Archive for the 'Camera Stuff' Category

About cameras, equipment, and postprocessing techniques

Photo-Development Challenge Results #2: Statues

It's been three months to the day since I posted "Photo-Development Challenge: Inspire Me and Others With Your Artistic Interpretation", and I'm mortified that it's only the second set of results that I'm finally getting around to sharing (the first having been "Hillside Temple Buildings" 2½ months ago). In retrospect, it was irresponsible of me to post the challenge right before a long family vacation. Sorry.

In any case, to recap what's going on, I posted some raw photos and asked others to develop them to their taste, and here I'll share what those different interpretations looked like.

First, today's [...]


View full post »
Architectural Details at the Kyoto Imperial Palace

最近の記事はサイクリングと撮影ソフトばかりので、やっと僕の基本に一雄戻ります。

I've been posting mostly cycling and Lightroom stuff lately, so time to return a bit to my roots with something Kyoto...

Last November I took a tour of the Kyoto Imperial Palace, and at the time posted "A Few Photos From The Start of a Visit to the Kyoto Imperial Palace", but got sidetracked, as I often do, before posting more. So today I'm picking up from there with a few architectural shots....

Let's start with a simple wigglegram of the courtyard that ended the previous post...

Looking through, the columns and doors on the wall on the right [...]


View full post »
Visiting Kyoto’s Fushimi Inari Shrine with Matt Campagna and a Super-Wide-Angle Lens

It's been three weeks since I posted "Matt Campagna Wigglegrams Kyoto", so I'm finally getting around now to posting other photos from that outing, where I met fellow Lightroom developer Matt Campagna while he was visiting Kyoto.

Our plan was to visit the Fushimi Inari Shrine, and since I'd been there for photoshoots many times (most recently with former Yahoo! co-worker Andrei Zmievski, and The Japan Times columnist Alice Gordenker), I thought I'd try something different this time.

Unless I'm going out on a bike ride or other special situation like a heavy snowfall, I tend to bring three lenses, [...]


View full post »
Automatic Face Tagging Now Supported in my Upload-to-Facebook Plugin for Lightroom

I've just released a new version of my Upload-to-Facebook plugin for Adobe Lightroom that can automatically tag people in photos you upload to Facebook.

It requires Lightroom CC/6, which was released last week, and also the latest version of my People Support plugin, which now allows you to associate a Facebook account with people in your Lightroom catalog.

Here's an example of how it works....

First, using Lightroom CC/6's facial recognition features, ensure that all faces that you want to tag are noted within the People view of the Library module.

If Lightroom does not automatically detect everything you want, [...]


View full post »
Potential Privacy Issue with Lightroom CC/6 and People Keywords

Lightroom CC/6 has been out for a few days, and in working with Lightroom's new Face Tagging feature, I've run across something that could be a privacy issue for some folks.

Keywords in Lightroom have an "Include on Export" option; if it's disabled, the keyword is not (supposed to be) included in exported copies of photos. This is useful for workflow-related keywords that you use merely to help manage your catalog, or for keywords you'd rather not expose to the public.

The problem I've discovered in Lightroom CC/6 is that the "Include on Export" option is ignored if it's a [...]


View full post »
My Thoughts on Lightroom 6

Adobe has just released Lightroom 6.

There are plenty of places to find out about what's new, such as this post from Adobe for an overview, or Victoria Bampton's exhaustive "What's New" writeup.

For my part, in this post, I'll just talk about a few things I think are worth particular mention.

UPDATE: I guess I should mention right away that modern versions (from within the last couple of months) of my 45 plugins should work fine on Lightroom 6. The major upgrade does cause registrations of my plugins to be lost, but that's easy enough to fix (see here).

[...]
View full post »
Photoshoot with Ting Ting at the Murin’an Gardens

I spent a few hours today in the Murin'an Garden (無鄰菴) in eastern Kyoto, doing a photoshoot with Ting Ting, which you might remember from "Photoshoot at the Peak of the Haradanien Garden’s Awesomeness" two days ago.

Like two days ago, I was with Eric, Gigi, and Damien, but this time Gigi was behind her own camera as well...

I really enjoyed the situation with three photographers and one subject. While someone else is directing Ting Ting to look this way or move that way, I can capture pseudo-candid shots that I'd probably not get otherwise.

For example, early on [...]


View full post »
Photoshoot at the Peak of the Haradanien Garden’s Awesomeness

I visited the super-duper unbelievably amazing Haradanien Garden (原谷苑) today, in the mountains above the Golden Pavilion temple in northwestern Kyoto. It was my first visit since the photoshoot with John and Ai two years ago.

This time I went with Eric, Gigi, and Damien just to practice portraiture. Gigi wore a kimono she bought yesterday.

I can not begin to tell you how wonderful Haradanien is. When the blossoms are at their peak, such as now, it's 100× better than any other garden I know of, anywhere.

金閣寺の近く、原谷苑、は今メチャメチャメチャ美しいです。 行きにくい所ですが、今週はおすすめです。今日は全然満開でした!

I wanted a different kind of shot of Gigi than [...]


View full post »
Photo-Development Challenge Results #1: Hillside Temple Buildings

Today I'm sharing the first results from "Photo-Development Challenge: Inspire Me and Others With Your Artistic Interpretation". Today's photo is one of some minor outlying buildings at the Yoshiminedera Temple (善峯寺) in Kyoto, Japan.

First, let's look at the uninspiring original:

This was from a productive outing four years ago that produced "Temple Hopping in the Mountains of South-Western Kyoto", two examples for "Heading Out To Photograph The Fall Foliage? Don’t Forget The Polarizer Filter", and an item on "Visiting My Photo Archives: Random Pretty Shots #1".

For lack of a better idea, I'll present the various results in the [...]


View full post »
Another Nice (Tough!) Bicycle Ride in the Mountains Around Kyoto

水曜日もサイクリングをしました。今回は友達6人と一緒に60kmの山上下いっぱいのルートでした。

Two days ago I did a short easy bicycle ride into the mountains of western Kyoto, but yesterday I did something a bit more ambitious. As seems to be the habit since my first ride with folks from Cycling Kyoto!, we met in front of the Starbucks on Sanjo Street. This time there were seven people total...

Today's route would be a repeat of one that Manseki had done two days prior, so he was group lead. We got moving at 9:20.

We spent the first 45 minutes heading east on Route 1. The route looks horrible in the [...]


View full post »
Performing Minor Surgery on a Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 Zoom Lens

I've had my Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 lens (seen here) for more than eight years. I don't use it all that much anymore because for the last few years I've tended to prefer faster prime lenses, but it's a great lens for many situations.

I'm pretty tough on my gear... I don't baby it, I use it, and this lens is no exception. In particular, after using it all day in heavy snow five years ago ("First Look at Snowy Shirakawago Village"), the zoom became a bit less smooth. It wasn't so bad that it was worth the bother of having [...]


View full post »
Thoughts on the Venus/Laowa 60mm f/2.8 Super-Macro Lens

After seeing it mentioned on PetaPixel earlier this month, I ordered a Venus (LAOWA) 60mm f/2.8 Ultra-Macro lens. For less than $400 I didn't expect much, but it was worth a try.

(It seems they're changing their name from "Venus" to "Laowa". The Chinese characters for "Laowa" seem to be 「老蛙」, which means "Aged Frog", at least in Japanese.)

This is not a "review"... just some observations that I haven't seen others make yet, and some illustrative photos. In addition to the review on PetaPixel, other reviews I've seen include this and this.

For the TL;DR crowd, here in short [...]


View full post »
Photo-Development Challenge: Inspire Me and Others With Your Artistic Interpretation

A week ago I posed about a fantastic video of an experienced photographer giving a quick once-over to photographs submitted by strangers. The change from unprocessed original to processed result was often striking and of interest on its own, but the true value of the video was the running dialog of the what/why/how of his editing decisions. No right or wrong... just inspiration and ideas.

With that in mind, I think it could be quite interesting to see how different people interpret the same photo, so I'd like to offer a few unprocessed raw files from my own photo archives, [...]


View full post »
2015 Kyoto Marathon

Today was the 2015 Kyoto City Marathon. Just as when I blogged about the 2012 Kyoto City Marathon, I went out with the Nikkor 300mm f/2, but new this time is that I intended to try to photograph two acquaintances who had told me their intended pace and sent photos of what they were wearing.

To help increase my luck in picking out two faces from 16,000 runners, I set up a bit past the halfway point just before a turnaround, so runners were going both directions in front of me. If I suddenly noticed a friend going by one [...]


View full post »
Fantastic Video for Photographers: Get Inspired From Stu Maschwitz’s Artistic/Lightroom Agility

This is a fantastic video for photographers. (Note: I couldn't get the original Adobe Connect version to work in Firefox; it worked for me in Safari. In any case, there's now a YouTube version for easy viewing, though the video quality doesn't seem as good as the Adobe Connect original.)

In the video, visual artist Stu Maschwitz sits down to a blacked-out Lightroom catalog loaded with a couple dozen photos submitted by strangers, and one by one he unveils and processes them as the whim strikes him, providing a running commentary about his artistic reasons for doing things, or technical [...]


View full post »
New Lightroom Plugin: People Support

I've finally released a new plugin for Adobe Lightroom that I've been working on for some time, my "People Support" plugin. Once configured, it can tell you the age of people in a photo, and include that data in exports.

It's consumed me for weeks. The idea of calculating and displaying a person's age seems quite straightforward and simple, doesn't it? It's not. Date calculations are surprisingly fraught with complexity, and presentation all the more so when you take into account dealing with all the languages that Lightroom can work in.

English is simple in that we use the same [...]


View full post »
The 2015 Young-Adult Archery Event at the Sanjusangendo Temple

Today was the annual toshiya archery event for new adults at the Sanjusangendo Temple (三十三間堂) here in Kyoto. I blogged about it extensively three years ago starting with "Traditional Archery Like a Boss".

I then followed up with what turned into one of my most popular series of posts, starting with "Total Discipline: Anatomy of a Japanese Archer’s Shot", followed by a note about the crowds and the hubub outside and the instructors taking their turn ("More Badass Japanese Archery") and then a look at the colorful wardrobes of the ladies and then perhaps my favorite post on the subject: [...]


View full post »
The Art and Science (and Complex Frustrations) of Creating my Wigglegrams

This post is about the art and technology of my 3D wigglegrams, but first a bit of context about the location seen above.

This wigglegram was taken during my first visit to Kyoto's Shugakuin Imperial Villa (修学院離宮) two years ago, a photographically-fruitful outing first posted about here, and most recently revisited a month ago here.

During the tour of the grounds, at one point you descend stone steps set in the side of a mountain....

There's a waterfall and a small stream... it's all quite picturesque.

As I described on that first post about the outing, the tour moves along [...]


View full post »
Photographer Introspection Amidst the Serenity at Kyoto’s Rurikoin Temple

Some friends and I paid a morning visit to the Rurikoin Temple (瑠璃光院) in north-east Kyoto on Thursday. It was my second visit, after the first two years ago when Damien introduced me to the place.

Two years ago it was probably about 500 yen (US $5) to get in, but I heard that they stopped being open to the public for a while. This year they're back, but it's 2,000 yen (US $20) to get in. It's a Buddhist Temple and so ostensibly a religious place (whose income is tax free), but during the fall-foliage season their business is [...]


View full post »
The Whole Gamut of My Blog In One Spectacular Visit to the Yoshiminedera Temple

I paid a visit to the Yoshiminedera Temple in the mountains of south-west Kyoto today, and the resulting photos pretty much covered all the main things I normally have on my blog. Let's run through some of them....

Above we have a vertical desktop background, which I started doing four years ago. I've now posted 385 of them.

And here's a wigglegram featuring Ai (who appeared with her husband in this photoshoot a year and a half ago)...

I first started making these things that I call "wigglegrams" two years ago, and I still have a lot of work yet [...]


View full post »