If you’re a Windows user and you take pictures in the RAW file format instead of JPEG, you can download a codec that allows you to view those RAW files in Windows Photo Gallery and Windows Explorer. While I don’t use Photo Gallery, I like being able to view my Sony RAW files in Explorer.
July 26, 2011
March 6, 2009
I made the leap to a DSLR in 2005 with the Konica Minolta Maxxum 7D. The photo ops that pushed the limits of my 7D and lens combination were lowlight with alot of movement. I took a bunch of pictures that I knew weren’t great but they had potential if I knew how to work with them. Surfing subjects within an hour of sunset were a challenge. I could push the ISO up to 1600 but I wasn’t happy with those results. The highest I would go was ISO 800 with my 28-200 Sigma at full zoom. With the lens as wide as it would go the best shutter speeds I could get were 45th or 60th of a sec. After my initial post processing I set those pics aside to wait for a better day. Today is the day for one of them. With recent upgrades in both hardware and software plus additional skill with the software (Lightroom and Photoshop), I’m revisiting those early efforts. What ya think?
March 4, 2009
I’ve been doing more panorama’s recently with CS2. They came out pretty well. I just upgraded to CS4 and doing pano’s is even easier and faster than CS2. The obvious format is Landscape but turn your camera (literally) to Portrait orientation. Take a series of vertical images and then use your panorama stitching program to blend them together. This is a blend of four portrait oriented pictures looking out my back door. Terrible view isn’t it? While landscapes are typical subjects of this process, it should work equally well if you take a picture of a large group of people. Come to think of it I wonder if it would work with a Macro subject? Hmmmm.
This is right out of the oven without a final crop. I thought it was interesting in this unfinished form.
There is a slight distortion in the lower corners that would be less obvious if I did crop it.
January 10, 2009
Two great features of Lightroom are it’s ability to create virtual copies that exist only within LR and not on your hard drive. Then you can take the copy and apply a preset (a group of settings) in this case a combination of Develop settings to come up with different treatments for an image. You can let your fancy run free.
The LR preset for this image is called Neg Kodak VC 160 warm. It’s actually designed to convert your color negatives just copied with your digital camera for a Kodak VC 160 film. This is a Point Curve Preset by radical edits to the Tone Curve. In order to subvert Lightroom’s parametric Tone Curve, you must either edit the Tone Curve in Adobe Camera Raw or edit the Preset by hand.
You can easily create your own or some websites sell them or you can find free ones. This was downloaded from Inside Lightroom
January 8, 2009
This afternoon I downloaded the new program from Microsoft that’s part of their Windows Live Essentials Suite. My initial impression is how easy to sync with my WordPress blog. The layout is clear ,uncluttered and all the commands are easy to see or find and use.
When you set it up it allows you to download the blog template you use on the blog. Inserting a picture is easy. Once inserted you can control the size, the type of border (this one has a drop shadow). a margin, text wrapping, and add a watermark. You can also change the picture to black and white or sepia; add sharpening or gaussian blur; and a few more effects.
I certainly like this over directly posting within the Dashboard or using Scribefire (my Firefox Add-on).
Plus, I can do something nifty, like add a map just for the heck of it.
You can also add plug-ins. Give it a look you might like.
December 6, 2008
No, this post isn’t about the virtues of taking a nap. Although I heartily recommend you take one on a regular basis. This is about the National Association of Photoshop Professionals.
Being a bit of a computer geek since the mid 80’s I knew about Photoshop and it’s reputation as the top graphics and image editing tool. Since my needs in that area were decidedly modest I had no need or desire to spend the considerable amount to get the program. Then digital photography came on the scene along with a timely discount offer for Photoshop 7. Talk about serendipity.
Using Photoshop for the first time is like getting thrown into the deep end of the pool, without getting swimming lessons first. I quickly came to realize the Photoshop motto should be “Why do it just one way, when a half dozen different ways will do.”
This is where NAPP comes into the story. I bought several books to help me but NAPP had short bite size tutorials designed to show you how to create a specific effect in Photoshop. Learn by doing. What’s more the website had video tutorials that you could watch! Neat!
I created the border around the picture you see below by watching a video by R.C. Concepcion on the website. Thank you R.C.
While I’ve found Photoshop useful in my photography, Lightroom really greased the wheels of my pursuit of improvement. As I’ve mentioned in previous posts. NAPP has plenty of resources to help you with Lightroom as well.
There’s a lot more available to you so take a look and if you like what you see click on this link to sign up.
Refer a Friend You’ll get “The Best of Photoshop User: The Tenth Year” DVD as a bonus gift.
One more thing, I realize it’s called National Association of Photoshop Professionals. Therefore, you need to be making a living using Photoshop. Nope. You just need the desire to improve. NAPP will help you do that.
September 22, 2008
I missed it when it first came out. So I’ve only just updated to the new firmware. I like they added the option to turn off noise reduction for high ISO’s. If the DRO improvements are significant it will make post processing in Lightroom easier.
This utility updates the DSLR-A700 Camera Firmware to version 4 and provides the following benefits:
Benefits over firmware version 3:
* Adds a “2 steps/3 shots” option to the “Bracket: Single” and “Bracket: Cont.” Drive mode settings for auto exposure bracketing.
* Adds an “Off” option to the “High ISO NR” (Noise Reduction) setting.
* Provides improvements in picture quality when using a high ISO setting; color noise is minimized in images captured using an ISO setting of 1600 or higher.
* Provides improvements to the Auto White Balance (WB), especially when taking pictures using the flash.
* Improves performance of the D-range Optimizer (DRO). The ability to discriminate between scenes has been improved, and the scope to which the advanced DRO effect can be applied has been broadened.
* Improves the ability to make a successful connection with the VG-C70AM vertical grip.
Additional benefits over earlier firmware versions:
* Resolves an issue where the Access Lamp remains lit and the camera stops responding when several pictures are taken in rapid succession.
* Resolves an issue where powering the camera off while in “MR” mode may cause some registered settings to carry over to other shooting modes.
* Sharper images for pictures taken under low contrast conditions
* Reduced noise for pictures taken at ISO 3200
* Improved flash control for objects closer than 1 meter with non ADI controlled lenses
September 19, 2008
Scott Kelby’s guest blogger this week Photoshop Insider » It s “Guest Blog Wednesday” featuring Rod Harlan. Rod advises us to “package your best images into a compelling slideshow, add a little music, save it out as a video file, and then distribute it on the web.”
Under the category of doing more with your images I present a short musical slideshow done at Animoto. If you don’t want to do the slideshow production yourself. This is just 30 seconds long and free. An extended length will cost $3 and how long is a matter of how many photos.
August 22, 2008
I know many of us grumble about Microsoft but that doesn’t mean MS isn’t doing interesting things. Check out this recent post from Mary Joe Foley’s blog at ZDNET
Six surprising things about Microsoft’s PhotoSynth by ZDNet‘s Mary Jo Foley — PhotoSynth, Microsoft’s photo-stitching technology from the company’s Live Labs division, is out of beta and is now a version 1.0 shipping product. If I had to choose the six things that most surprised/impressed me about PhotoSynth, this would be my list.
You can see a demo of it by it’s creator here
July 28, 2008
Adobe just released Version 2 of Lightroom. I’ve been using the Beta since April. It had plenty of new features. They added more in the final release. Such as a Graduated Filter. John Nack has some of the details Lightroom 2 is here.
There are alot of great things in LR2. Localized corrections is at the top of the list.
There are two things the engineers did that just annoy the heck outa me! First they removed the metadata browser panel on the lower left side of the Library module. This kept a running total of the camera type, lens types, file type, Aperture, shutter speed, date. Just click the lens type and all the photos taken with that lens would be shown. Now you have to create a filter preset and then run the preset to get the info. That’s not streamlining your workflow. What’s also not streamlining is the decision to move the straightening tool from underneath the photo to the upper right panel in the Develop Module. I liked using the slider. With it underneath, I just looked down to manipulate it. Now I need to look up and away. This draws my attention away from the photo more than the other way and I don’t like that.
If you’ve been considering Lightroom, I recommend it despite my annoyances.
Remember the Fifth Rule.