Archive for July, 2013

Adobe Camera RAW (ACR), CS6 / CC and Lightroom 5 RC candidates now available for additional testing.

Adobe Camera RAW (ACR), CS6 / CC and Lightroom RC candidates are now available on Adobe Labs.

1. New camera and lens profile support for Camera Raw 8.2 CS6 – Release Candidate (Not production, final testing)

New Camera Support

The following new cameras are now supported:

  • Canon EOS 70D *
  • Casio Exilim EX-ZR800
  • Fujifilm FinePix HS22EXR
  • Fujifilm FinePix HS35EXR
  • Fujifilm FinePix S205EXR
  • Fujifilm FinePix F805EXR
  • Fujifilm X-M1
  • Phase One IQ260 *
  • Sony DSC-RX1R
  • Sony DSC-RX100 II*

* Denotes preliminary support

New Lens Profile Support

Lens Name Lens Mount
Sony E 35mm F1.8 OSS Sony
Hasselblad LF16mm F2.8 Hasselblad
Hasselblad LF18-55mm F3.5-5.6 OSS Hasselblad
Hasselblad LF18-200mm F3.5-6.3 OSS Hasselblad
GoPro Hero3 Black GoPro
GoPro Hero3 Silver GoPro
GoPro Hero3 White GoPro

The RC build is available for download here

2. New camera and lens profile support for Camera Raw 8.2 CC – Release Candidate (Not production, final testing)

  • The Histogram is now interactive.  This enables the ability to click and drag on the Histogram to adjust the Blacks, Shadows, Exposure, Highlights, and Whites slider adjustments.
  • A Color Smoothness adjustment slider has been added to the Detail Panel.  This helps to reduce low-frequency color mottling artifacts
  • Separate Auto Temperature and Auto Tint controls, which is accessible via the Shift+Double Click on either the Temperature or Tint adjustment sliders.
  • Workflow presets are now available and can be selected on context-clicking the workflow link.
  • Refinements to the Spot Healing Tool:
    • New Feather control
    • Auto find source method now works better for images with textured areas like rocks, bark, and foliage
    • Auto find source method now prefers source areas within the crop rectangle
  • Refinements to the Local Adjustment Brush:
    • Move brush adjustments by clicking and dragging on brush adjustment pins
    • Right Click (PC) / Control-click (Mac) on a brush adjustment pin to bring up a context menu to duplicate or delete
    • Control+Alt+Drag (PC) / Command+Option+Drag (Mac) on a brush adjustment pin to clone (duplicate) that adjustment
    • Alt+Click (PC) / Option+Click (Mac) on a brush adjustment pin to delete the adjustment

New Camera Support

The following new cameras are now supported:

  • Canon EOS 70D *
  • Casio Exilim EX-ZR800
  • Fujifilm FinePix HS22EXR
  • Fujifilm FinePix HS35EXR
  • Fujifilm FinePix S205EXR
  • Fujifilm FinePix F805EXR
  • Fujifilm X-M1
  • Phase One IQ260 *
  • Sony DSC-RX1R
  • Sony DSC-RX100 II*

* Denotes preliminary support

New Lens Profile Support

Lens Name Lens Mount
Sony E 35mm F1.8 OSS Sony
Hasselblad LF16mm F2.8 Hasselblad
Hasselblad LF18-55mm F3.5-5.6 OSS Hasselblad
Hasselblad LF18-200mm F3.5-6.3 OSS Hasselblad
GoPro Hero3 Black GoPro
GoPro Hero3 Silver GoPro
GoPro Hero3 White GoPro

The RC release is available for download here

3. New camera and lens profile support for Lightroom 5 – Release Candidate (Not production, final testing)

The following new Features have been added in Lightroom 5.2 RC:

  • A Smoothness adjustment slider has been added to the Detail Panel under Color Noise Reduction.  This helps to reduce low-frequency color mottling artifacts
  • Refinements to the Spot Healing Tool:
    • New Feather control
    • Auto find source method now works better for images with textured areas like rocks, bark, and foliage
    • Auto find source method now prefers source areas within the crop rectangle
  • Smart Preview size has been updated to 2560 pixels on the long edge.
  • Refinements to the Local Adjustment Brush:
    • Right Click (PC) / Control-click (Mac) on a brush adjustment pin to bring up a context menu to duplicate or delete
    • Control+Alt+Drag (PC) / Command+Option+Drag (Mac) on a brush adjustment pin to clone (duplicate) that adjustment

New Camera Support
The following new cameras are now supported:

  • Canon EOS 70D *
  • Casio Exilim EX-ZR800
  • Fujifilm FinePix HS22EXR
  • Fujifilm FinePix HS35EXR
  • Fujifilm FinePix S205EXR
  • Fujifilm FinePix F805EXR
  • Fujifilm X-M1
  • Phase One IQ260 *
  • Sony DSC-RX1R
  • Sony DSC-RX100 II*

* Denotes preliminary support

New Lens Profile Support

Lens Name Lens Mount
Sony E 35mm F1.8 OSS Sony
Hasselblad LF16mm F2.8 Hasselblad
Hasselblad LF18-55mm F3.5-5.6 OSS Hasselblad
Hasselblad LF18-200mm F3.5-6.3 OSS Hasselblad
GoPro Hero3 Black GoPro
GoPro Hero3 Silver GoPro
GoPro Hero3 White GoPro

Fixed Issues
The following issues have been fixed in Lightroom 5.2 release candidate:

  • Catalog containing images processed with PV2003 were adding a post-crop vignette when catalog upgraded to Lightroom 5.
  • Pressing the “Reset” button while holding down the Shift key caused Lightroom to exit abruptly.
  • Output Sharpening and Noise Reduction were not applied to exported images that were resized to less than 1/3 of the original image size.
  • Incorrect photo was selected when trying to select a photo in segmented grid in Publish Services.
  • The Esc key did not exit the slideshow after right clicking screen with mouse during slideshow playing.
  • Import dialog remained blank for folders that contain PNG files with XMP sidecars.
  • Metadata panel displayed incorrect information after modifying published photo.  Please note that this only occurred when metadata was changed after the photo was published.

The RC build is available for download here

 

 

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Black and White printing with Lightroom

Recently I’ve started to print some Black and White images from my Chernobyl trip, that i made using the Leica M Monochrom (Monochrome camera) on my Epson 3800. But was experiencing really dark prints and having seem many people on forums with the same issue, even though a fully colour managed workflow is adhered to (i.e. camera, screen and printer using custom ICC and vendor ICC profiles) though i would put this post together. Having experimented with different methods (Brightness slider in the Lightroom Print module, or on the Develop module), prints are still too dark when printed. The problem only occurs when printing B&W (either converted in Lightroom/Photoshop) or native B&W images (the Leica M Monochrom sensor has no colour information on the chip) and printed from Lightroom. It turns out that when you engage Espon’s Advanced Black and White mode (also seems to exist on the standard print method as well), the printer will try to use grey scale printing mode (Gamma 2.2). The ProPhoto RGB colour space is Gamma 1.8 and not 2.2 (which is typically used for Greyscale work), therefore Black and White prints will come out to dark (source Luminous Landscape).

Eric Chan, one of the members of the Adobe Camera Raw and Lightroom team responsible for printing has an elegant solution, and it’s available for free and is simple to implement. Eric has written a small program that builds grey curves into ICC profiles. You can read more and get the ICC profiles from here.

The outcome is that the prints when printed this way are stunning, amazing long grey tones and will look once framed behind glass.

 

 

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#CreativeFriday – Calibrate your Camera using Lightroom and Datacolour SpyderCheckr

When we buy  cameras, typically they are not calibrated to the base line colour ICC profiles. This means that the colour that the camera records may or may not be the same colour as you saw when you took the photo. This may not bother you too much, if you are not using a colour managed workflow. However, when you are using a colour managed workflow, every stage in the editing process where you see colours and pictures are important.

What is an ICC profile? The ICC profile is a base line standard for the representation of colour. It is the only way to truly represent real world colour across the range of devices that are available in the world today. If for example you take a picture of an object that is red in colour, the way that an un calibrated device would see this is by matching it to what it thinks is the same colour, but unless the device is calibrated, the red it shows may not be the same red as the original colour. The ICC profile ensures that the red that the device displays, is the same red every time it is displayed across all calibrated devices. You can learn more about ICC profiles by following this link.

When we say colour managed workflow, what do we actually mean? There at least thee components to the colour managed workflow, The input device (in this case the camera), the editing devices (Screens) and the output device (could be anything from printers, tablets, phones, projectors or just the usual web browser). At each point the colours that are displayed may or may not be calibrated against the standard ICC profile, and can result in potentially strange looking images with funny colours.

Probably the most common and simplest device that people calibrate is the screen and there are various ways to do this. One is using a hardware devices (like an X-Rite Colour Monkey, or a Data Color Spyder (there are others of course)) the other is using software, however, the hardware way is the most accurate. All hardware devices  sit in some form on your screen, and look at a range of colours that are displayed when you start the calibration process. The hardware device is able to look at the native colour for red, blue, white, black etc and based upon the colour it sees, can compare against the colour that it expects to see. If there is a difference, an adjustment can be made, this is done in the way of creating a custom ICC profile for the device, which records the differences between your screen and the actual base ICC profile. The hardware device is the best way to ensure that the colours that the screen shows are the actual colours in the image.

Screen Shot 2013-07-26 at 14.46.08

 

You can see in the picture above the Datacolor Spyder 4 Pro and how it sits on the screen.

One device that is always left out is the camera, which happens to be the most important in the process  (“Garbage In, Garbage Out”), unless you know that your camera is calibrated correctly, then the colour that the image that is created when you press the shutter, may not show the correct colour, and, in turn the colour that the screen shows is also incorrect (regardless of the screen colour profile).

In-Camera-Profiles

You can see these test shots that have been created out of three cameras. Each camera has it’s own colour characteristic, and even though they all look ok individually, when compared to each other, you can clearly see that each image is completely different, so it’s challenging to know which one is correct. It is also important to notice, that each camera and lens combination may produce different colours with different saturation and contrast. The calibration process should be done for each camera /lens combination. Also, some photographers will do this calibration for each white balance source (i.e. Tungsten lighting, daylight, flash etc), however, this is up to you on how far you go with it.

The piece of hardware that i have used in this post, is the Datacolor checkr (more information here). You will see the colour squares, these squares are created to each represent the ICC profile colour that we talked about earlier. Having this information means that we are able to then compare each colour square in the picture to the standard ICC profile (i.e. work out the difference between the picture to the actual ICC colour).

The checkr, is supplied with software that can be installed into both Lightroom / Adobe Camera RAW and works  the same way for each.

It’s best to always shoot in RAW when working with image enhancement and calibration, because you want to keep the best quality throughout the process, however, you can shoot JPG’s if you prefer. The picture is then imported into Lightroom or opened into Adobe Camera RAW.

Screen Shot 2013-07-26 at 16.27.22

Once inside Lightroom we need to prepare the chart for calibration, this will be based on using the standard tools under the Development module. Move Lightroom into the Development module for the image, tightly crop the calibration grid and follow the settings below.

Set the White Balance

The white balance of the scene needs to be set, take the White Balance Eye Dropper tool

Screen-Shot-2013-07-26-at-17.03.16

Click on the grid number E2. Doing this may or may not change the Temp and Tint (it will depend on how far out the original white balance is). The change below is not that significant, but will change the look of the picture and how the colours are represented.

Screen Shot 2013-07-26 at 17.03.26

Set the correct exposure.

Next take the same tool and hover over the grid number E1 and look under the loupe that is displayed there

Screen-Shot-2013-07-26-at-17.04.00

Using the Exposure slider Aim to get the numbers in the loupe (2 pictures above) to around 90% (you are able to see that 90.1, 90.0,90.2 are the ones used in this example, these only needs to be close enough, you may not be able to get it exact). You may need to alter this a few times at getting the values correct.

Screen-Shot-2013-07-26-at-17.04.00_

Set the Black point

Using the same white balance tool hover over the colour grid E6, and then using the Blacks slider, try to get the values to around 4%. You may need to alter this a few times at getting the values correct.

Screen-Shot-2013-07-26-at-17.04.33

Once the initial image enhancement has taken place, and assuming that the Spyder Checker software has been installed, you should have access to the menu option, Photo / Edit In / Edit in SpyderCheckr, or right click on the image and Edit In / Edit in SpyderCheckr.

Screen Shot 2013-07-26 at 17.34.01

A dialog will appear asking for you to work a copy with Lightroom adjustments,

Screen Shot 2013-07-26 at 17.40.19

click Edit, Lightroom will create a TIFF for you to work on.

The SpyderCheckr will open and place a colour grid over the picture. The overlaid grid colours are the ICC profile colours, which are the same as on the hardware colour squares. The SpyderCheckr is looking for the difference in colour between the overlaid grid and the way the colour of the grid looks out of the camera. When the mouse pointer is moved over the image edges the pointer will change to an arrow with two heads. This pointer is used to change the shape of the overlay grid, and enable it to align up and cover the coloured squares.

Screen Shot 2013-07-26 at 18.29.20

Next, choose the most preferable option

The mode is the way that the profile is created inline with the subject, i.e.

  • Colorimetric mode should offer the most literal results, and is best when attempting to reproduce artwork or product colours.
  • Saturation mode offers results which are generally more pleasing for many types of images.
  • Portrait mode selectively reduces the colour saturation of the skin tone components to make portrait processing easier.

either “Save to Lightroom” or “Save to ACR” should be selected (right hand side of the image above).

Click the “Save Calibration” to create the profile for Lightroom, if you choose ACR, then it will create a profile which can be used in Camera Raw with Photoshop. As each profile is for the camera/lens combination you will need to create one for each, also, you may also decide to use multiple modes, therefore need to create the appropriate profiles for each one of these as well (potentially 9 profiles). I would recommend that you use a name that is recognisable for later use and will depending on how many bodies/lenses that you use.

Screen Shot 2013-07-26 at 17.01.03

The next screen informs that the profile has been saved under the user presets folder in Lightroom/Camera RAW, but in this case Lightroom needs to restart for the profile to become available for use.

Screen Shot 2013-07-26 at 17.01.09

Press Ok and re-start Lightroom.

Once restarted, make sure Lightroom is in Development mode and then open the “Presets” panel, on the left hand side.

Screen Shot 2013-07-26 at 18.35.38

You can see above that the Preset has been created and is now available. Any picture that is now taken with this camera body and lens combination will be able corrected to show the correct colours. The only caution i will make is that the white balance is corrected before you apply the preset.

I have been through all of the test cameras and created profiles for them all.

In-Camera-Profiles_done

And hopefully you are able to see the consistency across all cameras, even though some of the cameras have much more natural contrast (the Leica M240 particularly).

 

 

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#CreativeFriday – Crop with Width, Height and Resolution

The update to Photoshop in December 2012′s Creative Cloud update, and now also part of Photoshop CC, included the the Width, Height and Resolution enhancement on the Crop tool.

Screen Shot 2013-07-18 at 15.22.43

Screen Shot 2013-07-18 at 15.23.29

 

 

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Shoot London with Hasselblad

Are you interested in Photography, cameras, technique and learning some cool new things? Hasselblad are hosting a brand new event called Shoot London and it’s free to come along. Shoot London will be running from the 2nd to the 3rd October and will be at the Truman Brewery in London. However, it’s not just for Hasselblad owners, it’s for anyone that is interested in learning about Photography or the creative process. A link to the event and registration is here and we look forward to speaking to you and seeing you in the Adobe mini theatre.

 

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Platinum and Palladium prints from a Leica Monochrom camera – A beautiful partnership?

Here is a fabulous video that shows the true magic of the traditional Platinum and Palladium printing technique, combined with the beautiful tonal range of the Leica Monochrom camera. Could this be the ultimate partnership and new way to create stunning Platinum prints using a camera that was born to be black and white?
Platinum Palladium Printing with Leica M Monochrom from Luís Oliveira Santos on Vimeo.You can see more images that were taken with the Leica Monochrom from my trip to Chernobyl ,on my Behance page. May be this will inspire me to get my Platinum printing life project back up and running, and create a portfolio from this amazing trip.

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Bridge CC Output Module now available

The Output Module component for Bridge CC is now available (with installation instructions), please follow this link for more information

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Lightroom 5 and RAW workflow processing at the Photosurgery

Are you looking for a bit of training on Lighrooom? My good friends at the PhotoSurgery are running a new Lightroom 5 workshop. This course will be great if you are new to Lightroom and the RAW workflow, it’s great value and they still have some spaces left. For more information head on over to their events page, or why not bookmark for next time.

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#CreativeFriday – Another way to improve your picture composition in camera

Most of us as Photographers are always looking for ways to improve our photography in camera, this may be experimenting with different compositions, ISO, focal length, different lenses, filters etc. It’s so easy to experiment in the world of digital, we are able to obtain instant feedback from the LCD screen at the back of the camera and review our pictures in near real time. Sometimes though, seeing the image on the LCD screen in colour is too quick, and judgements can be made, forgetting the basic composition. Composition for me is really all about the connection with the image, the involvement in the process and the final vision for each picture. I find that seeing a quick flash of a picture and it’s colour doesn’t help with ensuring that the right shot has been captured, I am always trying to find ways to slow this part of the image making process down. I actually sometimes wish that i didn’t have the LCD screen available to me on the back of the camera, this would empower us as Photographers to focus on the in-camera craft and the compositional elements of the image capture process, before the shutter is released, and possibly bring back the anticipation of “Did i get the shot?” (On the other hand i do think it is great that we have all of the flexibility and different ways to change our workflow). I know there is an option to hide the preview of the image, but there is always temptation to hit the play button to have a quick sneak. I also meet a lot of Photographers that delete images based on the picture that is shown on the LCD screen, and make a quick decision about if the image should be kept or not. I personally find it most of the time difficult to choose if an image needs to be deleted or not (unless obviously somebody walked into the frame), just based on the representation of a low res image on the LCD screen, rather than waiting to see the final high res image on the screen back in the studio.

I have been exploring different ways to use both the LCD screen and view finder techniques to improve my own photography. But to do this, had to socialise the problem with different people and share the issue, and also look back at history on how photographers used to compose pictures in the camera. My goal was to find a solution that would allow me to compose and framing up in the view finder, removing personal attachment from image and to think about the structure and form of what i am really seeing. I guess to summarise, treat the picture as an object rather than the real world.

If we take a trip into the past for a minute and into the land of Rolliflex, View Cameras and traditional cameras, composing images was different from today. Typically the photographer would need to focus the image on a ground glass screen, and the picture would be upside down and left to right. This way of composing has an ability to detach the image maker from the scene and think about structure, tone and how the objects and shapes interact with each other in the frame (I’ve wanted this option in the digital camera for a long time, but i know it will probably never happen).

Screen-Shot-2013-07-12-at-10.44.16

Since using more range finder based cameras, slowing down and thinking about the composition is a large part of the picture making process, but to truly embrace the whole experience i have found that using a Black and White preview on the LCD screen supports my goal of finding a different way to compose, and allows me to make much better images out of the camera and truly meets my vision and expectation of the scene that i saw, before i picked up the camera to take the picture. Removing the colour from the preview and using a black and white representation of the image on the LCD screen, enables me to detach from the scene and changes my thought process about the image. The black and white preview allows me to look at how shapes and objects interact with each other, how the tones are working together, if the image makes sense and meets my vision of the final scene, it fundamentally allows me to start “Seeing” the image from a Photographic point of view. 

To demonstrate this, here is what the image looks like on the back of the camera when previewing.

L1001007

I have been using this technique for a while now across all of my cameras and can honestly say that my image making has improved, i am questioning the image and it’s composition much more. Then when paired with the Histogram/Shadow and highlight clipping on the back of the camera, the structure and tones of the image are represented in a very obvious way.

L1001008

I can see exactly where the tones of the image are and make sure that i have the right exposure, and image composition in one view.

Implementing preview of Black and White on the camera

If you would like to try this technique then there are a few guidelines i would like the recommend and things that you need to be aware of.

- Turn on the camera Black and White preview profile option. This  option should be inside your camera menu system, you may need to refer to your camera’s owners manual for more information.

- N.B JPG images will be Black and White and you will NOT be able to recover any colour information from them.

- You should shoot your images in the RAW format, and would suggest that you shoot a JPG image as well (this should be easy to configure using the menu of your camera. This is completely reversible if this technique is not for you)

- RAW images will contain all of the colour information, but will contain a preview of the Black and White image.

- When you bring your RAW images into Lightroom or Camera RAW (ACR) from the camera, the images will appear Black and White for a few minutes, until Lightroom has brought the colour back, Lightroom or ACR will show the colour RAW version within development module.

- The actual JPG file is handy, you are then able to see how the camera saw the original image. I find this helps me work the tones of the image, as well being able replicate this look, using the Black and White option in Lightroom or Camera RAW (ACR).

- If you are using Lightroom, there is an option on the preferences panel under the General tab that will treat the JPG file as a sperate file next to the RAW file. If this option is turned off, then the JPG files will NOT be imported in Lightroom as they are considered duplicates of the RAW file.

Screen-Shot-2013-07-12-at-12.11.37

 

 

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#CreativeFriday – Group Layer Styles in Photoshop CS6/CC

When CS6 was launched in May 2012 there were some workflow items that were enhanced. One of these, was the ability to have a layer style on a Photoshop Group, this will allow everything inside the group to adopt the same effect. For example, let us say that you are creating a document that has text in several places, and all of these text items must have the same style wherever it is being used, i.e. it may have a drop shadow, or a gradient overlay applied etc. The old way of achieving this would be to create the style on one of the text elements, then copy it to other elements, however, if there was a change to be made to the style then every single element would need to be changed individually, consuming potentially a lot of time and effort.

Now in CC as well as CS6 you are able to apply a layer style to a Photoshop Group (which contains the elements), every applicable item within the group will then get the same style. This is particular handy for have the same look and feel everywhere in the document, as well as being a great time saver when editing the same style across large and complex documents.

In the following example we have 4 text elements

Screen Shot 2013-07-05 at 08.40.33

To place the same layer style, i,e a drop shadow (seen below on lower right hand letter “A”). You would need to copy the layer style to the other elements.

Screen Shot 2013-07-05 at 08.41.11

Using a right click on the layer style you are able to copy it and paste to the other items.

Screen Shot 2013-07-05 at 08.49.00

but as mentioned earlier, making a subsequent change would require the same change to made to every text element.

A better way in CS6/CC is to place all of the affected items into a group layer and then apply the layer style to the Photoshop Group.

You can create a group by clicking on the small fly out menu on the layers palette (this can be seen below (marked in red))

Screen Shot 2013-07-05 at 08.56.24

 

You can see from the screen grab below, that you are able to create a new Group by itself, or by selecting individual layers/groups from the layers palette and creating a group from them

Screen Shot 2013-07-05 at 08.58.04

Once you have created a Group by either method, you can then place a layer style on it. You can see from the screen grab below, the text (shown in blue) is within a Group that has the layer style applied and now all items within it have the drop shadow applied.

Screen Shot 2013-07-05 at 09.01.05

 

To change the effect across all elements within the Group, just modify the one layer style on the Photoshop Group.

You can also apply other effects to other elements as well.  In the screen grab below, there are 3 vector objects in their own Group. These elements can be moved or copied individually, or using the whole Group entity into the Group with the layer style.

Screen Shot 2013-07-05 at 09.15.47

Once they have been copied/moved, they will adopt the Group layer style, also, changes can be made, i.e. A blue colour overlay style has been added to the Group in the following example.

Screen Shot 2013-07-05 at 09.18.12

In the next example, you can see that another Photoshop Group has been created inside the original Group (a sub Group). This new Group is then using the original layer style as a base for other effects that can be extended by this sub Group. You can see the new group (in red), inside the original group, then the effect on the letter “B” in the document.

Screen Shot 2013-07-05 at 09.23.34

 

 

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