Tag Archive for 'editing'

Advanced Video Editing in LR4 – Using Develop Module Adjustments

by Gavin Seim: With the new LR4 beta now out, I’ve of course been poking around inside. One great feature for us that capture video, is the ability to play and do light edits via Quick Develop and build video clips into our LR workflow.

But there’s something more that you may have noticed. Initially just basic settings are shown available for video, as we can see on the left. Exposure, contrast and the like. Others get greyed out. Also when you attempt to go into the Develop module for more advanced edits, it simply says “Video is not supported in Develop.”

And yet, it seems we can use some Develop settings via presets. I decided to just run a few from Seim Effects presets and see what happened. I was pleasantly surprised when I saw the dialog below and that while not all, many of the develop settings are actually available using presets. Settings I was able to apply and export on my clip.

Needless to say I was pretty excited. I didn’t see this shown at the Adobe press conference a few weeks back and as far as I know Adobe has announced no official develop module support for video. But it stands to reason it may be coming.

The Technique for right now is to make Develop presets on a still frame and then apply those settings to video. We can tweak color channels, curves and the like and really gain a great deal of control over video clips in very short order. It’s not perfect: There’s still some settings missing that would be valuable, but we’re off to a good start.

I’m rather excited at the workflow potential. And that I’ll be able to offer presets that can be used for video editing. We’ll see what happens. I plan to experiment further and post some free video presets soon on my blog.. G

LR tells me that not all settings from the preset are being used and lists what's available before applying the effect. Still a pretty effective lineup of tools.

Copy Settings showed all available tools currently available on video. Not all, but all these, plus B&W adjustments (not shown in this dialogue) are some of the most important ones. With these we can do some serious effects.

5 Essential Keys of Amazing Photographs.

By Gavin Seim

Simplicity is key to a great photograph. It turns even complex scenes into stunning beauty by controlling elements, light, and tone.

It’s not about how much is in a photograph. It’s about how we showcase our subject in relation to that supporting cast of elements. Now I’m not suggesting the images I show are “perfect.” It’s rare that I get everything dead on, and I can always find something I should have done better. But truly understanding and mastering these elements WILL raise the bar on our images and allow us to see in a new way.

1. Visualize.
Everyone says they’re doing it, but few actually are. You should truly “see” the scene in your mind’s eye; not what’s in the viewfinder but the finished image after the exposure, even after editing. You should see the image you want after the process is finished. It’s fairly simple, but in the rush we often fail to slow down and think carefully about the lines, elements, and tones in our scene. That’s one reason why I love working with a tripod. It takes my focus away from holding a camera and puts it on the scene in front of me.

Ansel Adams said, “The whole key lies very specifically in seeing it in the mind’s eye which we call visualization.”

Sunsets Hidden Falls, Yosemite 2010, Gavin Seim - I used a layer based HDR process on this, processing my light and dark frames as silver and layer blending in Photoshop. I spent a good deal of time on the composition and tonal control to try and keep the scene simple while still showing all the elements. You can see the stone faces on Zones 6-7, with the foreground elements falling drastically all the way down to Zone 1, keeping them as supporting cast from becoming too distracting.

 

2. The Light & The Zones.

Expose for what you want in your image, not what the camera sees. This goes right along with visualization, and the Zone scale is the best way I know of, both to visualize and to control values. It allows us to see in our mind’s eye the Zones in a scene and place them where we want, using exposure, and finally tonal edits. For more on detailed tonal value control, see the counter article to this one, 3 Critical Elements of Controlling Tonal Values.

The Zone scale from 1-10. Middle grey is Zone V (5). This shows the darkest dark to the lightest light and is invaluable for simple visualizing and exposing a scene. Each step represents a stop, making it easy to move your exposure up or down and place an element in a given zone.

 

Continue reading ‘5 Essential Keys of Amazing Photographs.’

JPEG vs RAW – Let’s Settle it With a Single Example:

by Gavin Seim. Updated 06/23/12: It’s been a common debate, though much less so as pro’s learn that RAW is a no brainier. I deal with both the JPEG and RAW side quite often because the tools I make on Seim Effects. I’ve seen the value of RAW and once you do there’s no going back. Some photographers that still use JPEG, use a reason like… “I nail my exposure, so there’s no reason for me to use RAW”. I think when this happens it’s one of two things.

  • Showmanship. For some, I think showing everyone how spot on your exposure comes out is a great way to show off when making a presentation. OK I get that, we all like to show our proficiency, but I’d rather not toss away quality on my clients images to get expert points on the minds of my peers.
  • The most common reason however. I think some still have a mental block about RAW and don’t want to address it. I remember being in that spot years back. Somehow the larger files size and RAW data seems daunting. In reality it was not big deal at all. I know because I went thru it. If you’re in this camp just move beyond it and you’ll be glad you did.

This idea is simple and that’s why this article will be short. JPEG tosses out information that you might need later in order to make a smaller file. It keeps that the camera “thinks” it needs. RAW keeps it all. And with today’s direct RAW editing and localized adjustments using software like Lightroom, the power of using RAW data has become crystal clear. Let’s skip the banter however and settle this. I could make up a bunch of examples for you, but this one photo proves my reasoning, so I’ll keep this short.

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1: Here is an outdoor wedding scene from a 5D MK2 unedited other than being cropped. Yes it’s a bit under exposed, but had it been correctly exposed I would have lost even more detail in the sky area. Now at a glace, this photo seems like no matter what we do it will be pretty bland. Lets look.

Continue reading ‘JPEG vs RAW – Let’s Settle it With a Single Example:’

Our Central WA HDR Workshop Results.

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by Gavin Seim: I just hosted the first “Incredible HDR” (high dynamic range) photo workshop in Central Washington. It was an intimate three day class of six, with attendees from as far as London, so we had plenty of one on one time. The images they made were amazing. I’m really proud of the students and the creative results they produced during the workshop. We covered everything from how to capture HDR portraits, to final edits, controlling light and presentation.

I believe one of the most important parts of good HDR is knowing how to edit it. There’s a lot of really ugly HDR because photographers don’t understand what their dealing with and how to make something magical from it. Going further however I want to remind those playing with HDR that the rules of photography do not go away because a photo is HDR. Interesting subject matter, composition and attention to detail are all very important factors in a great image. The students at this workshop were from varied experience levels but I think every one of them got it and took home something valuable.

I’ll post a few images from students below as well as a few of my own I took during excursions. It seems every time I teach something, I learn something new myself. If you’re interested in learning more about my HDR workshops you can find info here on Seim Effects.

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Continue reading ‘Our Central WA HDR Workshop Results.’

15 Tips for Wedding Photographers:

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Get the essentials: Thinking outside the box works, Just remember to get the MUST have's. Walking down the isle, standing at the alter, the first dance and many more. What's important to each couple can vary, so communication is important.

Where to start, how to get there, how to stay there. Secrets for professional and aspiring wedding photographers from Gavin & others.

by Gavin Seim: How do I handle my first wedding? How do I become a pro? I get these type of questions fairly often. Weddings aren’t for everyone but most aspiring and pro photographers will photograph a wedding sometime in their career. There’s much to be learned from what’s demanded of us at a wedding. While this article is aimed at those getting started, seasoned pro’s will get ideas too.

Today I’ll give some I’ll talk the basics of how I see and think when I photograph a wedding. Tips 1-6 will focus on getting great images. Then we’ll talk a bit about a  post production and business (which is every bit as important). As we go thru them I’ll post some favorite images and share some thoughts.

The first wedding is daunting. Let me say that I won’t be talking about extreme photography basics in this article. If you’re at that stage there’s no shame in it, but you should gain some experience before tacking a wedding on your own. It’s a one time event and if you get it wrong you will be, at best, a sore spot in the eyes of your client. That’s not good for getting new clients and both you and your client deserve better.

If you can, second shoot aside an experienced photographer it’s a great way to learn, gain better portfolio and get more confidence. In my case that never happened. Though got serious about photography at age 12, my first wedding was cold turkey. I photographed for fun at a wedding and the couple loved them. That pushed me forward and my first paid wedding came awhile after. The rest is… Well the rest is below.

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Try new things: This shot is the result of the first time I used off camera wireless flash (with Radio Poppers) at a wedding. I was just learning them, but made the choice to push myself to get great light in this scene. It paid off and my final image has a neat cinematic feel that fits my style.

Before my first wedding I absorbed the information in at least three wedding photography books. That helped me get a feel for what should happen. Without that study I would have missed a lot of important things. Resources like this are great (I wish I had had them) but a book can help you get perspective and have a reference to review. I’ll list few good books to get you rolling at the bottom of this post.

My first paid gig was back in the film days. I was about eighteen. Armed with my Canon EOS3, a cheap flash, a cheap zoom lens and an old monolight strobe handed down from Doug Miller, a real local pro, I became a wedding photographer. Was I good? No, but I was enthusiastic.

Continue reading ’15 Tips for Wedding Photographers:’

Seim Effects Editing Tools Spring Sale:

Spring is nearly here and our sister site Seim Effects has just launched some great deals to kick things off. Check out the site for 20-25% any of their effects.

SE has lots of fans all over the world. Their Lightroom Presets and Photoshop actions work great and they have great service to go along with it.

If you’re not wanting to lay out the moolah, you should also check the freebies section of their site with all kinds of zero dollar goodies.

www.seimeffects.com