Posts Tagged ‘LEICA LENS’

LG CHEN CARBON FIBRE

LG CHEN CARBON FIBRE

One of the real challenges in photography is to make the very best of the (day)light. The angle of light, its strength, its quality …warm, cold, harsh, subdued etc. Then add to this the varying climate we have here in the UK, along with the speed with which light can change, and daylight photography is not always as straightforward as may be anticipated.

This shot was one I wanted to make in daylight, with the sun streaming in through an open back door at the time. I chose to use this as creatively as I could – you can see the highlights on the card background I was using. Very careful positioning allowed the detail and highlights to be captured pretty accurately, and this image is from an LX3 RAW file, processed as usual in SilkyPix, then further in Capture NX.  The blown highlight on the right is entirely intentional, in this instance, although could have been easily edited further in post-processing. This keeps it ‘real’ and far less artificial-looking, and is exactly how it looks to the human eye when strong sunlight hits !

This is a feature which I notice is becoming far more prevalent these days in the commercial images used in very many ‘quality’ publications, whether it’s the Sunday Times supplement,  MBR (Mountain Bike Rider), or any other that’s produced in a modern style, for a readership with relatively high expectations in both photographic and print quality. Unless you’re aiming for a surreal ‘concept’ shot … Realism is the key. That’s not to say it can’t look stunning.

Daylight variables can often make for more interesting images than those captured in the totally-controlled ‘studio’ environment … although that’s an area that also still remains dear to my heart, with a radio trigger going into the hotshoe on my LX3, firing either Elinchrom studio lights, or, much more conveniently, my Nikon SB-800s for location shoots where there’s no nearby mains supply – more of which to follow in an upcoming feature.

For many more LX3 images, check out http://nickbland.zenfolio.com where you’ll find many new and updated LX3 photography galleries …and for more on the LX3 and cameras in general, I recommend a regular visit also to http://1001noisycameras.com

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Came across this scene while out walking earlier this weekend, and found that LX3 RAW file flexibility was ideal in pulling out the entire colour range and detail in this image.

Intentionally, I’ve used Nik Color Efex filters to modify the image to what, for some reason, reminds me a little of a Japanese garden. With ‘Russet’ and ‘Polarisation’ filters in play, the Nik system is always useful in adding something of value to virtually any image, with its selection of Styling and Traditional versions. These can of course be mixed to obtain the look you’re after.

Incidentally, that’s not chromatic aberration on the tree branches – its the Nik colour boost & processing that has given it that look, which on this image, I’m quite happy with, as it adds to the feel I was after. Needless to say, the Leica lens on the LX3 is stunning, and suffers very little from ca generally … that’s a quite different story from the Canon G10, for example, where ca rears its ugly head in a very noticeable way much of the time. Thankfully, software these days can easily reduce/remove it, but its good to have one less processing step to deal with.

The Nik Color Efex filters come very highly recommended, and I have them set up to run within Capture NX. Along the same lines, but specialising in mono conversions, the Nik Silver Efex Pro filters are also superb, and can take your images into an entirely different realm.

Both software versions are available on a free trial basis – but you will find you want them ! Check them out at http://niksoftware.com, where there are also PDF and video lessons, alongside Online training.

If you’d like similar mono results to those produced by Silver Efex Pro for a much lower investment, I recommend DxO FilmPack as a great package for colour positive, colour negative, cross-processed and black & white film replications. In addition, there are toning filters that add to its flexibility – see more at http://dxolabs.com, where there are again free trial downloads. 

Again, there are examples in many of my galleries for you to see at http://nickbland.zenfolio.com