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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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.

A Brief Look into How I Edit my Portraits

Many photographers try to hide their before and afters of their work, while others share their knowledge on YouTube or their blogs. I personally believe that for a beginner, it is very helpful and of great importance to see what the actual picture someone shares either on Instagram or on the web looked like before the editing process. In this article I would like to share with you what steps I usually undertake to make my original pictures, such as the following portrait of Viktoria, become the pictures I finally share with you. I have shared the before and afters of my work quite often on my Instagram stories and thought I might now share with you an extended explanation behind my longer edits. Some of my work is entirely edited with Lightroom, while other pictures follow most of this article’s steps. Obviously every photographer edits their pictures differently and some people might prefer the one or other change stronger or softer and even use different techniques to achieve their goals. Freedom, yay!

The before and after of Viktoria’s portrait.

Step 1: Adjusting the light & removing the bad spots with Lightroom

I prefer to do this part on Lightroom although it could be also done in Photoshop. For the next edits, I change to the develop section of Lightroom and start moving the highlights, shadows as well as the blacks and whites until I am happy with the overall picture. Once I am satisfied with the lights, I move on to the spot removal tool. I zoom into the subject’s skin, I change the size of the tool to match the bad spot, such as a pimple or any mole I don’t like and finally click on that spot. Most of the time Lightroom will select a nearby spot to copy from and patch the bad spot. If not, you simply need to drag the copy spot to somewhere near the bad spot. This will allow you to match the colours and have a smooth transition. You have to be careful as some of the skin spots of your subject might be part of their personality. So let’s say removing a larger birthmark would mean the same than changing someone’s nose on Photoshop.

Here you see the how often I used the spot removal tool. It depends on you how much time you will spend on this.

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Shooting with Alina @ Devious.Culture Meetup

I had the great pleasure to attend a insta meetup with a lot of creative minds in Zurich right before I headed to Malaysia. Below are my four favourite pictures of Alina, a model I photographed during that day. She is originally from Ukraine and currently studies in Zurich. She partly grew up in the canton of Valais so we exchanged mostly in French – huh my French is getting rusty :). It brought back some good old memories as I remembered the time I used to live in Geneva. She doesn’t like fish, spinach nor mushrooms. But she’s into bikes. Follow her Instagram @smnenko to support her! She’s a good one 🙂


Marina’s Shooting for Sudio Sweden

Hola chicos y chicas! I worked on a few pictures for Sudio Sweden with Marina and here are my favourite pictures of that shooting. On some pictures Marina is wearing the Sudio Regent model in black (big headphones) and on some she’s wearing the Sudio Vasa Blå model (small in-ear headphones). We took the pictures at the Obertor in Winterthur, Switzerland. Although the weather was bad (it was actually raining) I got really happy with the results. By the way they introduce themselves as a headphone start-up who designs and sells sleek and stylish headphones with quality sound – I tested them myself and use the headphones until today. If you think they look lit af on Marina, you should check out their website, since they have other models out there that might appeal you better. If you are interested in buying some headphones in the online shop, feel free to use my personal discount code ‘richiehug15’ with 15% discount.

I had to get new headphones right at the time Sudio actually contacted me, as my TMA-2DJ from AIAIAI died a few weeks ago, which made my experience with their team even greater. 🙂 Thanks a lot to Frederik and the marketing team at Sudio for letting me test their headphones!

Richie goes Plotagraph

From that very first time I saw a frozen image suddenly moving and thus realizing it actually was a gif/video and no simple static image at all, I knew it. I knew I wanted to do these fancy motions some day in the future. Cinemagraphs can be referred as ‘living’ photographs as they are – as you have just seen above – a mix of photos and videos. By freezing specific parts of the image you can give certain details a stronger emphasis. So by looking at the image below, you should now feel the ‘WOW’ effect going through your brain and you probably want to create one yourself, am I right? A cinemagraph can be done in Photoshop by putting a still image on the top layer of your workspace and leaving areas empty where you wish to leave a video playing in the background. OR you can use an app that will do the magic for you. Now let’s have a look at why this article includes the word Plotagraph and not Cinemagraph.

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