futzing around with the site

So I managed to bugger up the site formatting pretty nicely, so I decided to reset it and choose a different theme.

Twenty-Thirteen was chosen as I like the format and can figure out how to format it to my likes.

What was wanted was a theme where the post showed in its entirety and the user didn’t have to click on a link to read the rest of the post. May change that in the future, but for now, this is it.

Wouldn’t surprise me to migrate to something else in the future once I get a little more WordPress knowledgable though.

Cheers!

happy new year!

The New Year, and debatably the next decade, has descended upon us. Happy New Year to anyone out there actually reading this other than me!

Resolutions

It’s a time of reflection and consideration of the year to come and perhaps embark upon new habits, processes, activities, whatnot.

I’ve got my own two resolutions which I embrace seemingly every year, and unfortunately fail miserably at keeping.

Those would be

  1. Using profanity and
  2. Talking to the other drivers in traffic.

Some years are better than others, but I don’t honestly remember ever making it past the March timeframe before the resolution went by the wayside. Perhaps if I report on my progress here, I can do a better job at them.

This year I’m adding another resolution to this list and it is to:

  1. Post to the blog on a weekly basis with imagery!

Photo Management

As you have probably noticed from the previous posts, I’m struggling a bit at developing an effective photo workflow since adopting Capture One as my development/processing tool.

My relationship with Capture One is most decidedly love/hate. I absolutely love how easy it is to get my images where I want them, definitely in comparison to LightRoom, of which I’ve used (or attempted to use) for some 5 years now.

LightRoom never, ever “spoke” to me in terms of image processing. I tried but could never get there from here. I bought Jeff Schewe’s “The Digital Print: Preparing Images in Lightroom and Photoshop for Printing” got about 50 pages into it before giving up. I watched all of Julianne Kost’s youtube presentations, but simply could not wrap my head around it. I could get a decent image out of LightRoom, but it took 20-30 minutes each. With sometimes 100’s of images to process this was a non-starter.

So, all I really used LightToom for was in organization, aka Digital Asset Management (DAM). That it excels in and it works for me. Lots of folks like to talk about the shortcoming of LR’s DAM, but for me, I’ve got it set up, and it works. Not the smoothest thing in the world, but it works.

Images are ingested via the import tool and get filed on my NAS box in a date driven folder scheme that I set up some time back. Once done, the folders get a quick rename adding a descriptor. I tag the images in the folder with a Caption similar to the folder descriptor and then use batch rename to rename the files with the date taken-caption with a sequence starting at 1. I renamed the raw files from the jpg’s separately using filters so that the filenames line up. That’s it. A typical day’s worth of captures will take me about 20 minutes to work through this process.

Capture One, on the other hand, blew my socks off the first time I used the Fujifilm Express Edition. This is a freebie that Phase One gives away in conjunction with Fuji. There is a similar product for Sony cameras as well.

While the Express Edition is fairly limited in what it can do, simply with the the Autocorrection tools and the correct camera profile, I found I was 90-95% percent of where I wanted to be with my imagery. Literally two clicks of the mouse.

I was so enamored that I opened up my tightly clasped wallet and actually paid for the Fuji Edition of Capture One during a sale that Phase One had earlier in the year. After watching just a couple of David Grovers tutorials it was instant nirvana. So much so, that shortly thereafter, I upgraded to the full version of Capture One so that the benefits could be applied to all my non-Fuji images.

The Express Edition only does catalogs, and that was where the initial weakness with Capture One began to bubble up. There are something in the neighborhood of 60,000 images in my collections and frankly this number of images brought the cataloging to its knees.

I was hopeful that upgrading to the full version of Capture One would resolve this, but there are no differences in catalog functionality between the two. Spelunking around the internet, I’m definitely not the only person to come to this conclusion.

In a previous post I discussed my methodology for managing the shortcomings. My family is in town for the holidays and we had several days of outing from which I collected a goodly number of images that I wanted to get in the catalog. The previously espoused workflow was conducted and when I went to import the sessions into my catalog, things all came to a screeching halt.

Importing even a small number of images in a session was taking hours. I mean hours. As there were numerous session to import this simply wasn’t going to fly. So, dropping back to old habits, I used my LR workflow to get my images ingested to my NAS box in my preferred format.

Then I opened up Capture One and told it to synchronize just the year, not the entire catalog. Some 24 hours later I killed the process as it was stopped and decided to file a support request with Phase One. My luck with support request to Phase One has not exactly been spectacular, but I figured I had to do something. They sent back a request for the photo logs and some machine specifications which I provided. A couple of days later an e-mail from them indicated that there was a new incremental revision of v12 that had fixed the problem.

Downloading it and trying again proved no different. I did a little playing around and the issue seems to be the functionality where it looks for duplicates. This was the problem. I provided the information and the response was, frankly, priceless.

“Well that process is indeed traffic-intensive. Is it possible to work without it?”

Wow. Just wow. To be honest the functionality is broken to start with as it doesn’t really search for duplicate images, it searches for files with duplicate names. As I rename my images this is fairly useless, unlike LR which will identify duplicate images.

I’ve been playing with some open source DAM tools, aka DarkTable and Digikam, but I think I’m going to stick with LightRoom for my DAM. It works, and I know it.

In terms of image management from Capture One, numerous recommendations were found to start a session in Capture One, but don’t import anything into it. Navigate to the folder with the images and Capture One will build previews in the folder itself. This works very well in practice and is how I will move forward.

Take care and Happy New Year to all!

woo hoo! three in one day

My workflow is firming up and I’m getting very comfortable with it.

I’ve combined the information presented at dpReview in Fcracer’s thread about C1 workflow/post processing with Ian York’s thread about session management into the cornerstone of my Capture One workflow.

My workflow is now designated into two different steps:

1) Ingest and post processing – Per your information, I create a session on a Samsung EVO USB drive using a file session template. It’s set up in a very similar fashion to Ian’s patterned after my photo folder arrangement on my NAS box. The images are imported from the SD card to the sesion folder on the SSD.

Once ingested, I go through the Capture folder and move the keepers to the Session folder. I never throw any images away as storage space is dirt cheap, but I definitely like separating the wheat from the chaff if you will.

The keepers are given stars based on the quality and anything with three stars or over is relegated for further post processing. Then fcracers’ workflow is put into place and it works very nicely.

The images destined for further usage are processed using an appropriate recipe in C1 and placed in the output folder in an appropriate sub folder.

2) Cataloging – Once I’ve gone through the first phase, and all is done, I copy the session folder to my NAS box into the appropriate subfolder. Then I import the session into my main Capture One catalog for archival purposes.

This has taken me a while to work through and it provides me the optimum workflow. A majority of the PP’ing work is done locally on my Dell XPS 13 laptop (albeit on a USB driver) and thus is not impacted by wireless network speeds. Once done, the SSD is copied to my NAS with my desktop which has a Gb ethernet connection so it’s quite speedy. I can also synchronize this with my LR catalog, but I’m thinking there will be less and less need for that.

It was exercised just this morning as I did part one while sitting at the kitchen table after a ham and eggs breakfast 

Thanks to Fcracer and Ian York for their help!

Hopefully, I’ll be posting some imagery in the future.

On a roll

To add to my initial post, in the interim I’ve bought both a 35mm f1.4 and a 20mm f2.0 which are relegated to the X-Pro1 as they are perfectly matched. I came across a X-T1 under warranty last year on e-bay on the cheap so I grabbed it, and the 18-55 f2.8-4.0 sees duties on it. These are well matched as well.

When Fuji had the 55-200mm zooms on sale for $500 in the spring I succumbed to GAS and grabbed one of those 

I’ve not had a lens with that much reach since I sold the Nikon kit, so developing an eye for it will take a bit of time I suspect. Frequently, I take my dog on walks around a local lake and I’ve been forcing myself to carry it on those walks. It’s a very scenic area with a plethora of available imagery, but honestly I’m still far from comfortable with the focal range so it’s been a bit of a challenge thus far.

At this juncture the biggest issue, at least in my “little” mind, is deciding which camera/lens to bring for a particular purpose. The X-T1 is becoming my travel camera as the zoom is an extremely useful tool to have for accommodating differences in views in unfamiliar locales. It’s also relatively compact and that makes carrying it through airports and such much easier.

The X-Pro is becoming my local tourist camera (I live in the Washington DC Metro Area). I’ll bring both lenses as the close confines of “The District” and areas like Alexandria need flexibility, but don’t demand a zoom.

The x100s is becoming my pocket camera for casual occasions due to it’s small size. It’s funny though, every time I take it out I’m gobsmacked how quiet and smooth the shutter activation is.

Also notable in recent events is a migration of my post processing from LightRoom to Capture One. I’ve never really gotten comfortable with LightRoom and had decided to stay with v6.17 as it supported all my cameras and I’m not a huge fan of software subscriptions. When Capture One announced the “Fuji Express” edition of Capture One last year I grabbed a copy and installed it.

Even with the limited capabilities of the Express version of C1, the relative ease of getting to my “minds eye” of a particular image was literally a 2 step process. I was hooked, as they say, upon first glance. (Love at first sight?)

When Phase One had the promo for the full Fuji version of C1 for $109 in the spring, I grabbed a copy. Again the added functionality (layers, color tools, etc) so impressed me that I went ahead and upgraded to the full version so I could PP all my files from other cameras as well. So I got the full version of C1 for $209, which not cheap, but is less expensive than the regular price.

Adapting my workflow to C1 has been marginally less successful than adapting my post processing. I liked the catalog management capabilities of LR and naively jumped straight into catalogs with C1. I’ve got in the neighborhood of 60k images in my warehouse and to be kind this is well beyond the capabilities of the C1 catalog system.

So, I’ve been doing all my Digital Asset Management (DAM) with LR. I ingest, rename, apply metadata, etc with it. Then I use C1 in session mode, but don’t import any files or create new sessions. I merely browse to the new imagery and apply post processing. It seems to work okay, but I need to do some trials to see how everything works out.

I’ve also been dabbling with xnView MP during this time. Honestly it provides all the capabilities of LR without the penalties. It’s more a browser system than a DAM tool, but honestly it does all the asset management I need. Renaming, metadata, exif management etc. If I can find a way to georeference from Google Maps data (I use Jeff Friedl’s Geocoding LR for that), then I very well may migrate over solely to xnView MP. Just need to arm twist myself into not using LR just because I paid for it….

The remaining hurdle with C1 is printing. Printing from LR, in conjunction with the Canon printer thingy, was easy and effortless. I’ll need to work through this.

Getting to the task at hand

Hello all,

This website was originally intended to be my blog about my photography. So with that, let’s get started with a bit of a review:

I’m a fairly long term photographer, starting in college many years ago with an Olympus OM-1n. In those days I primarily shot Tri-x and have a plethora of negatives that I now need to digitize, but that’s a story for another blog entry.

Dabbling with P & S digital cameras, about 15 years ago received a Nikon D-70 as a gift from a friend in exchange for some design work I had done for him. The D-70 is still in the family, with my daughter now having it, although it doesn’t get used much nowadays. The D-70 was supplanted by a D200 and an 18-200 zoom. Until some 6 years ago I was a dedicated Nikonista when I bought my first Fuji, a X100s. The Nikon lessons were a bit difficult to forget, as I’m sure most here realize the x100s is a far different imaging/use philosophy.

Coming to grips with the new philosophy was a bit of a struggle. Lot’s of mis-focus, wrong mode, and other mostly operator error types of issues were evident in my work.

While in San Diego one day about 5 years ago I found myself at Point Loma State Park south of town. A major storm was brewing and the light was amazing.

The contrast was spectacular, and I was trepidatious about getting the right exposure. So the camera was set to bracketing and I went blazing away. Getting home, I picked out a good sequence, did a quick combination in NIK hdr efex and this is what emerged:

PLSP.jpg

At that juncture, I realized that I could dispense of all the Nikon gear, as I had found my nirvana.

That X100s has followed me around the world a bit since then. The small size and the amazing imagery just made it second nature to have constantly at hand.

The thing that I missed with the X100s was different lens focal lengths. My wife and I did a UK/Ireland tour in 2016 and there were numerous times that wider view angle and/or more reach would have been a real benefit. Yea, I know about the add-on lenses for the X100’s, but honestly they never appealed to me.

We had a family trip scheduled for March of 2018 to Scotland, so I went looking around to see what my options were. I’ve alway liked the X-Pro1 so that was the natural direction of inquiry.

A dealer not too far from me was selling new in box X-Pro1’s for $500. Grabbing one, the next choice was lens. The initial reaction was the XF 18-55 and I found one, again, on the cheap, this time on the ‘bay.

Amusingly enough, the first thing I managed to do was lose the screw in diopter on my first photo walk. 

 It’s alright though, because I needed a different power anyway. They aren’t the easiest thing in the world to find nowadays, but these folks have them:

Voigtlander Bessa Accessory – Diopter Eyepiece

Since then, I’ve been walking around a bit grabbing shots and spelunking through the menus, which thankfully are fairly similar to the x100s.

A couple of things have become evident in the first couple of months:

  1. The close focusing capability of the 18-55 is nothing near what I’m used to with the x100s. No surprise there, I guess.
  2. The 18-55 hasn’t come off of 18mm much 😐 That has been something of a surprise.

Item 2 has me wondering if the zoom was a good idea. Time will tell. The plus is I got it for a good price so If I have to sell it, I’ll prolly still be whole. If the zoom doesn’t work out, I’ll then have to work out what FL to go for.

I’ve already tested a 35mm f1.4 which I liked a lot, but that’s a lot longer than the 18mm I’ve been predominantly shooting at. A 23mm might make sense, except for I already have the x100s which is 23mm, so I’m thinking 18mm. Dunno, time will tell.

That’s all for this segment, I’ve got two more coming, so stay tuned as they say.

The Year in Review

2019 was a fairly busy year for both personal and work efforts.

With the new tax laws brought forth under the current administration, we were not able to itemize for our taxes this year. This was the first time since my daughter was born that this has happened. What it did highlight, is taxwise, owning our home no longer brings the tax benefits it once did. So a casual decision was made to prepare the house for sale, and get ready to do that.

The hardscape outside was redone, the less said about that experience the better as that was possibly the singular worse contractor experience ever. There is still a goodly amount of work needed to bring it up to a sale ready condition. The local yard guy that has been cutting the grass will be tasked with that in the late winter.

The downstairs carpet was in need of replacement, but we got a bit of a push to do that before being quite ready. For some reason, the humidifier on the HVAC system decided to start humidifying this summer when the AC was running. Unfortunately the water just ran down the drain tube, which promptly got plugged up and started overflowing into the workshop.

This went on for an extended period of time, eventually saturating the carpet in the adjacent room. So, a major clean up effort ensued.

The carpet and padding were removed and it was decided to finish out the last two rooms in the house that had not been rehabbed, the storage and craft rooms.

The baseboard and door trim were removed, the drywall was patched and both rooms got a light texture spray to match the rest of the house. Two coats of a beige paint on the walls made a huge difference. New baseboards and door trim to match the rest of the house were installed with the craft room getting a cove moulding at the ceiling.

The Friendly Painting Company was hired to come and paint the walls and trim in the remainder of the downstairs and it looks great.

The final piece to the puzzle was the installation of some 1100 square foot of floating laminate flooring with the requisite shoe moulding. With that, the rehabilitation is done. It’s taken us about 3 months of virtually every weekend, but it looks great.

One of the things that all effort this brought to light is the amount of “stuff” that had accumulated in the eleven+ years in this house. The sheer volume was staggering. So, a significant amount of it (half perhaps) was culled and today we will arrange the remainder with a keen eye toward culling even more.

So, perhaps that was the silver lining of the dark cloud? As the plans are to relocate, having less to move is a decided plus. The area looks much more spacious and open. Almost too open….. Oh oh

until next time

My requisite annual post :)

Well, this isn’t exactly going as planned. H’mmm. Perhaps it’s time to revisit. There has been plenty to write about in the last year or so, I’ve just not felt the need (motivation?) to actually post it here.

So, here is a proposal for a New Years Resolution:

Post something here on a weekly basis.

What think thee? Oh, wait, I’ve turned off comments. LOL. I really need to do this more.

Getting ready!

Getting all the tools configured.

This is an export from LightRoom directly into the WordPress media storage.

Lake Thoreau Loop

cool beans!

Welcome!

Hi all,

This site has been a severe case of “I don’t quite know what to do with it” since I put it up many moons ago.  Not much more that I can say about that….

In any event, the goal is to use this site as a place to display the photographs I’ve collected over the years. So it will be an adventure in learning the various tools to get that done.

So, stay tuned and we’ll see where this goes.  Promise!