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NEW COURSE! Landscape Photography Post Processing & HDR Blending Video Tutorial

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**Discounted price EXTENDED TO 09/25/17**

 

It’s finally here! I have been promising a tutorial like this to my subscribers for quite a long time, and It feels fantastic to make this a reality! Thank you all for your support the past few months while I have been producing this!

This in-depth tutorial covers my post processing workflow, different levels and methods of exposure blending, the benefits of luminosity masks, texture and contrast enhancement, selective dodging and burning, how to individualize color, using restricted luminosity masks for sharpening and noise reduction, etc, etc.

Surprisingly, this my very first video series on landscape photography post processing, and I couldn’t be more excited to finally release it! I have been carefully compiling all of the techniques I wanted to teach, building the lesson plan, choosing the photos, filming, re-filming, and producing this tutorial for almost four months! Today, all of you finally get to see it, and I am more than humbled by all of the requests I have received to produce something like this! It’s because of  YOU that this now a reality!

Not only do I show you how to use all of the tools in my post processing workflow, but I also stop along the way to explain WHY I make the creative decisions that lead to the end result of each photograph.


Common Questions…

What software do I need?  The only software you really “need” is Photoshop(not elements)and the Nik Collection. The Nik Collection plugins are completely FREE now, and you can easily follow along with me while I use Lightroom and On1 RAW by simply downloading their FREE trials. Click HERE for a Lightroom free trial, and click HERE for a free trial of ON1 RAW.

Do I have to be a photography wizard to take this course?  You definitely do not have to be an expert to take this course. However, I would recommend that you have basic knowledge of processing RAW files since you will learn many advanced techniques, but I slowly walk you through each step that I take. Also, I spread the techniques over 10 hours of video lessons so that I don’t overload you with information in Lesson #1.

Do I need advanced Photoshop knowledge?  Again, I would recommend that you have a basic knowledge, but I walk you through the tools that you need to know in order to follow along with me in this course.

What happens if I have a question or don’t understand a certain part of this video course?  No worries at all! I have a created a private FaceBook support group just for people who purchase this tutorial. As long as you have questions that pertain directly to the content in this video tutorial, I will be more than happy to answer your questions and help you overcome any possible confusion. I will have a few other photographers helping me manage this Facebook support group so that we can answer all questions in a timely manner. This group will also become a very fun community as more people join, and we can always continue learning from each other’s creative vision. 

Am I allowed to use or share the PSD or Image files included in this course?  Publicly sharing and/or monetizing from any of the original content included in this course is not permitted. All of the original content included in this course is Copyright © Eric Marks and Finding Middle Earth, LLC. The original content that I include is for educational purposes only. However, I am very curious and excited to see how all of you decide to process my photos, so sharing your versions of my photos is only allowed within the private FaceBook support group that I have created for this course. You will gain access to that FaceBook group once you purchase The Landscape Photography Post Processing & HDR Blending Video Tutorial.

How much is this going to cost me?  Creating a price for this tutorial was one of the hardest aspects of this entire experience. It’s easy sometimes for creators to overcharge for digital products because we know how much it consumed our life for months at a time. I preach so much on my YouTube channel about being smart with your money when investing in yourself or new gear, so I wanted to make this affordable! The price for the first 15 days is going to be only $69.00 USD, and after the first 15 days are up, it will reset to it’s regular price of $99.00. If you’re part of my FME newsletter, you will get surprise discount codes all throughout the year. Want to join? Just head to the top right of this page, and click the “SUBSCRIBE” button. UPDATE: I have decided to extend the promo pricing of $69 until 09/25/17. Enjoy!


A Few Photo Examples…

Here are a few of the photos that we will be working on together.

Before

After

Before

After

Before

After


Video Content…

  1. introduction to workflow and getting the most out of one single RAW file
  2. Auto HDR blending and using gradient masks to add directional lighting effects
  3. Enhancing texture and selective dodging and burning
  4. Choosing the best portion of three brackets to piece together the your creative vision
  5. Basic luminosity masks and the benefits of color separation
  6. Using individual RGB channels to enhance color and learning new methods for sharpening and noise reduction
  7. Advanced exposure blending and processing with 7 bracketed photos
  8. Gain ultimate control by using luminosity masks to selectively dodge and burn, add color, blend exposures, sharpen, reduce noise, and completely separate the foreground from the background. 

Learn How To Unleash The Power Of Your RAW Files With The Landscape Photography Post Processing & HDR Blending Course. Includes Over 10 Hours Of Video Lessons!


Exploring The Gulf Coast With The Fujifilm X-T2

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A Day Of Landscape Photography…

While I was on holiday with my family near Rosemary Beach, Florida, my dad and I took a day to explore the coast in search of great seafood and photography. We found both!

The best tips I can give you for shooting in the mid-day sun is to look for high-contrast scenes where the natural shadows make interesting compositions, and you will also want to take a really powerful ND filter to add interest to water and clouds. You will notice in the VLOG and photos below that I used the high-contrast light AND a 9 stop ND filter for almost every photo I captured. Always take advantage of the creative tools in your camera bag, and if you don’t own filter already, feel free to watch my video where I tell you all about my favorite filters for landscape photography. Also, the filter company even gave me a discount code that allows my viewers to get 10% OFF of all of their products. All of the info is in the video.

Take Care Of Your Gear…

In closing, make sure you really think about which bag you’re using in the field when you’re around a ton of sand and salt water like I was. Sand and salt water can ruin gear so fast! I highly recommend two bags for these situations, and you can watch my video reviews of them HERE: MindShift Gear Rotation 180 Pro Backpack Review | LowePro Whistler 450 AW Backpack Review

Below, you can see the photos and VLOG from my day of landscape photography on the gulf coast...

Fuji X-T2 | Fujinon 16-55 f/2.8 | Polarizer And 9 Stop ND Filter

Fuji X-T2 | Fujinon 16-55 f/2.8 | Polarizer And 9 Stop ND Filter

Fuji X-T2 | Fujinon 16-55 f/2.8 | Polarizer And 9 Stop ND Filter

Fuji X-T2 | Fujinon 16-55 f/2.8 | Polarizer Only

Fuji X-T2 | Fujinon 16-55 f/2.8 | Exposure Blend


 

 

Disney Day 6(Last Day): Reflections In Magic Kingdom And A Creepy Ending At The Haunted Mansion

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The Best Day Of  The Week…

After walking around the Disney parks for a week and trying to manage the late nights with early mornings, it was so nice to have a relaxing day with no reservations or plans of any kind. Since today was our last day, we all decided that we wanted to spend the day in Magic Kingdom taking photos of the kids, watching the parades, and just walking around slowly to enjoy all of the architectural details that Disney has to offer. 

I’m glad that I ended up packing all of my Fuji lenses for this trip because I was able to see which lenses I used the most. My two most-used lenses all week were definitely the Fuji 18-55 f/2.8-4 kit lens and the Fuji 35 f/2 prime lens. I used the Fuji 55-200 telephoto lens a fair bit as well for the parades and wildlife, but the other two lenses lived on my X-T2 most of the week. The 18-55 with it’s incredible OIS, covered most of my architecture and low light photos, while the 35mm f/2 covered the family photos and Disney character portraits. Now I know for the future that those three lenses are my must-have camera kit for travel. If you’re interested in seeing the entire Fuji kit that I took to Disney, you can watch that video HERE.

Night Time And Rain In Magic Kingdom With A Haunted Ending…

If you have been to Disney before, you know how magical everything becomes at night. Almost every square inch of the park is lit up, the weather cools off, and most the crowds start to leave park. Lucky for us, we have been staying on Disney property all week so we took advantage of the Disney “Magic Hours” from 10pm t0 12am. The “Magic Hours” allowed us to stay in the park two hours later than regular guests, and that is typically when I capture all of the long exposure Disney photos that you see in my portfolio.

Not long after nightfall, it started raining pretty hard, but we were ok with that since we knew it would clear the park of even more people. Pro tip: When it rains in Disney, 90% of the people think they’re going to melt if they get wet, so that means you get the park to yourself. While it was raining, we walked around in all of the cool shops on Main Street in Magic Kingdom, and I got to capture a really cool photo of a professional glass blower who was working on a new piece for the store’s collection. I really like the way his photo turned out! I have always believed that everything happens for reason, and had it not rained that night, we would have never gone inside that little shop, and I would have never captured that photo. Pretty cool 🙂

After we shopped around in the stores and purchased some good ole Disney merchandise, we noticed that the hard rain had turned into a light sprinkle, and there were no humans to be seen in any direction! It can be a little weird walking down Main Street in the busiest theme park in the world with no people in sight, but that is exactly how I like it. Most people just don’t take the time to wait out the crowds…

It was a very enjoyable night being able to ride all of our favorite rides with no wait times or people… Well, until my friend Joseph and I asked the wives if we could ride The Haunted Mansion on our way out of the park…big mistake  😯 . We were making our way to the front of the park so we could head back to the hotel, and as we were walking by the rides and stores, the lights were blacking out one-by one. It was a little creepy since we were the only ones left in the park, but we just assumed that they were closing things up since it was a little after midnight at that point. We also figured that The Haunted Mansion would probably be closed since everything else was closing as we walked by.

Well, as we approached The Haunted Mansion, we saw one single cast member standing outside the line waiting for people to come in. Of course, Joseph and I walked up to ask her if it was still open, and the lady didn’t say one word. She just starred at us with a straight face and pointed towards the ride. We were already a little creeped out at that point, but we assumed that her pointing meant that we could go through the line. If you have never ridden The Haunted Mansion before, you won’t know what I am talking about, but before you actually get on the ride, they take you into a pretty big room where they act out a short little skit that is supposed to be playful and scary at the same time. It’s fun to watch people get a little freaked out before getting on the ride, but I have the entire skit memorized because I have been riding The Haunted Mansion since I was a little kid. I also know that every time I have ever ridden  The Haunted Mansion during magic hours, they skip the little skit and let you get right on the ride. Naturally, I assumed they would do the same in this situation since it was literally just me and Joseph. I was wrong… One of the cast members took us into the big room, a shorter version of the skit played throughout the speakers, all of the doors around us shut, and then BOOM…the lights went out. Before the light went out, we were the only two people in that big room. BOOM! The lights came back on, and there were two girls dressed as creepy maids that randomly appeared about 6 inches away from our faces. We literally felt their breath…

After that insanely creepy moment, those two girls opened the door that lead to the ride, and we finally got on. Even more creepy things happened while we were on the ride, but that is a story for a different day. It’s really late and I still have to pack up my stuff and get some sleep since we’re leaving to go home in about 7 hours(yikes). Thank you all for following the blog all week and going on this Disney adventure with me and my family! Just promise me you’ll think twice before rinding The Haunted Mansion after hours.

Enjoy viewing all of my best photos from our last day…

Fuji X-T2 | 35mm f/2 WR | This is one of Disney’s awesome cast members in the “circus” section of Magic Kingdom. This guy’s face had such a unique look, so I had to ask him for a photo. Luck for me, he said yes!

Fuji X-T2 | 35mm f/2 WR | This is my beautiful baby girl, Scarlett. My wife and I envisioned this photo before we ever went on this trip, and we made it come to life. This little green patch of AstroTurf is great for photos of the kids with the castle in the background! 

Fuji X-T2 | 35mm f/2 WR | This is the glass blower that I got to photograph when we ran into the shops to escape the rain after sunset. I just love this image!

Fuji X-T2 | 18-55 f/2.8-4 Kit Lens | This is a photo of Magic Kingdom’s classic steamboat. Looking at this scene made me think of the old steamboat Mickey cartoon.

Fuji X-T2 | 35mm f/2 WR | This was the very last photo I took. We were on the way out of the park, it had just started raining again, and I saw those refections just singing my name. Obviously, I had to stop and grab a set of photos even though I got soaked. It was so beautiful!


 

Disney Day 5: Epcot At Golden Hour And German Sausage

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Golden Light, Another Great Sunset, And Snacks…

We all went back to Epcot tonight because…well, Epcot is a whole different world of magic and culture when golden hour hits. The countries all start to turn on lanterns and beautiful lights, the weather gets cooler, and all of the golden light starts reflecting off of the huge man-made lake in the middle of the Epcot World Showcase.

Our wives were looking at all of the souvenirs while Joseph and I were taking photos and drooling over the light hitting the architecture all around us. After walking around a bit and enjoying some family time and photography, the wives wanted to get some snacks. They were talking about ice cream, some kind of French fruit parfait, etc etc. This is where Joseph and I offered to take the kids, part ways from the ladies for a little while, and find some “man snacks” in another country. 

After getting distracted by taking photos of the kids around the park, we finally arrived in Germany at Biergarten to get some homemade sausage and authentic German beer. Typically, I’m not a beer drinker, but when I travel, I love experiencing new things. 

After we all enjoyed our snacks, we met back up with the wives and continued to have a fantastic evening! Family, friends, food, and great photos. Couldn’t ask for a better night! Below, you can see a few of my photos from tonight. Time to get in bed and gear up for tomorrow!

Fuji X-T2 | Fujinon 18-55 f/2.8-4 | This photo was captured about 45 min before sunset. Everyone else was watching the Chinese dancers preform under this beautiful structure, but I was focused on capturing the golden light and interesting clouds.

Fuji X-T2 | Fujinon 18-55 f/2.8-4 | The sunset was so good that I had to take a photo even though there wasn’t a great foreground at the time. However, I thought it was a pretty interesting image since I captured two countries and a hotel in one single photograph. Across the lake, you’ll see Morocco on the left, The Swan & Dolphin Resort in the middle, and France on the right.