Aug 4 2011

RAW processing

So just how much processing can you apply to a RAW file, apparently quite a lot.   I took this shot and thought I liked the bluishness of the white balance but once I got it into the computer it was a different story and I wanted something different with more punch.  I really don’t think I could have successfully manipulated this image so much had it been a JPEG out of the camera.

Mar 26 2011

High key conversion

A reader Dave asked me how I created the high key look of a particular image so rather than going into a wordy explanation I thought I would do it visually, I am a photographer after all.

The image asked about was this one and how I modified it to get that particular look.

The first thing I did was to decrease the colour temperature of the image by 450 degrees to make the image cooler.

This is the result of that change.

The next thing to be done was to add a slight green tint also to modify the overall colour and feel of the image.


 I then increased the exposure about 1 stop.  This is could be done at the time of capture as well but in this case I had a properly exposed image to begin with.

The last step was to desaturate the image and add a small amount of fill light which opens up the shadow side of the tree giving a flatter yet more silvery final image.

Of course any one or more of these parameters could be treated differently and while I like presets for convenience I also believe it’s necessary to treat each image individually to get the best look.

Mar 24 2011

Sony DSC-V3 colour processed

In keeping with my current exploration of what I can get out of my Sony DSC-V3 I’ve been using it a lot more lately.  In combination with Lightroom 3’s new noise processing and shooting in RAW I am able to get good clean images that I am pleased with.  I can even get some depth of field separation when I use the camera in certain ways.  With the lens zoomed most of the way out and by forcing the smallest available aperture I can get a shallow enough depth of field and quite good bokeh.  Of course once I had my nice clean images I processed them in a way that defeated the whole purpose.

Mar 13 2011

Why I shoot RAW

I shoot RAW with my DSLR and my compact camera, because it allows me to get the maximum out of the sensors with the most up to date processing.  Shooting jpeg sets the image processing with what is available at the time by the camera manufacturer and usually doesn’t allow for much improvement.  Here are some comparison images at 100% magnification both between RAW and Jpeg and comparing the Sony DSC-V3 to my Pentax K-7.  I did these tests for my self but thought I would share the results no matter how esoteric.

Sony DSC-V3 100ISO RAW vs jpeg   (File size 1.16 Mbyte)

Sony DSC-V3 800ISO jpeg vs RAW   (File size 1.4 Mbyte)  This is where the differences are most apparent

DSC-V3 vs Pentax K-7 at 100 ISO  Both RAW

Mar 2 2011

Sony DSC-V3 infrared

Some more images created with the Sony DSC-V3 and an infrared filter.  The available light was very low so really I should have removed the neutral density filter that I use with this combination but I didn’t and so the image sharpness suffered for it as I ended up with shutter speeds in the 1/4 second range while handholding the camera.  There is no excuse for laziness, at least that’s how I think the saying goes but you can always claim that that was the look you wanted.

Nov 19 2010

Lightroom Preset (Pentax Reversal)

I’ve taken a try at recreating the look that my Pentax K-7 generates using the digital reversal filter (slide filter).  It appears that it isn’t that simple a matter and that the processing may vary depending on the source image.  When optimized for one image it may produce different results on another.   It still makes an admiral effort and has a look all it’s own.

Original file

Pentax Digital Camera Utility 4 (Reversal)

Wallace’s Lightroom Reversal Preset.

You can see that while there is a close match in these images (blues and yellows are a bit of a problem) the results diverge even more on some real world images

Original Image

Pentax Digital Camera Utility 4 (reversal)

Wallace’s Lightroom reversal preset.

You can download this preset by right clicking and saving the target file to your computer.  You can also find out how to add this or any preset to Lightroom by doing a Google search.     Download Preset

Aug 25 2010

Just Playing (Pentax K-7 miniature)

I have just returned from a trip which required driving through half of British Columbia.  There are nearly endless opportunities to photograph on a trip like this so  I brought several cameras with me.  I took some photographs with the intent of applying the miniature filter of the Pentax K-7 and while stopped at a restaurant and waiting for my meal this is the results I came up with.

Jun 23 2010

When a subject is just too big.

There was a tree that I wanted to take a picture of and I knew it was going to be just too big to capture in one image at the sort of resolution that I wanted.  So I took multiple high resolution images with the intent of stitching them together in the computer.  This leaves me with a new dilemma though, how to convey the size of the tree to a viewer on the Internet.  I could have attempted to include something in the frame to give scale “Here Bessy, here Bessy…” but cows are notoriously bad at taking directions and even then I’m not sure the impact could still be carried through with a small image.  So I’ve essentially taken control of the viewing experience and am presenting the picture in the form of a video.

And just to prove my point about impact here is a small web friendly version of the image.

May 10 2010

Pentax K-7 & Lightroom 3 Beta noise reduction

I wanted to evaluate the noise reduction abilities of the upcoming Lightroom 3 release and to create profiles for my Pentax K-7.  So I set up a small scene to photograph and used an AF540FGZ flash in wireless mode to light it.  I increased the ISO from 200 to 6400 in one stop increments while adjusting the flash output.  There was some variation in illumination however this is more of a preliminary test and I adjusted levels in Lightroom to somewhat compensate.   You can click on an individual thumbnail to see the full resolution jpeg generated through Lightroom, however the files are limited to 2Mb.

ISO 200

ISO 400

ISO 800

ISO 1600

ISO 3200

ISO 6400

I make no claims about any of the products used but am merely sharing my own testing.

May 2 2010

Don’t ask me, I’m just the photographer.