Mike’s First Attempt at Photography

I’ve always been jealous of professional photographers.  Not bored housewives with $600 DSLR cameras on auto-mode, but artists who can turn any scene into something worth looking at.

Most of the technical knowledge I’ve gained from making videos directly translates to photography.  Setting up a camera to properly capture light comes naturally now.  What doesn’t come naturally is composing good looking shots into a single frame.

Before leaving for Norway I decided I wanted to hone my photography and editing skills. Landscapes seemed like a good place to start and who could ask for better landscape than fjords, glacial rivers, and sandy beaches all in one trip.

My hope going into the trip was that I would come out with 3 or 4 photos that accurately represented the country. I’m happy to say I think I accomplished that goal.

Photo 1
sunnyrock
I think this one is my favorite because it came out looking so natural. Some of my other pictures look more “processed.” It’s interesting, though, since the sun beam and rain drops in this one were enhanced dramatically (see original).

Photo 2
shipwreck
This is a ship wreck at low tide in Tromso. Editing this image showed me how versatile shooting in RAW can be. The original was really underexposed to capture the detail of the sky and mountains in the background, but I was able to brighten up the ship without any problems. This turned out a little too sharp in my opinion. I need to go back in and fix it at some point.

Photo 3
mountainside
This one is definitely the most print worthy. As we came around a bend in the road this mountain side village revealed itself. The road was a series switchbacks with no real place to pull off so I quickly put on our blinker, jumped out of the car, snapped this picture and kept driving. The original looked amazing by itself, I just adjusted the colors and added a few highlights.

Photo 4
beachhouse
This photo was taken from the window of the car. We were exploring the Lofoten Islands and saw this barn sitting on what looks like a tropical beach.  We’re actually above the Arctic Circle. (Original)

Photo 5
northernlightsWe’ll remember two things from our trip to Norway forever- The glacier hike and the northern lights. I increased the exposure and adjusted the white balance to more accurately reflect the colors we saw. In the original, the lights were greener than in real life. They were actually more of a teal-ish color like in the edited photo.

I hope you enjoyed! I learned a lot in this process about taking and editing photographs. By the end of my editing session I had a much better understanding about RAW files, dodging and burning, and finding interesting subject matter.

6 thoughts on “Mike’s First Attempt at Photography

    1. Mike And Lauren Post author

      Thank you! Canon 70D with the kit 18-55mm lens (except for the lights which was a Tokina 11-16).

      I used the Adobe raw editor in Photoshop to make the initial adjustments, then photoshop for all the tweaks.

      Reply
    2. Gene Jordan

      This blog post is great and the photos are amazing. I would encourage everyone to open each of them into their own tab and view the larger size photos. It’s well worth it to see the larger size.

      Reply
  1. Mike Hoeflich

    These are outstanding. Goes to show a kit lens can do just fine. I really like Lightroom 5 for most of my editing needs. Mike/Lauren, check out the “PhotoSerge” channel on YouTube. It’s from a French photographer Serge Ramelli. He shows how to touch up landscapes with PS and LR. Tons of free great tutorials.

    Reply

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