Tuesday (26-April-2011) — Arizona from the Air.

Transcontinental Flight: New Jersey to California.

Aerial View of Arizona and Grand Canyon National Park. Image taken from a commercial jet while flying to San Diego to meet my parents for the Semester at Sea Spring 2011 Enrichment Voyage.

Aerial View of Arizona and Grand Canyon National Park. Image taken with a Leica X1 (ISO 100, 24 mm, f/2.8, 1/1600 sec). (David J Mathre)
Aerial View of Arizona and Grand Canyon National Park. Image taken with a Leica X1 (ISO 100, 24 mm, f/2.8, 1/1600 sec).

Saturday (23-April-2011) — New Jersey

Backyard Springtime Nature in New Jersey.

It is raining today. A couple of images from near the house taken with a Leica X1 camera. The first is some daffodils still in bloom (most are already done) and the other of wet holly leaves. In both cases these are the “out of the camera” jpg images.

Spring Rain and Daffodils. Image taken with a Leica X1 (ISO 100, 24 mm, f/4.5, 1/125 sec). (David J Mathre)
Spring Rain and Daffodils. Image taken with a Leica X1 (ISO 100, 24 mm, f/4.5, 1/125 sec).
Spring Rain and Holly Leaves. Image taken with a Leica X1 (ISO 100, 24 mm, f/3.2, 1/50 sec). (David J Mathre)
Spring Rain and Holly Leaves. Image taken with a Leica X1 (ISO 100, 24 mm, f/3.2, 1/50 sec).

Friday (22-April-2011) — New Jersey

Springtime Nature in New Jersey. Sourland Mountain Preserve.

I found a Canada Goose nesting near the pond at the Sourland Mountain Preserve. This was the first time I visited this spring, and only had a small Leica point & shoot to take any images. The bird is well hidden, and has filled the nest with a bed of feathers. I’ll need to get back and check the nest out with a DSLR with a telephoto lens.

Nesting Canadian Goose, Sourland Mountain Reserve. Image taken with a Leica V-Lux 20 camera (ISO 200, 49.2 mm, f/4.9, 1/125 sec) (David J. Mathre)
Nesting Canada Goose, Sourland Mountain Preserve. Image taken with a Leica V-Lux 20 camera (ISO 200, 49.2 mm, f/4.9, 1/125 sec)

One-Year Ago (17-April-2010) — California

Gone to See America 2010. Big Sur Photography Workshop with Michael Mariant. Day 3: Big Sur & California Coastal Redwood Forest.

Digital Editing — Comparison of RAW Image Converters. Something a bit different. Today I am comparing 4 different programs that convert the RAW digital images acquired by my Nikon cameras. The RAW converters that I typically use include Adobe Camera Raw (ver 6.2), Nikon Capture NX2 (ver 2.2.6),  Phase One Capture One Pro (ver 6.00), and DxO Optics Pro (ver 6). The programs were all run on Windows 7 (64 bit). The image was taken with a Nikon D3x camera and 14-24 mm f/2.8 lens (ISO 100, 14 mm, f/16, 2.5 sec) on a tripod. The overall scene was beyond the dynamic range of the digital sensor. It was rather dark in the forest, thus the long exposure. The bit of sky visible is bright (and blown out). In the following days I will be comparing some HDR (high dynamic range) programs to process several images of the same scene taken at different exposures to try to compensate for the wide dynamic range.

Adobe Camera Raw. This is the program that Adobe uses to process RAW digital images for Photoshop and Lightroom. Camera Raw is only able to read some of the Nikon in camera settings. In recent versions they have included settings that simulate the Nikon Picture Control settings (Landscape, Vivid, etc). The current version of Camera Raw also now includes lens corrections for a wide variety of lenses including the lens that this image was taken.

alt_title. (David J Mathre)
Adobe Camera Raw: Adobe Standard, No Lens Correction. Wide Angle Looking up from a Coastal Redwood Forest. Image taken with a Nikon D3x and 14-24 mm f/2.8 lens (ISO 100, 14 mm, f/16, 2.5 sec). Raw image converted using Adobe Camera Raw 6.2 default. (David J Mathre)
alt_title. (David J Mathre)
Adobe Camera Raw: Landscape and Lens correction for Nikon 14-24 mm f/2.8. Wide Angle Looking up from a Coastal Redwood Forest. Image taken with a Nikon D3x and 14-24 mm f/2.8 lens (ISO 100, 14 mm, f/16, 2.5 sec). Raw image converted using Adobe Camera Raw 6.2 (landscape and used lens correction). (David J Mathre)

One-Year Ago (17-April-2010) — California

Gone to See America 2010. Big Sur Photography Workshop with Michael Mariant. Day 3: Big Sur & California Coastal Redwood Forest.

Digital Editing — Comparison of HDR (High Dynamic Range) Emulation Programs and Settings. There are a number of commercial HDR programs programs available that I am evaluating.  Adobe HDR Pro, HDR Soft Photomatix Pro (ver 4.0), and the recently released  Nik HDR Efex Pro (ver 1.0). I will also include a couple of examples of “one shot HDR” from Phase One Capture One Pro (ver 6.0) and DxO Optics Pro (ver 6.0). Bottom line, the HDR programs have improved significantly in the last few years.

The images used for this test were taken during a Photography Workshop in Big Sur run by Michael Mariant.  Five images were taken with a Nikon D3x camera and 14-24 mm f/2.8 lens (ISO 100, 14 mm, f/16, 0.6, 1.2, 2.5, 5, 10 sec) with mirror up delay to minimize vibration on a tripod.

Adobe HDR Pro  Adobe has included a HDR rendering program with the last few versions of Photoshop. The version include in Photoshop CS5 is significantly improved over the previous versions. The program is relatively easy to use. Select File> Automate> Merge to HDR Pro, Select the images to process, OK. Once the images are initially processed, there are 14 preset options (default, flat, monochromatic, photorealistic, saturated, surrealistic, etc.). I am providing examples of the standard default, photorealistic and saturated presets. In addition to the presets there are many additional sliders to control and tweak all aspects of the final image.

Wide Angle Looking up from a Coastal Redwood Forest. Image taken with a Nikon D3x and 14-24 mm f/2.8 lens (ISO 100, 14 mm, f/16, 2.5 sec). Raw image converted using Adobe Camera Raw 6.2 (landscape and used lens correction). (David J Mathre)
Wide Angle Looking up from a Coastal Redwood Forest. Image taken with a Nikon D3x and 14-24 mm f/2.8 lens (ISO 100, 14 mm, f/16, 2.5 sec). Raw image converted using Adobe Camera Raw 6.2 (landscape and used lens correction). (David J Mathre)
Wide Angle Looking up from a Coastal Redwood Forest. Image taken with a Nikon D3x and 14-24 mm f/2.8 lens (ISO 100, 14 mm, f/16, 2.5 sec). Raw image converted using Adobe Camera Raw 6.2 (landscape and used lens correction). HDR of 5 images (+2, +1, 0, -1, -2 EV) using Photoshop CS5 HDR Pro (default). (David J Mathre)
Wide Angle Looking up from a Coastal Redwood Forest. Image taken with a Nikon D3x and 14-24 mm f/2.8 lens (ISO 100, 14 mm, f/16, 2.5 sec). Raw image converted using Adobe Camera Raw 6.2 (landscape and used lens correction). HDR of 5 images (+2, +1, 0, -1, -2 EV) using Photoshop CS5 HDR Pro (default). (David J Mathre)
Wide Angle Looking up from a Coastal Redwood Forest. Image taken with a Nikon D3x and 14-24 mm f/2.8 lens (ISO 100, 14 mm, f/16, 2.5 sec). Raw image converted using Adobe Camera Raw 6.2 (landscape and used lens correction). HDR of 5 images (+2, +1, 0, -1, -2 EV) using Photoshop CS5 HDR Pro (photorealistic). (David J Mathre)
Wide Angle Looking up from a Coastal Redwood Forest. Image taken with a Nikon D3x and 14-24 mm f/2.8 lens (ISO 100, 14 mm, f/16, 2.5 sec). Raw image converted using Adobe Camera Raw 6.2 (landscape and used lens correction). HDR of 5 images (+2, +1, 0, -1, -2 EV) using Photoshop CS5 HDR Pro (photorealistic). (David J Mathre)
Wide Angle Looking up from a Coastal Redwood Forest. Image taken with a Nikon D3x and 14-24 mm f/2.8 lens (ISO 100, 14 mm, f/16, 2.5 sec). Raw image converted using Adobe Camera Raw 6.2 (landscape and used lens correction). HDR of 5 images (+2, +1, 0, -1, -2 EV) using Photoshop CS5 HDR Pro (saturated). (David J Mathre)
Wide Angle Looking up from a Coastal Redwood Forest. Image taken with a Nikon D3x and 14-24 mm f/2.8 lens (ISO 100, 14 mm, f/16, 2.5 sec). Raw image converted using Adobe Camera Raw 6.2 (landscape and used lens correction). HDR of 5 images (+2, +1, 0, -1, -2 EV) using Photoshop CS5 HDR Pro (saturated). (David J Mathre)