Friday, March 8, 2013

The Swan Hotel, Bibury

Something a bit closer to home now....Amidst the plenty of pictures I still have to post from Miami and Egypt, I wanted to post this picture of rural Gloucestershire, that I have been working on recently. The picture was taken almost 2 years ago, during the summer of 2011. I was staying at this fantastic hotel in the village of Bibury, and had the evening to walk round with camera and tripod (something I did not use a lot back then), taking pictures of the local area.

I know it's been said many times, but using a tripod I think is perhaps the single most simple advice you can give someone for taking better pictures. Having used a tripod on the evening I took this picture, means I can still get great sharp images from them now, and come back to them with post-processing skills I have developed over time. I did create an HDR of this back then (not published on any website) and though I was already well into my HDR journey, looking back it was still probably over-processed (too saturated) and not at all well cropped!

This is a standard 3 shot HDR picture, processed in Lightroom, Photomatix, Photoshop and Nik Color Efex Pro. Most adjustments, dodging and burning and stuff was done in Lightroom, with some spot-healing done in Photoshop. When using Photomatix these days, I would recommend turning down the Luminosity slider (I used to always have this fully to the right by default). A lot of HDR pictures these days are presented as more realistic, rather than the over-cooked HDR look there used to be, and I think that has a lot to do with turning down the luminosity slider.

New post coming over the weekend!


  1. Nice image Pete! There's something about a good old British picture. Thats not taking anything away from your recent foreign subjects but this just does it for me.

    I agree about the Luminosity slider in Photomatix. I never used to touch it when I first set out but use it all the time now.

    This looks like a great place for a stay over!

  2. I really like the composition here, Pete, especially the way the stream and the lavender take the eye across the front of the image and then curl it back to the building in the background.

  3. Thanks Tim and Mark for the comments, very much appreciated! Tim, I actually agree with you, there's something about the homegrown pictures that does it for me more I think, which is why I wanted to process and publish this picture. I think it's perhaps as well that there is a big difference between hotter parts of the world like Miami and Egypt, which are completely different to what we are used to! I really want to go back to Paris this year for a photo adventure, and think places like that would perhaps mix better with my British pictures.

    Very kind thoughts and observations there Mark, many thanks.