Saturday, March 28, 2015

Iridient Developer supports Fuji shooters

Some of the major raw development software packages do a mediocre job with files generated by the unique Fuji X-trans sensors, and some just won’t handle these files at all (DxO). After my switch from Nikon to Fuji I experimented with different raw developers, and one I have come to appreciate is a boutique program called Iridient Developer. One thing I especially like is the time and effort the software developer puts into emulating the Fuji film simulation settings with their distinctive color palettes and tonal contrasts. These presets have been continually improved and updated, and the latest batch look spectacular. There is one set of software presets for Fuji APS-C sensor cameras (including my X-E2) and another for compacts (including my X-20). I’m delighted to have these in my digital photography toolkit. Thanks, Iridient!

Sunday, February 15, 2015

New Tutorial series on Extending Dynamic Range

Sean Bagshaw has a new video tutorial series on various post-processing techniques for dealing with extended dynamic range, or extreme tonal contrast, in digital images. These are images where the range between extreme light tones and extreme dark tones exceeds the ability of digital hardware to capture (camera) or represent (monitor or printer). In the film era, the photographer would have to choose whether to capture the brighter tones of a scene and allow the shadows to go dark, or to expose for shadow detail and overexpose the highlights. While digital cameras also capture a limited range of tones, there are a variety of ways to deal with this dilemma when processing digital images.

Sean is an excellent teacher, offering crystal clear explanations and easy-to-follow examples of when, why, and how to use these sophisticated techniques. He’s focusing here on developing raw images to maximize the dynamic range in single image captures, photoshop techniques for taming highlights and bringing out shadow detail while maintaining local contrast, and in case of extreme dynamic range blending multiple exposures into one image that more closely resembles the range of tones we might have seen with our our own eyes. In some of these tutorials, Sean makes use of Tony Kuyper’s luminance masking techniques to target specific tonal ranges for adjustment or blending.

I benefited a lot from the first version of this tutorial set, and the second version is even more comprehensive. Since my post-processing skills get a little rusty when I’ve been preoccupied with other things, I’m really enjoying going through these tutorials as a refresher.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Thanks Ken

My friend Ken is a real photojournalist, a highly-trained and experienced professional, and took the time to go frame-by-frame through my Right-wing Populism gallery and offer thoughtful advice. How cool is that? Thanks Kenny!

Sunday, July 20, 2014

new photo project

Photographing beautiful scenes can be a lot of fun, but I have felt like my photography was not much more than that, stuck in a rut. So I’ve been wondering what kind of long-term project I could undertake that would help me grow as a photographer and maybe say something about something that matters to me.

So I think I’ve hit upon the solution. I’ve started photographing instances of right-wing populism in American political life. I’m not interested in photographing politicians, but grassroots activists and ordinary people who are motivated by these kinds of political narratives. I’ve found a couple of venues for this, and I’m thinking of others.

A gallery of these images is now online here. I’ll be adding to them from time to time as I encounter other venues for this kind of thing.

Here’s a sample.

Saturday, July 5, 2014

X-E2 in Spain

I’m posting a bunch of new images from last moth’s trip to Spain on my Smugmug page.

A few samples are below.

I’m very pleased with the results from my Fuji X-E2. The details and colors are quite vivid and satisfying.