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The NEOWISE Comet, Old Faithful, and the Milky Way

The NEOWISE C/2020 F3 comet along with the Milky Way during an eruption of Old Faithful photographed at 12:20am Wednesday morning in Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming.

This was my second night in a row photographing the comet here. For this night I came prepared with 3 different cameras/lenses/tripods as I wanted to photograph it at different focal lengths.

This shot here was with my Olympus 8mm f1.8 Fisheye lens. Wanting to get the comet, Old Faithful, and the Milky Way in the same shot I positioned myself along the boardwalk where the comet would be framed to the left of Old Faithful.



I had all 3 cameras set and ready waiting for the eruption, and then the wind picked up. Not good because I feared the wind would blow the spray in front of the comet blocking it from view.

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Webinar Recording with NPEG on Sky Replacement with Luminar 4

On May 11, 2020 I did a free webinar for the National Photography Enthusiasts Group (NPEG) showing how to use Luminar 4 for Sky Replacement.

In the webinar I showed the AI Sky Replacement Tool as well as the new AI Augmented Sky Tool in action on a number of photos using clouds & skies from my 3 Cloud Kits.

This is a recording of that webinar.

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Disclosure about product links and affiliations: Some of the links I provide are affiliate links which means I get a small commission, with no additional cost to you, if you click it and end up buying something. It helps me provide free educational resources and articles. So if you use them, thank you! My affiliations however never influence my opinions on any products/services and I am only affiliated with companies whose products/services I personally use.

Skylum Announces AI-Powered Portrait and Skin Enhancement Tools for Luminar 4

Today Skylum continues to unwrap new features for the upcoming Luminar 4 by announcing new AI-powered portrait and skin enhancement tools. Portrait photographers – and really anyone who photographs people – are sure to be excited about these new tools to quickly enhance the look of people in their photos.

While I have not yet been able to use this hands-on, I have watched a presentation on these new tools working on a beta version of Luminar 4 and I have to be honest, the presentation was quite impressive making quick work of portrait enhancements such as smoothing of the skin, blemish removal, along with eye & teeth & lip enhancements.

AI Skin Enhancer

Using AI (Artificial Intelligence) technology Luminar 4 can automatically detect faces & skin in your photos. The AI Skin Enhancer will allow for the automatic removal of various skin imperfections like acne, freckles, and moles all while smoothing the skin. It does this while also keeping small details like hair & eyelashes & skin pores preserved.

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Green Grass and Montana Skies

Ahh Montana you continue to to both surprise me and impress me. And how can you not be impressed with the crazy light we can get here at times!

It seems like almost every afternoon we have a storm roll through, which has been keeping the grass here just outside of Bozeman very green. This was photographed last week just before sunset with yet another storm rolling by.

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Montana Sunset and Storm Clouds

Last night I had the opportunity to do some photography with fellow Olympus shooter Eric Rock exploring some areas new to both of us just outside of Bozeman, Montana, and we were treated to some great light!


Finding this particular spot at just the right moment, there was no time for tripods and even if we had remembered to bring our split neutral density filters, there would have been no time to get those set up either. We barely had enough time to jump out of my car and scramble down a small hill and start firing away.

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Hollyhock Flower with Olympus Focus Stacking II

Here is another shot of some Hollyhock flowers and buds I photographed in my backyard the other night here in Bozeman, Montana with my Olympus OM-D E-M1X camera using the M.Zuiko 300mm f4 Pro lens.

 

 

I used the Focus Stacking feature of the camera set up for 15 shots with a focus differential of 2, with my camera mounted onto my Benro tripod with settings of ISO 200 at 1/400s at f/11.

I really wanted to give ON1 RAW 2019.5 a shot at processing this but ran into two issues: 1) It doesn’t look like ON1 does more than 14-image focus stacks, and 2) the results from focus-stacking 14 of the 15 images were not good at all and was going to take way too much cleanup 😢

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