Tag Archive for 'pro'

JPEG vs RAW – Let’s Settle it With a Single Example:

PinExt JPEG vs RAW   Lets Settle it With a Single Example:

by Gavin Seim. Updated 06/23/12: It’s been a common debate, though much less so as pro’s learn that RAW is a no brainier. I deal with both the JPEG and RAW side quite often because the tools I make on Seim Effects. I’ve seen the value of RAW and once you do there’s no going back. Some photographers that still use JPEG, use a reason like… “I nail my exposure, so there’s no reason for me to use RAW”. I think when this happens it’s one of two things.

  • Showmanship. For some, I think showing everyone how spot on your exposure comes out is a great way to show off when making a presentation. OK I get that, we all like to show our proficiency, but I’d rather not toss away quality on my clients images to get expert points on the minds of my peers.
  • The most common reason however. I think some still have a mental block about RAW and don’t want to address it. I remember being in that spot years back. Somehow the larger files size and RAW data seems daunting. In reality it was not big deal at all. I know because I went thru it. If you’re in this camp just move beyond it and you’ll be glad you did.

This idea is simple and that’s why this article will be short. JPEG tosses out information that you might need later in order to make a smaller file. It keeps that the camera “thinks” it needs. RAW keeps it all. And with today’s direct RAW editing and localized adjustments using software like Lightroom, the power of using RAW data has become crystal clear. Let’s skip the banter however and settle this. I could make up a bunch of examples for you, but this one photo proves my reasoning, so I’ll keep this short.

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1: Here is an outdoor wedding scene from a 5D MK2 unedited other than being cropped. Yes it’s a bit under exposed, but had it been correctly exposed I would have lost even more detail in the sky area. Now at a glace, this photo seems like no matter what we do it will be pretty bland. Lets look.

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Focus on Better Focus. Lens Align Pro Review & Tips:

PinExt Focus on Better Focus. Lens Align Pro Review & Tips:
The Boys copy 600x428 Focus on Better Focus. Lens Align Pro Review & Tips:

The Crew. Missing in photo, Larry, Steve and Jon

Focus on Focus. A look at micro focus adjustments and the Lens Align Pro calibration system.

by Barry Howell:  Have you ever found a menu option on your camera that made you wonder, “What’s this”? I found such an option on my Nikon D300 called “AF Fine Tune.” My old-school curiosity sent me on a quest to discover its purpose, and how it could improve image quality. With a few quick Google searches, I found multiple forums and discussions about the importance of calibrating lenses to your DSLR camera bodies.

A recurring theme on the ProPhotoShow.com podcasts, and in other various articles, is how to make your images have more impact. There is no bigger buzz kill for photographers than capturing an image we think will be great, only to find that it’s a little soft. There are many variables we can control to ensure optimal sharpness: shutter speed, depth of field, steadying the camera, etc., and I always assumed that if I focused on the right spot, my images would be tack sharp. Guess what? That isn’t always the case, and I was determined to overcome the problem.

Before contacting Michael Tapes at RawWorkflow, I performed a very un-scientific, but effective test of my AF Fine tune option. I was photographing the MN State Boys Hockey Tournament at the Excel Energy Center, a venue that is well lit for television broadcasts. I very carefully focused my Tamron 300 2.8 lens on some helmets lined up on the boards. The scene had great contrast, I was using a monopod, and I figured could get this image dead on. I zoomed in at 100x on the LCD and it looked pretty good. I then went into the menu and made a +5 adjustment, took another shot, and upon inspection realized I had made it worse. Then, I made a -5 adjustment and the image improved noticeably. I knew then and there that I had to calibrate my optics.

Within a week I’d found such a tool; I obtained a Lens Align Pro Focus Calibration System. I invited several photographer friends for a focus calibration party at my studio and we embarked on a journey to make our gear perform better. In our group were five Nikon shooters and one Canon shooter. Between us, we probably had over $50,000 worth of bodies and glass waiting for a checkup. The results were at times sobering, but every lens, once calibrated, focused better than ever before. The calibration method involves the following steps; it took a little trial and error, but they were pretty easy to do reliably.

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Pro Photo Podcast #66RT – Future Feelings.

PinExt Pro Photo Podcast #66RT   Future Feelings.

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The Panel... Gavin SeimDavid ZiserDennis ZerwasDouglas CoonBarry Howell
This week the panel discusses the latest news, nigh photography, Ansel Adams, business ideas and more.

Podcast #66 forum discussion:

Notable Time Indexes:

  • 00:00 Random news and ideas.
  • 47:43 Lets talk tips and business.
  • 1:15:24 Zisers Secret. FUTURE FEELINGS.
  • 1:51:20 Promoting to venues.

Viveza2 is here. You can save 15% with code PPS.

LumaVue panels are a great way to stand out.

OnOne’s new suite is here too. Save 15% with code PRPHTPC.

Olympus E-PL1 a $600 pen camera.

Get David Zisers new book. Captured by the Light.

Aperture3
is here. What do you think.

Treys. World in HDR book is available.

Gavin’s Color Fantasies Lightroom presets are here and ready to rock.

banner fantasies Pro Photo Podcast #66RT   Future Feelings.

PICKS:

Thanks all… Gav

Photo Couch Podcast #003, Of Phones & Websites.

PinExt Photo Couch Podcast #003, Of Phones & Websites.

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OnOne Plug-in Suite 4: Straight Dope Review

PinExt OnOne Plug in Suite 4: Straight Dope Review

pis4 2 OnOne Plug in Suite 4: Straight Dope Review

The Product: OnOne Plug-in Suite 4 for Photoshop: Overall PPS Rating, 7/10
Includes Six plugins. We’ll review each separately below. Review by Gavin Seim

OnOne has given PPS a 15% off discount for readers. Use Promo Code PRPHTPC

The Hot:

  • Product interfaces have become mostly unified making them easy to work with.
  • When purchased as a suite, it’s a good value. You’ll have plenty to play with.
  • Effects and tools are effective and generally simple to use and customize.
  • Aperture & Lightroom* integration on certain apps

The Not:

  • No auto update makes in version updates a hassle and easy to overlook.
  • When purchased separately there’s STD/PRO options adding confusion and making the prices too high (not unlike many plugin companies. These so called Pro versions do not have enough extra features to warrant the cost. The full suite does include the pro versions where applicable however.

The Bottom Line:
This is a great collection of plugins. If you want to broaden your editing arsenal in one shot, Plugin Suite 4 is a great place to start. While the whole suite is the best value, all plugins can also be purchased separately.

*One thing to note is that Lightroom integration is little more than export plugins and not self contained integration in LR. This is probably due to limitation with Lightrooms support for plugins, but it’s still a  disappointment.

Promo’s and discounts:
OnOne gives PPS some specials as well. Promo code PRPHTSHW is good everyday for 10% off any OnOne product. Also thru Dec 31st, here’s a promo page that will save you $100 on the suite. Note that OnOne has no say in this review, and it contains only my honest opinions.

Individual Product Reviews:

Genuine Fractals 6: Review 9/10
Genuine Fractals is a standard among many photographers when it comes up scaling image resolution. I use it whenever I make large prints. It can quickly take those pixels and make a 300DPI file for whatever print size I need. It can even add sharpening in the same pass (though I usually sharpen separately) GF just gives something more than built in Photoshop up-conversion methods and I really like it.

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Six Tips to Build Your Photography Business:

PinExt Six Tips to Build Your Photography Business:

building photography business Six Tips to Build Your Photography Business:by Gavin Seim (Updated 01/10) — With winter on and economic downturn in many parts of the world, you may find yourself looking at the numbers in horror. OK maybe I’m going too far, but many photographers are concerned about the amount of work on their schedule. I’m a blessed man. And while things are moving along, I too am looking at ways to put more on the calender.

Now I’m not the worlds chief authority on marketing. What I do know is that amazing service is a never fail approach. Beyond that there’s is no instant solution, but hard work pays off and these tips will get you thinking. I’m going to assume you already have great service (you do right?), then keep it short with six tips that can help you get noticed in this competitive market. I also found another cool article by Sean Clayton about getting your phone to ring that you might want to check out.

  • #1. Give Some Classy Freebies:
    Sometimes the best way to make profit is by giving something away. You don’t have to devalue your work by shouting FREE prints to the world.  Try sending  gifts to past clients for anniversaries or graduations. They don’t need to be photos. In fact something else might make a HUGE impression. Chocolates, a gift card for dinner. Maybe coffee or a bottle of wine. They may have loved your photos, but clients need a reminder to talk about you. I know it sounds expensive, but it will WOW past clients and usually pays. There’s various ways to give gifts and perks. Just be creative and see what matches your style.
  • #2. Send Images to Venue’s:
    Sending out promo images from a venue is a great way to make yourself memorable and build venue relationships.  A pile of 8×10’s for their book or some web files for their site is fine, but lately I’ve been taking it to the next level by giving notable things like larger canvas images and albums. Venues nearly always need great images to show off to potential customers and what can be better than them showing off yours. Make sure you put your name on them in a classy fashion and send some business cards along. The venue will appreciate the images, and you can get free advertising, which is always the best kind.

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