Plain Skies – Post Processing – Blending & Masking

This image was captured on the plains of the Masai Mara in Kenya. We’ve all had a great situation ruined by a terrible background.  The sky in the zebra image was rendered as solid white and featureless. A cloudy sky with lots of detail was dropped in, adding lots of interest. The key is to use a more detailed/interesting sky, but one matching the overcast condition of the zebra image. A little layer masking, a blend mode on the sky layer, and the image is much better.
165008_2_blog_wEquipment & Settings:
Canon IDs-Mark II
Canon 100-400 F5.6 lens @ F5.6
1/500th sec.
ISO 800
If you’re interested in capturing stunning images in Masai Mara, visit my Kenya Photo Tour page.

Using Textures

This image was captured panning with a group of Camargue horses in southern France as they ran by our workshop class. For this image a slow shutter speed was panned to capture the beauty and grace of these powerful animals. Once the image was processed traditionally, a layer mask was used to overlay a texture, creating a painterly effect. A combination of Blending Modes and selectively painting on the texture created an entirely new image.
_MG_9475_blog_wEquipment & Settings:
Canon ID Mark IV
Canon 24-105 lens at 35mm, 1/10th sec. at F22
ISO 100

Cheetah Chasing Thomson’s Gazelles

This shot is all about being in the right place at the right time. We first encountered this hunting cheetah early one morning. Our guide spotted two small ears sticking up above the tall grass. He instantly knew there was a cheetah in the grass stalking a group of Thomson’s gazelles. We parked our vehicle, with the sun at our backs about 50 yards away. Waiting nearly two hours she finally started crawling ever so slowly and suddenly we were rewarded with a lightning quick run toward the grazing gazelles. Luck favors those that are prepared. In this situation I had time to discuss what to expect with my safari group, and many of us got great images. In a few seconds the spectacular event was over, and we had wonderful images and an unforgettable memory.
98014_blog_wEquipment & Settings:
Canon 1D Mark IV
Canon 500mm F4 lens, F5.6, 1/1000th sec. Servo Tracking Mode, Continuous High Speed Capture Rate
Camera on bean bag atop safari vehicle

If you would like to join us in Kenya for a wonderful African Safari, please visit my Kenya Photo Tour page.