Keswick 2014

One from the archives that I rediscovered today. Taken with the Canon 5DII whilst walking with my wife. We saw this view back towards Keswick as we walked back to our B&B. Sensing the light was changing I stopped and looked behind me to find this scene.

© Dave Whenham
Right place, right time …

Pixel Peeping

A lot has been written about how Fuji RAW (RAF) files are processed by various software packages. I’ve been processing mine in Adobe Camera Raw (ACR) from Day One and never had cause for complaint. However, popular wisdom is that Iridient X-Transformer (IXT) is the way to go, although typically no one can quite agree on the best way to configure this software.

I thought though that I’d give it a try and, again following perceived wisdom, have set the parameters so that there is no sharpening applied. That seems to me to be a fairer test, turning sharpening off in both ACR and IXT and applying equal sharpening using the Unsharp Mask in Photoshop.

Dave Whenham
Side by side, the full image (16%)

In the screenshot above the IXT processed file is on the left and the ACR version on the right. There is very little manual tweaking to be done with IXT – apart from initial set up of the interface everything is automatic. The ACR file however was manually tweaked to get the best image, to my taste, from the RAW file. Both files then had exactly the same degree of Unsharp Mask applied in Photoshop. Looking at the side by side there is little to choose and the most striking thing for me is how close to how I envisaged the file is the IXT conversion.

© Dave Whenham
Pixel-peeping at 100%

I’m not sure how well it shows up here but pixel peeping at 100% the ACR conversion has the smallest of edges but to be honest the difference is so small that it is not going to register when uploaded to Instagram or even printed and viewed at an appropriate distance for the size of the print.

For my part I will probably continue manually processing RAW files in ACR, saving IXT for those “tricky” files where I can’t seem to get quite what I want. However, if I wanted to quickly batch process a lot of RAF files I wouldn’t hesitate to put them through IXT and then applying basic sharpening through a batch process in Photoshop should I feel the need to sharpen the converted files. However, as I only use DNG files from IXT I can be safe in the knowledge that any DNG file on my hard drive will be unsharpened so I doubt if this second step will be required that often.

Some Sigma Fun

The Sigma 105mm f2.8 macro lens has been a permanent fixture on the Nikon D7100 body for the last week. At this time of year I often leave the macro lens attached and the camera ready to hand. One day, one day, I will get that elusive insect in flight image I’ve been after for several years but until I do there’s always the flowers in the garden.

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After a “straight” shot of the backlit poppies I started looking for opportunities to use the poppies as a backdrop to other, smaller flowers in the raised bed.

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With a few of those captured I looked to open the lens up nice and wide and look to shoot through the other plants. The placement of flowers in the bed meant that the natural subject was these poppies with other flowers out of focus in the foreground to shoot through and more colour beyond as a background.

© Dave WhenhamD7100_Sigma105_Flowers_10052017_DSC_0929

Finally, my favourite from the session. Red, green, blue, yellow and a touch of white.

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All images Nikon D7100, Sigma 105mm macro lens and a low wall to steady my arms!

Backlit – 2 photos

© Dave Whenham

We only have a tiny front garden and a small back yard but my wife has managed to cram a lot of colour into these two small spaces. First thing in the morning at this time of the year the plants in the small raised bed opposite the back door receive the morning sun as it peeps above the houses opposite creating lovely backlit images. There’s usually a few of these in my files come the end of the year!

© Dave Whenham
No flash, both images simply backlit and exposed accordingly. That’s actually our shed in the background of both these images!

A floral interlude

© Dave Whenham

I was just about to close PS down for the day when I noticed that the last nine images I’ve worked on have all had flowers in them. Must be the start of my floral period, or perhaps it’s simply an interlude. Taken with a variety of cameras, Nikon D750, Nikon D7100, Fuji X-1 and the Fuji X-T20 which reflects how much variety I have enjoyed in terms of handling and also lens choice over the past few weeks. If it can be helped I try not to change lenses when out in a field of, say, rape seed crops and that has been what has happened here.  Looking at the RAW files on my computer I can see that all five of my cameras has had at least three outings in the past three months, and some of them even more. Not sure how long this can be sustained, I usually have several lean periods every year, but enjoying it whilst I can!

© Dave Whenham
X-T1 with 55-200 lens. Shooting into the sun for this backlit poppy in the front yard.
© Dave Whenham
Fuji X-T20 with 18-55 “kit lens” and a tiny bit of a tweak in PS CC
Dave Whenham
Fuji X-T1 55-200mm lens