Tag Archive for 'Lightroom'

LEAP Motion From a Photographers Perspective – A Leap into REALITY!

PinExt LEAP Motion From a Photographers Perspective   A Leap into REALITY!

by Gavin Seim:

Day One: I’m going to get brutal with the reality of how the new LEAP Motion handled REAL WORK. If you want to save time here’s my initial impression.

LEAP does NOT leap out of the box and work well – Maybe that will change in time, but this feels like pre-beta and does not make my work easier.

leap 600x502 LEAP Motion From a Photographers Perspective   A Leap into REALITY!I pre-ordered early and my LEAP finally came today after what must have been more than a year. It had been so long it was almost like magic just to hold the box. WOW, I thought. I can now control my computer just by waving my hands. Minority Report, here I come.. I’ve not actually seen that movie. Is it good?

Anyways that a little voice inside said “Gavin! Though shalt not count thy leaps before they hath jumped” But I still rushed to my studio to try it out. “The waiting will pay off” I thought.

Well, LEAP worked. Sort of. It reminds me of many an encounter with voice recognition software. It looks great in the promos. Then you use it.

I could talk like a hot shot and say how amazing it is and how high tech I am. Because the idea really is cool. But the reality seems to be that LEAP is mostly useless for me right now.  The first thing I realized was how they made it look really pretty, but barely indicated what I needed to do actually use it in the real world. Perhaps that was because there was little practical use. The goofy games hold little interest for me. I want to get something done.

On my production studio desk nothing gets real estate that does not do it’s job. From my precision corded laser mouse to my Medium Wacom tablet. A device has to do something well, or it goes in a drawer.

Once I finally got calibration to work (not pretty on my Mac), I Installed Better Touch (an app that allows for custom commands). Sadly I could not even make it “practical” for the simplest of movements.

First Test: I started with a hand gesture for right and left arrow keys, thinking it might be useful for sorting images in Lightroom. Nope. Unless I held my fingers just right it did not even see the gesture. Trying to think about your hand, while also holding it in the air becomes very tiring VERY fast. It’s mentally and physically frustrating. In practice I ended up waving my hand slowly, then furiously over the device just to browse images with poor results. Not a good sign. Back to the keyboard.

Next Test: I wanted to control the mouse in hopes of using Leap’s touted precision to do things I do with my Wacom, or even basic Finder work without my mouse. Since Leap gave no indication during setup that this was even possible, it took a few minutes to realize that I needed a free app called Touchless. I installed that from Airspace (the app store for Leap) ran orientation and it started to look good. Reality soon set in.

Again I started simple, hoping to use Leap to control the mouse for simple but precise painting, burning and dodging in Photoshop. I got little functionality in Basic Mode so I switched to advanced and got a working curser where I could touch and engage the click – Sometimes. That was when it was not doing random zooming, window switching and the like. I even managed some basic painting and burning. But it was totally unreliable. Sometimes the click would engage and the tool would work, sometimes not. Sometimes it would change the window or do something else. Sound like something else? Here’s looking at you Voice Control.

I know it’s new and I will spend more time with it. But the truth is a great device usually works from the start. If they had simply given us solid reliable mouse/touch integration it would have been a GREAT start. But the reality is this is not even comparable to a mouse or a tablet in ANY practical sense. Since it lacks that, it’s little more than a gimmick with a few games and trinkets attached. So far.

After a year of waiting. Leap is essentially useless for me in any practical sense - I hope this changes, but if they could not give us BASIC functionality after all this time, I fear we’re in trouble.

I know I’m being harsh. But it’s the reality of it for today. I’m trying to be a beta tester. I paid for this. The potential seems real. But I waited, hoping they would get it right. They did not. This looks like another piece that will end up in the drawer. That said I will keep trying for awhile and see if it gets better. If I have a new revelation, I will update this article.

ad ex slim LEAP Motion From a Photographers Perspective   A Leap into REALITY!

Take a Bad Photo, Win a Trip to Thailand?

PinExt Take a Bad Photo, Win a Trip to Thailand?

Lightroom Contest 4 Take a Bad Photo, Win a Trip to Thailand?

by Gavin Seim: Adobe recently had a travel photo contest. The prize, a trip to Thailand with legendary photographer Steve McCurry. Yea, the guy who photographed Afghan Girl.

Matt Hardy once said – “Beauty can be seen in all things, seeing and composing the beauty is what separates the snapshot from the photograph.”

Adobe counted +Likes and gathered a panel of official judges to choose. The winner… this photo. You can see it larger here on Adobe’s page. There were many other entries, but this was chosen as the grand prize. I feel this is hurtful. Not only to the entrant, for it teaches them that quality does not matter. But to those who worked hard to enter quality work. It’s better to be honest with those that are learning, than to ignore a lack in quality. I would rather be improved by honest criticism than ruined by false praise.

How does the world’s largest professional photography software developer and it’s judges not know the difference between a photograph and a snapshot. As someone who has worked for fifteen years to understand photographics and light, I for one am not jealous; I am insulted and embarrassed.

For the record I did not enter this competition.  And the point here is not to insult the winner. I’m sure they will enjoy and learn from this trip. The point is that people need to understand a camera does not make you a photographer. People worked hard and entered quality work To award photo in this manner seems an insult to their efforts.

What’s Wrong With It:

Quite nearly everything. As a vacation snapshot, it’s perhaps acceptable. There is nothing wrong with a family snapshot. But we need to understand the difference between a snapshot and a photograph. This image won an international level competition. At that point it must be critiqued as such and compared to other entrants.

Great photos can be subjective. But that does not mean we ignore what makes them great. This photo has no subject, breaking the cardinal rule of a great image. A great photo has a subject. Usually just one. All other elements should be supporting cast. Is the subject little girl? The half cut off body taking the photo? Perhaps it’s the Oriental Pearl Tower, crooked in the frame. If we have to ask, the image has already failed.

When examined (something I have done over and over again) the picture feels of phone snap quality. It’s filled with artifacts and problems. The exposure is flat and dark and the sky is plain and boring. As journalism it lacks interest and as a street photo it lacks expression and spontaneity. Finally it fails at what is perhaps the hardest thing to put into words. It’s uninteresting and it does not tell a story.

Ansel Adams once said – “The sheer ease with which we can produce a superficial image often leads to creative disaster.”

While I don’t generally call out bad photos directly, I think this needs to be thought about. Everyone has cameras, but if in doing so, everyone becomes photographers, then the word photography no longer has meaning.

If we hold zero standards to the quality of art and use “art is subjective” as an excuse for everything, than the word art has no value – By calling everything art, by making everything great, we demean those who through effort and practice have mastered their skill.

NOTE: This is a news commentary. You are welcome to disagree and for obvious reasons I did not include the winners name. It’s not meant to be mean, but to raise awareness and get us thinking about quality and understanding the diffidence between a photo and a snapshot.

UPDATED: When this post was first made I had thought that looked like a phone photo. It is not. While the camera used makes little difference, some felt this should be disclosed. I have refined the post a bit to reflect this and things related to the ideas presented here.

So now that I’ve stirred the pot. Let the discussion begin.

Pro Photo Podcast #85 – Photos Are Not Free

PinExt Pro Photo Podcast #85   Photos Are Not Free
King of the Valley Valley of the gods utah seim Pro Photo Podcast #85   Photos Are Not Free

No not even this photo is free – King of the Valley – Valley of the gods Utah

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Today’s Panel... Gavin SeimBarry HowellNina BeheimScott & Adina Hayne

This month the panel looks at a few news bits, understands that photos have value, reviews Photoshop CS6, our favorite lenses and more.

PPS #85 Forum Discussions Here. Share Your Opinions.

Main Time Indexes:

  • 00:00 Introductions.
  • 04:50 News and Chat.
  • 10:10 Free Photos for Alter Bridge?
  • 27:45 Photoshop CS6 Group Review.
  • 49:00 A larger format future.
  • 1:09:55 Lenses Lightning Round.
  • 1:32:55 Picks of the show.
  • 2:04:08 The After Show. Business and beyond.

Links…

LIghtroom 4.

Creative Suite CS6.

5DMK III is good. So is the Nikon D800. You decide. And check out the value of the D3200.

A pack of free LR develop presets for video.

Glif iPhone tripod mount.

The Brenizer Method. An stitched approach to the large format look (thanks to Vincent P for the link)

Bands don’t need to pay for your photos?

PICKS…

 

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Lightroom 4 Is Officially Here

PinExt Lightroom 4 Is Officially Here

lightroom 4 review Lightroom 4 Is Officially Hereby Gavin Seim: Adobe wasted no time getting out of the beta phase. It seems they wanted cha’ching sounds a ringing.

Lightroom 4 is hitting desktops as we speak. Thankfully Adobe did drop the price a good bit to $149 ($79 for upgrades). Something we can probably credit to the Aperture price drop in 2011. Thanks Apple.

All told. LR4 looks pretty good. Not Earth shattering. But good. Sadly there seems to have been few changes from the beta. There were areas some were hoping would get more features. But LR4 has some new develop tools, some refinements and some new modules that will keep us busy.

A few major things to look for include…

  • Changes to the Develop settings, including Shadow, Highlight, White Point and more.
  • Video playback and basic editing support.
  • The book maker module (limited but interesting).
  • More control over Brush and Gradient settings, including localized White Balance.
  • Built in maps module.

Of course there’s more. I’ll be back with some thoughts soon. For now go check it out and let us know what you think in the comments.

More detailed review in the works. This post will be updated… Gav

 

Pro Photo Podcast #77. Better Concepts and Evil Laughs.

PinExt Pro Photo Podcast #77. Better Concepts and Evil Laughs.

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itunesbadge Pro Photo Podcast #77. Better Concepts and Evil Laughs.

Today’s Host... Gavin Seim

On this shorter episode Gavin takes a look at what he learned with another month on the road. A discussion of 4×5 film, a look at learning and working conceptually, and a little practice session on evil laughs.

140 Minutes of Night Seim21 Pro Photo Podcast #77. Better Concepts and Evil Laughs.

140 minutes of night. Gavin's longest ever exposure. Click the image to see Gavin's post with all the details.

Podcast #77 forum discussion:

Notable Time Indexes:

  • 00:00 Introductions quick updates.
  • 04:09 Experiences from a month on the road.
  • 12:32 Random interesting video and things.
  • 16:27 A month long trip with 4×5 film.
  • 26:05 Lightroom Power online workshops.
  • 28:00 Main – The Concept Photographer.
  • 45:05. The after show. Picks and stuff.

 

Links to things we mentioned.

banner lrpw 300x135 Pro Photo Podcast #77. Better Concepts and Evil Laughs.

Gavin’s Online LR Workshops.

Lightflow Aperture Presets are now available.

Video. Battle At F-Stop Ridge. Can you say, Awesome.

Good reads on using Zone System for digital. One by M Frye…. http://bit.ly/me3SjA and a thesis by Gary Meek…. http://bit.ly/lrTfYO

Color images before there was color, by Prokudin Gorskii.

Ansel Adams videos.

PICKS:
Rothco 550lb. Type III Paracord.

Gavin’s favorite travel apps list is here.

ad lf slim Pro Photo Podcast #77. Better Concepts and Evil Laughs.


 

See you in California for Spring 2011 workshops.

PinExt See you in California for Spring 2011 workshops.

by Gavin Seim. So I’ve planned another road trip, along with Spring workshops. I’m hitting the road early April with my little family and heading to SF area for two workshops in Oakland. I’m stoked. We plan to spend about a month on the road in the RV. After the workshops, we may head up towards the Grand Canyon as I hunt for stock and landscape images, then who knows. Here’s the workshop lineup. I hope you’ll help me spread the word and I hope to see you there.

banner hdr See you in California for Spring 2011 workshops.

April 16-17 is  my Lights and Shadows workshop. This is a fresh 2 day event that covers HDR and beyond. It’s an intimate workshop limited to about 20 people. We’ll be doing work in the field and editing back at the home base. More info here. There’s also a Facebook event page.

banner lrp See you in California for Spring 2011 workshops.

On April 18th is the Lightroom Power workshop. This has something for everyone. We’ll cover basics, but also get deep into power user stuff. It’s another fun hands on workshop, so bring your laptops with LR and prepare to think differently about your editing. More info here, and the Facebook event page here.

I’m also working on setting up something for Fresno. Still working on the details of that, but stay tuned to this post or the Seim Effects FB page for details. I’ll also update the workshop pages if a new location is added. Hope to see some of you there… Gav