tomasz.cc http://tomasz.cc tomasz.cc Sun, 16 Nov 2014 18:21:10 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Deconstructing the Photo episode 1 http://tomasz.cc/2014/11/deconstructing-photo-episode-1/ http://tomasz.cc/2014/11/deconstructing-photo-episode-1/#comments Sun, 16 Nov 2014 18:04:40 +0000 http://tomasz.cc/?p=1421 Welcome to my first episode in the series called Deconstructing the Photo In the video below I will show you everything you need to know about this particular picture. From the preparation and execution to the postproduction process. I’m going to give you some hints on how to prepare for the photoshoot better, how to choose... Continue reading

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Welcome to my first episode in the series called Deconstructing the Photo
In the video below I will show you everything you need to know about this particular picture. From the preparation and execution to the postproduction process.
I’m going to give you some hints on how to prepare for the photoshoot better, how to choose the best settings and equipment using this photo as an example.
I’m going to show you how I edited the picture in Lightroom and Adobe Photoshop, going over every single layer and explaining what I did and what was the reason behind each step.

This series is some sort of a photo breakdown, and I think might give you some idea about the whole process I go through and perhaps will raise some questions and maybe some of your ideas will help me improve my workflow too.

Hope this video is useful for you, and if you like it there’s gonna be more episodes in the near future. Let me know what you think, what might be improved and anything else in the comments below.

Additional resources

Download Orton Effect Photoshop action mentioned at the end of the video.

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Fixing skin tones, bmpcc footage, Resolve screencast http://tomasz.cc/2014/11/fixing-skin-tones-bmpcc-footage-resolve-screencast/ http://tomasz.cc/2014/11/fixing-skin-tones-bmpcc-footage-resolve-screencast/#comments Wed, 05 Nov 2014 16:00:53 +0000 http://tomasz.cc/?p=1406 A few days ago one of the users at the BMPCC facebook group asked for help with color correcting his footage. He recorded some material with the improper white-balance and in problematic lighting conditions (probably some mixture of LED lights). I gave it a shot and recorded a screencast while I was doing it. Here’s... Continue reading

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A few days ago one of the users at the BMPCC facebook group asked for help with color correcting his footage. He recorded some material with the improper white-balance and in problematic lighting conditions (probably some mixture of LED lights).

I gave it a shot and recorded a screencast while I was doing it.

Here’s more or less what I did:

  1. Correcting the levels with gain and lift controls in the first node
  2. Selecting skin tones with a quilifier
  3. Creating outside node with non-skin selection
  4. Selecting the reds and enhancing them in 4th node
  5. Fixing the green cast in the skin in 5th node
  6. Vignette in the 6th node
  7. Global contrast and some color adjustments in the last one

Useful shortcuts

  • ⌘+d – disable current node
  • ⌥+d – disable all nodes
  • ⌥+s – create new serial node

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Shooting Music Video with ML RAW Part 2 (editing) http://tomasz.cc/2014/10/shooting-music-video-ml-raw-part-2/ http://tomasz.cc/2014/10/shooting-music-video-ml-raw-part-2/#comments Sun, 26 Oct 2014 21:03:44 +0000 http://blog.tomasz.cc/?p=685 How to deal with almost 1TB of RAW footage Do you have to spend hours rendering proxy files to be able to edit them? ACR or Davinci Resolve? I you haven’t read the first part, head out to the previous one first. This post is a continuation of the process describing the postproduction phase of... Continue reading

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  • How to deal with almost 1TB of RAW footage
  • Do you have to spend hours rendering proxy files to be able to edit them?
  • ACR or Davinci Resolve?
  • I you haven’t read the first part, head out to the previous one first. This post is a continuation of the process describing the postproduction phase of a project shot exclusively on 5D Mark III using Magic Lantern RAW.

    In this part I’m going to answer to the above questions and give you some ideas how to deal with tons of RAW footage and how to do it efficiently.

    Data

    As you already know I ended up with almost 1TB of RAW footage. What did I do first? Backup.

    Once our data is safe these are the steps I follow:

    1. Import all the footage into Davinci Resolve
    2. Apply very general color correction to the whole timeline (probably some sort of LUT to preview the footage in Rec. 709).
    3. Initial selection – reject all the useless footage. Clips that were recorded accidentally, not properly focused or just really bad takes that we know we cannot use for sure.

    Proxy files

    Our timeline consists now of the clips that might be used for the editing. To be able to edit the footage in Premiere Pro we need to transcode the footage. Luckily Resolve handles DNG files very well and Proxy generation is pretty fast.

    DNG Workflow
    DNG Workflow

    Why not to edit in Resolve? If you intend to edit and color correct/grade in Resolve as well, you are good to go. But in case you want to do the color correction and grading in After Effects, editing in Resolve will cause some problems (I will get back to this later).

    I use ProRes LT or Proxy for my proxies and I export them as individual clips.

    The edit

    Editing a music video is usually easier than editing a short movie. First of all you have the music track that you have to align all the clips to. Most of the takes were recorded to the music being played in the background, so the first step is to sync all the clips to the original track.

    Syncing the clips with the music
    Syncing the clips with the music

    What I do in this case is I group all my clips into 2 categories:

    1. Music clips
    2. B-roll

    The first one has the music in the clip itself so it can be synced with the audio track. However some of the clips containing music go to the B-roll category when the music is not relevant. It might be just a closeup or a part without singing, that we can put in any place in the video.

    All the clips with music are aligned
    All the clips with music are aligned

    Once the clips are categorized I take them one by one and align them to the main track. If the reference audio is good enough, the clip can be synced automatically in Premiere (or some other 3rd party tool like Plural Eyes). If not, we need to do that manually.

    When all the clips from the first category are on the timeline, the next step is to pick and reject. I hide all the layers except for the first one, and I go along and cut the best pieces out of it. Once I’m done with it, I enable the second one and repeat. When I’m done with all the tracks it looks more or less like that:

    Keeping only good parts of the clips
    Keeping only good parts of the clips

    At this stage I create seperate timeline with my B-roll takes, and I try to pick and reject as much as possible.

    Then I would copy all the remaining pieces to the main timeline.

    Depending on the quantity of takes and angles it might happen that we don’t have enough coverage from the music clips – then we cann fill the gaps with the B-roll. In my case there were no gaps so I just edited the whole video moving the b-roll around the synced clips in many iterations until I was happy with the cut, which looks more or less like this:

    Final edit
    Final edit

    Multicam

    Multicam feature in Premiere Pro is another approach to edit the video, but in my opinion it works well with fewer clips. In my case editing 24 tracks with multicam was not that convinient so I just edited it in a regular way. Additionally, running multicam with 24 tracks would kill my hard drive… I would probably need to transcode all the clips to a really low resolution and bitrate to be able to playback all of them in realtime.

    Color correction and grading

    After the editing is done and we are left with the final cut it’s time for the color correction and grading.

    In the part 3 I will cover how my process look like in detail. Stay tuned!

    Other parts

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    SMS Relay, iOS 8.1, Yosemite, Not registered with iMessage http://tomasz.cc/2014/10/sms-relay-ios-8-1-yosemite-registered-imessage/ http://tomasz.cc/2014/10/sms-relay-ios-8-1-yosemite-registered-imessage/#comments Tue, 21 Oct 2014 15:30:17 +0000 http://blog.tomasz.cc/?p=726 Yosemite brings a fresh feature allowing us to answer the call from devices other than iPhone. But what about SMS? I spent some time trying to figure it out, googling it all around and it is not as straight forward as I thought. Configuration There are a few steps that have to be performed prior... Continue reading

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    Yosemite brings a fresh feature allowing us to answer the call from devices other than iPhone. But what about SMS? I spent some time trying to figure it out, googling it all around and it is not as straight forward as I thought.

    Configuration

    There are a few steps that have to be performed prior to be able to send SMS from non-iPhone devices.

    First of all we need to enable Text Message Forwarding on our iPhone. We can do that in the Settings / Messages section. We can select all the devices linked with our Apple ID that will be allowed to send SMS through the iPhone:

    iPhone settings
    Once we select the device on the list, we need to provide the password that the selected device will display.

    iPad verification code
    As soon as the code is provided we are able to send SMS messages from everywhere. It can be easily identified by opening Messages app on Yosemite and trying to compose a new message with a phone number. It should be highlighted green when the SMS relay is working. Otherwise it goes RED and we will see the message box mentioned in the post title.

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    Hannibal – grading decomposition http://tomasz.cc/2014/10/hannibal-grading-decomposition/ http://tomasz.cc/2014/10/hannibal-grading-decomposition/#comments Thu, 16 Oct 2014 11:45:28 +0000 http://blog.tomasz.cc/?p=719 Hannibal is one of the movie series where the color grading plays a large part in the post production process. I’m always impressed how they use color to change the mood and how this affects the perception of the show. Reverse engineering I thought to myself – if I could revert the grading process and... Continue reading

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    Hannibal is one of the movie series where the color grading plays a large part in the post production process. I’m always impressed how they use color to change the mood and how this affects the perception of the show.

    Reverse engineering

    I thought to myself – if I could revert the grading process and restore more natural look that came out from the camera, I would automatically learn how the grading was achieved.

    I took a few screenshots from one of the episodes from the second season, and started playing around with color adjustments. Here’s what I got:

    Conclusions

    Obviously my before versions are not what came out from the camera, but at least it removed the final stylised look. The whole colour correction and grading process was certainly much more complex to reach my before stage, but I’m pretty sure that if I saw the raw footage straight from the camera I would be impressed as well. So why does the show look so good? It’s all about the lighting and the production design that makes the show look fantastic. The grading is just one ingredient, and even if our grading skills are phenomenal without good lighting and well prepared set we are not going to achieve beautiful pictures.

    A few more

    Here are a few more from the first season, as I had an impression the color grading was a bit different before. It seems that the same techniques were used, however in the second season they pushed the color grading a bit more.

    Tools used

    The only tool I used was Colorista II plugin from the Red Giant. All I did was move the color wheels around. Some of the examples above were achieved by this settings:

    If we apply the opposite settings on a natural balanced image, we should get something similar to what we see on the show (assuming our lighting and production design is on the same level… ).

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    BMPCC ISO 1600 performance test http://tomasz.cc/2014/10/bmpcc-iso-1600-performance-test/ http://tomasz.cc/2014/10/bmpcc-iso-1600-performance-test/#comments Thu, 09 Oct 2014 16:00:25 +0000 http://blog.tomasz.cc/?p=703 Is ISO 1600 usable on a pocket camera? How to post process the footage to preserve the details? Can the noise be lowered to usable levels? I am still in the process of learning my new toy – BlackMagic Pocket Cinema Camera. One of the tests I did some time ago was to shoot a... Continue reading

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  • Is ISO 1600 usable on a pocket camera?
  • How to post process the footage to preserve the details?
  • Can the noise be lowered to usable levels?
  • I am still in the process of learning my new toy – BlackMagic Pocket Cinema Camera. One of the tests I did some time ago was to shoot a few clips in the low lighting conditions at ISO 1600, and slightly underexpose the footage. In the next step I was playing with the material trying to recover as much details as possible and minimizing the noise to acceptable levels.

    Video samples

    BMPCC ISO 1600 performance test

    Basic grading

    Let’s apply some grading to the footage to bring some life and colour:

    The corrections consist of:

    1. Initial adjustments in the CameraRAW section
    2. BMD Film to VisionLOG LUT
    3. M31 LUT from VisionColor
    Camera RAW settings
    Camera RAW settings
    Resolve nodes
    Resolve nodes

    At the moment footage looks like this (click for full resolution screen grab):

    Grading before & after

    We increased the nosie by pushing the exposure and we are going to deal with that in AfterEffects:

    Filters applied here:

    1. NeatVideo
    2. Unsharp Mask
    3. FilmConvert
    Filters
    AE filters

    The first on reduced the original noise patterns from the BMPCC sensor, the latter one added some 35mm grain and a little bit of curves and analogue color.

    The before and after samples can be seen below:

    Before & After
    Before & After

    Summary

    It all depends how much we push the material but as long as the adjustments are not massive, the quality should be preserved. NeatVideo seems to be reducing the nosie without affecting the details that much and the grain added in FilmConvert gives this nice analogue touch and boosts up a bit the details that were softened by the denoiser.

    Overall I think that ISO 1600 on BMPCC is usable and the footage can definetely bu used if exposed properly.

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    Shooting Music Video with ML RAW Part 1 http://tomasz.cc/2014/09/shooting-music-video-ml-raw-5d-mark-iii/ http://tomasz.cc/2014/09/shooting-music-video-ml-raw-5d-mark-iii/#comments Fri, 26 Sep 2014 16:15:01 +0000 http://blog.tomasz.cc/?p=12 Is Magic Lantern stable enough to use it in a commercial project? Is it worth spending so much more time in RAW processing instead of simply using h.264 internal codec? Is it possible to shoot on location with just two 64 GiB CF cards that hold around 11 minutes of RAW footage each? How to... Continue reading

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  • Is Magic Lantern stable enough to use it in a commercial project?
  • Is it worth spending so much more time in RAW processing instead of simply using h.264 internal codec?
  • Is it possible to shoot on location with just two 64 GiB CF cards that hold around 11 minutes of RAW footage each?
  • How to manage hundreds of gigabytes of data while shooting?
  • In this post I will try to answer those questions by describing you how I shot a music video using Magic Lantern on my Canon 5D Mark III.

    Location

    The location was quite difficult exposure-wise, to say the least. The sun rays were hitting the place only for a few hours around noon, behaving like a spot light getting through the trees. Strong mediterranean sun was creating lots of contrast between deep shadows and very harsh highlights.

    Without RAW it wouldn’t have been possible to capture the dynamic range of the scene.

    Harsh light, deep shadows, frame grab
    Harsh light, deep shadows, frame grab

    Second location for the clip was in direct sun so we had to wait for the sun to go down and shoot during the sunset.

    Gear

    The whole music video was shot using the following equipment:

    • Canon 5D Mark III
    • Samyang 35mm T1.5
    • Canon 24-105mm f/4 VR
    • Samyang 85mm T1.5
    • Tripod, slider, Glidecam HD 4000
    • 2x 64 GiB Komputerbay CF cards

    And last but not least, the 2 most important accessories helping me out with the difficult lighting conditions:

    • LCW Fader MK II
    • 120×80 5in1 Reflector

    Workflow

    At the location I was also using my MacBook Pro 15” to dump the footage from the cards. To extract DNG files directly from CF card I plugged it into Lexmark USB 3.0 card reader and processed all the files with MlRawViewer. As an output drive I used internal SSD to make the offloading quick. Then I would move the DNG files to internal 1 TB drive to make some room on SSD for the next footage.

    Using this technique I was able to shoot continuously for 10-11 minutes, swap the cards and shoot again. I had to keep track of the remaining time on the card so that I wouldn’t

    run out of space in the middle of the important take.

    Transferring the data
    Transferring the data

    During longer breaks I was connecting the LaCie Rugged 2TB USB 3.0 drive and was doing the backup of the footage.

    Another benefit of using MlRawViewer was a quick preview of the footage allowing me to make sure that nothing was broken, and there were no pink stripes or write errors on the CF cards (which occasionally had happened before on earlier versions of Magic Lantern).

    Magic Lantern

    Enabled modules and features:

    • MLV
    • MLV sound
    • focus peaking
    • histogram
    • 1920×1080 @ 25p

    The most crucial settings in Magic Lantern are shown below:

    Magic Lantern settings
    Magic Lantern settings

    Keep in mind that overlays during the recording slow down CPU and increase the risk of dropping frames. I would have loved to have focus peaking while shooting, but the reliability was more important here.

    I didn’t use any other ML features such as HDR or DualISO not to degrade the quality in any way and most of the takes were exposed well enough to get all the details out of the RAW files.

    MLV Sound was enabled to allow me to sync the music in the post production easily. We were playing the song from the macbook and recording the backing track using Rode VideoMic Pro to get better reference sound than the internal 5D audio recorder (the stream from the waterfall was making quite a lot of noise).

    Stability

    Magic Lantern didn’t crash at all.
    The camera didn’t freeze, not even once.
    None of the MLV files was damaged.
    No pink stripes, no green tint.
    I didn’t experience ANY problems at all during the whole shootout.

    I was able to record throughout the whole 4 minute song in one take. The longest take was over 5 minutes and it was stopped by me (not by ML).

    The only issue I found was when I ran out of space on the card and ML stopped recording, the wav file was not complete (it was a few seconds shorter than the video file). And this wasn’t a problem for me at all since I was recording only the reference audio to be able to sync it later to the original song.

    The light

    As I mentioned in the Location section, the lighting was difficult. Especially for the wider shots, where the dynamic range of the scene was really wide. I was trying to shoot medium shots and closeups when the light was strong – I could use the reflector to even out the shadows and reduce the contrast. For wider shots I had to wait for a cloud to cover the sun partially.

    The lighting
    The lighting

    This way I could capture interesting light without the highlights being completely blown-out and before the light was gone leaving a very flat looking place.

    Postproduction

    When the shooting part is done we need to switch to postprocessing mode. The complete workflow for processing almost 1TB of RAW footage will be described soon in another post, so stay tuned and subscribe not to miss it!


    Warning

    Please note that I DO NOT recommend using Magic Lantern for professional work unless you are 100% sure you can put the project at risk. My preparation consisted of weeks of thorough testing the firmware and making sure I could rely on it. Every version of the firmware can introduce new bugs and destabilise the camera completely.

    USE AT YOUR OWN RISK.

    Next Parts

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    The Middleman Official Trailer http://tomasz.cc/2014/08/middleman-official-trailer/ http://tomasz.cc/2014/08/middleman-official-trailer/#comments Sun, 24 Aug 2014 07:07:08 +0000 http://tomasz.cc/?p=1081 The short movie we have been working on for the past few months is an action movie with a slight touch of the comedy. Shot in Cyprus and entirely funded by ourselves. It took around 14 days of shooting, including locations such as Larnaca Airport. The final movie is still in the works, but for... Continue reading

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    The short movie we have been working on for the past few months is an action movie with a slight touch of the comedy. Shot in Cyprus and entirely funded by ourselves. It took around 14 days of shooting, including locations such as Larnaca Airport. The final movie is still in the works, but for the time being please enjoy our recently released trailer!

    Technical details:

    • Shot with Canon 5D Mark III and GoPro III Black (mounted on a hexacopter for aerial shots)
    • Lenses used: Canon 17-40 f/4L, Canon 70-200 f/2.8L IS, Samyang 14mm T3.1, Samyang 24mm/35mm/85mm T1.5
    • Manfrotto tripod with fluid head, Konova lider, Glidecam HD 4000
    • Lilliput monitor, LED portable lights

    Vimeo & YouTube links

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    Quick Open/Save dialogs OS X TIP http://tomasz.cc/2014/08/quick-opensave-dialogs-os-x-tip/ http://tomasz.cc/2014/08/quick-opensave-dialogs-os-x-tip/#comments Thu, 21 Aug 2014 15:36:41 +0000 http://blog.tomasz.cc/?p=637 I have been using Mac for quite a long time now, and just today I’ve discovered a very useful thing in the open/save dialogs. The power of a “/” key When the open or save dialog opens, press “/” key (forward slash) and you will see a new window with a text field where you... Continue reading

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    I have been using Mac for quite a long time now, and just today I’ve discovered a very useful thing in the open/save dialogs.

    The power of a “/” key

    When the open or save dialog opens, press “/” key (forward slash) and you will see a new window with a text field where you can paste a path to the directory or a file without actually browsing through the UI and selecting each sub-folder one by one manually.

    We can quickly combine it with a ForkLift and its Copy Path to Clipboard in the context menu, and immediately paste the selected path in the open/save window.

    Screenshot 2014-08-20 18.27.28

    Big time saver for me.

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    Apps missing in App Store Purchases section http://tomasz.cc/2014/08/apps-missing-app-store-purchases-section/ http://tomasz.cc/2014/08/apps-missing-app-store-purchases-section/#comments Sun, 17 Aug 2014 15:33:25 +0000 http://blog.tomasz.cc/?p=633 Soon after upgrading my Mac I noticed one worrying thing – some of my apps purchased months ago in Mac App Store were not available on the Purchases list to install on my new machine. For instant solution go to the last paragraph Investigation Initially I thought that maybe there’s a special license and the... Continue reading

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    Soon after upgrading my Mac I noticed one worrying thing – some of my apps purchased months ago in Mac App Store were not available on the Purchases list to install on my new machine.

    For instant solution go to the last paragraph

    Investigation

    Initially I thought that maybe there’s a special license and the application could be used only on one machine, but after some googling I found out that apps are linked with Apple ID and can be installed without any other restrictions.


    I still had access to my previous Mac so I opened App Store, and surprisingly, I couldn’t find those apps there as well! The only place I could still see the app was when I searched for them in the App Store, and I could see Installed caption below the app icon in the results grid.

    After spending some time online I found how to browse through the whole purchase history for a given Apple ID (#1), and what I noticed was that I was able to see and install apps after a certain point in time (beginning of 2014). Initially I thought that maybe the store was showing only the apps purchased in the current year but it didn’t make much sense, and there was no way to look back for earlier purchases.

    #1 Accessing full iTunes purchase history

    1. Open iTunes and from your library go to the Store located in the right top corner of the application window
    2. Click on your account name on the top left side and select Account from the popup window
    3. Under History click on View all to see all your purchases associated with your Apple ID in chronological order

    Apple ID Country change

    Then it hit me. It was the time when I switched the App Store Country from Cypriot to Polish. It seemed that all the apps purchased in the Cypriot App Store disappeared from my purchases list. They were still installed on my old Mac and running just fine though. A few more google searches led me to the…

    Solution

    All I had to do was to contact iTunes Store Support and explain the situation. It took about 10 minutes to get all my apps back. It seems it’s a very simple procedure for the Apple staff – probably one click of a button, and all the purchases linked with Apple ID are reissued for the current country. All I had to do after that was to click Store / Check for Available Downloads in iTunes and Store / Check for Unfinished Downloads in App Store. All the missing apps reappeared and were downloaded automatically.

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    Drifting Sunday, Agios Silas, Cyprus http://tomasz.cc/2013/08/drifting-sunday-agios-silas-cyprus/ http://tomasz.cc/2013/08/drifting-sunday-agios-silas-cyprus/#comments Mon, 26 Aug 2013 16:00:25 +0000 http://tomasz.cc/?p=762 While shooting some videos with my friends they entered the parking lot and started doing a lot of noise… Couldn’t resist but record them! Unfortunately my hand was tired after the whole day of shooting, so shots are not very stable… Still, I’m glad I had this opportunity! [divider line_type=”Small Line” custom_height=””]

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    While shooting some videos with my friends they entered the parking lot and started doing a lot of noise… Couldn’t resist but record them! Unfortunately my hand was tired after the whole day of shooting, so shots are not very stable… Still, I’m glad I had this opportunity!
    [divider line_type=”Small Line” custom_height=””]

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    Shooting Sunrises, guest post for The Giving Lens http://tomasz.cc/2013/06/shooting-sunrises-guest-post-giving-lens/ http://tomasz.cc/2013/06/shooting-sunrises-guest-post-giving-lens/#comments Sun, 30 Jun 2013 15:28:35 +0000 http://blog.tomasz.cc/?p=629 A few weeks ago my post called Shooting Sunrise was published on The Giving Lens blog. More about the website and the idea behind it you can read here. Check out the gallery and other interesting blog posts, I’m sure you can find many useful information and wonderful pictures! Shooting Sunrises – guest post for... Continue reading

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    A few weeks ago my post called Shooting Sunrise was published on The Giving Lens blog. More about the website and the idea behind it you can read here. Check out the gallery and other interesting blog posts, I’m sure you can find many useful information and wonderful pictures!

    Shooting Sunrises – guest post for The Giving Lens

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    Complete post-processing tutorial, DRI, blending, lightroom, photoshop http://tomasz.cc/2013/05/complete-post-processing-tutorial-dri-blending-lightroom-photoshop/ http://tomasz.cc/2013/05/complete-post-processing-tutorial-dri-blending-lightroom-photoshop/#comments Fri, 03 May 2013 08:30:28 +0000 http://tomasz.cc/?p=607 I’ve recorded the post-processing of one of my recent photos, and added descriptive captions, hope you like it! It’s the whole process from the very beginning – I import RAW files in Lightroom, adjust them initially, then blend them together in photoshop and process them to the very end! Complete post-processing tutorial, DRI, blending, lightroom, photoshop... Continue reading

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    I’ve recorded the post-processing of one of my recent photos, and added descriptive captions, hope you like it! It’s the whole process from the very beginning – I import RAW files in Lightroom, adjust them initially, then blend them together in photoshop and process them to the very end!

    Complete post-processing tutorial, DRI, blending, lightroom, photoshop

    Photoshop File (1600px) with all the layers

    Download complete photoshop file that was created in the tutorial above. The image size is 1600px on the longer edge and the file size is around 100MB.
    You can download the file for 3 EUR or more (name your price).

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    Life Street Festival Limassol 2013 http://tomasz.cc/2013/05/life-street-festival-limassol-2013/ http://tomasz.cc/2013/05/life-street-festival-limassol-2013/#comments Wed, 01 May 2013 07:15:37 +0000 http://tomasz.cc/?p=601 Recently I started using my camera also for some video work, and this is my first official movie I shot a few days ago at the Life Street Festival Limassol 2013, Cyprus. I was focused mostly on graffiti artists doing great job and painting all over the streets of Limassol city centre. A few of... Continue reading

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    Recently I started using my camera also for some video work, and this is my first official movie I shot a few days ago at the Life Street Festival Limassol 2013, Cyprus. I was focused mostly on graffiti artists doing great job and painting all over the streets of Limassol city centre. A few of them were really spectacular. I hope my video below captured at least a fraction of what was going on there!

    Life Street Festival, Limassol, Cyprus, 27th of April 2013

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    I want to shoot at night! http://tomasz.cc/2013/04/i-want-to-shoot-at-night/ http://tomasz.cc/2013/04/i-want-to-shoot-at-night/#comments Thu, 18 Apr 2013 19:00:43 +0000 http://tomasz.cc/tumblr/?p=53 Hold on a second, cowboy. First of all, if you really want to start taking pictures during the night, you need to get familiar with manual mode. There’s no possibility that you will get nice results using auto mode or night preset. Another issue is that without a tripod there’s a small chance that your... Continue reading

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    Hold on a second, cowboy. First of all, if you really want to start taking pictures during the night, you need to get familiar with manual mode. There’s no possibility that you will get nice results using auto mode or night preset.
    Another issue is that without a tripod there’s a small chance that your pictures will be sharp. Actually it’s almost impossible. If all the above is not a problem for you, let’s get to the topic.

    Things you will need:

    1. Tripod
    2. Cable release
    3. Camera

    Not necessarily in that order, but all 3 are important. Fast lens will be also useful especially for capturing skies. You can argue that cable release is not that really important. True, but I  still recommend it as it gives you the ability to expose for more than 30 seconds. Releasing the shutter is much more convenient than using camera built-in timers. If you don’t own one, it’s not the end of the world but get one – the simplest one is cheap and will be useful for many other situations too.
    One more thing that is very useful when you are out shooting in the night – flashlight! Or your smartphone – with a cool app should be enough.

    Light pollution

    Shooting Milky Way in the middle of the city is usually a bad idea. Unless the city is abandoned or there’s an electricity outage. Otherwise you will get the light pollution and the only thing you will capture is the light coming from the city, not from the sky. The best places for taking breathtaking night sky pictures are the places far from the cities, far from the civilization. And by far, I mean really far. Even a distant city may create quite big light pollution over the horizon.

    Moon is not cool

    Moon is cool, when it’s the subject of the photo. When it’s the only subject of the photo. However if you are willing to take a picture of the sky, moon is not cool at all. It’s another light pollution we talked about in the previous paragraph. So basically if you are going to take night pictures of a sky check on the web when the moonrise is, and choose the time when the moon is not visible.

    2012-07-03_moon_horizontal_01

    Photographing the moon is fairly simple. As long as you have a stable tripod and long lens you should be able to capture a nice moon details regardless of the light pollution – moon itself is bright enough. The picture above was shot using 200mm lens + teleconverter 2.0 on APS-C sensor which gives 600mm full frame equivalent. Exposure parameters were ISO 250, f/7.1 1/250s. Always use manual settings, automated modes will give you overexposed images and you will lose all the moon’s details.

    Star trails

    Stars move. Actually according to Copernicus earth is the one which moves. And we can clearly see that movement when we set the shutter open long enough. On the image we will see lines (curves) instead of stars. If this is not what we want to achieve there’s a quick formula which tells us what the longest shutter speed is for a given focal length. What we need to do is to divide 600 by the focal length and the result is the maximum amount of time which will give us sharp stars without any trails.

    600 / 24mm = max 25s
    600 / 15mm = max 40s

    So, the wider you go, the more time you have for a single frame before you start to notice star trails.

    tomasz_cc-20130413-016

    The picture above was exposed for 4-5 minutes, and we can notice very obvious trails.

    Camera settings

    For the best results you should use aperture not bigger than f/4. During the night there’s so little light and you shouldn’t limit it even more with small apertures. You can experiment with ISO, but probably the native value is too low and you will need to crank it up, sometimes even to 3-6k to be able to capture all the light without having star trails. Fast lens and camera with good noise performance on high ISO is the best for that kind of pictures.

    Summary

    Having the last paragraphs in mind, it’s pretty clear, that wide and fast lens is the best for photographing the skies and trying to capture the Milky Way. Wide angle gives us more time and fast lens saves us from using very high ISO.

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    Long Exposures Explained http://tomasz.cc/2013/04/long-exposures-explained/ http://tomasz.cc/2013/04/long-exposures-explained/#comments Mon, 01 Apr 2013 10:00:32 +0000 http://tomasz.cc/?p=557 In this article I would like to talk about everything you need to know to take long and very long exposure shots. I will list all the required and recommended equipment, point out common mistakes, show differences between various exposure times and give some helpful tips. Let’s start off with what you really need. Required... Continue reading

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    In this article I would like to talk about everything you need to know to take long and very long exposure shots. I will list all the required and recommended equipment, point out common mistakes, show differences between various exposure times and give some helpful tips.

    Let’s start off with what you really need.

    Required equipment

    1. Tripod
    2. Cable release

    To be able to capture a long exposure shot you definitely need a very stable support for your camera. It’s vital, and every even the slightest movement will ruin your photo so it’s very important to have a solid and good quality tripod. In a windy weather you might want to load the tripod with additional weight like backpack.

    Cable release is another required tool which allows you to expand the exposure time beyond the 30 seconds limit. You can say that 30s exposure is long enough, and you will be right, but for me the real fun with long exposures starts way after that time. But if you don’t have a cable release at the moment, you can experiment with shorter times too.

    Recommended equipment

    1. ND filter/filters
    2. Viewfinder cover

    ND filter (ND stands for Neutral Density) is a filter that reduces the amount of light coming to the camera sensor giving no changes in hue of colour rendition. This is theory and unfortunately in reality it’s not really true, because every filter introduces more or less colour cast to your photos. It depends on the length of exposure is and directly from the quality of the filter. Even the most expensive ND filters leave colour cast on the images. For the cheaper filters the colour cast might be very difficult to correct in post-process though. So again, the quality matters. If you don’t have any ND filters right now, remember that increasing the f-stop and lowering the ISO will give you the longest exposure time.

    A viewfinder cover is a very useful tool used to basically cover the viewfinder in order to block any light that might reach the sensor especially when the sun is behind the camera. This little cover can prevent uneven exposure and unwanted artefacts.

    Common mistakes

    1. Autofocus
    2. Vibration reduction
    3. Camera mode

    The first thing I do before I start the long exposure is to make sure I have turned off the autofocus. Long exposures are taken in dark conditions or with a dark filter in front of the lens so in most situations the autofocus sensor is not able to detect the focus properly. When you try to focus just before taking the photo, focusing system will jump in and will not be able to focus correctly. As a result you will end up with a picture which is out of focus.

    Vibration reduction or image stabilisation of your lenses should be turned off anyway for the tripod use. The low amount of light coming to sensor during long exposure will only make things worse, so keep it in mind to check that setting too.

    Another mistake is the use of automated camera mode like aperture priority. In this mode camera will try to calculate exposure time by itself, but again, the amount of light is so low that in many cases this calculation will be wrong, especially for longer exposures. For long exposures the right choice is only manual mode.

    Examples

    The following examples will show you the same scene taken with different settings. The first photo is a regular exposure taken without any filters:

    The exposure time for this image is 1/4s, ISO 100 and aperture f/16.
    Now what happens if we try to make the exposure a bit longer:

    This image was taken with the exposure time of 15 seconds (the same ISO and f-stop as the first one). To achieve that I used ND 1.8 filter which basically reduces the light by 6 stops (1/4s, 1/2s, 1s, 2s, 4s, 8s, 15s – 6 stops).

    Now let’s try a really long exposure. For that I used ND 3.0 which is 10 stop filter. The following picture was taken with the exposure of 250s, ISO 100 and f/9:

    Now, the time used here created this nice effect, the clouds and the sea are really blurred.

    You probably noticed that the aperture for the last shot was changed from f/16 to f/9. It’s because I used a very strong ND filter (10 stops) and I had to compensate with the f-stop so that I wouldn’t end up with the exposure of over 1 hour. Why? Let’s see how to calculate exposure times.

    How to calculate exposure times with ND filter

    Calculating the correct exposure time is a mathematical task. It’s the balance of light that comes to the sensor. The less light goes in, the more time is required to properly expose the image. To be able to calculate the exposure time we need to know how much the shutter time changes for every stop of light. The strength of ND filters is measured in stops, so having a 2 stop ND filter will take 2 stops from our shutter speed.

    Now, step by step:

    1. Put your camera to Aperture priority mode.
    2. Set your ISO and aperture.
    3. Read the shutter speed that camera calculated.

    Let’s say it’s 1/250s. Now we attach the 6 stop ND filter, which means that we need to prolong the shutter speed by 6 stops. To do that let’s use the standardised list of shutter times:

    1/8000 1/4000 1/2000 1/1000 1/500 1/250 1/125 1/60 1/30 1/15 1/8 1/4 1/2 1 2 4 8 15 30 1m 2m 4m etc.

    Take the time that camera calculated (1/250) and move 6 places to the right – 1/4s. That’s the correct shutter time with ND filter attached to the camera and will give the same “brightness” as a picture taken without a filter with 1/250s time.

    There’s an app for that!

    If you have a smartphone you can download apps for the exposure time calculations – Longtime Exposure Calculator for iOS and Exposure Calculator for Android.

    If it doesn’t work

    Now, again this is theory, and in reality this not necessarily might be true. First of all, the quality of ND filters may vary and the 6 stop filter might stop the light a little more or a little less. Another issue is changing light – during an exposure of a few minutes it is possible that the light changes, especially when you take pictures during the sunset or sunrise hours. By the time you finish your eight-minute exposure the sun might not be in the sky anymore and the calculations are no longer right. How to solve that?

    Experiment

    Use the calculations at the beginning to have a general idea of the correct exposure times, but try to play with them. Keep the exposure a bit longer. If the picture is too bright, try again for a shorter amount of time. After some time you will be able to predict more or less the correct shutter time without any tables and calculations.

    The advantage is that with long exposures it’s harder to make a mistake in calculation of shutter speed. If your correct exposure time is 8 minutes and you expose for 7 minutes the picture will be all right. If you expose for 9 minutes – again, the difference will be very small. It always takes a double amount of time to change the exposure by 1 stop. So to make the picture 1 stop brighter you would need to expose it for 16 minutes. That’s quite a difference.

    Hope this article will help you with your long exposures. If so, let me know and send a link to your work!

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    Cinematic productions shot with Nikon D800 http://tomasz.cc/2013/03/cinematic-productions-shot-with-nikon-d800/ http://tomasz.cc/2013/03/cinematic-productions-shot-with-nikon-d800/#comments Sat, 23 Mar 2013 20:35:15 +0000 http://tomasz.cc/?p=438 In this post I would like to show you two cinematic productions shot with Nikon D800 that have impressed me recently. It really proves that Nikon released a very powerful and capable camera with video features. Canon has always been the one shining in the movie industry after the release of 5D M2, but now... Continue reading

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    In this post I would like to show you two cinematic productions shot with Nikon D800 that have impressed me recently. It really proves that Nikon released a very powerful and capable camera with video features. Canon has always been the one shining in the movie industry after the release of 5D M2, but now Nikon has something in his arsenal which can compete and even deliver much better results due to uncompressed HDMI output.

    Below you can watch two productions entirely shot with the Nikon D800. Of course the amount of gear used to actually shoot these movies is overwhelming for a regular photographer, but the core behind all this is just a camera we all know from the photography world.

    The first movie is “Joy Ride”:

    You can also watch the behind the scenes here.

    Another one is called “Broken Night”:

    And there is a project’s site with additional footage from behind the scenes, interviews with director etc.

    In both productions you can see very difficult scenes to shoot, low light situations, different lighting conditions, action shots, various angles impossible for traditional cameras – all this shows that Nikon D800 gives absolutely new opportunities in the movie production area and the results that can be achieved with it are stunning.

    Another interesting fact is that the very same camera was used in one of the Dexter episodes (you can see that in the featured picture above this article).

    Featured image found on http://www.definitionmagazine.com/journal/2012/11/22/nikon-dlsrs-in-hollywood.html

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    Straighten a photo tutorial http://tomasz.cc/2013/02/straighten-a-photo-tutorial/ http://tomasz.cc/2013/02/straighten-a-photo-tutorial/#comments Sun, 24 Feb 2013 10:30:38 +0000 http://tomasz.cc/?p=408 In this video I will show you how to straighten a photo containing quite severe ultra wide angle distortion. For that I will use Lightroom and Photoshop. Some basic adjustments are also applied to improve the picture quality. Hope this tutorial will be useful somebody! Let me know what you think! Straighten a photo tutorial

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    In this video I will show you how to straighten a photo containing quite severe ultra wide angle distortion. For that I will use Lightroom and Photoshop. Some basic adjustments are also applied to improve the picture quality.
    Hope this tutorial will be useful somebody! Let me know what you think!


    Straighten a photo tutorial

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    Pick and Reject flag in Lightroom http://tomasz.cc/2013/02/pick-and-reject-flag-in-lightroom/ http://tomasz.cc/2013/02/pick-and-reject-flag-in-lightroom/#comments Sun, 17 Feb 2013 09:30:59 +0000 http://tomasz.cc/?p=322 I constantly try to improve my photography workflow. Number of my pictures in Lightroom catalog grows every day and I need really solid process to handle all the files from the very beginning. The first step, right after the import, is an initial selection. It means that I don’t keep all the images that my... Continue reading

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    I constantly try to improve my photography workflow. Number of my pictures in Lightroom catalog grows every day and I need really solid process to handle all the files from the very beginning. The first step, right after the import, is an initial selection. It means that I don’t keep all the images that my camera captured. The storage is cheap and I know many people tend to keep all the pictures on their hard drives in case they change their minds, nevertheless I remove some of them to keep my workflow efficient and to save some space on my drives. Also, the Lightroom seems to be working a bit slower with the collection getting bigger and bigger.

    Pick and Reject flags

    Pick and reject flag in Lightroom is a tool which basically marks pictures as picked and rejected. The current state of the photo is indicated by the icon in top left corner – either black for rejected and white for picked. I used to use star ratings for the same purpose some time ago marking rejected pictures with one star, but since I discovered pick and reject I have never looked back. There’s one important difference between both solutions. Pick and reject has another built in functionality – Delete all rejected photos under Photo menu. This means that after selecting all the accepted photos, and marking the ones that we are not interested in, we can simply tell Lightroom to remove all the rejected photos from the drive.

    lightroom_pick_reject

    Getting efficient

    How to use this feature efficiently? Use keyboard shortcuts! For picking and rejecting use p and x keyboard keys accordingly. You can press the shift key while marking the photo if you want to proceed to the next one. To improve the process have caps lock enabled so the Lightroom will advance to the next photo each time you make a decision automatically and every time. If you want to undo your decision press u key to remove the selection flag.
    If you belong to the group of people who doesn’t remove pictures from the drive you can still use this feature. There’s an option to Hide Rejects in the filters and you won’t see rejected photos in your collections but the photos won’t be affected in any other way.

    Summary

    • p – pick
    • x – reject
    • u – undo/unflag
    • ⇪ caps lock – advance to the next picture after setting the flag when on
    • ⌘⌫ – Delete Rejected Photos (ctrl+backspace for windows)

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    Fotoferia International Exhibition 2012 Nomination http://tomasz.cc/2013/02/fotoferia-international-exhibition-2012-nomination/ http://tomasz.cc/2013/02/fotoferia-international-exhibition-2012-nomination/#comments Wed, 13 Feb 2013 17:00:33 +0000 http://tomasz.cc/?p=345 Today I’m proud to pronounce that one of my photos made it to winning place of the International Exhibition 2012 Contest organised by Fotoferia photography club. Jury has graded 1829 photos and those with highest ratings went to the final stage where best pictures were awarded with medals and nominated. All the pictures are simply amazing and... Continue reading

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    Today I’m proud to pronounce that one of my photos made it to winning place of the International Exhibition 2012 Contest organised by Fotoferia photography club.

    Jury has graded 1829 photos and those with highest ratings went to the final stage where best pictures were awarded with medals and nominated.
    All the pictures are simply amazing and I cannot believe that my photo made it!

    Here’s a video presenting all the winners photos:

    Fotoferia International Exhibition 2012 Nomination

    The gallery with all the photos can be found here.

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    Your Tripod does not like seascapes! http://tomasz.cc/2013/02/your-tripod-does-not-like-seascapes/ http://tomasz.cc/2013/02/your-tripod-does-not-like-seascapes/#comments Sun, 03 Feb 2013 08:30:47 +0000 http://tomasz.cc/?p=293 I’m pretty sure if the tripod could talk it would say that it hates shooting seascapes with you. Especially when it is exposed to the sea water directly, the legs are oftentimes dipped in water and all the other parts are splashed by the waves from time to time. Why all that is not too... Continue reading

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    I’m pretty sure if the tripod could talk it would say that it hates shooting seascapes with you. Especially when it is exposed to the sea water directly, the legs are oftentimes dipped in water and all the other parts are splashed by the waves from time to time. Why all that is not too entertaining for your tripod? The answer is here:

    D700-20130113-001

    D700-20130113-002

    Yeah, it looks pretty bad and actually it’s not that easy to fix. To be honest, you should really avoid getting your tripod to this stage, but if you have already done so I’ll try to give you some hints what can be done.

    First of all you need a proper screwdriver to disassemble the whole thing. For my Manfrotto tripod this screwdriver does the job:

    D700-20130113-005

    These two guys will help too. The first one will deal with some rusty hinges and whatnot, the other one will be used after the cleaning to all the moving parts. You can use whatever lube you can get from your DIY shop.

    D700-20130113-007

    While disassembling try not to get too depressed when you see something like that:

    D700-20130113-011

    And here’s my tripod (actually only legs) in pieces:

    D700-20130113-015

    Nuts and screws require special treatment. Put them with some water mixed with a cheap descaler (for kettles, coffee machines, etc) in a small cup. Leave them for a few minutes (not more – it can cause damage). After that time all the salt should be gone. If not, try extra few minutes.

    D700-20130113-018

    Clean all the leg parts with warm water and soap. Accumulated salt won’t disappear completely and you will need to scratch it manually. Takes some time, but it’s doable. All you need is some piece of plastic that will not scratch the carbon-fiber surface (screwdriver handle in my case). You can cover it with some cloth to be safe. Then start removing salt coating by rubbing it gently. Here’s my before and after:

    before_after

    After cleaning and assembling all the parts put some lube or grease around the joints so the movement is smooth:

    D700-20130113-026

    Here’s the final result:

    D700-20130113-030

    As a regular maintenance it should be enough to clean your tripod with warm water as soon as you get back home from the shooting even if your tripod wasn’t exposed to the salty water or sand directly.

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    One adjustment photo challenge http://tomasz.cc/2013/01/one-adjustment-photo-challenge/ http://tomasz.cc/2013/01/one-adjustment-photo-challenge/#comments Tue, 29 Jan 2013 10:05:40 +0000 http://tomasz.cc/?p=259 Today’s challenge is to process a photo using only one type of ajustement. I’m presenting this mainly because I want to show you how powerful this operation is and stress how important role it plays in my image processing workflow. In many cases it’s the most visible adjustement of all, especially when comparing the before... Continue reading

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    Today’s challenge is to process a photo using only one type of ajustement. I’m presenting this mainly because I want to show you how powerful this operation is and stress how important role it plays in my image processing workflow. In many cases it’s the most visible adjustement of all, especially when comparing the before and after picture.

    To comply with the initial rule I will skip all the initial steps like cropping and straightening the horizon, so keep in mind that it is literally one type of adjustement.

    Here’s what we start with:

    before
    and here’s the result of our processing:
    after

    Which adjustment is it? Watch the movie below to find out!

    And here is a list of most used keyboard shortcuts in the video:

    • b – brush tool
    • [ – decrease brush size
    • ] – increase brush size
    • cmd+d/ctrl+d – deselect
    • cmd+h/ctrl+h – hide current selection
    • cmd+I/ctrl+I – invert (mask)

    What’s more?

    From what I’ve noticed there are two group of people. The first one uses curves for the contrast adjustments, the other one prefers levels. I’m definitely a fan of the latter. The workflow I presented in the video is just a basic approach which might be extended by using separate channels and focus on specific colours  Levels might be also used to correct the white balance on your photographs. I don’t really use the auto button, but for the beginners it might be useful too, especially for initial adjustments.

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    Tokina 11-16 vs Nikon 16-35 on FX http://tomasz.cc/2013/01/tokina-11-16-vs-nikon-16-35-on-fx/ http://tomasz.cc/2013/01/tokina-11-16-vs-nikon-16-35-on-fx/#comments Sun, 20 Jan 2013 12:41:23 +0000 http://tomasz.cc/?p=220 Tokina 11-16 f/2.8 AT-X116 Pro DX was my first ultra wide angle lens. It was coupled with my first DSLR Nikon D90. I was very happy with the lens and I was using it almost all the time. At least for my landscape shots. For the DX sensor it is one of the best wide... Continue reading

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    Tokina 11-16 f/2.8 AT-X116 Pro DX was my first ultra wide angle lens. It was coupled with my first DSLR Nikon D90. I was very happy with the lens and I was using it almost all the time. At least for my landscape shots. For the DX sensor it is one of the best wide angle lenses I have ever used. It’s fast (f/2.8) and very sharp. Distortion is visible, but taking into account the focal length of 11mm it’s very acceptable. With the small help of Lightroom or Photoshop we can easily correct the geometry.

    After switching to FX sensor camera I almost forgot about this lens. An then one day I thought about shooting some very long exposures. I was using Nikon 14-24 at that time as my ultra wide lens and the main disadvantage of this lens is a very well-known problem with filters. Even after purchasing LEE fitter kit we are unable to use filters like big stopper. So I was reminded about my old Tokina as I read somewhere that it still might be used on FX sensor to some extent.

    After mounting the lens on my Nikon D700 I was surprised that on 16mm I didn’t see any vignetting! Unfortunately that’s the only focal length on this lens that doesn’t produce dark corners on the picture. But hey – we have a wide angle prime of 16mm with the ability to use filters.

    I took many long exposures with this setup and was quite happy with the results. Quite recently I have had the chance to use another wide angle, but this time FX lens – Nikon 16-35 1:4G ED VR. I thought that it’s a good opportunity to test both and see how the Tokina performs compared to proper FX wide angle from Nikon.

    Comparison

    I’m not going to go too deep with my comparison and analyse all the tiny details on every possible setting. I prefer to focus on the results I get from both in my usual landscape environment.

    Below you can see two shots I took the other day. Both on 16mm, using B+W ND3 filter with the exposure of ~60 seconds.

    Tokina 11-16 f/11 @16mm

    Tokina 11-16 f/11 @16mm

    Nikon 16-35 f/11 @16mm

    Nikon 16-35 f/11 @16mm

    I was trying to frame exactly the same picture, but removing and attaching a lens moved slightly my tripod and they are not exactly aligned. but I don’t think the difference is big enough to affect the results. When you right click on the image and select open in new tab/window you will get the full resolution picture.

    At the first look on the 700px images there’s hardly any difference. Opening two full resolution pictures and switching from one to the other will give us a bit more details but still it’s not really that big difference.

    First thing that caught my eye was slightly bigger contrast on the whole image with Nikon, a bit sharper corners and a bit less distortion visible on the straight elements in the frame. Another thing I noticed is the reddish colour cast on the picture produced by a filter on Nikon, which doesn’t occur on Tokina’s.

    On the other hand Tokina is more likely to produce chromatic aberrations, we can clearly notice that on the 100% crops below around the lanterns.

    Tokina 11-16 Crop 100%

    Tokina 11-16 Crop 100%

    Nikon 16-35 Crop 100%

    Nikon 16-35 Crop 100%

    Here’s another shot taken with both lenses:

    Tokina 11-16 f/16 @16mm

    Tokina 11-16 f/16 @16mm

    Nikon 16-35 f/16 @16mm

    Nikon 16-35 f/16 @16mm

    Again, comparing picture side by side I noticed a bit more contrast on the picture produced by Nikon lens. Tokina produced some CA around the edges and distorted the geometry a little bit more.

    Here are some details at 1:1 crop:

    Tokina 11-16 Crop 100%

    Tokina 11-16 Crop 100%

    Nikon 16-35 Crop 100%

    Nikon 16-35 Crop 100%

    Clearly, the corner of the frame is much sharper on the picture produced by Nikon. If you look closely Nikon produces CA as well, but on the Tokina’s image it is much more visible.

    SUMMARY

    To be honest I was expecting Nikon to be performing way better. Surprisingly, Tokina does a really good job on FX camera. After using Lightroom to deal with geometric corrections and removing chromatic aberrations the output image quality is very good. If you don’t need big resolution images, you won’t even notice the lack of sharpness in the corners.

    Let me also remind you that Tokina gives you aperture of f/2.8 which might be useful in low light situations where Nikon would perform worse. Lower f-number brings up more difference between the two lenses in terms of sharpness, but as I mentioned in the beginning – I’m comparing the lenses from my landscape-photography point of view.

    If you have Tokina 11-16 and you’re switching from DX world to the full frame and you are wondering what ultra wide angle lens you should be getting instead – you can keep it in the beginning, and the switch will be less pricey.

    The post Tokina 11-16 vs Nikon 16-35 on FX appeared first on tomasz.cc.

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    iMessage activation issue solved http://tomasz.cc/2013/01/imessage-activation-issue-solved/ http://tomasz.cc/2013/01/imessage-activation-issue-solved/#comments Thu, 10 Jan 2013 15:18:02 +0000 http://blog.tomasz.cc/?p=619 After upgrading my iPad to the latest model iMessage suddenly stopped working. I have never experienced any problems on my previous device. Now, whenever I open iMessage it asks me for Apple ID and password. When I put correct credentials and try to log in I get the popup message entitled “iMessage activation” with an... Continue reading

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    After upgrading my iPad to the latest model iMessage suddenly stopped working. I have never experienced any problems on my previous device. Now, whenever I open iMessage it asks me for Apple ID and password. When I put correct credentials and try to log in I get the popup message entitled “iMessage activation” with an error message saying that username or password is incorrect.

    appleid / iMessage activation issue solvedI thought that maybe restoring iPad from the backup which was created by the older device caused some configuration problems so I reset it completely and set it up from scratch. 
    It didn’t fix the problem either. From my online investigation it seems that a lot of people have the same issues and even apple support doesn’t know how to solve the problem. Possible solutions posted by many people suggesting reseting the device, rebooting it, relogging etc. obviously didn’t work. I gave up a few weeks ago but for some reason decided to try one last time. And it was worth the effort.

    Solution

    Error in my case came from the mismatch of my home address connected to my Apple ID and the international settings on my iPad. Setting them both to UK solved the problem. If you are not sure what your address connected to your Apple ID is, follow these steps:
    appleid / iMessage activation issue solved

    1. Go to the following link: https://appleid.apple.com/cgi-bin/WebObjects/MyAppleId.woa/
    2. Press Manage you Apple ID button
    3. Enter your user name and password and login
    4. On the left side go to Addresses
    5. You can add a new address or edit the current one here

    Now you need to change your International settings on your iDevice to match your Apple ID address, or put the address matching your international settings on your device:

    1. Go to Settings
    2. General
    3. International

    Now, log in to your iMessage application and it should be working just fine!

    I don’t really understand the reason behind that, as for example my address was set to my home address in Cyprus, but my international settings were set to UK. I don’t speak Greek and don’t want to have dates, day names etc. displayed in Greek but in English. Honestly it’s quite annoying. To overcome that I just specified a fake UK address to be able to keep my international settings as before. On top of that the error message given by iMessage is completely confusing and misleading.

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    Hello World http://tomasz.cc/2013/01/hello-world-3/ http://tomasz.cc/2013/01/hello-world-3/#comments Tue, 01 Jan 2013 08:34:55 +0000 http://blog.tomasz.cc/?p=10 As a software developer I cannot start this blog in any other way than this: Hello World! This is my another take on blogging, this time I am going for something simpler giving me a straight forward way to publish stuff instead of taking time to think how to do it. I do hope that... Continue reading

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    As a software developer I cannot start this blog in any other way than this:

    Hello World!

    This is my another take on blogging, this time I am going for something simpler giving me a straight forward way to publish stuff instead of taking time to think how to do it. I do hope that you will find here something interesting for you and you will visit my little place from time to time.

    The topics that I will cover here will be mostly photography related, but I’m into film, tech and software development as well.

    See you next time!

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