sun rays

Luminar Flex Lightroom Plugin

You’ll noticed I haven’t posted to the blog in quite some time. I’m not even sure blogs are relevant any longer with social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram having become so popular, but it does it give a place to post a few before/after images, so that’s what I’m using it for today.

Late last week I saw an announcement from Skylum, makers of the popular Luminar Software, announcing the release of their new Luminar Flex plugin for Lightroom and Photoshop. I purchased the Luminar software some time ago on some sale they were running, but never got around to installing it, mostly because it was another stand alone app that I didn’t want to fool with. When I saw they announced a new plugin for Lightroom I was ready to give it a try. Luckily, if you already own the Luminar software, the plugin was free to download. Otherwise, it is $70.

I got a chance to play with the plugin a bit over the weekend. I really fell in love with a filter in the plugin simply called “sun rays”. As you might guess, it will add sun rays to an existing image. It does a really good job, too. You have a lot of control over the rays, also. You can adjust the temperature, length, number of rays, opacity, etc. I applied this filter to a few images I made previously created. Take a look at the before and after images below.

I have no affiliation with Skylum at all.

Smoky Mountain Sun Rays

While in the Smoky Mountains for our workshop we decided to go up to Clingman's Dome for sunset.  The idea was that the full moon was rising 15 minutes before sunset, so we were going to photograph both the moon rising and quickly adjust for sunset.  The weather had a different idea.  We stuck with our plans, though and waited it out at Clingman's Dome.  It's a good thing we did, too.  About thirty minutes before time for sunset, there was a small break in some clouds near the horizon that allowed these amazing sun rays to display.  They lasted for about 15 minutes or so.  There was no real sunset, but seeing these rays light up the mountain tops was a pretty decent trade off.

I shot this with my Sony A7RII, LA-EA3 Lens Adapter and Tamron 70-200mm Lens all resting on my Sirui W-2204 Tripod and G-20 Ballhead.  The 70-200 is my favorite lens for Clingman's Dome.  I use it to compress the scene and get that nice layering effect in the mountains.  

No real trick to processing this image, but I will tell you using the Dehaze slider in Lightroom CC helps enhance the rays a bit.

Aperture Priority, 1/60th second, F/11, ISO 100, Exposure Compensation -2

 

I Ain't Afraid of No High ISO

Tonight I am revisiting an image I took a few years back with an Olympus Em-5.  I was so impressed with the fact that it shot at an ISO of 25,600 that I immediately took it out for a test run.

You can probably tell, this was taken underground.  Those are a couple of friends of mine rappelling into the cave from the topside.  Yes, this was a pre-planned photo shoot, all I had to do was show up and crank the ISO up on my fancy new camera (at that time).

This was shot at ISO 10,000....not the 25, 600 that my camera advertised, but still way higher than I usually shoot and it still came out pretty dang cool...especially for that high an ISO number.