Edits of Rachel in Zurich

Here you go with 3 of my latest edits of Rachel, an inspiring athlete and model from Zurich, Switzerland. Not too sure about the athlete anymore though, as I have spent too much time abroad and was not there to check if she has started again to eat Brownies extensively or not. Nor have I been there to check if she’s still rocking the gym. But she’s cool, so let’s say she’s still an athlete.


Check her Instagram account here: @rachel.nova

Tamara’s Wedding and my Short Trip to Switzerland

Hurray! I finally made it back to Switzerland after 9 months staying abroad! Guess what? It was only a short trip and I’m already on my way back to in Malaysia. This time I had the chance to visit and photograph one of my best friends’ wedding (Instagram: @tamaratiziana). It was the first wedding of a close friend that I attended and it will definitely not be the last one. Here’s a preview of the wedding shoot we did together.

 

Besides the wedding, I also spent time with family and met up with friends. I had a lovely dinner with my ex roomies in Winterthur and I also found time to attend two shootings. I must say I felt weird to be back in Zurich after so many months staying abroad. But yeah. I am definitely getting used to living abroad. I miss public transport being on time and the cheese – oh god, Swiss cheese is just too good – but I living in Switzerland has also its cons, such as … such as … okay, never mind.

The first picture below shows Vivienne (Instagram: @la.vie2016) at the main train station of Zurich and the second one is a close up portrait of Stella (Instagram: @stellagerster).

 

I am heading to Vietnam on Friday, pictures will follow on my Instagram. Hasta luego!

Langkawi – Aerial Views

Langkawi – also known as ‘the Jewel of Kedah’ – is an island situated in northwest Malaysia and is a perfect option for a short getaway. The video below shows different aerial views that you will see at the Berjaya Resort in Langkawi. Staying at Berjaya Resort Langkawi was totally worth the visit, I specially enjoyed staying in a cabin by the sea – waking up to such a view was a unique experience. The opening scenes show the cabin I stayed at – awesome, right? Here’s what I did during my stay in Pulau Langkawi: Rented a car, drove dozens of kms a day around the island, went to the skybridge, visited the seven wells waterfall and tried to get tanned but failed miserably (hence the sunburn). That’s pretty much it. Oh, and ate a LOT of food (got several food babies, but survived). I did not go there to explore all of Langkawi, nor did I go there to buy booze (yes, it’s much cheaper in Langkawi than in KL since it’s duty free). Instead, I had a relaxing weekend and escaped from uni. If you ask me, Langkawi is definitely a place I will visit some day again!

 

 

Clouds Time Lapses

Here’s the result of some time lapses I recorded a few days ago. I took 2000 images with my Canon 5D Mark III and my 24-70mm lens the other day to create these time lapses of the clouds. I personally prefer when the sky is clear, but looking at the formation and movement of clouds at a fast rate is just truly inspiring. If your screen allows it, turn the quality to 4K and get yourself some popcorn. Guess what? This was also taken from my bedroom – you can spot in some scenes the reflection of my window.

Surreal Landscapes from Singapore and Kuala Lumpur

Since the beginning of the year, I focused on learning new editing techniques for Photoshop and learned about the art of time lapses / hyper lapses. Besides my constant e-learning (which was by the way not related to uni stuff :p), I started working on surreal edits, in which I intended to add a dreamy and inception-y touch. For this, I mirrored and rotated images I had taken from the skyline of Singapore & Kuala Lumpur and used Photoshop to add further layers of dreaminess.

For one specific edit, I used the KL Tower (Menara KL) to create a surreal edit / composite / collage / WHATEVERYOUWANNACALLIT of the tower, that no longer looks like a tower, but rather resembles an alien space ship. Here you go with a preview of how the KL Tower became the final image further below:

The Photoshop process of the edit of the KL Tower.

As you see in the upper video, it includes several layers of images of the sky and contrast correction. I had a lot of fun while doing it, so I will keep creating these compositions in the future.

The end result of the edit of the KL Tower.

Now, let’s take a look at the mirrored image I created of the Singaporean skyline. For this edit, I mirrored the skyline, corrected the color contrast and finally added a vintage and dark analog look to it. I don’t know about you, but I get a Gotham City feeling when looking at this image. Here’s the result:
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View from my Bedroom in Kuala Lumpur in 4K

This is a short video showing my first try at time lapse, recorded directly from my bedroom in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. I started recording the time lapse shortly before sunset and did in total 1600 pictures within a time frame of 2 hours using my Canon 5D Mark III, the 24-70 USM II and triggertrap attached to my phone and to my camera to create the intervals equally. I edited the time lapse with LRTimelapse Pro by Gunther Wegner and finally with Final Cut Pro X to add the music and a fade to color transition.

You should watch this video in 4K if your screen allows you to! And do not only check the clouds on the top, but also have a look at the guys playing golf at the bottom. More time lapses will follow in a final video of Kuala Lumpur, before I head back to Switzerland.

Hyperrealistic Portrait Preset and Night View of Singapore

Finally a new self-portrait of Richie 🙂 This picture was edited in Photoshop – It is a rather hyperrealistic edit, as it resembles a super realistic painting rather than a photo. So since my painting sucks, I made it the opposite way. If your painting sucks too, feel free to download the action for Photoshop by clicking on this link. With this preset, you will only have to paint on the mask with black to hide the effect on any part of the image you do not want. You can also put down the opacity to make the effect less visible.

A burger a day keeps the doctor away.

Anyway, I also thought it was time to update you on whatever I have been up to these days. As you probably saw on my Instagram, I got back alive from Myanmar and from Singapore. I had two beautiful trips and was able to take pictures which I really like, meaning Richie got MUY CONTENTO. I would say Myanmar was more interesting as it is so different from any country I have ever been to. Below is a picture of the skyline of Singapore at night. It is a HDR edit of 8 merged pictures with Photomatix pro, and later edited in Photoshop. Feel free to download it here, if you want to use it as your desktop background.

The skyline of Singapore by night.

I haven’t booked my next trip yet, but I am planing on either visiting Vietnam, Thailand, Philippines or Laos. I’ll probably stay here in Malaysia for the next few weeks until new year’s eve. Our apartment in Kuala Lumpur has now a decorated Christmas tree and an Epiphone eletric guitar. Oh yes, I got myself a new guitar! I’m also currently working on my vlog from Myanmar. What else, let me see. Oh yes! I finished all existing episodes of Game of Thrones (DAMN WHAT A FINALE!) and I’m watching now Black Mirror. That’s it for now. Richie out.

Sharpening your Pictures on Photoshop

I recently explored the web to discover different ways to sharpen pictures on Photoshop. Some techniques are destructive while other ways of sharpening can still be edited afterwards. In this article, I will focus on the High Pass / Gaussian Blur sharpening technique, which I will continue to use in my future portrait edits, as I liked it the most. This technique includes Smart Objects, meaning that you can easily change the values of the filters even after applying the filter. So, if you look at your edit after a long refreshing night and you are all like ‘meh’, you can still change the amount of the blur or the high pass without losing any details. If you are lazy and want to skip all this, go to the bottom of this article, I created an action and posted a download link so you can easily import it in Photoshop. The action will make all the following steps for you in just one single click automatically.

Create the Layer structure

An important thing to remember is, that you should do the sharpening step at the very end of your editing. So, put your desired color grading to your picture, do your Dodge & Burn and once you have done whatever you need to do in your edit, continue with the sharpening. For this technique, you need to create two copies of your background. Name the first copy ‘High Pass’ and the second ‘Gaussian Blur’. To do so, right click on your background and select ‘Duplicate Layer’. Alternatively, you can drag your background to the ‘Create new layer’ icon below to create a copy.

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Pulau Pangkor – A tiny yet beautiful Island in Malaysia

A few days ago we went to Pulau Pangkor (Pangkor Island) to have some days off from university. We travelled from KL to Lumut by bus where we took a ferry to reach Pangkor. The island itself is rather small yet interesting to explore on a motorbike and it takes you about 30-35 minutes to see the whole island. This video shows you some scenes of the island and is at the same time a vlog of our trip. Hope you like it guys! 🙂

Before and After of Jasmin’s Photos

I received some positive feedback on my blog post the other day, which included the before and after comparison of Viktoria’s portrait. Today, I will show you what the before and after of two pictures of Jasmin, look like. Jasmin is a German model who also joined the first meetup of Devious Culture in early August, which took place in Zurich, Switzerland.

The before and after of the portrait taken at Hardbrücke.

And this one was taken at Militärstrasse.

I’m still improving my editing skills, but I’m very happy to already see some improvements over the last few months. Feel free to send me an email if you have any questions or inputs regarding portrait editing.