Hunter McRae: Before and After: How to Take Beautiful Images in Minimal Light
Oct 2014 15

You risk taking a blurry image if you don’t use the right gear and the most appropriate camera settings when working in low light situations. The goal is always capturing the highest quality, sharpest image possible. Fortunately, the combination of sophisticated post processing and modern equipment has opened doors not available to previous generations of photographers.
If you start by setting your camera to capture images in RAW format, you will have greater leverage to manipulate and brighten while post processing.

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Seán Duggan: Choosing a Color Working Space, Part II
Oct 2014 08

As described in the previous article in this series, digital images are essentially paint-by-numbers kits, with the color and brightness of each pixel expressed by a set of numbers for the RGB values. To attach meaning to the numbers we use profiles and color spaces. In terms of choosing a device-independent color space to use for editing your images, either those you process through Lightroom or Adobe Camera Raw, or as an overall working space in Photoshop, there are three likely choices to consider: sRGB, Adobe RGB, or ProPhoto RGB. In this article we’ll take a look at the pros and cons of each and provide some recommendations for you to consider.

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Seán Duggan: Choosing a Color Working Space, Part I
Oct 2014 02

Both Photoshop, Adobe Camera RAW, and Lightroom let you specify a color working space for your images. In an earlier article, I explained how to interpret the missing or mismatched profile messages that you sometimes see when opening a file in Photoshop. In part 1 of this article, we’ll take a look at just what a color working space is, and offer some clarification on key working space concepts and practices.

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C. David Tobie: Testing the iPhone 6 Camera
Sep 2014 24

Every generation of new iPhone offers improvements to the built-in cameras. Now that the iPhone 6 is available, it is important to know how it will advance iPhone photography. This article includes sample images covering several aspects of the new camera, including its sharpness, lens distortion, detail, and color accuracy.

Lets start with lens distortion. Phone cameras use wide-angle lenses, and with the very short lens-stack possible in the thickness of a very thin phone, there isn’t much opportunity to correct for the types of lens distortion common in wide angle lenses. Typically, barrel distortion will mean that a rectangle filling nearly the entire field of the lens will have curved, not straight sides, as if it had been over inflated.

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Datacolor at Photokina
Sep 2014 19

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David Saffir: The Shane Hurlbut Illumination Experience Video Tour
Sep 2014 17

I’ve spent the last few days supporting the opening sessions of Shane Hurlbut’s Illumination Experience Video Tour. Datacolor is a sponsor of these events, which will take place in 26 cities.

The sessions are “intended for any filmmaker seeking industry insight on cinematic lighting and cinematography” – but they are much more than that. These workshops cover a lot of ground – from lighting basics through full cinematic setups, to camera operation and exposure management, to on-set color controls, plus post-production tips and more – and, Shane is one of the top instructors in the field.

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Hernan Rodriguez: Celebrity Photo Shoot With Eddie Griffin
Sep 2014 10

When shooting celebrities, even though you may know them or are comfortable with the talent, you still need to make certain you create a good flow, with smooth transitions from set to set. They are most often in a very tight schedule, and keeping your sets pre-lit, helps them just step in and be part of the shoot. Part of this process is always having the proper white balance calibration for each set.

Eddie Griffin, my subject for this shoot, is a funny guy. I’ve been photographing Eddie’s personal work now for the past five years, and every time it’s a hoot. I let him do his own thing, and I just simply sit back and record the session, click by click.

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C. David Tobie: Hyperlapse, and What it Means for Serious Shooters
Sep 2014 04

There is a lot of hype, if you’ll excuse the pun, about hyperlapse at the moment. That’s due to two recent announcements: one from Microsoft, in the form of a Hyperlapse Whitepaper and video sample, and the other from Instagram, who has released a hyperlapse iPhone App.

But first, in case you have been on safari for the last few weeks, and have never heard of hyperlapse, a quick definition: Hyperlapse can mean simply shooting time lapse with a moving camera. But here we are referring to a technique to stabilize action video capture, while reducing frame rate. The result is time lapse (high speed video) that is very smooth, even if the original video was very jumpy.

The question for the serious photographer is: what does hyperlapse mean to me, and should I be investigating it for my own work? The answer to this takes several forms. Lets start with those of you already shooting time lapse.

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David Cardinal: Nikon D810 Raises the Bar for Image Quality: Still Benefits from SpyderCheckr 24® Calibration
Aug 2014 27

While the Nikon D810 is not a massive upgrade from its predecessor, the Nikon D800 (e-version), the sensor has been tweaked for improved color and dynamic range. The result is apparent in test results – with DxOMark rating it a new record 97, compared to 95 – and in images. I’ve been able to shoot in a variety of challenging lighting situations with excellent results. Similarly, images from the camera show excellent color, even before being corrected. Even starting from such an excellent base, there’s room for further improvement with a SpyderCHECKR-based profile, which we’ll cover later in the article. While even the D810 can’t create detail where there is none in the white sky, it is good enough to keep the detail in the shaded flowerbed in front, while also showing detail in the sunlit buildings in the background – all with no exposure compensation.

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Seán Duggan: Understanding Photoshop’s Missing & Mismatched Profile Messages
Aug 2014 20

In Photoshop’s Color Settings dialog (Edit > Color Settings) you can specify a working space for RGB (the spaces for CMYK, Gray, and Spot pertain to to images that will be reproduced on a printing press). The RGB working space should always be set to a device-independent color space (i.e. Adobe RGB, sRGB, or ProPhoto RGB). Even though the profile for your monitor is available in this menu, you should not use a profile that represents a particular piece of hardware for your RGB working space.

In terms of which working space to use, and with what type of files, that is another article all on its own, and I’ll delve into that topic in more detail in another column. The important thing to understand is that the RGB working space you choose in the Color Settings is only used as a default setting for any new files you create in Photoshop (i.e., totally blank documents), or as a baseline for how to interpret a file that has no embedded color profile. You can choose to work in other color spaces on a per-file basis.

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