Blog Archives

Everlook Action Tutorial

We’ve released a new video tutorial!

We are often asked how we go about creating the characteristic appearance of our images. To answer that question, we’ve released ‘the’ action which we apply and modify to all of our images to achieve that look. This is your chance to use the action and to view the accompanying video which details how to create the action and modify it to suit your needs.  For the month of August, use the discount code STYLE20 for a 20% discount on this particular tutorial. Click on the link below for a detailed description of what you will get.

Everlook Action tutorial

The following video is a brief preview of the ‘simple’ part of the video which tells you how to install and use the action itself.

For users of earlier photoshop versions (eg photoshop 2015) , the action itself will not work as it utilises smart object functionality that will only work in photoshop CC. If you follow the second part of the video , there is only one step that you will need to change. When creating the ‘orton’ layer, do not make this layer a smart object but instead , use the following steps:

  1. Use Gaussian blur on a duplicate layer of the background image with the degree of blur matching the megapixel count of the camera
  2. Open a levels adjustment layer and leave it untouched for now
  3. Group the above two layers and change the opacity to 20%
  4. Now click on the levels adjustment layer inside the group and shift the right hand marker down to somewhere around ‘200’ and shift middle marker to the right until you have the right amount of ‘glow’

Happy editing!

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North Island Exposure

Have you found that when you discover a new photographic technique you tend to overdo it? This can be a field technique such as using reverse grads, it can be a post processing technique like using the ‘orton’ effect. Then after time, you realise that perhaps that technique isn’t the savior of all images and that those scenes could possibly have been shot or processed a better way? Today I thought I’d share with you some long exposures taken on the recent trip to New Zealand. Not every scene benefits from a very long exposure and on most occasions I end up taking shorter exposure versions as well. In fact, unless I have a vision in mind, I tend to veer away from very long exposures as they chew up valuable time during changing light! We have an assortment of ND filters to help us with day time long exposures. I prefer using a screw on 10 stop filter but we own a Lee ‘big stopper’ as well. I find that 10 stops is often too severe, especially around dusk. As a result, I end up using the 3 stop hard edged GND positioned over the entire image along with a 2 stop ND filter to give me 5 stops of light reduction.

Scene 1: Auckland city from Orakei wharf. Seas were pretty choppy and the clouds were moving horizontally across the city with golden light from  dawn starting to peak through. I thought it was a good opportunity to emphasise lines across the image while I took a few shorter exposures of boats crossing the scene. It just so happened that the light faded on the poles during the exposure. This was taken with a 70-200mm lens , 10 stopper and 3 stop soft GND .

Auckland

Scene 2: This was taken on Tumutmu road heading west from Waitomo caves village. As I arrived, I had to take some shots very quickly as the sheep ran from the moment I pulled out the camera! The clouds once again were moving quite quickly with faint dawn light coming through a layer of cloud and mist. The short exposures didn’t really capture anything dramatic in terms of cloud texture so I opted for a longer exposure in the sky. The images were blended for this result which won’t be to everyone’s liking but in my head I was thinking “running sheep, running clouds”. I think it’s important to put together some basic edits on the road for these sorts of composite images so you don’t lost the concept upon reviewing the archive many weeks later.

Waitomo countryside

Scene 3: Taranaki. This was taken on an overnight hike to Pouakai hut. The tarns are 1km from the hut and easily accessed through a boardwalked path. This evening did not look promising only a few minutes prior with the mountain shrouded in cloud and as it started to clear, there were two layers of cloud at its base and near its summit. I had hoped to capture a long exposure version of the two areas of drifting cloud but by the time I had set things up, the top band of cloud had dissolved away. Such are the risks of long exposure photography when you only have one shot at a changing scene!

Taranaki

Scene 4: Cathedral Cove. I mentioned before that the risk of long exposures is missing very temporary passing light. We stayed at this location for three days so I knew I would have a few opportunities to take images. When I arrived that morning and saw that the clouds were blowing directly overhead rapidly I thought this might be a good scene for a radiating long exposure with the sun. I find 10 stops of light stoppage too much on many occasions and so for this shot I used the 5 stop set up as outlined above.  Once again, the form of the clouds on shorter exposure was not particularly appealing hence the change in mindset to using longer exposures.

Cathedral Cove

Scene 5: Burke Street Jetty. We had intended to shoot this location at sunset but with kiddies bed time routine and the distance from Hahei, we decided to forego those plans for this trip and perhaps stay at the town of Thames for future wanderings around this jetty. From Thames , it is also a good base to delve deeper into the Corromandel mountains. Light was flat and grey on this day and there was little in the way of water motion for dramatic fast action shots. The birds themselves were quite content sitting still. This was not a planned shot but a ‘see how it goes’ long exposure which ended up being quite suited to mono treatment I thought.

Burke Street Jetty

 

There are really only a few images I would like to process from our trip left (including a few tricky panoramas to stitch). I hope this insight into long exposure photography has been helpful and we hope to take some more over a brief holiday to the coast over christmas!

-D

North Island Images : Cathedral Cove

Sail Rock dominates the skyline of Cathedral Cove

Sail Rock dominates the skyline of Cathedral Cove

Nearest access town : Hahei – carpark is at the end of Grange Rd on the edge of town

Access to location: 10 minutes jog, 20 minutes brisk walk, 40 minute amble – excellent path, steps.

Tide considerations: Access is to Mares Leg Cove with access to Cathedral cove a few hours either side of low tide.

Time of day: Beach faces ENE . Good for direct light at dawn and subtle hues at dusk.

Cathedral cove map

About the area: The walk to Cathedral cove starts with spectacular views of all of the coves along the way . They do seem much closer to the eye from the viewing platform than they actually are. Gemstone bay and Stingray bay are both great locations , particularly Stingray bay at low tide. Between Stingray bay and Cathedral cove is a grassy path to the Northern tip of Stingray bay. There are amazing top down views from here but only one precarious photographic vantage point free of obstruction. Mares Leg cove and Cathedral cove are joined by Cathedral cave. Be sure to walk the entire length of the beach at Cathedral cove as the appearance of Sail Rock changes dramatically depending on the vantage point. In the summer months, there will be almost no direct sun facing the coast due to its orientation hence and strongly front lit shot are best done in the winter months up to the equinox.

Pre and post editing

Pre and post editing

About the image: This was taken at dusk with a 10 stop ND filter. At the time, clouds were moving rapidly over head with subtle pink light from the sunset behind the cliffs. The tide was a midtide with little foreground interest in this orientation which was chosen for the direction of cloud movement. The Lee big stopper has a terrible blue/cyan tinge which needs heavy correction in post processing. This involves a correction of white balance several thousand degrees warmer and a hue shift to magenta of 20-30 in ACR. Even so, I have found that correcting white balance for separate parts of the image in separately exported files is the best way to go about finding the right balance. There was a little noise in the image which was dealt with in the foreground using a horizontal motion blur to accentuate the smoothness of the water (which is naturally green). Local contrast enhancements were done in luminosity mode to bring out the detail in the rock.

Good luck with the conditions there! We didn’t get any real stunning sunsets or sunrises but tried to adapt!

 

-D