Saturday, April 30, 2016

IR Photography

Nikon D5500
Health problems behind me for now, I'm concentrating in learning how to take Infrared photographs with my newly acquired Nikon D5500 (IR) camera. It is not that simple of a process until you get the hang of it. The following is what I believe is the best process.  I could use Nikon Capture ND-X, but I believe, at this time, that using Lightroom (LR) will provide me with the best workflow:

WhiBal 18% ©ray Card
1. I take my photos in NEF Raw files.
2. Take a test photo with the gray 18% card.
3. Import the photos to Lightroom in DNG format.
4. Open DNG Profile Editor
5. Adjust the WB with the test photo 18% gray card.
6. Adjust the temperature and tint sliders in the DNG Profile Editor from the Color Matrice tab.
7. Export the new camera calibration preset.
8. In Lightroom, make the needed adjustments from the Develop Module.
9. Take the adjusted photo to Photoshop CC, where I have many plugins that I can use. Among them are Nik Collection Define 2 and Viveza 2.
10. I then use Aurora HDR and Viveza 2, if needed.
11. The final step is to use Nik Collection Silver Efex 2.
LightDow 18% Gray Card
This is the workflow that I will use, at this time, to see how successful is.  I might have to modify it, if I'm not satisfied with the results. Let's see what happens.

Friday, April 22, 2016

Cataract Surgery

I have not been active recently because among many things I had an endoscopy, colonoscopy, and cataract surgery of my right eye.  The endoscopy went fine, but I have to repeat the colonoscopy, which means having to drink the galloon of that horrible solution again!

The cataract surgery seems to be have gone well but too early to tell.  When I was 12,  I got kicked in the right eye playing soccer.  I fancied myself as being the next goalie revelation.  My career was cut short. As a result, I had very limited vision in my right eye. I decide to replace the damaged lens with a new one.  The optic nerve seems to be fine.  Maybe, I can regain some of my vision in the eye.  I really hope so.

Friday, April 1, 2016

Under the Weather

I have not been able to post lately for a very good reason.  I spent around 7 days in the hospital. My sore under my left foot got worse.  So much so, it became a small hole. Finally, last Friday, I went to the emergency room and they kept me in the Hospital for 7 days. I had developed a septic infection  I also had minor surgery of the plant of my left foot to clean inside the wound and drain the pus.  Everything went very well.  I've been home the last two days, but resting and sleeping most of the time

Sunday, March 20, 2016

My Grand Canyon Trip

From Las Vegas I took a 15-hour trip/tour of the Grand Canyon - South Rim. It was fully worth it, but it was cold and windy.  The temperature was ~ 40º F or less.  The windchill factor might have been less than 32º F. There was snow on the ground. We got more than three hours to walk around the rim and take photos, which was more than ample amount of time. Here is my Grand Canyon photos link . I would recommend this trip to anyone that visits Las Vegas.

I visited the Grand Canyon several times, in years past.  At 67 it is a very hard drive.  Actually, you do not need more than three hours to see the canyon, unless you want to partake in the Rangers' activities and programs or go down to the canyon. Make no mistake abut it.  The Grand Canyon is magnificent, spectacular,  memorable, unforgettable, majestic, breathtaking , and many more adjectives I cannot come up with.  However, after 3 hours it becomes a hole in the ground :) Well, sort of. Therefore and imho, 3 hours to see the canyon is more than enough.

To go down to the canyon and be next to the Colorado river you need more than 3 days, but t is fully worth it. You usually go down to the canyon by mule, which is an exciting, trepidating, and unforgettable experience to last a lifetime or two.  I will never forget the mule going by the edge of the road and the abysm beyond the edge of the road.

Saturday, March 19, 2016

What Is Nikon Up To?

I was thinking about the rumored Mirror-Less (ML) that Nikon is supposed to be introducing, by the end of this year.  The following is sheer speculation by me that I would like to share with you. There have been rumors that Fujifilm will introduce a Medium-Format (MF) ML camera soon. However, Fujifilm seems to have discarded the idea.  On the other hand, the rumors about Nikon coming out with a “Larger Sensor” ML camera are getting stronger.  What does Nikon mean by “Larger Sensor”?  I really do not know.  I can only speculate that they coming out with a MF-ML camera, which is very smart, imho.

Sony has the market for the Full-Frame (FF) ML cameras and Fuji the DX ML cameras.  Nikon might go after the MF-ML cameras market at a reasonable price, just like Sony with FF and Fuji with DX.

MF-ML Camera (Generic Photo)
With the introduction of an MF-ML camera,  Nikon might also introduce a new mount, for example the “M-Mount” for their probable line of new MF lenses.  However, they might be, at the same time, coming out with a fully functional converter for the F-Mount to the M-Mount.  By doing this, the present F-Mount lens owners will continue to have their F-Mount lens compatible with a probable new MF-ML camera.

Let us say that the new MF cameras has 60MP (40mmX53mm) sensor.  An FX (24mmX36mm) lens will only be able to comprehend a smaller sensor area and it would be the equivalent to ~ 24MP (my estimate) and a DX lens (23.6mmX15.6mm)  would be ~ 10.5MP (my estimate.Therefore, an FX lens owner would continue to shoot at the present resolution (a FF 24MP sensor as with D750, for example) with the added advantage of getting, little by little, the new MF lenses.   In this way, everyone would be very happy, especially Nikon that would be making out like bandits.  Again, this is sheer speculation on my part; I have no facts or information, whatsoever.  However, it makes the most sense.  On the other hand, we are talking about Nikon.  Who knows what they have up their sleeves, I they have anything at all.

Las Vegas

Paris Las Vegas Hotel
I got back from my 5-day Las Vegas trip last Tuesday night.  We stayed at the Paris - Las Vegas, which was a fantastic hotel of my taste and budget.  The more expensive and extremely nice ones like the Bellagio and Venetian, for example, are too expensively stylish. The Paris was more homey like being in the district of Montmartre in Paris. Having said that, it was very expensive. The buffets ranged from $27 for breakfast to $35 for dinner.  It has very nice shops, I cannot afford to buy from and also very nice restaurants I cannot afford to dine at.There was nothing for less than almost $10.  For example, two bottled soft drinks ~ $9 or one bottled soft drink and 4 tylenols.

I played the Video Poker Machines (Jacks or Better - Progressive) for 4 straight nights, a couple of hours each night.  I started with $80 and finished, after hitting a straight flush, with $81.25.  I can say that I won because after four nights, I broke even.  However, I won't.  What was the purpose of it all?  What about all those hours spent at gambling instead of taking photographs? I did not risk much - $80 or 25¢ a hand to win very little or nothing.  I broke even, because I hit a straight flush before quitting for good.

If I'm going to spent that much time gambling, I would like to play for the trip and a bit more, like $4,000.  However, to win that type of money I have to risk ~ $1,000 and play $5 a hand, something I'm not willing to do.  Rather than risk $1,000, I rather get a new lens or camera. In other words, in my list of priorities, real gambling is not a very high one.

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Fujifilm X-T10
I got the camera today. However, to my astonishment, Amazon sent the X-T1, body only.  This is the second time they make the same mistake. Yesterday, I was very understanding because everyone makes mistakes.  It is how you resolve the mistakes tat counts.  This time around, I'm not so understanding. What are the odds that they make the same exact mistake for the same order? As I told the Customer Service Rep: Yesterday, it was a mistake.  Today, it is a trend.  It says X-T1 on the box.  You think they would be a bit more careful the second time around. Therefore, I'm sending the camera + plus the X-T10 hand grip that I purchased separately for a full refund. In other words, it seems that I will not have the X-T10 after all.
Fuji 16-50

PS:  I did finally ordered the X-T10 (Silver) with the 16-50 (Silver) From B&H. The more I looked into the camera the more I liked it. It is very light ~ is 13.4 Oz and the Fujinon XC 16-50mm f/3.5-5.6 OIS II is ~ 6.5 Oz. I will use the T10 primarily with these lenses:

Fujinon XF 18mm f/2.0 R
Fujinon XF 27mm f/2.8
Fujinon XF 35mm f/1.4 R

Fujinon XC 16-50mm f/3.5-5.6 OIS II