AustralianLight - Landscape Photography AustralianLight - Landscape Photography

AustralianLight - Landscape Photography is my new site with my good mate Bernie. If you have found my blog posts useful over the years, then how about giving us a hand to promote AustralianLight.

We are doing everything we can to get our australian landscape photography out there and guess what..... it's bloody hard work!! So please visit the gallery and if you like what see, share it with your friends.

Thanks, we really do appreciate your help. - Russell

Wednesday, 18 July 2007

Reader's Technique #1: Split Toning - David Haviland

This technique has been submitted by David Haviland

Today I thought I would give a tutorial in a processing method I use fairly often. This technique is a split toning. A basic description of this would be a duotone image with 1 colour being used for the darker tones only and another tone for the lighter tones only.
(Note this image is for sale here:

(Note this image is for sale here:

So how do I get this effect, quite simple really if you have even a rudimentary knowledge of photoshop, and I can assure you a rudimentary knowledge is all I have.

To begin with I transform my image into a black and white image with the tones/contrast that I want. Next I create a hue saturation layer, the 2 colours I believe work best are blue and red as in the mid tones where they blend they form a nice purple colour.

This next image shows the result after the first hue saturation layer has been applied. You have to make sure the colourize box is checked and then just pick a colour and saturation that you think suits, as this is done as an adjustment layer you don't have to worry too much about getting the precise colour yet as you can come back and make adjustments later

Next you create your second hue/saturation layer above the previous one with the second colour you want.

Now this is when the magic happens, by double clicking on the blue section next to the title hue/saturation in the layers palette, you will bring up the layers style box, make sure you do this on the top layer of the two.

Down the bottom of the box you will notice to 2 gradient bars, these bars are used to determine how much of the current layer is blended. The top bar is used for keeping, rejecting tones in the current layer, the bottom layer is used for keeping/rejecting tones based on the tones in the layer below, for this procedure I use the bottom one.

You will notice markers at either end, these slide inwards, by sliding the black one to the right you are saying do not show anything on the current layer that is darker then the point it's at. It is hard to see but if you look carefully you will see that there is a line down the middle of the slider, this is because the slider can be split into two.

You may be asking why we would want to do that, by splitting the slider in two and moving the right hand side (in the case of the darker slider) towards the right we make the blend between the two tones a lot smoother and gives a blend between the two layers, in the case of red and blue it forms some nice purple shades. Anyway here is a shot showing the adjustment in this image.

Next is just fine tuning until you have the image the way you want. I hope you have found this interesting and informative and if you have any questions about this technique please contact me via my blog as linked above.


Many thanks David for your submission.


My Gallery:
Australian Digital Photo Of The Day:

Photography help for beginners - Film & Digital Camera Techniques - Post Processing - Photography tips and tricks - Split Toning

Wednesday, 4 July 2007

Image Showcase #1:

I thought that it might be a good idea to share some images and talk a little about them....

So for my very first "Image Showcase" I would like to present....

"Fire Fighter"

This image is one of my faves, because it is much, MUCH more dramatic than what was really going on at the time.

The fire was a small.... "very" small, grass fire down the road from my place here in the Gold Coast Hinterland. I noticed the smoke from my home and thought that it may offer some photo ops.

When I arrived the Rural Fire Brigade boys were already on scene after travelling a long and tiresome 10 meters from their station. Yep! 10 meters! This fire was in the paddock right next door. ;-)

Fuelling the flames was grass and since it was located in a horse paddock, there were no additional fuel sources.... so this fire was always going to be short lived and unspectacular.

Pretty much it was "all over red rover" and by this stage the fire fighter pictured was not battling flames, but just wetting down already burnt areas where small pockets of grass & ash were still glowing.

So with not much excitement, my shot was going to rely on interesting lighting, as the fire fighter was backlit by soft, warm, smoke diffused light. While the background of unburned dry grass, was lit by a patch of direct light that had found it's way through the smoke.

After shooting a couple of frames, I noticed that one of the only remaining clumps of grass (that was quite high thanks to it being located around a fence post) was about to catch fire. To capture these flames I needed only to take a couple of steps to the left, so my overall composition was not effected much at all.

Fearing that my auto-focus may be drawn to the flames rather than stay with the fire fighter (who was some 10-15 meters behind the flames), I switched to manual and managed only a couple of frames before the fuel was exhausted and the flames vanished.

I was shooting from some distance (using 200mm), but the heat generated by the flames was quite astounding and it was this heat that created the distortion effect that you see in this image. There have been no post process enhancements or Photoshop techniques applied to this image at all.

This heat effect is commonly seen while driving on a hot summer's day, as the heat generated from the sunburnt road will often make the distant horizon shimmer and distort.... sometimes the road even looks wet up ahead.

This distortion is simply the light refracting through the heated air, while the wet effect is created when the light from above is reflected back towards you, just as if the super heated air above the road was a mirror.

The following image is a good example of both distortion and reflection created by heat....

It can be real fun to play with this natural effect, so if you have access to a commercial runway or a safe highway location you may want to give this a go. ;-)

BTW... Long tele lenses make the most of this effect, as getting close to this is like chasing a rainbow, it just can't be done.


My Gallery:
Australian Digital Photo Of The Day:

Photography help for beginners - Film & Digital Camera Techniques - Post Processing - Photography tips and tricks - Heat Haze Image Showcase