macro

16 September 2014

2 New wallpapers

Posted in: download, landscape, macro, wallpaper|

2 new wallpapers

Few months have passed since I updated Wallpapers section for the last time so today I uploaded two new wallpapers there. They are both forest scenes, both taken in autumn in different regions of Poland: upper one in gorgeous Masuria lake region and bottom one in Tatra mountains in southern Poland.

To download either of wallpapers, click on its thumbnail to open full-resolution image, right-click it and select Save from context menu.

I hope you like them! For more free HD wallpapers from me, visit the Wallpapers section on this blog.

A lot of work

As you have probably noticed updates to my blog are much less frequent in the last few weeks. It’s because I’m very busy right now (it’s not only because of job but also other things I have to take care of at the moment) and this will probably be the same for the next couple of weeks but hopefully not too long. After that time, however, I should have more time to share new content & tips here. And to take more photos as last few months were rather poor in this regard.

Daily photo – Red leaf

Time for another autumn shot 🙂

Red leaf

Camera Info

Finally some EXIF info:

Technical details:
Camera: Canon 5D MK III (read my review here)
Lens: Canon 100 f/2.8 L IS USM Macro (read my review here)
Focal length: 100 mm
Aperture: f/10.0
Exposure time: 1/100 s
ISO: 6400
Number of exposures: 1
E.V. Step: n/a
Flash used: no
Tripod: yes
Filters: no
Technique: n/a
Software: Magic Lantern, Lightroom 5.4, Photoshop CC, Topaz Clarity
9 September 2014

Colours of autumn

Posted in: macro, Masuria|

Daily photo – Colours of autumn

Time for another autumn shot – is there anything more typical for autumn than a colourful leaf and a mushroom?

Colours of autumn

Camera Info

Finally some EXIF info:

Technical details:
Camera: Canon 5D MK III (read my review here)
Lens: Canon 100 f/2.8 L IS USM Macro (read my review here)
Focal length: 100 mm
Aperture: f/8.0
Exposure time: 1/30 s
ISO: 500
Number of exposures: 1
E.V. Step: n/a
Flash used: no
Tripod: yes
Filters: no
Technique: n/a
Software: Magic Lantern, Lightroom 5.4, Photoshop CC, Topaz Clarity
23 September 2013

Autumn in the forest

Posted in: macro, Masuria|

Macro autumn photo
Click on the photo to view it in large size on black background.

I spent last weekend shooting some photos in the beautiful region of Masuria, Poland. I took some wonderful sunset photos but not only. In the photo above you can see that I also took some macro images. I hope you like it 🙂

Technical details:
Camera: Canon 5D MK III
Lens: Canon 100 f/2.8 L IS USM Macro
Focal length: 100 mm
Aperture: f/10.0
Exposure time: 1/100 s
ISO: 3200
Number of exposures: 1
E.V. Step: n/a
Flash used: no
Tripod: no
Filters: no
Technique: n/a
Software: Lightroom 5.0, Photoshop CC

17 July 2013

Hot news from Magic Lantern – improved Dynamic Range!

Posted in: macro, magic lantern, Masuria, news|

I didn’t have a chance to test this update from Magic Lantern yet so instead of a test photo I’m posting one that is hot 🙂 Literally.

I’m normally not sharing any news from the photography world but I think this one deserves breaking the rules. Guys at Magic Lantern team have just managed to improve dynamic range of 2 cameras: 5D MK III and 7D! First one is now capable of capturing 14 stops of light (that’s right – 14 EV, like Nikon D800!) instead of its standard 10 – 11 stops. Huge improvement. What’s more you can use this feature both for stills and video in case of 5D MK III (only for stills in case of 7D though). I can’t wait to test it out.

You can read whole discussion on the Magic Lantern forum. There are a few samples showing the difference there. There is also a whitepaper detailing how all this was done. You can read this PDF here.

But as there is no rose without a thorn, there is a price to pay for this:

  • half resolution in highlights and shadows,
  • aliasing and moire artifacts,

For me reduced resolution might be a problem but I have to check the build to tell if it’s really that bad. Also I’m pretty sure Alex and the rest will finally manage to get over it somehow.

13 July 2013

Macro photo and 2 new HD wallpapers

Posted in: download, hdr, macro, Masuria, wallpaper|

I realized that I hadn’t added any new wallpaper for quite a long time so today I uploaded 2 new images to the Wallpapers section. You can find their thumbnails below. I hope you’ll enjoy them!

Technical details:
Camera: Canon 5D MK II
Lens: Canon 100 f/2.8 L IS USM Macro
Focal length: 100 mm
Aperture: f/10.0
Exposure time: 1/30 s
ISO: 100
Number of exposures: 1
E.V. Step: n/a
Flash used: yes, macro flash
Tripod: yes
Filters: no
Software: Magic Lantern 2.3, Lightroom 5.0, Photoshop CC

1 July 2013

Tutorial: how to save disk space

Posted in: macro, tutorial|

You probably know this issue – you take thousands of photographs on each of your photo shoots. You shoot mainly RAW. You don’t have time to delete all bad photos after copying them to disk. You quickly end up with a few TB disk being completely full. You know this, don’t you?

It’s what happens to me every few weeks or months so I would like to share some tips with you what you can do to minimize this (or at least to slow this process down a little bit):

  • If you use Lightroom, always import your photos as DNGs from memory cards instead of RAWs. One of the huge benefits of DNG files is that they are by 15% or more smaller than original RAWs! For 100 GB of RAWs you can save 15 GB of memory or more this way. But for 1 TB it becomes as much as 150 GB! Big difference. You can make DNGs even smaller by using compression but as this is related to loss of quality I’m not doing this myself.
  • Convert existing RAW photos to DNGs. If you’re like me, you probably still have a lot of RAWs on your disk. You can convert them from Library module in Lightroom at any time by invoking Library -> Convert Photo to DNG command. Bear in mind that any adjustments made to original RAWs would be impossible to revert after doing so. So you might consider resetting adjustments and only then convert to DNG.
  • In Photoshop never ever save your intermediary results as TIFF. Use PSD (or PSB for very large photos) instead. TIFF files, especially those not compressed, can be even a few times larger than PSD files.
  • In Photoshop remove any unused layers or channels before saving. They can greatly increase image size.
  • In Photoshop you can also consider flattening your layers or merging visible layers. In my case I hardly ever make adjustments to an already edited photo in PSD files. More frequently I apply sharpening to an already processed photo (but for this I need only final image without any other layers) or start processing my photo from scratch. As PSDs still can be quite large (1 GB or more), you can save a lot of space this way.
  • Constantly go through your TODO folders and remove photos you don’t like. Otherwise you’ll end up with 100k of unprocessed shots most of which you don’t like at all (and for that reason will never process them). I usually take from 4000 to 8000 photos during 1 week trip. Quite a lot. As soon as I’m home I start to remove photos I don’t like. At this stage I remove technically bad photos like the ones with focusing issues or much too noisy. When I start to process my photos several weeks later I remove more photos and more and more. Eventually I end up with only 100 to 400 photos left. Usually these are the best ones.
  • Use cloud services. Cloud storage became very cheap these days and one of its benefits is that it’s quite safe. It’s more probable than your local hard drive will crash than you will loose data stored in the cloud. Another benefit is that this way your data is accessible from all over the world – you don’t need to carry disks with you.
26 June 2013

Review: Photoshop CC Shake Reduction tool

Posted in: before/after, macro, photoshop, review|

There was a lot of talk about shake reduction technology in Photoshop prior to release of Adobe Photoshop CC. As it was just released a few days ago and I’m its lucky user I would like to share a few words with you about this interesting technology.

Before we start, take a look at the photo above. Before shows the photo as I took it (+ some minor cropping and contrast tweaking in Lightroom). You can notice a bit of blurriness especially in the wings, legs and abdomen. The After shows the image after applying Shake Reduction filter to it. The image is crisp and almost razor sharp (compare leaf or the wings).

Now back to the filter itself 🙂

First of all, this isn’t the first ever implementation of shake reduction technology although you might think so thanks to Adobe marketing campaign. The algorithms dealing with reducing blurriness (especially caused by camera movement) have existed for a few years now and some companies have introduced their products much earlier than Adobe did, eg. Topaz have their InFocus plugin which I quite like (especially to remove some very minor blurring).

However, I must say that Photoshop Shake Reduction is quite impressive and probably I will use it more frequently than any other shake reduction filter. It’s fast, very easy to use and in my tests it generally performed rather good. But the most important for me is that unlike many other methods I tried it doesn’t introduce many artifacts (and blur reduction is very prone to introduce artifacts in general).

I mentioned that the filter is easy to use. Really – you simply choose part of your image by drawing rectangular selection and based on your selection algorithm will try to guess blur characteristics and based on them will try to “unshake” the image (formally it will do deconvolution). If one selection doesn’t work, try selecting another.

For the above image it worked fantastic. But will it work equally well for other images? Well, the best answer I can give is – it depends. From my tests it seems that the filter performs best when:

  • blur isn’t big (just a bit of hand shaked caused blur or small out-of-focus issues),
  • there is enough contrast and texture in the photo – photos without them perform much worse.

Summing up I find the Shake Reduction filter quite impressive. Although it isn’t ideal, it’s one of the best implementations of blur reduction I’ve seen so far. And given how much interest and research goes into blur reduction these days I think that the technology will improve in next few years.

28 January 2013

Colourful splash

Posted in: macro|

Today I would like to share yet another macro splash photo. I used some yellow background to create this golden reflection. I think it looks fairly nice 🙂

EXIF data:
Camera: Canon 5D MK II
Lens: Canon 100 f/2.8 L IS USM Macro
Focal length: 100 mm
Aperture: f/14.0
Exposure time: 1/200
ISO: 100
Number of exposures: 1
E.V. Step: n/a
Flash used: yes, 580 EX II
Tripod used: yes
Filters used: no
Software: Magic Lantern 2.3, Lightroom 4.2, Photoshop CS6