Photo of the Month – June

Young Steam PunkOlympus OM-D E-M10
Olympus M 14-150mm f/4-5.6 Mk II
47mm, 1/250 Sec at f/8, ISO1000
Post Processed in Adobe Lightroom CC2015.1 V6
On a MacBook Pro, OS-X 10.10.3

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Setting up a new Machine – ICC Printer Profiles

Printer Profiles 1

 

Setting a new machine for Mac OS X users has always been relatively simple and iCloud continues to improve the experience, the latest version of Windows I hear have also caught up in this respect.

At the weekend I was checking my Lightroom settings and made sure that all my presets and profiles were correct.

The Lightroom presets are quite easy, there is an option to keep them with your catalogue, so you will get a setup for each catalogue or the default which puts them in your ~/Library/Application Support/Adobe/Lightroom.

Lightroom Presets

 

It was just a matter of copying over the folders I needed.

Checking out the printer module in Lightroom, while my presets were there, of course my printer profiles were missing.

Now profiles live in /Library/ColorSync/Profiles

 

Print Profiles - Lightroom

 

I tend to create a folder under here called Papers and I move all my printer paper profiles in to that.  Some companies you just download the icc file and drop it where you want, other like Epson install it (Epson when are you going to sign your installer!).  The Epson installer creates a folder called EPSON Stylus Pro 3880 and places it directly under the Profiles folder which I move to the Papers folder.

So thats my Lightroom all setup on my new machine, with scanner, printer and monitor all profiled and setup correctly.

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Film Friday – Lincoln Bailgate

Film Friday - Bailgate Whisky ShopAs I continue to refine my scanning technique heres another Film Friday for you, this is the Bailgate area of Lincoln.  I don’t believe the Yorkshire TV shop is there any more but the Whisky Shop definitely is and is worth a visit if your after a fine Whisky from all over the world.

 

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Leica Q RAW Files and on Line Reviews

Leica Q FocusingIt seems the Leica Q is making quite an impact, a lot of reviewers have now gone out and bought one, it impressed them that much.

I had a quick look at Thorsten Overgaard’s website and as well as a very quick review he has kindly linked to some of his RAW files that you can download.

I had a quick play with the files and there quite robust and very flexible.  At a price cheaper then a Leica 28mm it is tempting.

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Olympus OM-D M10 – High ISO with a consumer zoom

PhotoWalk-Cathedral OM-D M10The great thing about a Nikon D800 is that the files are very robust and very clean.  Very few cameras can come close.

The above picture is from a Leica OM-D M10 and a 14-150mm consumer lens at the long end and at ISO1250.

I keep saying that there is not a bad camera today and I still think that is true.  The key is to use a camera to its strengths and not its weaknesses.

The above shot was taken on Saturday while I was on the Driven to Abstraction Photo Walk I went on.

If you want to read more about this then check out Chris’s blog post.

https://ottokite.wordpress.com/2015/06/21/driven-to-abstraction/

 

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The Olympus Photo Walk with Steve Gosling

Saturday was the Olympus LCE Lincoln day with Steve Gosling. Olympus was there lending equipment and buying the coffee while Steve gave us his advice on Steet and Urban Landscape Photography.

I will not bore you with the details apart from suggest you attend a training day yourself on a subject that interests you, it will do more for your photography then buying new gear, but the gear was also an important part of this day.

Its one thing using a camera in a shop for five minutes and reading reviews, quite another to actually go out and shoot with it for real for a whole day.

I started the day with the Olympus 14-42mm compact zoom, on the OM-D M10 this is a tiny CSC option and can easily replace and does out perform most compacts, you could argue that you might get better results from a Ricoh GR, Nikon Coolpix A which are similar sizes but they don’t have the EVF or flexibility that this little Olympus brings to the table.
 

PhotoWalk

We started off after coffee at the excellent independent coffee shop ‘The Angel’ and after a discussion walked up to the cathedral quarter to start shooting.

PhotoWalk-8

Steve kept coming round offering his advice, making us try and think before we tripped the shutter about what we were trying to say.

On the picture taking front, I did a mix of architecture, street photography and some fine detail shots.

PhotoWalk-7

Half way round the walk I switched lens and tried something a little different, the Olympus super zoom, 14-150mm, this on micro four thirds gives you a 300mm reach.

PhotoWalk-6

The lens is a little slow and I did suffer from noise in some of my shots, it was not the brightest of days but for such a little lens with a huge zoom range it performs better then expected.

PhotoWalk-5 (Who says Microfourthirds cannot do shallow depth of field)

On the camera front, the little OM-D is a fantastic performer, while noise can come in at higher ISO’s the images are still pleasing if not quite as malleable in post processing as say a Nikon D800 file, but you would not walk round with a D800 and 300mm lens.

PhotoWalk-4

Some of my images were soft, I have to admit I was using the camera in a very casual fashion and not using what I would call proper camera technique, the think I liked was the movable rear screen, allowing me to shoot from the hip, but this does mean camera shake can be an issue.

PhotoWalk-3

In many of my street shots I was shooting 1/250 second at f/8 and auto ISO, these generally where sharper but had noise, when I was in aperture priority my shutter speed dropped and I had more subject motion in my shots.

PhotoWalk-2

When I stopped and took care then the shots were sharp and excellent quality.

Apart from Steve’s advice I took three things away from the day.

    Not matter what the camera, good camera technique is still required.
    The OM-D system is fantastic and hard to fault for its size advantages.
    I really appreciate the simplicity of my Leica after all that technology.
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New Ricoh GR II

Ricoh GRIt nearly slipped my notice but Ricoh have released a new GR II. I has a quick play on Friday with the old model to remind me what it is like.

The new model is basically the old with new firmware and adds Wifi from what I can see.

As a compact this and the Nikon Coolpix A are about the best you can get with their large DX sensors.  I really like the Ricoh have have come close to buying one a number of times but the lack of viewfinder really puts me off.

Tomorrow there is a sponsored photowalk by Olympus, I’ll be borrowing the little OM-D M10 and some consumer glass to use as a compact, this has a viewfinder and may be a better option.

Of course there is the Leica X and Leica Q but optically this Ricoh is very nearly as good, its more down to the viewfinder options and which interface and handling you prefer, if you ignore the price of course!

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Hex Core Mac Pro

As those of you know who read this blog, I have been thinking hard about what my next computer will be. 

Buying high end  Mac Laptops has so far done me well. I get seven years out of them before Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom force me to upgrade. 

Looking at machines now I am driven my the want (not need) of a smaller lighter laptop, eg a MacBook Air. 

The Air great as it is, is not really suited to Adobe heavy lifting. So instead I have been looking at refurb MacPro Desktops. 

Well after much waiting a range of MacPros from Quad core 256GB SSD 12 GB RAM to Octo core 1TB SSD 32GB models appeared. 

A mid range Hex core with 512 SSD 16GB look good and I had a good think. This was Tuesday night. 

By the time I had decided to buy it had gone. 

But on Wednesday morning one of the spec I wanted was back. A quick email to my wife to approve the purchase and I clicked buy. 

Well it arrived Thursday morning and I’ll be spending the next few days setting it from scratch rather then importing all my junk off my laptop. 

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The Lincoln Magna Carta

Its been a proud moment for Lincoln as the world celebrates the 800th anniversary of the Magna Carta.

Lincoln Cathedral owns one of only four original copies, written by the Bishop of Lincoln’s chief scribe, it is now believed that the Bishop helped negotiate the document between the Barons and the King.

Lincoln has been celebrated all weekend and as part of the celebration it has created the Baron’s Trail. Dotted around the city are twenty hand painted Barons. They are quite a site.

A few weeks ago there was an advance showing and I happened to be around to grab a few shots. If I get the time i’ll have a walk round the city and try and photograph them all In situ.

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Back Side Illumination and Stacked Sensors

BSI and Stacked Sensors

For the last few years digital sensor improvements have been slow but steady.  Its hard to find a bad camera today.

The latest buzzwords are Back Side Illumination and Stacked Sensors.  The Nikon V1 was one of the first cameras to use the new BSI sensors, but what does this mean.

In a typical sensor you have the sensor pits, but the available surface area has also to be shared with the supporting electronics, reducing the area for light collection.  In full frame sensors and medium format the area lost is inconsequential but as the sensor gets smaller the percentage area lost increases.  BSI and Stacked sensors, basically moves more of the supporting electronics underneath allowing more available area for light collection.

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