A brief bit of gear-geekery

First, I will be at PhotoPlus Expo on Thursday morning, trying out all the new gear for Amazon’s End User blog. I’m sure I’ll want to grab lunch somewhere away from the $8 hot dogs, so let me know if you’ll be there!

Secondly, I finally got around to digging out the credit card, and my studio will have a new team member for the very end of the season (I expect, with my luck, it will arrive right after my last big wedding for the year)

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Yup, I’m moving to an all-massive camera line-up for 2010, and the usable 12,800 ISO of the Nikon D3s is calling to me. I was planning on buying another D3 anyway to supplement by badly beaten and scarred one, and I will be selling my (surprisingly in-good-shape) D700. I got the D700 so that I would have a more portable camera to take around with me, but these days my pocket camera is the Panasonic LX3, and the camera I actually take with me everywhere is the iPhone. My dSLRs are for workin’ these days, and so the esoteric advanced features of the D3 come in handy — the dual CF card slots alone are worth it to me, since I can back up every image I take, as I take them.

Oh, and you can definitely expect me to geek out over the movie mode, too, meaning lots more video content to come.

Untwisting your Lightroom RAW profiles

I loves me some Adobe Lightroom. When you take 200,000+ shots a year, you go for the program with the best ability to take on a massive workflow, and for me, Lightroom is it. But it has a giant problem. In order to get the best color from each camera, Adobe cobbled together color profiles matching what you would get out of the manufacturer’s own profiles, and the color was great. Finally, my reds were red again! But it came at the expense of a few oddities. Highlight clipping became the ugliest rendition I’ve ever seen, and if you wanted to fix that with your handy dandy “highlight recovery” slider? All of your colors would change, and people would go from skin tone to Muppet-land.

Apparently, Adobe has done this on purpose, because it’s easy to fix. Thomas Lester showed me that Adobe was deliberately “twisting” hues as you moved exposure sliders, and that there was a way to untwist them. That way, however, involved a lot of UNIX commands. Now I’m a geek, but I’m what you’d call a middle-range geek. I know some UNIX commands, but it’s not what I consider a good way to spend an evening. So I asked, pretty please, if he could compile “Untwisted” profiles for the D3 and D700 cameras I use.

And what did he do? He compiled them for every camera out there! So if you use Lightroom, and especially if you’re puzzled by color shifts when you use the highlight recovery slider, check out his blog for more information and to download the profiles!

No remember not to throw away your old profiles — Adobe probably has reasons to do the things you do, and you may not be used to the new colors. What I’ve done is start out with everything on the untwisted profiles but keep a normal camera profile option as a quick pre-set, so just one click means I can have both options.

Freyda and Brian: 8.29.09

Few people truly beam like Freyda on her wedding day. Half the time I would look over and she would just be sitting there, wearing a wide smile. And why not? With one of the rare beautiful summer days, and a great wedding at their temple near Princeton, NJ, there were lots of reasons to smile.

Among the many highlights, Brian returned to his former life as a musician, and played a song for the guests with friends and former band-mates. He was excellent, his bandmates were excellent, and his brother, who performed his own song for his best man speech was … hilarious.

As a Saturday wedding in a temple, this was a wedding for night owls like myself. When editing the images, I thought for a second that I’d accidentally set my camera clocks to Newfoundland time. Did the cake-cutting really happen after 1 a.m.? Oh yes, yes it did. And it was delicious.

Congratulations, you two!

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