Peak Design Once Again Creates Innovative Solutions – This time for Mirrorless and Compact Digital Slr cameras

Peak Design Once Again Creates Innovative Solutions – This time for Mirrorless and Compact Digital Slr cameras

 

Why Have You Stopped Taking Pictures

Lately I have been speaking with people from all walks of life who used to love photography and making pictures but for reasons that are not really clear, just stopped doing it. 

What started the conversation was my little Cosyspeed Streetomatic Plus camera bag with a Manfrotto Pixi Evo table top tripod sticking up out of a side pocket.  When I explained my passion  for going minimalist they wanted to see what that meant.  Then they began to talk about the photography they used to do.

Men, women, young, older than young told me that at one time they owned a camera and lenses, still owned a camera, film or digital and some even had spent time in darkroom or at desk top computers with their photography.  Most said they had their phones, but really did not feel that a phone camera provided what a system camera like Olympus, Fuji, Sony, Nikon or Canon did.  The one common denominator was that at one time they loved, loved their photography.

When I questioned why they had stopped most really weren’t sure but felt perhaps that other priorities in life such as career building became a dominant factor and certain things had to be side lined in order to grow in other areas.

On a personal note and I told them that I felt that it was sad that they had stopped recording the important moments of their lives, abandoned something they loved to do instead of trying to incorporate it not only in their lives but the lives of their friends, their families.

Not only was all of that left behind but too was a chance to expand, to grow their artistic capabilities and to share those capabilities with others.

I have spent a lifetime involved in many aspects of photography having started in my dad’s darkroom right up to today. My love for photography as a hobby and a profession spans a lot of years and I consider myself fortunate that my personal love of photography was enhanced and expanded by working in world of photography which fortunately did not diminish my personal photography endeavors.

As I told the folks who I have met, if you have side lined photography, for whatever the reason and have interest in coming back at any level, I am here to help or guide you along that path.  So if I can be of any help please be sure to contact me. 

My Friend Bill – Last Year He Left The Room And Broke My Heart – But He Is In My Thoughts A Lot And I Miss Him

My Friend Bill – Last Year He Left The Room And Broke My Heart – But He Is In My Thoughts A Lot And I Miss Him – I am not totally sure why I am writing this blog now but I am sure there is some great emotional need for me to talk about him once again.

Bill, like myself had a passion for everything photography and his love for Nikon Camera gear was surpassed even by people like me who worked for Nikon for so many years.

He loved to join me on Nikon in store demonstrations and Nikon schools as he just loved to talk to others who either shot Nikon or who he wanted desperately to convert to Nikon shooters.  He was unrelenting in his passion for the brand and at times to his detriment. (I say that smiling)-

He would find no greater pleasure than sitting down with folks who he either knew or would come to know him forever and tell his tales of his life and his experiences and share is knowledge and wisdom about video and still photography  with old friends and new ones as well as those who would be friends. He considered himself Nikon representative.  And yes, that sometimes created confusion because I was the Nikon rep and after me there were a couple of other Nikon reps and to their benefit he was determined to help with his knowledge and enthusiasm.  It made him happy and after all he was more of a loyalist to Nikon than most people I had ever known.

When I say he lived and breathed Nikon it’s not even close to an exaggeration.  It is a truth beyond all truths and because he was that way I have to say that on the day his family and friends and co workers came together to celebrate his life, in a last good-bye, something was missing.

What was missing were all of the Nikon corporate people who knew Bill so extremely well and who Bill had helped in oh so many ways were sadly absent.  Not only were they absent but not one acknowledged that Bill had left the room.  Not a sigh, not a whimper, not a high-five as a thank you.  NOTHING.

That saddens me and I just felt that I had to say something.  Giving name, rank and social security number would not make a difference and after all the mindless, uncaring, self-absorbed son of bitches more than likely know who they are.

It is not that Bill and I always agreed and there were ups and downs but we were really true friends and cared for each other and in the end I only choose to remember the ups and what a dear friend and wonderful human being Bill was and is as he lives in my heart and mind.

I love you Bill.

What Happens When Your Camera Is The Same As Every Other Camera? An opinion piece!

 

What Happens When Your Camera Is The Same As Every Other Camera?  An opinion piece

I have used a lot of different camera brands and overall they all produced very nice images.  But the system that I finally wound up with after all my years of shooting with different cameras is the Fuji X system.  If I was to look at images from my current Fuji X camera, the X pro 2, and other camera systems all intermixed in the same folder and dumped into the same software I would have a very hard time knowing what camera produced what images in that folder.

So what does that leave me with?  It leaves me with a mirrorless camera system called “X” which is aesthetically very pleasing to look at and very comfortable to use having all kinds of dials and buttons for doing creative photographic stuff.  But it also leaves me with the feeling that the images that came from the first X cameras like the X100, X10 and X Pro 1 were much more AESTHETICALLY (film like) (smooth) (sort of pastel) pleasing which was why I bought into newer generations of the X brand.  It was not only the Jpeg files which are processed in camera but it was also the raw files.

This does not mean that the images out of the X’s today are not excellent because they are.  It means that a certain quality that Fuji seemed to have master with their first X bodies has been replaced by something that any dSLR can produce.

So that leaves me with the aesthetic look and feel of the body and the prime lenses I use.  And that will have to be enough I guess because at this stage of the game I have to admit that I am not disappointed in the image quality when it comes to resolution and dynamic range which is on a par with other cameras.  But I am disappointed with the overall look of the images from an emotional point of view.

I have to ask how and why this has happened?  I was led to believe that it was the different design of the Fuji sensor that made the difference in color and texture in the images but I guess that turns out not to be the case.

It’s not a deal breaker only because I no longer have the desire to break in a new system that for all practical purposes will give me the same image quality I am currently getting.  But I do miss that aesthetic look of the images from the first early X cameras.

Monochrome — updated July 13th, 2017 with a better viewing method

 

Monochrome — updated July 13th, 2017 with a better viewing method

Many many years ago when I was just a kid working in my dad’s darkroom, black and white photography was what we did.  People shot in black and white, processed black and white and created images that were story telling, dramatic, honing in on what was the primary subject and not the colors.  Black and White totally eliminated color and isolated what is important in an image, the subject.

I am not against good color images and to be honest, if done right can provide us with the beauty of the world overall.  Color is most certainly a part of photographic lives and story telling so I am not discounting what great color represents to the photographer and the images a photographer gives to us.

There is a long-awaited and most certainly deserved rebirth  of the monochrome image, which is not solely black and white.  People are beginning to appreciate how a monochrome image draw them into the image, right to the heart of the story, the subject.

Overtime and even more so today I have processed digital images that were created in raw color by the cameras software, into monochrome images with a variety of software products.  With wonderful software in the market today I have come to process images both in color and black and white in Picktorial 3.0 raw processor which provides me with universal and local adjustments for all my tools.  Then in the final process should I want a more artistic approach I either export a copy of my image to Nik Silverefex Pro 2.0 (soon to be discontinued completely) or Alien Skin X2 Layer software  and/or On1 Photo Raw

However, as I am a Mac user, I do use Picktorial for over all adjustments and then Alien Skin x2 to finish if necessary.  I should note that Alien Skin is also a raw processor for both Windows and Mac as is On1.

I have also set up my Fuji X cameras, all three of them to shoot black and white Jpegs and color raw files at the same time.  So what I see in the viewfinder and LCD screen is a black and white (monochrome) image.

Definitions

Adjective:  1) having only one color, 2) representing colors with shades of gray (photography).

Origin: From Ancient Greek μονόχρωμος ‎(monókhrōmos), from μόνος ‎(mónos, one) + χρῶμα ‎(khrôma, color); mono- +‎ -chrome.

First known use: Early decades of the 19th century.

Modern use: ELLIOTPAULSTERN.ME

Digital photography, monochrome is the capture of only shades of black by the sensor, or by post-processing a color image to present only the perceived brightness by combining the values of multiple channels (usually red, blue, and green). The weighting of individual channels may be selected to achieve a desired artistic effect; if only the red channel is selected by the weighting then the effect will be similar to that of using a red filter on panchromatic film. If the red channel is eliminated and the green and blue combined then the effect will be similar to that of orthochromatic film or the use of a cyan filter on panchromatic film. The selection of weighting thus allows a wide range of artistic expression in the final monochromatic image.

 

Picktorial – Add a Custom Watermark

Add a Custom Watermark

 

Picktorial is just about the cleanest and easiest image processor (raw or any other format) that one can use with the Macintosh computers.  I have been using this program for quite some time now and the features and excellent image representations of your personal look are incredible.

A feature that is not usually talked about too much is the ability to add a very personalized watermark to an image.

Most people think that a watermark is solely for preventing others from copying or taking credit for your hard work and while that might be true in the world of Facebook and Google, we lose sight of the fact that a watermark is also an identifier that says this is the very fine work of a very fine photographer artist.

A watermark that is designed for that purpose can easily and creatively be made by listening to the attached tutorials.

Why don’t you give it a try.

First is a tutorial on how to create the watermark

Second is a tutorial on how to put the logo into Picktorial 3.0

TAKING PICKTORIAL RAW PROCESS PROGRAM FURTHER WITH EXTERNAL EDITORS

Picktorial, as so many of you now know is my favorite raw processor especially for my Fuji X raw files on my Macintosh computers.

Picktorial as a stand alone program has incredible power but like other programs also has the ability to use great plug in apps like those from Google Nik.

Watch this video to see just how easy it is to use in programs of your choice such as Lightroom, Photoshop, On1, and so many others.  By simply accessing the software you can make changes, save changes which automatically go right back into Picktorial as a separate and new version of your file.

 

PICKTORIAL SOFTWARE FOR PROCESSING RAW and ALL IMAGES ON A MAC

The software, Picktorial is one that I have been working with for several months and have tested it against Adobe Lightroom, Phase One Capture One, On1 Photo Raw, and MacPhun Luminar.

It has proven to be the best of the best. First, it is simple to use. Second, it has more workable powerful tools than any of the others in just the right combination to make your images scream of the screen or paper. Third, the companies ability to respond virtually instantaneously to suggestions is unheard of in the software industry in my own personal experience.

PICKTORIAL SOFTWARE FOR PROCESSING RAW and ALL IMAGES ON A MAC IS ONE OF THE POST POWERFUL RAW PROCESSORS TO DATE BUT IT IS ALSO JUST EXTREMELY SIMPLE TO LEARN AND USE.

If  you are a Fuji X shooter then you will finally realize just how great your images can look.  No more Adobe Lightroom artifacts and no more excuses about getting to the perfect post processed image.

I shot all of these images using the Fuji X Pro 2 and 50mm 2.0 Fuji Lens. I processed the images below with Picktorial 3.0 xxx

The software, Picktorial is one that I have been working with for several months and have tested it against Adobe Lightroom, Phase One Capture One, On1 Photo Raw, and MacPhun Luminar.

It has proven to be the best of the best.  First, it is simple to use. Second, it has more workable powerful tools than any of the others in just the right combination to make your images scream of the screen or paper.  Third, the company’s ability to respond virtually instantaneously to suggestions is unheard of in the software industry in my own personal experience.

It is in my opinion the software that Fuji X users have been looking for that resolves the sharpening issue of leaves in trees and similar subjects that other software simply smears.

You have in hand universal adjustments for everything but even more important is a set of brushes and gradients for locally adjusting pretty much everything and anywhere in an image.

It has to be the best software I have used in years.

You can get a trial version that will undoubtedly lead to you purchasing this Mac Only program.

Picktorial 3.0

I do not have a financial or personal relationship with Pictorial or the founders of Pictorial.  I have paid for my software, I use the software and love the software.  I am not obligated in any way, shape or form to the company and they are not obligated to me.  If I found that the their product was not one that performs then I would not be writing about it or posting other bloggers opinions.

D I S C L O S U R E -In case you needed to know

I have been writing and posting articles about a software product for the Mac which has been making a lot of old Apple Aperture users quite happy because it can directly read your old Aperture libraries.

But because I have been posting so much about this young, startup, brilliant company residing in Tel Aviv, Israel, I am concerned that I had a hidden agenda for supporting this company and their product.

So here it is folks.  I work with several different software products all of which are alternatives to Adobe products.  Picktorial, On1 Photo Raw and MacPhun Luminar.  They all have their sweet spots and they all have had one time or another, bugs.  Picktorial is the one company that has been highly responsive to the needs of photographers and has continued to refine the product on a constant basis.  Other companies are polite, but slow to fix things and worse cannot admit to user issues.  The shining star has been Pictorial.

So why have I published so many articles, mine and others about Pictorial?

First off I love young, start-up companies who come to market with a product that works and continues to get better and better.  When it comes to software I like a product that does not get in my way and simply produces the results I expect in a simple and easy to use manner.  I also appreciate the fact that I am able to give these young folks input and have them listen and do their utmost best to implement serious functions and their version 3.0 is proof enough.

I do not have a financial relationship with Pictorial or the founders of Pictorial.  I have paid for my software, I use the software and love the software.  I am not obligated in any way, shape or form to the company and they are not obligated to me.  If I found that the their product was not one that performs then I would not be writing about it or posting other bloggers opinions.

That’s it. 🙂  Try their software.  Click here

The Exposure Triangle: Making Sense of Aperture, Shutter Speed, and ISO-via PetaPixel

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you are about to learn something new, or are revisiting what you may of have sort of put aside for the love of automation it is always a smart thing to do learn or relearn the basics.

This article posted on PetaPixel is going to do just that for you.

How important is exposure in photography? What are the components of exposure? What is the “Exposure Triangle”? These are the questions I will attempt to a

Source: The Exposure Triangle: Making Sense of Aperture, Shutter Speed, and ISO