Friday Image No. 51

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Bridge at Chatsworth
Bridge at Chatsworth

This weeks image is another from my walk on Monday where the weather was perfect for Infrared. The image was shot with the EM5 Infrared converted camera. Processing was then caried out using Nik Color Efex, Silver Efex Pro, Analog Efex and then back into Color Efex. It was a bit of an experimentation in all honesty. The print seems to work better than the screen image.

Hope you have a great weekend.

The Weather for Infrared

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Olympus EM5 converted to Infrared. f7.1, 1/400", ISO200, lens at 14mm
Olympus EM5 converted to Infrared. f7.1, 1/400″, ISO200, lens at 14mm

If you live in the UK and enjoy Landscape Photography you will have noticed that the light is growing more harsh and the time of day for shooting great Landscapes is becoming more restricted. At this time of year you often find yourself need to be shooting landscapes at either end of the day or in bad weather. If you are out in the middle of the day in bright sunny weather, you can find it very difficult to shooting anything. This is when I like to turn my attention to Infrared photography as these are the ideal conditions.

If you shoot infrared with a digital camera you really need strong sunlight to get the best infrared effects. Whilst you can shoot in any weather conditions, if the light isn’t strong you will find that many of your images have a soft appearance, lacking sharp detail and look a little grainy. Compare this to scenes where the light is strong and you can achieve some amazing results.

This was the case yesterday when I went for a walk around the Chatsworth Estate. I found myself snapping away at all sorts of scenes that were literally transformed by the infrared capture.

Whilst I do love Infrared photography, I miss the halation effect that could be seen in films such as Kodak HIE. If you want to create the glowing white effect and shoot digitally, you will need to simulate it in some way as I have done in the image above. In this case I used Alien Skin Exposure 7 which has a good halation simulation. I then selectively introduced it into my image using a mask in Photoshop. This was to restrict the effect to the foliage as I didn’t like how it affected the sky.

I hope you like the finished image. It really didn’t look like much with a conventional camera but was transformed by infrared.

No Friday Image

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Church in Nantes, France. Sony RX10, ISO 400, f/4.0, 1/20"
Church in Nantes, France. Sony RX10, ISO 400, f/4.0, 1/20″

It’s a Bank Holiday weekend in the UK and I haven’t had chance to post the usual Friday image. We have had friends staying with us over the weekend but I still wanted to share an image. This is one from my recent trip to Nantes to see my daughter. I can’t recall what this church is called but it’s one of my favourites in the city.

It’s absolutely beautiful.

Lightroom 6 Panorama Feature

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Three image stitch in Lightroom 6 from the Canon G16.
Three image stitch in Lightroom 6 from the Canon G16.

One thing that I love to do is shoot panoramic images. I have an XPan Panoramic film camera and for digital I have a number of tripod attachments that allow me to shoot sequences of images for stitching. What I also do a lot of is shoot “informal panoramic sequences” where I hand hold the camera. I enjoy this but to be honest, I seldom get around to stitching these. I will go as far as grouping the images into a stack in Lightroom but then having to export them to Photoshop or Hugin in order to do the stitching is a little bit too much effort for me.

This is where the new stitching tool in Lightroom has taken me by surprise. I didn’t expect to like it very much but in fact I love it. All you need to do is select the images you want to merge and then chose “Photo Merge| Panorama…” from the Lightroom pop-up menu. This provides a dialog where you can select from one of 3 methods of merging the images or select the auto option. There is also an auto crop option to produce the finished image. Usually I am not a big fan of any tool that starts with the word “Auto” but these actually work very well.

The other surprise about the panorama stitching (besides the results being excellent quality) is that you can merge vertical image sequences as well as horizontal. By vertical I am not referring to the camera being held in the portrait format but shooting a sequence where you start at the bottom and move the camera upwards vertically. All this is done automatically before the resulting image file is created and saved into your Lightroom catalogue as a DNG file rather than as a TIFF or JPEG. The DNG format then gives you lots of flexibility to edit the image further.

This is a very well put together solution and for those who are interested I have posted a demonstration video on my Lenscraft website. If you are not already a member, do sign up as it’s completely free.

Now I need to find some HDR image sequences to try out the merge to HDR feature.

Installing Lightroom 6

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Sony RX10, Nantes, France
Sony RX10, Nantes, France

Last week saw the launch of Lightroom Creative Cloud 2015 or Lightroom 6 as most people seem to know it as. On paper the upgrade didn’t look too dramatic with the exception of a new “Merge to…” option which could produce HDR images or Panoramic images. Despite this limited benefit I decided to install the upgrade as being a Creative Cloud subscriber, it costs me nothing.

The install appeared to go smoothly except that the software wouldn’t start up following installation. A friend who was also installing the software at the same time emailed me to say that he was having the same problem but had been advised to sign out of the Creative Cloud and then sign back in again. This appeared to work for him but when I tried it the software still failed to start.

Eventually I decided to remove the install and repeat the installation. Unfortunately the second installation failed with an error. I tried repeating it but it continued to fail. I restarted the PC but still no luck. In the end I waited until the following day when the Creative Cloud desktop tool reported that I had Lightroom CC 2015 installed (which I didn’t).

I decided to uninstall Lightroom and then repeat the installation. This worked fine and the software was installed without further problem. When I came to run Lightroom I had the same problem as the previous day where nothing would happen. I repeated the process of signing out of the Creative Cloud desktop and then signing back in, but again no luck. At this point I thought I didn’t want to waste any more time so opened up a chat session with the Adobe support team.

After about 15 minutes of waiting the strangest thing happened. The new version of Lightroom sprung into life without me doing anything and asked which Lightroom catalogue I wanted to upgrade. One this completed the application opened and has been working fine ever since.

And as it worth the effort? Yes it was.

As for the image, there is no connection with the article other than to say it was converted from a RAW file using the new Lightroom CC.

Friday Image No.54

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Canon G16 - 4 image stitch in Lightroom 6.
Canon G16 – 4 image stitch in Lightroom 6. Processing in Nik Silver Efex.

For this week’s image I thought I would share a Panoramic. This was captured as four images using a Canon G16 compact camera. The resulting stitched image is approximately 21″ x 12″ at 300dpi. The stitching was done using the new Lightroom 6 (Creative Cloud 2015). All I can say is that I’m now addicted to panoramic photography. Lightroom makes it so easy to group and work with images and the resulting file is in DNG format giving lots of flexibility.

I’m very impressed.

 

Don’t do this if you shoot film

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Rollei IR400 film rated at ISO 6 and developed in Rodinal 1:100. Hasselblad XPan + 30mm lens.
Rollei IR400 film rated at ISO 6 and developed in Rodinal 1:100. Hasselblad XPan + 30mm lens.

A couple of weeks back I had a clear out in my study. I have shelves full of books and decided to throw out many of the older ones. I also have stacks of old note books full of random jottings so I pulled out and ripped up all the used pages. It wasn’t until I came to develop some Infrared film from my trip to Malham that I realised I had ripped up all my developing notes – gulp.

This was not a good feeling but as they say, every cloud has a silver lining. In this case I found mine on the Massive Dev Chart website (http://www.digitaltruth.com/devchart.php).

If you have never used this site it’s a great resource to find out development times for different film and developer combinations. But the real bonus for me was that they now have an App. Whilst I had to buy the paid version in order to record my development notes it’s a really great little app.

If you haven’t seen this before and you still use film, it’s well worth checking out.