Inspiration – Colin Prior

Posted in Inspiration on 18 December 2010 by jepoma

I’ve recently stumbled upon a Photography Montly podcast interview of landscape photograper Colin Prior. Having listened to his interview, checked his web portfolios, and read about him in The World’s Top Photographers – Landscape by Terry Hope (RotoVision, 2005), I really find his approach to landscape photography and his work inspirational.

One of the distinctive features of Colin’s photography is the use of a Fujifilm 6x17cm camera. The 6×17 aspect ratio is so well suited to landscapes, that I have added it to my Lightroom 3 presets. This serves as a reminder to try aspect ratios other than 2×3.

Another distinctive features is colin’s predilection for dusk and dawn photography. The light at these moments is so unique and compelling !


Working with Lr on Two Machines

Posted in Lightroom on 3 December 2009 by jepoma

In my opinion, the best way to work with Lr on two machines has been put forth by johnbeardy in one of his many contributions (over 2180 posts and counting) to Adobe’s Lightrom discussion forum:

Create a smart collection – Edited in Last X Days. Select it, and Export as Catalog, including negatives. Take this to the other computer, and Import from Catalog to get it into the other computer’s catalogue (or just open it directly). Reverse the process for bringing stuff back.

I will soon implement this solution and will report on its merits in due time. I take this opportunity to thank johnbeardy for this and his many other useful insights.

Lr rendering of NEF – Example

Posted in Lightroom on 19 October 2009 by jepoma

As a fellow poster on Adobe’s Lightroom forum saw color effects very similar to those I observe in Lr’s rendition of NEF files and as requested by another poster, I decided to make available an example NEF and its in-camera-generated companion JPG (these come from a lightning-hunting series). To download right-clik on link and “Save link as …” (note that the NEF file has a jpeg extension which should be changed back to NEF – the jpeg extension is required by the upload procedure on WordPress).

Once you upload the NEF in Lr, you will note the brown-red hues on the clouds and around the lower-right roof which are hardly visible on the JPEG. The “Camera Neutral” camera profile makes it worse. The “Camera Standard” camera profile hardly changes it. Other profiles produce one of these two effects i.e. they also don’t remove the brown-red hue. At night one cannot use a color-checker card, so creating my own profile is out. Tweaking the NEF for about 20 minutes did not help, short of making it black-and-white. So, what do you guys say ?

Lightroom borderless printing woe

Posted in Lightroom on 18 October 2009 by jepoma

Since day one, I’ve been having problems printing exactly what I want to print when I print borderless. The following image shows the full photograph and, within the dotted line rectangle, what came out when I printed it from Lightroom in borderless mode:

Image showing Lr's crop for borderless printing

I expected to loose somewhat at the top and bottom, as the photograph is taller than the target paper (5×7 in this case), but I certainly did not expect to loose left or right. How can I tell Lr to simply crop at the top and bottom, but leave the sides as they are ? If you know, please leave a comment.

Lightroom’s NEF weak point

Posted in Lightroom on 13 September 2009 by jepoma

Lightroom (Lr) does not seem to handle NEFs that well (see, for instance, Adobe’s Forums). In my case, I have chromatic aberration problems. Here are two examples (2:1 views) with the JPEG generated by the D700 above and the corresponding NEF below:

Note the clearly visible red/cyan chromatic aberration (CA) in the NEFs, which is only slightly visible in the JPEGs. The CA in the NEFs goes away with a -33 red/cyan correction in Lr. Using Adobe’s camera profiles does not help in this respect.

Anyone else seen this in Lr ? How about in Aperture ? And NX2 ?

First shoot

Posted in Learning points on 31 May 2009 by jepoma

My first “real” shoot with the D700 was at the Whitsun festival of the Blonay-Chamby railway-museum. During this yearly festival, the museum takes all its running steam locomotives, trolleys, passenger and freight cars out.

My main learning points of this shoot are:

  1. Never forget to specify which microprocessorless lens I put on (my 24mm will work without problem on the D700 if I do not do this, but the EXIF data will be incomplete update: the EXIF data may be incomplete even though the lens has been specified; I will check this out).
  2. The ½ EV set-up for bracketing may not be optimal. A ⅓ EV set-up might be better. Close examination of photographs in Lightroom will tell.
  3. Not having a rule-of-thirds grid is a problem. I should find a workaround to this.
  4. Buy at least one spare lens rear-cap, to facilitate lens changes.
  5. Buy a hood for my 24mm, to reduce the risk of flare.

I will also have to review the factors that influence (increase) the depth-of-field and see which Nikkor lenses can be stopped down most.

Saving custom settings

Posted in D700 features on 24 May 2009 by jepoma

Ken Rockwell in his Nikon D700 User’s Guide writes that “[y]ou can’t save or lock any of [the shooting menu’s] settings.” He goes as far as writing “[t]his is retarded, but it’s the way the D700 works.” However, the D700 will not only save these settings on a CF card but it will reload them when told to (see the D700 User’s Manual p. 344). I use this feature and think it’s great. Also, if I ever need more than four settings sets, I will simply use a second CF card …

Any comment, Ken ?