August 20, 2014, 10:37:40 AM

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Portrait / Re: People at work
« on: August 19, 2014, 12:01:33 PM »
American Diner

I sure miss seeing your work, Bob!!

Portrait / Re: People at work
« on: August 18, 2014, 08:38:26 PM »
I've got a whole gallery devoted to this. Here's one:

Post Processing / Re: Smart objects
« on: August 18, 2014, 12:52:03 PM »
Tim Grey answered this question in his "Ask Tim Grey" newsletter today. He told me it was okay to post his answer here in its entirety. From:

Today's Question

Could you explain on a more technical level exactly what a Smart Object is and how it differs from a "dumb" object? This question is raised because of your remark about "de-smarting" by using Layer > Rasterize > Smart Object. So I guess it's not rasterized. But what does that mean?

Tim's Answer:

A Smart Object provides a way to reference a source image to provide a non-destructive workflow approach for various tasks within Photoshop. In most typical workflows you would have the Smart Object embedded within your master Photoshop PSD file, for example, but Photoshop also now supports linked Smart Objects, where the source image for that object is not embedded within the master image.

This differs from simple pixel values in that it is possible to return to the Smart Object and apply non-destructive changes to your original adjustments. In other words, when you're using a Smart Object you're getting benefits that are similar to the workflow benefits of using adjustment layers rather than applying adjustments directly to pixel values in your images.

However, it is important to understand the workflow ramifications of using Smart Objects, which includes both benefits and potential pitfalls. Let's address the benefits first.

Because a Smart Object is essentially a "container" for image data, Photoshop is able to perform tasks in a non-destructive way that simply references the source data in that Smart Object. Let's consider a few examples.

If the Smart Object you're using is a RAW capture, the original capture data for that RAW capture will be embedded within the document you're working with in Photoshop, but adjustments via Adobe Camera Raw do not actually affect the original RAW capture data. As a result, if you open a RAW capture as a Smart Object, you can double-click on that Smart Object at any time to return to Adobe Camera Raw and refine the adjustments you originally applied.

If you are using a Smart Object to apply Smart Filters, you'll see the same effect you would otherwise achieve by applying one or more filters, but you can return to the filter settings later and refine those settings. In other words, you are effectively applying a filter effect in a non-destructive way, as though that effect were being applied using an adjustment layer.

You can also use Smart Objects for more complex scenarios, such as when creating a composite image. By embedded another image into a document as a Smart Object, you can, for example, resize that image as many times as you want within the composite without having a cumulative negative impact on image quality, because each time the Smart Object is referencing the original image data, not modified data.

Of course, as I've mentioned in the past when addressing Smart Objects, they aren't without their pitfalls. Most significantly, using Smart Objects can create problems in the context of a layer-based workflow. For example, let's assume you open a RAW capture as a Smart Object, then perform some image cleanup work on a separate layer using the Spot Healing Brush tool. Later you decide you want to change the appearance of the image, so you double-click the Smart Object to bring up Adobe Camera Raw, and apply changes to the photo. However, you are only affecting the Smart Object, not the layer with your image cleanup work, so the pixels on your image cleanup layer no longer match the underlying photo. It is this sort of issue that causes me to not use Smart Objects for most tasks, despite the potentially significant benefits offered by Smart Objects.

As for rasterizing, that refers to the process of converting an image to actual pixel values. So, for example, in the case of a Smart Object, rasterizing means converting the embedded image data and all of the saved adjustments related to that data, and process all of the information into actual pixel values. You end up with a smaller file (in most cases) but without the benefits of the Smart Object.

Photography Technique / Re: APOLLO missions - image inconsistencies
« on: August 17, 2014, 08:58:01 PM »

I'm retired, and I don't have four hours to sit around watching this kind of stuff. And frankly, I don't really care. The reality is, human beings are incapable of keeping a subterfuge of that magnitude a secret.

Canon General / Re: Gear Realities
« on: August 15, 2014, 11:34:39 AM »
Makes me think of Michael Corleone in Godfather 2:

"If anything in this life is certain, if history has taught us anything, it is that you can kill anyone."

EOS Bodies / Re: Plan B
« on: August 14, 2014, 03:57:15 PM »
My "plan b" was the purchase of a 5D3 in December 2012. No regrets, especially since I'm slowly moving over to the mirrorless world now.

Lighting / Re: speedlite 270ex - broken?
« on: August 13, 2014, 09:56:39 PM »
Looks like your 270 is kaput!

Lighting / Re: speedlite 270ex - broken?
« on: August 13, 2014, 01:29:16 PM »
I don't see evidence of flash in any of them. Does your EXIF say the flash fired?

EOS Bodies / Re: How do reds come out in your 5d3 ?
« on: August 13, 2014, 01:21:15 PM »
I don't have a solution, but I do know the problem well.

1. I simply spend a lot of time in post tweaking things until they're acceptable, if I can get them there. Frankly, at this point I'm leery of red flowers. Thanks, McG, that's a great tip about watching the red in histogram and going against the grain, so to speak.

2. I don't think the OP could have picked a worse lens -- in my experience the 85 1.2 LII is as bad as it gets. (It's a spectacular lens for what it does best, but it's the worst with this red issue.)

3. You could try a Fuji sensor. Working with the colors I get from my X100S has been a pleasure I seldom find with the 5D3. (And I shoot only RAW all the time.)

PowerShot / Re: SX 50 example
« on: August 11, 2014, 08:54:03 PM »
Looks like a lot of fun. Maybe I'll get the 60 when it shows up.

Lenses / Re: Canon 85 1.8 to replace 50 1.4?
« on: August 11, 2014, 12:47:24 PM »
For me, 35, 85 (or 100) and 135 are essentials. Since you've got the 100, don't worry about the 85. I suggest doing whatever is necessary to add the Canon 135mm f/2.0L; it's stunning.

EOS Bodies / Re: No weekend rumors ever??
« on: August 10, 2014, 09:19:35 PM »
Doesn't anyone else find it odd that the rumors pop up non-stop M-F and then never, ever S-S?

I think that alone kinda gives tell to why so few rumors have any truth in them.

More than "odd" is your whole premise. It's bizarre.

Weekend or weekday would seem to have no more correlation to truth than oatmeal or alcohol. And I have to wonder if one of those substances isn't involved here somehow.

I've seen rumors posted both on weekdays as well as weekends, but I've never seen rumors popping up "non-stop" at any time. What is being suggested is clearly not true, but at least have the courtesy to provide some facts. I'd be curious how many rumors over the past three years were posted on each day of the week. Enlighten me, please.

Third Party Manufacturers / Re: Another Nikon full-frame
« on: August 10, 2014, 12:21:18 PM »
i have the feeling you buy one and when you have read through the manual they announce a new camera.  ::)

So, the obvious solution is to not read the manual!

Canon General / Re: Who's on Instagram?
« on: August 08, 2014, 07:04:13 PM »
The idea of participating in anything where I would have "followers" creeps me out. There's just not enough Kool-Aid to go around, I guess!

Post Processing / Re: B&W Process
« on: August 08, 2014, 06:47:18 PM »
Interesting, I never thought about Gimp. It was the first program I used for photos, and I still use it today for some things. I'll have to explore the B&W possibilities.

If you are not afraid to experiment a bit, and/or you have a limited budget, let me recommend "Gimp".  It is open source software that aims to provide Photoshop like functionality.   Photoshop lovers hate it, but I won't enter that religious war, it does what it does.
Anyway, it offers you a channel mixer option, where you can create a B&W image from a single RGB channel, or any custom combination of channels you want (i.e. 80% R + 15% G + 5% B).  You can even use negative values, which in some cases it makes sense (e.g., negative blue if you want to darken that bright purple shirt that your model was wearing without affecting the skin tone).

If you go down this route, you might also want to install the "g'mic" plugin and play with its channel mixer.  That one allows you to mix in different colorspaces (CMYK, HSV, Lab, RGB and YCbCr).

Happy hacking.

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