Nokia Lumia 1020 – Does it Live Up to the Hype?

In a word:  No.

EDIT:  I’ve received comments that are critical of this review.  I’ve been told that it was written as a ‘gotcha’ piece to try and attack Nokia.  I’ve been asked why I even wrote the review when I knew the RAW update was coming out.  Continue reading

Anatomy of a Restoration

Image restoration is a task that has been made easier in some ways with digital tools but even though it may be easier, it’s still not a 5 minute exercise as some may want to lead you to believe.  In a past article I discussed the process of recreating a photo of a mural that had been damaged.  That project took about 9 hours of editing time to complete.

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Don’t Give Up On Your Vision

I think we’ve all experienced something like this.  We’ve got an idea and put finger to shutter release with the goal of executing the idea.  When we get back to home base and start working on the image(s), the idea we had at the time just isn’t seeming to come across in the captured photos.  Frustration.  Perhaps we go out and try again and it still doesn’t work.  More frustration.  The important thing is not to give up. Continue reading

Seeing in Black & White Pt IV

We’ve talked about how various colours convert to different shades of grey in earlier instalments of this article series. We’ve also talked about the importance of certain colours in greyscale and about the different components that make up colour – and thus grey – in the third part of the series.

In this part of the series, we’re going to take a look at something more subtle but nonetheless relevant.  That’s white balance.  Can the choice of white balance affect a conversion from colour to black & white?  It definitely can.  This is something that film shooters have known for years, that the colour of the light in the scene would have an impact on the effect of colour contrast filters used on the lens and rendered on the film.  Intuitively it makes sense. Continue reading

Seeing in Black & White Pt III

In the first part of this series, I wrote about training the eye to ‘see’ in greyscale tones by converting colour into shades of grey. In this part of the series, we’ll break that down a little further.

In that first part of the series, we looked at how colours can translate into the same or similar shades of grey.  We also talked about the use of colour contrast filters with black & white film to block or pass certain wavelengths (colours) of light to expose the film differently and create tonal contrast.  We also looked at how this can be mimiced in the digital darkroom with the available tools. Continue reading

Seeing in Black & White

With all due respect to the great songwriter Paul Simon, everything doesn’t look worse in black and white.

So what do I mean by ‘seeing in black and white’? Well, black and white photography is different from colour photography. Some might say, ‘Well, duh!’ But it is. It requires a different way of seeing and viewing. I’ve heard some people say they just can’t get black and white down. Everything just looks muddled. Why is that? It’s because in the technicolour world we live in colour provides visual interest and contrast. In black & white, or rather shades of grey, there is no direct colour to provide that contrast. In most cases, the contrast has to be created. This requires time to learn and requires a different way of seeing. Continue reading

The Power of Lightroom

I’ve enjoyed using Lightroom since v1.  With the improvements and new editing tools introduced in v2, it’s vastly improved.   And now with v3 on the horizon, the story should only get better.  Lightroom is now my main editing application and I typically only use PS for things that can’t be done in LR (e.g., perspective correction, more complex layer work).

As good a tool as it is for organising your photography database, I think there are a good number of people using LR who still don’t know how powerful an editing tool it is. Everything I did with the photos below can be done in PS and probably PSE and other editing applications. In most cases I find the result is better with the tools in LR and the workflow is faster and more natural. In addition, to do the same things in PS would require, in most cases, using layers to maintain the integrity of the original image which increases file sizes and chews up hard drive space.  First I’m going to show 4 images in a before and after comparison.  You may not like the photos, you may not like how I approached the editing.  That’s all fine.  I think they do show the power of the tools in LR for editing; however.  In all but one case, the only tools used were the Adjustment Brushes, Spot Removal and the Clarity slider.  In one, a slight Tone Curve adjustment was made and in the last a crop was applied.  I wanted to do a couple things with these.  I wanted to highlight the bits of colour in the surrounding evergreen trees.  Second, I wanted to bring out the texture of the Precambrian rock of the Canadian Shield.  Beyond that, I wanted to enhance contrast by darkening certain parts of the water and existing shadow areas without completely losing texture or detail.  In the last, I also wanted to brighten the waterfall itself which was hidden in fairly deep shadow and crop to create a near perfect mirrored symmetry with the reflection. Continue reading