night photography

Depths of Earth

I released a new photography series Depths of Earth – Visions from Chile to Finland. You can view the whole project on my Behance page.

The concept behind these images was to show the beauty of the night sky, and with reducing the time between sunset and twilight, you can see a whole new world - a surreal one. Hover over the images to see the descriptions.

Equipment 

Nikon D810, Sigma 20 mm f/1.4 Art, Nikon 14-24 mm f/2.8 & RRS Tripod

Post-processing

This whole set of work was created with techniques from my latest video course which you can see here.

The Shapes of Nature

I just released a new photography series The Shapes of Nature from the past six months. You can view the whole project on my Behance page. You can also find prints of these photographs here. I hope you enjoy the series. 

Mikko Lagerstedt - Reflect

Mikko Lagerstedt - Reflect

Mikko Lagerstedt - Solitude

Mikko Lagerstedt - Solitude

Mikko Lagerstedt - Long Shadows

Mikko Lagerstedt - Long Shadows

How to Match Colors in Lightroom

In this tutorial, you will learn how to match two photographs colors in Lightroom to create a composite image. We will take advantage of the new Reference View in the Lightroom CC Develop Module to see the images side by side. I chose cold colors to give this final image cool atmosphere. 

1. Import pictures and Create a collection

Open Lightroom and import the images from File > Import Photographs. Choose the images you want to match the colors and create the composite. Once the pictures are imported, select both of them and create a new collection from the Collections Panel. Having the both images in the same collection helps you to visualize the final image. 

If you want to learn how I setup my catalog learn it in this free tutorial

Give the collection a name. I usually have a date first and then a title for the edit. 

2. Base Image Edit

The first step is to select the base image and edit it individually. Use shortcut D to get to Develop Module.

2.1. BASIC SETTINGS

The settings depend on what kind of image you are working on and what is the final outlook you want to create. In this step focus on color and light. I always start by reducing saturation and adding some detail to shadows. 

2.2. COLOR

Looking through the color panel, see if there are some color you wish to edit. I tend to leave most of these colors untouched. I personally love the green hue over blue color. 

Settings used for this image
Red: Hue -49,  Luminance -7
Orange: Hue -18, Saturation -9, Luminance +2
Yellow: Hue +33, Luminance -9
Aqua: Hue -31
Blue: Hue -51, Saturation +7, Luminance -2

2.3. SPLIT TONING

To enhance the cold atmosphere of the base image add cool Split Toning. 

Settings used for this image
Highlights: Hue 210, Saturation 26
Shadows: Hue 210, Saturation 18

3. Reference View

You can now use Reference view in Lightroom's latest CC update to see the images open in the Develop Module. You can open the Reference View by using shortcut SHIFT+R. 

Now you have both images side by side in the Develop Mode. You can change the reference photograph by dragging an image from the filmstrip. 

Reference-View-Lightroom.jpg

3.1 Basic Settings

Edit the basic settings to make them consistent with the base image. For star photographs, I add contrast and clarity. 

3.2 Color

Editing the colors from the Color Panel is the most important step to make the colors work perfectly with the reference image. 

Settings used for this image
Aqua: Hue -29
Blue: Hue -38, Saturation -13, Luminance +13
 

3.3 Split Toning

Similarly to the reference image add some blue tones with Split Toning. 

Settings used for this image
Highlights: Hue 210, Saturation 17
Shadows: Hue 210, Saturation 11

The colors look similar thanks to the reference view and the cool thing is that you can fine tune it as much as you need in the Develop mode. 

Here is the final image edited in Lightroom and blended together in Photoshop with the techniques in our new Star Photography Composite tutorial. 

Star Photography Composite

Star Photography Composite

If you wish to learn how to create composite images, see our new tutorial with step by step process. On sale for limited time! 

2015 in Pictures

Happy New Year everyone! A year has gone by and what a year it has been. I feel grateful that I can continue to do what I love! Thank you all for the support! As always I have gathered my favorite pictures from the previous year. 

Mikko Lagerstedt - Glow - 2015 - Lempäälä, Finland

Mikko Lagerstedt - Searching For The Horizon - 2015 - Meri-Pori, Finland

Mikko Lagerstedt - The Whole Universe Surrenders - 2015 - Emäsalo, Finland

Mikko Lagerstedt - Pier - 2015 - Cyprus

Mikko Lagerstedt - Illuminated Night - 2015 - Porvoo, Finland

Mikko Lagerstedt - The Lost World - 2015 (published) - Emäsalo, Finland

Mikko Lagerstedt - Stillness of Night - 2015 - Emäsalo, Finland

Mikko Lagerstedt - Frozen Wrodl - 2015 - Ylläs, Finland

Thank you for viewing! If you are interested in prints, go ahead to my print shop: http://www.mikkolagerstedt.com/buy-art.

Winter Night Photography Checklist

It's that time of year when the temperature drops and snow covers landscapes. Winter is my favorite time to shoot landscapes. You can almost hear the silence from snow covered landscape photographs. The light is low and beautiful almost the entire day but as you know me I enjoy to photograph at night. Here is my checklist when I'm heading out to photograph in below-freezing weather. 

Frozen World - Ylläs, Finland 2015

Frozen World - Ylläs, Finland 2015

1. Extra Batteries

When shooting in below-freezing temperatures, batteries discharge faster, so it's essential to have extra batteries. Remember to charge the batteries fully before heading out. I put my extra batteries to inside pockets in my jacket, this way they will stay warmer and kept fully charged when I need to change to a new one. 

Night Tiles - Porvoo, Finland 2015

Night Tiles - Porvoo, Finland 2015

2. Camera Bag

Keeping your camera gear clean and easy to access is essential. I take my camera bag with me everywhere, so I take it with me when shooting in cold weather. I use Lowepro Protactic 400AW to carry my gear. Depending on what time I'm out, I might take only a couple of lenses and a Tripod. 

I always carry a big plastic bag inside the camera bag. You don't have to keep your camera inside the plastic bag when you are out shooting, instead use it when you get back inside the house. Put your camera inside the plastic bag and leave the plastic bag with the camera inside your camera bag. The plastic bag will keep the moisture out of the camera. Keep the camera there for a couple hours before transferring the photographs to the computer. It's also important to warm up the gear gradually.

For those of you who are interested in what gear, I have with me most of the time: Camera bodies Nikon D810, D800 and lenses Nikon 14-24 mm f/2.8, Samyang 14 mm f/2.8, Sigma 35 mm f/1.4 ART and a telephoto lens and Sirui tripod. 

Night Glow - Kerava, Finland 2012

Night Glow - Kerava, Finland 2012

3. Gloves, Clothes & Shoes

Keeping yourself warm in cold temperatures is important. I try to have spare gloves with me or top-up mittens such as hunting gloves since these work great when you need to adjust the camera settings. When you are out the whole day with the wrong kind of clothes, it affects the energy level you have so you won't be able to capture all the beauty you might have wanted to. There are a lot of different winter clothes you can choose. My go-to clothes are Goretex to keep me dry and warm. I suggest investing in decent winter clothes. I use IceBug shoes when I'm on a frozen or otherwise slippery surface. When on a snowy terrain I recommend to get snowshoes if you need to travel by foot. 

4. Accessories

My go-to filters include UV-filters and Polarization filter. Usually, I don't bring my long exposure kit (Lee filters) with me, but when there is open-water insight I might have them with me. A remote controller can keep your hands warm when you don't have to change the settings. I keep spare batteries for my remote-controllers if I'm shooting at night or in the evening light. 

Tips for taking the pictures

  1. Don't over exposure the snow
  2. Don't rush and take a moment to appreciate the surrounding scenery
  3. Look for leading lines and interesting foreground elements
  4. Light might change quickly so keep yourself ready to shoot at all times

Learn more my techniques from my Star Photography Masterclass!