fmian

fmian

Lives in Australia Sydney, Australia
Works as a Photographer/Re-toucher/Consultant
Joined on Mar 28, 2010
About me:

If you're reading this it's probably because I wrote something that confounded or intrigued you. You should know that much of what I say is uncomfortable truth laced with straight faced sarcasm. Don't take it to heart.

Comments

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On article Looking Sharp: A focus stacking tutorial (154 comments in total)
In reply to:

Rusk: 1) Olympus OM-D
2) Press shutter
3) Instant automatic focus bracketing from 1-999 frames or with E-M1 a automatic 8-frame focus stacking.

4) Copy pictures to new directory and call ImageMagick to process all automatically to stacked picture.

Nooo!
Auto focus stacking in camera is a shortcut method which is prone to errors and and gives almost no control to the user. How are you going to properly assess the final result with such a small screen on the back of the camera? If you care about your work at all and want it viewed on anything bigger than an iPhone you'll make sure you do it manually.

Link | Posted on May 30, 2016 at 17:21 UTC
On article Looking Sharp: A focus stacking tutorial (154 comments in total)
In reply to:

Thermidor: I don't get it. Why would you want to have everything tack sharp and in focus? Nothing stands out in the frame when everything is sharp. There should be something in the frame that naturally draws the eye there.

Selective focus isn't the only way to draw the eye to where you want people to look. In this case the contrast and texture/detail of the cactus in the lower portion of the frame draws the eye first, then the highlight + colours + contrasted mountain lines draw the eye to the top. The centre of the frame is really just negative space, and if one were to use focus/defocus to draw the eye around a shot like this it would only make sense to have the middle frame area out of focus.. which would obviously look silly (but if someone wants to break the rules of perception.. Go for it)

Link | Posted on May 30, 2016 at 15:11 UTC
On article Looking Sharp: A focus stacking tutorial (154 comments in total)
In reply to:

BobT3218: OK, so now how about a follow up for us Oly E-M1 shooters who have a very useful in-camera focus stacking facility but precious little guidance from Olympus as to how to get the best out of it?

Why not just manually override the camera and do it the way described in this article so you understand what's going on and get a better end result?
I mean.. how many people would benefit from an E-M1 article when this one covers all bases properly and thoroughly anyway..

Link | Posted on May 30, 2016 at 14:59 UTC
On article Looking Sharp: A focus stacking tutorial (154 comments in total)
In reply to:

fotopizza: I admire how much work and patience put into something like this. But, in the end I find it`s just a long, long description on how to something in a horribly time consuming, error-prone way, that could be done perfectly and accurately without any software-guess work, by using a technical view camera. Proper focusing and 0.5°-5° of downward tilt, depending on focal length and tripod height let you create the right wedge of sharpness at f8 that includes everything visible in that image. Imho, for best results in the field, I find it`s often better to keep things simple, rather than finding ways to make things even more complicated than they already are.

Why even go to the trouble of taking a photo when you can just remember what you saw and tell people about it later? I'm sure most photos these days would look better if I just imagined them instead of saw them..

Link | Posted on May 30, 2016 at 14:51 UTC
On article Looking Sharp: A focus stacking tutorial (154 comments in total)
In reply to:

fmian: Just curious but how close was the nearest cactus that you needed the DOF to start from?
Also when you captioned the image with: 'This was shot at 35mm and at f/2.8 due to conditions at the time of shooting. As you can see it was impossible to achieve sharp focus throughout the image.'
Why could you not stop the lens down? I assumed you may have needed a faster shutter speed as priority due to a lot of wind, but I can't see the effects of wind in this shot.

BTW: The treatment of the end result looks fantastic.

Ahh.. Thanks for the extra insight :) Now it makes sense why you had to do a 10 image stack as opposed to a 2 or 3 image stack.
I wonder if shooting wider to get more DOF (and less shots) then cropping down would also be an alternative method. So many factors and options to consider!

Link | Posted on May 30, 2016 at 14:45 UTC
On article Looking Sharp: A focus stacking tutorial (154 comments in total)

Just curious but how close was the nearest cactus that you needed the DOF to start from?
Also when you captioned the image with: 'This was shot at 35mm and at f/2.8 due to conditions at the time of shooting. As you can see it was impossible to achieve sharp focus throughout the image.'
Why could you not stop the lens down? I assumed you may have needed a faster shutter speed as priority due to a lot of wind, but I can't see the effects of wind in this shot.

BTW: The treatment of the end result looks fantastic.

Link | Posted on May 30, 2016 at 06:56 UTC as 24th comment | 2 replies

Why even take photos when you can pull frames from security camera footage or crop down satellite imagery?

Seriously though.. more automation in technology sounds like it will lead to less knowledge among the general population.

Link | Posted on May 29, 2016 at 00:31 UTC as 9th comment
On article Lens shootout: Sony RX10 III destroys the competition (456 comments in total)

Kind of a blunt purpose to this comparison when the weather changes so much no?
The Canon has a white sky at 600mm while the RX10-iii has a blue sky. Evaluating things like contrast, shadows, clarity and the perception of sharpness/detail becomes futile. If you didn't throw the test in the bin just by looking at the weather and resulting shots.. what other things have you let slide to determine that the Sony 'destroys' the competition?

Link | Posted on May 27, 2016 at 03:20 UTC as 88th comment | 1 reply
In reply to:

fmian: Just went to the stationary store after work and bought black cardboard for $2.40. Used a few magnets to attach it to a 6x6 foot diffusion cloth. Tied it to a couple of light stands. Backlit it with an open face and a fresnel.

Just the backlights:
http://www.dpreview.com/galleries/1832778312/photos/3453427/_mg_9241-custom

Reflective umbrella on the front:
http://www.dpreview.com/galleries/1832778312/photos/3453426/_mg_9240-custom

A shot from further back to show there's a lot more light around the edges than this broncolor setup. So the effect may be slightly different.. but you get the idea:
http://www.dpreview.com/galleries/1832778312/photos/3453428/_mg_9242-custom

Yes Nachos, Darkfield Lighting or Darkfield Illumination yes?

Damien.. Thanks, and she likes what I tell her to like :p

Link | Posted on May 26, 2016 at 21:25 UTC
In reply to:

weisman: Here's an example:
http://www.modelmayhem.com/portfolio/pic/40695273
Note the highlight that surrounds the perimeter of the model despite the black background. Then you can fill in the subject with a reflector(s) or other light(s) as desired.

You have to turn off the adult content filter to see the image.
Nice shot Weisman.. Have you used the same concept as this article speaks of (black centre on a single light light source) or did you use a couple of strip lights?
I'd imagine the striplights would be easier than trying to rig a massive 3/4 body size black flag.

Link | Posted on May 26, 2016 at 09:42 UTC

Just went to the stationary store after work and bought black cardboard for $2.40. Used a few magnets to attach it to a 6x6 foot diffusion cloth. Tied it to a couple of light stands. Backlit it with an open face and a fresnel.

Just the backlights:
http://www.dpreview.com/galleries/1832778312/photos/3453427/_mg_9241-custom

Reflective umbrella on the front:
http://www.dpreview.com/galleries/1832778312/photos/3453426/_mg_9240-custom

A shot from further back to show there's a lot more light around the edges than this broncolor setup. So the effect may be slightly different.. but you get the idea:
http://www.dpreview.com/galleries/1832778312/photos/3453428/_mg_9242-custom

Link | Posted on May 26, 2016 at 09:39 UTC as 3rd comment | 4 replies

They should at least use examples that observe where the light is coming from and where the shadows are falling.
Last time I checked this solar system only had one sun...

Link | Posted on May 23, 2016 at 00:29 UTC as 22nd comment
In reply to:

Ran Plett: Ugh what a boring FL.

There are no boring focal lengths.. Only boring photographers.. Lol

Link | Posted on May 20, 2016 at 12:18 UTC
In reply to:

Frank in Bridgewater: People who make decisions on the quality, or otherwise, of lenses, cameras, based on sample internet galleries and talk about 12 or 14 or 16 bit color and stuff seem to forget that what you are seeing in a browser are 8 bit jpegs displayed at (probably) 72 dpi (or less).

^^^
Err.. What?
72dpi is like a 1080p screen at about 26inches across. Or a smaller screen at a lower res. There where many like this just a handful of years ago.
Even a mid range Eizo monitor clocks in at about 94dpi..

Link | Posted on May 20, 2016 at 12:17 UTC
In reply to:

Frank in Bridgewater: People who make decisions on the quality, or otherwise, of lenses, cameras, based on sample internet galleries and talk about 12 or 14 or 16 bit color and stuff seem to forget that what you are seeing in a browser are 8 bit jpegs displayed at (probably) 72 dpi (or less).

You could break it down to a biological level and state that humans don't perceive colors in a universally consistent manner anyway..
My magenta might be your pink.. so what's the point?
Why don't we all just look at RGB data values and split channel histograms instead?

Link | Posted on May 20, 2016 at 06:09 UTC
In reply to:

Lan: Executive summary: Centre sharp, but corners soft.

High levels of astigamatism/coma appear to be the reason for the relatively poor showing at the corners; so this is not the lens of choice for astrophotography.

That said the A7R2 is a harsh test for any lens. Based on my experiences on a 5D2, I suspect the Samyang 14mm f2.8 might be a better option, but I haven't tried it on an A7R2...

'Executive summary: Centre sharp, but corners soft.'

Perfect for ultra wide-angle portraiture then?...

Link | Posted on May 19, 2016 at 02:46 UTC
On article Readers' Showcase: Arek Halusko (42 comments in total)
In reply to:

fmian: Wonderful compositions and great use of monochrome tones.
Can't help but want to see them shot on analog.

The results of colour scanning are VERY dependent on the the scanner itself and the settings used.
I scanned an 18x image series on 2 different scanners and even when the 2 print jobs are side by side people think they are 2 totally different series.

In my opinion if you know roughly what the end result will look like then you won't be disappointed.
I've shot a BDSM club event on Superia 800 pushed to 1600. I knew there would be grain but for most of the shots it suited the gritty rough character of the environment and people there.

Black and white is not so varied with the end result as there are no colour tones.

Link | Posted on May 16, 2016 at 01:24 UTC
On article Readers' Showcase: Arek Halusko (42 comments in total)

Wonderful compositions and great use of monochrome tones.
Can't help but want to see them shot on analog.

Link | Posted on May 16, 2016 at 00:15 UTC as 11th comment | 2 replies
In reply to:

dulynoted: To me it just looks like the second image has had the contrast and clarity reduced slightly....no comments as to whether or not it improves the image but it sure did take a lot of work for something that is not all that impressive.

The only thing I have to compare this to is Michael Ortons own examples
http://www.michaelortonphotography.com/galleries/orton-effect/index.html
Which are a lot more surreal, glowing and painterly; much further removed from reality.
Each to their own but I'd like to see the one used in this article have the effect pushed on it significantly more.

Link | Posted on May 11, 2016 at 23:33 UTC
In reply to:

fmian: IMO too much foreground in the shot which takes one out of the environment due to glaringly unnatural perspective error and glow. Not to mention how the flowers become sparse (less interesting) as you get lower in the frame.
Just a guess, but perhaps this is a case where the obligation to post process and show this technique off was more important than the composition of the shot itself?

Fair enough, my guess was incorrect.
I just saw it cropped square-ish on the DPReview sidepanel and was able see it almost side by side with your 2:3-ish final. So the difference in appeal for me was apparent immediately. Again, just my opinion.

Link | Posted on May 11, 2016 at 23:22 UTC
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