Day 26 Assignment – Fix Dynamic Range

I call this the Clinging Tree because it has been clinging to the edge of the cliff by its roots for years and has even survived cyclones. This photo was taken with the sun setting to the left.

I watched Jim’s entire video but only used Lightroom to restore this photo. I made adjustments to the highlights, shadows, blacks and exposure and reduced the luminance of light blue, dark blue and yellow, while slightly increasing the orange.

1/80 f/8 ISO 3200 54mm

Day 25 Assignment – Add Contrast

For this assignment we were to add texture and punch to one of our pictures by adding contrast.

I wasn’t happy with my first attempt where I started in Photoshop then made adjustments in Lightroom, so I started again from scratch using Lightroom first then only used Photoshop to clean up the jetty and remove the lamp posts.

Nightcliff Jetty – Original 1/1000 f3.5 ISO 80 24mm

First attempt – lamp posts left in

I didn’t like the white patch in the sky when I removed the lamp posts, but I didn’t like the result when I tried to fix it either so I started again:

End results with and without lamp posts.

Day 23 Assignment – Enhance Tones

For this assignment we were to find one of our photos where the lighting or exposure was off and fix it using the tools in Lightroom and Photoshop we’d learnt about in Day 23: Control the Light.

I selected this photo from Day 6 Assignment – Stop the Action because Jim Hamel liked it but said it needed brightening in post processing.

This first photo is the original.

The second photo shows the results of my first attempt at brightening using the basic sliders in Lightroom and slight cropping on the left side to remove a partial palm frond.
I hadn’t made notes of the adjustments I’d made so I went back and the third photo shows the results after I
increased the contrast and highlights
brought down the shadows
increased the whites
brought down the blacks
and I removed the log fence in Photoshop.
Then in photo 4, I went a bit further and 
increased the temperature, tint and vibrance 
lowered the saturation  
increased the clarity 
lowered the dehaze.

Day 19 Assignment – Leading Lines

Create a photograph with leading lines that guide the viewer’s eye.
The lines can either lead the viewer into the subject of the picture or across the picture to the subject.
Decide whether you want the subject of the picture to be the lines themselves or something else.
I tried to find leading lines in a variety of natural and constructed situations.
I experimented with Lightroom and Photoshop to enhance my photos by using the exposure, whiteness, contrast and highlights controls; I used a vignette for the first time and I removed a person’s head. I tried out the luminance bar/arch but I wasn’t confident and need a lot more practice as I pulled it into some unexpected shapes with undesirable results.
The originals follow the enhanced photos below.
Elizabeth River Bridge from the jetty
Elizabeth River Jetty with the bridge in the background

Train tracks converging with the road approaching the bridge

Finn Road in the rural area before the bridge – accidentally replaced the original

Rapid Creek
Footbridge over Rapid Creek – two views
A grove of gumtrees before the footbridge
Cloud over Nightcliff boat ramp breakwater and Sunset Park
Golden path to the sun Nightcliff

Day 18 Assignment – Clouds

For this assignment we were to create one compelling photo of clouds.
Set the horizon on the bottom third line so that at least two thirds of the frame is sky.
Foreground is important so chose your location carefully.
Make sure the picture balances – use formal or informal balance – symmetrical or asymmetrical.
Spend time getting it just right by cropping.

This is almost identical to the original which I seem to have deleted.

Cropped and removed blemishes in Photoshop.

I love the balance of the little fishing boat on one side against the dark menacing storm cloud on the other.

This cloud balanced itself but I took a few other shots to include some foreground.

It was hard to find an example of formal symmetrical balance. I used the jetty lightposts.

Day 17 Assignment – Invite the Viewer In – Back to Front Composition

For this assignment we were to 
shoot a landscape scene arranging the shots using ‘back to front’ composition.
Concentrate  on the foreground.
Create a sense that the viewer can walk into the picture.
Try getting low, getting behind something. 
Look for patterns on the ground.

Day 14 Assignment: The Twilight Shot

For this assignment we were required to take photos in one location from sunset to full darkness so that we could experience the changing light and the adjustments we needed to make to our settings.

I found this chart when I was checking the time of sunset on the day. It shows the times of Civil, Nautical and Astro Twilight.


I started shooting at 7.12 pm and took about 35 photos until 7.47 pm when it became impossible for my camera to capture any image, regardless of what settings I chose.

7.12 pm 1/160 f6.4 ISO 400

Within five minutes I had to widen the aperture and Increase the ISO:

7.17 pm 1/130 f6.3 ISO 800

From 7.18 pm I had to use the widest aperture on my camera f5.6

7.18 pm 1/320 f5.6 ISO 800

At 7.19 pm I increased the ISO to 1600 but that made the image too bright and washed out the colours.

7.19 pm 1/320 f5.6 ISO 1600

I tried including some foreground after that and adjusted the shutter speed and ISO settings to try to get a true representation of the colours – f5.6 aperture being the widest on my camera used for all.

7.27 pm 1/100 f5.6 ISO 1600

From then until the end of Civil Twilight at 7.34 pm I turned the ISO up to 800 and adjusted the shutter speed to between 1/30 and 1/100.

7.34 pm 1/30 f5.6 ISO 800

After that, while I was shooting in Nautical Twilight, I increased the ISO to 3200 and adjusted the shutter speed to between 1/25 and 1/160

7.47 pm 1/25 f5.6 ISO 3200

My camera didn’t make it to the end of Nautical Twilight, which is probably just as well as it was past dinner time and we were hungry!

31 Days to Becoming a Better Photographer

I’ve been doing an online photography course for a couple of weeks now, ’31 Days to Becoming a Better Photographer’, which requires posting photos to a Facebook group.

1/320 f6.4 ISO 200 Off Nightcliff Beach

I’m trying to work out how to do this from WordPress.

I would like to post my photos and assignments here so people can view them if they are interested instead of on Facebook where they don’t have any option.

Day 13: Find the Best Location

Virtual Scouting

I used Google Maps to locate Nightcliff Jetty, my favourite place to take photos. I had a look at some of the photos other people had posted on there. It’s a very popular spot and it looks like it has been photographed from every possible angle already. I’ll have to get creative!

This assignment proved very useful in planning our upcoming trip to Hawaii. When I Googled ‘Hawaii photography guides’ it came up with three sites detailing the best locations for classic shots from painted forests and snow-capped mountains to volcanoes and lava flowing into the sea.

Flickr World Map was also full of amazing shots.

A search of my local libraries found a recent edition of Lonely Planet’s Best of Hawaii which is full of amazing photos a well as being a great source of information.

I can hardly wait to make my own attempts!