Photography, White Balance and Colour Profiling

Hi Folks:

I wrote this out for a friend of mine and thought I should post it here as well. Back in 2010 we wrote a post on Photography and Colour Management, and this is complementary to that post.

When it comes to colour digital photography, many photographers are aware of white balance. If you’re not, this Wikipedia article on Colour Balance explains it well. The essential element is that the human eye sees subjectively (our eyes receive energy as light and our brains interpret what that energy means) whereas digital cameras see objectively. The human perspective is highly adaptable, so no matter where or when we find ourselves, if we see something white, we recognize it as white, no matter what colour it actually is. Cameras can’t do that. If you’re shooting .jpg images you select a white balance setting on the camera – daylight or incandescent or even auto – and the camera’s software shifts the information captured so that white looks, well, white. If you’re shooting RAW, the images captured have no integral white balance and one must be assigned during raw conversion.

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Focus Stacking for Landscape Photography

Hi Folks:

We’re certainly not the first to entertain this idea, but while most people associate focus stacking with macro photography (at really high magnifications one’s depth of field (DoF) can be 0.05mm, or less) focus stacking can have value in architectural and landscape photography, even product photography as well. It’s something I’ve only recently tried so I thought I’d share some experiences.

For any image there’s one point (at most) in the frame that is in exact focus. Depth of field is the range of distances within any particular image that appear to be in focus. We’re not going to weigh you down with the details, like Circles of Confusion, Scheimpflug principle, etc. There’s more than enough information on that available on the web.

Focus stacking is a process whereby one takes a series of images with different points of focus and then uses software to choose sections of each image to create a composite image. Here’s an example:

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A Quick Lightroom Tip

Hi Folks:

I’ve been using Lightroom since the first Beta, but never claimed to know everything. In fact I learned something new today. As I’m sure you do, I often shoot 2-3 exposures in series and then pick the best one of them once I have them in the Lr library. I’ve been opening the Library module in Grid view, selecting the 2 or 3 images, pressing C for Compare view, zooming in, determining which is best and rejecting the other(s), then pressing G to go back to Grid view, selecting the next pair, etc. I don’t often use the filmstrip at the bottom, but I happened to have it open today. What I discovered is this:

Start in Grid view and select two (or more) images for comparison. Press C to go to Compare view, and the two selected images are shown in the filmstrip below. Choose one of the images and X (reject) the other. Now, while in Compare view, click on the frame (not the image) of the next image to be compared in the filmstrip at the bottom and Lr will automatically select the image beside it for comparison. If you have more than two images to compare you can hold down the Shift or Ctrl key to select the next file(s). Compare, choose one, X the others, then press on the frame of the next image to compare in the bottom filmstrip… It’s a lot faster than going back and forth between Compare and Grid views.


 

Okay, that’s it. Now go out and make some photographs!!
 

Hugs,
M&M

P.S. There are some 85 posts on our blog now on digital photography and Lightroom. You can find them all here.

Spreading Love and JOY!!! Giving out Free Hugs !

Hi Folks:

We saw this post on the Random Acts of Kindness website yesterday, and (of course) we had to share it with you!

Click the image to see the article. 🙂

Hugs,
M&M

Happy Pi Day!!

Hi Folks:

It’s that time of the year (3-14) where we get to celebrate all things irrational, and so as we’ve done for several years now we thought we’d add a recipe or two. Mike’s Auntie Dona – at various stages in her life – ran a bakery, a restaurant, a catering service for several small airlines, and a cooking school. She was also quite a character. Wherever she is now, she likely has flour in her hair. These recipes are hers.

In case pastry has become your bête noire, here’s the one I used in the bakery and still do.

5 cups flour, 1 lb. lard, 1 tsp. salt… blend with pastry blender. Break 1 egg into a cup, beat and fill with water. Add to flour and stir and knead until it’s ready to handle. Seeing as how you’ve got that great lump of pastry there, make a pie or two, some butter tarts, turnovers (apple pie filling, zipped up with cinnamon and a few raisins) or raisin squares or just bake the shells and store them on a shelf. They’ll stay good for ages.

Now about those butter tarts. This recipe I gleaned from an old Mennonite cookbook and have used constantly over the years. Surprise, no butter in butter tarts.

Dona’s stolen recipe for butter tart filling

2 eggs, 1 tsp. vanilla, 1 cup brown sugar, handful of raisins. Beat the hell out of the eggs with your balloon whisk. If you don’t have one, stop right now and go and get one. I mean, really. Then put in the sugar and beat until you have big glutinous bubbles on top. Add your vanilla and raisins, put in tart shells and bake. Do use a 2-lb jam can to cut out your tart shells, 4-lb size for turnovers. Don’t bake butter tarts or anything with an egg base in a high oven. 325° at the most. I find 325 is best for these as a nice crust will form and they look beauteous. Gravy ladle fills the easiest. The amount makes 1 dozen.

So there you go. Have some fun with it! And since you have pastry dough left over, maybe put together a pumpkin or lemon pie or something. Check our Food section for more recipes.

Hugs,
M&M

An HDR Comparison

Hi Folks:

When you mention the term HDR, many people’s thoughts automatically jump to tonemapping and the results that can produce. That’s not what this post is about. If you don’t understand what HDR is all about or why you might want to use it in your photography, I suggest starting here: Why Use HDR? I’ll wait…

Okay, welcome back. I recently acquired a Sony A7R III and one of the features of this camera is that it has a very wide dynamic range – 12 to 14 stops are claimed. To that end, HDR capture with this camera isn’t often necessary. However, a friend of mine and I were out at Victoria’s famous Butchart Gardens last weekend and I wanted to try bracketing a few exposures just to see. Now, when it comes to the question of how many exposures to make and at what EV levels, there’s really only one answer: it depends. It depends on the scene and it also depends on the camera you’re using and what capabilities it has. For my experiment I decided to shoot 5 bracketed exposures at -4/-2/0/+2/+4 EV. Here’s an example of one of those combined images after having been pushed around a bit in Lr.

Water Dragon
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Happy Bearthday!

Hi Folks:

The earth is 4.5 billion years old, and life appeared 3.8 billion years ago. Compress those into one year, and today is life’s bearthday! So, Happy Birthday to us!! Go out and celebrate!!

Dallas Road Sunset

Holland Point, Dallas Road, Victoria – photo by Marcia

Hugs,
M&M

Now, on Leap Years…🤔

The Five Love Languages

Hi Folks:

At one of our hugging sessions last summer, one person who stopped to speak with us asked if we were familiar with the five love languages. We weren’t, but we were thinking French, Greek, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish … However, that’s not to what he was referring. Instead, he was referencing the book written by Gary Chapman, “The Five Love Languages: The Secret to Love That Lasts“.

In essence the five love languages are:

  • Words of Affirmation
  • Acts of Service
  • Receiving Gifts
  • Quality Time
  • Physical Touch

Hugging ticks several of those boxes. 🙂 If you’re interested in learning more about what Gary has to offer, check out the link above!

Hugs,
M&M

Bogey and Pretty Eyes

It’s Random Acts of Kindness Week!!

Hi Folks:

Yesterday marked the beginning of Random Acts of Kindness week, so of course we went out hugging!! The credit for the saying goes to Anne Herbert, who in 1985 suggested committing “random kindness and senseless acts of beauty” in her book, “Compassion 101.” Since then the idea has taken on a life of its own, but it needs all of us to keep it alive! It need not be difficult or complicated. Kindness is always a good idea! However, if you’re looking for some ideas, be sure to check out the Random Acts of Kindness.org site and their sister site, PassitOn.com. Great stories and resources, including kindness kits for teachers, can also be found at the Ripple Kindness Project site.

Take the opportunity to be kind today! And tomorrow. And… you might just find it growing on you. As for our continuing hugging adventures, so far this year we’ve shared hugs with Ambassadors from 12 countries (this is our 10th year; so far we’ve hugged people from at least 82 countries in total) and yesterday we shared our first hugs with visitors from Canada’s Nunavut territory! They didn’t seem to mind the absence of -50°C temperatures. 🙂

Hugs,
M&M

Random Acts of Kindness Day

Hugging 2019… Tempus Fugit!!

Hi Folks:

Hugging 2019

Believe it or not, we started this post over a month ago, and it’s already February 3rd. So much for our “Welcoming 2019” title! Ah well… Continue Reading →