Sunday, 24 September 2017

Some street photographers to look at

Long story short: Here are five of my favorite street photographers directly from my bookmark collection:

Share what you like...



Monday, 11 September 2017

Fuji X Raw Studio - what is it good for?

There is very little information about this new software, but the main purpose is to use the specialized image processor of the camera to process you images via a USB connection in-camera. The resulting images have that superb Fuji quality. So the software is more of a remote control for something you can still do today. Maybe it has more options and you have the bigger (calibrated) screen of your desktop or notebook to operate with.

But what is it good for?

I think this will be a great solution for photographers who are on the go. Imagine using a light notebook together with your camera to process some images you took as a travel photographer. Just go back to your hotel room and work on the final images without compromising image quality.

I don't know if I want to connect my camera for hours to process more than ten images, so I'am curious about the concept and the use cases Fuji will present to us in the near future.

What do you think about this new software solution?

Thursday, 17 August 2017

Palma de Mallorca

I am back from a nice little trip to Palma de Mallorca. Many people associate Mallorca with cheap travel and lots of even cheaper alcohol. And yes, there is a dirty side of Palma that had a big influence on my latest photography, because there is a lot of waste, pollution and ugly architecture in and around the main city of this beautiful island. As a street and documentary photographer there is nothing ugly in the first place. Through the right angle and at the right time things look different (in a different light as we say).

The next photos are the pure essence of what I saw in Palma. Find the rest of the images on my Homepage.


Friday, 16 June 2017

Long exposure street photography

Sounds a bit weird but there are many scenes in daily life where people aren't moving or just a bit to leave a trail in you photos. Yesterday I visited the "Planten un Blomen" park in Hamburg after work. I had my little Gorilla Pod and a 8ND filter with me. I wanted to take some long exposure shots of the little waterfalls and fountains there. After taking some nice shots I also discovered that some places cry out for a shot with people in it.

Tourists and locals crossing the river and taking selfies

The shot above looks better with people in it. I first captured the falls without any people and it looked nice but lifeless and dull. After waiting a for some people to enter the scene the shot reflects the purpose of this place better. The park was built in the sixties for an international garden exhibition and it was meant to be explored by visitors. I love how the guy to the left is not moving that much and the girl in the upper part of the image is moving faster. For me this is more lifelike instead of taking an image of an empty place.

take a break
In this shot I wanted to capture the motion of the water that is feeding the falls you saw in the last image at the beginning of the article. With the two resting guys the movement in the front sucks the viewer into the image. The reflection of the wall in the water is also a nice element. You can clearly see that this place belongs to the people who are enjoying it to be there.

There are many ways to shoot with longer exposure times. It can be a mix of the best of two worlds: fine art long exposure photography and street. It is like adding people to architecture shots to make them more interesting.

Have you also experimented with this combination? Let me know in the comments.



Wednesday, 14 June 2017

ON1 Photo Raw - a quick test

Adobe is trying to gain more money by selling software only bundled with subscription. That is not really my cup of tea. They also don't speed up the whole software and it runs not that great on my up to date Mac mini. I love my LR workflow, but I made the switch from Aperture (bye bye you great outdated piece of software) and it wasn't that hard. And having a look at some demo software is not that difficult. I installed the latest ON1 raw software (2017.5) on my mac and fed it with some sample images.

I only want to share my first experiences with that software. So bear in mind that this is not a detailed review. There are great reviews on YouTube if you want to see this software in motion.


The first thing I wanted to know was the handling of Fuji files. So I took a photo with my old XPRO1 at 6400 ISO with some patterns (carpet) and a colorful thing in the middle.

The image above was edited and exported with ON1. First I was quite surprised how nice the image was looking without any optimization straight out of the camera. The photo was taken in low light and I was expecting a lot more noise etc, but there was nearly zero color noise in the photo and I just applied a minor degree of luminance noise reduction.

This is a 100% view of the center. Look at the amount of details and the nice color rendition of the image made with a camera that was manufactured in 2012. ON1 did a good job in rendering the details and colors of the raw file. I don't apply much noise reduction to my Fuji images (most of the times I apply zero NR) because the grain looks very natural and brings a great level of detail to the image. I will dive a bit deeper into processing real world Fuji images in the future, but my first test looks very good.

Bring the noise?

With my Fuji the noise reduction was working properly, but a friend gave me a raw file out of his Panasonic G81 taken at ISO 12800. He also gave me a JPG file straight out of Lightroom to show me the problem he had with ON1s noise reduction at high ISO.

Above you can see that ON1 has some problem with strong grain. The back of the jacket on the left (LR) looks smooth and clean and on the image on the right ON1 was not able to detect the grain no matter how far you drag the slider to the right.

Export and background tasks

Another problem for me was the way ON1 Photo Raw is exporting images. If you want set some rules how images should be rendered for your full hd television set there are too less options to set it right. I also miss a way to export and update a second file tree outside of the software. I use this method in conjunction with google photos to export and backup my JPG files after I did all the edits I use the JFolder plugin with LR and it also tracks the updates I am making to older images. Maybe there is a direct google cloud option that comes with future updates to make cloud integration etc. easier.

The second thing that will easily catch your attention is how slow the export of images is compared to LR. It takes forever and it does not run as a background task so your interface gets blocked til the whole thing is finished and that can take a long time as stated above ;-)

A little conclusion?

I wouldn't do that after using ON1 Photo Raw just for a couple of hours. I think this tool is very sophisticated in such an early state and it will be an alternative to LR in the future after the developers catch up (or overtake like they did with their layer-concept) with the competition. At this stage I would not do the switch, but my eyes are steadily focused on this product and there might be the day when it feels right.

I will do some further testing and will also report quirks and bugs to the developers to help them creating the perfect photo companion.

What are your experiences with ON1 Photo Raw? Let me know in the comment section.



Tuesday, 13 June 2017

Down in the park

Some photos I took at the "Planten un Blomen" (Plants and Flowers) park in Hamburg. I will return soon to take some more photos at noon with longer exposure times.