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PeterPE
4th July 2004, 01:58 PM
I've been bitten by the photography bug, bigtime!

A number of changes have occurred. Firstly I couldn't get back onto ATA because I'd changed my browser and lost my login info. Finally found it again. I'm now using Firefox 0.9.1. I changed to Firefox from Safari because Safari has too many conflicts with certain sites I visit a lot and it is otherwise quite buggy. But first I tried Camino 0.8 which was better at accessing my troublesome sites yet has it's own bugs. Firefox 0.9 has proven to be reasonably stable and also does a better job with awkward sites. So all in all, I rarely need to go back to Safari. Firefox is pretty damn good.

Photography: A renewed interest in photography has seen me inhabiting a new breed of forum altogether and it's all about digital photography. First let me list my camera roster. Oldest to newest:

Asahi Pentax Spotmatic, a 35mm SLR film camera. It's a beauty, still going strong.
Nikon F60, another 35mm SLR film camera. Haven't used it much but seems decent enough.
Nikon CoolPix 950 digital. Nice pix in TIFF but slow as a wet week.
Canon EOS 300D digital SLR. Absolutely great camera. Beaut pix, and fast.

There's one thing wrong with the Canon... As with all digital cameras, the 300D shoots soft images. This is because of the anti-aliasing filter over the image sensor, a necessary evil to minimise moiré and other patterning.

There is a solution to image softness. Photoshop has Unsharp Mask. If your digital camera can shoot in the RAW format then use Photoshop CS's RAW plugin. Photoshop's basic RAW processing works reasonably well and some decent sharpening can be done. But Photoshop's sharpening (Unsharp Mask) is nowhere near as good as it ought to be. In trying to achieve maximum benefit from Unsharp Mask it is all too easy in Photoshop to leave strong evidence that sharpening was done because this algorithm leaves plenty of debris in its wake. Photoshop's sharpening generally cannot go as tight as I would like.

Time to call on Phase One's Capture One, or as it is now called after improvements, C1. The C1 Pro version is preferred because it covers more cameras' RAW formats. C1 Pro does an extraordinary job of Unsharp Mask, or as they call it, Focus. Focus is the best sharpening algorithm on the planet. Capture your RAWs from the camera or from your memory card reader, address any cropping and rotation needs, exposure, white balance, colour concerns, FOCUS, save as 8-bit or 16-bit TIFF (or if you must, various jpeg options) and Bob's your uncle. Most of your settings can be made presets or defaults so that subsequent photos are processed automatically. AppleScripting is available. No need to start Photoshop. The end result is the sharpest most beautiful photos I have ever shot. There's one downside. C1 Pro costs US$599. Quite a cost for what is essentially a one-trick pony.

I wouldn't be without C1. Not ever. No regrets at all. I'm one of those people who must process all one's photos, film or digital, on the computer. If there is something in my photo that can be fixed digitally, I'll fix it. C1 makes it so much easier with the new digital stuff. C1 makes it so much quicker, and more efficient, especially as it can batch process a whole day's work. Photography has become for a me a really thrilling, a really satisfying hobby.

Yair... I'm back. Cheers :D

Disko
4th July 2004, 02:04 PM
Great to see you back again Peter. We have a few members here who share your passion for photography as well - ATAU could be a better source for this kind of discussion than you thought. :)

Quamen
4th July 2004, 02:31 PM
Do I kill you now or later? Damn you have some nice cameras at your disposal!

I like photography too. But I am a mere amature. Still learning to use photoshop and to compose my photos just right. I have a Fuji 602z and it suits me just fine. Lots of manual controls to play with and learn to use and it produces some damn nice photos :) even when just using the auto focus modes.

PeterPE
4th July 2004, 03:22 PM
Originally posted by Quamen@Jul 4 2004, 03:31 PM
Do I kill you now or later? Damn you have some nice cameras at your disposal!

I like photography too. But I am a mere amature. Still learning to use photoshop and to compose my photos just right. I have a Fuji 602z and it suits me just fine. Lots of manual controls to play with and learn to use and it produces some damn nice photos :) even when just using the auto focus modes.
Heheh ;)

I should of mentioned that I'm an amateur. I got my first serious camera, the Pentax, in the mid-60s. What with work pressures and the like, there's been a break of thirty-odd years where I never cocked a shutter. I've retired and it's only been in the last couple of years and the advent of digital that has got my juices flowing again.

I started in digital with the Coolpix pretty much P&S (point and shoot). And if I stuck to jpegs it was fine. But I always wanted more. The results from the Coolpix were never as satisfying or as good, as the film output from the Pentax. I've always been an SLR, interchangeable lens, kind of guy. Only this year have digital SLRs been more affordable (for a pensioner).

I'm reborn! :)

Erm... Here's an Australian digital photography site which may be of interest. They have a great forum and galleries.

http://www.passionforpixels.com/

Quamen
4th July 2004, 04:48 PM
I'll check out that site. Thanks for that.

Also I've been reading Digital photography and design magazine lately. It's pretty good. And helpful for me since I am still learning the ins and outs of photoshop and using my camera properly.

Currawong
4th July 2004, 06:43 PM
Welcome back Peter :)

I'm a bit of a photography nut, and I have my dad's two old Pentax SLR's as well! I have a newer Canon Eos (forgot the model number, but it was the second from bottom SLR model with the better focus modes), and a Fujifilm Finepix 50i, which I got purely because it was small enough to fit in a pocket. I now wish I'd got one with optical zoom though.

My efforts with the 50i can be found on my web site, currawong.net (http://currawong.net).

pipsqeek
4th July 2004, 10:05 PM
I also have a passion for Photography, mainly use my digital Ricoh Caplio G4 Wide angle. But also occasionally my dad's old Canon..its great, manual everything..

Would be nice to have a photo section here to show off all our works.

A great site to go to is also, http://www.trekearth.com/

They have a great Australian selection as well as many other members from around the world.

I post there occasionally, when I take that top shot..usually 1 in 50. but getting better with colour, object placement, using manual focus more and more.

You can critique others and they can with your shots too. Even workshop them, post them back up on the site, next to you shots to show you how to improve them.

Good too see yet another shutterbug.

Steve

PeterPE
4th July 2004, 10:48 PM
Originally posted by pipsqeek@Jul 4 2004, 11:05 PM
A great site to go to is also, http://www.trekearth.com/
Wow! More terrific websites to visit. Your trekearth looks great, Steve. Have a butcher's at this one, also terrific. It's busy. It's huge!

http://www.dpreview.com/

There's a lot of people out there interested in the hobby or the profession and it is something to become really passionate about.

These last few weeks that I have been spending on the 'net in a search for others' photographic information and experiences have been breathtaking. What a marvellous pursuit it is, this photography thang. And what a great resource the internet is for photographers.

Of course, it is vitally necessary to be in the right place at the right time with the right light to allow us to get that perfect shot. There are some who manage this feat far more often than most of us.

Most, if not all, of my output is pretty uninspiring. Alas, the art is not yet present in my pictures, they are just records of the moment with no particular merit. I'm not content to capture the moment, but instead, I wish to create a thing of beauty. Maybe, one day...

And only then will I be happy to post my pix. I think I am my own harshest critic. You see the work of others and your's immediately turns to shit. Oh dear...

Quamen
5th July 2004, 06:22 AM
ahhh yes. dpreview. I spent a lot of time trawling their site before settling on my fuji. Awsome website that.

pipsqeek
5th July 2004, 09:15 AM
Here are all the sites I visit frequently:

http://www.photoreview.com.au/ -- Australian! An actual magazine, good content.
http://www.ephotozine.com/ -- Great site, good giveaways. Lots of info, good for the novice.
http://www.megapixel.net/html/issueindex.php?lang=en -- Very professional, my stuff never gets past the judges.
http://www.dcresource.com/# --
http://www.photo.net/ -- Great all-round source.
http://www.trekearth.com/ -- You already know this one.

These are the best ones I have filtered through. It would be great to post some more here if you have any that are of any relevant interest.

Steve

Quamen
5th July 2004, 10:42 AM
I just bookmarked all of those for future refrence. hehe