Monday, October 31, 2005

Monitor calibration tool reviews

Monitor calibration tool reviews

I've been struggling along with Adobe Gamma monitor profile calibration for the past 2 years... really difficult particularly since I am colour blind and the software uses a visual calibration method. I have been toying with the idea of a designated profiling device. My last few prints have been quite dark and the colours off so I've made up my mind to get one. I think the GretagMacbeth Eye-one 2 looks the best value. The link at the top is from

They've got a good deal for the eye-one2 at Comes in a package with a whibal, an old photographers favourite, the gray card.

Update: June 06.
I purchased the Eye One Display calibrator several months ago with the WhiBal cards. The device was very easy to use and made a huge difference to viewing on my Laptop. Also brings out the image nicely on my Dell 2405 LCD.

Memory allocation and usage (Photoshop CS2) -

Memory allocation and usage (Photoshop CS2) - Support Knowledgebase

I'm currently looking at getting a new computer for image processing. Just wanted to bookmark this link which discusses optimising windows and photoshop to make the most of the 64bit processor and large RAM which I will be getting.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005


I just found this article by Thomas D. Hill Jr at Digital Outback Photo. Some of the concepts in the article have been milling around in my head for years - it's just fantastic to see them put so eloquently in this article, a much better attempt than I could ever achieve.

For those that haven't read "Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance" - you must! A great book to read on a roadtrip. The concept of Qualiity is central to the book and thinking about it can really make your head spin. If you like the book, then the sequel "Lila" expands on some of the ideas.

Mr Hill jr links in the idea of Quality with the art and mechanics of photography. You can make a technically perfect photo that is crap. An artistic compostion with beautiful light without technical merits is also unsatisfying. Even when artistic and technical are present, the image can still be found to be lacking. Quality is the crucial third element essential for a great image. So how does one find Quality? Does it reside in the subject itself? I can't explain it really - go and read "Zen" and you will know what I'm going on about.

Quality is elusive, if you look too hard, you won't see it - that's where the Zen part comes in. Where Quality, art and skill intersect, the rewards are amazing ... that's what's got me hooked on photography.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

B&W conversion from RAW.

This is something I've been trying to acheive for a while. B&W conversion in at the RAW stage of the workflow. I mainly use C1DSLR for RAW images - will continue to do so for now until I get a faster computer as ACR 3.2 on CS2 is extremely slow on my 733MHz machine.

The problem with C1 has been that you can only reduce saturation to 30% so B&W conversion needs to be done in Photosop. Well DOP have come up with a workaround which looks quite good. Here is the link to the article at Digital Outack Photo. There is a profile to download for C1DSLR and some settings to emulate Tri-X film.

I'll experiment with this for a while and see how it fits in with my workflow. Might just save me US$100 that I was going to spend on ConverttoBW pro.

Update 22/11/05...
Just bought Raw Shooter Premium. It is perfect for RAW to BW conversions. It also has a function to save "versions" of the image so you can save a colour and BW setting with each image. I'll post my techniques later but for now Capture one is out!

Check out these couple of links from the pixmantec forum:
1. Using QTR Lab Gray working space - allows use of the colour wheel as a colour filter.
2. Desaturation method - can't use colour wheel. Still lots of controls using WB, tone, curves, levels, contrast sliders etc. Good becuase you don't have to muck about using different colour spaces.

Update 6/11/06...
Now using Adobe Lightroom Beta 4 for all of my BW conversions.
It has an inbuilt greyscale converter with custom toning. Quick and easy, great results, and you get to work in a non destructive RAW workflow. Fantastic.

Sunday, October 16, 2005


A quick entry to link into my portrait gallery. Challenging work, but very rewarding.

Still experimenting with black and white conversions. Trying to perform tonal corrections for colour portraits is a nightmare for me - a colour blind photographer. Monochrome all the way!

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Gear Notes

Yes, I'm a photogeek and a gear head. Trying hard not to be...
I love using quality gear. Could probably get by with much less...

Anyway, here is my embarassingly large gear list.

Canon EOS 5D - with 35L, 24-105L. Olympus lenses are used on the 5D too with an adapter

Rolleiflex 2.8D - with Rolleinar 1 (closeup lens). Xenotar 80/2.8 fixed lens. LOVE using this camera. Fully manual, no batteries, no meter. Medium format 6x6 frame.

Mamiya 6
- Medium Format 6x6 Film Rangefinder. with 50/4 and 75/3.5 lenses. Nice and compact. Quiet.

Olympus OM2n
- 35mm film SLR - 21/2.5, 28/2, 85/2

Konica Hexar AF - silent rangefinder with a super fixed 35/2 lens.

Olympus XA-2
- my new point and shoot. Had to do some DIY repairs to get this going.

Canon AE1-Prog - inherited from my dad. Have taken some of my favourite photos with this camera. Lenses vivitar 28/2.8 and FD 50/1.4, FD 70-200/4

Kodak Folding Brownie - belonged to my wifes grandfather. Shoots 620 medium format film. I found some old spools on ebay and have been able to respool 120 film onto them for use with this camera. Much easier and cheaper to find 120 fim. Fun to use but has a fixed shutter and aperture. About f/11 1/30s I think.

CF cards
Gretag Macbeth eye one display calibrator.
Whibal Grey Card
Canon 500D closeup diopter.
Cable release.
Polarising filter. ND Filters.
Lowepro Minitrekker backpack,
Domke f803 satchel - ebay copy.
Lowepro Toploader zoom II.
Focal camera bag x2

Markins M10 ball head
L-Plate for 5D
No name monopod from ebay
Benro travel tripod. (Gitzo copy)

580EX, 430EX x2
ST-E2 - flash controller
Nikon SB26
Demb diffuser
Umbrella and stand.
5 in 1 circular reflectors - 12" and 42".
Lumiquest softbox III
Long ETTL cord.

Canon EOS 10D DSLR.
- was a groundbreaking camera when I bought it in 2003. Got me shooting again.
- still takes a nice image but there are much better cameras around now.
Ricoh GX100 - P&S with great handling and image quality.
Pentax Espio 738 - point and shoot - my first camera.
Canon EOS 50 - My trusty travel companion.
EF 28-105/3.5-4.5 - great intermediate quality zoom.
Manfrotto pan and tilt tripod head. Manfrotto levelling base.
Canon EF 200/2.8L USM - Just not using that focal length much.
Canon EF 75-300/4.0-5.6 USM - budget zoom but surprisingly sharp.
Sigma 105/2.8 EX HSM Macro - awesome lens! But the 150 is better.
Canon 28/1.8 - Sold to a Perth photographer. Excellent low light lens. Replaced with 35L
Sigma 15mm Fisheye - Great fun lens - rarely used.
Tamron 14/2.8 - superwide - too wide for me on full frame
Sigma 20/1.8 EX - not that sharp wide open. great landscape lens.
Tamron 17-35/2.8-4
Hartblei 45mm Super Rotator - Pentax P645 mount with Zork shift adapter - amazing but funds better spent elsewhere.
420EX - upgraded to 430EX for manual function.
Kingpano - panorama head. RRS is better.
Tamron 28-75/2.8 - didn't really like this one
Sigma 150mm f/2.8 Macro lens - I regret selling this one.
Manfrotto 190 tripod with pan tilt head.
Olympus 21/3.5 - 24/2.8 - wide primes for landscape. Used extensively in Europe 2007. sold.
- repurchased a 21/3.5 and 24/2.8 - love the compact size.
Olympus 28/2.8 and 28/2
Kenko extension tubes.
Canon off camera shoe cord.
Canon 50/1.4 -
Canon 85/1.8 - also awesome. swapped it for 100/2.8 macro which can get in closer for headshots.
Cano 28-135IS - quite an underrated lens. Used it a lot in Europe. Good walkabout lens.
Canon 100/2.8 Macro. - does what it should. wonderful portrait lens.
Canon 16-35/2.8L
Olympus 35 Shift lens with adapter - not doing as many landscapes these days so sold.
Gitzo G2220 - very versatile tripod. not used much so sold
RRS Panning Clamp with dovetail and Multi purpose rail 192 (with distance scale and level). - also sold as not doing many panos.
Wimberley macro flash arm.
Pentax K1000 kit
Olympus OM10
Olympus 24 f2.0
Olympus 50/1.8
Vosonic Xs Drive II - 40GB portable card reader hard drive.
Nova 1 shoulder bag.
Bronica sqb 6x6 medium format kit with 3 lenses..
Tamron 1.4x teleconverter.

Photo Books I Own and Recommend.
On being a photographer - Bill Jay and David Hurn. Lenswork.
Magnum Stories.
Sebastian Salgado - AFRICA.
Elliot Erwitt - Snaps.
Steve McCurry - Portraits
Letting Go of the Camera - Brooks Jensen. Lenswork.
Colour and Light in Nature - David Lynch. More of an optical physics textbook, but makes you look at the world in a different way.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Image hosting for banners

I have hijacked the previoius chopper post with some banners for my web use.

Sunday, October 02, 2005

Digital Signature

Hey, this looks like another cool PS trick. Jack Flesher at DOP.

Saturday, October 01, 2005

Tiny Hopper

I've always loved bugs. Call me creepy but I have been chasing them since I was a kid. Now I catch them with my camera, rather than a jar - much more humane I reckon.

This was taken with my dad's old pentax 50mm reversed on my 85/1.8. First time I've used this combo. It allowed very close focusing. The rig was tripod mounted and a flash handheld with an off camera cord and reflected off some scrap paper.

The hopper was tiny! You can tell by the lines on the page which are about 7mm apart. I thought it was cool how his body is almost transluscent.

More bugs