I have spent so much time teaching and judging photography over my many years and I have been privileged to meet and admire a great many photographer’s images. There have been times that a photographer has crossed my path and there was just something that made his or her work stand out above all the others.
I have never met Ms. Lurie but recently had the good fortune to view her personal website and her Smugmug websites and I was truly taken by the quality and the diversity of her images.
In way too many cases, even though a photographer may have incredible images it is important to note that all of the images are of the same type subjects. It may be landscape It may be wildlife or street photography, macro photography and so on but it all of the same genres.
What impressed me with Ms. Lurie is how diverse her work is, spanning the full spectrum of subject matter. Beyond that, her compositions and the ability to tell a story with her images only adds to the experience of viewing her work.
If you have been paying attention to my blog then you know just how much I like Picktorial 3.0 Software. But just to be sure you know I am going to say (shouting in caps) I L O V E I T………
I’ll jump back a bit and say I own a lot of software for image processing. The main reason is always the hope of finding the software that will truly allow me to process my images the way I like to see them. By searching all the possibilities it also give me the chance to be able to explain the pros and cons of different software. The only products I have dumped off my machines is Adobe products. I’ll leave it at that. The ones that I still have and own are On1 Photo Raw, Alien Skin, Affinity, Pictorial 3.0, and a variety of other point and shoot type programs.
My go to is Picktorial and if you want to know the reasons why then do a search on my blog site and you will find a number of articles explaining all of that. Let’s just say that the software is the simplest, most creative, most accurate software I have found and the help from the company itself is unlike any other in the industry. Their responses and solutions are simply the best.
Many months ago I sent them tonnage of images with different film simulations from both the Fuji XT1 and Xpro2 and a variety of lenses for the purpose of their research and development in support of Fuji X users.
Several weeks ago they provided me with a beta copy of the simulations to work with and made me promise not to share them with anyone or write about them until they were ready to release them. And now they are ready.
Middle Earth who I have a lot of respect for is a very accomplished photographer and reviewer and he has just reviewed the simulations for Fuji X raw files. That is what I have linked you to at the bottom of this article and while he stresses the fact that his use for simulations in general are very limited he does give high compliments to these simulations as being quite accurate in regards to what Fuji can produce in camera with Jpeg files.
I like simulations which help me achieve a quick image for posting in an article or on Facebook and the like but more important than that is that a really good film simulation, which these are gives me a perfect starting point to get to the color and texture I like in an image. Then I can make changes to enhance that simulation to get to my final result.
With these simulations I can now stay right within my Picktorial raw process, have incredible extensive controls within the software to create the look I want to achieve and get to the film look that Fuji X provides.
Photography NEWS! A Happy Day For Fuji Users… Picktorial just released a new set of camera profiles called The Picktorial X-Pack of film simulations for
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 Pluscamera 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 – 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.
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
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.
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.
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, 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 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.
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.
Thank goodness there is at least one camera company that cares about and supports their customers.
If you are a Fuji X photographer you have to be in love with the folks at Fuji who have continuously updated firmware in their camera models at no charge and without any hassle since the inception of the product line.
Unlike other camera companies whose firmware updates are for fixing existing problems that should have been done long before the camera or lenses came to market Fuji not only admits when there has been a problem but also continues at least for a couple of years to update firmware so that it incorporates brand new features that the cameras did not have before.
In this case Fuji has announced one upgrade for the Xpro2 and the XT2 that will be here at the end of March and another that will probably come the end of may and it will add 33 brand new or enhanced features between the two models.
Not only do they produce beautiful and innovative products, you are virtually guaranteed that you will not be left behind as new models enter the market place.
I would call them the industry good guys.
Fujifilm will launch a couple of major firmware updates for its X-T2 and X-Pro2 cameras. Features on the way include focal length-dependent minimum shutter speed in ISO auto and added tools for video shooters. Read more
AND THE CYCLE CONTINUES AS Nikon cancels DL compact series citing high development costs
It was back in November 2016 that Nikon did what was unheard of in the walls of Nikon Inc., and downsized by 1000 personnel to help stop a leaking boat.
Now the exceptional, never delivered DL series of cameras is gone before it ever really got here. They have had all kinds of excuses for why delivery could not happen and now they say it is too expensive.
Nikon says that the development costs had become too great to continue. A statement released today also mentions the company’s concern that it wouldn’t sell enough units to make up for the increased costs, due to a slow down in the market.
I personally think the DL series had great consumer potential, if they had delivered when they were supposed to. I know a great many people looking to carry less and some were even willing to own both cameras in lieu of a DSLR outfit. Sad.
What is even worse is the fact that Nikon was and is the only camera company not to embrace mirrorless cameras. Unlike Leica, Hasselblad, Canon, Fuji, Olympus, Panasonic, Sony, and the list goes on.
And then there is the Key Mission 360 degree cameras. Is this late to the party POV camera enough to pull up the Nikon losses? Only time will tell. In the meantime competition like GoPro and others have been showing declining sales of this type of product for several years now. Who is steering the Nikon ship?
The camera manufacturers have been on the losing end for a while because of steep competition from the phone industry. But no matter what any one says, the phone concept as being a main camera for the serious photographer is BS.
In my opinion he quality of images from terrific stand alone cameras is still greater, better, and necessary if consumers are going to do the smart thing and print their images instead of goo gooing over them in front of a tablet, phone, or computer monitor which don’t offer what a good print will always offer.
Nikon has officially put an end to the DL series. Announced just under a year ago, the three DL compacts would have had 1″ sensors, and were originally set to ship in June 2016. Read more