21-December-2012

Winter Soltice and The World Didn’t End.

I used the day to put together a time-lapsed video of the Hot Air Balloon ride that the Nikonians ANPAT 12 folks took earlier this year in Albuquerque, New Mexico. This was two days after the Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta finished. I’ll have another time-lapsed video of the mass ascension of over 500 balloons on the final day of the Fiesta.

The World Didn't Come to an End. Nikalien in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Image taken with a Nikon D3s and 16 mm f/2.8 fisheye lens (ISO 6400, 16 mm, f/3.2, 1/30 sec). (David J Mathre)
The World Didn't Come to an End. Nikalien in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Image taken with a Nikon D3s and 16 mm f/2.8 fisheye lens (ISO 6400, 16 mm, f/3.2, 1/30 sec). (David J Mathre)

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11-December-2012

Comparison of RAW Digital Image Processing Programs.

Both Phase One and DxO have released new versions of their RAW digital image processing software (DxO Optics Pro 8, and Capture One Pro 7). The following image of a horse in an open-air horse trailer outside of Taos, New Mexico was taken from within a van during ANPAT 12. The image was processed as follows: 1) The imbedded jpg image extracted using Color Bits “Photo Mechanic”; The RAW image converted to jpg using Nikon View NX2; 3) The RAW image processed with Nikon Capture NX2; 4) The RAW image processed with Adobe Lightroom 4 (using the Adobe RAW engine); 5) The RAW image processed with Phase One Capture One Pro 7; and 6) The RAW image processed with DxO Optics Pro 8. There is a tint in the window of the van, so adjusting the white balance is tricky. Some of the RAW processors do better than others adjusting and correcting the white balance. Most RAW image processors have the ability to correct for lens distortion. DxO Optics Pro 8 has the largest collection of profiles for lens distortion correction. Capture One Pro 7 only has lens correction profiles for a few (high end/Pro) lenses, and did not have the profile for the camera/lens used for this image.

Let me know which version you like or dislike (either reply to the blog post or e-mail).

Horse in an Open Air Horse Carrier on the Highway into Taos, New Mexico. Image taken with a Nikon 1 V1 camera and 30-110  mm VR lens (ISO 400, 30 mm, f/3.8, 1/2000 sec). Imbedded JPG extracted with Photo Mechanic. (David J Mathre)
Horse in an Open Air Horse Carrier on the Highway into Taos, New Mexico. Image taken with a Nikon 1 V1 camera and 30-110 mm VR lens (ISO 400, 30 mm, f/3.8, 1/2000 sec). Imbedded JPG extracted with Photo Mechanic. (David J Mathre)
Horse in an Open Air Horse Carrier on the Highway into Taos, New Mexico. Image taken with a Nikon 1 V1 camera and 30-110  mm VR lens (ISO 400, 30 mm, f/3.8, 1/2000 sec). View NX2 JPG image. (David J Mathre)
Horse in an Open Air Horse Carrier on the Highway into Taos, New Mexico. Image taken with a Nikon 1 V1 camera and 30-110 mm VR lens (ISO 400, 30 mm, f/3.8, 1/2000 sec). View NX2 JPG image. (David J Mathre)
Horse in an Open Air Horse Carrier on the Highway into Taos, New Mexico. Image taken with a Nikon 1 V1 camera and 30-110  mm VR lens (ISO 400, 30 mm, f/3.8, 1/2000 sec). Raw image processed with Nikon Capture NX2 (David J Mathre)
Horse in an Open Air Horse Carrier on the Highway into Taos, New Mexico. Image taken with a Nikon 1 V1 camera and 30-110 mm VR lens (ISO 400, 30 mm, f/3.8, 1/2000 sec). Raw image processed with Nikon Capture NX2 (David J Mathre)
Horse in an Open Air Horse Carrier on the Highway into Taos, New Mexico. Image taken with a Nikon 1 V1 camera and 30-110  mm VR lens (ISO 400, 30 mm, f/3.8, 1/2000 sec). Raw image processed with Adobe Camera Raw - Lightroom 4. (David J Mathre)
Horse in an Open Air Horse Carrier on the Highway into Taos, New Mexico. Image taken with a Nikon 1 V1 camera and 30-110 mm VR lens (ISO 400, 30 mm, f/3.8, 1/2000 sec). Raw image processed with Adobe Camera Raw – Lightroom 4. (David J Mathre)
Horse in an Open Air Horse Carrier on the Highway into Taos, New Mexico. Image taken with a Nikon 1 V1 camera and 30-110  mm VR lens (ISO 400, 30 mm, f/3.8, 1/2000 sec). Raw image processed with Capture One Pro 7. (David J Mathre)
Horse in an Open Air Horse Carrier on the Highway into Taos, New Mexico. Image taken with a Nikon 1 V1 camera and 30-110 mm VR lens (ISO 400, 30 mm, f/3.8, 1/2000 sec). Raw image processed with Capture One Pro 7. (David J Mathre)
Horse in an Open Air Horse Carrier on the Highway into Taos, New Mexico. Image taken with a Nikon 1 V1 camera and 30-110  mm VR lens (ISO 400, 30 mm, f/3.8, 1/2000 sec). Raw image processed with DxO Optics Pro 8. (David J Mathre)
Horse in an Open Air Horse Carrier on the Highway into Taos, New Mexico. Image taken with a Nikon 1 V1 camera and 30-110 mm VR lens (ISO 400, 30 mm, f/3.8, 1/2000 sec). Raw image processed with DxO Optics Pro 8. (David J Mathre)

Sunday (04-November-2012) — New Jersey

Hurricane Sandy Aftermath: Day 6 — Power Restored

I am happy! Power to the house was restored yesterday. When I woke up this morning, power was still on and the house was warm. With the time change, the sun was just coming up through my bedroom window rather than getting up in the dark. I’m thinking of having a Sunday roast chicken dinner with lots of garlic.

With the power restored, I restarted the backup of my server and image collection. I was finally able to start reviewing and process images from the New Mexico trip. One teaser image is of Noah’s Ark from the Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta.

The Drobo disk array where I store my images started beeping. The error message told me the storage space was nearly full and that I needed to add some bigger hard drives. We will see how long this takes, and hope that the power stays on for the upgrade to process. I followed the instructions and did a hot swap of the 2 TB drive with a yellow light with a 3 TB drive. After many, many minutes I finally got a message that the new hard drive was recognized — but that the Drobo disk array will require ~38 hours for the data protection process to complete. In the mean time I am making other backups. I am looking forward to the Seagate 4 TB hard drives becoming available at a reasonable cost. With these I could double the size of my image collection.

Noah's Ark. Albuquerque 2012 Balloon Fiesta Final Day. Nikonians ANPAT 12. Image taken with a Nikon D4 and 70-200 mm f/2.8 VRII lens (ISO 100, 155 mm, f/7.1, 1/200 sec). (David J Mathre)
Noah’s Ark. Albuquerque 2012 Balloon Fiesta Final Day. Nikonians ANPAT 12. Image taken with a Nikon D4 and 70-200 mm f/2.8 VRII lens (ISO 100, 155 mm, f/7.1, 1/200 sec). (David J Mathre)

28-October-2012

The Quiet Before the Storm.

I am home in NJ after 3 weeks on the road, including a week in New Mexico with the Nikonians on ANPAT 12 and 40 days at sea on the M/V Explorer for the fall 2012 Semeseter at Sea Voyage. I got home just in time to experience Hurricane Sandy. So far, only clouds. The strange thing about this storm is that is is cold out, not tropical temperatures. This becomes the problem where we will get a lot of rain as the hurricane hits the cold front and stalls in place.

Before the storm, I am trying to backup all the images from the Semester at Sea voyage and the ANPAT 12 road trip. Some how during these two trips I took over 100K images. My main Drobo server (8 x 2 TB drives) is flashing a yellow light. I am at 85% of the disk array capacity, and the Drobo is wanting some bigger drives.

When I got home, the RV wouldn’t start. Apparently, I left the inverter on so the battery was dead. I charged the battery last night and then moved the RV next to the house before the storm. The propane tank is 3/4 full so should provide power to the generator for some time if the power goes out. Before going on the ANPAT 12 road trip, I winterized the RV. I’m reversing this for the storm by filling the water tanks and charging the batteries. During the last storm, I didn’t have power for 3 days.

As long as I do have power, I can start to process and upload the best images from the SAS and ANPAT trips.

Deer in my backyard before Hurricane Sandy. Image taken with a Nikon D4 and 500 mm f/4 VR lens (ISO 800, 500 mm, f/4, 1/500 sec). (David J Mathre)
Deer in my backyard before Hurricane Sandy. Image taken with a Nikon D4 and 500 mm f/4 VR lens (ISO 800, 500 mm, f/4, 1/500 sec). (David J Mathre)