Saturday, February 27, 2010


Out of fairness I decided to look at the Lightroom 3.0 Beta and today I'm highlighting the slide show function that like the new Aperture release has a save to video option. I personally like this feature on both offerings. It easy to pick some pictures and add some music to show off your pictures.
In today's video I'm sharing some pictures I took this week, predominately with the Leica D-Lux4 but there are a few shots I took with my Nikon D-300 with a 50mm F1.4 lens combo. I think you will be able to pick out the D-300 pictures by the smooth Bokeh that the fast 50 mm lens exhibits.
The horse shoe impression (upper right) is a good indicator of the type of weather we have been experiencing. Wet with sun and big fluffy clouds. I call this picture "Watermark" sort of a play on words and a lot easier on the eye.
The picture of the horse has a story of its own. Yes that is his tongue you see is a bit large I would say. The horses on this property have come to know that we carry nice organic carrots for their enjoyment and he can't wait to get his share.
Anyway onto the video with this weeks highlights I hope you enjoy the show. You can watch this video in high definition by clicking on the box in the lower right of the video box.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Aperture 3.0

I have been busy this week exploring the trial version of Apples Aperture 3.0. There has been a lot written on photo blogs about all of the new and upgraded features of this product. Rather than going over all the technical changes, I'm just going to give you my early impressions.
My likes are, speed, how fast photos upload from my memory card and into the program. The new tools especially the brush tool that lets you easily dodge, burn and sharpen individual parts of your pictures easily. The interface on the whole which opens in the library tab and has additional tabs for meta data and adjustments. The ability to see and work on your picture in full screen mode just by using the (f) key and to zoom using the (z) key. Both of these keys are toggle keys so to go back to the old view just hit them again.
Dislikes I can't say that I dislike much in this new offering. I personally don't especially like the loop tool but that is a personal thing with me. The other thing is the face recognition portion to this offering. I have experimented with using it in iphoto and find that it doesn't work all that well for me.
I'm sure as I experiment more with this program I will find more likes and dislikes and I will share them with you as I find them. Now if you have been following this blog you will know that I presently use Lightroom by Adobe for my photo processing and I have been very happy with the way this program performs. I'm not sure if I will be switching to Aperture as of this time that's why I'm happy that Apple allows you 30 days to play with the full program before making a buying decision.
Below is a slide show of some of the pictures I took over the last few weeks and that I processed in Aperture 3.0 and used its slide show module to construct. As always good shooting.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Out of the Box

I'm happy to share with you today a picture from a regular reader of this blog. We have been e-mailing back on forth on questions he had on the Leica D-Lux 4. Recently he made the plunge and I'm happy to post this lovely picture he took within his first 100 shots.
I really like the composition, color and natural lighting that he captured in this photograph. If you enlarge the photo by clicking on it you can see the excellent clarity and depth of field. Congratulation Ian and I'm sure you will enjoy your new camera.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010


Hand held long exposure demonstration. I thought that today I would show the capabilities of the camera while being hand held and while using a longer exposure time with the anti-shake feature activated. The scene I choose is of a creek with moderate water flow from our latest rain.
Picture one was taken at F 2.8 125 sec which is a normal setting for the ambient lighting conditions.
Picture two was taken at F 6.3 1/5 sec. Notice the blurring of the flowing water but still with the sharp details of the surrounding objects.
Picture three was taken at F 8.0 1/8 sec. More blurring is seen in the water flow with little distortion of the surrounding objects.
Picture number four is of picture number three with Topaz Lab Detail 2 micro contrast filter applied.

Picture number five is a crop of picture four which was then highlighted in Viveza 2. I think that the results speak for themselves it is possible to to get a hand held shot that has the look of a long exposure on a tripod. Try it the next time yourself you might be surprised by the results.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Wet Week

It has been raining a lot this winter and that makes for some nice fresh green grasses a nice contrast from the dry summer and fall. I thought I would share some pictures that I took this week which highlight the winter colors.
The first picture to the right highlights the green grasses and the bare tree has lots of green moss instead of leaves. I softened the look by applying a Topaz Labs Adjust 3 filter.
The next picture is of a faded and rusted trailer and old disc used to plow the apple field.
Now its off to see a window of a uninhabited house. The green vine growth is reflected in the glass and the picture is highlighted by using the darker corner of the building to add depth. The window frame was brought out with Viveza 2 a filter that allows you to add brightness, contrast, saturation and structure to a specific area of the photo.

The last picture is of open pasture with the three horses being the focal point. Again I used Viveza 2 to bring out the yellow of the Acacia in the right foreground and to make the light colored trees in the background pop.