I'm still getting to know the Fujifilm x100s. It's an awesome camera that feels great in my hands. I'm especially loving the viewfinder.
As part of becoming truly familiar with any new camera, I tend to shoot everything in front of me using almost every mode and possible combination. Last weekend I shot friends and family at a mother's day barbeque we had at the beach. I'm shooting in RAW+JPG at the moment so I can study both files and eventually decide what to settle with.
One particular thing that caught my eye is the way the x100s renders colours in both RAW and JPG. And the way Aperture interprets the x100s RAW files. In particular pink.
See the images below as an example (right-click to open in new window to see larger versions):
That's the RAW file rendered in Aperture with no adjustments. The colours are extremely saturated to the point that they almost look radioactive (at least what I imagine a radioactive colour will look like). The pink is blotched and detail is lost. I'm not sure if this is Aperture or the Fuji file itself.
In contrast, look at the jpeg of the same photograph:
It's also a bit oversaturated for my taste, but it's not as radioactive and shows much more detail.
I can correct the RAW file in Aperture, but I'd love to see how the file is rendered in Lightroom or ACR. I might just have to install them to run a test.
Pixelmator got an update a few weeks ago to version 2.2 called Blueberry. I didn't write about it at the time because I wanted to have a chance to play with it for a bit first. It was only a point update, so I wasn't expecting much. In my view, it's a mixed bag.
Let's start with the good stuff.
The new Paint Selection Tool is a welcome addition to the tool set. It makes the selection process much faster and is, for the most part, accurate enough. Obviously, it's not as powerful as Photoshop's multiple selection tools (for those wondering), but that's ok. It gets the job done and is a pleasure to use. This is my favourite feature of the new version.
The Light Leak Effect is fun to use and the Instagram crowd will love it. It's like Instagram on steroids with endless possibilities to customise the effect, so it's easy to create your own look. Personally, I don't think I'll use it much because it's not my style, but it's really nicely implemented and fun to play around with.
Pixelmator is still a normal buy-a-license kind of app, as opposed to that BS Adobe is doing with their subscription-only model. Sorry, had to vent on that one a bit.
Now with the not so good.
Most of the other new features are for graphic designers, not photographers. I fear Pixelmator is heading down a "let's be Photoshop and Illustrator combined" road. I believe this is a way to be kinda ok at both, but not great at anything. That's not a good place to be.
What I liked about Pixelmator was that it felt like a true photo editor for photographers. Sure, version 1 was buggy and it was missing many features, but it was heading in the right direction.
Now they're all excited about their new shape tools and vector features. They even "sneaked a feature" that turns Pixelmator into Vectormator. What. The. Hell?
Sure, the designer features are good and work remarkably well. But seriously, how many photographers add squares and butterfly shapes to their photographs? Text, maybe. Sometimes. At the very end of the process. I still think text should be at the bottom of the feature list in an photo editor for photographers.
Where are features like non-destructive adjustment layers? Or real PSD and TIFF support? Or 16 bit? Or a Liquify Tool?
They actually hinted that layer styles were coming in 2013 back in December 2012. Whilst that would be awesome, their communication back then suggested they were putting their efforts into non-photography related features. I even said I felt they were going to "follow the Photoshop path and become a bloat trying to please everyone".
I have to say I'm slightly disappointed with Pixelmator 2.2 Blueberry. It seems Pixelmator is no longer a photographers application. The question will no longer be photographers asking "how good is it as a Photoshop replacement" but it'll be web designers instead.
Still, I'm hopeful. And for $15 bucks I still think everyone should buy it. Maybe if enough of us support the developers they'll have an incentive to add the features photographers want.
Peter Belanger is the photographer behind some of Apple's most notorious product images. His client list is pretty impressive, including Nike, Harman Kardon, Square, ebay, and Pixar amongst many others.
The Verge published an interesting article about him in which he briefly describes his process for lighting complex product shots. It's worth a read.
PopChartLab has a pretty cool 18" x 24" poster called A Visual Compendium of Cameras:
A meticulously illustrated catalog of 100 landmark cameras, culled from over a century of photographic history, depicting both professional and consumer models and tracing photography's history from the first models to today's digital wonders.
Yours for US$27 for the print only or $112 framed. Unfortunately, I couldn't find shipping prices to Australia on the website. I guess they'll show after I've put in my credit card, so no-go for me.
Joseph Linaschke's recent series of nudes titled "Sculpture" is beautiful. The images look almost like marble sculptures and have a very poetic feeling about them. I'd love to see the prints in person. They must look amazing at the huge size he's printed them. Some are over a metre and a half on the long side!
In this article, Joseph explains the post-processing process he followed to acheive the results. Fascinating.
Found this one in my library and realised I hadn't posted it before.
Beautiful video by Mark Gee, a photographer & digital visual effects artist based in Wellington, New Zealand.
I tried, but honestly can't think of a better way to describe it than his own words:
Full Moon Silhouettes is a real time video of the moon rising over the Mount Victoria Lookout in Wellington, New Zealand. People had gathered up there this night to get the best view possible of the moon rising. I captured the video from 2.1km away on the other side of the city. It's something that I've been wanting to photograph for a long time now, and a lot of planning and failed attempts had taken place. Finally, during moon rise on the 28th January 2013, everything fell into place and I got my footage.
I love it. Via my dad.
I checked for software updates this morning and was pleasantly surprised to see this one. This Apple Software Update adds RAW image compatibility for the Fujifilm X100S (and other Fuji cameras) to Aperture 3 and iPhoto'11. Having just recently purchased an X100S I'm happy to see this.
Running a bit late again posting this, but better late than never I guess. The hold up has been on giving them proper titles and meta data in Aperture. I'll write a post with the process I'm following for this year's Project 365 in a future post.
For now, below are the "photo a day" shots I did for February 2013.
In case you missed it, the photos from January are here.
This video by [Dumt & Farligt] is pretty impressive. I'd love to get my hands on a Phantom Flex.
Michelle is originally from Zimbabwe, but has been living in Sydney, Australia for a few years. We shot this in an area called The Rocks a few months ago.
According to a press release on Fujifilm USA published this week, Fujifilm will increase prices for consumer and professional photographic film by around 20%. This includes black and white, colour negative and reversal films.
The reason they give is the "continuing decline in demand for film products, the high costs of production, and the increased expenses associated with raw materials". It makes sense and I guess it's expected. But I can't stop feeling a little bit sad about the news.
I finally gave in and bought VSCO FILM 02 for Aperture 3. I've been experimenting with adding a layer of real film grain to presents in Aperture 3. It's been a huge learning experience and I think I finally have something I like. I'm planning on making it available here soon.
However, I've always wondered about the VSCO presets. From looking at the samples on their website, they look really good, although overly expensive as far as presets go. But after asking Robert Boyer and Patrick La Roque on Twitter about them, I decided to pull the trigger and buy one.
I decided on VSCO FILM 02. I've only had it for a few days and still going through it, but so far I like it. I've mostly experimented with the black and white presets and the film grain. It's obvious they spent a lot of time and attention on it. I'll write my thoughts once I've had enough time to really get into it.
The two photographs here have the Ilford Delta 3200 and Fuji Superia 400 film grain presets added. Nothing else.
Last week, Google decided to kill Snapseed Desktop. But that wasn't all that happened. At the same time, they announced the death of several other services, one of them Google Reader. That got me worried about 2 things:
- Many of you have subscribed to the site via RSS and most are using Google Reader.
- My RSS feed is managed through Feedburner, another Google service which might be discontinued at any moment.
In light of this, I'm moving my RSS feed out of Feedburner and using the one built into Squarespace, the platform where this site is hosted. If Google ever decides to discontinue Feedburner (which I think is likely) it won't affect us.
Please re-subscribe to the site using this feed URL:
I realise this is a big ask and I might loose some of you, but it's for the best in the long run. I sincerely hope you'll stick around.
I'll post a reminder in a couple of weeks. The old RSS feed won't work after that.
Subscribe via email here:
Even better, I've now added subscription via email. This is a great option as it doesn't depend on a third party service. Your email will be kept private and never shared. I won't do anything I wouldn't like done with my own email.
Today in the Google Official Blog:
"Beginning today we’ll no longer sell or provide updates for Snapseed Desktop for Macintosh and Windows"
I had a feeling this was coming when Google bought Nik Software. Back in September I wrote that I thought Google had bought Nik to get it's hands on Snapseed in an attempt to compete with Facebook/Instagram. Ditching the desktop version suggests to me they're focusing on mobile. I wonder what will happen to Nik's plugins. They're amongst the best out there and as I said before, it would be a shamed if they discontinued them.