WEDNESDAY MAY 15, 2013
Daily Photo: Monument to the Peoples Heroes
Random people on the street are very difficult to incorporate into fine art shots. That is why I am always dragging my family, friends, and students around and begging them to pose for me. Here is my dad posing in front of the monument. Thanks dad.
TUESDAY MAY 14, 2013
Daily Photo: Looking Across the River on an Unusual Night
The urban skyline in Pudong is photographed at a paparazzi inspired frequency. So how do you shoot it different? I backed way up, put on a telephoto lenses, and included the People’s Monument on this side of the river to change up skyline and add some balance. Then, to spice it up, I printed in a yellowy black and white. Unique? That was the idea.
MONDAY MAY 13, 2013
Daily Photo: The Garden at the top of the Bund
Everyone knows the Bund. But not everyone knows these little secret nooks and crannies where some great views and photo ops are. The next few days I will spend up at the top of the Bund. This cool park street is just south of the bridge and directly across from the People’s Monument.
SUNDAY MAY 12, 2013
Daily Photo: Clouds Gather Over the Dalai Lama's Potala Palace
Tibet is now more accessible than ever! The Chinese government just relaxed the visa rules from “nearly impossible” to “possible,” and there are trains that leave from Shanghai (48hours), Beijing, and most all big cities in China. Pack your bags and get there quickly before they close up shop again.
SATURDAY MAY 11, 2013
Daily Photo: The Green Dragon Inn
The sun has set on this little Shire run of photos the past six days. Time to say goodbye for awhile. But for the last one, I wanted to shoot the extremely photogenic Green Dragon Inn along with the bridge and the Mill. I just had a couple of teeny problems like (1) The lighting was blah (2) The construction wasn’t finished. Guess what? I can’t wait for six months to come back later. It’s not like I live down the street. And I can’t come here four days in a row at sunrise and sunset waiting for spectacular lighting. What to do?
Time to shoot in raw, bust out photoshop, and craft a photo art piece. Everyone raise their glass to hashtag “CreateYour Own Light.” I know there are some haters out there who don’t like people messing with photos. That’s cool. I have complete respect for photojournalism and authenticity. But the truth is, most people want awesome photos. And most people want awesome photos at a very specific time. And that is a huge differntiator and how I sell jonathanphotos service to clients. “You have to have it shot August 5th no matter what—even if the lighting is blah. Well, it is always easier with spectacular lighting. But don’t worry, even if the lighting is blah, I can create my own light.”
Quick summary of things I did. (1) Made a spectrum sunset and dropped it in. (2) Added lights to the buildings. (3) Added smoke to the chimneys. (4) Added green grass and shrubbery to the lakeside. (5) Added mirror reflection to the lake. (6) Removed signs of construction.
FRIDAY MAY 10, 2013
Daily Photo: Neighbors of the Baggins in Spring
Continuing with our spring tour of Hobbiton, here is a shot of the Baggins neighbors. So, as you walk out the door of Bag End, take a left, and walk down the road a bit, this is the lovely view the Baggins are presented with.
THURSDAY MAY 9, 2013
Daily Photo: Shire Hill Panorama in Spring
The Shire is so beautiful that the challenge is finding out what not to include rather than what to include in each shot. Ken Rockwell said it best: the art of photography is the art of exclusion. Here I used the dirt road running from bottom left across the image to the right and the three trees in the skyline to serve as my composition starting points.
WEDNESDAY MAY 8, 2013
Daily Photo: Quaint Hobbit Hole
Do you love Lord of the Rings? Do you love the Hobbit? Do you want to live in a beautiful Hobbit Hole? Do you get the “Shire Blues?” Then this picture is for you.
TUESDAY MAY 7, 2013
Daily Photo: A Road Runs By A Country Shire House
The formula for a country life landscape: a winding road, a country house, and a lake. Thomas Kinkade based his whole career on this. The key to it is beautiful light. I didn’t have beautiful light this day, so I brought it into Lightroom to work some magic…
MONDAY MAY 6, 2013
Daily Photo: Deep Fall Lighting in the Shire
Peter Jackson loves his saturated greens for the Shire.
And I love them too.
But I also like this autumn look.
And I hope you do too.
SUNDAY MAY 5, 2013
Daily Photo: Human Acrobat Tower
We’re back at the Shanghai Circus, and I find myself again wishing I was as gymnastic as these people. I went with a vertical panorama this time because I really love them and don’t do them enough. I did adjust the colors a bit on this, but really this is an unprocessed photo.
SATURDAY MAY 4, 2013
Daily Photo: The Great Wall of Ancient Times
This part of the Great Wall of China is one of the two sections that are just outside of Beijing. Due to their close proximity, thousands of people go those places every day, making it a total tourist trap. The cherry on top was overcast blah clouds. So, a total waste of time for any real photographer…right? Wrong. That mentality is outdated by about eight years. What you can do now is focus 100% on composition, and then take it to post processing and create your piece of art. I chose to use this powerful brunt paper texture to give it the feel that you are looking at how the wall was a thousand years ago in its full glory.
My suggestion for creating light and mood in post processing are:
1. Textures (pictured below)
2. Fake Sunsets (I’ll be releasing a tutorial soon on that with 100 downloadable sunsets)
3. Photoshop some Fog and Light Beams in (I use Topaz Labs for the Fog and Photoshop>Filter>Render>Clouds coupled with Photoshop>Filter>Blur>Gaussian Zoom set to soft light)
3. Lightroom (the two biggest secrets by far are the temperature slider under Basic and the vignette slider under Effects)
5. HDR (using photomatix of course)
6. Topaz Labs (I especially love the Adjust and Lens Effects plug-ins)
FRIDAY MAY 3, 2013
Daily Photo: Life on an Island Hammock
This photo would also have been great if I cropped off the sides, making the ends be the middle of the models head on the right and the end of her right leg on the left. But I love panoramas too much. I went with a yellow-orange toned look to create that lazing in the sunshine look, but I made sure to keep the vignette and keep it creamy in order to avoid that The Sunshine Is So Bright It’s Hurting Me mood.
THURSDAY MAY 2, 2013
Daily Photo: 4 Doors, 4 Colors, 1 Beautiful Beach House
The main town of Mykonos is quite small, but it was so mesmerizing that it seemed quite large. This place in particular was so beautiful I passed an afternoon just looking at these buildings. Previously, I posted a panorama of this architecture. But this close up of the four doors stands on its own as well. The four doors are fascinating on their own right but what really makes this image striking to me are the symmetrical stairs, railings, and windows. Enjoy!
WEDNESDAY MAY 1, 2013
Daily Photo: Regal Lion Bust
If this lion was capable of intelligent thought, spoke English, and promised not to eat me, I would definitely have one question I must ask: “What’s your secret Goldilocks? L’Oreal? Frequent brushings? Air drying?”