Same Photo Cooked Many Ways

Sunset at Gross Glockner – Tirol – Austria

Do you ever take a shot and never manage to settle on a final edited look?

Well this happened with this shot – it’s one of 3 brackets taken at sunset with a 17mm TSe lens… so nice and sharp, oodles of data to play with…. but what to do?

Flat HDR

First off I did a HDR blend and flattened the image out a bit…

Way too much detail in this and it looks a bit bland. But a start point to throw it into NIK plugins

NIK Efex

So I ran them in this order:-

  1. DFine – noise reduction
  2. Pre Sharpener
  3. Viveza – contrast and colour

Managed to keep the shot from burning out or going black, but still not quite there yet.

Colour EFEX

I took the above and tried a mix of filters in Colour EFEX – I think there was

  1. Detail Extractor
  2. Pro Contrast
  3. Graduated Filter
  4. something else I can’t remember

So you can see we got to a darker place and reduced the colours a lot. The process introduced a fair bit of noise in the sky, so ran it through DFine again!

Analog EFex

Had a go at taking the Viveza output through Analog EFEX this time…

Not sure it worked as well as the colour efex version. Analog is better for quirky portraits and city shots than landscapes.

Rewind – HDR EFEX

So for this one, I flattened the original RAW files, selected all 2 and exported them to HDR EFEX.

I’m not a massive fan of this plugin, it tends towards the unbelievable end of the HDR spectrum, which is no good commercially.

But for landscape… well here’s where I got to, after a while meddling. It’s definitely a powerful tool.

MINIMAL with the dark HDR RAW

So after all the detail, how about making something dark and menacing.

The dark shot had the most potential – with fleeting light, deep reds and the snow just about poking out of the gloom.

So this is the darkest of the 3 HDR shots – the shadows lowered and colours upped a little. The highlights and white clip were meddled around with in LIGHTROOM ever so slightly to get texture – and we’re done!

Silver EFEX

No photo is complete till you’ve tried shoving it through Silver EFEX. This one looked pretty good with it’s bold textures in the foreground.

Well there you go – you can throw your files through any number of filters for many effects.

It’s down to taste which is best – I like the black and white, was a bit disappointed with what Viveza gave out for a rare change.

The power of Lightroom is that you can get lost, then just “create a virtual copy” and start afresh and see where it takes you



Tell us in the comments

9 Letters which define your business photos

Your business photos are your first impression

Get them wrong – you lose business

It’s as simple as that – people’s first impression is made instantly and will influence whether they bother to read your carefully honed copy and click “play” on that professionally produced video. Business photos are more important than you think

Visual Appeal…

Websites are visual things these days – design, video and business photos are essential components.

I’d argue that of those, business photos are massively important because:-

  1. Everyone “sees” the photos. The copy may go unread, and video unwatched, but photos are always seen – they always work. They are hugely important. 
  2. The impact is instant – impressions are made in under a second – photos have done their job before people blink
  3. People buy emotionally – a good photo bypasses our logical brain and makes people “want” something – and they don’t know why…. they just WANT it NOW!!!! 
  4. A photo can manipulate how your product/service is perceived – budget or luxury, fun or serious, modern or traditional.


The 3 Reactions to Business Photos in 9 Letters

1 – Eww

What is the impact?

You definitely don’t want this reaction. This loses business, it makes you look unprofessional, cheap, dodgy and maybe even a scammer.

If you can’t be bothered to look the business, why should we expect you to do the business

What to look for in your business

  • Your photo on LINKED IN are from a wedding, pub crawl, night out or with your newborn kid. Obvious selfies are bad, especially with duck-face-pouts.
  • Your photos are tiny and not sharp
  • Your photos are obviously out of date
  • Your team page has no images – why are you hiding? (Ok – on product websites, this is ok – but for services…. I’d expect to see you)
  • No consistency in the people photos – different looks, backgrounds, styles…. just cobbled together

What can you do NOW?

First off – any offending photos should be removed ASAP. They’re damaging your business.

Book a day to get new photos of everyone who needs to be on the site and linked in – either with a professional, or someone who can get consistent results. Even with a phone!

Update Linked IN first – it’s easy and a quick win.

Get a commercial photographer to visit and understand your business – they can help develop ideas with you. The “what” you do, “how” you do it and even the “why” you do it can be captured.


2 – Meh

What is the impact?

This is the usual reaction – meh means “whatever”, or “I have no opinion”.

This isn’t the end of the world, they are probably filling your website and not offending anyone. Like those graphs which no one looks at, they’re not going to motivate people to buy but probably won’t lose you business.

They will not win you any new business – you are going to have to rely on your video/copy/sales guys winning you business. It’s a missed opportunity.

You are “forgettable”

Don’t stand out from the crowd

What to look for in your business

  • Competent photos created by someone years ago, they’ve gathered cobwebs and look dated
  • Not that inspiring – they are “matter of fact” – wallpaper…
  • People and product photos against white backgrounds – very traditional, boring, expected
  • Don’t really reflect your business ethos – if you’re young vibrant accountants, why have photos from the 1950’s?

What can you do NOW?

A new photo creates a stir – getting new headshots and team photos out on social media will get hundreds of “likes” or comments on linked in.

Have a think about the “why, how and what” of your business first – then get in touch with us. We can help put these ideas into images.

Add some magic to your product shots – maybe show them in use, lifestyle photos always plant an aspirational idea. It’s just more exciting than traditional “product” shots.

Show your people “doing” stuff – standing awkwardly in front of a white wall look, well, awkward. It’s also a bit 1995. We’ve found photos of people at their workstation far more engaging, and less painful for them on shoot day!


3 – Wow

What is the impact?

You attract the right clients – people looking for suppliers will be attracted to like-minded businesses. If your photos match your values, then the right clients will come your way.

You can charge more – if you look, expert, it sets the scene and expectations.

Your Google analytics go through the roof – more visits, lower bounce rates, longer time spent on the site – because people want to SEE MORE

More connections on LINKED IN – do you find yourself clicking on people with decent photos ahead of those without photos, or with duff photos? Well, other people do the same! We all “search” linked in for business – “wow” photos get people asking to link more often.

What to look for in your business

  • Big images with the “wow factor” – you capture attention on the landing page
  • Images which fit your values – if you’re a cool, young team with a modern working environment, your photos make this obvious
  • Creative innovative photography – great lighting, editing and ideas
  • Outside the norm – they just don’t look like normal business images – they make you stand out
  • People share and comment on you more
  • Create a stir – be different, bold and remembered

What can you do NOW?

You just have a maintenance job to do – so more of the same.

Be careful not to stagnate – when new people arrive, make it part of their arrival package to get the photos done – and an updated team shot if you get one.

You will probably be great on social media, keep current with regular photos updates – maybe away days, new product launches or just create something to shout about


So where are you ?

Have a review of your images and if you’re “Meh” or “Eww”, drop us a line at – we can help create a whole library of new “Wow” images.

If you’ve got no budget

We have hundreds of free images for you to use at our Stock Library – fill your boots!