colour

Le Tour en Cambridge! by Laura Daly

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The Tour de France had its Grand Depart this past week in the UK. The third stage left from Cambridge, my home city and luckily my place of work closed for the day! So I got into town early and pitched up outside the Fitzwilliam Museum. This is the photo story of the day, enjoy! [All images captured with a Nikon D90 and either a Nikon 50 mm f/1.8 or Tokina 11-16 mm f/2.8 lens]

People arrived early in Cambridge to grab the best vantage spots.

A few lucky cyclists were allowed to cycle part of the course a few hours before the race came through.

The caravan is a tour favourite - the cars of the sponsors speed through a couple of hours before the cyclists, chucking out freebies (sort of) towards the spectators.

The French sent over everything with the tour - their own police escort included!

The crowds slowly built up throughout the morning. Every cyclist that came through got a big cheer!

Crowds

Anticipation

And finally...it was time for the tour to come by. So many photomotos accompanied the peloton.

Hours of waiting for around 30 seconds of seeing the tour. But completely worth it - the atmosphere was amazing. The cyclists looked like they were really enjoying seeing all of us by the road to send them on their way.

Team Sky in particular got the biggest cheers of the day, being our home team.

A huge fleet of support cars followed the peloton through. All of them trying to keep close to the cyclists led to a few close calls...

Some vehicles were lagging behind.

And then it was all over. Time for everyone to make their way home.

Lightroom 5 - power of the new process by Laura Daly

I've had Lightroom 5 for some time now, and I have been hearing and reading many comments from people commenting on the power of the updated and improved sliders. As I haven't had much time (or the right weather) to go out and shoot, I thought I'd go back through my images and try to rescue some files that on first glance looked (basically) rubbish!

Now, these images aren't necessarily fantastic, but they do show just how much Lightroom (and Adobe Camera Raw) can now deal with. I've included jpegs of the original file and the edited final image.

Lake district new process original-0285 Lake district new process-0285

In the original image (top) I had lost a lot of detail in the shadows. I had originally intended this to be part of a bracketed exposure, but it didn't look quite right. Putting it through Lightroom 5 (second image), I was able to pull back the shadows whilst keeping detail in the sky. This just went to show how forgiving Lightroom really is!

Lake district new process original-0357 Lake district new process-0357

This next file is a good example of how the software can help fix overexposure and harsh highlights. The sky was so bright that day, and I didn't have my filters with me. My camera sometimes struggles to meter properly, as the D90 has not got the best dynamic range (in my opinion!) - a lesson in why I should use manual more often.

Due to the flat sky, I decided a black and white edit was probably the most appropriate. It worked out ok, but I think a storm rolling in over the hills would make this image stand out and "pop" more.

Lake district new process original-0441 Lake district new process-0441

I chose this final image to (hopefully) demonstrate how good LR5 is at helping a flat image look more dynamic and interesting. The vibrance, saturation and clarity sliders in particular do a great job of making things look more real and full of texture. I managed to get more detail and contrast from the trees throughout the forest - which I think makes the image much stronger.

Of course, this would have been much more difficult to do if I had shot in jpeg and not RAW...

Mono? Colour? by Laura Daly

This is a question I often ask myself! Over the new year break, we took a trip to Colwyn Bay (North Wales), and found the derelict pier which is soon to be torn down. Usually with a run-down building, or anything with great textures and shadows, I would go for a mono conversion (done in Lightroom 5). However, the sky was such a great colour that day, it seems a shame to lose that aspect of the shot.

Pier (Mono) Pier (Colour)

Both taken with a Nikon D90, Tokina 11-16 mm f/2.8 @ f/22, 1/15 sec, tripod.

I did end up posting the mono version to Flickr, but I'm interested to see what the general opinion is!