Lightroom 2’s Aged Photo Preset

Just a few more images from my recent visit to the George Ranch Historical Park’s Davis House, an 1890’s Victorian style mansion. These images are from the mansion’s authentic carriage house and stables. Each was taken hand-held in very low light conditions and processed using Lightroom 2’s “Aged Photo” preset to give them that old time look. Since I was the only visitor in the carriage house that afternoon, it was easy to imagine myself working there a hundred years ago, grooming the horses and mucking out the stables.

1890's Grooming Supplies

1890’s Grooming Supplies
Copyright © 2008 Jeff Lynch Photography
Shot taken with a Canon 40D , 17-40mm f/4 L at 17mm, f/5.6, 1/50th sec at ISO 200 on SanDisk digital film.

1890's Horse Stalls

1890’s Horse Stalls
Copyright © 2008 Jeff Lynch Photography
Shot taken with a Canon 40D , 17-40mm f/4 L at 17mm, f/8, 1/40th sec at ISO 200 on SanDisk digital film.

1890's Mucking Equipment

1890’s Mucking Equipment
Copyright © 2008 Jeff Lynch Photography
Shot taken with a Canon 40D , 17-40mm f/4 L at 40mm, f/4, 1/60th sec at ISO 200 on SanDisk digital film.

None of these three images was what I’d call “tack sharp” and the color versions really didn’t look all that exciting when I first imported them into Lightroom. Since I had nothing to lose, I started playing around with the various Develop presets and the Clarity and Sharpening sliders to see if any of these could be salvaged. I found that the old fashioned, soft focus style of the “Aged Photo” preset (tweaked just a little) really made these images come to life.

What do you think?

Stretch Those Wings

Just a quick post from one of my recent visits to the Brazos Bend State Park. You’ve really got to keep your eye on the subject to catch the amazing behavior of birds just before they take off.
Stretch Those Wings

Take Off
Copyright © 2008 Jeff Lynch Photography
Shot taken with a Canon 40D , 70-200mm f/4.0 L USM at 180mm, f/4.0, 1/350th sec at ISO 100 on SanDisk digital film. Click on the image above for a larger version.

Lightroom 2 Black and White Bird Photography

Sometimes the light is just not right or the background is too distracting. You make the best exposure possible under poor conditions but the image just doesn’t “pop”. Rather than flagging your image as “Rejected” in Lightroom 2, take a moment to see what happens when you convert it to grayscale. You may be surprised at the results.

Ready to Fly
Copyright © 2008 Jeff Lynch Photography
Shot taken with a Canon 40D , 70-200mm f/4L with a 1.4x extender at 280mm, f/5.6, 1/400th sec at ISO 200 on SanDisk digital film. Click on the image above for a larger version.

Dramatic Afternoon Sky

I took this shot several months ago during an early summer afternoon when the clouds were at their most dramatic. I used an older Canon Rebel XT body but was still able to create a very good exposure using my EF 17-40mm f/4.0 L USM glass. The clouds that afternoon were spectacular to look at.

Dramatic Sky

Dramatic Sky
Copyright © 2008 Jeff Lynch Photography
Shot taken with a Canon Rebel XT , 17-40mm f/4.0 L USM at 22mm, f/6.3, 1/320th sec at ISO 100 on SanDisk digital film. Click on the image above for a larger version.

More Canon 40D Landscape Photography

Another landscape image of the old water tower taken just after sunset on a beautiful Texas evening. This image was taken with my Canon 40D using the Long Exposure Noise Reduction (C.Fn II -1) setting, which I described in my post entitled Canon 40D Tips & Tricks.

Like all my other landscape images, this shot was taken with my Canon 40D mounted on my Gitzo Traveller Tripod with a Really Right Stuff BH-40 Ball Head & Clamp. I also use a custom L-Plate made by Really Right Stuff which allows me to easily change from landscape orientation to portrait orientation when shooting a sunset like this one.

You can watch a great little L-Plate Tutorial Video on Really Right Stuff’s web site. These L-Plates aren’t cheap, but the advantage of being able to quickly change orientation from landscape to portrait without having to recompose is really valuable. Especially when the light is rapidly changing during a sunset.

After Sunset

After Sunset
Copyright © 2008 Jeff Lynch Photography
Shot taken with a Canon 40D , 17-40mm f/4.0 L USM at 32mm, f/11, 8 seconds at ISO 200 on SanDisk digital film. Click on the image above for a larger version.

Canon 40D Landscape Photography

I love the image quality I get with my Canon 40D and 17-40mm f/4.0 L USM glass. This combination really allows me to capture the beauty of a Texas sunset.

The Canon EF 17-40mm f/4.0 L lens is one of the most versatile ultra wide angle zoom lenses ever made, even when used with a 1.6 FOVCF (Field of View Crop Factor) body like my 40D which gives this lens gives an equivalent focal length of 27-64mm. The sharpness of this lens is nothing less than spectacular, especially given it’s very reasonable street price of $700.

Any professional landscape photographer will tell you that the third most important piece of equipment (body, lens) you can buy to improve the quality of your images is a good tripod. I use a Gitzo Traveller for stability and always set the 40D’s mirror lockup function (C.Fn III -7) to eliminate even the smallest vibration.

Sunset at the Old Sugar Mill

Sunset at the Old Sugar Mill
Copyright © 2008 Jeff Lynch Photography
Shot taken with a Canon 40D , 17-40mm f/4.0 L USM at 32mm, f/8, 1/8th sec at ISO 100 on SanDisk digital film. Click on the image above for a larger version.

John O’Connor at Montaña de Oro State Park

If you’re not familiar with John O’Connor’s work then you’re in for a real treat! Take a look at the images he’s just posted in his Meditations on a Moment blog from his recent trip to the Montaña de Oro State Park. John is William Neill’s assistant and an incredible photographic talent himself. Take a look!