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Archive for the 'Camera Stuff' Category

About cameras, equipment, and postprocessing techniques

Photoshoot with Ikuko Among the Plum Blossoms, Part 2

This article continues from part 1 about last week's photoshoot with Ikuko-san among the plum blossoms at the Kitano Tenman-gu Shrine.

先週、育子さんと一緒に撮影しました、北野天満宮の梅林で。 今日の記事は前半の続きです。

This is at the "banana-juice tree".

"Tilt your head down a bit", I instructed, and bam!, such a different look:

And another slight change creates another dramatic difference:

Here's a wigglegram to give a sense of the orchard's feel.

Admission to the plum grove also gets you some tea and sweets.


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Photoshoot with Ikuko Among the Plum Blossoms, Part 1

The other day I did some photos with Ikuko-san, the friend we saw quite differently last month in "An Apprentice-Geisha Photoshoot Quite Unlike Any Other". This time we could see her normal self.

この間北野天満宮で育子さんという友達と一緒撮影をしました。(先月、このブログでは育子さんの節分の「変身」をみました、本格的な舞妓になる事でした。)

You'll perhaps recognize this scene from last month's "The Many Lanterns and Overwhelming Sumptuousness of the Kitano Tenmangu Shrine". She, too, was drawn to the many lanterns...

Before we got into the photography in earnest, she wanted to pay her respects (as described in the many-lanterns post).

And since we were at one of the best spots in Kyoto for plum blossoms, I felt obliged to snap [...]


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One From Yesterday’s Portraiture Session

It's been a week since my last post... where does the time go?

Well, yesterday a bit of it went into a photoshoot. This is not really one of my "What am I?" quizzes, but do you recognize her from when she appeared on my blog in the past?

Continued here...


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“Photographer-World Problems”: Renewing a Passport

Renewing one's American passport by mail isn't too arduous for most folks.... you just need:

old passport filled-out application form photo fee self-addressed stamped envelope

For most folks the photo is probably the biggest hassle because you have to stop by one of those booths in a mall or something, but if you're a photographer, "photo" means you really need (or at least in my case I actually used):

Camera (Nikon D4 + Nikkor 85mm f/1.4 lens) Tripod (Gitzo and Really Right Stuff) White foamcore board as backdrop SB-900 speedlight as on-camera commander (why can't Nikon's pro body include a [...]
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It’s All About the Big Lens: Garnering Attention at the Kyoto City Marathon

There's something about the physical size of the Nikkor 300mm f/2 lens (also seen here) that draws smiles and attention wherever it goes. I had it out a couple of years ago for the 2012 Kyoto City Marathon, and with the 2014 race coming up this weekend, I was reminded of a post from 2012 that I've been meaning to write.

Because I've seen many fun reactions to the big lens (such as seen here and here), it didn't surprise me when folks hammed it up a bit for it when I positioned myself at the last turn of the [...]


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An Apprentice-Geisha Photoshoot Quite Unlike Any Other

And that last picture provides the first real clue that this girl is not the maiko (apprentice geisha) that she otherwise appears to be, because I don't think that a real maiko would flash the peace sign for a passer's-by photo like this.

February 3rd is the cultural holiday setsubun, known for bean throwing, the warding off of evil spirits, and some Shinto rites that involve intense bonfires.

There's also an old tradition, fallen out of popularity in recent decades and now mostly unknown to the younger generations, of transforming your appearance for the day into something you're not... if [...]


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Not a Good Day for Photography in the Friedl Household

I once complained that I had ruined every photo before I even took it by accidentally leaving the camera in low-quality JPEG mode (instead of raw mode, which gives much latitude in recovering from exposure mistakes).

Today I did myself one better.

After driving 2½ hours last night to a hotel near a particular spot where I wanted to make a sunrise photo with the family, we got up at 5:15 and by 6am we had parked and were ready for the 30-minute hike to the location, when I took my first shot of the day, of a picturesque ridgeline [...]
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A Temple with Extra Restrictions on Photography is Now My Favorite Kyoto Temple

This is a followup to yesterday's post with photos from the Hokyo-in Temple in Kyoto, a temple with some of the most harsh, restrictive anti-photography policies I've ever encountered.

On one end of the spectrum are places that allow even tripods, such as the Yoshiminedera temple. Moving along toward more restrictions, the Heian Shrine allows tripods, but only if you pay a ¥2,000 (about US$20) fee. Most places don't allow the use of tripods at all, but the Hokyo-in Temple featured yesterday doesn't even allow you to have a tripod in your possession. Even if securely sequestered in your backpack, [...]


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Why Does Photography with an iPad Look so Silly?

What is it about taking photos with an iPad or other tablet that makes it look so stupid?

My iPad has no camera so I've never been tempted to take a photo with it, but even if I could, I'm not the kind to take advantage of its social-networking benefits (like immediate posting to Facebook or Instagram or whatever the current fad is). So I'd probably not use it for photography any more than I use my iPhone, which is to say, not at all unless it's the only camera around and my quality threshold happens to be low.

But [...]


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Lr5.3RC Fixes That Ugly Publish Bug (I think)

Today Adobe released a release candidate for Lightroom 5.3, which I believe fixes the nasty Lr5 Publish/Selection bug I've written about. If you give 5.3RC a try, let me know whether it seems to be fixed for you as well...


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Possible Workaround for that Nasty Lightroom Publish/Selection Bug

I have an update on the nasty publish/selection bug that been plaguing some Lightroom users of late, in the selection shown in the grid is sometimes wrong.

It seems that the bug exists only when Lightroom is started with a section in the Publish Segmented Grid ("Modified Photos to Re-Publish", etc.) is closed. So, if you ensure that all segments are open, then restart Lightroom and maintain them open, your grid-selection experience should be bug free.

The opened/closed state of each grid section is globally shared among all collections, so opening all four possible sections (New, Modified, Deleted, and Published) [...]


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The Joy of a Fast Photo Proximity Search in Lightroom

I popped up to Kyoto's Shogunzuka Overlook (将軍塚) today for the first time since March, hoping for a nice sunset.

As you can see above, I didn't get it.

However, due to my blog's proximity search feature, we can follow the "nearby photos" link under the photo to see other shots from Shogunzuka that I've posted over the years, including:

I added the proximity-search feature to my blog several years ago, and I use it often in various ways because proximity search can be extremely useful, but my blog proximity search is obviously limited to photos I've actually published on [...]


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Lightroom Plugin Update #2,800

Over the years I've published about 50 plugins for Lightroom, and of the 40ish that are still actively maintained, as of today I've put out a combined total of 2,800 updates.

I provide an RSS feed for updates and so I normally write here only about the release of new plugins, but today I pushed out a new release for my Folder Watch plugin that made me reflect on just how much the plugins grow over time.

Folder Watch originally grew out of a request from a Lightroom friend for better automatic importing, such as one might want when shooting [...]


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Thanks To Apple, Those Hard Times are Behind Us Now
" It used to be the way you take better pictures is you learn to be a better photographer " -- Phil Schiller Senior VP Worldwide Marketing, Apple Inc. at 46:31 into the video for the iPhone 5C/5S announcements
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New Lightroom Plugin: Smart-Preview Support

I've just published a new plugin for Adobe Lightroom, "Smart-Preview Support", which allows you to be alerted when a Smart Preview is about to be used for export. Exporting with Smart Previews can lead to very low quality output, so this plugin can help save you from doing that unintentionally.

Details and download are on the plugin's home page.


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A Visit to the Jikkouin Temple in Rural Kyoto

Following up from yesterday's "Tea and Sweets in Front of a Temple Garden", where I'm trying to make a dent in my photo backlog from last autumn, today we take a look at the setting for yesterday's post, the Jikkouin Temple (実光院).

The same water basin, but from a different angle with the garden-viewing room in the background, represents this visit on last year's "A Long But Photogenic November in Kyoto" post.

I'd visited with friends Damien and Paul while on a trip to Ohara, a somewhat remote mountain-village area of Kyoto. We'd just come from the most-excellent Housen-in Temple [...]


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Another “Tea and Sweets in Front of a Temple Garden” Shot (or 10)

Every time I revisit my Lightroom library from last autumn's many photo outings, I find so many things waiting to be posted. Now if only I could find the time to post. Last week's "Views at the Honen'in Temple" was one attempt to catch up, and today's little post is another.

The whole "tea and sweets in front of the garden" experience is naturally inviting to the camera[sort of], but particularly since taking this shot last November, I've been giving it more attention. Other recent examples include this and this.

Getting a nice shot is tougher than you might imagine, [...]


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The Effect of a Polarization Filter on Wet Rocks, Etc.

The reflections on the wet rocks and foliage during the visit to the Honen'in Temple (法然院) presented in my previous post made for some interesting possibilities with the polarizing filter.

Swiping the mouse side to side on the photo above shows the effect of different filter rotations.

I like the rocks better when the bright reflections, but that also leaves the reflections on the foliage in the background, leaving them relatively washed out compared to the richer colors seen when the polarizer is turned to block reflections. (More impactful examples of foliage-related reflections are shown in "Heading Out To Photograph [...]


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Oops, I Was Wrong: Lr5.2 Beta Does NOT Fix That Nasty Publish Bug )-:

Sigh, I spoke too quickly with my previous post.... the nasty Lr5 Publish bug is not fixed in the Lr5.2 beta.

UPDATE (Oct 25): Possible workaround discovered: see here.

I tested for this bug during the runup to 5.2 and though it was fixed, so either it became broken again in the final 5.2 beta build that Adobe released to the public, or, more likely, I just didn't test well enough.

In either case, the bug remains at least to some extent, so as per my initial post, those working in Publish with Lightroom 5 are advised [...]
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Lightroom 5.2 (beta) Fixes That Nasty Publish Bug

UPDATE (AUG 1): Yikes, it turns out that I spoke too quickly with this post... the bug is not fixed in the Lr5.2 beta.

Adobe has just released a Lightroom 5.2 beta build, the follow-on from Lightroom 5.0 released a month an a half ago. (There is no "5.1".)

This build fixes the big Publish-selection bug introduced in Lr5.0. Adobe doesn't suggest using a beta build for real work, but FWIW, I deem the risk from the known 5.0 bug much worse for me than the risk of unknown new bugs in the 5.2 beta, so I'm [...]
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