Category Archives: photographytips

Quick and easy: Search programs in PS

In Photoshop CC 2017, Adobe launched the new In-App-Search. You can activate the search with »Strg/Cmd-F«. Within the menu bar you will find the new function below:  »Edit > Search«. You can search not only for Training and Adobe Stock, you can even more search for Tools and menu items.

I’m using this function for a few months and I’m using it plenty times. Back in the days without >>CMD-F<< each function and each filter had their own shortkey. For common used function like >>gaussian-blur<< or >>diffuse masking<< I still use the shortcuts, but more and more I use the search function. I just activate the “area” of Photoshop, because searching on Adobe Stock and the Tutorials would be slowing down the search progress.

You can also just search for some panels and display them. Furthermore, you can start Plug-ins from third-party providers with >>CMD-F<<.

The search function is used a total workflow accelerator, if you well-practised. Try it for a while, if you are not a completely keyboard-refusenik will you become quicker and more elegant in working with Photoshop.

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What’s in my travel bag?

Spring and summer – traveling time but what do you should pack? That really depends on what you need and what kind of pictures do you want to take. I can’t recommend anything but I’m going to tell you what I am going to use on my city trips and vacations.

Backpack

It is quite important to get a good bag for your travells. I have serval favorite bags; but in this case I’m going for the Lowepro Pro Runner BP 350 AW II. The Lowepro fits t the handluggage size of all airlines and it is light I never reached the maximum weight of the airlines for handluggage which I do when I use the 450 AW II.

Camera

Canon 5D Mark III

Lenses

Canon 16-35mm f/2.8L II USM 

Canon EF 24-105 mm f/4L IS USM

Canon EF 50 mm f/1.4 USM 

Canon 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM 

Gear

3x Canon Battery Pack LP-E6N

12x Lexar CompactFlash 1066x 32GB

1x Manfrotto tripod MT055XPRO3 055 

1x Manfrotto Magnesium Ballhead MH054M0-Q5

1x Rodenstock Circular Polarizing Filter HR Digital CPL super MC 77mm

1x Rodenstock Circular Polarizing Filter HR Digital CPL super MC 82mm

Additional Gear

1x Lee Filter Holder (with necessary adapter rings )

1x Set of Lee Resin ND Filters 0.3 , 0.6 , 0.9 Soft

1x Set of Lee Resin ND Filters 0.3 , 0.6 , 0.9 Hard

1x Rogue FlashBender 2 Large

3x Speedlite Yongnuo YN-568 EX II

Review: Tamron SP 17-50mm F/2.8 Di II XR VC LD Aspherical IF Canon

I used Tamron for many years and I still do. Good quality and a good price. After my Canon 17-55 mm f/2.8 IS USM got broken by falling down. I needed a new lens. After checking different tests I decided to go for the Tamron.

Note: This is just the impression I had with one of thousands of lenses of this type. This is not a review of the type just of this specified lens and this just depends on my own experience of this lens. If you want a test of it. Probably go to DXOmark or some other pages. 

My last Tamron was still made in Japan. What I got now was made in China; and honestly I felt how the quality of a SP lens changed. It is still a high quality but not so much than back in the days. It’s almost just plastic with the metal barrel.  I really can’t criticize the sharpness (pretty sharp), Vignetting quite a bit (normal) and the distortion? Same also okay and nothing to criticize. Well, I have a few things which I really don’t like on this lens. First of all it’s the VC; it’s quite loud, well my Canon 100mm L macro is loud too but it is quite annoying. Furthermore I had a copy which got me a back focus. A backfocus or frontfocus is not so bad; it can happen and it was in the acceptable range. Indeed the autofocus was slow, and not slow like sometimes autofocus is slow it was really slow. I mounted the lens on a tripod and meassured over all focal lengths and from infinity to near and back diffrent distances. It was performing very bad compared to a really old Tamron (20 years old). The new lens was about double times slower than the old one; never mind if VC was on or off. This was the knock out for me for this lens. I know there can be sometimes variations but this was quite not acceptable. I was manual focusing on the same speed as the autofocus of my copy.

In despite of my experience I recommend this lens to you; because it’s a good build and good performing lens which you should really use. If you have problems with your new lens probably try a new one – every man has a bad day also a lens. If the problem still exists; it also can be the manufacture variation of the camera which produce not such a sharp image, front or back focus. It is not always the third-party lens manufacture guilty 😉 Btw I had similar problems with Canon L lenses. It can happen; so what? Go to a retailer and ask to try the lens you want to buy and they will support you most times to get one without a bloody expensive check if they know “what’s customer service”.

Did you made any bad experience with a lens? Write a comment below.

Stay tuned.

40 Tips for Photography

  1. A better camera doesn’t make better photos (it depends on the lens, I blogged about it).
  2. Don’t treat you camera like a baby. The DSLR is your work equipment like a air hammer for construction worker. Treat you camera right but do not overact.
  3. The picture is about the relationship about you and the subject and not you and your camera.
  4. Know how your camera works before you go out to shoot.
  5. Be ready for the shoot always. Don’t take your lens cap on the camera all the time and don’t switch your camera off every time after you made a shoot. (If you are worry about having a low battery get more charged battery’s with you than just one!)
  6. What light do you want? Morning light or evening light, they are beautiful while midday sun isn’t pretty good for photography.
  7. If it is needed put the ISO up. The noise isn’t what bad like in past. The noises reducing of modern DSLR’s are pretty well.
  8. Well auto ISO is your best friend. It can make you easier the picture you need.
  9. Sharpness is good but overrated. If your picture is sharp in “fill screen” on your laptop it is harp enough – you may not take photos for print magazines or commercials.
  10. Prime lens will make you think more about the object you are taking photos of.
  11. UV-filters are just protecting the lens – UV-filters are relicts from the analog times of photography.
  12. P-Mode isn’t just for beginners. It is about getting the shoot not about bragging how you made the shoot in M-Mode.
  13. You don’t have to rely on the rule of thirds but it will help you to make better photos.
  14. Don’t take pictures of everything. It is just waste of memory space you may need.
  15. Lens hoods aren’t necessity, you will get notice how and when you use them.
  16. Not using the lens hood doesn’t mean to storage it backwards on the lens you have some bag or pocket to put it in.
  17. Pack light because photography isn’t for ruin your back and it isn’t feels like fun if you carrying so much with you that you think your back get broken.
  18. Don’t get to much equipment while starting. You don’t 15 different lenses, 5 different flashes or 3 tripods. Start small, start with what you have and you will improve your skills because you have to improvise.
  19. Use the best tripod you have your legs – change the view get on the ground get up on a higher point do whatever you want but don’t shoot always on head height.
  20. Use the Zoom for convenience.
  21. Prime with 35mm is one of the most practical prime – Prime with 50mm looks better than 35mm
  22. Take a lot of shoots the possibility get the magical shoots is higher 😉
  23. Robert Capa: If your picture isn’t good enough you’re not close enough

  24. Andre Kertesz: Seeing is not enough, you have to feel what you photograph

  25. The best equipment doesn’t help if you’re not at the best spot.
  26. Spend time to consider what a good shoot is.
  27. Get a concept on what you are shooting or what you shot.
  28. Setting themes could help you to get focused on what you want.
  29. Well don’t drink or use drugs before or while shooting even it makes you more creative. That is not professional.
  30. Get up early. It feels pretty well to get up very early to get the magic shoot.
  31.  Photography is much a reflection of the person taking the photo (Do not shoot selfies with your DSLR you are not the subject)
  32. Direct or not direct that is irrelevant these are just methods. (see trevel photography). Take a soft shutter and don’t flash the people like in Men in Black. You are taking pictures not blind people or delete their memories.
  33.  Be critical of yourself it helps you to continue to improve your skills
  34. Be brutal when you have to delete awful images. You will not look at the photos you hate. Wait maybe I need it some day? NO you won’t, believe me! Just keep the good ones.
  35. Show only the best work.
  36. Take your camera always with you. The best shoot is the shoot you made not the shoot you missed.
  37. Changing colored pictures into B&W doesn’t make your picture interesting. B&W photography isn’t something you can use like a new haircut to look better. B&W photography is much more when just changing the colors.
  38. Social Media: Look at other people shoots to consider what makes the shoot good or bad.
  39. Social Media: Post your pictures online and let people critique your work you just can improve if you get feedback.
  40. Photography isn’t easy it can be a hard way!

The advantage of RAW-Files (1/2 )

Taking pictures in the RAW-factor isn’t just great for professional photographers also it can pays off for beginners and amateur photographers. You can use the pixel buffer of the camera raw information to get the maximum from your pictures.

Raw-files are like diamonds: the valuable raw information form the backbone of the images to develop an awesome result. Also some compact cameras use  raw files, for example the Canon PowerShot G7x a mega zoom camera.


Raw equal more image quality

The advantage of RAW-files compared to usual compacted jpeg image files is the big content of information. I try to explain it on some sample calculation: A RAW-file f. e. with a color depth of 12-Bit saved for any color (red, green or blue) each 4.096 brightness values (2^12). The result? almost 69 billion (68.719.476.736) possible color values! A jpeg just use 8 bit color depth and use only 16.777.216 color values. This isn’t the only advantage compared to jpeg-files – while a JPEG will lost quality conditioned by tonal value correction and white fader your RAW-file doesn’t already care about this steps.


Taking pictures in RAW

(Canon manual, I don’t use Nikon, sorry!)

It isn’t that hard to take photos in RAW. First of all you should turn on the P, M or B. I read that f. e. the Canon EOS 450D doesn’t take RAW-images files in the full automatic or other automatic modes. Well I know the Canon EOS 7D, Canon EOS 70D, Canon 7D Mk. II and Canon EOS 6D doesn’t care in which mode you are to take images in RAW-files. You should press the RAW/JPEG key to change it fast, or you go in the menu. Here in the menu you scroll down to quality, here you can change the settings. You have a range from RAW, MRAW or SRAW, you can additional use jpeg as backup or preview so you save the picture you took in two formats jpeg and raw. You can upload the jpeg also as well on image services or print the pictures direct from the camera this step isn’t possible with undeveloped raw-files. If you love continuous shootings you are maybe scared that the big raw files are slower as the smaller jpeg? Well honestly the raw is slower but that is depending to the high color depth and if you have a fast camera you notice it but not that much as f. e. if you are using a Canon EOS 70D or 7D and a high speed memory card  you will not notice that it is slower to take RAW-files as you would use a Canon EOS 100D or 700D, but don’t forget you can be more riskier with RAW-files because you can develop them better and you can make a higher detail zoom of the raw as with the jpeg.


Every manufactures use another RAW-factor 

If you want to develop your RAW-files on your computer it is necessary to have a RAW-converter because it is not possible for all the software on the market that can display jpeg also display RAW-files. Canon f. e. use the .CR” or the old RAW-format .CRW. Nikon for example saves the RAW in files ending with .NEF and the Pentax beginning with the K10D saves the RAW next to the own format in .DNG-files (digital negative picture) the .dng is an open RAW-format of Adobe.


Next: The advantage of RAW-Files (2/2) [Software, Developing with Lightroom CC]