Here’s another new series of posts. I’ll be posting Adobe Camera Raw Lens Profiles that I’ve created. If you don’t know what this is, don’t worry ;-)
The first one is the Sony AF35mm F1.4 G (or SAL-35F14G) profiled on a Sony Alpha 900 (DSLR-A900) body. However, this profile should also work well for the two previous Minolta versions of the lens as well as when mounted on an Alpha 850 body.
I shot the following series: 7 Apertures [1.4, 2.0, 2.8, 4.0, 5.6, 8.0, 11.0] x 3 Focus distances [0.35m, 1m, 1.7m], resulting in a total of 126 pictures. The ZIP file contains several files. One that contains all the sub profiles in one file, as well as separate files for the different focus distances (since you can’t select sub profiles in LightRoom at the time of writing). Update: The file now also contains a DNG color profile for the lens! The following link will attempt to open a popup window, so please allow this.
As you may know, creating such profiles takes a considerable amount of time and large prints of the calibration charts. If you find this profile useful, please consider a small donation (conveniently via PayPal):
Here’s a quick snap I took this lunch time, just walking home to cook dinner. This was shot again with my cellphone, and post-processed a little in-phone as well (using the rather handy “Photogrene” App).
All I did was adjust the levels (increasing the black clipping point) in order to boost contrast, raise the colour temperature a little (the picture felt rather “cold” with what the phone’s automatic white balance had chosen) and add the almost obligatory vignette.
The reason I took this pictures is obvious — a beautiful mixture of lights and darks as the (rare) sun light was filtering through the trees above. I tried to be as symmetric as possible with the composition as not to distract from but rather support the main subject of the image: the ligth patches. I framed the two bigger blobs at the lower end of the frame as to give a starting point to the eye. It’s typically drawn to them, but then wanders off down the path…
Here’s another première — and the reason why it’s been so quiet here, lately: Panoramics. Having played around with panoramic photography for quite a while I never got it quite right.
I mean, I’ve had a panoramic tripod head for a good while now, but using it together with a wide angle lens resulted in a rather involved, lengthy process to put the final panoramic image together (it took me several days for just one panorama). Plus you don’t always want to be lugging all this gear around…
Anyway, what changed all this was this article which presents a technique that only requires 4 pictures to be taken (with a fisheye lens) to get a decent 360°x180° view of basically everything. Together with the insane 25 megapixel resolution of my camera and some suitable software (which just does work significantly better, more reliable and faster than the free Hugin) I can get a 8200×4100 pixel panorama without a tripod and in no time at all!
So I’ve spent the past two weeks dipping my toes in panoramic waters, and I’ve created quite a few lately. Watch this space as I post more images and talk a bit more about the actual technique (in case you’re interested). Ultimately, of course, I’d like to monetise my growing experience in the area, just like with my regular photography.
A small permière — here’s my first “analog” image on this blog. Yes, “analog” as in taken with an old analog camera on black & white film (Ilford XP2 Super). Nothing too special, just a nice, moody photo I took down in the snooker hall of the college.
I recently started taking film photos again for a number of reasons. First of all, it’s kind of cool. Second, pressing the shutter button costs me roughly 50c each time, so even though these are not huge sums (compared to medium format or even large format photography) you don’t just go simply snapping away like you were using a digital camera. No, you end up slowing down a lot. Double and triple checking everything, composition, camera settings — especially shutter speed as there’s no “sensor based” image stabilisation on film, so I have to be very conscious of the 1-over-focal-length rule, see here for example — and if the person I’m about to shoot is about to blink her eyes. Third — not that I think my photography will be any more relevant in 50 years than it is now — people will always be able to do something with a film negative, but not necessarily with a file in an ancient film format, if it survives that long anyway and doesn’t get lost in a hard drive crash.
At the moment I’m just getting the film devoloped down at the chemist (3EUR for a roll of 36), then “scan” the images using my digital camera on a self-built light table, together with a macro lens and flash gun from below. Forgive me, but I’m really proud of the set-up — you can see the proof of concept set-up here, and the current version here. Obviously a flim scanner would be better at handeling dust and other types of airborn dirt, but none of the affordable ones give you 25 Megapixel scans ;-)
I can’t help taking photos from our balcony. There’re just too many interesting scenes your get throughout the day and the night.
This one here was taken one foggy evening with the moon up in the sky. Unfortunately, the moon always feels larger in real life than it turns out on your photos. Unless you use a really long focal length, it just ends up really small :(
But I still liked the colour contrast (again) between the orange glow from the street lams and the blue-ish moon. Also — it’s kind of hard to see on this picutre — but the layer of fog that night wasn’t very high and the moon was just above it, in the clear. Not the greates picture, but I still wanted to share it :-)
There are several interesting times througout the day to take photos. For instance, I recently talked about the Golden Hour. Today, I’d like to talk about the last moments of the dusk.
Famous buildings and structures are typically lit with Sodium vapour or Halogen lamps which produce an orangy /yellowy type of light. Now what’s the complementary colour of that? You’re right, it’s blue. What do we know about warm and cold colours? Warm colours stand out, make the object appear closer, more present, wherease cold colours create distance and separation. Now that’s a wonderful contrast, isn’t it?
So next time you want to take a night shot of something, try not to take it when it’s already completely dark, but a bit earlier, towards the end of dusk. That way, you can achieve a lovely deep, dark blue in the sky (weather permitting…) which can give you beautiful night shots with a not-so-boring skye.