2018-12-16: Luminar’s Sky Enhancer

Last week I decided I would play around with one of the new features in Luminar, a filter called AI Sky Enhancer.  Perhaps the timing wasn’t so good though, as yesterday evening I downloaded the newly release Luminar 3, and with the added library function, I was having a bit of trouble navigating the system (since I haven’t yet looked at any resources on how to use the new software).  Despite a bit of floundering within the libraries function, the actual photo editing and filters layout remains the same, and I was able to complete my self-appointed task.

This first image wasn’t solely about the sky; it’s kind of hard to ignore the leopard in the tree!  I wanted to enhance the natural colours of the sky and bring up some of the shadow areas.  I started with the AI Sky Enhancer and added other filters as needed (which was how I approached all the images).  I’ve included a split screen showing before and after and the edited image for each one I worked on.

Screen Shot 2018-12-16 at 1.02.33 PM

20170507-DSC_3415.jpg

Next up is a photo shot while on a boat on the Boteti River in Botswana.  Shooting into the sun left the sky quite washed out; I am impressed how well I could enhance the sky colour and the clouds with Luminar without it becoming to HDR-like.

Screen Shot 2018-12-16 at 10.29.26 AM

20170502-DSC_1713

The Okavango Delta is an amazing place for sunsets; the colours in the sky are incredibly dramatic from my experience.  With that much colour already, it is easy to take the image a step too far and have it look radioactive.  The AI sky enhancer did a great job accentuating the detail in the clouds, without pumping the colour up to 11.

Screen Shot 2018-12-16 at 12.48.11 PM

20170504-DSC_2020edited

Finally I have included a sunset from the Hoanib desert in Namibia.  There was a lot of airborne dust and sand that evening, so while I did do some noise reduction in the sky to reduce the visible grain, there is definitely still a lot of texture.  This was also shot with my Panasonic camera, which is much noisier than the Nikon I was also shooting with.  Regardless, I am please with the realistic tones, the detail in the clouds and the textures in the desert and the hills.

Screen Shot 2018-12-16 at 4.48.15 PM.jpg

20170425-P1020555.jpg

I’m going to ow have to spend some time familiarizing myself with the layout of the new Luminar software, so I can work using their library function in an efficient manner.

2018-12-09: Artistic Impressions

This week, I felt inspired to play around in Topaz Impressions and create some of my artistic impression images.  Or as I like to say, what I would paint, if I could paint :).

Next week, I am going to try and work with the new AI Sky Enhancer that Luminar just released.

Wishing everyone a fantastic week ahead!

20170516-DSC_7023 copy-Edit
A young elephant seen on an early morning game drive.
20170507-DSC_3319 copy-Edit
A leopard scanning the horizon at sunset in the Okavango Delta.
20170516-P1030577 copy-1-Edit
A regal lion laying in the tall grass just after sunrise.
20170513-P1030367 copy
A large warthog moving through camp.
20170514-DSC_5752 copy2
A fiery sunset – Africa has the most expressive skies!

2018-12-03: Monochrome Monday

A trio of leopard images to start the week.  I hope you enjoying, and wishing you a fantastic week ahead.

20170507-DSC_3211
We were lucky enough to spend a couple of hours with this beautiful leopard, as day faded into night.
20170507-DSC_3506 copy-Edit
Even though I got loads of great photos while it was still out light out, when our ranger got the spotlight out, I had to try for a couple more.
20170516-DSC_7582.jpg
A leopard cub descending a fallen tree to play with its sibling.

2018-11-26: Monochrome Monday

Wishing everyone a wonderful week ahead!

20170509-DSC_3737
A cheetah seen on Phinda Game Reserve during a morning game drive.
20170514-DSC_5482
A lion resting in the shade in the afternoon heat on Ngala Game Reserve.
20170515-DSC_5998
A leopard pausing alongside our vehicle during an afternoon game drive on Londolozi.

2018-09-24: Monochrome Monday

I’m still doing my month of Topaz Studio editing, and decided on a different approach for the images today.  I did the initial colour and tone correction in On1 Photo Raw, and then sent it over to Topaz Studio for further editing.  I did that because the first image shown, of the leopard cub, was rendering so flat in Topaz Studio as a raw file that it would have taken a lot of work just to get it back to a place to start editing.  I figured I would do the same for the other images, just to keep things consistent.

From a workflow perspective, it has definite advantages as the edited image appears back in On1 complete with all my keywords and other tagging that I use, so it is one less step to have to do to organize things.

20170516-DSC_7521 copy-Edit.jpg
A precocious leopard cub exploring a fallen tree over a swamp.  Londolozi, May 2017.
20170502-DSC_1650 copy-Edit.jpg
This magpie shrike was a perfect candidate for a monochrome treatment, being a black and white bird.  The acacia thorns and blue sky in the background did little to enhance the image.
20170506-DSC_2659 copy-Edit.jpg
An African Wild Dog on a pathway through the Khwai region of the Okavango Delta.

Wishing everyone a great week ahead!