Category Archives: Nik Software

Old Town Havana

If you get up early enough, you can beat the crowds that quickly fill the streets of Havana.  What I loved about this scene, was the yellow wall behind the red car.  As promised in my last blog post, I’ve created a video (click the link below) that explains how I created the look for this image using Nik Color Efex Pro 4.0.  Lots more Cuba images to come over the next couple of weeks.

To watch the video (in HD no less!) click on this link which will take you to the YouTube link. 

And don’t forget you can save 15% on all Nik Software by clicking this link and using the code JBARCLAY at checkout.  


Also posted in Color, Cuba

Irish Light

The blog image today is from a quick stop we made in Ireland.  We had walked up a hill to capture a specific grand scenic shot that never happened.  On the way back to the bus, I looked in this direction.  I was facing the wrong way looking directly towards the sun.  My logic said, why shoot this?  I love the clouds and the rainbow of color in the top right, BUT, I know it will be a difficult exposure.  Lots of contrast!   Being referred to as SkyMan and being drawn to the sky, I took some shots anyway.  What I learned was, my new D3x has crazy good dynamic range!  This image is from one exposure.  Sure it needed a lot of local adjustments courtesy of Nik’s Viveza 2 but am I glad I let my emotions overrule the logic!   The image below is what came out of the RAW converter for comparison sake. Yes, Nik’s Viveza is GREAT!    Of course if you click on the highlighted link and use the code JBARCLAY you’ll receive a 15% discount on any of their award winning software.

Also posted in Ireland

Ryan’s Hope

One of the last shots I took while in Provincetown was of Ryan’s Hope.  The early light was making it glow!  I felt b&w was a good processing choice as it emphasized the drama of the light.

Also posted in B&W, Cape Cod, Nik Silver Efex

Rules, according to whom? (edited versions)

Rules are a good thing.  They are especially helpful for new photographers/artists.  They give us a good idea of what works, what does not and why.  Sometimes rules can be broken with good result.  One such rule is that of cutting your frame in half.  Normally this is not a good idea, as it tends to be static.  As a rule it would be better and much stronger divide to your frame in a ratio of one third to two thirds.  This would work top weighted or bottom weighted.  I think todays post,is one that works fine cut in half, however, there is still a small issue that cropping takes care of.   I’m including an alternate crop below in the interest of getting your feedback.  I’d prefer something more than I like the top one best.  Tell me why you are okay or why you prefer one over the other.  This kind of feedback is useful for all who read the blog. Oh, and what is the little nit that I was concerned about and thus cropped?

This image is another from the Cape Cod workshop where we had the dramatic morning with amazing gold light!  Very much of an essence image from this trip.

(EDIT) I’ve updated both images.  I posted images that were too light.  I’ve included Scotts crop in the bottom image eliminating the issue in the top right.  I think the images now feel more like I remember the light being.  It was not bright at all.  The light was soft and very warm.

Also posted in Cape Cod, Essence

16mm Fisheye

During our Cape Cod workshop, Jeff Lovinger let me borrow his wicked cool 16mm fisheye lens.  Guess what?  I’m gonna own a 16mm fisheye too.  So much fun!  This was processed from one image using Nik Viveza.

Also posted in Cape Cod, Color, Creative

Nature Visions Expo & Computer for sale!

I’m in the process of finalizing my new presentation, Discovery & Creative Choice for the Natures Vision Expo on Saturday.  In addition to the lecture, I’ll be doing a breakout session which will cover Topaz software and ideas about how to use it in your digital workflow.  I hope to see you there!

My tour partner Dan Sniffin is selling his 17″ MacBook Pro.  It was recently sent back to Apple for some issues and came back totally refurbished with a brand new motherboard and hard drive.  It is essentially new!  In the meantime, he decided to buy a new MacBook Pro with Retina Display (drool).   The 17″ he is selling has not been used since being refurbished a month ago.  It is a mid 2009 model purchased in December of 2009 with a 500GB hard drive, 4GB RAM and matte screen.  He has an 8GB RAM upgrade kit that was not installed that he will throw in too.  A very solid computer for $975.00!  Let me know of your interest and I’ll hook you up with Dan.

Today’s blog image is from Hidden lake again.  The weather this day could not have been better.  I had just rained making the trunks of the trees wet with soft overcast light and no wind!  When I arrived and looked across the lake at this scene my eyeballs about fell out.  This is about as lush as I have ever seen foliage.

Also posted in Color, Fall Color, Uncategorized

Riding The STORM out….

Being away from home during a bad storm is no fun.  Thankfully my wonderful wife was smart enough to prepare thoroughly and all seems to be going well.  Lots of  damage throughout the area no power and lots of rain still to come.  Here in the Smokies we were able to shoot for the entire day yesterday getting lots of wonderful images.  Todays blog image is another from our initial shoot at the Foothills Parkway.  We’re hoping to get out there today for similar images.  Wishing the best to all my friends who have been in harms way with this storm!!

Also posted in B&W, Nik Silver Efex, Smoky Mountains

Dramatic Light

One more from last nights amazing display of dramatic light, enjoy

Also posted in Color, Fall Color

Upside down

Once again, I am blessed with another terrific Road Scholar gang.  We had a wonderful overcast day, perfect for shooting foliage.  I had a camera along and snapped today’s blog picture of upside down canoes.  I’ve seen a number of takes on this idea and decided it was my turn!

Also posted in B&W, Nik Silver Efex

Palouse Barn – No HDR


This image was crafted from a single exposure.  There was NO “HDR” work done.  Well, no HDR software such as Nik HDR Efex Pro 2 or Photomatix or any other tone-mapping software was used. So I’m safe calling this NO HDR right?  What is HDR anyway?  I know, high dynamic range, I get that, but what does it mean with regard to how our images look?  My guess, is many will look at this image and say it looks like HDR.  Are you okay if I say, no HDR here?  Or does it even matter?  Is HDR a look?  What the heck is it?

I’m inclined to respond to the HDR question the same way my dear departed friend Nancy would when asked if her image was digital or film, do you like it?   Isn’t that all that matters?  Does the process make any difference?  I’m a fan using all the great tools we have to craft my images. I tend to follow my heart, and ultimately I like it or I don’t.  Sometimes I can’t even remember what I did.  How about you?  I’m interested to know how you feel.

Also posted in Creative, HDR