Urban Exploration Photography A Guide to Creating and Editing Images of Abandoned Places

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  • Edition: 1st
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 12/29/2014
  • Publisher: Peachpit Press
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Getting a compelling shot in an abandoned structure is what urban exploration—or UrbEx—photography is all about. But that’s much easier said than done. UrbEx photography is one of the most challenging genres to shoot due to the dark environments, unpredictable circumstances, and various threats to one’s safety. Preparation is key and time can be limited for pulling off great shots. In Urban Exploration Photography, photographer Todd Sipes walks you through everything you need to know about composing, shooting, and processing photos of abandoned places.

You’ll start with preparing for a shoot, including what to bring, what to wear, and when to go. Then you’ll dive into shooting with an in-depth look at composition, subject matter, and various techniques that can be used for different circumstances. After gaining a thorough understanding of how to shoot, you’ll get a detailed look at Todd’s post-processing workflow from start to finish using Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom, Google Nik Collection, OnOne Perfect Photo Suite, and more. You’ll finish off with complete walkthroughs of select images that you can step through using the author’s raw camera files.

You’ll also learn:

  • General guidelines for camera settings and gear
  • How to shoot in the dark
  • How to select the best subject matter
  • What qualities of light to look for
  • 32-bit HDR and luminosity masking
  • How to bracket your shots
  • How to avoid common mistakes
  • Numerous other tips and tricks that will save you time in the field

Author Biography

Todd Sipes is an award-winning photographer who resides in the San Francisco Bay Area. He specializes in urban exploration and concert photography, and has explored and photographed countless abandoned structures, beginning at 10 years old while growing up in Colonial Williamsburg, Virginia. With a deep-seated interest in history, he earned his BA degree in American History at the University of California in Santa Cruz, and then pursued his MBA degree at the University of San Francisco. When Sipes isn’t getting his hands dirty exploring, he plays drums, loves to travel, snowboards in Lake Tahoe, and spends time with his wife, Harasyn. He also created and moderates the Urban Exploration Community on Google+ (which currently has 24,000 members). Find out more about Sipes and his work at www.toddsipes.net.

Table of Contents

Urban Exploration Photography: A Guide to Creating and Editing Images of Abandoned Places




Part I: Shooting


Chapter 1: Before You Shoot

·  Be Prepared


Chapter 2: How to Shoot

·  Composition

·  Other Facets of Composition

·  Three Major Shooting Styles in UrbEx

·  Bracketing

·  Shooting in the Dark


Chapter 3: What to Shoot

·  Organic Elements

·  Synthetic Elements


Part II: Post-Production


Chapter 4: Finding Your Style

·Places to Find Inspiration

·UrbEx Styles


Chapter 5: Workflow

·  Software Used

·  Import with Lightroom

·  Stacking

·  Picking the Winners

·  HDR

·  Ready to Process


Chapter 6: Post-Processing

·  Having a Vision of the Final Result

·  First Pass of Lightroom Edits

·  Off to Photoshop for Major Edits

·  General Manipulations

·  Effects and Filters

·  Things to Avoid


Chapter 7: Publishing

·  Power of Lightroom Collections

·  Freidl Plug-Ins


Chapter 8: Conclusion/Wrap Up


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