Saturday, November 28, 2015

Dream Lake October 2007

One of the major advantages of shooting raw is that you can go back later and process using newer processing tools and styles. Certainly in the last 8 years not just the quality of cameras but also the quality of tools has increased tremendously. In 2007, I made my first sunrise trek to Dream Lake and beyond. I have never blogged on those images but have shared a few on my website. However, at the time I was disappointed with the color in many of the images as they came up in Lightroom. I had also taken a few images on Velvia that were much better with respect to color and detail but I lacked a good scanner so I never shared those either. I was testing scanning some film using a viewer and a macro lens on my DSLR and naturally did a comparison with the old 6 megapixel DSLR images. It struck me that those images were all processed using the very old processing engine from Lightroom at that time and at a time Lightroom did not have any camera matching profiles. I simply hit reset, which chooses camera default for me and the most current pressing engine and the images came out looking very similar to the Fuji Velvia scans. Sliding a few sliders and they looked better! I also discovered that I had shot many panoramas for stitching at high resolution that I had never seriously stitched because I didn't like the color. Stitching these gave me better resolution than the Fuji Velvia scans. I will share a few of these old, new images below. As always click on the images to see them bigger and two order prints.

The red dawn
"Red Dawn". Nikon D50. Stitched from 3 images each at 18mm Nikon 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6, ISO 200, f/8.0 6.0s
This was just before dawn. The mountain was glowing quite outerwordly as you can see.

Purple at sunrise
Purple sunrise. Nikon D50. Stitched from 6 images each at 26 mm Nikon 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6, ISO 200, f/4.0 1/40s
When the first light rays hit the top of Hallett peak, the color had changed to purple everywhere.

Radiate Radiate. Nikon D50. Stitched from 6 images each at 26 mm Nikon 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6, ISO 200, f/4.0 1/40s
Just moments later the color changed again to the more neutral blues you see here.

A window on time
"A window on time". Nikon D50. Single image. Nikon 18-55mm at 18mm f/3.5-5.6, ISO 200, f/8.0 1/30s
This is from a single shot but I really liked it. The velvia version of this image has the tree areas almost completely black. The digital shot easily reproduces those.

"Witness" Nikon D50. Stitched from 6 images Nikon 18-55mm at 24 mm, f/3.5-5.6, ISO 200, f/11 1/50s
This tree was always intriguing to me and I had set up the shot as you see here, but I had never been able to make it stand out like I wanted. With the more modern tools in the current Lightroom, it was trivial to brush it up a bit and make the whole image pop as I saw when I was there. Works really well in this treatment I think.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Lightroom 2015.3 and 6.3 available

I know a lot of my readers use Lightroom. The last 2015.2/6.2 release has been quite the disaster with a messed up import screen and a lot of bugs introduced that slowed the program way down. I could not get the 2015.2 nor the 2015.2.1 version to work reliably on my main machine, a retina mac book pro, regardless of whether I turned off the graphics card acceleration (something most of heavy users of Lightroom should probably do) or whether I turned off the "add photos screen" so I had to revert to 2015.1.1 to get anything done. This morning Adobe released 2015.3 which promises to fix most of these issues. I will install later today and report on whether it now works right. Get it here.