.firstmanphotography.com/get/photography-plan

Watch the vlog - https://youtu.be/5IC4xH2eSQo

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First Man Vlog - https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLa6Vwwb8Hgm2doJUbTS5Bro5VS2PVyzXN

In this video I edit the images shot on my recent trip to High Cup Nick. The weather was poor and the trip was intended as a scouting mission but I am still pleased with some of the images captured.

We go through the edit in Adobe Lightroom of seven images and I discuss composition, camera settings and my thoughts I had whilst capturing the shots. I share my photo editing tactics to show you how I work in post production.

Some say that I edit my pictures very quickly and this may be true. I believe dong it quickly allows me to bring a natural feel to the edit employing the artistic and instinctive part of my brain rather than analysing things in too much detail that can sometimes lead to over processed images. I do often take a second look and tweak a couple of things and I also apply profiles and manage resolution when I print my images.

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Editing Landscape Photographs from a Canon 5D Mark IV by adamkarnacz@me.com

Landscape Photography on a Canon 5D Mark IV

The Canon 5D mark IV has changed the way that I shoot and edit my landscape photography. You will either love or hate this new trick.

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The Canon 5D Mark IV is an incredible camera. I reviewed it previously in an epic real world review - see the link below:

https://youtu.be/5HGxkQw5hto

The dynamic range of the Canon 5D Mark IV is a huge improvement over previous generations. What is truly impressive though is the amount of detail that can be pulled out of underexposed and shadow areas. Even a 2-3 stop increase in exposure will still lead to a relatively clean image, especially when shot at ISO 100.

Subconsciously I have started to use it to my benefit especially in some of the landscapes I have been shooting lately that contain huge dynamic range. Purposely underexposing the image as a whole has allowed me to capture the highlights with perfect exposure and then raise the shadows in post-production using Adobe Lightroom.

The main benefit is a huge saving of time with barely no downside. Normally capturing a scene with such wide dynamic range would require the use of multiple exposures by bracketing, HDR, blending or the faff and inconsistent results of physical ND grads. The Canon 5D Mark IV lets me do it with one exposure.

The speed at which I am now capturing landscape photography, and then later editing it in Adobe Lightroom has improved my overall work flow. I can now deploy that time on other things and really concentrating on the story I want to tell with my work. At the end of the day, that is what I am trying to do.

Landscape Photo Editing in Adobe Lightroom - Waterfalls Vlog Images by adamkarnacz@me.com

In this landscape photo editing session I use Adobe Lightroom to edit the images from the Winter Woes and Waterfalls vlog and discuss composition and post processing techniques. Get a free trail of Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop - https://www.firstmanphotography.com/get/photography-plan

Watch the Vlog here - https://youtu.be/tYVuZS_oHJE

Google NIK Collection Video - https://youtu.be/ALkbAwitdrg

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This video is the full live landscape photography editing session from the images I captured on my recent vlog at Ingleton Waterfalls and Ribblehead Viaduct. The post processing is done in Adobe Lightroom.

The video is relatively long and probably not for everyone but gives you the chance to really see how I edit my images from start to finish.

During the edit I discuss several Lightroom editing techniques such as using the graduated filter tool. I also provide more information about the composition of the shots shots and discuss the rule of thirds and leading lines.

If you find the format of the video useful please let me know and I will document my future editing sessions in the same way.

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How to do Smoke Photography by adamkarnacz@me.com

Smoke Photography made easy.

Create some beautiful, fun and abstract smoke photography using these very simple methods.

In this tutorial we look at how to photograph smoke to create some striking images that are jam packed with colour. Smoke Photography has an artistic and abstract feel freezing a moment in time that is often not given any attention. This is very similar to water drop Photography. If you have not seen water drop Photography check out the playlist below.

Water Drop Photography

Smoke Photography is easy and can be achieved with a normal camera. No special macro lens is required although, if you do own one, it can give a different feel to the smoke images that you create.

Gear required to photograph smoke

The gear you will need does not form a long list and many of us will already have the items lying around. Firstly you need a camera. Ideally it will be a camera that can fire an external flash. You will also need an external flash with the ability to fire it off-camera. Wireless triggers can now be picked up very cheaply. See the link below for all the required gear.

How to produce the smoke trails

Smoke can be created in a number of ways but I use Sandlewood incense sticks. They smell a bit but produce a nice constant smoke and are relatively safe. You then need a desk lamp to shine at the smoke to assist the camera to focus although the flash will light the smoke for the picture. If you are using a studio flash then the modelling lamp will be fine.

Photo Background

The images work best with a clean black background. Any kind of black material is fine but pop backgrounds are cheap and effective. You will also need something block the light from the flash hitting both the background and the lens as it flashes from left to right. A piece of card will do the trick just as well as more expensive barn door attachments.

Camera Settings

The images will work best with the camera in manual mode. Shutter speed should be set to the flash sync speed, this is often around 1/200 sec. An aperture of f/8 or f/11 will work well to keep the smoke sharp and in focus. ISO at 100. In the video I had the flash power set to 1/4 power but this will be dependant on the distance between the smoke and flash.

With everything set, go ahead and shoot the smoke trails. Waft your hand around to move the smoke to generate some interesting patterns in your images.

Smoke Photography is a good antidote to the winter weathe, but is also fun and creative. The abstract images you create will grab people's attention making them look twice at you work.

In the video we go into the post processing of the images very briefly using Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom.

Gear

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Landscape Photo Editing in Adobe Lightroom - Flamborough Vlog Images by adamkarnacz@me.com

Landscape Photo Editing - Flamborough

In this landscape photo editing session I use Adobe Lightroom to post process all the images from the recent Flamborough vlog.

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Watch the Flamborogh Vlog here - https://youtu.be/hiWX_DKOMRc

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This video is the full live landscape photo editing session from the images I captured on my recent vlog at Flambrough Head. The post processing is done entirely in Adobe Lightroom.

The video is relatively long and probably not for everyone but gives you the chance to really see how I edit my images from start to finish. Especially when I made a couple of silly mistakes at the time of shooting.

During the edit I discuss several Lightroom editing techniques such as using the graduated filter tool. I also provide more information about the composition of the shots shots and discuss the rule of thirds and leading lines.

If you find the format of the video useful please let me know and I will document my future editing sessions in the same way.

Finally, for those of you who celebrate it, have a very Merry Christmas. To everyone else, i appreciate you watching, you are awesome.

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How to Capture Amazing Long Exposure Photography by adamkarnacz@me.com

Long Exposure Photography Tutorial Redux

In this video tutorial we show you how to take long exposure photographs. If you have never seen long exposure photography before you are in for a treat and capturing these images brings new challenges and creative possibilities. Essentially what is happening is by increasing the exposure time we introduce movement into our image that would normally be frozen and it gives the picture added interest and a look that would not be seen by your own eyes.

This video focuses on capturing a long exposure landscape during the day but the principles are the same no matter how you use long exposure photography.

You will already understand the exposure triangle so when increasing exposure time we need to balance things by reducing ISO or making our aperture smaller to prevent the image being over exposed. However, in daylight conditions, even with ISO at 100 and aperture at say f/16, your shot could be over exposed before even one second has passed. To achieve the desired effect we want our exposure to be at least 30 seconds. The only way to do this is to use ND filters. These are filters added to the front of your lens that reduce the amount of light passing through the lens without severely affecting the colour. ND filters are rated by how many stops of light they reduce the exposure by. For example if you attach a 2 stop filter to your lens you will need to increase exposure in your camera by the same 2 stops to obtain a proper exposure.

Neutral Density Filters

In the tutorial we are using a 6 stop filter combined with a 10 stop filter to give a full 16 stops of light reduction which allows us to get some extremely long exposures of several minutes, even in bright daylight conditions.

Exposures of this length have a number of uses. It will reduce the roughest waters to a smooth tranquil scene and add lots of movement to even the slowest moving clouds. In city scenes it can also be used to remove people from your images. At night it can be used for star trail shots and create interesting and varied light painting images.  The resulting image will often have a fine art feel, especially when carefully converted to black and white.

Shutter Release Cable

In addition to the ND filter you will also need a shutter release cable allowing you to lock the shutter open when using the bulb mode. Keeping your camera very still is also essential so a good sturdy tripod is handy. If you don't have a tripod you could also place your camera down on a wall or some raised ground. A bean bag can be used to allow a small amount of adjustment or to keep things level on an uneven surface. When using a DSLR it is worth covering your viewfinder with some gaff tape or a viewfinder cap because light can creep in and ruin your image.

Once you are armed with this knowledge and the few tools you need; get out and take some pictures. It is an amazing motivation to go and see the world.

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Image debrief from the Canon 5D Mark IV Review by adamkarnacz@me.com

We take a closer look at the images captured during the Canon 5D Mark IV review. I share some of  my thoughts, vision and feelings from the shoot.

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My gear:

How to Enhance Autumn Colours - Lightroom Tutorial by adamkarnacz@me.com

Take your Autumn landscape photography to the next level with this easy trick using Adobe Lightroom.

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In this Adobe Lightroom tutorial I show you how to make some very easy adjustments to your Autumn Landscape photography to make those beautiful autumnal colours really pop.

Landscape Photography in Autumn

Autumn is an amazing time if you shoot Landscape Photography as the swathe of colour we are treated too is truly spectacular. The summer of lush greens and high sun gives way to vivid oranges, yellows, reds and and maroons. Shooting a landscape photograph from one position can look completely different in the Autumn to how it does in the Spring, Summer or Winter.

Autumn Colour Gamut

Despite the amazing gamut of colour on offer, the overriding colour is often still green. Normal Lightroom edits can result in over saturated greens that leave the beautiful Autumn colours we are seeking, overwhelmed.

It can be resolved using a very simple trick where we desaturate the greens to enhance the appeal of the Autumn colours. Using Adobe Lightroom in two slightly different ways will effectively give the desired control. In the Lightroom tutorial I show you how it is done, and, how it can easily take your Autumn landscape photography to the next level.

Lightroom HSL Panel

The Lightroom HSL panel lets us easily control the saturation of colours across the spectrum. It is an effective Lightroom tool in so many areas of photography where careful control of colour is required. The colour panel will also let you adjust the luminance of colour and also the hue. If you have never experiment with the adjustment Lightroom provides in the area it is well worth a go.

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Landscape Photography - Two strong images is better than none by adamkarnacz@me.com

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Composition, settings and images from Vlog 8.

Here we unpick the images from my landscape photography vlog in Haweswater Reservoir in the Lake District. I share camera settings, compositional considerations and discuss the ups and downs of the shoot.

If you missed the vlog you can catch up with it here - https://youtu.be/muuiNNPRfsA

The day was very wet, very windy and I faced some very challenging conditions. I came home with five shots, two that I am really happy with. There have been too many days to remember now when I have been out to capture a great landscape and came back empty handed. Most often this is due to weather and the light not performing as hoped. Clouds can make or break a landscape photograph and often the difference between a great shot, and no shot is a knife edge.

One shot = Success

Long ago I decided that coming home from a day with at least one great shot counts as a success.

This video is designed to give some insight into how I compose the images from my vlog, the camera settings used and general thoughts. Hopefully you can see the composition techniques I employ and the process I go through when capturing my landscape photography. I also some of the filters I have used including and neutral density filter and a circular polariser.

Please let me know if you find the video useful and would like me to do a similar photo de-brief on all my future vlogs.

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Landscape Photography - Unpicking the images from the Ullswater vlog by adamkarnacz@me.com

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Image debrief from my latest landscape photography vlog.

Here I go through the images I captured during my last landscape photography vlog near Ullswater in the Lake District. I share my techniques on composition, camera settings and my thoughts generally.

If you missed the vlog you can catch up with that here - https://youtu.be/1k5l5Eu1vWg

Many of you have been asking me to go into more detail about each image that I capture during my vlogs, including camera settings, compositions and photo editing techniques. I have been reluctant to include this because I fear it could detract from the story of the day and slow down the pace and enjoyment of the film.

However, I am not hiding anything, I want you to have all the information. So I created this video where I discuss each image and include, settings, composition tips and my thoughts generally.

Please let me know if you find the video useful and would like me to do a similar photo de-brief on all my future vlogs.

There will be another landscape photography vlog coming this week so please subscribe to the channel.

Sunset Photography - How to do Bracketing Photography by adamkarnacz@me.com

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Improve your sunset photography by bracketing exposure.

Sunset photography is a challenging genre within landscape photography. I have talked before about how our own eyes and brain work together to let us see a very large dynamic ranges of light. We see details in shadows and very bright highlights at the same time.

Despite cameras having ever increasing dynamic range they still do not compare to the eye/brain combination. The problem is particularly felt in sunset photography where there is high contrast between the sky, where we often shoot straight at the sun, and the ground which gets darker later in the day with long shadows.

We previously got round this using graduated filters. A more modern technique is bracketing photography. Here we take a number of shots at different exposures and combine them in the computer. This creates a RAW file that contains all the details from the darkest shadows to the brightest highlights. This is exactly the same as HDR photography but we are looking to reproduce a natural sunset photography shot that our eyes perceived, rather than that HDR look.

Bracketing Photography

To capture everything that my eyes see I use bracketing photography. To do this in the camera you first need to be in manual mode. You will need a tripod. Set your ISO to 100, aperture to the f8-f16 range and then balance exposure with the shutter speed so you get an image that captures some small detail in the shadows and does not totally over exposure the sky. Use your Histogram to help you expose for the mid tones.

Turn on bracketing. On a Canon camera it is via the Q menu. When doing sunset photography going two stops either side is often the most effective.

Set the camera to fire using the two second timer to avoid any camera shake. The camera needs to be perfectly still for each of the three shots otherwise Lightroom will not be able to combine the images.

Take your shot and the camera will take three exposures. Check each image to make sure you have one that is exposed for the highlights, one for the mid tones and one for shadows.

Combine your sunset photography in Lightroom using the Photo Merge/HDR command. This combines your images into one large RAW file that allows much greater adjustment than a single shot. Process you sunset photography image and aim for something very similar to what your eyes witnessed to avoid your image looking over processed.

Cheating?

Cheating? For me no. I look to create a final image that is as close to what my eyes perceived as possible. the means whether it is with a physical graduated filter, bracketing or a futuristic camera is irrelevant.

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Straight Lines Will Take Your Photography to the Next Level by adamkarnacz@me.com

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Take your photography to the next level by employing straight lines.

Since I started making video critiques a recurring theme has been keeping lines straight. This can be everything from architecture to portraits and its especially important to keep the horizon straight in landscape photography.

Why is it important you ask? We perceive the world in straight lines. When you look at a horizon with the naked eye it is always straight.  Buildings look straight, trees are straight and we look people straight in the eyes. Even when we tilt our heads our brain will still force us to perceive it as straight.

So when we look at a picture and things are not straight, it feels wrong. A wonky horizon, a diagonal building or still water on a hill all go against our normal perceptions.

A photograph will always be more appealing when lines are straight. Clearly curves are beautiful too and often photographers will shoot things at an angle intentionally but all other times things should be straight.

Happily this is a very easy thing to solve both at the time of shooting and in post processing when things have gone askew. It happens.

First, when you look through the view finder notice your scene and think about shooting straight. Notice the background and edges of the frame and this will make the vast majority of your images straight. Secondly the camera provides tools to help keep things straight.

Some cameras have a level level tool. You can also bring up the guide in live-view and align it with your horizon or you can get a small spirit level to attach to the top of your camera. Get the bubble between the lines and then you know it is straight.

Straightening Tool in Lightroom

Lastly you sort things in post-processing. Adobe Lightroom has a very powerful and simple tool to straighten lines. The straightening tool.

If you employ these simple tricks your images will instantly look better and really elevate your pictures to another level.

Let me know what you think. I'm obviously a big fan of straight lines but I suspect many of you might feel different. Share your thoughts and we can have an interesting and constructive  discussion.

Get Adobe Lightroom  - https://www.firstmanphotography.com/get/photography-plan

Subscribe to the YouTube channel

How to shoot RAW files on your iPhone by adamkarnacz@me.com

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iOS 10 will let you shoot raw files on your iPhone with Lightroom mobile. The results are simply amazing.

Most people interested in photography will be aware of RAW files. They are essentially digital negatives. They contain all the data the camera sensor collects in an uncompressed format so no data is lost. This means you have much greater flexibility when editing, giving more accurate and detailed adjustments with things like exposure, white balance and colour tone. Just not possible when dealing with compressed files like jpegs.

Thanks to a recent update in Adobe Lightroom Mobile and to Apple’s iOS 10 you can now shoot DNG RAW files with your iPhone and the results are simply astounding. It's like having a whole new camera.

In the video I will show you how to shoot the images, how you can edit them in either Lightroom mobile or your desktop and then look at a few comparison shots so you can see what can be achieved.

Lightroom Mobile

You need to actually shoot your image using the Lightroom app rather than the iOS 10 native camera app and make sure the DNG RAW setting is selected. Once you do, go ahead and shoot your shot. You then have all the editing functions you normally have using Adobe Lightroom. You can start your edit on the phone and then move over to the computer if you wish.

I am amazed about how effective the iPhone camera now actually is. Pulling detail out of highlights and adjusting exposure that is just not possible with jpegs.

Here you can see an image edited from the native camera app. Details are lost in the highlights and you are limited to how much exposure can be adjusted. Look what happens when the same shot is captured in RAW. The difference is amazing.

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The post processing that can now be done is just much much greater. Like turning an image like this:

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Into an images like this:

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Adobe Photography Plan with Lightroom Mobile

To get this feature you will need to subscribe to the Adobe Photography plan. That gives you Lightroom, Photoshop and Lightroom mobile and this awesome ability to take your smartphone camera pictures to the next level.

Get Lightroom mobile and the Adobe Photography Plan - Click here

PhotoPills Photography App - The Swiss Army Knife of Photography by adamkarnacz@me.com

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The PhotoPills app will take your photography to the next level

In this video we take a look at the PhotoPills photography app. We explain what it is and go over a few of the features to see how this app can really help you capture some amazing images.

Photography Planning App

I have talked before on my vlog about how planning and preparation is key to photography. PhotoPills is an amazing tool to do that. If you you shoot landscapes, sunsets, astro photography, long exposures, star trails or time-lapses then this app is a must for you. Essentially it is a collection of tools that makes planning your shoots easy. It includes things like an exposure calculator, a time-lapse calculator and tools to let you know where the sun, moon and Milky Way will be at certain times of the year and in a given location.

Sadly PhotoPills is not available for Android yet. They are currently in the process of making an android version now that should be out by the end of the year.

Augmented Reality

The app has some excellent features and including an augmented reality mode. If you find yourself in a beautiful location that you think might make a nice shot, you can launch the augmented reality mode and it will show exactly where the sun will be at a particular time and where it will set.

I couldn't live without this now. It saves me so much time and basically all my research and planning for a shot can be done in the app. If you spend some time getting to know the app, follow some of Photopills own excellent tutorials you really will see your photography move to the next level and you'll be capturing amazing images that no one else has.

What it doesn't do is control he weather though.

Cost

It costs about £7.99/$9.99 but that is he most straightforward £7.99/$9.99 you will ever spend. Check it out now.

PhotoPills website - http://www.photopills.com/

Download from the app store - Click here.

Please subscribe to my YouTube channel.

Water Drop Photography - The Secret to Perfect Drop Mixture by adamkarnacz@me.com

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Next level water drop photography

In this video I’m going to show you how to make the perfect drop mixture for your water drop photography.

I am probably best known for my water drop photography. I love it, many of you love it so it's likely that every now and again it will pop up on my channel and today is one of those occasions. I now have a series of videos dedicated to water drop photography:

In this video I answer a question many of you have asked me and that is what do you add to liquid to give it that glass like effect. Well the secret is xanthan gum and I'm going to show my technique for mixing up the perfect water drop photography solution.

Like I said before you can use various liquids but I find you gain greatest control by using xanthan gum. Xanthan gum can be bought very cheaply form health food stores and will last you a long time because you only need a very small amount to thicken the water..

You want to start with around one pint of warm or hot water. Xanthan gum really does not like dissolving in water so using warm water helps it along. Take about half a teaspoon of Xanthan gum and sprinkle it into the water. Stir well and then wait. Much of the gum will stick together and refuse to dissolve but I find leaving it overnight allows the maximum amount to dissolve.

If there are any lumps left in the mixture I will sieve them out. If your mixture is really thick you just need to water it down to get the required consistency.

Consistency

You can play around with this but you do not want it to be too thick or it will not come out the dropper at the right time because it will stick in the nozzle. A consistency like melted butter or olive oil is around where you need to be.

This is then my base mixture for a shoot. During the shoot I will the add colour to the liquid in the form of food colouring to provide different types of shots and the addition of milk will add an interesting opacity to the liquid that can really add some extra interest to the shot.

This then pours into the SplashArt reservoir ready to create some beautiful water drop collisions.

I tend to go all out and make extra mixture to fill my water bath, but again, you can experiment with this.

Please subscribe to the channel for new videos every Wednesday and every Sunday.