About technique and more.

Pro raw or consumer raw

Apple proraw
Something a lot of people have been waiting for for years, being able to shoot raw natively and being able to get the most out of those “pro” cameras.

Of course first see it before having an opinion but my first impression is “what the…”

On video they blew me away. Maybe they even went too far on a smartphone. It’s literally insane (positive)

But than photowise
No jump in resolution
No raw files but appleproraw

So what is raw ?
Raw is data straight from the sensor with minimal processing so the editor can work with the sensor data and do external noise reduction, color balance, sharpening etc etc (we all know how raw works)

When you read about apple raw it’s nothing like that. Apple hammers down it’s going to be an easy way to work with raw files without the “confusion” (open up Lightroom and tell me what’s confusion about the sliders)

What they do is embed noise reduction (big no-no), hdr, color balance (excuse me thats a vital part of raw) and the neural processing….. Also editing will be done in phone and later “maybe” externally via released sdk/api

In my honest opinion we are not talking about proraw but depending on what you can adjust (still not clear) it’s more a new version of tiff or at the most consumerraw.

Why not just use a container with all the data that apple things is important so we as “real pros” can later determine if we do the noise reductions “professionally” or leave it as apple think it should be done.

Do we all remember the problems with cameras that have weird jpg artifacts and that sometimes got fixed months later or never…. That’s why we love shooting raw. No problems with weird smearing because every spot of noise should be eliminated and oversharpening the mess it creates

Again before we can really judge it we have to see it. But in all honesty Apple proraw really sounds like a souped up tiff format.

What do you think ?
And let me state that I am not an apple hater. I still use an iPad pro for pro work almost daily and owned all iphones and macbooks for years till i switched to Android and windows a few years ago. (Main reason…photography)

Learn to maximize

Shot during #photoshopworld
Theme of the pre-con was to maximize every location. It was fun to see the surprised faces when we started shooting in several locations in a boring conference room and turning out pretty cool images.

It’s not perfect. But learning to make something semi interesting in bad locations is very beneficial when you are shooting in more interesting locations. You learn to see things other people might miss

So always learn in difficult situations and easier ones will be …. Easier.

Model/styling : Nadine

Why you should use a meter

I won’t call any names
But again a totally useless and ridiculous video online on why you should not use a lightmeter.

Guys listen
Learn how to use it (it’s incredibly simple, just hold it in front of the area you want correctly lit and take the reading).

No need to take test shots and when you change locations or setups the exposure is always equal so you deliver something that is of constant quality. Which not only doesn’t make you look like an amateur but also shaves off a load of work.

In essence when I take a shot I never have to touch anything in the raw convertor unless I want to for creative purposes or to counteract filters I am using.

A few things that always comes back

1. I don’t know any model that’s 18% gray
No dummy me neither and that’s why you SHOULD use a meter because the camera meters reflective and the meter incident. So first learn how a meter works before telling people this kind of nonsense

2. It kills creativity
Oh please. Just look at my portfolio (not creative?)
It actually helps creativity because you don’t have to mess around with getting your lighting in order. And because with a meter (and colorchecker) you always have the same “perfect” base you can very quickly use the same presets and get consistent results very fast. Meaning more time for creative work.

3. It slows me down
Learn how to use the fricking thing.

4. I always over expose half a stop
Huh….. How do you know how to overexpose half a stop if you don’t meter….. That’s just the dumbest thing ever.

With a meter you get the base reading. If you want to under or overexpose you can still do that. But it’s much faster and consistant.

5. You don’t need it for digital
Lol. Ok so digital changes the whole science of light. You probably also believe that a crop sensor needs a stop extra of light because it’s smaller……

6. I use the histogram
The histogram us useless for proper exposure. It just shows you the values in your shot. If you shoot a snowman in a snowstorm everything is mostly right. When you shoot a black cat in a mine everything is mostly left. That’s about the usability of the histogram. It’s nice to see if you blew out highlights (although that’s also not true because you are judging a jpg thumbnail. Unless you shoot tethered). A histogram never gives you the correct exposure.

7. I am so experienced I can read the light
Yeah sure. And I can see the future.
Look when you use the same strobes in the same setup you can get away with it. But when I look at my work (and most) we always change setups, outputs etc. So good luck “reading” your lights. Trust me that’s just BS. I can get close due to years of experience but close is not good enough and still takes me time to correct. And I don’t want to spend time on correcting. Just get it right in a few seconds

I can go on and on
A lightmeter is a TOOL nothing more or less.
It doesn’t kill creativity. That is your own choice/problem
It’s just there to get a proper base reading so you know how to get the proper exposure thanks to the diffused value.

It’s nothing more and certainly nothing less
In my opinion every photographer that uses strobes inside or out should use a meter. If they value speed and accuracy.

If you want to look like an amateur messing around with your light and delivering images that vary in exposure and color (colorchecker) be my guest. But don’t make videos with wrong information that thousands of people watch.

Every single reason to NOT use a meter is a lack of knowledge about the meter. And that’s it.

When not to use a meter?
When you can get away with the onboard metering. So events, street and travel etc. Thanks the the evf and display we can get judge our images pretty fast. And if you don’t need the model/subject to look the same in each shot/scene using a meter can slow you down. But when you shoot one model/subject under different conditions the meter will speed up your workflow so much it leaves you plenty of time to be more creative with your final result.

Sorry for the rant but I hate it when people spread false information especially when it’s education. We can disagree on many parts but literally telling people a meter is useless is the biggest BS out there.

Any questions feel free to ask

#alphapro #sekonic #xrite #benq #photography

Guest post : Simon Choi on landscape photography

Seeing most of us that are active with modelphotography are stuck with something else to photography I think a guestblog post (or more, feel free to contact me) about other subjects can be interesting, today Simon Choi…. so take it away.

The Best Aperture For Landscape Photographs
When you are trying to take the best landscape photographs, you are trying to balance sharpness with the scope and breadth of the image. There are a few rules of thumb listed below that you can use, and you can use these tips as you adapt to your style of photography. You can read how other photographers do their work, but you need to find the “sweet spot” that works best for you.

What Is The Basic Rule Of Thumb?
The best aperture for landscape photographs is often f/8 or f/11. This is because photographers have found that these apertures blend a good mix of breadth and focus. You could move to these apertures right away to see if they work, and you can adjust from there. You may want to try a few shots from the f/8 or f/11 aperture. You can look over the shots you have, and you can decide if you like them. You might feel comfortable with one aperture or both. If you do not like the way they look, you can use another rule of thumb that helps photographers everywhere.

Come Back Two Or Three Stops
When you are clicking through the f/stops on your lens, the sharpest picture often comes from the stop two or three from the end. Therefore, if your lens ends at f/11, you should come back to f/8 or f/9 to get the sharpest image. If your lens goes all the way to something like f/14, you can come back to f/11 or f/12.

You can test these stops much like the optometrist does when you get a new prescription. Toggle between the two until you decide which one you like most. This is a better way to get good images because you are not trying to force an image that appears to have been shot by a panoramic camera.

What Happens If You Go Too Wide?
If you go too wide, you will find that the background is too blurry. This is why this article is not using f/4 or even f/2.8 to describe landscape apertures. You will get quite a lot of material in the shot, but only the foreground of the image will be sharp. The background will look like it came from an impressionist painting. However, for certain types of photography where you want some bokeh it can be great. For example, I recommend starting with an f/4 for lensball photography so the image in the lensball is very clear and to have some blur in the background. Lensball photography involves using a crystal ball for creative photography, it is used most commonly for landscape photography.

We are talking about the overall sharpness of the image. You need to move back to something a little bit smaller to get the results you want. You will be able to see all the items in the shot, and the clarity in the images will make it much easier for people to enjoy them.

What If You Use Something That Is Too Narrow?
When you use anything that is too narrow, you might blur anything that is in the foreground. This is might be a good way to make the whole image look nicer, but you could lose some sharpness around the subject itself. You need to balance your focus on all the things in the background of the image with the subject.

It makes much more sense to consider the whole picture before you get started. When you are fixated on just one object, you will lose some of the items that are just as interesting. These photos can be so wide that you will not even notice some of the most interesting parts. Review the area before choosing your lens.

What If You Are Not Getting The Results You Want?
When you are not getting the results you want, you might want to use a technique called focus stacking. You can take different pictures of the same area as you change your lens. You will get different levels of sharpness in different parts of the image, and you can mix them in the editing process. This might be the only way for you to get the results that you want, and you can create images that are nearly impossible to shoot with a standard camera.

Photographers often get frustrated when they are trying to choose the appropriate lens or find the “sweet spot” on the lens. You can use editing to help make your images look better. However, you will get better at finding the “sweet spot” over time.

You should invest some time in finding the sharpest image possible when you want to cover a wide area. Do not go too wide because you will lose any items in the foreground. If you are using something too narrow, you will lose items in the foreground. You do not want to compromise the quality of the images you are shooting, and that is why you need to go through some trial and error until you find the ultimate “sweet spot” on the lens.

Simon Choi is an avid landscape photographer based in Melbourne, Australia. After departing a corporate career in Financial Services and Consulting, Simon pursued his passion for landscape photography, nature and creativity. He started Refractique, an online niche photography retailer which distributes the lensball. 

Hope you guys enjoyed the guestblog, if you have ideas again feel free to contact me and who knows… maybe you’re next.