1. Tutorial Part 2

    My second Lightroom tutorial can now be seen on YouTube, here.

    In this one, I look at one of Lightroom’s most useful features, the Graduated Filter tool. From darkening the sky to reducing brightness in woodland scenes, it’s a tool I use more than any other and one which all Lightroom users, I feel, should be confident in using.

    It’s likely I shall be doing others so if you’ve enjoyed the last two then you might wish to consider subscribing to my channel. I hope you enjoy it and find it helpful.

    From this…

    to this…

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  2. The Perfect Storm

    Last month, while on one of my regular forays to the marshes, I witnessed the most amazing storm cloud formations. Living in North Kent, with it’s big skies, I am no stranger to incredible light and sudden changes in the weather but nothing prepared me for what unfolded that afternoon. It started as a bright, sunny afternoon but soon, menacing clouds starting arriving from the east. A mixture of distant downpours and sun produced my first opportunity and was a sign of things to come!

    You can just make out the white masts, at the right of the frame, of boats on The Swale estuary.

    And then for the next hour, I struggled keeoping up and recording the ever changing light, colour and cloud patterns. The tripod remained in the car as it was just changing to rapidly and with using the 12-24mm for much of the time, I was confident at shooting at relatively slow shutter speeds without camera shake.

    The North Kent Marshes is a hard enough environment to create strong images at the best of times, let alone when conditions are changing so rapidly! But this, I thought, is what photography is all about. Thinking on your feet – adrenalin pumping through your veins.  Fortunately, the Sheppey Crossing provided the ideal backdrop in which to give a focal point and a sense of scale.

    The best I can come up with to sum up the experience is Biblical!

    In the days of film I would have had to rely solely on ND graduated filters to balance the land and sky but with digital, as long as I don’t clip significant areas of the scene, I can increase or reduce exposure to areas using Lightroom 4’s graduated filter tool and adjustment brush.

    The strom slowly receeded into the distance leaveing me open-mouthed and in awe of what I had seen. There really is, beauty in bad weather.

    As I drove home, the sun started to reappear and, knowing there was a good chance of a rainbow, I made a mad dash onto a side road which would take me beside the crossing. Grabbing my camera, the only way I could get into position was by jumping waist deep into soaking vegetation! Tha rainbow appeared and I left – beaming!

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