September 16, 2014, 03:35:28 AM

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Messages - LDS

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Photography Technique / Re: POLL: Do you crop (and why)?
« on: September 11, 2014, 11:57:33 AM »
It's absolutely false pro photographers don't crop. Sure, if you shoot in studio or can frame carefully you usually don't. If you're a photojournalist, you may don't want to crop because of the implied "image manipulation" (but framing itself is also manipulating reality to some extent).

But there are many reason to crop when needed - because the final image requires a different aspect ratio, because you couldn't frame the way you wanted, because the image becomes more expressive.

It was a basic darkroom technique as well. Cropping is just a tool, like a longer lense or different sensor size/aspect ratio. It's non an excuse for being lazy while shooting, but it's not something to avoid at all cost.

Photography Technique / Re: Getting photos home from overseas
« on: September 02, 2014, 05:44:25 PM »
I don't mind the postage - potentially a variety of interesting stamps when I get home - but the adventure of finding a post office could well turn into a chore pretty quickly.
In some countries, even in Europe, mailing an USB stick without using some special expensive services or a courier, it's the best way to 'lose' them. Post offices may not be open all day or weekends.

A local 4G SIM can be fast, but 4G may not be available everywhere, and usually there are monthly or daily limits far below 16GB.

Photography Technique / Re: Tethered Shooting with 5D III & Microsoft Pro 3
« on: September 02, 2014, 05:32:38 PM »
It's a LOT better stylus than the really simple, plastic one I got...but it is highly recommended. It just makes using desktop mode so much vastly easier than trying to use a mouse or the touch's well worth the cost, IMO. (Not to mention the fact that the new one is fully pressure sensitive and multi modal and all that.)
Wacom makes better styluses that works with the SP2 (which uses a Wacom digitizer, I got one and feels much better) but doesn't work with the SP3 which uses a different technology. The SP2 stylus is passive and doesn't require batteries. The SP3 one is  Bluetooth unit and requires batteries.

Photography Technique / Re: Tethered Shooting with 5D III & Microsoft Pro 3
« on: September 02, 2014, 05:23:57 PM »
Hi allI am looking for a setup to do tethered shooting for Architecture/Property interior & exterior shoots & was thinking of using the new SP3.
I've been using a Surface 2 Pro (i5, 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD) for months, it works flawlessly for tethered shooting using the EOS Utility (using a 5m USB cable, hope to test soon with a WFT E7), and it is adequate for LR5 use on the field, although my final processing is performed on a desktop system and larger monitor. You can always connect the Surface to an external monitor, if you need it.
Its screen can be calibrated, but of course is not a wide gamut monitor, and take into account setting a fixed brightness can reduce how long a charge lasts.
You can find some supports to clamp the tablet to something or put it on a tripod, but don't know what is available yet for the larger SP3.
For tethered shooting I use it without the keyboard, just touch/pen or the Bluetooth mouse, while LR is faster to use with the keyboard docked, yet basic processing can be easily performed with the stylus, which is of course very handy for local adjustments.

And please remember that the high end DSLRs are just a fraction of DSLR sales...

Yes - but what fraction? I do not mean the 1X category only. We could put the 5D, 6D and 7D (and comparable models from other brands) in that category, and maybe even some few more models.

Also that's where other sales comes from. Low-end DSLR users have more chances to jump on a new camera (maybe of a different brand) than building a system around it. Most of them will just use the kit lens and little more.
It's people buying relatively more expensive cameras that will buy lenses and other accessories, and in turn they will be more "locked in" into a brand (because unless you have very deep pockets, even selling everything is not so easy to rebuild a whole system) and thereby brings you more revenues in the long term.
Sure, you still need entry level cameras to bring in users and then move some up the ladder, the new entry level cameras could be mirrorless as well, why not? Just they may have the drawback their lenses and accessories may not be compatible with their bigger cousins if you need to move up.

CIPA data: Mirrorless cameras shipment growing. DSLR falling. Even in US and EU!
In this context DSLR means everything from the cheap EOS 1200D to the very expensive 1X. It would be interesting to see sales trend segmented by price levels.
I'm quite sure mirrorless cameras are attacking the low end market and immediately above it, I'm also quite sure the high-end market is not so affected - although the latter photographers may also buy a mirrorless to use together their DSLRs.
Also the there are seasonal trends - peaks around the Christmas season (and far less sales around February), peaks for "travel companion" cameras at the beginning of Summer, while in the same period DSLRs sales may be impacted by Photokina and new models announcements in September - guess many people are awaiting for the 7D MKII before buying a DSLR in that range.

Photography Technique / Re: Is RAW worth it?
« on: August 29, 2014, 01:27:20 PM »
Raw files are like diving boards, pretty flexible and can take being jumped on in post.

A better photographic analogy, already used (i.e. by Jeff Schewe) is to consider RAW as the "digital negative" and the RAW post processing something very alike Adam's Zone System, while shooting JPEGs is mostly like shooting reversal film.
With the former you can make decisions about exposure and development/printing to achieve the desired final result, which is always a combination of the both exposure and "development/printing" (now "post processing").
For example ETTR (Expose-To-The-Right) can be used, but of course needs post processing to achieve the final result.

With the latter, you need to get the image in "one shot", and in some kind of situations sacrifice details in highlights or shadows because of the smaller range.

Of course it's not an invite to be lazy - as someone pointed out - it's an invite to understand the digital medium fully and exploit its capabilities as well.

Maybe, sometimes can be used as a challenge to shot JPEG only - to be forced to concentrate more on exposure and lighting - and thus get used to apply the same experience to RAWs - but for any important work, shooting RAW will lead to better images when everything went right, and save those that for any reason something went wrong.

And like old negatives could be re-printed using newer technologies and achieve results once impossible, RAW can as well be re-processed as soon as new technologies arise that may improve the final image.

Photography Technique / Re: Is RAW worth it?
« on: August 25, 2014, 03:35:44 AM »
I was expecting some marvelous increase in resolution since the file size goes from 7MB to 22MB. Do you guys see a big improvement?? Is RAW worth it?
RAW has nothing to do with resolution - the megapixel count doesn't change. RAW, unlike JPEG, contains all the information read from the camera sensor, and is not  compressed with a lossy algorithm (one that discards data, JPEG does it). That's why sizes are so different. But not because of the pixel count.
Because RAW has more data (especially more levels - bits - for each color channel), it allows for recording more subtle transitions, and, when manipulated by a good application, there's more room not only for recovering bad exposed images, but also for improving good ones. Also RAW lets you to decide how to process the image, you know what you shoot and the desired final result. The in-camera RAW to JPEG converter (cameras always shoot RAW...) doesn't know, and applies a preset process.
Sharpening a RAW file with a good application may yield better results than in-camera sharpening, and deliver what will look better 'resolution', because finer details may be seen.
But mastering RAW processing takes time and requires experience. You need to train your eye to understand what kind of processing an image needs, and learn how to apply it with your tool(s) of choice.
If you didn't it already, look for books, tutorials, etc. to learn and understand RAW processing, a trial-and-error approach without solid foundations about digital image processing usually doesn't get you too far.

Software & Accessories / Re: Lightroom vs. Capture One
« on: August 18, 2014, 01:51:03 PM »
why would anyone not want to get the best possible rendition of that content?

Can you measure it - the "best possible rendition" - using a scientific method, or it is just a matter of personal tastes in selecting parameters with a tool or another?

IMHO Schewe is right when it calls a RAW file a "digital negative". From it you can produce different images depending on what you want from it. Is there a tool that produces the "best result always"? I don't think so.

Photography Technique / Re: APOLLO missions - image inconsistencies
« on: August 18, 2014, 11:36:01 AM »
I also like the part about how it was too dangerous so it would not have been done for real....
Especially when they were almost all military pilots with active service in war, and/or test pilots flying prototypes and experimental planes - which may kill you as well.
Having a chance of walking on the Moon and enter History is a good incentive to risk, far better than dying over Vietnam, for example, and be remembered by no one.
After all, for example, even reaching South Pole at the beginning of the last century was probably too dangerous - and Scott's team died in the attempt - but Amudsen succeeded despite how risky it was (thanks to careful planning - the Moon program was very well managed, unlike the Shuttle one).

Lenses / Re: Canon EF 1200mm f/5.6L For Sale
« on: August 17, 2014, 12:02:54 PM »
if you really want to go crazy, the Hubble telescope is 57,000mm.....

and there is one in the Canary Islands... 16,500mm at F1.6... Who says you can't get a lens that is both fast and long.....

Just they aren't lenses but mirrors... AFAIK the largest lens telescopes are still the Yerkes, Lick and Paris ones, although I'm sure they won't stand your actual IQ requirements. Also minimum focusing distance could be an issue... and still they lack aperture control and AF.
The Swedish solar telescope in Canary Islands has a very different design compared to telephoto lens.
And, BTW, many large telescopes have different 'focus' positions that allows them to change focal length to allow for different types of instruments, for example IIRC high resolution spectrography requires very long focal lengths. Something alike very big extenders...

Software & Accessories / Re: Lightroom vs. Capture One
« on: August 16, 2014, 02:41:12 PM »
The biggest issue with Lightroom is that users often just try to learn as they go, and miss some of the features.  Its really worth the trouble to purchase a book and work entirely through it.


In his book "The Digital Negative - RAW image processing in Lightroom, Camera Raw and Photoshop", Jeff Schewe writes:

"If you fell in love with the way your image looked when you chimped the LCD on the back of the camera, this first look in Lightroom or Camera Raw might be disappointing. Neither Lightroom nor Camera Raw uses the camera-maker’s software development kit (SDK) for rendering the digital negative, so expecting the preview to look like the camera LCD is unreasonable. When he was designing the rendering engine, Thomas Knoll made a conscious decision not to try to match the camera companies’ “looks” but, instead, to present you with a reasonable and normalized preview of your image." 

In LR 5 camera profiles allows to match the camera "look".

IMHO among the best books about LR is Martin Evening's "The Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 5 Book - The complete Guide for Photographers", it's not a light read, but it is comprehensive and really explains how LR works (and why).

Canon General / Re: Carry on restrictions on South African Airways
« on: August 14, 2014, 07:23:54 PM »
I don't know if it works for airlines in other countries, but in the U.S., if you have to check gear in a bag and want to guarantee that it arrives at your destination, put an unloaded firearm along with it.  Declare the firearm when you check it in (or else go directly to jail).
In some countries (i.e. Italy) you need some kind of license to carry around firearms. and be careful with international travels, especially check the destination allows you to enter with a firearm without a good reason (i.e. a sport event, your job, etc.), may depend on the type of firearm. Hunters may have some advantages, but it could be hard to fit a rifle into a camera bag.

But bags manufacturers should start to make bag with an embedded GPS tracker...

I am the only one who does not trust media that can be deleted? ???
Not only deleted, but modified also...

Delivering images on read-only media could still be a good idea - not an old one - because it can shield you from customers complains if *they* (or someone else on their behalf, say a print service) do something silly and/or irreparable with the images, and then try to assert that is what was delivered by you. If you ever need to demonstrate what the original was, you can point at the DVDs, and it is better if the DVDs contain digitally signed and time stamped hashes of the files delivered also. That will thwart any attempt to recreate a DVD.

Of course that depends on your kind of customers, how much you need to protect yourself from troubles, and for speed/versatility you can also make the same files available as downloads. Digital signature with a timestamp could also be a good idea for them also.

Software & Accessories / Re: Lightroom vs. Capture One
« on: August 12, 2014, 01:29:42 PM »
He wrote that the colours appear more natural and representative of the original scene. And that the images are sharper at the beginning, straight out of camera (without any adjustments).
That depends on the kind of pre-processing the software applies to RAW images when you open them. A RAW image *can't* be displayed without some kind of pre-processing - what in LR is in the "Process Version". In LR you can use both camera profiles and import presets to tailor the initial image to your tastes. For example you can match one of the camera RAW processes selecting it from Camera Calibration -> Profile.

LR default profiles are pretty conservative, AFAIK, and don't try to render a "good" image from start, because it can't know what is good for you, your specific camera, and for a given image.

I wouldn't judge a RAW editing tool from its initial display of a RAW images, especially if this can be calibrated as you like. Other are the factors about choosing one software or another.

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