Jenny Camerons Masterclass

Over the years I’ve been asked many times if I do Editing tutorials, and I never have until now when Photography Masterclass invited me to share a few of my favourite  Techniques, so here goes my very first..

Over the years I’ve been asked many times if I do Editing tutorials, and I never have until now when Photography Masterclass invited me to share a few of my favourite  Techniques, so here goes my very first..

I don’t have an exact Workflow that I follow as a rule, every image is different, therefore deserves its own treatment. People often ask what Plugin or Effect do I use, the answer is none. I wish it were that simple but the truth is you need to work at it with several techniques from your Creative self. I’ve been known to spend weeks on one image and even then there’s a possibility it will get deleted or I  walk away for a few months till I’m in the right head space for that particular image.  Other images can flow easily and done in an hour.. It all depends, they’re all different.

So …grab a Coffee, pull up a chair, load Photoshop, and chillax for some unconventional Jenny style editing. OHhh..and don’t forget the biscuits, they’re the most essential part!!

I thought Id start with the ever popular Romantic Orton Effect, its like something you’d see in the Movie Lord of the Rings. Developed my Michael Orton in the mid 80’s, which gives an almost surreal dreamy effect. There are so many different ways to do this and Tutorials all over the Internet. It’s a great effect that I use in the majority of my work and normally applied towards the end of Processing, which I personally think gives an extra polished look. Here’s how I do mine and the image we will be working on below.

©Jenny Cameron 2017
Sgurr nan Gillean, Isle of Skye. Scotland.

1. Duplicate your background layer by holding Ctrl+J, or CMD+J on a Mac.

2. With this New Layer selected, go to Image>Apply Image. Copy my settings from the image below.

use this one

3. Make another Copy in the Layers Panel by holding Ctrl+J, or CMD+J on a Mac .Your Layers Panel should now look like this.

orton

4. Now go to> Filter> Blur> Gaussian Blur. Select a Radius around 38 which is what I prefer when using my Canon 5d mark iv in Raw Format, but it depends on the size of your own image file. Have a play around with different Radius.

5. Close the Eye icon on your Background layer (see example circled in Red). Go to Layer > Merge Visible, this will Collapse your Three Layers into Two. Go back to your Eye icon and Open by un-checking it. Your Layers Panel should now look like this.

orton 2

6. Go to >Blend Mode >Multiple. This will look way too heavy and over cooked, so don’t lose hope, stay with me. Go to your Opacity Slider and Dial it down to whatever you feel looks good, usually anything between 12 and 30 Percent.

Tip: You can also Experiment with different Blend modes ..Overlay, Soft Light and Hard Light can work quite well too for more Pop! Word of caution though, dont over do it, it’s very tempting I know but it will stand out as overdone and fake. The trick is so nobody knows how you’ve Edited. Suiltity is your best friend, bet you never thought Id say such word ..lol.

©Jenny Cameron 2017
After

 


Controlling Blown out Highlights.

Apply Image is one of my favourite tools in Photoshop, you can use it in many situations. Here’s how I control any blown out or over powering highlights as illustrated in the Image below.

©Jenny Cameron 2017
Before

1. Start by duplicating your Background Layer by holding Ctrl+J, or CMD+J on a Mac.

2. Select Blend mode Multiple on your top Layer.

3. Select a White Layer Mask.

4. Go to Image > Apply Image . Make sure your settings are the same as mine below.

kylesku 1

5. You can Experiment with different Blend modes and Channels within the Apply Image box. Have a play, see what you come up with.

6. To achieve different Effects you can take it a step further by checking the Mask check box in the bottom part of Apply Image dialogue box, this will crush the highlights more. Click OK.  Follow the example below.

kylesku 2

7. If you feel it’s too soft and flat you can always add a Curves Adjustment Layer. Start by making the Curve a steep “S” shape > if you double-click on the White Mask it kindly provides for you it allows you to add a Feather, making it not too harsh of a Contrast.  Set the Feather to approximately 10 pixels.

8. Adjust your Opacity to taste and Mask off any areas that you don’t want.

©Jenny Cameron 2017

 


Give it some Punch!  This gives extra Detail/ Clarity.

before jpeg thursday
Fairy Pools, Isle of Skye

1. Duplicate your Background Layer by holding Ctrl+J, or CMD+J on a Mac.

2. Go to >Filter> Convert for Smart Filter.

3. Filter > Other > High Pass > Set to 3 Pixels.

4. Blend Mode >Overlay ( or Soft Light / Hard Light ).

5. Layer > Layer Style > Blending Options.

6. Go to the Blend If area in the lower half of the box where you see two sliders ( This Layer and Underlying Layer) > Go to “This Layer” > . As in the image below.

blend if 1

7. Hold down the Alt Key or Option Key on a Mac > Place your mouse over the left slider and click > this will instantly separate the slider in two.

8. Move the sliders to show> 50/100.

9. Do the same with the Right hand slider making sure your still working on “This Layer”> Hold down the Alt Key or Option Key on a Mac > Place your mouse over the Right slider and Click > this will instantly separate the slider in two > Set to 150/200 > Click OK.

10. So your Image looks like mine below. Area to work with Circled in Red.

blen if sunday

11. Ctrl+J, or CMD+J on a Mac.

12. Adjust your Opacity to what you think looks best. You can use the White Masks on the Smart Filters within the Layer Stack to Mask off any areas with a Large Soft Black brush that you don’t want.

after jpeg thursday
After

 


Painting with Light

before with text jpeg
Before

Here we are literally going to be Painting Light and/or Shade directly on the Image. Learning about Light was one of my first Nemesis, it didn’t come natural to me at all, but I knew I had to fully understand it if I wanted to pursue any type of Photography.

Really think about where your Light source is coming from, ie. the Sun, Moon, Diffused Light from a Window or a Light leak/s from Clouds to name a few. Remember one thing, Light always travels in straight lines, and wherever there is light there has to be Shade.

Photoshop really does make this an easy task.

1. Start with your Background Layer in your Layers Pallet.

2. Go to >Layer (on your top row) > New > Layer >You can name this “Light” or whatever you prefer to use and set the Blend mode within the pop up box to Soft Light. Like the example below.

apple

Option: You can use Blend Mode Overlay as an alternative if you prefer, it will give a stronger contrast.

3. Select a Colour  from your Image using the Eye-dropper tool to give a more natural look that matches your image. Look for a slightly more Saturated & Lighter Colour in the Colour Swatch. Always best to experiment till you have the right tone that your happy with.

4. Grab a Large Soft Paint Brush with your chosen colour, this gives a more feathered natural look.

5. Using your Bracket keys for the correct size> Simply paint in the light you need on the New Layer.

6. You can do this with Several Colours. I tend to work in areas and make sure you use a New Separate Layer for each Colour, it’s just easier and more controllable.

Tip: You can do the same for Painting in Shadows with darker colours. Rather than having plain Black and Boring blocked out Shadows.

It’s very time-consuming, there’s no quick fix. The best way I’ve found so far ..Put on some great Music, zone out whilst you Paint some Beautiful Light & Transform your image like a boss! It’s actually very therapeutic.

after with text
After

 

 


Thoughts

Within Photoshop and Lightroom you can change the Background colour by simply right clicking over the area. It brings up a drop down menu, with the options black, dark grey, medium grey, light grey and  customized.. Try changing the colour to see how your image looks on different backgrounds and also zooming in and out, this can really help to show your Highlights and Shadows. Remember to always stick with the Default for your main workflow ( darkest grey). Think about where your image will be  displayed. Social Media platform layouts are all different, sometimes it’s a small thumbnail that viewers see first or maybe displayed in a Gallery.

Never worry what other people think, do it for yourself, what pleases you. I’ve tried listening to the Purists who can’t wait to tell me I’ve overdone something,  but it doesn’t rock my boat, why should I please them?  Would you start a Career in something you don’t want just to make others happy? I think not! You might not always get the most Likes, Comments or Followers on Social Media, but does it matter? Do it for yourself, listen to your heart, it will guide and fulfill you I promise.

I hope you guys all enjoyed this and have lots of fun experimenting with the new techniques.

If you’d like see more of my work please feel free to check out my Facebook500pxViewbug

Jenny ~

 

Sunrise on the Bonnie Bonnie Banks

Woke up to a gorgeous frosty morning at Duck Bay the light was so soft and perfect looking to me. Loch Lomond, Scotland’s first National Park, “The Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park”, located off the A82, approximately two miles north of Balloch.

On the bonnie bonnie banks of Loch Lomond …There’s a song in there somewhere, will probably drive you mad all day singing it in your head.

Woke up to a gorgeous frosty morning at Duck Bay the light was so soft and perfect looking to me. Loch Lomond, Scotland’s first National Park, “The Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park”, located off the A82, approximately two miles north of Balloch.

I felt like I was still in my bed dreaming. There was no time for breakfast, couldn’t bare the thought of losing the soft light shining on the Ben (Ben Lomond Mountain), producing an epic reflection on the Loch. I’m not normally a morning person but when you see such beauty it gives me a big kick up the ass and I can’t wait to get out there shooting. It’s a bit like the feeling you had as a kid on a Christmas morning, you never know what to expect but excited at the same time.

Light moves fast and so do you if you want “that shot”. Sometimes I panic so much that I forget things, it’s quite the adrenalin rush. Questions racing through your mind, should I place the Tripod here or there? What Focal length should I use? How should I angle my lens? Which filters if any? So many others as they flash through your thoughts, all happening in nanoseconds.

Equipment used.

Canon 5d mark iv, Canon 70- 200mm USM Lens, Gitzo Systematic 5 series Tripod, Gitzo series 5 Off Centre Ball Head, Haida ND 3.6 ( ND 12 stop) Filter,  Remote timer.

Camera settings.

 

Post production

Adobe Photoshop CC.

©Jenny Cameron 2017

 

Hope you enjoyed this blog post. If you’d like to see more of my work follow the links below;

Facebook

500px

Viewbug

 

 

About Jenny Cameron

Jenny Cameron is a Fine Art Landscape Photographer living the dream in the Scottish Highlands with her Husband and two dogs. Her passion for the wilderness began from a love of travel & outdoor life. Sadly Jenny was diagnosed with a rare bone disease a few years ago in her hip called Avascular Necrosis. This put an end to her mountain adventures ( hiking, winter climbing, skiing, backpacking to name a few). She spiralled into a dark place for a short time but thankfully found her solace in landscape photography and her journey began in October 2015 never looking back.

Jenny Cameron is a Fine Art Landscape Photographer living the dream in the Scottish Highlands with her Husband and two dogs. Her passion for the wilderness began from a love of travel & outdoor life. Sadly Jenny was diagnosed with a rare bone disease a few years ago in her hip called Avascular Necrosis. This put an end to her mountain adventures ( hiking, winter climbing, skiing, backpacking to name a few). She spiralled into a dark place for a short time but thankfully found her solace in landscape photography and her journey began in October 2015 never looking back.

February 2016, Exhibited her work in Power of Women Gallery, Trenton, New Jersey, USA.

April 2016, Exhibited her work in Power of Women  (ii) Gallery, Trenton, New Jersey, USA.

July 2016, Exhibited her work at All night Art Exhibition, Trenton, New Jersey, USA.

January 2017, her first Publication on the Front Cover of the prestigious Scottish Field Magazine.

February 2017, ten of her Scottish images Published in two different Coffee Table style Photography Books.

May 2017, Approached by Black Magazine wanting ten of her Scottish Monochrome images for Publication in their May 2017 issue.

 July 2017, one of her most popular images “Altnaharra” was chosen for an Art Exhibition in England.

January 2018,  Proudly became UK Official Photographer for Haida Filters.

March 2018, Photography Masterclass kindly invited her for an interview as their Feature Photographer of the Month.

April 2018, The Publisher WEPhoto approached her for ten of her most recent Scottish Landscape images. Published in a Hard backed Photography Book.

May 2018, Jenny was approached by an Art Gallery in Southern Scotland, where she exhibits a selection of her Landscape Portfolio.

July 2018, Photography Masterclass Magazine Published her very first Post processing Tutorial.

Jenny continues  pushing the boundaries and looks forward to the future.

See more of Jennys work, ViewBugFacebook500px

Contact email; jennycameron121@gmail.com

Haida 100 Filter Series Review by Jenny Cameron 

Review of the Haida 100 Series ND 3.6, ND 4.5, Pro Round Circular Polariser (CPL), Adapter Ring and Pro Holder as their UK Official Photographer. Using my Canon 5d mark iv with Canon 16-35mm USM Lens in the Northern Scottish Highlands.

My first review of the Haida 100 Series ND 3.6, ND 4.5, Pro Round Circular Polariser (CPL), Adapter Ring and Pro Holder as their UK Official Photographer. Using my Canon 5d mark iv with Canon 16-35mm USM Lens in the Northern Scottish Highlands.

When I first started my Landscape photography journey I bought a budget range of filters, but couldn’t understand how my images actually looked worse than without any filter, but other photographers who I looked up to were producing great work. The only difference I found were different brands, eventually I upped my game, bite the bullet, bought a better quality set of filters. It’s like the old saying goes, “buy cheap buy twice”, which is very true! Never skimp on anything Optical, you’ll never be happy.

Adapter Ring

The Haida adapter ring is made from good quality Aluminium with no rough edges and very sturdy. This easily screws onto the filter holder where they can stay together permanently if your using the same lens. I particularly found this a great innovation as my previous filter holder and adapter ring were separate which meant more time screwing together which isn’t always easy in freezing temperatures with gloves on, or needing to move quick as the light changes. The particular size I used was 77mm for my Canon 16-35mm USM Lens, but they come in an array of different sizes ( 49mm – 82mm) to suit most popular lenses.

100 Pro Holder
The Haida 100 Pro Holder  feels solid in your hand, very fast and easy to mount. Made from the highest quality Aluminum,making it extremely robust and strong unlike some other filter companies who tend to rattle around loosely. It easily screws together with the Adapter Ring and comes with two filter slots. If you need more Haida who think of everything kindly provide spare brackets and thumbscrews so you can add more if you so wish. Not forgetting the lovely fabric pouch it comes in to keep your holder secure.

Pro Filter Holder
Showing Haida 100 Pro Filter Holder

Circular Polariser (CPL) 
The Haida Round CPL, a vital piece of kit every landscape photographer should have, I rarely shoot without.

I found from my testings it lost roughly two stops of light. Its very slim and made from the highest quality glass to provide great optical clarity. Not to mention the fabulous Nano Coating on both sides which gives not only protection but also improves light quality.

Comes in a very neat plastic box with padding internally for extra protection whilst on your travels. Also available in a selection of sizes ranging from 49mm – 82mm.

There was no vignetting at all even at my widest 16mm on a full frame camera, which you can clearly see from the image below. Your able to rotate the edges of the filter with the metal dial at any time and instantly see the effected light changing.

I should also mention how it gave amazing contrast, cutting through some of the haze especially on the clouds and foliage. Removed almost all the glare from the water, added some beautiful saturation and gave an overall instant pop to the image. Without using a CPL it would be virtually impossible to replicate this effect in post processing.

What do CPL’s do? 
It works by blocking certain light wavelengths from entering the camera sensor. To achieve a maximum effect I’ve found it best to make sure your line of sight is perpendicular to the direction of the sun.They are ideal for anything with non-metallic surfaces such as glass and cutting through reflections on water. You know when you see images where you can see the rocks/stones on the river bed through the water. If a polariser wasn’t used then you can end up with one huge mess of blown out highlights. The only downside with a CPL is being careful not to take it too far, you end up not even seeing the water, I’ve had this happen in the past, not a great look.

The image below, taken without a filter and with the Haida CPL at the distinctively curved Kylesku Bridge that crosses Loch a`Chairn Bhain in Sutherland, Scotland. Canon 5d mark iv, 16-35mm USM. No CPL, ISO 100, F11, 1/10 @16mm and with Haida CPL, ISO 100, F11, 1/4 second.

Before-CPL-(jpeg-for-web)
Showing Without Haida CPL and With Haida CPL
©Jenny Cameron 2017
Post Processed in Adobe Photoshop
CPL
Showing the Haida CPL in the 100 Pro Filter Holder

Haida ND 3.6 (12 stop) and ND 4.5 (15 stop) 
The Haida ND filters come in beautiful individual chunky Silver metal boxes with padding internally for protection. You may be thinking come on Jenny it doesn’t matter what the filter comes in, it’s the actual glass that matters. And, yes to be fair you’re quite right, but don’t you think attention to detail should follow through from the packaging to the actual Filter? I sure do, it gives me faith in the product that the company has taken into consideration every minor detail.

Made from quality Optical Glass, sized 100mm x 100mm and approximately 2 mm in thickness. I experienced no vignetting and very low colour cast.

I expected some slight lack of sharpness with using both these ND Filters, but as you can see from my findings there really is none at all, they gave an impressive definition.

They also come with a spare gasket if you should ever need it, this can also help with light leaks. See I told you, Haida really do think of everything! I left the gasket off as the filter slotted into the holder very snug and there was no sign of light leakage as you can see from the images below.

From past experience I’ve found it best to always insert the ND Filter in the first groove as close to the lens as possible, this really helps with the possibility of any light leaks. Not forgetting to close your viewfinder, as I do with the rubber piece attached to the Canon neck strap. I believe Nikons have a little blind you can pull down, or simply use some black electrical tape.

What do NDs do?
They allow you to lengthen your exposures in both light and dark conditions. Adds motion blur to moving subject such as water to give a smooth silky look and streaky effects to clouds. It works by reducing the amount of light from reaching the camera sensor. Therefore your able to leave the camera with a higher aperture for a longer amount of time. The results give the photographer more artistic control.

Please see the image below taken without a filter and with the Haida ND Filter 4.5 (15 stop) at Ardvreck Castle in Sutherland. Canon 5d mark iv, 16-35mm USM. No Filter @32mm, ISO 100, F11, 1/100 .With 4.5 Haida ND Filter ( 15 stop) ISO 100, F11,
226 seconds.

With-15-stop-filter-4-Gif
Without Filter and With Haida ND 4.5 (15 stop)
©Jenny Cameron 2017
Post Processed in Adobe Photoshop
arvreck 4.5 nd
Showing Haida ND 4.5 (15 stop) Filter

The following images were taken from the beautiful banks of Loch Assynt, looking across to what we locals call Pine Tree Island. Canon 5d mark iv, 16-35mm USM. No Filter @34mm, ISO 100, F11, 1/125 .With 3.6 Haida ND Filter ( 12 stop) ISO 100, F11, 131 seconds.

With-Filter-Sunday-Gif
Without Filter and With Haida ND 3.6 (12 Stop)
©Jenny Cameron 2017
Post Processed in Adobe Photoshop
3.6 ND Tree island
Showing Haida ND 3.6 (12 Stop) Filter

NanoPro Coating 
Another admirable feature is the NanoPro coating. Whilst conducting this test the weather was harsh and against me with rain, strong winds and water splashing up from the Loch. What amazed me was the way the glass repelled the water, it simply beaded up and rolled off. Unlike other glass filters Ive used in the past which take forever to clean and smear when you try to wipe away any excess water. This is due to the NanoPro coating which gives great waterproofness, scratch resistant and super easy cleaning.

In a nutshell
Genuinely, hand on heart Id highly recommend Haida Filters, the quality and sharpness truly are outstanding. Well done Haida, great work!

LOGO

 

If you would like to see more of my work;
500pxFacebookViewbugInstagram

“All rights reserved” © Jenny Cameron 2018