How to Create a FREE professional email signature.


Today i thought id show how i created a professional looking email signature for FREE. 

There are many ways to do this, and some great paid services. 

But i thought id show a quick way i created one for free. 

 Head over to www.newoldstamp.com

01 newoldstamp signature email hotmail outlook google microsoft office yahoo mail free

This site offer's a few designs to choose from, 

I went with the "business" theme as liked the orange colour. 

02 how to create email signature for free lee ramsden

Type in the information that you wish to display, Name, Job title etc. 

But do not worry too much as you can and will probable change this in further steps. 

Follow the steps according to what email provider you use. 

My email is proved by Gmail and so by clicking on the icon it will copy all of the signature information to your clipboard. 

I uploaded an image to be displayed (the signature one above) but later found out that this site does not hold the image unless you pay.

And so ill show you a work around. 

Create your image, company logo which you wish to display. I found a square format worked well for the design i liked. 

In photoshop i saved it as a 600px square and exported for web, 

this way if it is small it will display quickly and prevent some company servers from blocking it. 

03 email signaute photobucket url upload lee ramsden

I then headed over to photobucket

You need to sign up for an account, but it is free. 

04 lee ramsden direct link lytham st annes

Upload your Logo / image to be displayed. 

You need to click on the "Direct" tab on the right to copy the url of this image to your clip board. 

05 adding an image to your email signature using URL

Different providers will slightly differ, but i can only presume that the next few steps will be similar to you if you do not use googlemail. 

Log into your email account. 

In settings go to add signature,

paste the copied signature information from the newoldstamp site you created. 

If there is an image there, remove it. 

It may look good now, but it will not be there for long. 

I also found this to be the case if you simply "upload" an image.

Not 100% on why this occurs, but i believe that the server does not provide you with enough storage.

So for peace of mind uploading via URL is preferred.


Click add image but do not upload one, chose via URL. 

In the newly opened box paste the "Direct URL" that you copied from photobox. 

If the link worked your image will be shown, like the image above. 

06 email signature google email for free leeramsden.com

Finally i moved the image to the far left by dragging it over, and clicked the small option. 

Here you can edit and fine tune the text to suit your needs. 

Tip - here you can delete the line - signature created by newoldstamp -, as that i find does not look very professional. 

Click save and your done. 

In little time and no money you have a professional looking email signature. 


07 Free how to  create email signature google hotmail yahoo outlook for free leeramsden.com

If you use email on mobile devices, there will be different ways on how to add this to your email. If like me using iPhone and the inbuilt mail app do the following, 

  • On the computer send an email to yourself with the new signature. 
  • Check that you are happy with the layout and text. 
  • Open this email on your mobile device. 
  • Hold your finger on the signature, you can select copy. 
  • Go in to the iPhones systems preferences and find the email section. Scroll down to add signature. 
  • If you have not changed this before, it will read "sent from iPhone" in the box. 
  • Delete this text and if you hold your finger down, the paste option will appear. 

Now the signature from the email has been pasted into your phone signature. 

It will now look seamless if you email from a computer or your mobile device. 

Any questions please feel free to use the contacts page. 



Photography tool - image stitching.

11 SKN electrical office front Aberdeen oil and gas industry

Good morning, i hope that you are well. 

Today i'd like to share a quick thought on how you can use image stitching to over come problems.

I appreciate that this is nothing new, but with some fore-thought it can become a powerful tool in your arsenal. 

I was commissioned to shoot an office building. The front had no access due to very limited space and parked cars in my way. Even with the lens at 24mm it was simply impossible to fit the building into frame. So stitching is the only way forward. 

The above image was created with around 25 images. 

Here you can see the images used, 

the camera was mounted on a tripod and i systematically panned left to right making sure to over lap alot. The building took 3 passes.

Always best to have more frames than needed, than have pieces missing down the line. 

With each up date of Photoshop CC i have noticed that it is becoming much better at stitching. 

In the past it would have not been able to do this, and for these cases i use Autopano Giga 3.0 stitching software, but photoshop managed ok with this. 

Now by using a tilt shift lens, and/or a parallax tripod head, your job in post will be so much easier, but as i do not own either of these i had to make do. The majority of my time was spent straightening the stitched image. 

As with all panos, shoot in manual, turn white balance off auto so all the images remain consistent. 

I hope that this helps, and when you are trying to shoot a subject larger than your frame, that you remember this technique. 





Scene lighting technique.

Nikon D800 f7.1 1/8th ISO100

Good morning, 

Id like to share with you a lighting technique that you can use to light a scene, even when working on your own. 

The above image consists of 21 images, all shot and lit by myself, and i am even in the image, to add some interest. 

I will show you, how i take multiple images, all lit with off camera flash, and then the process i take in photoshop.


02 Off camera flash wireless trigger pocket wizard boom illuminating the scene

Here you can see me using an off camera flash head on a pole, with the trigger in my right hand firing off the flash and camera shutter remotely. 

Click on image to enlarge.

The final image is composed of 21 frames. 

The camera was mounted on a tripod. White balance taken off auto, manual settings, and with me using back button focusing on the camera, i know when i press the remote, the camera will not try and focus, making all the images consistent. 

05 Start image quick tip on how to flash light

Quick tip, 

Like when making panos, my first image is a large image of me, so i can find the set easily in bridge. 

Also this is a great way to make sure that the flash and camera shutter both fire correctly. 

As when using pocket wizards as the remote, the flash PW has to be set to a channel higher and some times i forget this, and so it is always a good idea to test everything before getting started and walking far into the scene. 

04 adobe bridge using photoshop tools loading layers

Using bridge i select all the images that i want to use, and from here you can easily load them into photoshop as a single document with 21 layers. 

06 using lighten blend mode in photoshop CC

Now turn off all layers, and starting from the bottom layer i work my way up through the stack, turning on, one layer at a time, changing the blend mode to Lighten. 

07 using a mask in photoshop CC

With the blend mode on lighten, the flash light will show. 

Also you will see indicated in this image the hot spot of the flash is in the image. This is easy to mask out. Also i remain in the image by some strange artefacts, just simply mask these out. 

After some cleaning and tweaking here is the before and after image.

The before being unlit. 

It is a subtle difference, but one i find takes your images to that next level. 

If you have any questions, feel free to comment and i hope to help. 





Photoshop short cuts - Free download.

London veiw from the Shard photoshop short cuts education help tutorial Lee Ramsden

Hi all,

I hope that you are well. 

As you know there are hundreds of photoshop short cuts, and when you know them how much easier life can be. 

Like most i downloaded a list, and it just sat in my downloads folder.

Here is an idea I've been trying out and it works a treat. 

I incorporated the list in to some images, i now use them as desk top images and screen savers. This way the information is easily accessible while i am working, and even when not editing by viewing this information it helps sink into the grey matter. 

London Battersea power station photoshop short cuts education help tutorial Lee Ramsden

If you would like to try this out, please click HERE 

and you can down load these images in Hi-rez and use them as your desk top image. 

London morelondon photoshop short cuts education help tutorial Lee Ramsden


If you like this, then please feel free to share on your social media, 

giving credit to Lee Ramsden @ www.leeramsden.com





Infrared lens hotspot.

Good morning. 

If you have purchased the infrared filter as i previously mentioned in a blog post couple of weeks ago, and have been shooting with it, you will have noticed the strange colouring that you have received. 

The bright red file is normal, Prior to shooting setting a custom white balance is recommended. A lot of advice i have read is setting it again green grass or foliage. For the below image being a city scape there wasn't much grass around, so i chose to shoot in RAW and play with the white balance later in post. 

One thing i have learn is the visible hot spot in the centre of the image. I shot this using Nikons 24-70mm f2.8 and lens hot spots are a most common problem encountered when shooting infrared light. They usually manifest in the form of a bright circle, sometimes in the shape of aperture leaves directly in the center of the image. The problem is exaggerated as you stop down (increase f stop number), with the spot becoming more prominent and defined. 

Hot spots can be caused for a variety of reasons, the most common of which is the coating on the inside of the lens barrel being reflective in IR light. Another frequent reason is light interaction between the coatings of the lens elements. A less common reason is light interaction between the lens elements and the imaging sensor(usually the micro-lenses) in the camera. In this case using the lens on one camera model may have no hot spot issues and on another model there could be prominent hot spots.

Unfortunately, if your lens has this issue the only solution is to simply use a different lens altogether. Fortunately the majority of lenses don’t have this problem or the problem is very minor and normally not visible in images.

Once i find a suitable lens and am happy with the results ill report back. 

If you have any suggestions to use on a Nikon body id like to hear your views. Feel free to use the contact page.

I hope that you enjoy these images. This is a new technique and something i am enjoying playing with. 


Please feel free to share this post on your social media, giving credit to the photographer Lee Ramsden www.leeramsden.com



Behind the scenes, pregnancy lighting.


I hope that you have enjoyed this week of pregnancy images that i have posted.

Today i thought id share some behind the scenes images and some thoughts with the lighting used.

Maternity Pregnancy pregnantlighting strobes off camera flash professional lancashire photographer venetian blinds behind the scenes BTS set up

Fuji XT1 f5.6 1/30 ISO 800

As you can see from the above image, these were taken in my cramped dinning room. Even without a large space, using a little imagination and being creative with your space, you can create some nice images.

Maternity Pregnancy pregnant strobes off camera flash grey seemless backdrop back light low key high contrast Lee Ramsden

Nikon D800 f5.6 1/200 ISO 100

The important part i find is to light your subject how your like. Once lit well, then you can play with the background and try different things.

The above images are straight out of the camera. RAW files converted to JPGS.

Image on the left - the background was lit with a strobe covered with a red gell. Personally i didn't like this too much and so didn't process this.

The middle image - is obvious. I turned off the background light and so it rendered to black.

Image on the right - i turned the background light around and it shone on to the subject, bouncing back to illuminate the background.

The black background and the grey one, were processed to make the image have a little more interest. If you would like me to show in a future post how i did that, then please let me know.

lighting lit with an over head projector blossom trees skin pregnancy no flash natural Lee Ramsden

Nikon D800 f1.6 1/80 ISO 100 

The above images were not shown in the week, but thought id share them for a little fun.

They were lit, with a simple over head projector. The sort that were used in schools.

I printed on clear plastic an image of blossom i found on a stock image site.

No fancy photoshop here, just an image using a projector.

Maternity Pregnancy pregnant lighting strobes off camera flash long hair professional lancashire photographer images elenchrom quadra ranger snoot softbox grey seemless paper Lee Ramsden

Here is the lighting set up used for the bellow image. The bellow image is unprocessed. A converted RAW file again to JPG.

To create the lines on the background i used a venetian blind that i purchased from B@Q a while ago.

(It was defective and on sale for a fiver, result!)

The lights.

A - Nikon sb900 flashed through the blind to create the background. It was flagged to prevent spill onto the subject.

B- Nikon sb900 through a honey comb grid. To illuminate the bump.

C - Elinchrom Quadra through a snoot to add a touch of light on the face.

D - Elinchrom Ranger through another grid, to add some light on to the hair.

lit through venetian blind nikon sb900 elenchrom flash quadra ranger softbox out of camera unretouched Lee Ramsden Uk professional photographer

Nikon D800 f5.6 1/200 ISO 100

This was a fairly extensive lighting set up. It took a bit of time to set up, one light at a time.

When setting up lights like this, the subject has very little room to move. And so the set up takes patients from both parties. If your subject moves it can throw everything out.

Once the lights are set, relax. Make your subject relax and enjoy what you create!

I hope that you have enjoyed this week, viewing some work quite different from my norm.

Many thanks.


Helvellyn composite images.

Helvellyn lakes the lake district cumbria striding edge swiril pass photography photo image green traversing death climb advanced composite photoshop tutorial lancashire photographer retoucher tutor educator lessons

Hi, i thought id share the images that i used to create the image bellow.

The top left image was me putting my idea down as a drawing.

The Helvellyn page was created in photoshop with taking some information from Wiki.

Also i used a wood effect background which was warped and pulled about to make it fit into the scene.

Helvellyn lakes the lake district cumbria striding edge swiril pass photography photo image advanced composite photoshop tutorial

Are you new to Blogging?

blog blogging how to begginers guide tip

Hello -If you are new to blogging, thinking of starting a blog or maybe feel that your traffic has gone stale, then this is maybe for you.  

I know that there are a million "Tips" and "How to" out there on social media for bloggers, 

this is not one of them.... but the ramblings, on what I have personally noticed to the traffic on this blog.

The Past

-  I have deleted my Facebook and Twitter accounts. I was sick of the negative content filling my day, people moaning and complaining about insignificant things.... 

medial no FB Twitter Facebook delete account good bye had enough got my life back waste of time fed up time waste red cross social media con ruin lives

Two months on, and it has been amazing, I feel more focused and surprised how much extra time i have acquired. To spend with people that actually mater.  

Social media -is a black hole of time, we are creative people when we get the time. Turn off the social media for a day and see how much more you get done. Turn it off for a week (you will carry on living

trust me) your life will be improved. I am phoning people more, and when working away - emailing. Not as personal as hand written a letter, but an email these days feels much more of a personal way of communicating with someone rather than a "like" on Facebook, or a quick comment on a photo they post. 

Back to the blogging

- Since leaving these two social media giants I have been testing ways in which traffic will now be directed to my blog as previously the main traffic was via Facebook and Twitter. 

When blogging the main point which can not be stressed enough is -

CONTENT IS KING! Post relevant interesting content. Then people will return and view your work. Far too many post on subjects that they do not understand or are even interested in. Listen to your audience, i regularly post answering questions from readers. 

Be yourself- stop posting trying to be someone else. People see right through this and it will only act negatively in long run.

Key wording- this is a vital tool for your images and posts to be seen from search engines. 

You have written an article on late 17th century poetry, performed in the medium of dance. If you have the relevant wording in the post then others who share your views will be able to find this from say google searches. 

This also hugely effects your posted images - Google "image01.jpg" and you will be surprised how many images are uploaded. You have worked hard on taking the image, taken the time editing it, now take a minute to square away a bit of house keeping. 

So rather then the camera generated number, name the file some thing like "yourname,location,subject,date,genre,etc.jpg" Now when people type into Google words that match any of these, your post and images will pop up. 

A note on key wording. Keep it relevant. This is a point which really annoys me, and morally is the lowest way to keyword. It is to include the Subject Masters in your key words. 

So unexpecting viewers looking for an article on a subject/ person, are now viewing your blog with irrelevant content...

I have in the past seen, HDR images of cats in front of the fire with selective colouring and wording saying that this is no "Henry Cartior-Breson"

.... You know what you are doing - STOP IT! 

(Disclaimer- yes I realise the above name is spelt incorrectly- it would be very hypocritical of me to include his name on a post of this nature now..)

The test- My most visited blog page to date is one of a workshop I attended, ran by a Photoshop legend. This guy has a huge following (and well deserved) but by posting my experiences of the course, un-expectingly directs many to my blog from Google searching their name.

To confirm this, last week an American photo legend posted on their blog. images of the Shard building in London. Saying that their images from inside were unusable due to the reflections on the glass.

I commented ( in a non spam way) a blog post that I wrote, on the techniques and equipment that i used to take away the reflections. I included a link to my blog showing the post and my image from inside the Shard. Not so to help this photographer as they are awesome and would know this, but help others who follow. - And in one day I got over 1000 page hits.

I am certainly not one to spam, but find this interesting. It is all good getting the numbers but are the viewers relevant to your work?

More recently I've been testing Google+ I have found huge communities of people with the potential to view your content. But are the 400,000 people in a HDR community worth viewing your posts? 

Me Personally-I post for me, and I regularly go to the beginning of my blog and see how I've improved and it spurs me on to create new work and improve, this blog is a living time line of my images and i enjoy slowly watching them grow over the years. This blog is not compiled to generate business. I use other tools for that.  

Businesses- For those of you trying to direct potential customers, it is finding that right community / audience. 

Facebook has its place, but i find you do not have to be present, that is an excuse. If the content that you create is great, people will still share this. Finding the niche in your postings is the tricky part. Look at what you create and try and think like a customer, where would they be looking. 

Posting too much - I think that there is a fine line with over posting. If the noise that you are creating is too often, people will grow tired of it quickly.

Quench the need to post everyday, cut back your posting and spend the extra time to produce higher quality content. ( I know that this goes against most top tip how to blog sites)

Utilising your blog's schedule function is a handy tool. You have some rare free time, and want to catch up with some blogging. Rather then throw out 20 posts in one hit, schedule them to be published over time. This will give you a clearer conscious that you have content coming out over the next few weeks, and helping you to have more time to spend on other things.

Also on this subject, when posting images i wouldn't post every single image taken on the shoot. Show just your best work rather than 900 images of the same subject. People lose interest and will click off and head else where.

Where ever you decide to post and cast the net, please be unique.

I know that the automated sites out there are time saving, but when for example you are viewing tweets blatantly created by software, with a hyper link to your post. It is highly off-putting and less people will follow the trail.

Monitor - Most blog these days utilise some sort of analytics in the back ground, this blog site for example is ran through Blogger (owned by google) and so i can see how many people view a post, where were they directed from, what country, what browser used etc. This helps in working out trends.

For this site i have seen that the G+ community traffic by far out weights that of the Facebook and Twitter views. And what content is most popular.

This post was created from my own personal views, there are no one size fits all with this, and it is taking the time to work out what is best for you.

My first post was over 5 years ago, which is frightening to think where the time has gone.

I will find it interesting to re-read this post in another 5 years time and look back on how things have changed.

Thanks for reading

- ill go now and enjoy some of my newly acquired free time


Blog how too top tip enjoy free time quit quitting facebook twitter help you tutorial

Composite with a snow machine in the garden.

lee ramsden, snow, cold, photoshop, composite, ski, snow board, blizzard, professional, advertising, tree, sun, garden, snow machine, fake, frozen

   Nikon D800 f10 1/125th ISO 100

Good morning, hope that you had a good weekend.

The above is an image that i wanted to play with for a little while now, i have been commissioned to take a portrait of someone advertising a snow jacket.

Where possible i like to do a run of the shoot before the client, to iron out anything the comes up, plus gives their design department a good idea of the finished product and we can tweak it to their taste and needs.

lee ramsden, behind the scene off camera lighting elinchrom rotalux deep octa

  Nikon D800 f10 1/125th ISO100

This was the set up, pretty straight forward really. Two light sources, both camera left. The elinchrom ranger in a large octa positioned in front of myself, so the light was feathered and soft.

with a bare elinchrom quadra behind back lighting the snow.

With a snow machine you can see on the left of the image.

The image was shot with grey paper background intentionally to aid in the photoshop work afterwards.

Image set up and execution around 45 mins, and all photoshop work an hour and half.

Some times these images can take a lot more, but having the final goal in your mind and through experience you can achieve that goal much quicker and have a nicer final product.


  Nikon D800 f10 1/125th ISO 100

Volvo V50 - play with a car rig.

Volvo V50 Car Photography Rig mounting Hague Manfrotto poles

Nikon D800 f10 1/30th ISO800 (multiple flash exposure)

I know that we are all guilty of this, i purchased some camera kit, and it has just sat there for months unused... (this is just me? - yeah right)

And so it was time to have a play. I purchased some car rig - mounting equipment. For making the movement shots you see in magazines.

Volvo V50 Car Photography Rig mounting Hague Manfrotto

Nikon D800 f5 1/13th ISO 800

Here is a final shot, with using a slower shutter speed to give the sense of movement, i would of been blurred in the shot, and so inside the car is a strobe light, set to rear curtain sync to give a pop of light to freeze me, and make me sharper. 

I triggered the camera and flash using pocket wizard 3's. I find these work a treat. I have one in my hand, and when i press the button the camera fires, and the flash. 

Volvo V50 Car, Photography Rig mounting Hague Manfrotto poles motion

Nikon D800 f3.2 1/15th ISO 400

A Shot of the mounting system attached to the bonnet. 

Volvo V50 Car Photography Rig mounting Hague Manfrotto poles motion car photography

Nikon D800 f5 1/13th ISO800

Added another pole to extend the reach of the camera. I felt the camera was too heavy for this though, as the poles were worryingly bending, and so only a very slow speed was used when driving.

Here is a short Video of the top image, being taken and processed. 



Whilst making the Christmas image.

While i was trying the create the Christmas image, i really wanted to show some movement, and so i tried using continuous light and a slow shutter speed, while a strobe on rear curtain sync pops to freeze some motion.

Double light exposure flash strobe continuous light tutorial playing painting with light

Here is the image, i thought that it would work with, but proved to be a nightmare to select the movement and remove from this image. Next time i try this technique i feel a studio and back drop will be required to play with.

Double light exposure flash strobe continuous

 Me playing with painting with light. This image i have a continuous light on as well as the strobe to create two of me in the single shot. Used the torch app on the iPhone to paint with.

Double light exposure, flash strobe, continuous light tutorial playing play time painting with light

 Here i turned off the continuous light and only used a strobe on rear curtain sync to illuminate me at the end of the letter, rather then the start. 

Double light exposure Christmas fun tutorial

Playing about.

Double light exposure play time painting with light Lee Ramsden

 Playing with colour as well as two light sources.

This is a single image rather then a photoshop creation.

Christmas picture editor

My new little photo editor is a hard one to please :)

The "ryan brenizer" Method.

Pregnancy Pregnant Birth Sunset Balloons Woods Woodlands ryan brenizer technique stitched photoshop multi image Autopano Giga software

Thought id explain a little into a new technique that i have tried out.

This was my first attempt and so go easy on me.

For you out there that have not yet came across the "Ryan Brenizer method" here is a

link to his work

This image was made up of 50 images.

To create the DOF, you need to be to fairly close to your subject, using a focal length of around 85mm+ and with  the highest aperture you can go,

this was shot at f1.4.

Take the shot of your subject, keeping your feet still, pan around overlapping the shots by around 50%

Below you can see the images used. click on the image to see them larger. 

Kelly Moss Ramsden pregnancy ryan brenizer how to technique photo stiching

To create the f1.4 i used a neutral density filter and as you can see used an Elinchrom Quadra to light the subject.

I have found Autopano Giga much more accurate at stitching then photoshop.

Kelly moss ramsden pregnancy ryan brenizer technique how to

Here is the final stitched image in Photoshop. 

You can see the light stand and parts missing to the image, 

this was my mistake, i did not overlap the images enough when shooting them, and so the software struggled to identify the gaps. 

A little re-touching, deleted the light stand, added some warmth i arrived at the final image. 

*Few tips -

that i have learnt and will be putting in place next time. 

Ill be shooting in jpeg rather then RAW, 

using the D800 the raw file sizes are immense, and kept filling up the buffer, really slowing down the process. If i shoot correctly colour balanced jpegs the post processing will be much quick too. 

Overlap much more each image to give the software a fighting chance.

Oh and not use a moving subject like balloons, boy that didn't half make the Photoshop work a head ache... worth it in the end though. 

Well thats enough of my ramblings on, hope that you enjoy the rest of your weekend. 

As always any questions or comments feel free to contact, 

either on here or through the contact page on my




A subtle technique, but goes a long way..

Hello, here is a little tip which i have recently picked up and thought id share as it makes such a lovely difference.

When working on images of buildings here is how i now add contrast.

Rather then use contrast adjustment layer, i created two levels layers, one darker and one lighter - both with black layer masks.

Now take your time, and paint in, where the face of a building is lighter, make it lighter and the dark side darker. It takes a little time, but certainly gives your image much more depth and a 3D feel to them.

Tutorial Photoshop dodge burning layer

 This image has the effect turned off. 

The extra layer you can see is a contrast adjustment layer to the lighter layer.

Tutorial Photoshop how to make your image look more professional

Here is the final image with the contrast technique added. 

Subtle but certainly makes a lot of difference to the image.

canary wharf London Photography Train line Long Exposure light trails

Polarising Filter.


Today is just a quick post, but wanted to try and show the importance of using a circular polarising filter. Here you can see from a shot of London from the View at the Shard, i had to shoot through a window.

With out a polarising filter

This image you can see the reflections in the glass from inside of the building. 

With a polarising filter fitted

By using a polarising filter, it is not perfect, but seriously cuts out the reflections and so saves you much more time having to edit less.

Like always if you have any questions please feel free to post in the comments. 

Hope that you enjoy the rest of your Sunday... 


London view at the Shard gallery London Uk Tower Bridge HMS Belfast

The above image would not have been able to been created so clean without a polarising filter. 



Please feel free to share this post on your social media, giving credit to the photographer Lee Ramsden www.leeramsden.com



The view from the Shard London HDR image break down.

Hi, hope your keeping well and have had a good weekend. 

Here are some images from the previous London landscape image that i have posted. 

I wanted to show the images used to create the final image. 

I clamped the camera down to the handrail using the Manfrotto Magic arm and using a cable release i rattled a few bracketed frames. 

I have included the metadata on each image, but other then converting to jpg, they are straight from the camera and in the order the camera took them and i added to Nik softwares HDR efex pro 2.

London Shard The View HDR image Photography tutorial Nikon D800 award winning

Here is the first base image. In face i quite like this exposure but i personally prefer having the extra range to play with. 


And finally this is the out put from the software. As you can see it has little punch, no halos. or even much contrast going on. But the key is to get a nice base to start with, and then bring this into photoshop and make it your own.

I have tried many different HDR software on the market and not one will you be able to click process- done.

But i do think that this is a good thing, no 2 images will ever be processed the same and so this way it makes you take your time and make something unique and more realistic.

london View from the Shard HMS Belfast river Thames Tower Bridge

Here is the final image. 



The View at The Shard London photography tips.

Hi, how are you? 

I hope that you are well, while I'm stuck out at work on the rig for a month....

mobile, iphone, Lee, Ramsden, London, The View From The Shad, Landscape, Photography, Lancashire, HDR

Last week for the Mrs's birthday we took a trip to the new viewing platform in the Shard building- London.

72 floors high you get an incredible view of London.

You have to book in advance, and pick your time slot, i was particular in that i wanted sunset to dark.

After googling the timings i was happy that we would catch the setting sun, but just had to have our fingers crossed for the weather :0)

london View from the Shard HMS Belfast river Thames Tower Bridge

As you can see, we were so very lucky in the weather front, after so much snow and bad weather recently.

I wanted to give a couple of tips that i found so handy while shooting here.

and these tips will not only help if you fancy going up the Shard but I'm guessing 99.9% of tourist locations.

Tip 1

- The venue Tripod ban...

A lot of tourist venues have a tripod ban and so you are not allowed to enter with / or use one.

Manfrotto G clamp

As you can see i over came this by using a Manfrotto magic arm, and super clamp. 

The security observed me using this and did not bother in the slightest. 

While using the clamp and magic arm, i treated it like a tripod and so was using my cable release to gain much longer shutter speeds. 

Tip 2

- Don't for get your polariser filter.

To try and reduce the reflections you gain shooting through the glass, a circular polariser filter is not perfect, but cuts down the problem loads. 

Nothing will stop the other members of public and their point and shoots, using the flash - still amazed at what they recon the on camera flash will light up. 

That its, i can really recommend the Shard, it was a fantastic experience. 

Keep in touch in the comments bar bellow...




Carcassonne Castle edit.

Carcassonne bridge to the caste at dawn

Happy Sunday... 

Here i wanted to show how i got to this final image of Carcassonne. 

This is made up of 3 different exposure images. 

It is technically a HDR image, but it has not been tone mapped, i used the exposures as different layers and masked them in. 

Carcassonne France, Photo Photograph photoshop layers how to edit

Here is the base image as it was out of the camera, 


This image was taken for the exposure of the bridge and Castle.


I used a layer mask to only reveal the parts of the image i wanted to be brighter.


Here is the 3rd image taken, for a darker exposure.


I used the 3rd darker exposure to paint into the sky to darken it and add some drama.


Here the image was cleaned up, from the lights in the windows, and other highlights that i found distracting.

There was a blown out building, which is grey in this image,

I used a part from the darkest exposure and masked it in,

as you can see, it doesnt share the same colouring as its surroundings, and so i used various adjustment layers to make it fit in.

 Contrast and Photo filter were used to get the temperature right.


Here i found the tree  - bush thing very distracting and so i clone stamped it out, on the bottom right of the screen.


Now for some punch and texture,

I use Nik softwares colour effects pro. I apply this to all of the image but then mask back in the effect to where i want it.


To give it a little more punchier contrast, i like to use Nik softwares Silver Efects pro,

by making a black and white punchy layer,


This black and white layer now has a blend mode of Luminosity.


 I found that the sky was to cool, for buildings. And so with adding an adjustment layer of Photo filter

I warmed up the scene.


Finally, the more i looked at the image, i found the water to be extremely distracting and anoying,

and so i created a new layer and painted it with black. I lowered the Opacity to regain some of the texture.

Once again if you have any questions or comments id love to hear from you.



Adding Leaves to an image...

Carcassonne France lover on romantic walk

Happy New Year!

I wanted to show a subtle part of the above image.

I felt when looking at this scene, the background just behind Myself and the Mrs, was to similar to our clothing and wanted to break it up abit.

With large piles of fallen leaves on the ground,  it would be good fun to add some of these.

Photoshop tutorial how to add leaves to your image and make them look more professional

Here is the in camera image,

Lots of distractions, sign posts and rubbish on the ground.

Where our dark tops are, they blend in with the background around us.

Carcassonne adding composite material to your images

With the camera set on a trip pod, i got the Mrs to throw some leaves in the air.

Carcassonne leaves throw adding texture to your photos

Another shot of some leaves.

As the camera is on a tripod, it makes editing much easier.

As im now using the Nikon D800 camera, the file sizes are crazy large, and so instead of importing every image as layers into the one file, I simply made selections of just the leaves that i wanted and moved them onto the final image.

As always, if you have any comments or questions, id love to hear from you.



The Edit of the Tash image.

Bearded Lee Ramsden

Following this image, i thought i would post on how i got to this final image from the out of camera shot below. I have included many screen grabs to try and explain how i got to the finished image. 

Bearded Lee Ramsden photoshop tutorial layers

Here is the original image, taken in my front room. You can see the TV on the left, but knowing that i wanted to do a cut out, i placed a piece of white card behind me to make life easier later on in photoshop. 

To make the cut out, i make a rough selection with the quick selection tool.

Then click onto the refine edge button.

Here photoshop opens up new dialogue box, I use the brush tool to paint around the edge, and photoshop does an amazing job of making a tighter selection. It works on contrast, and hence why i added the white card at the start so my hair and skin would stand out better.

Once you are happy with your selection i output to a new layer with a layer mask.

I added a blank layer, using the gradation tool made a spot light effect background.

Here i did some dodge and burning to the clothing and skin.

If you compare this image to the one above, the lighting on the neck is harsh and unpleasing to the eye.

with all these little tweaks they are only very subtle but they add up and make the final image nicer to the eye.


I wanted to add some texture so my hair and shirt. 

Looks good doesnt it..... Nope of course not, but when adding a filter to an image you need to be selective with it. 

Here i added a layer mask and painted back where i wanted the texture to be.

Now to work on the background, I thought the background is flat not working, and so i am adding a texture. I quite like this pattern.

By playing with the Opacity and Blend modes you can create very different looks.

This back ground is the same as the image about but by dropping the Opacity to 40% it is much more subtle.

The blend mode is now set to soft light. I checked them all out, but this one was the nicest.

The background i felt was too smooth and so needed to be roughed up a little.

I added this texture of a stone wall to the image.

Again play with the Opacity and blend modes, to make slight subtle changes.

The colour i felt needed to be spiced up a tad.

I added a saturation adjustment layer. But by clipping this layer to the one below it then only effects the background.

 Here is the finished image.

I appreciate that i move pretty fast from layer to layer.

If you are getting lost or confused by any stage please feel free to comment or contact me and i will explain a stage in greater detail.


Hotel room Lighting.

How to mix environment lighting and colour checking

Hi all, 

I wanted to try and show how i think when setting up multiple lights in a scene. 

The image above is lit with 3 SB900 flash guns. Including the stand lamp :0)

How to mix use strobe lights with light fittings

I wanted to see if any of the lights in the room are effecting the scene. Here is a shot with my flashes turned off. At F6.3 1/125sec iso 200 there are no external lights influencing the shot.

How to mix use strobe lights with light fittings environment

Now shooting in Manual, you keep the settings locked in and just change the lighting. All these shots have the same aperture, shutter speed and iso settings.

Here i have a strobe placed in the lamp shade. I turned it to a power where it will not blow out and so some detail will remain.

How to mix strobe light with natural

Here i have one light one, in a soft box lighting in the direction of the arrow. Its set to lift some of the shadows that are created.

How to mix natural light with strobe indoors

Lastly i used a strobe high up with a grid on the front to create some directional light.

To set each light you have to add them one at a time. Even when happy with a light, turn it off so that you can see how the next light will effect the shot. Once happy turn on and have some fun.