Monitor Calibration

Few weeks ago, I was reading a thread about a photographer crowdsourcing on how to match his prints against his monitor. He positioned his photo side by side his monitor to show just how much injustice there is to the imagery. He also said that it looks perfect in the monitor only to find out it looked terrible in print and to other monitors.

This is a typical scenario that many photographers experience. This is a situation that you cannot be saved by crossing your fingers, hoping it won’t happen when doing commissioned shoots. Fortunately, no need for rocket science to figure this out. Just a plain understanding and a particular device called monitor calibrator.

Even mobile devices can now be calibrated. The operating system for both Android and iOS accepts ICC profile to be loaded to the video card so color can be consistent up to mobile devices.

Given the different monitor calibrators available in the market today, there’s more than one procedures to follow. What’s important though is the processes involved. You need to understand it more than following the step by step procedure. Continue reading “Monitor Calibration” »

Color Grading

Have you noticed how photos in magazine ads or in their editorial looks dramatic or cinematic?That’s color grading or if you’re trying to go extremes, that’s creative color correction. This can be applied to any picture where you want to break the norms.

Maybe you want to do away with color grading on family portraits, food or products. Anything where color is essential to the truthfulness of the image. Color grading basically is used for bringing out a certain mood.

Colors are communicators. It conveys a mood. So aside from the composition and elements in the frame, color talks to the audience as well. Controlling the colors and bringing them straight to what you’ved imagine contributes a lot to your image. Continue reading “Color Grading” »

Passion for Photography

I started shooting when I was in high school. It was more of curiosity than passion. It was fascinating to see photographers in action and the wonders of chemistry in the darkroom. I continued shooting in my college years but I have to admit, I never felt the passion during those times.

I ended up working in the print industry for about a decade and a half. I was hooked in the industry because it is a mix of technical and art. Something that keeps my interest afloat. I still take photos once in a blue moon during those times. Most of it was work requirement and some family vacation here and there.

Later, I quit my job because I felt I was missing something in my life. It was then that I turned to photography. The same curiosity brought me back but this time maybe out of maturity or life’s experiences, I felt the passion in photography.

Shooting for Plantation Bay, I have to position in the middle of the lagoon to get the right angle.

Shooting for Plantation Bay, I have to position in the middle of the lagoon to get the right angle.

Continue reading “Passion for Photography” »

Finding the right workflow

When using Lightroom CC, you can now share your collection over the web and allow collaborators to rate and put comments to the image.

When using Lightroom CC, you can now share your collection over the web and allow collaborators to rate and put comments to the image.

Lately, I’ve been training photographers in Manila about getting the right workflow. Surprisingly, many photographers are still confused on how things should work out when streamlining their work. You can’t blame them, who ever thought that the time will come when photography requires a good knowledge about computers.

One student shared that he downloads the files directly to his desktop and uses iPhoto to sort out the photos then dumps the files to external drive. From there he imports them to Lightroom for editing and so on. He works on the files in the desktop and treats the files in the external drive as a backup. Continue reading “Finding the right workflow” »

Back to Megapixels Race

Left side is Canon 6d 20.2MP, 24-105L f/16. Right side is Sony A7s 12MP, 24-70 f/16 Bottom image shows 200 percent view of respective files.

Left side is Canon 6d 20.2MP, 24-105L f/16. Right side is Sony A7s 12MP, 24-70 f/16
Bottom image shows 200 percent view of respective files.

Canon recently released their upgrade to 5D Mark III. This time they are maxing out the megapixel a 35mm sensor can accommodate. The new 5DS and 5DS R is packed with 50 megapixels. I feel bad for the photodiode having no room to breathe. In some forums, they claim that it’s not technically possible to get effective 50 megapixels.

Of course the laws of physics cannot be recreated so when you amplify one aspect of the sensor in recording light, you’ll have to pull down some other aspects. In the case of Canon, the newly released 5D chose megapixel over ISO. They claim that in commercial photography, ISO is not an issue since shots are mostly done in a controlled lighting environment. Continue reading “Back to Megapixels Race” »

Not all SD Cards are created equal

Sandisk performs better while Transcend is a bit slow than their claimed speed. In terms of price, Transcend is less than half the price of Sandisk.

Sandisk performs better while Transcend is a bit slow than their claimed speed. In terms of price, Transcend is less than half the price of Sandisk.

Yes, they all have the same physical size and it’s quite obvious that they differ in storage capacity. Maybe you can even get a cheaper version in CDR-King. It would probably work for all you know and you go out shooting thinking you scored one this time.

I hate to admit it but yes I have one SD card bought in CDR-King. From what I know, I need a Class 10 SD card to get the most of my camera so it was the only specs I was looking for when buying one. It worked perfectly fine every time. Continue reading “Not all SD Cards are created equal” »

Lightroom’s Smart Preview

WHAT could be smarter than an application built solely for photographers? Lately, I was active in one of the Canon forums and there was a topic about what’s the best application for photographers. Until now, there are those that still recommend a straightforward Photoshop approach in the thread.

Any professional photographer would know that photo editing is just one of the many tasks to be done when processing your assets. There’s sorting, labeling, rating, and more before you actually reach the point of developing your photos. The idea is to be able to easily find a photo from an ongoing or previous project without taking too much time.

Lightroom 5, Smart Preview

Lightroom 5, Smart Preview

Continue reading “Lightroom’s Smart Preview” »

Crop sensor vs full frame

 DON’T know of any photographer who is crazier than Zack Arias. He’s the type who doesn’t care if you like him or not. Recently, I saw a video of him trying to differentiate a crop sensor versus other sensor sizes. I didn’t expect him to end up choosing Fujifilm’s APS-C sensor.

A PRO’S RECOMMENDATION. A renowned editorial and commercial photographer, Zack Arias recently released a video in which he differentiated the crop sensor versus other sensor sizes. Despite the common practice of using full frame to supposedly ensure high quality, he made the surprising choice of going for a smaller sensor. (ZACKARIAS.COM FOTO)

A PRO’S RECOMMENDATION. A renowned editorial and commercial photographer, Zack Arias recently released a video in which he differentiated the crop sensor versus other sensor sizes. Despite the common practice of using full frame to supposedly ensure high quality, he made the surprising choice of going for a smaller sensor. (ZACKARIAS.COM FOTO)

Zack, no matter how much success and popularity he has, maintains his independence. I’m pretty sure he was not asked to endorse Fujifilm without his personal preference over the brand—making him trustworthy amidst the circus of brand endorsements. Continue reading “Crop sensor vs full frame” »

Color Management for Photographer: Monitor Calibration, Part 2

For those of you who missed the previous article, I’m actually doing a series of articles about color management. In the first part, I explained the theory of monitor calibration. I also covered how the software works with a monitor calibrator and how ICC loads the monitor profile in the operating system.

Just before the actual calibration, the software will ask you to set targets for gamma and white point or color temperature. The gamma settings you choose will be the basis to set your brightness and contrast while the color temperature will correct the rendered white point of the monitor.

Monitor calibration target white point copy

Monitor calibration target white point copy

Continue reading “Color Management for Photographer: Monitor Calibration, Part 2” »

ISO and Dynamic Range

ISO an Dynamic Range

ISO800 f5.6 200mm

ISO800 f5.6 200mm

I’ve been researching about the myth that increasing your ISO will increase your dynamic range. I got interested on this technique after watching Lara Jade shooting at a rather high ISO than the usual even with a good light. She explained that she wanted to get more shadows. From that statement, I can only assume that she was referring to wider dynamic range.

Continue reading “ISO and Dynamic Range” »