Category Archives: Travel

Plaza Mayor World

Plaza Mayor World
Plaza Mayor World, uploaded to Flickr by James Snape.

Canon 400D, Canon EF-S 10-22mm f/3.5-4.5 lens – 1/125 sec, f/9, ISO 100

This is effectively a panorama shot wrapped around to look like a mini planet. I almost have it perfected but one of the things you must do is ensure there are no objects in the top or bottom of frame when you shoot them. The lamp post and tower just managed to fall in the zone when wrapped.

It was taken in Madrid two weeks ago when Claire and I celebrated our one year anniversary.

Honeymoon Suite

Honeymoon Suite
Honeymoon Suite, uploaded to Flickr by James Snape.

Canon 400D, Canon EF-S 10-22mm f/3.5-4.5 USM lens – 8exp (1/4 to 120 second), f/16, ISO 100

It took a while but I finally finished processing the remaining honeymoon pictures. This was our suite at the hotel. It was taken from the window in order to get as much “room” as possible in the frame.

Like lots of my recent stuff, it is HDR. I’m starting to get the hang of it – like most post production the trick seems to be don’t overdo it….

Processing Underwater Photos in Photoshop

It has been a while since I posted, mainly because I’ve spent every free minute processing wedding photos. Now I’ve moved onto the honeymoon set and have been using this technique a lot on the underwater images.

Taking photographs underwater is great fun but due to the way light travels through water you get two very common problems: low contrast and a blue-green colour cast. These problems get progressively worse as you go deeper because longer wavelengths of light (red end of the spectrum) can’t penetrate as deeply. The image below was taken in the Seychelles and illustrates the issue well. It was only a couple of meters down but already you can see the colour cast and the image looks really flat.

Original Photo

You can fix this by taking your own light source, e.g. a flash or a torch but that only really works to light small areas. A wide angle like this has to be post-processed. So what can we do about it? The usual Photoshop way is to bring up levels and move the sliders until this hit the edges of the histogram as so:


This gives an image with a bit more contrast but you can see it still has a strong blue cast.

RGB Levels Manipulated Together

Remember that the water effects different wavelengths of light by different amounts so should use the levels command to manipulate each channel independently.

Red LevelsGreen LevelsBlue Levels

This gives a far better result. Lots of contract and a full spectrum of colour.


Just remember, you can’t put back what wasn’t there so as you go deeper you will lose red colour completely (red objects look black at 25m or so). If you use this technique then you can end up with desaturated, almost black and white photographs as shown below.

Turtle-Original TurtleLevels

Chalet Grand Palandger

Chalet Grand Palandger
Chalet Grand Palandger, uploaded to Flickr by James Snape.

Canon 400D, Canon EF-S 10-22mm f/3.5-f/4.5 USM lens – 1/6 second, f/4, ISO 100

As I mentioned yesterday, the chalet we stayed in was rather unique – built hanging on to the mountainside. The entrance is at the top of the building (behind the chimney in the picture). The precarious landing and steps are not child friendly either. The living space is at the level you see here with rooms on the floors below. The fireplace dominates the room and, as the steps to the right of it indicate, has a sunken seating area in front. The really spectacular feature is behind the camera – tomorrows shot.

I’ve done a fair bit of processing with all these pictures as the light was truly awful for photography – dull and grey. The chalet itself was quite dark under these conditions and any shot with a window in instantly blows out the highlights. All the internal chalet shots are a blend of multiple exposures taken from a single RAW file.

Chalet Grand Palandger
Chalet Grand Palandger, uploaded to Flickr by James Snape.

Canon 400D, Canon EF-S 10-22mm f/3.5-f/4.5 USM lens – 1/60 second, f/4, ISO 100

This is what was behind the camera… As the chalet is hanging on the mountainside there is a huge vertical drop just outside these windows. The view is spectacular and not for people that get vertigo. You can see the whole of Meribel and you feel like you are sitting in a bird’s nest.

Photography wise this is the shot I’m least happy with because it doesn’t have the same level of colour saturation as the others (I tried but it ended up looking fake). Also, in this series I used quite a severe vignette to focus attention on the centre of frame which gives them a bit of a 70’s feel (especially with the decor).

This is the set complete. I hope you like them. There are a couple more in my Meribel 2008 set which I won’t blog about. Next time I’ll post some architectural shots taken whilst photowalking around Bournemouth.

Meribel Valley

Meribel Valley
Meribel Valley, uploaded to Flickr by James Snape.

Canon 400D, Canon EF 24-105mm f/4 L lens – 1/4 second, f/22, ISO 100

It’s been a couple of weeks since we got back from skiing but things have been hectic with the wedding planning so I haven’t had much time to process the pictures. I didn’t take many because a bulky SLR is not the best thing to carry if you might take a tumble on the slopes. There are more in Claire’s photostream.

This one was taken from our chalet. You will see from the next few in the series that it was rather unique and had some specatcular views.

Sunset Over Egypt

Sunset Over Egypt
Sunset Over Egypt, uploaded to Flickr by James Snape.

Canon 400D, Canon EF-S 10-22mm f/3.5-f/4.5 USM lens – 1/80 second, f/9, ISO 100

The second of two reprocessed shots taken in Egypt this year. The reprocessing really was just to bring it back to how it was in reality.

This was at the other end of the day with the sun disappearing over the mountains behind Sharm-el-Sheikh airport. As the sun dropped out of sight you get these rays of light in the clouds due to the difference in angle.