Perspective Control – In Camera

Being able to correct perspective is not not new. Its been a feature in programs like Adobe’s Lightroom for a while, which I have blogged about before.

Leica are not always thought of as being the most high tech of camera companies. People forget that they invented 35mm photography, autofocus and the first full frame mirrorless professional mirrorless camera the SL (I know Sony users are going to argue that one).

The latest firmware update brought about perspective control in camera, when in live view can preview what its doing. If you shoot jpeg then its baked into the file, but RAW shooters will find the correction added into the DNG data fields that you can choose to use or not in Lightroom.

Unfortunately the original Leica M10 does not support this feature as its missing a key piece of hardware the horizontal level sensor, but if you have a M10P or the new Monochrom its available now as a firmware update.

For people like me there is always post production in Lightroom so no hardship.

The new Photoshop and Lightroom

During lockdown I have cancelled my December photoshoots and moved the November shoots to December.

In the meantime I have been trying out a few things. First up, testing my tethering, for which I have purchased a new cable. Secondly testing out a few ideas about colour temperature.

Lastly Adobe have released new version of Photoshop and Lightroom. The shot above was taken earlier in the year, but I have heavily edited it and played around with the new colour grading software.

Its a bit over the top but was a fun quick edit and has taught me quite a lot about the new functionality in these two produces.

Adobe release Lightroom V10

So this week has been Adobe Max and they have been releasing their new products.

Jasmine in Red, Nikon D800, Elinchrom Flash – edited in Lightroom V10

As is usual; I have not upgraded my main desktop yet, but have upgraded on my laptop. I have a catalogue of my recent shoots on the laptop and after backing it up and putting a copy on my desktop, just in case I need to edit V9, I had a go at editing in V10.

So far, it seems better, slightly faster, I am not seeing the blackout that used to happen for a second when switching to cropping mode, but the big change is the new colour grading section.

Jasmine, Nikon D800, Elinchrom Flash – edited in Lightroom V10 with colour grading

I use the split toning function a lot in Lightroom, and I use it in colour as well as black and white. Its in black and white where you can really notice it. Her is a simple platinum blue applied to the highlights and a warmer brown/orange tone to the shadows.

I would say its worked quite well. I’ll likely wait for a point release in Lightroom and for me to be more familiar with the new tools before I upgrade my main machine and risk upgrading my master catalogue, but things look good.

Website updates and upgrades

We have over the last few days being upgrading the backend of our website.

https://brown-family.org.uk is now available to use; yes we now have a secure site with a signed certificate.

The site now has a new backend SQL Database, now on the latest version.

bandwidth close up computer connection
Photo by panumas nikhomkhai on Pexels.com

Lastly we updated the php.

coffee writing computer blogging
Photo by Negative Space on Pexels.com

So we are now all bang up today.

I hope the upgrades did not affect you too much but its all done now, apart from regular patching no major updates planned for a couple of years.

Ageing Tech – when to upgrade

Apple Powerbook 12 inch, my first photo editing laptop

Its likely that Apple will announce their new iPhone this week, so it made me think; when should we upgrade our ageing tech.

I am now typing this on one of Apple’s latest 16 inch laptops, close to top of the range, I only upgraded once Adobe no longer supported the spec. So far in my computer upgrades, its always been newer software that’s driven me to upgrade. My last laptop lasted twelve years so I saw a major improvement in performance and usability.

I tend to upgrade my phones every three to four years. Currently in our family, my iPhone 6 Plus is still getting heavy use by my wife and it is six years old and working fine. My current phone is the iPhone X.

I am thinking of getting a new phone this year but its likely to be one for Caroline, she likes the larger screen so mine will have to last that little bit longer.

Upgrading cameras I tend to skip about to generations. I switched to digital with the Nikon D200. That was replaced by the D300 and then the D300s. I upgraded when the D800 appeared. So jumped from 10 megapixel cropped format to 36 megapixel full frame. We have now had the D810 and then the big jump to the D850, a camera that really tempted me, it was a significant improvement over the D800. I really hope the D850 replacement is another big jump. Either way I am really going to notice the improvement.

Web Services – a Rant

This is less about web services and more about functionality that does not need web services but uses it anyway.

I have a large amount of video media, photographic tutorials, the family favourite movies and TV shows etc.

They are sat on an external hard drive and a copy in Dropbox. We use the Plex app to service these to the TV, and the AppleTV app to our computers and tablet devices; much easier then finding physical media.

It used to be simple, the app on the TV talked to my main computer that had the Plex server app on it and access to the media. Simple and it worked.

But like many companies they have now web offerings and offer other functionality. So now the TV app has to authenticate to their servers out there on the web before it will connect to my server and play my media.

This means now that if Plex have a service outage or my internet is not working I cannot play my media on my TV, very frustrating. Over the last few days we have seen major outages with AWS, Azure etc, causing many online services to fail. Not sure where Plex host there servers but they were out too. So no watching Plex for me last night.

Yes I get it that many people like the extra functionality but the basic stuff, streaming media from a drive in my home to my TV in my home all on the same network should still work!

At least I have coffee.

Apple WWDC2020 – wow I was wrong

I always enjoy the Apple keynote speeches. The one everyone always remembers is where Steve Jobs introduces the first iPhone, but I feel this one may also go down in history.

The best thing about the Mac operating system is that is was always designed to be portable, ie could be recompiled to run on different architecture.

This has enabled the Mac to move from one system architecture to another.

PowerBook G4 12 inch

I started with a PowerMac, a lovely little 12 inch laptop for my portable photography needs. So I have lived with the transition from IBM to intel and the improvements that brought.

When Apple released the iPhone it was with an off the shelf ARM processor. Then over the years Apple has been buying up small ARM design companies, then became a full ARM licensee to enable them to start producing there own ARM designs. This has seen the iPhone and the iPad gradually pull away from the others in respect to battery performance, cpu performance and gpu performance. For nearly two years now there have been rumours that Apple would transition their laptops away from Intel to their own silicon but I have always thought the idea ridiculous.

Well I was wrong. I can certainly see the draw of something like a ARM powered MacBook Air. You could increase performance a little and greatly increase battery life, it would be the ultimate small laptop.

For the higher end laptops like what I am typing this article on, one I picked for its Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom Classic performance, I am not sure if ARM can match what Intel can do. The other issue is will Adobe port over Lightroom Classic or use this to force us to move to the new Lightroom. For photographers like me with large libraries the new version still does not quite cut it.

Its going to be an interesting couple of years a head of us.

Apple True Tone and Night Shift

All new Mac’s for a while now have had True Tone and Night Shift, but what does this mean for photographers.

For my main office MacPro and NEC Pro Reference monitor I have it all turned off, I have the screen calibrated with an X-rite i1 Display and I monitor the light in the room and have the profiler device adjust my monitor as I work.

My old laptop had no True Tone or Night Shift but now my new MacBook Pro 16 inch has all these new features.

First can I say that you should definitely switch off Night Shift, it definitely colours the screen and makes it warmer and more pleasing at night.

When it comes to True Tone then it is a little more complex. True Tone attempts to keep the colours neutral no matter what the colour conditions around you.

For general editing and producing pictures for my blog or for customer edit reviews then True Tone is not going to make a lot of difference. For my final edits that are going to be published or I’ll print then the edit should be done with True Tone switched off; but then I should not be making those final edits on my laptop but in my office where I have the tools to edit properly.