Stocksy Top 5 of the Month – May 2018

I was away for some time and realized that the month is almost over and I haven’t posted the last month’s Stocksy top 5. Even though it’s really late this month, I had to do it as it has some great images. Either one of this images would also look great as a print:

Breathtaking view

man_enjoying_breathtaking_mountain_view
Breathtaking view

Dreamy night

magical_dreamy_night
Dreamy night

Dark silent mountain landscape

dark_silent_hill
Dark silent mountain landscape

Night search

night_lantern
Night search

Predator and prey

predator_and_prey_spider
Predator and prey

Stocksy Top 5 of the Month – April 2018

I’m back with another Stocksy United Top 5 of the Month – the April edition. This time it’s about mysterious dark lakes in the forest, spring pastures with trees in bloom, gorgeous autumn mountain sunsets, creepy crawlers and night photos of river under the stars. I’ve also had some photos added to the curated feed lately, more that in the past. It’s great that Stocksy is finally expanding its vision into promoting dark, ethereal, mysterious images. Here is my Top 5 for April 2018:

Mysterious dark autumn forest lake

dark_mysterious_lake_in_haunted_forest
Mysterious dark autumn forest lake

Spring fairy tale

spring_fantasy__fairytale_tree_in_bloom
Spring fairy tale

Late autumn sunset with cabin

autumn_mountain_landscape_cabin
Late autumn sunset with cabin

Creepy crawler

creepy_monster
Creepy crawler

River and mountain under the stars

night_landscape_river_under_stars
River and mountain under the stars

PhotoCosma is back on 1x.com

mysterious_forest_on_1x.com_by_photocosma
Out of This World – from 1x.com

I’ve been an active member of One Exposure (1x.com) from 2008 and until sometime in 2012. In that time I’ve learned a lot, got frustrated a lot, saw a lot of great images, met some great people, grew up as a photographer, established my own style and when I became skilled and confident enough to know which photos of mine are good and which ones aren’t I noticed that the curation process doesn’t always work so good.

1x.com is a curated photography gallery so the level is usually higher than on any other online galleries that I saw. Only a small percentage of the photos (some say 3%, others say 5%) get accepted to be part of the gallery. That’s both good and bad. The gallery looks great and a lot of the photos they accept are extraordinary, but curation takes a great deal of subjectivism and the curators will favor and accept a certain style and category of photos. There are a lot of photos that should be accepted and aren’t, just like there are some photos that maybe shouldn’t be accepted – so the curation process is not perfect and it get’s frustrating and unfair a lot of the times.

That being said, it’s still one of the best photography galleries on the internet and the majority of time I’m glad of being a part of it. I have 17 photos that are accepted and curated on 1x.com and a total of 25 photos in my portfolio. I’m expecting these numbers to increase. I have also made my photos on 1x available as high quality fine art prints.

I’m confident that this will again be a great experience and that my images will find their place once again in one of the most interesting online galleries. I’ll let you know how this goes 😉

Winter Dusk

Man walking in winter at dusk
Winter Dusk

This winter wasn’t particularly rich in snow or very cold for that matter. There were a few photo opportunities but with snow only lasting a couple of days at a time, we had to plan everything really well. It was also the case with our last trip, one close to home but higher in altitude. The day before it was raining heavily and we kept watching the forecast as well as the weather outside. At night the rain turned to a heavy snow storm. By morning everything was covered with a thick layer of snow. The roads were bad but we managed to get up in the forest mountain not far from home, now covered in snow and fog.

The higher we went, the thicker the fog became. We kept going through the fog and it started snowing again. The blizzard had knocked down a lot of giant old trees and there was a strange sense of danger lurking through the snow covered forest. Later into the day we reached a clearing near the top of the mountain just as light began to fall and everything was turning blue. The gentle hum of the wind in the trees was the only sound we could hear and the atmosphere was really heavy. No human in sight other than us, no man-made sound, everything seemed so far away and muted. It was almost like we were hearing some sort of white noise. Lonely trees with strange shapes grew out of the snow like antennas to the sky getting lost in the fog. Everything was overwhelming. Got as many images as we could before the light started to fall. When out photographing it is easy to get lost in time, but as the night drew closer we had to get back on lower grounds and back into this world.

For the next couple of days after something surreal and intense like this, everything seems to be at a lower volume and running at a slower speed for me. Maybe this is the consequence of visiting another world. I hope the gate opens again soon.

Stocksy Top 5 of the Month: January 2018

It’s time for the Stocksy United Top 5 of the month – January 2018 edition. I’ve had a hard time choosing between 23 new accepted images that were added to my exclusive Stocksy United collection. There are some surreal landscapes (something in which I have a lot of interest in lately) and abstract winter details. One of the winter details –Abstract winter texture background  was also added to the curated feed by the Stocksy editors. Here are My Stocksy top 5 for the last month:

Mysterious apparition at night in winter forest

Man in surreal forest at night
Mysterious apparition at night in winter forest

Hand shape in snow

Hand shape on windscreen in winter snow
Hand shape in snow

The perfect storm

Surreal landscape with heavy storm clouds above meadow forming the perfect storm
The perfect storm

Abstract winter texture background

winter background detail with abstract lines
Abstract winter texture background

Surreal river waterfall

Surreal mountain river waterfall in autumn forest
Surreal river waterfall

So this is it for this top, but join us again next month for another top5 and in the coming days for something new and interesting we’ve been working on.

Fantasy landscape Photoshop actions

We have been trying to find ways of keeping some “recipes” of our photo editing process for some time. I like to document any interesting tries and have a collection of effects that can be applied to (most) nature photos. Then it struck me: the easiest way to keep track of these effects would be to make some actions of the adjustments that we have come to love over the years. We really like the way they turned out so we’ve made them available for others that want to try and get the “fantasy look” in their photos.

The first two packs are available on Creative Market:

The Fantasy Landscapes Photoshop actions

fantasy_landscapes_photoshop_actions
Fantasy landscapes Photoshop actions

Winter Dream Photoshop Actions Pack

winter_dream_photoshop_actions_pack
Winter dream actions pack

All the actions have been tweaked and tested on hundreds of photos and have been made so that the effects are easily adjustable. Most of the edits are kept on separate layers so the layer opacity can be adjusted.

I hope there will be more actions available in the coming months because it’s a great way to make use of the editing skills that we’ve acquired in nearly a decade.

Here are some before/after images. As you can see the edits are subtle but can really enhance the look and feeling of a photo and give it that mysterious/dreamy/fantasy feel:

01 Dreamy Nature02 Eerie Night03 Autumn Sunset010304

 

Stocksy Top 5 of the Month – December 2017

It’s that time of the month again when I see how the last month has been and make a top of the most notable photos added to my gallery on Stocksy United. December had fewer additions than normal because of a late batch of images submitted on the 30th of November, so they don’t qualify for the top 5 of December, and also because of the Holiday season. But I still managed to find 5 great photos because as some of you might know – everything that I submit to Stocksy is well thought out and double curated. So here is my Top 5 for the month of December:

Winter dream

winter dream with frozen waterfall by PhotoCosma
Winter dream

Autumn tree in misty woods

Photo of colorful autumn tree in misty woods by photocosma
Autumn tree in misty woods

Abstract background water flow

abstract_background_water_flow_by_photocosma
Abstract background water flow

Birch woodland

birch_woodland_by_photocosma
Birch woodland

Abstract background with plant

abstract_background_with_plant_by_photocosma
Abstract background with plant

Stocksy Top 5 of the Month – November 2017

It’s time for the Stocksy United Top 5 of the month – this time for November. I’ve had a hard time choosing them but I did it in the end with a bit of delay. There is a bit of everything here: adventure under dramatic skies, rare natural phenomenons, extreme cold, beautiful natural conditions coming together perfectly to highlight the beauty of autumn and magical nights under starry skies. Got your attention? Then here are My Stocksy top 5 for the last month:

Man walking on path under stormy sky

Man_under_dramatic_sky
Man walking on path under stormy sky

Rare natural phenomenon

shadows_of_pine_trees_cast_on_fog_rare_natural_phenomenon
Rare natural phenomenon

Frozen waterfall in cold winter wonderland

frozen_waterfall_in_extreme_cold_winter_wonderland_fantasy_
Frozen waterfall in cold winter wonderland

Enchanted tree in foggy forest

enchanted_autumn_forest_with_fog_and_yellow_tree_foliage
Enchanted tree in foggy forest

Milky way over field

starry_night_with_milky_way_over_field
Milky way over field

Mountain Peak in Autumn

mountain_peak_in_autumn_stock_photo
Mountain Peak in Autumn

This autumn has given us a lot of good images. The idea was simple: wake up early in the morning, drive until the roads vanished then set off on foot and hope for the best. We chose days that had changing conditions – rain, sun, clouds so that we could get most out of the day. And it paid off well.

I have chosen “Mountain Peak in Autumn” as part of the top 5 of the month in October so you know it’s a favorite of mine. I really like the contrast between the warm colors of the trees and the cold tinlike colors of the mountain and sky.

This wasn’t an easy image to get. Me and my brother climbed for about 4 hours through a beautiful forest on a steep slope, stopping from time to time but being unable to see much. After finally getting out of the woods one of the first sights was this one, blowing me away. The sun was playing through the clouds so I waited for it to shine a bit on the trees and the cliff that was nearer, but not too much to have harsh shadows. The waiting game was the hardest part because I knew we had more to climb that day, but I knew it was worth it so we remained in that spot until the conditions were just right.

I used my 70-300 mm lens at 92mm and an aperture of f/8 because there was enough light around and I know this particular lens produces the best results at this aperture, with an exposure of 1/250 seconds @ISO 100.

I love that this image “grabs” a piece of that day – the colors, the changing conditions, the giant cliffs and the overall mood of the place. I’m always amazed by this place, the sheer size of it and could spend days just watching the light moving over the cliffs, always changing the landscape.

Stocksy Top 5 of the Month – October 2017

It’s that time of the month again when I see how the last month has been and make a top of the most notable photos added to Stocksy. October was a great month. Like always, a lot of the photos that I uploaded are special. Adding them to the Stocksy collection makes them even more valuable. My top 5 picks for the last month are:

Dark spider on Halloween

Dark creepy Halloween spider on green background
Dark spider on Halloween

Mountain peak in autumn

Mountain peak in autumn through colorful trees
Mountain peak in autumn

Man walking in winter dream

Man walking on winter day in fantasy landscape with river in forest
Man walking in winter dream

Man hiking in birch tree forest

Man walking in birch tree forest on autumn day
Man hiking in birch tree forest

Man with lantern on Halloween night

Man with lantern in the dark
Man with lantern on Halloween night