Bring on the New Year!

A bit of play with Luminar AI

It’s been a bit of an absence! As we start 2021, let’s see, if I can get going again and revive some of the fun that I had prior to this shutdown of sorts.

First of all, a Happy, Healthy and Prosperous New Year to everyone around the globe with fervent wishes that we escape from this virulent frenzy and get back to visiting one another again.

All this lack of travel has been something that I have missed for quite a while, so I’m starting to look at doing something with images from previous trips, which I’ll start with a view from Ireland in 2019:

Cliffs of Kerry

The Cliffs of Kerry are absolutely stunning, and, in my opinion, they rival the Cliffs of Moher, especially, as there’s not nearly the crowds! The view and sense of scale of these cliffs is nothing short of breathtaking!

A little bit about this image, as I did a bit of processing on it. Here’s the (somewhat) original image, which is an HDR composite that was processed using Skylum’s Aurora HDR:

Cliffs of Kerry (HDR only)

This image was then taken into Skylum’s Luminar AI, which is a recent purchase. Luminar AI is very much a version of Luminar with additional very smart bells and whistles, such as lots of templates, skies, etc. With a bit of playing around, I selected the Street Theater template and added some edits to it, which include the Sunset.

Definitely a bit of fun to experiment with this image and impetus to try some other things in the future. As I get more skilled with this new tool, I’ll share more of my findings.

In the mean time, thank you for reading and stay healthy and safe!

Processing Ireland – Part 1

Exploring processing techniques

Vacations are wonderful, as they give us time to unwind from our daily stressors, explore new locations, meet people in these places and generally recharge our batteries. Of course, the photographers among us (isn’t that nearly everyone these days?) come back with lots of pictures to remind us of some of the things that we encountered.

One of the things that I like to do in my photographic adventures is to capture exposure bracketed sequences. In the past, I have processed those with HDRsoft’s Photomatix Pro, a program that I have enjoyed for years. As there were a couple of hiccups with the program yesterday, I decided to look and see what else is out there these days, and found Aurora HDR…

Torc Waterfall

This image of Torc Waterfall nearby Killarney is the first one that I processed with Aurora HDR. The process was pretty straightforward, as there are a significant number of pre-loaded collections of settings. I used a ‘Better Sunrise’ setting as a starting point and tweaked contrast and HDR enhancement sliders to get to this point. Clearly, there’s more to explore for me in Aurora HDR, but it’s not a bad first effort.

In my second image, I decided to go for something a bit more aggressive…

A Tree Grows

For this image of a tree that has been growing in the center of Ross Abbey for centuries, I went to the Artistic collection and picked the Muddy Black & White setting as a starting point; I set the opacity to about 80% to let a bit of color bleed through and then went after tweaks in contrast and microstructure to get to this result. I wanted a sense of something older and somewhat mysterious, which now makes me want to go back and spend more than the 15-20 minutes we had at this abbey!

Hope you enjoy!