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  1. 4 points
    Really need to make more time to take photographs - and remember to take a camera with me. Untitled Looking towards Melbourne from Brighton Beach. Shot with an iPhone. The detail in the sand looks like a bit over processed to me, but I do tend to find that the phone struggles with soil type pictures (which I tend to shoot a lot of for work).
  2. 4 points
    For those who do not know cricket, Owzat? (How's that) is the traditional request to the umpire to declare a batsman out.
  3. 3 points
    I happened to look out of my front window, and there was a double rainbow looking back at me. Yeh, I know, everyojne has seen them. But this is one of the better ones I have seen, and certainly the best I have ever captured. It is a double. I used a Meike 7.5mm fisheye. It claims to be a fisheye, but I get rectangular images... although very distorted. I live in the second story of a building that was constructed in 1973 as a flash freezing facility for processed salmon. I am also attaching one of my more interesting photos of what I think is sphagnum moss of some variety. I am too lazy to do two separate topics. This one was with a 60mm Sigma, F2.8. I have not decided for sure, but think I still prefer the 12-50 Olympus macro lens.
  4. 3 points
  5. 3 points
    OK fellows, I tried the LAB settings. It definitely affects saturation and vibrancy (and I need to read more on WHY). Here's the adjusted shot w/ a lens blur variation, which may be the best of all (but you tell me!). So when shooting subjects like this, I've found that you have to be picky about any imperfections. My first shots were terrible because of all the broken and 'dusty' m&ms, the latter partially due to several of them splitting up into tiny bits. I needed to 'dust' each one off using a lens horse hair brush. And even then, many had imperfections - the image required over an hour of (tedious) PS cleanup!
  6. 2 points
    Streuth Mike - you are doing it really hard just now - and no green jelly beans either! (I was in the city today and spotted an X-H1 in the flesh. I did not have time to go into the shop and handle the beast, but it certainly looks the part. Next trip I might even get a little closer to it.)
  7. 2 points
    It’s almost like I could hear it’s heart beating from miles away. A slow, steady rhythm drawing me closer and closer. It wanted to seduce me with its svelte outline and cool, irresistible metallic finish. I had no idea it was there, but something inside me (or maybe outside of me) was being pulled towards the electronics goods shop, where a few years ago I had purchased not just one, but three Panasonic Micro Four Thirds lenses for my new little camera system. It must have been a sixth sense of sorts drawing me there this past Saturday. I walked into the shop specifically to ask a question about whether the proprietors were going to be getting the new range of Panasonic MFT lenses in, seeing as Panasonic has decided to start redistributing their photography products in South Africa again and this particular shop has traditionally always carried their stuff. I was particularly interested in the new Leica designed 8-18mm f/2.8-4.0 ultra wide angle lens. With the increase in the amount of real estate photography I am doing, it would be nice to have a top end lens to do this sort of work instead of the mid level one I have been using. It’s a confidence thing, you know. Bootie manages the Pavilion branch of Govan Mani (the shop I was in) and he was busy checking his computer for a Panasonic price list when I looked up at the glass cabinet behind him and almost swallowed my tongue on the spot. There on the top shelf were four brand new Panasonic lenses and one of them was the very one I was asking about! Providence for me to enter the store and make such a discovery? More like The Last Temptation Of Dallas, a man crippled with financially debilitating photographic GAS for almost 20 years! The moment I held this 8-18mm lens in my hands the first thing that flashed through my mind was that in spite of its chunky, metal appearance, it was actually very light. It looks way heavier than it feels. The metallic finish is exquisite and very Leica-like. The zoom ring turns as smoothly as pate spreads across a canapé. When you touch the finish there’s no tell-tale sign of finger prints left behind at all. I knew then that resistance of such allure was going to be nigh impossible. Oh Lord. What have I done by coming in here, I thought as I immediately contemplated extended overdrafts and accessing whatever equity I might have in the studio equipment I no longer use and might be able to sell to make up the rather large number required to acquire this beautiful lens? Unfortunately (or fortunately, if you view the situation from a slightly different perspective), the Panasonic camera they had in the store didn’t have a charged battery in it, so I wan’t able to see the lens in action. Bootie invited me to bring my own camera in any time to conduct an examination of this lens’ charms on a working camera. It’s an invitation that has been disturbing my sleep patterns since Saturday. There’s nothing wrong with the Olympus 9-18mm that I have been very happy with since I got it in 2012, but you know us photographers, if there is something even remotely better than what we have, well… the GAS becomes irrepressible. And I have been feeling it building up since the weekend. Something’s got to give! But why do we lust after these things the way we do? Do we somehow believe that by possessing them we will be magically endowed with better photography skills? Experience of my own splurges into gear I couldn’t afford, as well as years spent observing the photos of those who can afford it, seems to suggest that the answer is an obvious no. It certainly doesn’t improve your photography much at all. So why do we do it? Why do we crave upgrades and why do we spend so much time obsessing over the gear we think we absolutely can’t live without? I don’t really know. I wish I did but I don’t. There’s possibly a psychiatrist or two out there who does know the answer but they will likely charge me more than the cost of the gear I lust after to provide an answer, so logically speaking… I suppose it will be cheaper to succumb to the GAS than getting therapy for it. Anyway, getting back to the lens in question; From what I have read online by a variety of reviewers (some of whom are actually photographers), the Panasonic/Leica 8-18mm lens is very good, but it also suffers from the same problem that most ultra-wide angle lenses do, namely flare when pointed in the direction of a bright light source. If there is one thing that prevented me from buying the Olympus 7-14mm f/2.8 PRO that was it. The flare was something that would cause me a problem in most shooting situations and if you know how much I hate editing photos, you’ll know that anything that causes me to do more editing than is ordinarily required is going to be frowned upon. The 8-18mm apparently has better flare resistance than most other wide angle lenses because of the “nano coating” that it has on the elements. Sounds like snake oil, doesn’t it? That said, if there is any truth to the matter, then the lens becomes something that will actually improve my photography if I don’t have to worry about losing contrast in photos where I have a broad range of brightness in the scene (i.e. real estate interiors) and there are fewer element ghosts to worry about cloning out. The 9-18mm Olympus I have doesn’t do too poorly in this situation, actually it does a lot better than the supposedly superior 7-14mm PRO lens does where flare is concerned, but where it falls short of gaining the all important Fotozones Stamp Of Outright Approval (10/10 in any review I do) is its handling of barrel distortion at 9mm. And I suppose it could be a tiny bit sharper too. It certainly isn’t soft though, don’t get me wrong. Far from it. This is a developing story. Stay close to find out if I am able to resist the GAS or succumb to it! Did I mention that they also have the 45mm 1.2 Nocticron sitting right next to the 8-18mm? Let's not even go there... View full article
  8. 2 points
    I have a few more of those photos now. Even the name is sort of special. This is a "Woolly Lousewort." How in the world do they com up with some of these names? Also unrelated to the photos, I was living in Anchorage for about 12 years before coming back out here. This town was my home from 1992 until 2004. I was in a coffee shop not far from Anchorage, and I got to overhear a conversation that some tourists were having with a sort of local (she lived "off the grid" in a cabin with no electric or plumbing.) She was telling them about how the inconvenience was minor compared to the rewards. After the local left, the family group (seemed to be five of them) was discussing what they had heard. One of them said something like, "I have never been anywhere before where all of the residents are so positive about where they live, and how they would not change locations for anything." And were so willing to stop and talk with them about how great it is to live here. I moved here (Alaska) in 1985, and really would NOT want to move anywhere else. That includes returning to the high desert area of Arizona. Maybe if I was guaranteed a decent location like the 4 corners area I would have to give it some thought. But I honestly have dreamed, more than once, that I was back in Arizona, had made a mistake in leaving, but had no money to move back. I have recently reconnected with some old friends from 30 years ago. I now sometimes explain to them where I am and what I am doing. And I really wonder how on earth did I manage to get here? I am really fortunate. It is past my bedtime, and I am looking out over the Andreafsky River with a full moon rising. There are moose, black and brown bears, and other wildlife just a few minutes from here (actually, a brown bear has been spotted on our village roads already this spring.) From the local cemetery on a hill, we watched three bull moose feeding across the river one day last week. The cemetery is where I get a lot of tundra photos. It is maybe 1.5 miles from here. OK. Enough sales pitch.
  9. 2 points
    This time in full colour, though, and with a 1980 Helios 44-M 2/58 lens attached to the Sigma sd Quattro-H - a lens I got for nothing as it was attached to an old Zenit E that had been thrown away at the tip, the lens was filled with fungus which I cleaned out and the lens is now as good as new. In the meantime Sigma has finally listened to the criticism of its SPP raw processor and fine tuned the areas most complained about; they also sped it up so that it now operates at a reasonable clip. Colour rendition and image structure is much better, which gave what I thought to be a very pleasing result through that old Russian lens. A quick walk near the old precinct in New Norfolk saw this late autumn rose at f/2 ...and a ground-level shot also taken for the colour at f/2 ...and the old Parsonage looking most mysterious and spooky @ f/8
  10. 2 points
    Hugh: Yes, you have the right place. And I could almost afford a plane if I ever quit buying more photo equipment! (not really.) The villages are almost always either on the coast, or on a river. In the winter locals use snowmobiles (always called "snowmachines" out here.) And In the summer, you go by boat. With the recent changes in mail subsidies all village travel has become more expensive. Commercial Inter-village travel is mostly with Cessna 207's, but the Cessna 207 is becoming ancient. The Cessna 208 (Caravan) is becoming the standard plane for these trips. When I first came here in the mid 1980's I had a job that required almost weekly travel to villages (from Bethel.) I have been to about 40 villages in our region, the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta (maybe 10 I have only landed at) Due to changes in our cargo and mail distribution, travel has become more difficult (and costly.) It is now about $675 round trip, to Anchorage. In better days we had multiple 737 flights per week. But not now. So all travel has become much more expensive. Many years ago I managed to stick a small knife almost through my hand. It was Sunday, and the weather was bad. I had trouble controlling bleeding, and really needed a few stitches to fix it, so I paid for a charter to Bethel to get medical care. Since it was rotten weather, I had to take a twin and fly IFR. By the time I was done the stitches cost me about $1500 a piece. The 12-50 is 43mm, only, when in Macro mode. I have also used the 30mm Olympus macro. And I keep coming back to the 12-50. It will be a while before I even consider another lens purchase and I am not likely to buy the 60 Olympus, unless I can try it first. I also need to spend more time with the 60mm Sigma and the 30mm Olympus before I pass final judgement.
  11. 2 points
    A blueish one from this year, cropped squarish! X-H1 + 35mm 1.4. @ 1/120 f5.6 ISO200
  12. 2 points
    On our short dog walk we come around a corner with chestnuts: The rainbow was produced this way: The images where taken during a longish dry spell, where the farmers in the area started with irrigation. Even without the rainbow, I found the water from the sprinkler interesting: Actually, the first two images are nice, but more documentary, I like the last one much better, probably the tone of the light and the way the corn plants are lit. cheers afx
  13. 2 points
    Fee and mom after two days: cheers afx
  14. 2 points
    Sunset before the storms. X-T2, 90mm f/2
  15. 2 points
    Hey Frank, thanks for commenting. Yes, the risks of getting hacked are real. It happened to me on Photographers.travel a few years ago. I got hacked by some arabic outfit via a vulnerability they found in the Revolution slider plugin that Avada theme uses. Kind of ironic name. The most common approach by hackers is to use sql-injection via forms on a site, so mine and my clients' sites (apart from FZ) have no forms on them at all apart from occasional newsletter sign-ups which are provided by the likes of Mail Chimp, so they don't connect to the WP database directly. If a customer wants to get in touch with me I have mailto: links on pages for them to click and email me directly. This also helps to avoid the inevitable situation when a person making an inquiry mistypes their email address and you can't respond to them, leaving you looking somewhat unprofessional. So aside from leaving off forms, my other strategy is to keep the WP core system files fresh and to also be very careful of any third party plugins. I always thoroughly research them before installing them on WordPress. But yes, many years of producing websites on WP (gee, I think I was using it from about version 2 if memory serves) and apart from the one hacking it has been fairly smooth sailing. Avada has been awesome too and I have no reason to try using any other theme. Their support is awesome.
  16. 2 points
    Dallas -- I, too, use WordPress as the basis for my website. I have been impressed by its ever-growing capabilities as a content management system. And, I've been even more impressed by the quality and functionality that open-source development by a gaggle of volunteers has been able to deliver. Frankly, the very low regression defect rate of the WordPress team puts some of the major vendors of photo software to shame. (A regression defect occurs when a change to the software, say for a new feature, breaks some other feature that used to work.) One caution about WordPress. It is the most popular content management system on the internet. I have seen reports suggesting something well above 25% of the websites on the internet are based on WordPress. That's both a tribute and a caution. The hackers of the world are thus attracted to WordPress-based sites. Any website based on WordPress MUST have a security management strategy and framework. There are good tools available, such as WordFence, for little or no cost that can be quite effective in warding off ill-intended visitors to your site. Many of the popular hosting companies provide free tutorials on security strategy and some offer low-cost services consulting on security for WordPress. I've been running on WordPress for three or four years now and would never consider going anyplace else. Regards, Frank
  17. 1 point
    A solo hike to start a new month. The extra three or so pounds (no partner to carry water, lunch, snacks, cellphone) made a definite difference, so only a few short off-trail excursions. But the striking majesty and tenaciousness of the junipers and wonderful rock formations were engaging and inspiring. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14.
  18. 1 point
    Solo hikes can be good for the soul. Do keep your phone with you, or better still, get a personal locator beacon or epirb - we need to keep you safe & well so that we can see more of these images and the antics of the Junipers!
  19. 1 point
  20. 1 point
    Like em Merlin!
  21. 1 point
    The other big change is that an increasing number of the tall buildings are on the south side of the river.
  22. 1 point
    The older I get, the less interest I have spending time at my homeoffice desk (even though it has a nice 30" NEC screen). I prefer the sofa now ;-) So I have been searching for quite a while to find something usable. It was a lot less easy than expected. Requirements: at least 100% sRGB, preferably 100% Adobe RGB. a decent keyboard 2Kg max weight Quad i7, at least 16GB RAM 15" Screen preferably not 16:9 A Unix OS Well, as usual not all parameters could be matched ;-( Imaging software on Linux still sucks, so MacOS would be the obvious choice to get a Unix system. But Apple nowadays is only into overpriced lifestyle products, not pro products. Connectivity is hampered by the need of having to bring adapters like a packrat And their keyboards used to suck (I have been using them since 2002), but now they ship even worse rubbish (see the class action suit). So no Macbook Pro. Windows 10 now has a Linux subsystem (WSL), this helps though it is just a subsystem, not an integral part of the OS like on MacOS (funny enough, loads of developers are switching from Macs to Windows because of WSL). A 15" surface book 2 would be cool (and it has a nice aspect ratio), but the keyboard is rubbish and it only has sRGB. And the port selection is not brilliant either. Dell and HP also have rubbish keyboards... There is a Lenovo Yoga 720 with a 15" screen, but it seems to have quality problems, the gamut is not that exiting either and the keyboard is not Thinkpad class. So back to my old staple, Thinkpads. The only brand with really good laptop keyboards. Good reliability (I have 30y experience with Thinkpads) Unfortunately, most Thinkpads have gamuts significantly below 100% sRGB. The big workhorse would be a P52, nearly 100% Adobe RGB. But that thing weighs over 2Kg and has a brick of a power supply. At the beginning of the year Lenovo announced the 3rd gen X1 Yoga with an 8gen quad i7 (and a similar X1 Carbon). The CES reports mentioned full Adobe RGB (with the HDR panel), unfortunately only 14" in 16:9. And a very bright screen (most laptops have 300nits, this has 500). The price difference between the Carbon and the Yoga is is minimal, but the Yoga comes with a touch screen and a pen. Got the Yoga with HDR screen for the student price (30% off) in April. It comes with on site replacement warranty for 3 years and I ordered the clumsy extension, as well as a second power supply, so I have one on each floor. So far I am quite happy with it. Using it with Capture One and Affinity Photo. So here are the good, the bad and the ugly: The keyboard is a typical Thinkpad keyboard. Anything better would be a big fat IBM type M. It works as it should (and sinks into the body when flipping the screen over). Have not tested it's claimed splash resistance yet. It is quite light (less than 1.5Kg). It is easily fast enough for my D750 files (faster than my old hex i7 desktop). If there are no reflections, the screen is gorgeous. And bright if needed, but it can still go low enough in the evenings. Of course, using it as touch screen leaves marks... Needs cleaning often. I measured 98% Adobe RGB, and it shows. Absolutely great for image viewing. 16:9 sucks. Why Lenovo standardized on this is beyond me, video watching is not the prime use for these machines. I wish it where 15", but 14" works. I rarely us the touch screen and only occasionally the pen. I would have thought I use the pen more often, but apart from some masking I prefer the TrackPoint for mouse placement. The touchpad is only used for scroll/zoom, not mouse buttons, that would lead to way too many faulty mouse button events for me. I stick with the three physical buttons (and yes, the middle button is in constant use...) I rarely use it in tent or tablet mode. They are good for viewing only (typically images, Kindle or Netflix). I need the keyboard shortcuts for Capture One, in tablet mode it feels crippled. Battery lasts easily for a day in my usage scenarios. I only hear the fan when I batch process images or play 0aD. The finger print reader is a joke, it only works part time. Why Lenovo started shipping Micro SD slots instead of SD slots is something I really don't get. So I still need an adapter to read the SD cards ;-( Windows 10 still sucks more than the other operating systems, but it is getting usable. WSL is useful, especially when you install a registry entry that allows one to run Linux shell scripts from the Windows side. In the end, I am quite happy with the X1 Yoga, images look beautifully, it is light enough, battery lasts and I can type on it without getting annoyed. cheers afx
  23. 1 point
    Thanks, Merlin. Sigma are showing Fuji-like attention to reacting to user suggestions for their sdQ cameras - there's been a recent firmware update as well as the hefty revision of the SPP raw processor which is finally realising the potential of the sensor that I was confident of when I bought the camera last year. One of the problems that has been addressed was the propensity for the sensor to give a colour cast shift from magenta in the middle to green on the edges when using old, non-Sigma lenses, in particular when those of us were adapting old 35mm format glass. Sigma didn't have to acknowledge or address this, but the latest SPP certainly does a hugely better job with this problem, so kudos to them for that.
  24. 1 point
    Despite the common misconceptions, the ground isn't "rock steady' and it doesn't only move during certain moments of ecstasy. Even within the field of geotechnical engineering, the understanding of ground vibrations is full of misconceptions and over-simplifications. I suspect your problem may well come from well beyond your the walls of your little studio. The theories for ground vibration are similar to those in other fields, such as audio, and Michael, I believe you have a good understanding of audio, so will also have a reasonable knowledge of things like resonant frequency and amplitude. The whole issue is further complicated by human perception of vibrations, which can vary with not just the amplitude, but also the frequency, direction and whether the person is standing, sitting or lying down. I've been involved a little bit in ground vibration monitoring, one example, many years ago, I was responsible for measuring the vibrations due to blasting in a new sewer tunnel. Unfortunately, one day, I got into trouble for missing the blast - a van had driven up over the curb to park on the footpath and that had triggered the monitoring equipment and I couldn't get it reset in time to record the actual blast vibrations. Other times, I have been involved in seismic surveys, which have involved trying to detect the vibrations of a heavy sledge hammer blow along a 100m long line of geophones. Hopefully, Michael you haven't been too quick in dismantling your new shelves. I've had a look at a map of Big Rapids and the only obvious source of large ground vibrations would be the Interstate to the west, but there could be other smaller scale industrial sources too. From your post, I'm guessing that your vibrations seemed to disappear on Sunday morning? Is it just that Sunday mornings have less traffic or the industry is shut down and come Monday morning your vibrations will be back. Your suggestion of wind could also be a cause - was there much change in the weather in the last few days. I suspect Alan's comments about enlarger vibration could also come from the fact he has moved from suburban Melbourne (and I think he once mentioned that he worked near Ormond, which was the intersection of a busy road and a rail line) to rural Tasmania. As for Michael's problems, there is the issue of identifying the source of vibrations and for example, if it is traffic, timing your work to times when traffic vibrations are low. As for your house, given that shelfs attached to the wall beams seemed to reduce the vibrations, it could be simply that the resonant frequency of the floor timbers is close to that of the vibrations (or a harmonic thereof). A change in the type and thickness of the timbers could help reduce the problem, changing the span of the timbers (which would be a more complex task) could also change the resonant frequency of your floor. Another factor is that the upstairs location will experience a greater amplitude of vibration due to effectively being the free end of a vibrating column. If you really want to get to the bottom of this, you could get yourself a geophone and then I'm sure you could apply some of your audio knowledge to measuring the vibrations (a geophone is really just a sensitive microphone) and then working out the best way to avoid or get rid of the vibrations.
  25. 1 point
    Difficult stuff to photograph well at the best of times, these are excellent.

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