Back from Colombia (not Columbia, just saying), back to grey autumn in Germany. Time to work on the pictures I took. Let’s start with the actual reason why we went to Colombia, the wedding of Ana Maria and Javier.
Have a look at the ingredients: San Andrés in Colombia, a Caribbean island, beach, happy Colombians, a beautiful bride and a party to remember. All that guarantees tons of fun.
Pictures from the dancefloor are better locked away.
while on the road, here a few shots from the roof of our hotel in Santa Marta.
Long exposure shots are nice and quite frankly a loooot of fun. At least when you finally meet somebody that teaches you how to do it. I’m not gonna lie, for a long time I used mainly the P mode in my Nikon (P for Program Automatic) and while I still felt that I was getting good results, a new world opens up when you finally start shooting in half or full manual mode (thanks to Julio who taught me).
SHOOTING: WAITING FOR THE BLUE HOUR
For my last Frankfurt shooting we met shortly before sunset to make use of the blue hour that lasts usually around half an hour after sunset (golden hour is half an hour before sunset). In doubt, check this calculator, works perfect for me.
DATA: CAM // LENS // EXIF
Nikon D7200 // Sigma 10-20mm F3.5 // f/11 20s ISO100 10mm
RESULT Out of Cam (OOC)
BASIC IMAGE PROCESSING IN CAMERA RAW
The result out of cam without any editing is not bad but nothing like what you usually see around the internet which can actually be very frustrating. Believe me, I understand that very well, I’m trying with every new picture to get better and better. So this here is not coming from an expert, but from someone that is sharing what he’s learning along the way with you.
My first step is to open the RAW file in Adobe Camera Raw (opens immediately when you drag the file into Photoshop). Looks ok, not great. Here are my steps to improve the shot:
- Lens correction: if you’re using a current model it is likely that the lens will be detected and distortion and vignetting will be corrected atomatically
- In the basic settings, I start correcting by bringing highlights and whites a little down, while bringing shadows a bit up. I also bring up clarity quite a bit and vibrance a little. Although I’m a huge fan of contrast, with night shots, I usually take it down a bit. In this case, increasing the exposure also seems suitable.
- Going to HSL, adjust colors simply to how they seem right to you. Some people hate green, some don’t like orange or yellow. You’re free to work on saturation and luminance of each color and even shift single colors. Here, I’m going mainly for a more intense blue.
- Final step: adding a little sharpening, but careful to not sharpen the whole piece (masking amount high) and the radius not too much (around 1,8 is usually the max)
RESULT AFTER CAMERA RAW
I also learned (again, thanks to Julio), that a great and easy way to give architecture pictures a stronger impact is to straighten buildings in Photoshop, especially because of the distortion coming from wide angle lenses. In this case, let us leave it like that, the distortion seems quite ok for me.
Let’s see if we make these editing instructions a regular thing.
Recently we went for a spontaneous weekend trip from Frankfurt to Madrid, always to get out of the daily rut. Besides the fact that Madrid had fantastic 35 degrees, lots of great food and drinks waiting for us, the cherry on top was the 5* hotel we stayed at: Hotel Adler.
We were lucky enough to get the fantastic Junior Suite which was spacious, classic and felt very upscale.
Those are only short impressions from the room, I can tell you that the bathroom is actually as big as our apartment in Frankfurt (at least it felt like it).
Obviously, food is extremely important, so when I think about how a hotel was, I think of their breakfast. And I can tell you, this one will be in good memory. No buffet breakfast, instead a proper, well made breakfast. Scrambled eggs with bacon there: you have to try it.
Here is the entrance of the hotel:
Besides this, extremely friendly staff that helped us out with some guidance and insights on where to go in Madrid. The staff was so friendly to let me take some more pictures of other rooms, e.g. the Presidential Suite.
All in all, I think you get the idea: if you have the chance, stay there, you won’t regret it.
Hotel Adler homepage
Hotel Adler facebook
Pictures say more than a thousand words, so they say. Then I try to keep my mouth shut and show you what I shot the other day from Lindner Plaza in Frankfurt. 32 degrees, no clouds, empty terrace, what more can you ask for?
…this is kind of what it feels like around here. While I’m getting more and more active and focusing on my instagram channel, my actual “home” where it started is becoming one of those desert scenes in western movies where straw flies from one side to the other.
This will not be like this forever, I just have too many ideas in my head what to do, at the same time no clue what ACTUALLY to follow.
It’s funny, when you start blogging, you’ll see a lot of fellow bloggers posting about how they had been distracted lately and why they didn’t post for a while. I think I got to that point but at the same time not thinking that somebody actually reads this. The blogging world does not revolve around me.
So after this stunning discovery, have a great Sunday and somewhen (ahorita / irgendwann) I’ll get to make some changes around here. Until then: stay updated by following my instagram feed: instagram mybeardandmypenguin
Cheers to all of you (who might be reading this nevertheless)