Snapseed Review – Banús Reflections Like Watercolors

I am not an Apple fanboy. In fact, I was a Microsoft fanboy because I have tried Windows beta and pre-releases since Windows 2000 to Windows 7. But I can admit, that I am happy with the last 2 apple products that I have bought:

-The Macbook Air was my option for a robust and light laptop and I am impressed with its performances running Photoshop.
-And my last acquisition, the iPhone 5 is giving me a lot of fun with its photography possibilities.

I am using iOS camera to shot directly HDR, that it was not for the noise problem for iPhone small camera, it would be very useful for a professional use.

But, what I love more is to spend time when I am on a bus, or traveling or a coffee break… editing with Snapseed.

I am not going to give a detailed description of its features here, you can check some good reviews for example at http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/snapseed. I just go to explain how is my workflow with this app.

Firstly, clarify that this tool is developed by Nik Software. Whose PS plugins ( Silver Efex Pro and Color Efex Pro) I use a lot. As the PS plugins, you have a simple version for its U-point technology on this app that permits to do some local image adjustments like color, brightness and saturation. But in any case, I use this apps to do some just quick, funny and general image adjustments to my iPhone camera images.

In opposition to my usual workflow, I begin adding some sharpness and micro-contrast (structure) with the ‘Details’ tool. Later, I do some colors adjustments (contrast, brightness, saturation and ambience) with the ‘Tune Image’ tool. And finally you can add some blur with the ‘Focal Point’ or ‘Tilt-Shift’ tools.

The following images compares the different editions in Photoshop and Snapseed.

Photoshop Version:
Processing: Lightroom for catalog > Hue/Saturation + Color Efex Pro + Noiseware + High Pass filter Sharpening technique at Photoshop CS6.

Banús Reflections Like Watercolors Panorama

Snapseed Version:
Processing: Details > Structure + Sharpness > Tune Image > Contrast + Ambience + Saturation.

El Ancon Beach, Marbella (Spain)

iPhone 5 @ 4.13 mm | f2.4, 1/270s, ISO 200.Picture with iOS Camera app using Panorama capture option.

Advertisements

3 Sunrays Sunset

What do you think that is the most wonderful light for a photographer ? The blue or rush hour after the sunset or before the sunrise, when the sky is blue in contrast with yellow-orange tones of the artificial lighting ? The magic or golden hour around dawn or twilight ? Or what is know as transient light ?

Just for me, I have it clear, the transient light. It is a light that you suddenly find for example, when some sunrays are appearing across the clouds and you see how the rays are crossing the sky and proyect their light temporarily in a determinate zone on the ground, that as consequence is the focal point of your composition, ‘cos human eye tend to look for hightlights.

The following image from Marbella is a clear example of this light and the luck for a photographer. Before I did the photo-session, I was walking to this site with some rainy intervals and seeing in the distance how the sunrays were appearing and disappearing between the clouds.

I recommend you to read a book about light quality by Ian Cameron.

3 Sunrays Sunset #1 :: HDR :: DRI

El Ancon Beach, Marbella (Spain)

Canon EOS 450D | Sigma 10-20mm f4-5.6 DC EX HSM @ 10 mm | f22, 1/6s, ISO 100. HDR from 3 exposures @ [-2 EV .. 0 ..+2 EV]

She’s A River

An old version of this picture was one of the winners of the International HDR Day. The pictures were selected by the HDR guru, Trey Ratcliff and Rick Sammon.

I was not happy with the final result of this image, so as I am usually doing in last weeks, I have re-processed it again. The picture had artifacts due to an usual problem with tonemapping software is the objects in motion. In particular, the water streams like waves on the sea or fountains.

Photomatix or other HDR programs don’t correct efficiently the ‘ghost effect’ produced by the water motion, so the best way to correct this is to manually blend in Photoshop the tonemapped image with one o several exposures. Although I don’t explain this in the photo-feet because I do in a shorthand. I usually do this, also knows as Digital Blending or DRI (Dynamic Range Increase) in my current workflow ,for so many pictures, to get a more natural look on them.

The manual blending is done, working with different layer masks for each of the exposures and the initial tonemapped image. I really love to do this. It is like painting. I was afraid when I was a beginner but now, I enjoy. You can try it. Just put your tonemapped image in a layer and one of the exposures in another one. Create a layer mask and select a soft black pencil with some opacity ( that depends in the image) to make transparent the above layer. They are combined to get the final image before removing noise and sharpening the picture.

In this case, I used the 0EV exposure to correct the ghosting in sky cloud and fountain water and the -2EV exposure to get more details in the water flow.

She's A River :: HDR :: DRI

Plaza de España, Madrid (Spain)

Canon EOS 450D | Sigma 10-20mm f4-5.6 DC EX HSM @ 10 mm | f11, 2.5s, ISO 100. HDR /DRI from 3 exposures @ [-2 EV..0..+2 EV]

Streamlines At El Capricho Park Lake

Streamlines could be a work for the university when I was studying Aeronautical Engineering more than a photo title. But in this case, we could say than both of them.

The use of neutral density (ND) filters permits during the day to shot long exposures. As result, the water flow is showed in the picture like star trails in night shots. It is so curious how what I mathematically learnt is drawn here on the water.

After a rainy winter and beginning of spring, although this is an old pic, the image shows the usual leaves green tones at the beautiful El Capricho park, that this afternoon I am going to enjoy again with a walk there. Unfortunately, it opens only the weekend and has a restricted and scheduled access.

Streamlines At El Capricho Park Lake :: HDR :: DRI

Parque El Capricho, Madrid (Spain)

Canon EOS 450D | Sigma 10-20mm f4-5.6 DC EX HSM + HiTech ND 0.9 filter @ 10 mm | f22, 1s, ISO 100. HDR /DRI from 6 exposures @ [-3 EV .. -2 EV .. – 1 EV .. 0 .. + 1 EV .. +2 EV ]

Testa – Sacyr Vallehermoso Building in BW

This was the cover of my book B W H D R published in Blurb several years ago in order to try the print quality of this page. I was happy with it.

As I say in the about the book, BWHDR is Black and White High Dynamic Range. HDR is the new way for digital photographers to get a great quality in the grey tones across the canvas for black and white photography and enhance details. If you want to get control of scenes with high contrast between shadows and highlights, HDR is the response to your photography workflow.

But, as I am doing in my last posts, this is a revision of the picture. It has been re-processed, using firstly Color Efex Pro and later Silver Efex Pro for black and white. If you are wondering why so much treatment as some persons asked me for example in my Flickr page, this is due to I love to edit with Photoshop and ‘cos I control the histogram and medium tones using CEP.

You can compare the older and new one and give your opinion here if you want. In any case, the new version has reached my 1st Explore ;-).

Testa - Sacyr Vallehermoso Building #2 :: HDR :: BW (revised)

Testa – Sacyr Vallehermoso Building, Campo de las Naciones, Madrid (Spain)

Canon EOS 450D | Sigma 10-20mm f4-5.6 DC EX HSM + Hoya HD 77 mm CPL @ 10 mm | f9, 1/80s, ISO 100.HDR from 3 exposures @ [-2 EV .. -0 .. +2 EV ].

Colourful Heavenly Lights

This is a re-edited version of one of my first sessions taken shots to process HDR pictures. I love the geometry and composition of this photo. Some comments in my Flickr page said that I had an extraordinary and peculiar eye to see the cathedral. I think the POV is original and the use of the columns highlights the geometry. Besides, the light from the windows was colored them.

I don’t like how I processed in my first stages when I was learning HDR processing. And this is another example of my experiences with new post-processing techniques that I have been doing during last years. I have used ‘Tonal Contrast’ preset in Color Efex Pro plugin and also, the sharpening was done with a High Pass filter, due to there was so much noise in the picture.

The Canon EOS 450D was a DSRL that introduced some innovations to ordinary amateurs like Live View, but it hasn’t a good behaviour at High ISO. I am waiting to buy a new DSRL, maybe a high-end APS-C like possible Canon EOS 7D mark II or maybe a full-frame like 5D mark III. But I would like to use such a terrific lens like Nikkor 14-24, that who knows if I change to Nikon and buy a D800. What do you think about this ?

Colourful Heavenly Lights :: HDR

Catedral de la Almudena, Madrid (Spain)

Canon EOS 450D | Sigma 10-20mm f4-5.6 DC EX HSM @ 10 mm | f4, 1/160s, ISO 800. HDR/DRI from 3 exposures @ [-2 EV .. 0 .. +2 EV ]

La Moraga Airport Restaurant

Several years ago, the plain was my favourite transport to go to Málaga. But nowadays, I am using the AVE, high speed train. I shot this picture in one of my usual trips to Málaga, when I arrived inside the departures zone, I saw the natural lighting, the white tones of the beautiful decoration of this restaurant, so I took 3 quick shots with AUTO ISO setting and AV mode in my camera.

This gastrobar was designed by the National Gastronomy Award winner and Michelin Star Dani García. Born in Marbella, he delights passengers with the most Andalusian and Spanish flavours with very attractive prices: Cherry gazpacho, pringá (meat) croquettes, oxtail burger, soft white rolls…. as soon as you see it you will be captivated.

La Moraga Airport Restaurant :: HDR :: DRI

Málaga Airport Terminal 3, Málaga (Spain)

Canon EOS 450D | Sigma 10-20mm f4-5.6 DC EX HSM @ 13 mm |f5, 1/50s, ISO 200. HDR/DRI from 3 exposures @ [-2 EV .. 0 .. +2 EV ]