Monday, July 16, 2018

Mobile Photography: Square Sights

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Square Sights

'Mobile photography, a look at square format photographs cropped from mobile photography images'

You might have noticed that the square (1:1 aspect ratio) is the format I used more often than others in my postings. This is another one of those. The originals of these images, however, were taken with the smartphone, in 16:9 format. The truth is that the square can be used to crop the image to give more emphasis to the subject, to encompass negative space, to lay out a composition, to catch lines, and all.


Resource Links:

Square Format Photography

The popularity of apps like Instagram and a newfound interest in old medium-format cameras, such as those made by Hasselblad and Rolleiflex, has brought square format photography to the masses. However, the standbys of rectangular compositions don't always apply to the 1:1 aspect ratio.

10 Composition Tips for Amazing Instagram Square Photos

Thanks to the enormous popularity of Instagram, square photos have become the standard of mobile photography, forcing mobile photographers to adapt to this unusual photography format. In this article you'll discover the best composition techniques for taking amazing square iPhone photos that will get your images noticed on Instagram.

Monday, July 9, 2018

Digital Moments: Tagging On RawTherapee 5.4

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Tagging On RawTherapee 5.4

'Digital moments, giving it a go with RawTherapee 5.4 image processing software'

RawTherapee 5.4 Screenshot
My first batch of images post-processed on RawTherapee 5.4, a free RAW image processor that can develop RAW formats from most digital cameras and DSLRs. I was introduced to the software through a post on Petapixel.com about a week ago, decided to download and install it, to see what the glam is all about.

First introduced in 2010, RawTherapee is a cross-platform raw image processing program with a subset of image editing operations specifically aimed at non-destructive raw photo post-production. The mention is that it has features comparable to what Photoshop or Lightroom is capable of.

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What I find unique about RawTherapee is its ability to support RAW format almost across the board, including Olympus *.ORF RAW files which are my norm. I have been using Olympus Viewer 3 (OV3) for my post-processing needs all this while and have also been using, of late, Google NIK Sharpener Pro 3 for final print sharpening.

Compared to OV3, which I feel is rather straightforward and simple to use, RawTherapee 5.4 presents itself as a real heavyweight with a myriad of editing options and advanced controls for handling of exposure and color adjustments, sharpening, denoising, color management, white balance, color channels, and more.

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For a novice who hardly went beyond Auto Tone Correction, Tone Curve, Brightness and Contrast, and the occasional Gamma correction on the OV3, looking over the interface of RawTherapee 5.4 itself are already intimidating enough, let alone the very steep learning curve which you have to really get into to master the software.

Let alone be. Images were from the Olympus E-P5 mounted with a Canon FD 50mm f/1.8 manual focus lens.


Resource Links:

An Introduction to RawTherapee - A Free Photography Software Alternative to Photoshop

shares 135Facebook 0Flipboard 0TwitterIt's pretty safe to say that Adobe have cornered the market in the image management and editing section of the photographic market. Sure there are worthy contenders that pack a hefty punch in a heavyweight battle against Adobe but for the moment Photoshop and Lightroom rule supreme in the payware market - ...

A Guide to Editing RAW Photography for Your Smartphone Pictures

After exploring the RAW capabilities of my OnePlus 3T and Sony NEX-5 cameras, an array of readers responded with questions and comments on RAW photography and their experiences.

Monday, July 2, 2018

Throwback 2009: Colors of DMC-FZ18 II

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Colors of DMC-FZ18 II

'Throwback 2009, light and shadow composition of mini palm leaves on the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ18'

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ18
Here I was pottering again in the garden on a bright and sunny day, looking at the crisscrossing of the mini palm leaves and the light and shadow composition they created. Interesting. On its own, the leaves do have their own characteristics and are worth a study of their own.

Again these images were captured in JPEG, post-processed on Olympus Viewer 3 (OV3) for Auto Tone Correction, Brightness & Contrast, and Saturation. Print sharpening was done on Google NIK Sharpener Pro 3.





Resource Links:

Three Methods of Making Stunning Photographs in Bright Sunlight

Location Lighting Masterclass - The Art Of Shooting Into The Sun Shooting directly into the sun may not be the first thing that pops into your mind when creating a photograph, but the effects it can have on your final image when done correctly can border on magical.

How to Shoot in Direct Sunlight

As a new photographer, one of the best skills you can learn is how to shoot in direct sunlight. And it all starts with learning where to position your subject, and then determining which angle is the best one to shoot from.

Monday, June 25, 2018

Mobile Photography: A Blast From The Past

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A Blast From The Past

'Looking back at where I started my mobile photography habits on the Nokia 300'

It has been a while since I last used the Nokia 300. Looking back though, I can't really say no to the built-in camera as it has provided me with opportunities to grab these few shots. I had a good time with both the phone and the camera, but alas, as time dictates, technology upgrades took the better of me.



Resource Links:
Tips for Mobile Photography for Beginners
Mobile Photography Tips for Travellers | Creative Dialogue

Monday, June 18, 2018

Throwback 2009: Colors of DMC-FZ18 I

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Colors of DMC-FZ18 I

'Throwback 2009, a look back at the colors of Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ18'

Continuing where I left off with the 'Throwback 2009: B&W of DMC-FZ18' post sometimes back. This, with a couple more to follow, looks at the development of my amateurish digital photographic skills which started with the acquisition of the DMC-FZ18.

The DMC-FZ18 was actually quite a surprise, though rather small in size, it came with an impressive 28-504 zoom lens which again is hardly noticeable as it only extends about an inch at full zoom. The camera was light and easy to use, and image capture was just as good with the very respectable f/2.8~4.2 maximum apertures.

I was shooting in JPEG then, and these images are what my early experience with the camera was.


Resource Links:

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ18 Review | Trusted Reviews

Anyone who's interested in photography as a hobby will want a bit more versatility in their camera than is offered by a simple point-and-shoot compact.

Review: Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ18 - Quality Pictures With Point-and-Shoot Ease

If you're shopping for a new digital camera you basically have two options: pick up a toy shooter that can't grow with you; or plunk down a grand for a fancy digital SLR and face its huge learning curve.

Monday, June 11, 2018

Digital Moments: Minolta MD Rokkor-X 50mm f/1.7

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Minolta MD Rokkor-X 50mm f/1.7

'Digital moments, views of the high-rise blocks from across the street'

Views of the high-rise block from across the street, taken with the Minolta MD Rokkor-X 50mm f/1.7 fitted to an E-P5, post-processed on Olympus Viewer 3 (OV3) with final print sharpening done on Google NIK Sharpener Pro 3.

I normally do a quick shoot session with the lenses I am testing and most of the time did not bother much about the setting on the camera, except that they are mostly taken with the lens aperture set wide open.

Historically, 'Rokkor-X' lenses are normally designated for the North American market, while the rest of the world gets the 'Rokkor' only version. Apart from this minor cosmetic differences, there is actually no difference between the Rokkor and Rokkor-X version of the same lens.



Resource Links:
Minolta ROKKOR-X 1.7 MD Lens review
The Rokkor Files - Minolta Lens History

Monday, June 4, 2018

Mobile Photography: Sun In Your Eyes II

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Sun In Your Eyes II

'Mobile photography, re-hatching a previous article from color to black-and-white'

Did this session earlier, in color, which turned out to be quite spectacular. Now trying to see how well it goes in with post-processed black-and-white. I am looking at it as a learning process to gain a better understanding of the selection criteria of either doing images in color or black-and-white.


Resource Links:
Choosing Color or Black & White
4 Tips to Help you Decide Between Black and White or Color for your Image

Monday, May 28, 2018

Digital Moments: Minolta MD Rokkor-X 45mm f/2

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Minolta MD Rokkor-X 45mm f/2

'Digital moments, testing the Minolta MD Rokkor-X 45mm f/2 as mounted on the Olympus E-P5'

You might not want to consider the Minolta MD 45mm f/2, a real compact and petite prime which seems to fit any X, XD or XG series SLR film cameras just right, as a true pancake lens. At only 60mm long and 125 grams in weight, it might be only just close enough.

On the E-P5 it extrudes out long enough to be almost the perfect fit, with just the right weight, feel and balance in the cradle of your right hand and the fingers of your left hand extended just enough to be really comfortable with the focus and aperture rings.


The lens is from the time when Minolta started making kit lenses that more affordable to the consumer. Though well made by today’s standards, the 6 elements in 5 groups have a 5 bladed diaphragm, is not all metal and glass as it comes with more plastic components.

Image quality, however, is something you will be surprised with.




Resource Links:
Minolta MD Rokkor X 45mm F/2 Lens Review
Review: The Rokkor 45mm f/2 is a Razor-Sharp $30 Manual Lens

Monday, May 21, 2018

Throwback 2009: The Square Revisited

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The Square Revisited

'Analog diary, images on an outing with Sony DT 18-70mm f/3.5-5.6 mounted on a Minolta Maxxum SLR film camera'

A parting post for the Throwback 2009 session, posts on street photography outing with a lens, Sony DT 18-70mm f/3.5-5.6, designed for the ASP-C sensor Sony Alpha DSLR, mounted instead on a full frame SLR Film camera. The first post shows images captured at the short wide angle end of the lens, while the second was images from the long end, and for the rest, somewhere in between.

Minolta Maxxum, Sony DT 18-70mm f/3.5-5.6

Have not seen much of this on the Net really, not at all if any. I can only assume that DSLR enthusiasts are not really keen on going back to film. The good fun here is that film cameras that can be retrofitted with your current crop of DSLR lenses, depending on the make of your camera system, are easily available on the auction sites and their cost are normally very affordable.

These images were shot on color negative film, converted to black-and-white and squared to the 1:1 image aspect ratio on Olympus Viewer 3 (OV3).



Resource Links:
Black and White Photography Tips: The 5 Cornerstones of All Great Monochrome Photos
Simplicity of Square Format Photography

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