Lake

The Lake at Leeds Castle.. Rework.

The Lake at Leeds Castle.. Rework.

A photograph of the lake at Leeds Castle near Maidstone in Kent.

 

A photograph of the lake at Leeds Castle.. and a rework of a photograph I processed in Topaz Texture Effects 2.

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Posted by Bren in Landscape, Photography, 2 comments
On the lake at Lullingstone

On the lake at Lullingstone

A photograph of the lake at Lullingstone Castle near Eynsford in Kent

A photograph of the lake at Lullingstone Castle near Eynsford in Kent

There is nothing like sitting by a lake on a warm Sunday morning.. just watching the wildlife; with only the noise of the rippling water and the birds singing merrily in the tress.  To me, sitting there in peace is my idea of heaven…

The above photograph was processing in Topaz Adjust, Lightroom, and Topaz Texture Effects 2.

Have a good Sunday everyone xx

Posted by Bren in Landscape, Photography, 0 comments
The Lake at Leeds Castle

The Lake at Leeds Castle

A photography of the main lake at Leeds Castle near Maidstone in Kent, processed in Lightroom and Topaz Texture Effects 2.

A photography of the main lake at Leeds Castle near Maidstone in Kent, processed in Lightroom and Topaz Texture Effects 2.

I am on day 3 of my trial of Topaz Texture Effects 2 and I have to say I am getting more impressed as the day’s go on…  Below is the before and after, the before photo is SOOC with just cropping applied.

before-and-after-leeds-lake

And I have to say, one of the features that I do love about Topaz Texture Effects 2 is the masking and the power of the Luminosity Masking Panel.

luminosity-maskingThe sliders on the Panel Masking Panel give you so much range. You can use spot, colour, luminosity or the brush tool.

So far I have stuck to the Luminosity option and played around with the sliders and no matter what adjustment you apply to your image, each adjustment gives you masking options.

Now I don’t know about you, but when you use textures, sometimes you do need add clipping masks and Topaz Textured Effects 2 takes that into consideration by giving you an Enhance option.  Each adjustment option gives you the option to add clipping masks.  And the adjustments available within each panel are great, the sliders are easy to understand and each one gives you so much power and the ability to apply an adjustment exactly as you want to.

img_7161As you can see from the photograph on the left, I did some adjustments in Lightroom before sending my photo to Topaz Texture Effects 2.

And after I had added my textures and adjustments in Topaz when the file was imported back into Lightroom, I added a couple of radial filters and did some dodging and burning, just to enhance the photograph a little. I also played around with the sliders in the Basic Panel just to warm the picture up a little and to add some contrast and clarity.  However, the ability to do the vast majority of these edits was available to me in Topaz Texture Effects 2, without having to do them in Lightroom.  For me, no matter what software I use, I always do  my final edits in Lightroom, I think that is by choice rather than a reflection that Topaz Texture Effects couldn’t do these edits.

Yes I could have achieved the same effect in Photoshop, but… it would have taken me a lot longer to do and probably would have been a larger file size to save on my hard-drive.  However, there is always a downside and that being, once you have saved your photograph, and Topaz Texture Effects 2 has closed, you can’t go back and re-edit your photograph or make changes to any of the settings/adjustments you had previously applied.

Pros so far

  • Quick
  • Easy to Use
  • Great Luminosity Masking
  • Creative
  • Ability to save your work as Presets
  • Ability to enhance each adjustment (basically a clipping mask)
  • Fast
  • Affordable
  • Works with Photoshop and Lightroom
  • Free updates
  • Total control over your creations

Cons so far

  • Unable to re-edit or change settings once you saved your creation.
  • Software closes when you save your work.
  • Strips metadata from image.
Posted by Bren in Landscape, Photography, 2 comments
The Lake at Leeds Castle

The Lake at Leeds Castle

A photograph of one of the lakes at Leeds Castle near Maidstone in Kent.

A photograph of one of the lakes at Leeds Castle near Maidstone in Kent.

 

Lately when I am out and about photographing landscapes, I look for reflections.  Reflections to me add to a photograph.  To see a building’s reflection in water can make a photography.

I think this photograph of Leeds Castle has to be one of my favourite photographs

A HDR panoramic monochrome photograph of Leeds Castle, in Maidstone Kent.

A HDR panoramic monochrome photograph of Leeds Castle, in Maidstone Kent.

 

It is like a mirrored image of the castle.  The first photograph in this post is of one of the lakes at Leeds Castle, and I loved the reflection of the clouds and the trees in the lake.

Posted by Bren in Landscape, Photography, 0 comments
Bridge over the lake…

Bridge over the lake…

A photograph of the bridge going over the lake at Kearsney Abbey Gardens, near Dover in Kent.

A photograph of the bridge going over the lake at Kearsney Abbey Gardens, near Dover in Kent.

 

Kearsney Abbey Gardens was packed and I don’t know how I managed to get this photograph without people in it… it must have been a stroke of luck that the only people I had to remove were very small in the picture.. I can remember sitting there for ages waiting for everyone to move… and my patience paid out.

Posted by Bren in Landscape, Photography, 6 comments
Hever Castle Lake

Hever Castle Lake

Hever Castle - More Swans

 

As you stroll around the grounds of Hever Castle in Kent… you come to this wonderful lake.. and what caught my eye was that red little building beside the lake.

Hever Castle

Taken by Bren Ryan – SOOC

As you can see from the original photo there were some distractions and I knew I wanted to remove them.  So I did a couple of small spot removals using the Spot Removal Tool in Lightroom.  Whilst in Lightroom I also added a Preset I have and played around with the sliders in the Basic Panel and the Split Toning Panel.

Taken by Bren Ryan - Sent to Photoshop

Taken by Bren Ryan – Sent to Photoshop

That was it before I headed into Photoshop to take care of the those buoys and out of focus ducks…and some of the green foliage in the foreground..

Most of those distractions were taken care of using the Spot Healing Brush.  Once the distractions were removed I then added a texture layer to the photograph.  I then changed the mode blending style and to add some more impact I duplicated the texture layer and then lowered the opacity and changed the blending mode again. I also created a Curves Adjustment Layer and used a Luminosity Mask created by Lumenzia so that the curves adjustment only affected the parts of the photo I wanted it to affect.

And that was it for Photoshop, I saved it and it was automatically imported back into Lightroom.  Once it was back into Lightroom, I played around with some Graduated Filters and the sliders in the Basic Panel.  I then added a couple of Radial Filters and did some increase of exposure to the trees using the Local Adjustment Brush Tool. And then I decided it needed a frame… so off to the Print Module in Lightroom to frame my image..

Hever Castle Lake - IMG_7874 - Framed

But something wasn’t quite right… so I thought I would add a few more swans and ducks… now this was my first time of really adding things to an image.. so I apologise for it not being 100%… but you only learn by trying… and to be honest I quite like the photo now that there is more wildlife in it.

Posted by Bren in Before and After, Landscape, Photography, 0 comments
The Lake at Sheffield Park Gardens

The Lake at Sheffield Park Gardens

Taken by Ashley Ryan

Taken by Ashley Ryan

As you stood by the lake you could see the autumn colours in the trees that surround the water’s edge. The density of the trees framed the lake spectacularly, and I just loved how those autumn colours stood out against the remaining green trees.

Posted by Bren in Landscape, Photography, 0 comments
The Lake at Wakehurst

The Lake at Wakehurst

One of the places that I loved to visit, (loved being the operative word) is Wakehurst Place in West Sussex.  The house and the grounds are spectacular… as as you stroll around there is a stream and man-made waterfall that are breathtaking.

[blockquote align=”right” cite=”Parking Fees if NT Member”]Cars: Free for the first 30 minutes, £2 for the first hour and a half, £5 for two and a half hours, £10 per day[/blockquote]

Wakehurst Place is part of  Kew Gardens… and is free to enter to National Trust… but up until a year or more ago so was parking free… However if you are now a National Trust member you have to pay for parking which can be a bit pricey. Especially as you could spend hours just strolling around the place… simply because there is so much to see and do.. it is vast.  And I know a lot of people have complained about the parking fee.. and when we visited last… you could see the reduction in numbers.  It wasn’t as crowded as it was on our previous visits… and it was a nice sunny day… a day when walking around the place is a joy.

Taken by Ashley Ryan

Taken by Ashley Ryan

I know £10 isn’t a lot for parking… but it soon adds up… especially if you decide to eat there or have lunch in the restaurant.  Mind you for photographing the place… the less visitors is a photographer’s delight… but I do wonder why they would enforce such steep parking charges… £5 for the whole day and say £2.50 for half a day is a lot fairer.  So that is why in my first paragraph of this post I used the word Loved because at those parking prices.. I doubt very much if we will revisit Wakehurst Place again.. which is rather a shame.

To bring out the colours in the above photograph… I tried something new… I did my usual Lightroom adjustments by opening up the shadows and dropping the highlights and giving the picture a bit of clarity, before exporting it to Photoshop.   In Photoshop, I duplicated the layer… changed the blending mode of that layer to Multiply and then lowered the opacity of the picture.   After that I reimported the photograph back into Lightroom and again I opened up the shadows, lowered the highlights and gave it more clarity.  Then I simply did some dodging and burning and then added a radial filter to give a light vignette to the picture.

Here is a selection of photographs taken at Wakehurst…

Posted by Bren in Landscape, Photography, 0 comments
Scotney Old Castle

Scotney Old Castle

IMG_8733HDR-Edit

Photographer: Bren Ryan
Location: Scotney Old Castle
Date: 3rd March 2015
Camera: Canon EOS 600D
Lens: Canon EF-S 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS
Aperture: f/7.1
Shutter Speed: 1/50 sec
ISO: 100
Focal Length: 35 mm
Posted by Bren in Monochrome, Photography, 0 comments
The Old Castle

The Old Castle

Taken by Bren Ryan

Taken by Bren Ryan

This picture was taken the other side of the lake looking towards Scotney Old Castle.  The sun was shining, and the clear blue skies reflected on the lake.  And what I loved most was when I took this shot there was not another human being in sight. We have visited Scotney Castle may times, and this is the first time we saw it in glorious sunshine without crowds of people.  It was well worth braving the cold… just for shots like this.

Posted by Bren in Landscape, Photography, 0 comments