2939 – White Stripes II

 Olympus M.Zuiko Digital 25mm f/1.8  Comments Off on 2939 – White Stripes II
Nov 042014

That’s not exactly white, but it’s white enough. This is a grill protecting the base of a tree in Znojmo, Czech Republic. I had to take out a few leaves and in earlier days this would have been a case of heavy photoshopping. Today I can do that pretty easily in plain Lightroom.

The Song of the Day is again “White Stripes” by Instituto Mexicano del Sonido aka Mexican Institute of Sound. Hear it on YouTube.

2938 – Connect The Dots

 Olympus M. Zuiko Digital ED 12mm f/2.0  Comments Off on 2938 – Connect The Dots
Nov 032014

Here we are with an image taken in Znojmo, just across the border and into the Czech Republic. These yellow dots seem to be used to slow cars down. In any case they are decorative. The image was taken with the Olympus 12/2.0, another one of my hopelessly underutilized lenses. See why I was reluctant of shelling out 1600 € for the 40-150/2.8? Oh my!

The Song of the Day is “Connect The Dots” by Rabbit! By the way, the exclamation mark is part of the band’s name 🙂

Hear the song on YouTube.

2026 – Tiny Town

 Olympus M.Zuiko 40-150mm f/4.0-5.6 R  Comments Off on 2026 – Tiny Town
May 062012

Here’s the picture for Friday, one more from the tiny Czech town of Telc, right across the border from Austria. It’s all Lightroom again. Well, now that some time has passed since I processed it, colors look a tad too cool to me, but forgive me, I’m learning.

The lens is the cheap Olympus 40-150 again. Incredible how useful it can be on such a trip 🙂

The Song of the Day is “Tiny Town” from David Byrne’s 1992 album “Uh-Oh”. Wonderful album, good song, hear it on YouTube.

2025 – Too Tight

 Olympus M.Zuiko 40-150mm f/4.0-5.6 R  Comments Off on 2025 – Too Tight
May 042012

The Olympus 40-150 lens is extremely cheap, has a plastic mount, even looks cheap, but it is really a quite capable lens. With an aperture range of 3.5-5.6 it can certainly be called a fair-weather lens, but on a bright, sunny day aperture is not a problem anyway, at least as long as you shoot architecture or landscape, applications where you normally welcome depth of field.

This is another Lightroom-only image. I have no idea yet how to cope with multiple computers, multiple catalogs and the synchronization issues. It will be crucial to find out about that, or else I’m going to lose adjustments.

The Song of the Day is “Too Tight” by Johnny Dodds. Hear it on YouTube.

May 042012

I’m three posts behind again. It’s already Friday, I’m on the train to Carinthia, this is the image for Wednesday, and the topic is still Lightroom.

This is the first image that I’ve completely made in Lightroom. No Photoshop involved. I have cropped to a square, added two gradients at the top, one that warms up the bluish horizon and increases its contrast, and another one that cools the sky back to normal. Other than that I had no need for any manipulations, with one exception, of course I wanted to add my border.

From looking around in Lightroom I got the impression that making borders is not a built-in feature, but I strongly suspected that there would be a plugin for that. Google found me LR/Mogrify 2, a wrapper around ImageMagick’s “mogrify” command.

LR/Mogrify 2 is an export filter. Basically you choose “Export / Export …” from the image’s context menu, and then you insert “Outer border” into the export pipeline. This gives you the option to add up to five borders to the image. I use three, a black inner border with four pixels (useful if the image has bright content near the border), a white border with 120 pixels (maybe less for smaller sizes) and finally a two pixel black outer border, because when you read my blog in Google Reader, the images are displayed on white background.

LR/Mogrify 2 is “donation ware”. Donate any (?) amount via Paypal, and you get a licence code. I’ve donated 10 GBP because this plugin perfectly solves a problem and I’m definitely going to use it.

The Song of the Day is “Border Song” from Aretha Franklin’s extremely recommendable 1972 album “Young, Gifted and Black”. Hear it on YouTube.

May 032012

It seriously looks like I’m going to buy Lightroom as soon as the release candidate is expired. Why? Well, you can do a lot with very minimal effort.

Take for instance this image. To the right you see the original JPEG, straight out of the OM-D. The sky is clearly overexposed, but due to the tremendous contrast the camera had little choice. It did its best to record the whole dynamic range, but of course there is no way to do that in a JPEG.

To the left you see the result of a pretty simple conversion in Lightroom. Applying automatic levels brought back the sky and the roof, and it did so perfectly. Of course now the shadowy foreground was much too dark. Therefore I’ve used a gradient local adjustment, using it to brighten the foreground and at the same time to warm up the shadows.

Finally I’ve brought the image into Photoshop, enhanced the foreground patterns and local contrast in the the walls with Topaz Adjust, removed the dark spots on the walls (because they perversely looked like clumsy manipulations), added some vignetting, etc, but if you look at it, 80% of the work was done in Lightroom, using maybe 20% of the time. That’s not bad.

The Song of the Day is “The First Cut Is The Deepest” from Rod Stewart’s 1993 album “Unplugged….And Seated”. Hear another live version with a funny start on YouTube.

Oct 242011

It’s very early Monday morning and I’m on my way to Vienna. I’ll be an hour late to work, but when we finished working in the apartment yesterday, it was already too late for the train.

Like the last weeks in Carinthia, photography did not happen at all. Here is an image for Saturday, again taken at the Czech monastery Kladruby, the processing this time inspired by Roland.

The Song of the Day is “Mirror” from the 1996 Beautiful South album “Blue is the Colour”. Hear it on YouTube.

1781 – Heaven’s Gate

 Panasonic DMC-LX5  Comments Off on 1781 – Heaven’s Gate
Sep 042011

At the moment I’m not terribly productive, neither photographically nor as a programmer, but thankfully I have quite a number of past images that I want to show you and that only now get processed.

This is another image from the monastery of Kladruby. Two days ago we had “1779 – Let There Be More Light” and from the Czech Republic I posted “1762 – Intermezzo II“. Same church, same ceiling, only this time not ultra-wide.

As regards photography, in general it is forbidden inside of the church, and the only way to get into the church is by attending a conducted tour. Thankfully they sell photo permits though. It was not cheap but that’s OK. I’m happy to pay for my hobby and I absolutely recognize how much money goes into such buildings. What I don’t understand is, when photography is banned for no reason.

The Song of the Day is “Heaven’s Gate” (that’s what these baroque cupolae represented) from Toni Child’s 1991 album “House of Hope”. Hear it on YouTube.

Sep 032011

Like yesterday’s image, this is again from our trip to the Czech Republic. A chandelier inside of the old monastery of Kladruby. The challenge here is to get both detail in the highlights and the impression of brightness.

The Song of the Day is “Let There Be More Light” from the 1967 Pink Floy album “A Saucerful of Secrets”. Hear it on YouTube.