The Shadows Slider – Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 4’s Killer Upgrade Feature

Lightroom 4 Shadows Test

Exposures (and subjects) don’t get much worse than this. Lightroom 3 left us with a sow’s ear – can Adobe Lightroom 4 make us a shiny new silk purse? – Well, I guess the answer is fairly obvious, otherwise what would be the point of this post eh?…….

 

If you are a Lightroom 3 user wondering whether it is worth making the upgrade leap to Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 4 you will want to have a look at my review of the newly re-invigorated Shadows Slider.

There are a pile of excellent tweaks to Lightroom in version 4 but the Shadows Slider is da bomb.

I have just completed a little review on sisson| photos of New Zealand  showing the power of LR4’s newly anointed shadow busting powers – the results will amaze.  As I am prone to saying, check it out….

Adobe Photoshop Light room 4 Reason To Upgrade | The Shadows Recovery Slider

Please feel free to ask any questions in the comments stream here or on the website.

Cheers – Todd

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Nikon D800 Recommended Lens | Nikon 85mm f/1.4G – Landscape Photography Review

 

 

Nikon Nikkor 85mm f/1.4G lens for landscape and nature
The Nikon 85mm f/1.4G – Does A classic portrait lens belong in a landscape photographer’s bag?  It’s damn well staying in mine!

You can read my full Nikon 85mm f/1.4G landscape lens review on sisson – New Zealand photography

Background

I don’t recall having been on a drunken bender last April, but it may explain why I have little recollection as to how I ended up owning a Nikon AF-S 85mm f1.4G.  This lens is really not a traditional fit for a landscape photographer, in-fact the B&H description for the lens has “Traditional Portraiture Lens” splashed all over it.   Anyhow, I did order it,  so it was time to see how I could incorporate the lens into my landscape photography repertoire.  I am pleased to report that the 85mm f1.4 is now one of my favourite landscape lenses. Thank God – it wasn’t cheap…..

In all seriousness, I purchased the 85mm f1.4 in preparation for the delivery of my new Nikon D800e.  Prior to the D800e I had been shooting Nikon DX and Canon Full Frame (5dmkii), I had wanted to return full time to Nikon for several years, but the right DSLR body for my needs had not been in the Nikon line-up.  When the D800 was announced it was obvious that it’s 36MP sensor would settle for nothing short of premium optics and I had nothing in my bag that would stand the D800’s onslaught of pixels.

The 85mm is an ‘overlap lens’ in my bag as I also own the superb Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8 VRii (review) however, I purchased the prime mainly because I love defocus in my portrait photography (mainly my kids these days) – the 85mm f1.4 is renowned for it’s silky bokeh and after 12 years of professional photography, I figured it was time to treat myself to something a little exotic.

Unfortunately, that is not sound business practice for me – I make my money from landscapes, so I had to figure out a way to make the 85mm f/1.4G earn it’s keep – here’s how I use it for landscape photography…..

What’s It For?

I consider the Nikon 85mm f1.4G to be one of the most ‘creative’ lenses in my camera bag.  By that, I mean that I rarely shoot ‘standard’ landscape images on the 85mm f/1.4 – I find that have to consciously seek uses for the 85mm.  Now, that may seem like putting the tractor before the haybale but for me that is a good thing – I need to stretch my photographic boundaries –  I think that the 85mm makes me a little bit more complete as a photographer.  So far,  I use this lens for four primary uses:

1. Subject Isolation Via Defocus

Frosty Tree: D800e, Nikon 85mm f/1.4G – @ f/1.4.  Shooting at f/1.8 delivered the razor thin DOF required  to successfully isolate this frosty little tree.  I enoy the creative overlap of applying portrait techniques to nature photography. 

(Download full resolution D800e & Nikon 85mm f/1.4g sample jpeg – password = freeD800pics

2. Panoramic stitching

I like to shoot panoramic stitches that compress distance, primarily to give greater visual presence to distant mountains – I find 50mm and 85mm to be my most commonly used focal lengths for this purpose.  The 85mm f/1.4 provides unparalleled sharpness and detail when paired with the Nikon D800e.

I always shoot in vertical orientation in order to gain the maximum resolution from my stitched files – 85mm provides an excellent field of view when used in this way.

The following stitched panorama is 21,000 x 6,600 pixels wide and prints at 2.1 metres @300 DPI without any enlargement.

Panoramic Stitch from Nikon D800e and Nikkor 85mm f/1.4G Lens. It’s a little hard to get impressed this wide – how about a 100% crop….

100% crops from the above panoramic Stitch from Nikon D800e and Nikkor 85mm f/1.4G Lens. The level of detail is simply stunning (a little sharpening has been applied) – this would happily enlarge to a 4m+ wide print. Please note that these look slightly better in the original file – pre-JPEG compression.

read the full nikon 85mm f/1.4 review  >>>>>

Lake Tekapo Lupin Workshop | Dates & Pricing Announcement

New Zealand Landscape Photos | Lupines & Sunset Sky

New Zealand Landscape Photography Workshop | Lake Tekapo New Zealand – This is the sort of vibrant lupin action that we will be chasing during our upcoming lupines photo workshops

 

I am super-duper stoked to be announcing the launch-eroo of our Lake Tekapo Lupines Landscape Photography Workshops  right slap-dap here on WordPress today (was that intro Ned Flanders enough for you?)

I have been planning this photo workshop for nearly a year now and after several long days of chasing my tail in the back-end of our website I now have dates, and pricing all loaded up and ready to go!

Lupines on the shores of Lake Alexandrina, near Lake Tekapo, McKenzie Country, South Island, New Zealand. Another one of our workshop locations.

 

I have chunked the workshop down into modules to ensure that there are price and time options that will suit all budgets – prices start from a very reasonable $275 NZ for a afternoon/evening workshop session.  Groups are limited to 4 or 5 students depending upon the session ensuring that you will get a huge amount of information out of a workshop session.

What are you waiting for? A TomKat reunion?, the next Greek bailout? no-scrub oven cleaner that actually works?  get on over to our website and

Book Now for a New Zealand Landscape Photography Workshops

Key Summit Tarns At Sunrise | Routeburn Track Fiordland, New Zealand

New Zealand Photos | Key Summit, Routeburn Track, Fiordland

Sunrise on Mt Christina from the alpine tarns at Key Summit on the Routeburn track, Fiordland, South Island New Zealand

Fiordland went over well with you wonderful WordPressers yesterday – so here’s another one for you – this time from the Key Summit Tarns, on the world famous Routeburn Track.

Please drop on by our website to check out more of our  Photos of New Zealand   |  Canvas Prints Of New Zealand Landscapes | Fine Art Photo Prints we’d love to hear from you :-)

New Zealand Photo Of The Day | Milford Sound, Fiordland New Zealand

New Zealand Photos | Mitre Peak Reflection, Milford Sound

Morning Reflection – Mitre Peak, Milford Sound, Fiordland National Park, South Island, New Zealand. Photographer Sarah Sisson

We are super stoked that a series of our images have just been included on a recent Milford Sound travel article at Environmental Graffiti.

Please drop on by our website to check out more of our New Zealand landscape images  – we’d love to hear from you :-)

Wednesday’s Free iPad Wallpaper | Pouakai Ridge Sunrise, Mt Taranaki New Zealand

Photos of New Zealand Landscapes | Red Sunrise Pouakai Ridge Taranaki

Red sky and sunstar over New Zealand alpine tussocks from Pouakai Ridge at sunrise – Mt Egmont National Park.

Welcome to Wednesday and August (WTF???).

A little respite from South Island scenery this week, this image was made from the Pouakai Ridge on the Northern flank of Mt Taranaki.  Sarah & I hiked up in the dark on the previous evening – fortunately the sun broke through, as it would have been a lot of effort for a photo of fog & mist shrouded tusssocks….

As always, this is available as a [free iPad wallpaper] Password = freewallpaper

Tech Detritus:  Canon EOS 5D Mark II, Canon EF 17-40mm f/4L USM (@17mm) f/16 ISO100.  Edited using Adobe Photoshop CS6 on 15″ Apple MacBook Pro and Apple Cinema Display.

Have a great week – feel free to follow my blog!

Cheers – Todd

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