Spending time outside is truly my favourite activity to do with my family. My son knows what it means to ‘go on an adventure’ and that no matter what mum and dad have chosen it will be fun. I hope you have enjoyed (as I have) following along with this week’s theme to learn lots of tips of how to capture those moments outside.
ISO. 400. f22. 1/500.
I took this on a recent vacation to Colorado at the top of Pikes Peak. I took mostly snapshots on our vacation because I didn’t want to spend our entire vacation composing the perfect shot. But for this, I had a vision and got my settings right before I had them get into place, so I could get the shot quickly. I knew I wanted the most dramatic flare I could get, so I set my aperture as small as it would go to f22. I added my usual preset and then lifted the shadows on the rocks and bumped up the clarity and contrast in the tone curve a bit.
For this image I didn’t have to do too much in post. I was trying to show my son’s bravery and love for climbing in a world so big and it was a beautiful night. The location is on top of the highest highway in the US called Trail Ridge Road in Colorado. We happened to be driving to the little mountain town Grand Lake right at sunset and got out to walk the trail (I quickly grabbed a camera). The image was shot with my 24-70 2.8 lens. I exposed about 4 stops dark for the sky and to make a silhouette of my son. Aperture at f11 to get good sun flare. In Lightroom I turned down the blacks and shadows a bit and warmed it a little. In Photoshop added a Jessica Drossin texture at a low opacity, used a Gaussian blur at about 5% on the border, added a touch of clarity to my son in the middle and that was it!
The original looks very similar because it was such a grey foggy day, but his swim trunks have a BRIGHT orange and aqua striping that constrasted strangely to my eye with the grey surroundings. I upped the exposure in the built in iPhone photo edit options, and used teir mono filter, then added a sight vignette in Instagram before posting.
ISO100. f13. 1/100.
One of my favorites from our summer vacation. I shot this with a 16-35. I slightly overexposed the landscape, to where I could bring it down in processing, with fairly good exposure on my son. In LR, I added a gradual filter, reducing exposure, in two areas on the sky, as well as a radial filter slightly decreasing exposure around the boat, providing a subtle vignette. Added a radial filter on him to bring up shadows, exposure, clarity, just a smidge. Increased global contrast, clarity, vibrance, +10. I tweaked aqua and blue on the HSL panel, not too much but enough to accentuate the existing colors of the lake and sky (beautiful that day). Lastly, I used an adjustment brush and enhanced the sun’s rays by increasing exposure and highlights; again, just slightly. I found this to be a great way to bring out the sun’s rays, more noticeable on those hot summer days, without over doing it. Overall, various slight adjustments in the process. In PS, I added a texture, soft light, at 25% opacity for added pop.
I edited this using the Enlight App for iPhones. I took the highlights of the sky way down, and then lowered the clarity of the sky down after that, in order to add some interest to the sky as it was an extra grey day. I brought the details/structure way up on the rest of the photo and bumped up the saturation, warmth, and brightness a bit. I added the lighthouse light using the LensLight app. and then did a slight vignette at the last minute in Instagram before posting. This is by far my most edited photo to date!
I transferred it to my iPhone, and used a Mextures preset filter. I then opened it up in Snapseed and added a vignette, upped the exposure just a touch on my daughter, and added a tiny bit of contrast, took the ambiance down slightly, and added a smidge of glamour glow. I usually don’t use glamour glow because I don’t like that it seems to make my photos less sharp, so it was just a tiny tiny bit, to give it a storybook feel. I also made some of the green grass -5 cooler with the temperature brush, and upped the saturation of the dandelion in her hand. I usually don’t mess with my photos to this extent, but I had a vision for exactly how I wanted this one to look!
This particular photo was incredibly dark before editing (in fact I almost deleted it when I saw it!) Luckily it was shot raw and I was able to touch it up to bring out the original colors. When shooting into the sun I like to close my aperture to achieve a more defined flare. I edited this in Lightroom and increased exposure and contrast, and used the dodge and burn features to better define the pockets of light and shadows.
This shot was taken over a year ago and I didn’t have some of my beloved lenses I own now. I had brought an 85 mm, a 35 mm, and my kit lens on the hike and ended up taking this with my 18-55 (at focal length of 18). I’ve always found it cool and funny one of my favorite photos of my daughter was taken with a cheap kit lens! I used an aperture in the f4-6 range so I could capture some details (and not miss focus on my girl from that far away) but still have some dreamy out of focus aspect to it as well.