Tag Archives: Landscape photography

DPS 12 Days of Christmas Sale… Day 11


Day 11 of Digital Photography School’s Fantastic 12 Days of Christmas Sale is on, so I’m going to hand you over to DPS’s Happy Elf #1, Jasmin Tragas for the great news.


On the eleventh day of Christmas dPS gave to me…

It’s the second last deal of our 12 days of Christmas sale and I’ll let you in on a little secret.

Photo_Nuts_and_Bolts_BundleThis is the last deal featuring our eBooks.

Rather than pick a few to share, we thought we’d put EVERY single book we haven’t featured yet on sale for just $10. (Note from Dan… I’m only showing one book bundle here – go look at their page to see ALL the great books they have on offer today!)

Check them all out here:


Even our $50 Going Pro eBook is just $10. It’s a $10 eBook spectacular! There’s also no limits, grab as many as you like. But only in the next 24 hours.

Oh and our friend Ed wanted to chip in too…

If the day wasn’t big enough, we’ve put some bundles together with even bigger discounts and our good friend Ed Verosky has included his own amazing bundle.

There’s so many deals to be had. You’ve got to check them all out before time runs out:


All the best,

Jasmin Tragas
Happy Little Elf # 1
Digital Photography School

* * * * *

In addition to several other DPS books, I’ve purchased and reviewed Neil Creek’s eBooks here, here, here and here, and, #1, I learned a lot, and #2, I really like Neil’s style of teaching. So this is A REALLY GREAT DEAL from the great folks at Digital Photography School! And, as I remind you all the time, I’ve NEVER been disappointed in the quality of the information with any DPS books I’ve purchased or any of their recommendations! And, at $10 each, you can’t beat this deal. And, of course, the Ed Varovsky bundles will sweeten your day. Great gifts all, both for yourself and those to whom you give.

The important thing is to use this link: http://www.greatphototools.com/blog/2015-DPS-12-Day-Sale to grab these deals as that’s the only way to get the special pricing (and as I write this, there are less than 21 hours left).

So click on the link http://www.greatphototools.com/blog/2015-DPS-12-Day-Sale to the DPS Page and be amazed at the fantastic deals they have for you today.

We’re getting close to Christmas, so watch out tomorrow for the Day 12 Deals – and if this year is anything like last year, it will be great!

Merry Christmas…



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Day 11 – DPS 12 Days of Christmas Sale


OK… here we are, Day 11 of Digital Photography School’s 12 Days of Christmas Sale. And this one is SPECIAL, (but I have a LOT to do today, so I’m getting this posted as quickly as I can) so I’ll have a bit to say about it after I let Darren outline the special promotion best… so over to you Darren…


Another day, another superb deal on a couple of our most popular dPS eBooks!

For the next 24 hours, you can pick up…

living_cover_105x162Living Landscapes: A guide to stunning landscape photography




LovingLandscapesCover-105x120Loving Landscapes: A guide to landscape photography workflow & post-processing

… for just $10 – that’s over 66% off the normal price of $29.99 each!

Here’s the link you’ll need: http://www.greatphototools.com/blog/DPS-12-Days-Sale

Not only do these titles offer a fresh and easy-to-understand insight into landscape photography, but they cover absolutely everything you need to know about capturing (and processing) the beauty of the world around you.

*** And if the individual $10 price doesn’t tempt you enough, then this might…

Both eBooks PLUS a bonus set of 51 LightRoom landscape-optimized presets from authors, Todd and Sarah Sisson – yours for just $19, a saving of over $60!

One day is all you have – so get in now, before time runs out.


All the best,

Darren Rowse

P.S. from Dan. This is a FANTASTIC DEAL! Sorry to be so excessive, but I REALLY LIKE these books. I purchased them and have a review of Living Landscapes HERE and a loving first look at Loving Landscapes HERE. I could go on and on about how great these books are, but read my reviews to see how much I like them.

The important thing is to use this link: http://www.greatphototools.com/blog/DPS-12-Days-Sale to buy the books as that is the only way to get the special price (and as I write this, there are about 22 hours left). And the other important thing is to buy these books – they are great books, you will love them, you will enjoy them, and you will learn a LOT, and at this price, you really can’t beat it – so buy it.


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Review: Photomatix for High Dynamic Range Photography

We’ve all had it happen. We see a great scene that we’re sure will make a great photo for our wall, but it’s WAY TOO CONTRASTY! Bright sun – dark shadows… we know that there’s no way we can capture the dynamic range of that scene, so we do the usual, “Expose for the Highlights, and let the Shadows fall where they may.”

Not any more.

For the last several years, photographers have been exploring and taking advantage of High Dynamic Range Photography… or HDR. A while back, I put up a couple of posts related to this exciting new technique. The first post reviewed and linked to two articles by photographers explaining two different ways to approach High Dynamic Range photography:

Ron Berard showed us how to work “around” the usual bracketed exposure HDR system so we could create HDR photos starting with a SINGLE exposure.

And Rick Sammon walked us through the “standard method” using a multi-exposure bracket (5 – 9 photos with as much as two stops between) for the “classic” HDR photo. (The Photomatix instructions do an excellent job of explaining how to bracket your original exposures to get the best results.)

The second post was my quick review of Photomatix software – which I found then, and still find, to be a really impressive way to do the necessary processing of multiple images to create true HDR images.

BoxShotPMP5_webWell, as promised in my review, I did it: I purchased the new Photomatix Version 5 from HDRSoft. What a nice program! And I’ll say this right up front as I’m writing this early in December… this program is a great Christmas gift, either for yourself, or for someone else – either way, the receiver will get YEARS of enjoyment from it.

This could be an exhaustive review looking at every feature of the program, but frankly, you’d get pretty bored reading it (it would really be an instruction book at that point, and Photomatix includes a very comprehensive instruction book when you download the product), so I’m just going to highlight the program with my strong recommendation to buy since I believe in High Dynamic Range Photography, and that Photomatix is one of the best tools you can use to create these exciting images to show off to friends and family – they’ll all be saying, “How’d you do that!?!”

First recommendation is to read those comprehensive instructions that are included as they give you a good tour through HDR photography and how to get the best results using Photomatix.

Next, use the three sample images they include to actually get used to driving the program. Their sample images include three images each, one correctly exposed, and one each over and underexposed. So you can see what I’m talking about, here are one set of sample images. This shows you what HDR processing works best with as a starting point… 3 – 5 bracketed exposures.


Under Exposed

Correctly Exposed

Correctly Exposed

Over Exposed

Over Exposed

And here is the “default” processed image the program creates just by loading the images in:


But I would say, from this point on, the possibilities are limitless – really! If you were to add up all of the variations on all the controls that can be applied to each image set, I would bet the number of variations would easily number in the millions.

To quickly and easily get you going, Photomatix comes with 34 preset processing scenarios “built-in.” You can just click on a present, save your image and you’re done.

Painterly 2
Painterly 3
Painterly 4
Painterly 5
Enhanced 2
Interior 2
Surreal 2

Creative 2
Creative 3
Soft 2
Soft 3
Soft 4
Smooth 2
Monochrome 2
Monochrome 3
B&W Photographic
B&W Artistic
B&W Natural

Or you can do it a much better way and start with a preset, then start tweaking to your heart’s content. You’ll see what I mean about MILLIONS of variations available for each image.

The sample image of Venice shown above is just the “Default” setting. I could show you examples of the image with each of those presets, but that would make this post go on forever… and I’d rather you get the program and experiment with it yourself – its lots more fun to actually do it rather than reading about it (and I have a special offer to help get you going – you’ll see it at the end).

Now, for something completely different, I took an old 35mm slide of a fog bank rolling in over the Golden Gate Bridge that I took when I was visiting San Francisco in 1983. I was standing at the base of the Coit Tower, and saw this amazing sight. Since I was working for Minolta at the time, I can only say with certainty that it was shot with a Minolta on Kodak Ektachrome® film, most likely on automatic… but I don’t remember any shooting details beyond that.

I adjusted Ron Berard’s technique for creating over and under exposed images from one photo for Photomatix to work with by scanning the slide three times, once at the “correct” exposure, and one 1 stop over and one 1 stop under. This gave me the three images that I loaded into Photomatix.

Under Exposed

Under Exposed

Correctly Exposed

Correctly Exposed

Over Exposed

Over Exposed

One of the things that really amazed me was the amount of detail Photomatix was able to dig out of the shadows in the foreground, of course only possible because my Canon scanner got the detail for the HDR software to work with. There was quite a bit of noise in this dark area, but Photomatix also quieted that down a lot – that’s one of the many things that Photomatix does well, and it does it automatically.

I pretty much started with the Default Preset and did some minor adjustments from there to create the final image.


You can also read here what I did the first time I tried this image with Photomatix a couple of years ago. You’ll see the watermarks on the images in that post as I had not yet purchased the program. Photomatix encourages you to, “try it out” by downloading the program for a trail run. It is a fully functional version of the program; it just puts watermarks on the final images until you actually purchase the program. You’ll then get a registration number to enter into the program, and voilà… no more watermarks.

OK… Here’s the Photomatix DEAL!

I really want you to buy Photomatix Version 5, so to give you that little extra nudge to get you started in the exciting world of High Dynamic Range Photography, I have asked HDRSoft to offer you 15% off your purchase, and they kindly agreed. So when you click on the Photomatix “BUY BUTTON,” on the Order Form you’ll see a Coupon Code field – enter, “GreatPhotoTools” (without the quotes and it’s not case sensitive) to get this discount. But they won’t hold this open for me forever, so take advantage of it quickly. Frankly the program is so reasonable to start with, I’m almost embarrassed to offer the discount… but hey, if it gets you enjoying the wonders of HDR photography, then it’s all good!

Of course, you can still download Photomatix Version 5 as a trial. It’s a fully functional version, but it watermarks the final exported image… until you buy. When you buy, and I know you will… DO NOT FORGET THE COUPON CODE TO ENTER ON THE PURCHASE PAGE! Enter “GreatPhotoTools” in the Coupon Code field and you’ll get your 15% off savings – don’t forget.

And, as I mentioned in the previous post, because I am now using the Photocrati theme, I’m looking for a way to open up to readers’ photos so you can show off your work with Photomatix or any other photographic tool or technique you would like to showcase.

Enjoy Photomatix… I know I do…


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Special Introductory Pricing on “Loving Landscapes” Almost Over

LovingLandscapesCover-105x120I thought I’d give you a quick and final heads up… that your chance to pick up the 33% early bird discount on Digital Photography School’s brand new eBook – “Loving Landscapes” ends in just over 24 hours …

You can get your copy here.

I’m still working on my review of this wonderful book, and will post it here on the blog. But in the meantime, in addition to my first look that I emailed to subscribers, which is VERY positive (as a reminder, I’ve reprinted it below), they’ve also had some great feedback from people telling them how much it’s helping them with their Landscape Photography post processing.

Here’s one comment they got from Sam King:

“Loving Landscapes has been the most useful thing I’ve bought from DPS (and I own and love all your eBooks).

I bought it 10 days ago and can already see a real improvement in my processing skills using LightRoom. My friends are noticing too, I’ve never had such a positive reaction to the images I share on Facebook, I’ve even had one friend offer to buy one of my newly processed shots!

Thanks to Todd and Sarah for sharing what they know and giving me a gift that I’ll use for years to come.”

So order today and you’ll not only receive the special discount but you’ll also go into the draw to win $1,500 worth of software or gear for your Camera. The competition and the special bonus end at midnight EST time on 9th of May.

And, don’t forget the special package deal that DPS is offering if you buy BOTH Living Landscapes and Loving Landscapes… you’ll see this special offer on the information page here.

Sooooo…….  As I said, I’m including my First Look email so you can see why I like this book so much. Over to me…

* * * *

I just bought Todd and Sarah Sisson’s new book, Loving Landscapes: A Guide to Landscape Photography Workflow and Post-Production… and this looks to be not just a good one, but a great one!

As I write this, I’m only about 10 pages into this 207 page book, but from scanning through it and looking at the Table of Contents…

Loving Landscapes Table of Contents

… This looks like a book that will really help anyone looking to seriously upgrade their Landscape Photographs by about 500 steps – it looks that good. I wanted to get this note out to you all quickly as Digital Photography School, the publisher is offering it at an introductory discount for a while… and I don’t know how long, so I’m letting you know about this so you can get it before the price goes up. When I finish reading it, I’ll create a full review, but I bet it’s going to be a good one!

 LovingLandscapesCover-105x120  living_cover_105x162

What’s really exciting is that DPS is offering a special Landscape Photography Bundle with both the Sisson’s Landscape Books at a really special price… so if you haven’t gotten Living Landscapes yet (and you definitely should! See my review of it here.), this is the time to do it – as I said, before the price goes up.

There are a couple of immediately visible upgrades to this book from Living Landscapes – which didn’t need any upgrades. First, the writing is LOTS better – even though Living Landscapes was, indeed, very well written. Next, and just as obvious, there are LOTS more SPECTACULAR Landscape Photos in this one… so, though I said that the first book could easily be a coffee table book, this one should definitely be a coffee table book. You’d want to pick it up and read it, and your guests would want to pick it up and just look at the photos! (Remember, it is an eBook, so you would need to print it out yourself to make it a coffee table book.) Plus, it looks like Naomi Creek has upped her layout game – though Living Landscapes was beautifully laid out, this new book, Loving Landscapes is noticeably better… nice job Naomi!

And the photos… holy cow! When you get your copy, quickly look at pages 5 and 6. These photos, because of the post-processing Todd and Sarah have done, are very reminiscent of the paintings by Thomas Kinkade: The Painter of Light… see if you agree. And the whole idea of this book is to show you, step by step, how to create your own landscape photos that look just as spectacular. Both of those photos are shown in this layout… but they are really too small to do justice to them – get the book.


OK… I said this would be quick so you won’t miss out before the price goes up, so here is where you can get this great book (and the package deal with Living Landscapes). By all means, buy it, read it, learn from it… and, like Sam King above, proudly show off the great landscape photos you will produce because of what you learn here!

Remember, the special introductory pricing ends Midnight EST on May 9.

Blessings to all…


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