Photographer – Fine Artist Niyaz Ahmed

A man who jumps and catches the sun.

Every now and then I come across a really talented photographer who continues to produce stunning work time and time again.  I first met Niyaz on Facebook of all places!  I don’t really remember the details of how we met, but we naturally became good Facebook friends.

I was always amazed at how Niyaz regularly produced such wonderful images.  After occasionally commenting on his photos for some time, I asked Niyaz if he would be interested in having his work featured on this site.  One thing led to another and now, here it is – his story.  Well, sit back and enjoy an insight into the man behind the camera.

At the end of the interview, I’ll present a small gallery of his work and a link to his inspiring and colorful Facebook page!

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Street Photography: Lightroom Presets with a Vintage Twist

A modern day street car with a vintage look.

Street Photos with a Vintage Look

Something that I haven’t pursued in a very long time is that of capturing the look and feel of life on the streets. Just last week, I was given the challenge of preparing a five minute talk on the topic of my choosing for a video presentation. Preparation time for this talk was just under two hours. I knew that I would prepare a talk on photography but I was hard pressed on deciding the content. Then it dawned on me that I hadn’t shot any street scenes in a number of years – and so my mind was made up. As I said, I had a little less than two hours, so I hopped on the street car and headed to the busiest place I could think of – the central train station in Munich.

The original image of the street car before Lightroom processing.

Original photo of the Street Car

I wanted to present a nice cross section of photographic techniques for my talk and so I was willing to try all kinds of experiments outside of my normal “comfort zone”. In the short time frame I had allotted myself for the shoot (30-40 minutes), I took just over a hundred photographs. I chose to shoot high-contrast black and white images to enhance the drama of the shots, so I set my Canon 30D to shoot JPG (B&W) and RAW. Upon completing the shots, I rushed back to the seminar, quickly sorted my shots and delivered my talk.

Afterwards, when I got my photos back into Lightroom, I saw that I had a number of relatively interesting shots and started developing them. Well, one thing led to another, and I came up with the small collection of six (6) new Lightroom presets that I’d like to share with you.

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Night Photography: Tips & Tricks for Getting the Shot

A night time photo overlooking Freising.

Photo © M. Kohlhofer

One of my favorite times for taking photos is at night. Therefore, it’s probably about time that I finally wrote an article about shooting at night. You will be faced with an entirely new set of challenges to master this photographic venue. In this article, I will give you a number of tips, and if this is your first time out, to help make sure you’re properly prepared.

I’m also introducing a new photo gallery into this site. I posted a question on Twitter that I was looking for a new Flash based photo gallery. A few minutes later, Oliver (aka @fotolist on Twitter) came back with a winner! I’ve played around a bit with dfGallery 2.0 and am suitably impressed. Watch for the photo link at the end of this article to see the first photos in the Gallery.

While developing the photos for the gallery, I found myself using a number of settings over and over again, so naturally, I’ve bundled these settings into two new Lightroom presets that I’m making available for download. The presets basically remove or reduce some of the inherent color casts you’ll find at night, they adjust the recovery and contrast levels to compensate for timed exposures and also have built-in noise reduction to counteract any noise or other artifacts that may develop. Ok, lots of stuff, let’s get started …

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HDR Photo Tutorial: Using Photomatix Pro in Lightroom

HDR photo processed with Photomatix

Due to the immense popularity of the my last article on HDR photography in Lightroom (still #3 in the popular articles list), I decided it was time for another. Just recently, HDR Soft released their newest version of Photomatix Pro software which includes a plug-in for Lightroom. Well it seemed like the perfect fit for this week’s article. In order to demonstrate the seamless integration into Lightroom, I decided to produce the video you see below. Instead of showing you how the software works (there are tutorials and videos on HDR Soft’s WEB site for that), I opted to show you how it integrates into Lightroom. I was fairly impressed!

What’s more, I wanted to provide you, my readers, with an opportunity to try it out for yourselves. Included in this article is a section where you can download the source images, the preset I used to process the files in Photomatix Pro, and finally the Lightroom preset I developed to “finish the shot”. What more could you want, download Photomatix Pro from HDR Soft (free trial) and you can use the photos you see in the video to try it out!

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Photo Contest: Dramatic Moments in every day Life

A dramatic moment while hunting Easter eggs.I’m sure many of you have one or the other timeless memories that you were glad you captured on film. Perhaps it was the first time you went sailing, or the first time your child learned to ride a bike, fly a kite – well, you know what I mean. It doesn’t have to be a first time for something – it can be any dramatic moment you’ve experienced.

I am involved with a group on Flickr that is sponsoring a photo contest. We’re looking for contest entries of your dramatic moments in life. This is our first ever photo contest so I’m hoping to reach new people who would like to join in.

Flickr is a very popular photo community (it’s free) that anyone can use to share photos with your friends and loved ones. Our group, called Presetting Lightroom focuses on Lightroom and specifically on using develop presets. If you are a regular visitor here and/or are one of the thousands who have downloaded a Lightroom preset here – we’d love to see your work!

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