Lack of Posts

Coffee – Leica M10

As you will have seen there has been a lack of posts over the last few months. The reasons are several; one I wanted a bit of a break from blogging. I was intending to write something at least once a week, but once you get out of the habit, weeks can go by and you realise you have not posted anything.

Secondly Timmy the Greyhound who died in March was ill for about a year. This made a big impact on my free time.

Lastly I am really getting behind with my Adobe Lightroom edits. My laptop no longer supports Lightroom.

The next few months are going to be quiet, but i’ll try to keep up with the picture of them month as post something at least once or twice a month.

Noctilux – The lust over fast lens

Leica M8 Sample – Train

With Nikon releasing the new Nikkor Z 58mm f/0.95 Noct, I am seeing a lot of interest in fast glass again and reduced depth of field.

One of the biggest complaints people make of small format sensors formats is that there is too much depth of field, something I have discussed in the past.

Leica M4 Film

When one thinks of fast glass the old classic Canon f/1 comes to mind but the one that is always top of the list is the Leica range of Noct lens.

The complaint with fast glass is the cost, though we cannot really complain, its a niche product and one that is difficult to produce. The new Nikon is over £8000, which puts it in a similar price range.

The big thing about these lens is the unique look they give to your shots, and many who have used the Leica Noctilux actually prefer the look over the older one.

Micro FourThirds – The Olympus Pen-F

Pen F – Art Filters

I have never owned a Micro Four Thirds camera, but the Olympus Pen series have always come close to making me purchase one.

The best Pen was the Pen F and I had a good play with one a few years ago at a Photography show when it was first released. I was surprised and somewhat saddened to hear its now been discontinued.

It was a great little camera. Over priced but a good camera never the less.

With Panasonic adopting the L mount to go full frame, Sony pushing full frame and Nikon and Canon getting in on the full frame mirrorless scene, many feel that Micro Four Thirds is a dead end. I disagree and feel that it has a place, as does the cropped DX format and medium format. They all bring something to the party and have pros and cons.

Leica M10 Firmware v2.7.5.0

The new firmware for my Leica M10 was released this month, I have been monitoring the forums over the last few weeks and I am not hearing any issues so last weekend I finally updated.

Leica M10 stitch.

Companies like Leica and Fuji have been very good at keeping up with firmware updates even older cameras which gives one confidence.

Setting a Challenge – Red

With digital cameras the colour red can be an issue. When you think of a Bayer, the four square matrix is made of you a green filtered pixel, a red filtered pixel, a blue filtered pixel and then one more green that is used to capture the luminance, information. That is why a 4 MP camera can be thought of as a 1 MP camera as only one pixel in four has the luminance information.

The red pixel though has an issue. The red filter is much darker, and lets in less light and thus is prone to underexpose. When shooting a scene with a lot of red the camera in software and the photographer tend to counter this with over exposure and often end up blowing the red channel. It looks fine on the little screen on the back of the camera but when you come to edit it there is no real detail in the red channel.

Photography for me is not my primary job, its mainly a hobby but I undertake professional commissions through the year. In order to keep things fresh I like to set a challenge every now and again.

As you can see from the lack of posts this year, my personal photography work has been pretty much at a standstill. So it was time for a challenge to get the creative juices flowing. What better then a challenge in Red!

I decided to work in a controlled environment so the location was my favourite local studio in Worksop, Nottinghamshire. I also picked one of my favourite amateur models who happens to have dramatic dyed red hair. Add to that a red background and lots of red fabric a bit of flash also pointing at the camera to try and produce a bit of artistic flare and I was on course for a shooting nightmare.

a new laptop – research in progress

So I said I would be looking out for a new laptop and I am. Its really a difficult choose. Previously I have always bought close to the top of the range and this has seen me through quite well.

For the type of work I do editing in Lightroom and Photoshop with a powerful machine is ideal. But can I bring myself to have a lower powered laptop and use my desktop machine for the power work.

Its a difficult ask as buying a less powerful laptop seems like throwing money away.

I generally process 24 and 36 Mega Pixel photographs, while the thought of using a smaller lighter machine is tempting, Adobe have updated Lightroom recently to make better use and off load cpu intensive tasks to the graphics card. This makes buying the 15 inch laptop with the better graphics card an easier choice, but you looking at a grand (£1000) more for the purchase.

While I have to admit that buying high end in the past has worked well, my previous laptop is over eleven years old and has lasted well; the high end for Apple is relatively good value, its there low end machines are not good value. Her in the UK with BREXIT on the way the pound is devaluing fast and I can justify purchasing high end again.

Its a tough choice and one I will be making in the next few weeks.

13 inch or 15 inch MacBook Pro? Or go super light with an air, which is still more capable then my current machine.

Reduced Resolution – Or whats going on?

While having a good sort through of my Photographs for 2019, I was surprised to come across a file type I was not expecting.

DNG Negative / Reduced Resolution

What was going on? Well it seems while I was playing with some of my smart phone applications and downloading photographs and syncing back to Adobe Cloud, I had somehow downloaded a few with the app settings not set to download full RAW.

Luckily I had backups and copies but it was a bit worrying. From now on I am going to be much more careful how I import files into Lightroom and ensure I get the full RAW’s all the time.

Choosing a new Laptop

Keeping up to date with the editing is getting to be a struggle. Locking myself away in the office every night is hardly being social with the family and while my MacPro Desktop is more then capable, for light organisation work and sorting my picks and selects a laptop is more useful to me.

My old laptop as I often mention is now eleven years old and is not really up to the job of running Lightroom for even light importing and sorting work, so a new laptop is now definitely on the cards.

For a long time I have liked the MacBook Air, and this years 2019 model is more then capable enough for light work, but I would upgrade it to 1 Tb SSD storage and 16 Gb of RAM. Once thats done there is not much difference in price to the new 2019 Macbook Pro; at least the low end version which would still beat in performance every machine we have at home with the exception to my desktop and this model give significant multicore performance gains over the air.

I’ll be visiting the local Storm Front shop and getting my hands on both. I still have a question over screen size, I do like my 15 inch screen but for a MacBook Pro of that size your talking serious money.

Waiting by the Bank

Leica M10 50mm Summilux-M ASPH

We have had some hot weather recently and its always a challenge taking photographs in very high contrast situations like this when its really sunny.

Choosing an ISO that maximises your dynamic range is the first thing to remember, and if your shooting portraits professionally in this type of situation then I under expose slightly and use fill in flash. You need a camera with a high sync speed to do this.