NEWS IN BRIEF City Lights ▪ The first "Brisbane City Lights Experience" Trekabout workshop sold out in no time. Another date has been released for T

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Mark Issue 5

City Lights

The first "Brisbane City Lights Experience" Trekabout workshop sold out in no time. Another date has been released for Thursday 29 September 2011 and it's filling fast. More details down the page.

Q & A

The Q & A section has turned into a full blown tutorial in this issue. Some of you may have seen some Hot Rod photos that I released on Facebook, Google+ and a few other spots. They had some heavy HDR processing and I received many requests to explain how they were created. The smart#$%s answer would be to simply say come along to one of my Post Processing and Workflow workshops but instead, I have put together a (somewhat lengthy) tutorial in this issue of The Photographer's Process. I hope you get some benefit from the tutorial and I welcome your feedback and questions. There is a link in the tutorial to download the original RAW files for you to practice with. Enjoy!

For Sale

The new FOR SALE section started off well with a couple of items sold very quickly (one within minutes of the newsletter going out). So if you have any photography equipment you would like to sell ( cameras, lenses, tripods etc.) drop me a line and I will include your item in the next newsletter. No fees involved, just a service I'd like to offer for past and future workshop participants. As a buyer if you are interested in any of the items for sale I will put you in contact with the seller.

Norfolk Island

The Trekabout "Norfolk Island Experience" is only 8 weeks away but there is still time to book and join Michael and I for this amazing experience. Click here for details.

Greenbank Lenses

One of our workshop regulars, Gary Silk, has been very industrious and started up the Greenbank Lenses camera club. Michael and I were invited to present at the inaugural meeting last Thursday night. Congratulations Gary. A great turnout and a sign of great things to come for the club. Drop me a note if you live in the area and would like to make contact with the club. Meetings are on the first Thursday each month at the Greenbank Community Centre on Teviot Road. Kick-off is 7:00pm.

Super Metallic Pearl Inkjet Paper

I have been on a constant search for an excellent "Metallic Pearl" inkjet paper for use on a home inkjet printer. Eureka, I have found it. Imagescience in Melbourne stock "Chromajet Centurion Metallic Pearl" and it is fantastic. If you like high gloss with incredible depth and richness of colour then this is the paper for you. The attendees at my first PPP workshop next Saturday will find out first hand how good it is as we will be using it for the portrait prints during the printing session.

Cameras Online

Michael was recently presenting to the Redlands Camera Club and met Steve Longton who is the proprietor of Cameras Online. To cut a long story short, Michael and I met with Steve and were very impressed with Steve's camera equipment and accessories business. Steve will provide you with unbiased advice and excellent prices. Check out Cameras Online via the Trekabout website or you can find out more here.

Cameras Online

The Photographers Process

The Shiny Hot Rod

As mentioned above I received a number of requests to explain how I achieved "The Look" in my Hot Rod photos. The process is a little involved but worth the effort if you like the effect.

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Okay, first up you need three RAW files exposed 1 stop apart. That is one image at -1 stop, one at +1 stop and one at the correct exposure or 0.

If you'd like to use the three original RAW images used in this tutorial you can download them here.

Feel free to experiment and use more shots or use a greater gap in exposure. 2 stops difference can yield interesting results.

Most cameras these days have an inbuilt HDR or bracketing setting so check your manual if you are unsure of how to set you camera to take the bracketed shots automatically.
You should use a tripod but you can get away with hand held in good light if you use high speed continuous shooting. Compose your shot, hold your camera very still, hold your shutter release down and fire off your three shots.

You should use the Aperture Priority or AV setting on your camera because you want the aperture (and therefore depth of field) to remain constant. If you set your aperture to f11 for instance your shutter speeds would change and could look something like, depending on the light, 1/100s, 1/200s and 1/400s which will give you your three variances in exposure.

Assuming you have your shots and have uploaded and assuming you have Photoshop CS5 here is the process. Have fun :-)

Select your three images in Bridge.

From the drop down menu select Tools, Photoshop, Merge to HDR Pro

002 Bridge

Once Photoshop does it's thing you will end up with a wishy washy result like this.

003 HDR

Move the adjustment sliders to these settings and pull the curves until it looks the same as below. You can save this all as a new preset so that next time you just click the preset. You will notice I have done that and named it "MPR SHINY CARS"

004 HDR
005 HDR

The image will be starting to look a little more interesting now. Now create a duplicate layer by pressing Command + J on a Mac or Control + J on a PC.

The image will be starting to look a little more interesting now. Now create a duplicate layer by pressing Command + J on a Mac or Control + J on a PC.

006 HDR

Next, change the blend mode to "Multiply" You will notice the image will darken up and get very "punchy".

007 HDR

Now you need to create a Layer Mask. Click the "add vector mask" button as shown by the red arrow and your see the mask appear. The reason we have created a mask is that we are going to "mask" out some of the double blended image to lighten up the car and leave the background sky etc. dark and punchy.

009 hdr

To do this we you need to select a soft edge brush and make it big. Really big as shown by these settings.
Set the opacity to around 30%. That way as you start to create the mask you will paint the effect in gently 30% at a time.

010 hdr
013 hdr

Now the fun starts. Click on the layer mask as shown by the arrow on the right. That activates the layer mask. Ensure your foreground colour is set to black. When you are in the "layer mask" mode it will be either black or white. If its white simply press "X" and it will change to black and viceversa.

011 hdr

So using a black brush start painting on the car. You will notice it will brighten up. The more you paint the more it will brighten. You will notice that the thumbnail of the mask will have a black pattern matching what you have been painting on the car. This is the area that is CONCEALED. What you have done is conceal the upper part of the "multiplied" image. Paint the area as indicated by the arrows below and you should end up okay. If you stray too far over the edge into the shy and start to get a "halo" effect just press"X" which will swap your brush colour and paint it back out. It might sound complicated but you'll soon get the hang of it.

014 hdr

Now when you are happy with your masking skills create another layer. Press CMD + J or CTRL + J and you'll get another layer complete with mask. The blend mode should remain at "multiply" and the sky will become very dramatic indeed. The good thing here is that because you already masked the car it remains masked and is not affected by this new layer.

015 HDR

Now crop to suit your requirements if necessary.

016 HDR

Next I decided to lighted the car up a little (you may or may not need to do this depending on the image of course). Select the background layer and press "add Adjustment Layer" (as indicated by the arrow) Then select "Exposure" from the drop down menu and adjust to suit.

017 HDR

When you are happy with everything flatten the layers.

019 HDR

There are a couple of things that need tidying up on this image .

I used the "Spot Healing Brush Tool" set to "Content Aware" to remove the sign above the bonnet.

Next I made a selection of the bright grass in the corner with "Lasso" tool.

Hit delete using Content Aware Fill and voila, fixed.

020 HDR
021 HDR
022 HDR
024 HDR

And that is pretty much that.

025 HDR

Throw a quick frame around it to pretty it up and all done. Enjoy :-)

026 HDR

Please feel free to send me any photography (equipment or technique) or post-processing related questions or concerns and I'll do my best to answer them for you.

Please send your questions to and put "Photographers Process Question" in the subject line.




Post Processing and Workflow - Next series - 7,8,14,15 September 2011

There are still a couple of spots available so it's not too late to join in for the September series. Give me a call if you would like to come along this Wednesday.

This very informative series starts Wednesday 7 September. Held over four nights the workshop covers a multitude of issues designed to improve your post processing workflow and expertise.
Topics covered will include but not be limited to:
* Importing and opening images
Image resolution * Selections and masks Colour and white balance adjustments
Retouching * Histograms * File formats * Filters * Actions * Scripts * Plug-ins * HDR Metadata
Batch processing * Presets * Keyboard shortcuts * Exporting and saving Automating tasks
Re-sizing * Sharpening Noise reduction

I will also be introducing new sessions on integrating Lightroom into your Photoshop workflow.
Spaces are still available but limited to a maximum of 8 participants to ensure quality of learning.
To find out more have a look on the Trekabout website here.

The price is $240.00 for the entire 4 night (12 hour) workshop.

Loyalty discounts are available for returning clients.


Mountain to Beach Experience - there are a few spots remaining for next Sunday's workshop.

Commencing at Buderim Forest Park where there is an easy trek through some beautiful rainforest to cascades and waterfalls. We will instruct you on the best techniques needed to photograph the lovely waterfall and cascades found throughout the area. This really is one of the Sunshine Coast's best kept secrets. Smack in the middle of the thriving and bustling Sunny Coast this hidden rainforest wonder is a must see. Once you discover its beauty you will return time and again.

We will also cover macro photography utilising the fungi and small flowers found along the creek.

After lunch I will present a mini-post processing session to show you how to improve your digital workflow and post-processing techniques.

The day finishes at fabulous Point Cartwright for a sunset shoot on the rocky foreshore. The magic light of the photography "Golden Hour" will ensure you capture some gorgeous colour and soft silky water as the light fades.

For more information check out the Trekabout website here.

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City Lights Experience -Second Workshop - Thursday, 29 September 2011 (after work)

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Trekabout Photography’s exciting, new City Lights Experience workshop is designed to show participants the best way to photograph our beautiful city before and after sunset.

Our workshop starts at Kangaroo Point where Michael and Mark will show you how to best photograph the city buildings across the river, as the sun starts setting. The ‘mood’ and ‘feel’ of your photos will change as the sun sets and the colourful lights appear. There is plenty of parking available and getting there is easy.

We then head to the southern side of the Kurilpa Bridge (near the GOMA building) and photograph the Kurilpa Bridge which will be lit up with blue lights.

The amazing shape and architecture of this bridge, as well as the gorgeous blue lighting, makes this a wonderful subject for photography. There are so many different angles to photograph the Kurilpa Bridge and you will be shown various ways to compose your shots.

This is great opportunity to participate in an evening activity that you may not necessarily feel comfortable attempting alone.

If you would like more information on the the City Lights Experience click on the link here. or call Michael on 0408 941 965 or phone Mark on 0459 221678.


Australian Creatures Experience - First workshop sold out - NEW DATE, Sunday 4th December 2011

This workshop should really have been called the AMAZING Australian Creatures Experience but there wasn't enough space on the web menu.

With creatures like Bird-eating Spiders and Scorpions, this workshop is quite different to Trekabout Photography Workshop’s half day ‘Reptile and Frog Experience’ and full day ‘Brisbane Wildlife Experience’.

Many species are totally new (never shown before on any Trekabout workshop) and photography will take place indoors and under studio conditions. No matter what the weather conditions are like outside, this workshop will proceed!

Not only will you be photographing your subjects using ‘miniature studios’, terrariums and portable ‘soft boxes’, you'll also learn about new lighting and equipment techniques. Lighting will be created with studio lights, flash units, reflectors and diffusers. A rare and unique experience indeed….

To find out more about this unique workshop click on the link here or call Michael on 0408 941 965 or phone Mark on 0459 221678.

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Epson Stylus PRO 7600 Wide Format Inkjet Printer - $1500.00 - SOLD

I have my Epson 7600 printer for sale due to lack of use due to lack of time (slack I know). The printer is in excellent condition and comes with a brand new (unopened) 24" wide roll of Canson Artist Canvas and a part 24" wide roll of Hahnemuhle Photo Rag (beautiful paper). A brand new maintenance tank is also included. This printer has huge 220ml ink tanks with considerable ink remaining. This is a big printer so it's going to have to be pick-up only.

80 to 400

AF VR Zoom-Nikkor 80-400mm f/4.5-5.6D ED - $1250.00 plus postage - SOLD

Michael is upgrading to a super prime so his MINT condition 80-400 has to go. In as-new condition, this lens will be an excellent addition to your Nikon system. Comes with the original standard accessories (hood, case etc.)

Hoya Circular Polariser - 67mm - $40.00 plus postage

Kenko UV Filter - 55mm - $20.00 plus postage

Don't forget if you have any photography equipment you would like to sell ( cameras, lenses, tripods etc.) drop me a line and I will include your item in the next newsletter. No fees involved, just a service I'd like to offer for past and future workshop participants. As a buyer if you are interested in any of the items for sale I will put you in contact with the seller.


As I sit here typing this newsletter I have just noticed the King Parrots arrive in the trees outside my window. Time to get out the camera :-)
I hope you enjoyed this edition and will continue to enjoy many new issues into the future.

If you do not wish to receive future newsletters, don't worry I wont be offended or upset. Simply unsubscribe at the bottom of this newsletter.

Happy Shooting

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