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Messages - notapro

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Chicago, IL

In a past life, Tucson, Arizona--my Gila monster avatar is reminder of warmer times.

Post Processing / Re: My RAW Processing Workflow
« on: August 07, 2014, 12:46:07 PM »
Thank you for your thoughtful post, Mackguyver.  It's helpful and illuminating to be able to have a walk-through of one's workflow.  Your idea on how working with RAW is analagous to adjusting a focus knob is also a fine way, I believe, to describe the experiential element of the process.

Post Processing / Re: B&W Process
« on: August 06, 2014, 07:36:28 PM »
I’ll throw out an answer here, but make no claim as to whether anything I write makes for best results in processing black and white images.

I open my images in Photoshop (CC or CC 2014), which pulls up Adobe Camera RAW.  After any adjustments for lens distortion/vignetting are done (if they’re done), I’ll convert an image to grayscale.  I find that for my “style” (taste/preference/aesthetic/whatever), punching up the clarity renders an image with something of a visual impact or presence.

I’ll start with increasing the clarity to +20, for example,  just to see what sort of effect it has.  I’ll then increase or decrease the value, or leave it at 0 (zero).

After a clarity adjustment, I may drop the blacks to -10 or -20, again, depending on what it does to the image and on what “look” (aesthetic/”vibe”/feel/etc.) I wish to portray.  As with the clarity, I may leave the blacks setting at 0, or even increase it to some positive value.

I then move to the contrast, and it may be anywhere from 0 to 30, or as high as 40, all depending on how I wish to present the final image.

I’ll adjust the whites and highlights to remove bright spots or areas that may appear “too hot”.  Adjusting the exposure can have a similar effect.  It depends on where the bright areas are in an image.  With a grey, overcast sky, the sky in an image might appear rather white (blown out, even), and attempts to lower the bright look of an overcast sky may render the subject in an image too dark, underexposed, non-vivid, more muted and less detailed in its appearance, or present it other similar ways.

An example of where I left the sky “hot” is in this image:

(page 8 in Image & Video Galleries »Black & White »Your best Architectural & City B&W shots).

Climber’s link (in the third post of this thread) shows what strikes me as a judicious processing of an image with a dull, overcast sky.  For my image, in the shot I had at the moment, details in the clouds were not apparent (it was mighty cloudy).  Still, I believe that following the example of the editor in Climber’s link might have benefitted the look of the sky in my shot.  Presented with a choice of the two images, though–one processed more extensively in the manner of the editor in Climber’s link, the other as I processed it–I would roll the dice as to which image I liked more.  I know that I would like both images.  I like having the white background look in my image, but I am confident that I would like and appreciate any details in the sky for the same image.

I want to mention, as Climber does, that color is important, and that I get the color image to where I think it’s “right” before I convert it to grayscale.  I noticed one day that, depending on the color settings, the grayscale settings would be different for any given image.  I tended to like more the grayscale conversions of images that were set “rightly” in color than those that were not so set, or than those that were left untouched.

I have also gone along “opposite” routes in my black and white processing, in accordance with the aesthetic and style I wished to present.  This image has at least one of the settings I’ve mentioned at -100:

(page 23 of the thread, the “gentle eye” photo)

As always for me, my processing proceeds in accordance with the sort of aesthetic element(s), feel, or aspect(s) that I wish to portray.  To offer a bit more about my perspective, I pursue photography as art, and not necessarily or only as a means of recording or capturing before me “just or strictly” what my eyes or the eyes of others might see.  Notwithstanding my approach, I err more generally on the side of relatively conservative processing for photographs in color that are “supposed to look like something/supposed to look like what the photographed subjects are” over changing their appearance more radically–as in the “gentle-“ and “aggressive eye” photos in the post I’ve referenced, though both photographs are undeniably of eyes.  The eye photos are in black and white, and for black and white images, my approach in processing is relatively less conservative than it is for ones in color.

I look forward to learning of what others do in their processing of black and white images.  It is nice to see the addition of this post processing section to Canon Rumors.

Black & White / Re: Your best Architectural & City B&W shots?
« on: August 03, 2014, 03:12:39 PM »
Here is a casual shot of the west face of the John Hancock Center in Chicago.  I had no room to back up further, so this is as much of the building as I was able to get into the frame.

EOS Bodies - For Stills / Re: Fun Arias rant on APS-C vs. FF
« on: August 02, 2014, 10:52:15 PM »
I noticed that in a link listed on the initial linked page for this thread, Arias makes note of what many here have mentioned:  that he's "back pedaling now".

The link ( ) also has the video where has expresses a view contrary to his current one, the very video ecka mentions earlier in this thread.

In the article, he writes, "Look. Some of the trolls out there are going to think this is a Fuji sponsored message. It isn’t. While Fuji is a client of mine and I have done work for them they sure as hell don’t keep food on my table or a roof over my head on any sort of regular basis. "  He continues in the same paragraph to explain his perspective.

It appears that he is aware that he holds a different perspective now and is aware also of what he has stated in the past.  He gives reasons for which he holds his current view.

Is it not reasonable to see him merely as someone who has changed his mind about something in light of his self-reported experience, and also to take his word that he is not doing Fuji's bidding?

Just a question I'm left with as I read this thread.

Canon General / Re: What is your Least Used Piece of Gear?
« on: July 31, 2014, 11:31:06 PM »
My least used piece of gear is my Sekonic light meter.

Hello, Northstar and Click.

Thank you for your comments on my black and white image :)

Not much post work done, just a *wee* bit of clarity, contrast, and pulling down the of the blacks (wanted to get the back wall a little darker).

Canon EF Prime Lenses / Re: Canon EF 50mm f/1.2L USM
« on: July 24, 2014, 01:28:36 AM »
I mentioned this in the other thread with this diverting lens identification activity, but will mention it here as well.

I had a "perfect" score in identifiying photos where the 1.2 was used.  Of course, I jest a bit, as I picked only one image and got lucky.  I could just as easily have been wrong, but I wasn't  :P

Hmm, "Mr. 100%" is sounding like a more attractive name than "notapro" about now . . .  ;D

Lenses / Re: Something with 50mm L lens that make it different
« on: July 24, 2014, 01:17:38 AM »
Well, PBD, looks like it's possible for you to tell others that you've had at least one person identify without error when a 50L 1.2 was used . . . I picked just one image and it was a 1.2 shot.  Just call me Mr. 100%  :P

I'm sure glad I didn't pick the horse.  I would have hit 50% immediately, but the grass at the top left would have taken me back to 66.66%.  Your images made for a pleasant diversion, since it really was somewhat of a roll of the dice (for me, anyway) as to what I selected.  Glad I went with the grass and quit guessing right then and there   :D

Here is a horizonatally oriented photograph shot with the 50mm f/1.2L (1/100, f/8, ISO 200).

Software & Accessories / Re: Tripod legs locking mechanism
« on: July 22, 2014, 06:03:09 PM »
@ wtlloyd,

I'm curious about your experience with sliding foam pads.  Did that happen on a certain brand of tripod, or maybe on all brands you've used that have the pads?

I have an old tripod that I use as a spare (Induro Alloy 6M AT313), which has about a 7-inch (8cm) foam pad on the upper portion of one of the legs.  This thing has been in sub-zero temperatures (-10F/-23C), as well as in the sun for times long enough such that the metal legs have been too hot to touch.  The foam pad has been a huge convenience in those conditions.  On this old tripod, as well as on my newer one, I have not noticed any pad movement, which is why I am curious about your experiences with tripods on which the pads have moved or shifted.

Your idea of going carbon for temperature extremes is interesting, and I think I'll be adding a carbon tripod to my wish list soon.

Abstract / Re: Lets See Some of Your Double Exposures!
« on: July 22, 2014, 05:05:52 AM »
Here's a double exposure.  First time I've ever tried this.

Lenses / Re: Something with 50mm L lens that make it different
« on: July 22, 2014, 03:42:44 AM »
I'll take a guess at one photo.  The plant (grass?) at far top right of the set, above the flower and to the right of the young woman in the pink dress.  The colors seem a bit muted, but this guess will be as good as any other I might make.

Is that one shot with the 50 1.2L?

Abstract / Re: Macro bodyscapes
« on: July 21, 2014, 11:56:18 PM »

Thank you for your thoughts on the images.  For the 258-spine shot, the image was rotated 45 degrees counter-clockwise (CCW) from its original orientation.  Is the initial orientation what you imagined as a desertscape?  I'd considered that look, as well as rendering the shot in black and white and in high contrast.  In the end, though, I went for a 45-degree CCW rotation to present a defamiliarized image.  When I've not told others that the image is of the small of a person's back, they have not discerned what it is.

Your appreciation of the ear photo echos the reception of others.  I feel increasingly comfortable with the guess that the abstraction of the photograph is sufficient to present an atypical view of something we see routinely.

For less non-representational views of the macro bodyscape photographs I did, you can view two eye photos in
the Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L Macro IS USM thread here:

(If the link is incorrect, my eye photos are on the 23rd page.)

Again, thank you for your thoughts.

Lighting / Re: large softboxes for speedlights - what are you using
« on: July 21, 2014, 10:20:37 PM »
I use the Westcott 43-inch Apollo Orb.

You can view images and information through either of the links below.

With respect to the size of a softbox used with a single flash unit, here is an interesting thread. A citation from the thread notes that

             "You can see that going from a tiny softbox to a very large one only shows 6/10 stop difference and
               still gives a very high output."

Still, I do not hesitate to use three Speedlites in a softbox so that I can use lower power levels for faster recycle times.

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