I’m very happy to announce that I’ll be back in Sydney Sunday, February 10th to teach a Post-processing Workshop at the Maiden Theatre. I’ll be sharing my complete digital workflow from start to finish, focusing on manual blending techniques and how to maintain complete control over your images. From color correction to complex masking, if you’re curious how I craft my photography, this is your chance to find out.

Sydney will always have a special meaning to me as it’s the first place my wife and I visited after becoming Location Independent. Now, just shy of one year later, it’s interesting to think back and reflect on just how many things have changed since then and how this new lifestyle has taught me so much about the world. It’s also nice to know that even after traveling to dozens of international cities, Sydney still tops my list of favorite world destinations.

On this trip—having come from a few weeks off in New Zealand—I was swamped with work but I didn’t let it stop me from enjoying a few shooting sessions, and this vantage point near Luna Park has always been one of my favorite views. This time I also had a D800 to play with. 🙂

Technical Mumbo Jumbo

Camera: Nikon D800
Lens: 24-70 f/2.8 (Shot at 24 mm)
Tripod: RRS TVC-33 / BH-55 Ballhead / RRS L-Plate
ISO: 100 at f/8
5 Exposure Brackets (-2, -1, 0, +1, +2)

Location: Shot in Sydney, Australia – January 2013, and post-processed in Bagan, Myanmar – January 2013 (with frequent power outages).

Hardware: 15” 2011 Macbook Pro, Wacom Intuos5 Small Tablet

Software: Lightroom, Photoshop, NIK HDR Efex Pro 2.0, NIK Color Efex Pro 4

Technique and Details: Tone Mapping and Digital Blending

First, I processed all 5 exposure brackets in NIK HDR Efex Pro 2.0 and created a tone mapped image. Then, in Photoshop, I blended portions of the original exposures back in using luminance masking techniques to isolate the bridge and the sky. From there, I applied some color and contrast corrections using a combination of NIK Color Efex Pro 4 and Curves on adjustment layers.

Espresso: Lavazza Oro (my precious)