Sean Duggan: Creative Discoveries in Iceland

For photographers, I think that it’s vital to cultivate the habit of looking and seeing and finding images wherever you are, even if you don’t have a camera with you. And while finding images in the familiar places close to home is always important, there’s nothing quite like going on a journey that is devoted solely to your photography for super-charging your creativity and taking your image making to a whole new level.



It’s a commitment to your art and craft, to something you really love. It’s an investment in yourself, and in the possibilities that art and creativity bring into your life. Most photographers love nothing more than going out to make images. It’s one of the things in life that makes them feel the most alive and connected to the world around them. And traveling somewhere just to focus (pun intended!) on your photography can be a transformational experience…. part road trip, part vision quest, part adventure.



That’s what my “Creative Discoveries in Iceland” workshop is all about: traveling to an island of stunningly beautiful, majestic landscapes and amazing light, and going on a creative adventure. Learning to see images in new ways, improving your camera work and digital processing technique, becoming a better photographer. It’ll be an incredible week of wonderful sights, memorable experiences, good company, and excellent image-making opportunities. Take a look at the video below to get a small sense of what the trip will be like.

Discover the wonders of Iceland through the creative lens of photography with fine art photographer, author and digital imaging expert Seán Duggan. On this inspiring trip you’ll explore the varied and spectacular landscapes of Iceland, learning to improve not only your camera technique, but also your photographic vision, and understanding of how to get the most from your images in the digital darkroom.

Information and registration for Sean’s incredible Iceland workshop, June 29 – July 6, 2013



Playing with Adobe Lightroom 4 Beta

Today I decided to take a break and play.

Music during image processing: “Riding with the King”, an album with B.B. King & Eric Clapton.

I have spent since last December working on the upgrading of my website, both for my international workshops program and my local seminars, lectures and event program. I hope those who remember my old website notice the difference from my printed like one fixed template on the old web and the new multi-functional website. Anyway, it was time to get a bit careless and play during part of a day.

I have used Adobe Lightroom since the first version and included seminars on it in my program for the local market in Iceland for few years. So studying any new developments of the software is always high on my list. But during a part of a day one can just play a little.

Following is a straight Raw image shot with my Canon 5D Mark II and exposed to give me good information in the Raw file. I overexposed the frame as the subject was bright and flat. I could see on my camera histogram how far I could overexpose without losing any clippings of the highlights.

Sailing on a Zodiac and turning in all directions I wanted to be safe with my exposures, but still use the highlights part of the histogram as much as possible to gather maximum information in the Raw file. Afterwards I could possibly have overexposed 1/3 or 1/2 stop more, but the exposure is still good.

Before any processing

Iceberg original

Original unprocessed Raw file exported from Lightroom 4 Beta as Jpeg, sRGB and scaled down 

Histogram original iceberg

The histogram for the unprocessed file in Lightroom 4 Beta.


After processing

Iceberg LR4 processed

After procession in Lightroom 4 Beta, exported and rendered in Adobe Camera Raw 7, saved as Jpeg, sRGB and scaled down

Histogram processed iceberg

The histogram for the processed file in Lightroom 4 Beta

It will always be individual preferences and matter of taste what is good image processing, realistic one or something exaggerated like the image above. It is also the question of the final use.

I opted this time for the exaggerated version as outdoor in Iceland, things have been gray for weeks. Therefor I wanted some color and contrast in this image.  “Juice” the image up and see what information the original file did have for me to pul out and play with in Lightrom 4 Beta.

And under the influence of the blues from B.B. King & Eric Clapton in the speakers doing this in Adobe Lightroom 4 Beta was so easy, the feeling from their music going through my head to my fingertips with the Wacom pen, where most things I do on my computer happen.

What makes me so pleased is that I can now with Adobe Lightroom 4 process images with the quality the Raw image theory has been telling me up to now in numbers like bit depth and ProPhoto color-space.

I am looking forward to the final version of Adobe Lightroom 4 and the new Adobe Photoshop 6, which will be running the same ACR engine for image rendering of raw image files.

Adobe Lightroom 4 is expected to be released during the summer.

– Einar

Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 3 Software for Mac & Windows

Canon EOS 5D Mark II Digital Camera (Body Only)