A quest for the ultimate, beautiful, meaningful picture


Researchers Develop Method for Getting High-Quality Photos from Crappy Lenses

It’s a research result for the moment, far from being ready for the market, but once such a plug-in became available for LightRoom and similar apps, I’d certainly go for it! It promises to sharpen images based on knowing the sharpness errors of lenses (‘point-spread functions’ of PSFs). You find a more extended piece, with further links, under:

Researchers Develop Method for Getting High-Quality Photos from Crappy Lenses.

Does that mean we don’t have to buy expensive lenses anymore? Not quite, I think. For one thing, It still takes a lot of glass to make lenses with large apertures, which are needed for the selective focus and nice bokeh that so often distinguish good pictures.


New release: Lightroom 4.3

Today (hey, for once I’m not very late in discovering it!) Adobe released Lightroom 4.3.

Daniel Etherington, who tested the beta version, mentions a number of new features in his blog:

* Support for Apples Retina high-res display.
* addition of a couple new Apple hardware profiles for Adobe’s automatic lens correction tools. The iPhone 4S and iPhone 5 are now available as options, which Lightroom should autodetect once you enable them.
* plenty of other new lens profiles (especially Canon and Leica lenses).
* new camera RAW support, including Canon’s just-released full-frame EOS 6D and the company’s celebrated pocket shooter, the PowerShot S110. Nikon’s 1 V2 mirrorless is also newly added, along with the D5200 and Sony’s full-frame compact fixed lens monster, the DSC-RX1.

Etherington’s verdict: “Developing photos in Lightroom 4.3 on either of Apple’s new Retina MacBook Pros is now a much more pleasant experience”.

Well, the download has completed; let’s go and try out if I get a “much more pleasant experience” on my old Mac, too… 😉

For heavy users: Lightroom joins the Creative Cloud | The Lightroom Queen

If you are a hevay user of Adobe software, it may be cheaper to join the ‘creative cloud’, says The LightroomQueen.

Lightroom joins the Creative Cloud | The Lightroom Queen.

But for lighter users, only working with Lightroom and Photoshop, she calculates it is more advantageous just to update to new versions.

Lightroom the next generation: LR4 beta goes public

The 4th version of Adobe’s LightRoom goes public, and they count on publishing the final version i a few months time. If you are like me and cannot wait, it can be downloaded from here.

Major new features are, according to Adobe:

* Highlight and shadow recovery brings out all the detail that your camera captures in dark shadows and bright highlights.
* Photo book creation with easy-to-use elegant templates.
* Location-based organization lets you find and group images by location, assign locations to images, and display data from GPS-enabled cameras.
* White balance brush to refine and adjust white balance in specific areas of your images.
* Additional local editing controls let you adjust noise reduction and remove moiré in targeted areas of your images.
* Extended video support for organizing, viewing, and making adjustments and edits to video clips.
* Easy video publishing lets you edit and share video clips on Facebook and Flickr®.
* Soft proofing to preview how an image will look when printed with color-managed printers.
* Email directly from Lightroom using the email account of your choice.

The Lightroom 4 beta program is available to the public. Anyone with an Internet connection can download it and start putting it to the test. You do not need to own (or have tried) a previous version of Lightroom. You can download the beta and use it until the product expires on March 31, 2012.

Original Adobe holiday offer: Get US$100 off Adobe Photoshop Lightroom | PhotoshopSupport.com

Might this get you interested? I’m not getting any commission, alas…

Get US$100 off Adobe Photoshop Lightroom | PhotoshopSupport.com.

Light-field instead of focus: Is Lytro revolutionising photography?

No more focusing inside the camera, just point, shoot, and decide later, behind your Mac (“Windows application is in development”–that is the right order of things 😉 ), what should be the focus and depth-of-field of your picture!

Somehow I stumbled upon the website of Lytro, a “light-field” camera introduced less than a week ago. And I just have to share this with you. Looking like a small flashlight, the little camera with only two buttons (zoom and click) promises to revolutionise photography.

If I get the scientific principles right, the sensor of this thingy records not only the quantity of light, as conventional cameras do, but also its direction. In that way, it becomes possible to focus after the fact and it als seems to be possible to make 3D-pictures out of a single shot. Instead of megapixels, it counts megarays of information.

No more worries if that butterfly was in focus… Of course a picture of a butterfly is one of the examples you can view on the Lytro site and you can even play with putting focus on different parts of the picture. Just click and see the butterfly change from vague to sharp.

Part of the fun is in clicking on the picture examples in the gallery, but looking at them, I wonder if they really have the selective sharpness that I can reach with a DSLR with a good-size sensor, and how the pictures will hold when enlarged and printed on paper: what is their resolution?

Anyhow, thing like that is going to be a completely different way of recording reality!

Major new software for photographers: free trial of Photoshop CS5

Photoshop is releasing its CS5 version, and offers a 30-day free trial on its own website. Please let me (and the rest of the web-community!) know in a reaction what you think of it. Maybe I’ll give it a try too, then 😉

Lightroom 3 Beta 2 Import

Have not had time to do much with the new Lightroom 3 version (beta 2). However, one of the improvements is obvious from–literally–the very beginning: the import module is now working very stable, dependable and fast. Its instability was the major drawback of beta (1) to me. On the other hand, the more intuitive ‘workflow-like’ import interface was one of the major improvements of LR3 over LR2 for me, so it was important to me that it works well.

The beta 2 that I downloaded came in my native Dutch language, while beta 1 had been in English. I work as easily in English as in Dutch but still there was a fleeting moment of joy when I realised the change of language. Long live Onze Taal 😉

Lightroom 3 Beta 2

Adobe released a second public beta version of Lightroom 3, and promises the following improvements:
* Improved performance throughout the application for faster importing and loading of images
* Native tethered shooting support for select Nikon and Canon DSLR cameras
* Luminance noise reduction has been added to the previous color noise reduction improvements available in the first public beta for outstanding overall high ISO quality
* Support for importing and managing video files from DSLR cameras for better overall photographic workflow control
* Improvements to the import experience in the first beta to reflect public feedback
* Improved watermarking functionality from the first beta to reflect public feedback
It’s a freely downloadable beta version (will work until the official release).

Happy birthday, Photoshop! Real life wins!

It was 20 years today, Photoshop taught the band to play…

Photoshop really was first marketed in February 1990. The Sgt.’s Pepper in those days were brothers Thomas and John Knoll. Thomas remained among the Photoshop developers until the current version, CS4. John moved into graphic effects in the movie industry, says Wikipedia.

Whatever advantages Potoshop has given us, even Lars van den Brink, a photographer who likes to play with Photoshop to tell his stories (“Sometimes, it’s like I summarise an hour in a single picture”), and who was interviewed for the NRC’s Cultural supplement last Friday, admits in the end: “Real life is so surprising; you cannot beat that with Photoshop.”

That’s a quote I like!